IT: Cork kicks off its year-long
stint as the 25-nation European Union's "European Capital of
Culture" for 2005 on Jan. 8 with a series of events such as a
fireworks and pyrotechnics display; an international carnival with
180 artists entertaining audiences at 10 performance areas; and a
city-center street party for some 80,000 celebrants. For more
information on events in Cork in 2005, visit www.cork2005.ie.
GEM OF A
DEAL: Sceptre Tours, of
Lynbrook, N.Y., is pricing its independent, land only "Emerald
B&B" package from $312 per person, net, in 2005.
The six-night package includes a first
night pre-booked into the Great Southern Hotel at either Dublin or
Shannon Airport, followed by five nights in Irish farmhouse
Clients also enjoy a
standard economy car rental, full Irish breakfasts each
morning and an
Irish-coffee welcome reception on arrival. The Emerald B&B deal
can be upgraded to include more upmarket "town-and-country"
bed-and-breakfasts, automatic car rentals, and/or 5-star castle
accommodations. Call (800) 221-0924 or visit www.sceptretours.com.
ADVANCES: Citing a spike
in advance bookings, Brian Moore International Tours (BMIT)
upgraded many 2005 Ireland departures to "guaranteed" status,
bringing the number of such departures for the March through
November period to nearly 40. An updated list is posted at www.bmit.com.
Also, in commemoration
of its 30th anniversary, BMIT is offering $260 per couple off the
price of each escorted tour for bookings made and deposited by St.
Patrick's Day, March 17.
ROOTS: Heritage Island, the
all-Ireland marketing consortium of history-rich towns and
heritage-related attractions including
castles, parks, museums, distilliries launched a series of new
trade publications for 2005 and welcomed several new members.
Touring Guide 2005, Tour Operators Manual and Education Tours
Directory previewed at World Travel Market in London in November
are now available. New members in Heritage Island to which 17 towns
such as Cashel, Tipperary and Westport belong include Blarney Castle in County Cork; Aillwee Cave in Ballyvaughan,
County Clare; and the Hook Lighthouse, in Fethard-on-Sea, County
Wexford. For more information on how Heritage Island can help U.S.
agents and operators sell Ireland, call (011) 353-1 260-0055; fax
(011) 353-1 260-0058; e-mail [email protected]; or visit www.heritageisland.com.
DUIT: That's Irish for "Merry
Christmas." Best wishes for a happy, healthy and lucrative holiday
season to all our Travel Weekly Ireland E-letter