PRETTY CITY: Belfast
is benefiting from a $1.3 billion facelift being funded by a
public-private partnership. New attractions along the River Lagan
waterfront, new city-center businesses, $250 million in roadway
improvements and a new sewer system are all in the works. Among the
projects: The $600 million, city-center Victoria Square project,
due to open in two years; tourist attractions at Queens Quay; and
arts projects at Custom House Square. The work is part of the citys
Belfast Better Believe It campaign to attract more visitors and
investment. For more, visit www.gotobelfast.com.
AWAY: Brian Moore International Tours celebrates American
Airlines new service from Boston to Ireland, to start May 1, with a
six-night, air-inclusive package priced from $659 per person,
double. The package includes roundtrip air to Shannon,
bed-and-breakfast accommodations, daily breakfast and a rental car.
Additional U.S. departure gateways and accommodations upgrades are
available. To book, call (800) 982-2299. For more, visit www.bmit.com.
DO: Look for bigger and better cultural events in Ireland
this year. Dublin has earmarked some $425,000 to support nine
festivals and happenings. Beneficiaries include Irish folk festival
Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal; the Feile
na Bealtaine Celtic festival in Dingle, Co. Kerry; Galway Arts
Festival, Galway; Clonmel Junction Festival, Clonmel, Co.
Tipperary; Irish Coffee Festival, Foynes, Co. Limerick; Writers
Week in Listowel, Co. Kerry; Shannon International Music Festival,
Limerick; National Country Fair, Emo, Co. Laois; and the World
Sheep Dog Trials in Tullamore, Co. Offaly. For more, see www.arts-sport-tourism.gov.ie.
HIGH SEAS: Irish Ferries debuted a Club Class lounge
onboard its Dublin Swift ship, which connects the Irish capital to
Holyhead, England, in one hour and 45 minutes, three times a day in
each direction. On the upper deck, the lounge offers reserved
seating; reclining leather Pullman seats; complimentary drinks and
snacks; complimentary newspapers and magazines; and an exclusive
lounge bar. The upgrade to Club Class costs 15 euros (about $20)
per person each way. Visit www.irishferries.com.
FREE: Sceptre Tours is partnering with Jurys Hotels to
offer one free night at any Jurys property in Ireland with a
purchase of two or more nights accommodations for travel starting
April 1. For more, call (800) 221-0924 or visit www.sceptretours.com.