Travel Weeklys Ireland E-letter: Aug. 5, 2004

SINGULAR SENSATION: Singles Travel International is taking solo travelers to the Emerald Isle with its autumn tour of Ireland, priced from $1,985 (based on shared quarters), plus air fare, or from $2,474 for single occupancy accommodations. The tour, to run Oct. 16 to 24, takes in top sights such as Dublin, Waterford, Killarney, Killkenny, Blarney, the Ring of Kerry, the Dingle Peninsula and the Cliffs of Moher; accommodations include a farewell stay and banquet at Dromoland Castle, County Clare. Singles Travel International pays 11% commission on the tour. Contact Tammy Weiler at (877) SOLO-TRIP or (877) 765-5989 or go to www.singlestravelintl.com.

FARE FANFARE: Low-fare Irish carrier Ryanair will launch eight new European routes the last third of the year, including service to Riga, capital of new E.U. member Latvia. Sale fares on the new flights to Riga; Paris (Beauvais); and Santander and Zaragoza, Spain, will start at about $7.25 one way. Service begins between Sept. 20 and Dec. 1, depending on route flown. The additions bring the Ryanair network to 161 routes across 17 European countries. In other news, Ryanair announced a profit of $64 million for the quarter ended June 30, when passenger volumes grew by 28%, yields declined by 6% and unit costs fell by 4%. Visit www.ryanair.com for details.

ON AIR: In other Irish airways news, regional carrier Aer Arann recently introduced service from Knock to Liverpool, England. Fares start at 39.99 euros, or about $48, one-way with tax, and flights are operated on 48-seat ATR42 aircraft. The route is the latest of seven services being introduced this summer, including Galway to Birmingham; Derry/Londonderry to Manchester and Birmingham; Waterford and Kerry to Manchester; and Donegal to Glasgow Prestwick. The airline also operates daily flights from Knock to Dublin. For more, see www.aerarann.ie.

FALL DEALS: Brendan Worldwide Vacations is pushing Ireland in the fall, and the benefits of lower air fares, good weather, fewer travelers -- and guaranteed departures in September and October. Brendan, which claims to be the first to offer an escorted tour with bed and breakfast acccommodations in Ireland, offer a seven-night At Home With the Irish tour that combines first-class hotels with Irish B&Bs that feature en-suite bathrooms, dinner and full Irish breakfast daily (12 meals total), priced from $1,097 land only or $1,885 with air fare. Brendan also offers the 12-night all-Ireland Sights & Sounds of Ireland program to both the Republic and the British province of Northern Ireland, priced from $1,924, land-only, or $2,700 with air. Brendan pays 10% to 15% on land packages, based on consortia affiliation, and up to 10% on air. For more, go to www.brendanvacations.com or call (800) 421-8446.

SAVINGS IN 05: Celtic Tours knocked as much as $100 per person off published prices on winter and spring tours to Ireland. Land prices were reduced on the three-night Killarney Short Break, the four-night Celtic Tradition, the five-night Irish Rambler and the six-night Heart of Ireland. Celtic also offers an incentive to small groups of one free land for 16 paying and two free land for 30 paying passengers. Discounts and incentives are applicable on select departures from January through April and from October through December in 2005. Celtic pays 10% to 15% on land for individuals and up to 17% on land for groups. Call (800) 833-4373 or visit www.celtictours.com.

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