Ireland to get its own Orient Express

Eastern and Oriental Express
Eastern and Oriental Express

Visitors to Ireland are set to experience luxury travel like never before with the launch of the country’s first ever overnight train service in the grandest of settings.

Belmont Ltd, the company behind the famed opulence of the Orient Express, have announced that they will begin to operate an Irish service in 2016 to give visitors a ‘land cruise’ experience.

The Belmond Grand Hibernian, so-called after the Latin word for Ireland, will be a luxurious sleeper train which will boast accommodation for up to 40 guests in 20 elegant en-suite cabins.

The yet-to-be-decided two, four and six night journeys, will proudly take in the best of scenery and culture that Ireland has to offer as well as boasting cities Dublin, Belfast and Cork.

The train’s design draws on inspiration from Dublin’s classic Georgian architecture, blended with elements of ancient folklore to produce a traditional yet contemporary indulgent setting.

CGI image of Belmond Grand Hibernian suite
CGI image of Belmond Grand Hibernian suite

It will feature four interconnecting suites, ideal for families, two restaurant cars and an observation bar car that are sure to rival the palatial interiors of the current Orient Express.

The company pledge that the routes will weave through the sprawling countryside, dramatic coastlines and fascinating cities to ensure guests can celebrate all the country has to offer.

The train will stable at night in a quiet siding or station to ensure that guests enjoy a good night’s sleep every night before embarking on daily excursions, from historic estates and world-class​ ​golf courses to the famous haunts of legendary writers, musicians and artists.

James Park Associates, who have worked on the Belmond Northern Belle and Eastern & Oriental Express among others for the company, are managing the interior design project.

“Ireland offers today’s luxury traveller a rich and diverse cultural experience, with unrivalled scenery and warm hospitality that fit perfectly with Belmond’s offering of enriching and authentic hotel, rail and river cruise experiences,” said John Scott, President and CEO.

“Belmond Grand Hibernian will be Belmond’s seventh luxury rail experience, building on our expertise in operating a stable of the world’s most famous trains, including Belmond Royal Scotsman, currently the UK’s only luxury sleeper train, and the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.”

The haulage services and depot facilities will be provided by Iarnród Éireann Irish Rail, who Belmond acquired ten

Piano bar on Eastern and Oriental
Piano bar on Eastern and Oriental

carriages from.

David Franks, Chief Executive of Iarnród Éireann Irish Rail said: “We are proud and delighted to welcome Belmond Grand Hibernian to Ireland’s rail network. Our railways provide a unique aspect on the countryside, towns and cities of Ireland.”

The celebrated Orient Express service was originally created in 1883 by Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits (CIWL), but the traditional Paris to Istanbul routes ceased to operate in 2009.

However, the Venice-Simplon Orient Express train, using original CIWL carriages from the 1920s ad 30s continues to run from London to Venice under Belmond.

The company’s portfolio also boasts river cruises, excursions and hotels along with its European and UK train services.

Two night journeys on the Belmond Grand Hibernian will start from €3,200 on an all-inclusive basis including all meals, drinks and excursions.

Belmond have a landing page where guests can register their interest to receive further details as the launch approaches on www.Belmond.com.

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