Irish history and tradition are yours to discover during this intimate orientation tour of Cork City that includes a visit to Blarney Castle.
Depart from the Cathedral town of Cobh for the drive along North Ring Road to Blarney, the little village that lies in the protective shadow of historic Blarney Castle. Built in two sections, the Castle features a massive oblong keep, and typical Irish battlements. 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.
During your visit to the castle, you will have an opportunity to kiss the famous Blarney Stone, which, according to legend, imparts the gift of eloquence to all whose lips touch it. Next, you will visit the home of Blarney Woollen Mills, a building that dates back to 1793, and which today is considered to be one of the finest craft and gift centers in Ireland. Upon arrival, you will enjoy an Irish coffee and browse through a wide range of Irish clothing, crystal, linen and handicrafts.
Next, you will embark on a panoramic orientation tour of Cork, Ireland's second city. Once a swampy island located upstream from Cork Harbor on the estuary of the Lee River, the city is now an important shopping and commercial capital of the south. Today, the Lee River flows through the city in two main channels, so that you find yourself constantly crossing bridges. In fact, it is this feature that gives Cork its distinctive continental flair. Modern day Cork is a University City, brimming with jazz, film, opera, theaters, restaurants, and all of the amenities of a large city, yet it still manages to retain the pleasant charm and friendliness of a country town. During your drive through Cork, you will see some of the city's famous sites, including St. Finbarr's Cathedral, the Old Courthouse, City Hall, and the renowned Bells of Shandon.
Following your tour, you will return to Cobh and your awaiting ship.
Please note: The visit to Blarney Castle includes approximately 300 yards of walking, and 110 steps to climb. The tour is not available to guests who utilize a wheelchair or those guests with mobility concerns. Participants should be in good physical condition. Weather appropriate clothing, including a windbreaker or light jacket, and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested. Guests should be prepared for the possibility of rain. The order of the sights viewed or visited may vary.