JFK Presidential Ireland Trip Tour

JFK Presidential Trip to Ireland 50th Anniversary

June 24 – July 4th, 2013

We are pleased to present the following proposal for your trip to Ireland:


June 24 & 25: 2 Nights Dublin – Burlington Hotel
June 26, 27, & 28: 3 Nights Waterford – Dooley’s Hotel or Granville Hotel
June 29 & 30: 2 Nights Killarney – Towers Hotel
July 1 & 2: 2 Nights Galway – Ardilaun House Hotel
July 3: 1 Night Cavan – Cabra Castle Hotel


  • Full Irish breakfast daily
  • 6 dinners



  • Panoramic tour of Dublin
  • Little Museum of Dublin
  • Tour of the Dail Eireann
  • Arbour Hill Cemetery
  • Phoenix Park
  • Kilkenny Walking Tour
  • Smithwick’s Brewery Tour
  • House of Waterford Crystal
  • JFK celebrations in New Ross
  • Kennedy Homestead visit in Dunganstown
  • Visit to Lismore
  • Blarney Castle
  • Ring of Kerry
  • Cliffs of Moher
  • Galway City
  • Cnoc Suain
  • Kilbeggan Distillery
  • Cabra Castle

Transportation & Other:

  • Luxury air-conditioned Coach Throughout
  • Professional Irish Driver Guide Throughout
  • All Hotel Taxes & service charges
  • Hotel Porterage for 1 bag

Not Included:
Gratuities to driver
Travel Insurance – see separate sheet for pricing

Land ONLY Pricing:
$1969.00 per person sharing a double/twin/triple room
$449.00 - single room supplement

Group Air Pricing:
Not Available until July 2012

June 24:           Welcome to Ireland

“When my great-grandfather left here to become a cooper in East Boston he carried nothing with him except two things: a strong religious faith and a strong desire for liberty. I am glad to say that all of his great grandchildren have valued that inheritance” – JFK, New Ross. June 27, 1963           

This morning we land in Dublin airport. Once you go through passport control, you will collect your bags and head out into the arrivals area where your very friendly Irish Tour Director will meet you. Once aboard the coach we will drive into Dublin City, the capital city of Ireland and JFK’s first stop on his historic 1963 visit, arriving just hours after his famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech in Berlin. We will take a panoramic tour of Dublin following the same path the President took, where he was greeted with a ticker tape parade by thousands of Irish admirers. We will then check in to the hotel, where you will have time to relax and grab a bite to eat. This afternoon we will visit The Little Museum of Dublin. Opened in 2011, this museum chronicles the social, cultural, and political history of 20th century Dublin. Among its exhibits is the lectern used by President Kennedy during his speech to Irish Parliament. After our museum visit, the rest of the day is free to explore the city on your own.

Overnight:                   Burlington Hotel, Dublin


June 25:           Dublin

“And so it is that our two nations, divided by distance, have been united by history. No people ever believed more deeply in the cause of Irish freedom than the people of the United States. And no country contributed more to building my own than your sons and daughters.” – JFK, Leinster House, Dublin. June 28, 1963

After breakfast in the Hotel, we will board the bus and arrive at Leinster House. Leinster House is the building that houses the national parliament of Ireland. JFK addressed both houses of the parliament, the Dail Eireann and Seanad Eireann, during his visit. We will tour the building and chambers where the President spoke. Following our visit to Leinster House, we will continue on to Arbour Hill Cemetery. This military cemetery is the resting place of 14 of the executed leaders of the insurrection of 1916. Among these leaders are notable Irish revolutionaries such as Patrick Pearse and James Connolly. President Kennedy visited the cemetery during his stay and made a point of laying a wreath at the memorial. It was here, the President first witnessed the Cadets of the Irish Army. He later recalled the moment as one of his favorites of the whole trip and was so greatly impressed by the Cadets, Jackie Kennedy requested the Irish Cadets to be the honor guard at his burial only 5 months later.

