Travel Weekly's Ireland E-Letter: March 20, 2003

FAMILY AFFAIR: CIE Tours is keeping it in the family with its six-night Irish Welcome package -- priced from $1,113 with airfare -- which features three nights spent at private homes across Ireland. The tour starts at Shannon and ends in Dublin after a tour of top attractions and cities; departures are weekly on Thursdays and most Saturdays, April 3 to Oct. 30. Alternative eight-night trips are available for an extra $165 in April and late October, or $209 from May 1 to Oct. 11; land-only pricing starts at $779. CIE pays a minimum of 10% on land and air. (800) CIE-TOUR or www.cietours.com

SPRING'S SPRUNG: Sheen Falls Lodge in Kenmare -- set to expand and renovate later this year -- offers spring break packages this April. Midweek and weekend breaks include two nights' lodging, daily breakfast and one dinner; prices start at about $332 per person, April 1 to 18, for a midweek stay. Standard rates usually run $275 to $422 per night; commission is 10%. (888) 947-4336 or www.sheenfallslodge.ie

THE BOSS: Sceptre Ireland and ale purveyor Guinness are offering a two-night, air-inclusive Unforgettable Bruce Springsteen Bonanza package to Ireland, featuring tickets to the Boss' sold-out Dublin concert on May 31.Priced at $999 per person, double occupancy, the deal includes air from New York (Kennedy), four-star accommodations, concert ticket, admission to the Guinness storehouse, a Guinness barge trip and full Irish breakfast daily. Commission is 10%. (800) 221-0924 or www.sceptreireland.com

SOMETHING SPECIAL: Tourism Ireland crafted a consumer brochure highlighting special-interest golfing, walking and horseback-riding programs from nine operators. Sample itineraries are included from Absolutely Golf and Travel, Atlantic Golf Company, Cross Country Int'l, Destination Golf/Destination Ireland, Golf International, Irish Links, Jerry Quinlan's Celtic Golf, Owenoak International Golf Travel and Sceptre Ireland. The guide also contains tips on booking flights with Aer Lingus, weathering outdoor travel and researching Irish roots. For more operator listings, visit www.shamrock.org or call (800) 669-9967.

ONLINE ADVANTAGE: Don't forget to check out Tourism Ireland's Shamrock Club destination specialist Web site at www.shamrockclub.net/register. Once you've joined, you can log onto the recently upgraded site for access to online education and certification modules, and other features. For more, contact Tourism Ireland' s John Daly at (212) 418-0835, or visit the site.

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