Expedition Overview

Expedition Overview

SPECIAL OFFERS

2023 Early Booking Offer

For a limited time, save $400 per person on North America itineraries or save $500 per person on international itineraries when you book your space by 8/19/22 on select 2023 National Geographic Signature Land departures.* Take advantage of this special offer by calling 1-888-966-8687 or contacting your Travel Agent, or book online and mention code EARLY_BK_2023.

*The per-person savings is taken from the non-discounted prevailing rate for each departure as quoted by National Geographic Expeditions on the date of booking (“Regular Rate’”) and only valid on select National Geographic Expeditions land departures with travel start dates between November 7, 2022 and December 11, 2023, inclusive. Qualifying land itineraries have a callout on the Special Offers box of the itinerary page on nationalgeographic.com/expeditions, and on the Special Offers page. The offer designation may not reflect real-time offer availability; accordingly, availability is subject to confirmation at time of booking and payment of the standard deposit. Any courtesy hold, without payment of the standard deposit, will not guarantee availability of the offer for the selected departure date. Offer availability is limited for each departure. The offer terminates on August 19, 2022 or when the limited spaces eligible for the offer on the applicable departure date have been booked, whichever is earlier. Valid on new bookings only. Lead guest of the booking party must travel on the land package booked. Not transferable or redeemable for cash in whole or in part. Savings not applicable to deposit. Cannot be combined with any other offers, discounts or promotions. Not valid for group bookings. Offer is subject to change without notice. Offer valid for residents of the U.S. and Canada, except for Quebec. Bookings subject to restrictions and National Geographic Expeditions’ standard terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.
Available Departures
  • Apr 20-28, 2023
  • May 25-Jun 2, 2023
  • Jun 29-Jul 7, 2023
  • Aug 31-Sep 8, 2023
  • Sep 21-29, 2023
  • Wake up amid the regal splendor of Ashford Castle and take a private tour of this medieval retreat with the on-site historian.
  • Visit ancient sacred sites known as holy wells with a medievalist historian who worked on a National Geographic-sponsored project to preserve them.
  • Join an archaeologist at the Irish National Museum in Dublin to examine prehistoric artifacts and fascinating “bog bodies.”
  • Witness traditional Irish farming practices in Connemara, and hear about conservation efforts that earned the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark a National Geographic World Legacy Award.

Itinerary

Itinerary

Across the Emerald Isle, history and a vibrant culture intermingle against a landscape that is endlessly magnificent. In the company of local archaeologists and historians, visit some of Ireland’s most intriguing monuments—from prehistoric monoliths in the Burren to the Rock of Cashel—and uncover mysteries from the Neolithic, Bronze Age, and medieval eras. Delve into the Gaeltacht, where Irish traditions hold strong, while exploring the windswept Connemara and fishing villages on the stunning Dingle Peninsula. Then venture to the lesser-known County Mayo and settle into our base at a medieval castle to explore the stunning landscapes and culture of the Irish countryside.

Day 1: Dublin, Ireland
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Arrive at the Dublin Airport (DUB) and transfer to our hotel. This afternoon, set out on a walking tour to see the city's charming historic center. Then visit the archaeology branch of the National Museum of Ireland. Join an archaeology expert here for an in-depth look at Early Bronze Age gold and jewelry, prehistoric weaponry, and Iron Age “bog bodies.” Cap off the tour with a visit to Sweny’s Pharmacy, featured in James Joyce’s novel Ulysses.

Meals Included:Dinner
Accommodations:The Dylan Hotel
Day 2: Dublin/Kilkenny
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Begin the day in the Old Library at Trinity College, home to the illuminated manuscript known as the Book of Kells. Then drive to Kilkenny, a charming medieval town with narrow, winding streets; a 12th-century castle; and many well-preserved churches and monasteries. Check in to our hotel and enjoy dinner on your own this evening.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodations:Pembroke Kilkenny
Day 3: Kilkenny
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Join a local guide for a tour of Kilkenny. Explore Kilkenny Castle, and visit the former stables, converted into a design center that houses the National Craft Gallery. After lunch at the historic Kyteler’s Inn, visit St. Canice’s Cathedral. Tour the 300-year-old Smithwick’s Brewery, and then meet a whiskey expert for a private tasting.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodations:Pembroke Kilkenny
Day 4: Rock Of Cashel/Killarney
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Head west to the Rock of Cashel, an imposing fortress atop a shamrock-green hill. Step inside the age-old ramparts to discover a Gothic cathedral, high crosses, and a beautifully preserved Romanesque chapel. Continue to Killarney after lunch, stopping in the Gaeltacht town of Ballyvourney to meet with a local medievalist and learn about his work on a National Geographic-sponsored project to preserve Ireland’s holy wells.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:Killarney Park Hotel
Day 5: Dingle Peninsula/Killarney
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Trace the rocky, wave-beaten coastline of the Dingle Peninsula on one of Ireland’s most scenic drives. Peek into ancient beehive huts that dot steep hillsides, and walk through the seemingly endless shallows at Inch beach. Stop at a local pottery shop, and then tour the colorful seaside town of Dingle, where traditional Irish language and lifestyle still flourish. Later this afternoon, take an optional hike in Killarney National Park.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodations:Killarney Park Hotel
Day 6: Cliffs of Moher/The Burren National Park
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Depart Killarney, crossing from Kerry to Clare counties. Travel toward the spectacular Cliffs of Moher, which rise more than 700 feet above the crashing North Atlantic. Then drive through the Burren National Park, an otherworldly limestone landscape strewn with megalithic markings, and marvel at the ancient portal tomb of Poulnabrone Dolmen. Continue to our hotel, a lovely 18th-century manor house just outside Galway. Enjoy a talk about local conservation efforts that led to the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark receiving a 2016 National Geographic World Legacy Award.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations:Glenlo Abbey Hotel
Day 7: The Burren/Galway/County Mayo

Spend the morning discovering the coastal city of Galway on a tour of this vibrant center for Irish art, music, and theater. Our next destination is the majestic Ashford Castle, a gateway to the gorgeous landscapes of County Mayo. As National Geographic guests, we’ll have the opportunity to step back in time on a private tour with the on-site historian, who will share tales from the long and colorful history of this meticulously restored 800-year-old castle.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations:Ashford Castle
Day 8: County Mayo
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Get a feel for traditional farm life during a sheep-herding demonstration this morning. Then return to the castle and enjoy the rest of the day to explore its grounds and enjoy its amenities. Take a self-guided nature walk around the property’s parklands, go boating on Lough Corrib, or simply relax and enjoy the castle’s spa. This evening, celebrate your Irish adventure during a farewell dinner.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:Ashford Castle
Day 9: County Mayo/Shannon
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After breakfast, transfer to the Shannon Airport (SNN) and catch your flight home.

Meals Included:Breakfast