Our next stop on the tour will be Phoenix Park. The park is 1,750 acres and one of the largest city parks in Europe. Along with housing the Dublin Zoo, Phoenix Park is also where the President of Ireland and the United States Ambassador to Ireland reside. Deerfield is the name of the house and estate that houses the Ambassador and where Kennedy stayed during his visit. Not far from Deerfield is the Aras an Uachtarain, the official residence of the Irish President. During his visit, a garden party was thrown in honor of Kennedy on the grounds. After the park, we will return to the hotel, where you will be free to explore the city at your leisure.

Overnight:                   Burlington Hotel, Dublin


June 26:           Kilkenny & Waterford

After breakfast in the hotel, we will board the bus and depart Dublin to Waterford, via Kilkenny.  During our stop in Kilkenny, we will take a city walking tour and also visit the Smithwick’s Brewery. The brewery is situated on the site of a Franciscan abbey where monks had brewed ale since the 14th century. After our visit to Kilkenny, we will continue south to Waterford, where we will check in to our hotel for the next three nights. Waterford is the oldest city in Ireland. Viking raiders first established a settlement near Waterford in 853, before being driven out by the native Irish. Upon the Vikings return in 914, they built what would become Ireland’s first city. The rest of the day will be on your own to relax or explore the city. We will have dinner tonight in the hotel. 

Dinner & Overnight:   Dooleys Hotel or Granville Hotel, Waterford

June 27:           New Ross, Co. Wexford

“It took 115 years to make this trip, and 6,000 miles, and three generations. But I am proud to be here and appreciate the warm welcome you have given to all of us.” – JFK, New Ross June 27, 1963

Today we will celebrate the official 50th anniversary of JFK’s visit to his ancestral home. Before we descend on New Ross, we will make a morning stop at the House of Waterford Crystal. Opened in the summer of 2010, it is a living testament to the original Waterford Glass House. The skilled Waterford Crystal artisans working at this living ‘manufactory’ keep the tradition of mouth blowing, hand finishing, sculpting and engraving alive. President Kennedy was presented a Waterford Crystal Commemorative Cup by the New Ross Harbor Commissioners of Wexford, during his visit on this day, 50 years ago. The cup is now featured in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston, MA. We will continue on to New Ross, where JFK kicked off his tour of Wexford on June 27, 1963. Today will be filled with festivities in honor of the President and his historic visit. More details will follow as they become available by the organizers.

Overnight:        Dooleys Hotel or Granville Hotel, Waterford 


June 28:            Dunganstown / New Ross

“We want to drink a cup of tea to all those Kennedys who went and all those Kennedys who stayed.”   – JFK, Kennedy Homestead, Dunganstown. June 27, 1963

Today we will visit the Kennedy Homestead, birthplace of President Kennedy’s great grandfather Patrick Kennedy, in Duganstown, New Ross. A new visitor center is scheduled to be open to coincide with the 50th anniversary of JFK’s visit. The celebrations in New Ross will continue today and more details will follow once they become available.

Dinner & Overnight:   Dooleys Hotel or Granville Hotel, Waterford


June 29:            Lismore Castle / Blarney Stone / Killarney

Today, we depart Waterford and head to Killarney in County Kerry. En Route, we will stop in the village of Lismore which is home to Lismore Castle. When John’s sister Kathleen ‘Kick’ married William Cavendish, the Marquis of Hartington, he was also the heir of the Duke of Devonshire, whose properties included Lismore Castle. Although Cavendish was killed in World War II, just 4 months after they were married, Kathleen was still granted access to the castle. Lismore Castle holds an important place in John F. Kennedy’s experience in Ireland. This was the place he stayed during his first visit to Ireland in 1947, when he was just a young, relatively unknown Massachusetts Congressman. After our visit to Lismore, we will continue on to another famous castle, Blarney Castle. Blarney Castle is now a partial ruin that dates back to 1446, when it replaced another destroyed castle in the same spot. Blarney is also home to the world famous Blarney Stone. According to legend, kissing the stone endows the kisser with the gift of great eloquence. Although never visited by Kennedy himself, he was surely blessed with this gift, so this stop seems more than appropriate. Finally we reach our destination for the next two evenings, Killarney. We will check in to the hotel and relax before dinner together in the hotel, later in the evening feel free to explore the town and visit a few local pubs.

