Travel Weekly's Ireland E-letter: Jan. 13, 2005

EIRE FARE: Isle Inn Tours is featuring what it calls the "new highlights" of Ireland on its annual travel agent fam trip to the Emerald Isle, from March 31 to April 7.  The fam -- which takes in Adare, Killarney, Dingle, Kinsale, Waterford, Kilkenny, Birr, the Aran Islands, Galway City, and Connemara -- is priced at $659, plus departure tax. The companion and single supplements are $199 and $235, respectively. The land-only rate, meanwhile is $425 per agent.

Rates include roundtrip air on Aer Lingus from New York (Kennedy) or Boston; 6 nights' accommodation; breakfast daily; five evening meals and one castle banquet; one evening's entertainment; a flight to and ferry back from the Aran Islands; a jaunting car ride in Killarney;  sightseeing; and site inspections. Contact Fiona Lydon at (800) 237-9376, ext. 18 for information and/or registration. Or visit www.isleinntours.com.

NEW TO IRELAND: Italy and Europe specialist operator TourCrafters is offering Ireland product -- from independent and fly-and-drive to escorted and hosted tours -- for the first time ever in 2005. TourCrafter's four six-night escorted tours are: the film-themed Action, Ireland tour of movie locations, priced from $709; the North Coast Tour, from $799, and Northern Insight Tours, from $806, of both the Republic and Northern Ireland; and the Cultural City Selection Tour, from $824.

The Libertyville, Ill.-based firm pays commissions of 10% to 15% on land (based on volume) and 9% on air. The Ireland brochure is available for download at www.tourcrafters.com. Or, call (800) 482-5995.

FORE PUTTERS: Golfing specialist operator AtlanticGolf, based in Stamford, Conn., published its 2005 brochure, consisting of 28 pages of information on all major golf courses in Ireland, Great Britain and Iberia. For copies, call (800) 542-6224 or (203) 363-1003, or visit www.atlanticgolf.com.

NEW IN '05: Brian Moore International Tours (BMIT) unveiled "modernized" tours for 2005 featuring more free time, less "hand-holding" and more competitive prices.  Accommodations-wise, BMIT now offers a mix of centrally located three- and four-star hotels; when tours spend two nights in one place, second evenings are set aside for free time. Price-wise, the 10-night Unforgettable Ireland now starts at $1,299, which BMIT claims is $250 to $350 below competitors' prices for similar product, while the 6-night Irish Spree is priced from $699, some $100 less than similar competing product. For more, call BMIT, which pays commission of 10% and up, at (800) 982-2299 or visit www.bmit.com.

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