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Ireland cruises offer numerous delights, from famous landmarks, world-class museums and galleries to well-manicured parks and cultural experiences. Here is a just a sampling of the wide range of shore excursions available.
Note: Not all cruise lines offer all excursions listed.
Kiss the Blarney Stone in Cork: Blarney village lies in the protective shadow of historic Blarney Castle. The castle was built in two sections and has a massive oblong keep, with battlements that are typically Irish in form. Below them, the famous Blarney Stone is set in the wall, and to kiss it, one has to lean over backwards from the parapet walk of the battlements. Legend tells us that by doing so you receive the gift of eloquence.
Enjoy a pint of Guiness beer in Dublin: The Guinness Storehouse is located in the heart of the Guinness Brewery. It is a dramatic story that began over 250 years ago and ends in 'Gravity', the sky bar, which has astonishing views of Dublin. The 'Guinness adventure' begins the moment you walk through the door and into the building's giant, pint-shaped heart of glass. Find out how the drink that carries Arthur Guinness's name has traveled around the world. After your visit, you will have the opportunity to taste the world famous stout.
Tour Christchurch Cathedral in Waterford: A glorious example of Georgian architecture, the church you see today is the third to be built on this hallowed site. The first was constructed in 1096; the second was built in the medieval era. The present Georgian structure, with its dramatic spire, is one of the finest churches of its time. Standing before it, you can almost feel the history, as it was here that a papal decree was read out, authorizing the English and Norman king, Henry II to reform the church in Ireland. Following an informative introduction offered by your guide, you are free to explore the cathedral's interior independently.
Explore Hillsborough Castle in Belfast: At Hillsborough Castle, delight in discovering the residence of the British Royal Family and visiting dignitaries. President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair met at Hillsborough Castle on April 7, 2003 to discuss world affairs. A guided tour of the castle will acquaint you with the tales of the Hill family, who held the title of Marquis of Downshire, and the Governors. Hear about the castle's role in more recent Northern Ireland history and view many interesting pieces of furniture and works of art.
Visit the Jameson Whiskey Distillery: Take a short drive to the old Jameson Distillery. Begin your visit with a short audio-visual presentation on the history & making of Jameson whiskey. Experience the heritage & history on a guided tour of the restored distillery that shows various stages of whiskey production. At the tour's end, you'll visit the Jameson Bar for a sample of Jameson products before browsing the gift shop.
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