Dinner & Overnight:   Towers Hotel, Killarney


June 30:           Killarney

Today after breakfast, you will have the choice to stay local in Killarney and possibly take a jaunting cart ride around Muckross House or the coach will be taking a tour around the Ring of Kerry. The Ring of Kerry is an 110 mile circular route that traces the coastline of the Inveragh Peninsula; so be prepared for some breathtaking views.  There is always something new to appreciate in the combination of ocean, islands, mountains, light and ever-changing weather patterns.  The first town along the route is Kilorglin, famous for Puck Fair.  Continuing along the Peninsula, you will capture outstanding views of the Blasket Islands and the Dingle Peninsula.  As we meander along we will pass through Molls Gap and onto Ladies View, named after Queen Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting.  The vistas of lakes and mountains remain magnificent today.  We will return to Killarney, where the rest of the evening is free to enjoy the town one last night before we head to Galway in the morning.

Overnight:       Towers Hotel, Killarney


July 1:              Cliffs of Moher / Galway

“I must say that though other days may not be so bright, as we look toward the future, that the brightest days will continue to be those we spent with you here in Ireland.” – JFK, Galway June 29, 1963

Today we head to the beautiful County Clare. Our first stop will be through The Burren. This karst-landscape is composed of limestone pavements with criss-crossing cracks. Due to the unusual environment the region supports arctic, Mediterranean, and alpine plants side by side. We continue on to the Cliffs of Moher. At a height of over 700 feet high and stretching for about 5 miles, the cliffs are among the largest in Europe. We arrive in Galway and check in to the Ardilaun Hotel. The hotel holds a place in the Kennedy story as well. John Ryan, the current general manager, is the son of Patrick D. Ryan, who was the mayor of Galway from 1962 to 1963, and oversaw the President’s visit to Galway. Kennedy even made a stop to visit Ryan’s 82 year old mother en route. The rest of the day will be free to relax and explore Galway City. This of course, was a stop on Kennedy’s tour in 1963 and there is the John F. Kennedy Memorial Park located in Eyre Square with a commemorative plague to the President. 

Dinner & Overnight:   Ardilaun House, Galway


July 2:              Connemara

Today we will head out to the western peninsula of Galway; Connemara. Connemara has long been regarded as the real emerald of Ireland and one of the most beautiful places in the world! On our tour through Connemara, we will stop at Cnoc Suain, an award winning eco/cultural hill village of thatched stone cottages, dating 1691 that offers a unique window into Irish culture. The visit will include live performances of traditional music, song, story and dance, the natural history and archaeology of Connemara, Irish soda bread baking demonstration, and the fine art of “poitin” ( Irish moonshine) making. We will continue back to Galway, where we will have dinner in the hotel. 

Dinner & Overnight:   Ardilaun House, Galway

July 3:              Cabra Castle, Co Cavan

After breakfast in the hotel, we will depart Galway and journey north east to Cabra Castle in County Cavan. En route, we will stop at the Kilbeggan Distillery. Located in the heart of Ireland, it is the oldest continually licensed distillery in the world. After the tour, you will be greeted with a sample of the famous Irish Whiskey. Located on site is the Pantry Restaurant, an ideal place to have lunch. After the tour and lunch, we will continue on to Cabra Castle. It is only appropriate we end our tour of Ireland the same way John F. Kennedy began his in 1947; with a castle stay. Cabra Castle is a 19th century Irish Castle Hotel, set on 100 acres of manicured gardens and parkland. We will have dinner together as a group tonight in the castle.

Dinner & Overnight:   Cabra Castle, Cavan


July 4:        Our Journey back home to the USA

Pack your bags and head for Dublin airport where you will board your flight for home. Carry on your photos and memories and bring a bit of the Emerald Isle home with you. ‘The Land of One Hundred Thousand Welcomes’ will be expecting you soon again. As President Kennedy remarked on his final day in Ireland:

“This is not the land of my birth, but it is the land for which I hold the greatest affection, and I certainly will come back in the springtime.”

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