The company launching Ireland’s first luxury rail experience has included Westport as a destination on its exclusive tour around Ireland.
The Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring, attended the official announcement of the new tourism product by Belmond Ltd.
The premium train tour offers two, four, and six-night rail experiences, aboard the Grand Hibernian, taking in Dublin, Cork, Killarney, Galway, Westport, Belfast and Portrush.
Prices for a two-night trip start at €3,200 (£2,290 ) per person while the six-night ‘Grand Tour’ starts at €7,890 (£5,650 ) per person.
Prices include meals, drinks, entertainment and excursions and as the price tag suggests should bring a new slice of the luxury tourism market to Mayo.
The service, which is expected to start in summer 2016, will further boost the profile of the county as a top destination, according to Minister Ring.
Minister Ring said he is looking forward to welcoming Belmond’s Grand Hibernian and all who travel on her to Westport in the years to come.
“The new luxury touring train is an exciting proposition and another unique way for our overseas visitors to experience all Ireland has to offer,” he said. “When arriving in Mayo, I know that those on board will receive a unique Westport welcome, and will be delighted by such sites as Ashford Castle that they will have an opportunity to explore.”
Belmond has acquired 10 carriages from Iarnród Éireann for the service and is transforming them into luxury en suite cabins.
The company is now taking bookings on its website for the first tours in August 2016.