CIE Tours - Ireland (and Scotland)

Old Mar 8th, 2021, 05:59 PM
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CIE Tours - Ireland (and Scotland)

I'm considering booking an 10-day "sampler tour" of Ireland and Scotland for June 2022 with CIE Tours. The tour would start in Glasgow and end in Dublin. The itinerary is not comprehensive, but acceptable. It's only 10 days, but covers the "must see" sights in both countries. My question for the Forum is - does anyone have recent experience with a small group tour using CIE? Feedback much appreciated - Thanks!
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Old Mar 8th, 2021, 08:26 PM
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If a fast/skim the surface tour satisfies you, CIE is a well respected company. But do not think it 'covers the "must see" sights in both countries.' Assuming this is the one you are considering, a quick look at the itinerary shows three countries (Ireland, N. Ireland, Scotland) 3 one night stops/3 two nighters, 5 VERY long bus days (not counting city bus tour days). Look at day 5 for example: You start in Edinburgh (likely departing very early AM), travel to far SW Scotland, ferry to NI, visit the Titanic Belfast, and finish up in Dublin in time for dinner. You will be in the coach or ferry the entire day except for maybe an hour or so at the Titanic experience.

https://www.cietours.com/tours/irela...otland-ireland

IMO/IME if you only have 10 days pick ONE of the countries . . . and assume you will still miss a great deal. But at least you'd spend much less time watching the countryside through coach windows.

Just my 2
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Old Mar 8th, 2021, 11:16 PM
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Thought I had included Day 5 drive times but they're not there . . . So here goes. Dalmahoy hotel to Cairnryan for the ferry takes 3.5 to 4 hours. The ferry takes 2 hours (hope for nice weather - not fun in a storm). Then a 'panoramic' drive around Belfast followed the Titanic exhibition. After that is a 2 to 2.5 hour drive to your hotel in central Dublin. Nearly 9 full hours in transit hotel to hotel, plus any rest stops, lunch (my guess is the only way this works is to have lunch either at th eferry terminal or on the ferry itself) and however much time you get at the Titanic exhibition.

( * the good news is staying at the Dalmahoy cuts about half an hour off the day 5 drive -- bad news it is you'll be 35-40 mins from Old Town so not at all convenient for exploring Edinburgh on your own)

Day 3 is better but it is still about 5 hours butts in seats / 8+ hours total hotel to hotel.
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Old Mar 9th, 2021, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by janisj View Post
Thought I had included Day 5 drive times but they're not there . . . So here goes. Dalmahoy hotel to Cairnryan for the ferry takes 3.5 to 4 hours. The ferry takes 2 hours (hope for nice weather - not fun in a storm). Then a 'panoramic' drive around Belfast followed the Titanic exhibition. After that is a 2 to 2.5 hour drive to your hotel in central Dublin. Nearly 9 full hours in transit hotel to hotel, plus any rest stops, lunch (my guess is the only way this works is to have lunch either at th eferry terminal or on the ferry itself) and however much time you get at the Titanic exhibition.

( * the good news is staying at the Dalmahoy cuts about half an hour off the day 5 drive -- bad news it is you'll be 35-40 mins from Old Town so not at all convenient for exploring Edinburgh on your own)

Day 3 is better but it is still about 5 hours butts in seats / 8+ hours total hotel to hotel.
Janis -- thank you for your insight re this tour. Very good observations and much appreciated. While we want to see as much as we can, we do not want to spend all our time sitting in a coach looking out the window.
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Old Mar 9th, 2021, 08:33 AM
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"While we want to see as much as we can, "

A decision you need to think about. With little time and soooooo much to see and do in each place - do you mostly want a box ticking type of trip (this is not meant as a slam. Seeing a lot of things if even briefly and this is one's only chance, it can make sense) - or - do you want to slow down and really see/visit some things?

Understand that with just 10 days even sticking to one country you wouldn't see too much in depth.

But just an idea to get you thinking: Say you arrived in Edinburgh, stayed 3 nights (barely 2 full days when you consider arrival formalities and jet lag) then take a multi-day Rabbies tour. (small group tours) https://www.rabbies.com/en/scotland-...from-edinburgh

Say you take a 4 or 5 day Rabbies tour, you could then spend a night or two in Glasgow for an entirely different city experience from Edinburgh, fly home from there.

It would be a LOT less hectic, could be a lot less expensive (with Rabbies you get to choose the type/cost of accommodations so can economize if you need to). You'd see a lot fewer number of sites, but SEE a lot more than on a rush rush tour like the CIE one.
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Old Mar 9th, 2021, 01:33 PM
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Good observations, Janis. And thanks for the recommendation - I'll look into that. Have now decided against the CIE tour
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Old Jul 6th, 2021, 05:38 AM
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There are also golf tours which are the same concept organized through CIE which I would recommend
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Old Jul 6th, 2021, 06:31 AM
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All three countries are worth a lot more time, as Janisj says day 5 is a killer.
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Old Jul 8th, 2021, 03:53 AM
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Timberbush also has small bus tours of Scotland. We have flown from EDI to DUB before and that is quick. You could book flight into EDI and out of DUB. We keep seeing cheaper flights in and out of DUB and are never opposed to staying there for a couple of nights. Great day tours from there. Mary Gibbons does a tour to Newgrange. Check that out. Anyway, we are thinking of flying into Dub, taking the bus to Belfast and doing the ferry to Scotland. Bus will take you to Glasgow. We have to get there to get to the Islay. We have been wanting to visit Belfast again and would spend a couple of nights there. Travel days are part of the adventure for us but not for others. It should be some great scenery along the coast. Rabbies does tours out of Glasgow also. Have fun planning. Premier Inn are normally a good bargain in the UK.
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Old Jul 8th, 2021, 08:01 AM
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OP hasn't been back since early March after deciding against the tour. Thread was topped by a one-time poster talking about golf tours.
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Old Jul 9th, 2021, 04:23 AM
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maybe she is a lurker
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