Ireland Tour Company

Old Feb 15th, 2021, 10:06 AM
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Ireland Tour Company

Due to our age, my husband and I are unable to get insurance to drive in Ireland. I looked at doing it by rail, but I wasn't thrilled with what I saw there. We have decided to go the private driver route and have found a company that really looks good for this purpose. I've not found anything negative about them in my Google search, but I thought I would ask on here to get any personal experiences. The company is Irish Tourism, website irishtourism.com. Any input would be appreciated.
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Old Feb 15th, 2021, 11:25 AM
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Sorry I can't help you with that company but just in case you decide against them for whatever reason, you might want to check out Rabbies

https://www.rabbies.com/en/ireland-tours#seetours

They are a terrific long-standing company that initially just 'did' Scotland. But Ireland is now a big chunk of their offerings. They do small groups - never more than 16 passengers, often fewer. But at least in Scotland they also do private/personalized itineraries. It might be worth contacting them to see if they will do the same in Ireland. Even if not -- their regular tours are great.
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Old Feb 15th, 2021, 11:33 AM
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Years ago I used this company (Destination Ireland, based in NYC) to arrange a driver and accommodations for what I called the Prodigal Son Tour where I took my mobility limited mother to Ireland. We did the Castles and Manors tour and it was great, far exceeded my expectations.
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Old Feb 15th, 2021, 12:03 PM
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I looked at some of the tours. Try for one that doesn't move every night. That will wear you out and cuts into the touring time. You could also pick three or four locations like Belfast, Dublin, Galway, and Killarney which are all served by train and do day tours. Each place has many good day tours on large and smaller buses. Those places have things to see and you don't even have to travel each day. Picking hotels or Inns are very easy. You might enjoy B&Bs. Have fun planning.
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Old Feb 15th, 2021, 12:27 PM
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Thank you for your suggestions. We usually do our own planning and our own driving, but as I stated, Ireland is one of two places where we can't get insurance to drive. Israel is the other. So I decided to use a private chauffeur. We don't like to move often, and we usually do stay in B&B's or villas, depending on where we are. The itinerary I chose with this company gives us the option of staying in B&B's, and it doesn't move often, which is why I am interested in it. It's also very flexible to fit our desires since it will just be the two of us. I'm not really interested in going by train. The tour I have chosen fits all our needs and takes in some parts of Ireland I haven't been to on my previous two trips there. I'm just trying to find someone with first-hand experience with this company.
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Old Feb 17th, 2021, 10:46 AM
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Relatives of mine were thrilled with Driftwood Tours and recommended them to us.
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Old Feb 18th, 2021, 03:46 PM
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Driftwood tours are one of two types of tours by Vagabond Tours of Ireland. Driftwood tours are more sedate and Vagabond tours (also the name of the company) are very active: hiking and kayaking. I took the 11 day Driftwood tour in 2019 and fell in love with this company. Vagabond is Irish owned and operated, limits tour groups to 16 people max, and stays at small family owned charming hotels, with some Irish castles thrown in! I've always been very much against group tours, but because I'd be traveling on my own, I took a chance. I met a couple of other single women travelers and loved all the people in my group. The tour leader (as they all are) was a charming and very talented Irishman, who sang as he drove our van, told wonderful Irish folk stories, and was very sensitive to all special needs of his travelers. I highly recommend the Vagabond Tour company, and have already signed up for another tour next fall. One more thing: traveling in a van rather than in a big bus makes smaller roads accessible and promotes flexibility of the schedule. Go to their website and take a look. Everyone on my tour was delighted and I bet you would be too!
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Old Feb 19th, 2021, 03:36 AM
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Thank you for your recommendation. If I should change my mind and decide to go with a group, I will definitely keep them in mind. At this stage, we are still planning on the private chauffeur-driven tour.
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Old Feb 19th, 2021, 04:52 AM
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The question I have is when you take a private chauffer and stay two or three nights somewhere do you pay for his stay, or is it included in the price?
We hired a taxi driver at 30 an hour once for a day and with five of us it was well worth it seeing exactly what we wanted to see.

I know we had a private driver three times but there were twenty of us from our local pub and his meals and lodging were included in our overall price. Butlers in Cork. We were on our own a couple of days and he just golfed but we were still paying. One day he took half of us to Newgrange but in Dublin we were on our own. When we went to the Aran islands he golfed and we chipped in for his fees for Lahinch. We used him three times and he put up with the rowdy ones. We had a lot of Emery Riddle grads that were about to go off to war and they partied hard. I am proud to say two are still pilots, one a Lt Col and one a major. One is reserve now as she has four children but still PR for the AF. Good times and we had no worry with Liam at the wheel.

Hope you still find someone that used this company.
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Old Feb 19th, 2021, 05:06 AM
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His stay, as well as his meals, are included in the price. It is stated that he will not be with us in Dublin since it is easy to do on our own or with the (included) hop-on hop-off bus tour. Having been to Dublin a couple of times, I agree with that assessment. We stay three nights at each place except for Galway, which is two.
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Old Feb 25th, 2021, 07:25 AM
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Vagabond Tours also does private tours!
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Old Feb 25th, 2021, 07:30 AM
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A private tour is what we are doing. This company I mentioned, irishtourism, does the chauffeur-driven private tours, and that is why I was asking for first-hand experience. They look good on line.

Last edited by Moderator1; Feb 25th, 2021 at 11:55 AM. Reason: removed reference to a deleted post
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Old Feb 25th, 2021, 05:44 PM
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Since nobody here seems to know the company, perhaps this will help:
https://www.trustpilot.com/review/irishtourism.com
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Old Feb 25th, 2021, 06:13 PM
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elberko, Thank you. I had read those reviews, and they were definitely positive. I was just hoping to hear from someone first-hand.
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Old Feb 25th, 2021, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by vatraveler46 View Post
elberko, Thank you. I had read those reviews, and they were definitely positive. I was just hoping to hear from someone first-hand.
That's can be tough because Fodors members tend to independent travel and a small % use tour companies. Not everyone of course but a definite majority. So not receiving feedback about a specific company is not surprising. Rabbies is popular and several Fodorites have used them so they often get recommended on here.
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Old Mar 1st, 2021, 05:23 AM
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I get where you are coming from and even a small tour bus is not what you want.
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Old Mar 4th, 2021, 09:03 AM
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vatraveler46--I am laughing so hard here. You asked a quick, clear question, and all these truly lovely people very, very kindly answered questions you didn't ask and opinions you did not request. I am so often guilty of doing the same!

No, I have NOT used your driving service, but I'm dying to know about your experiences with it. New bodily conditions are making our public transport options a tad limited these days.

My question to YOU is when are planning to go? I have booked our flights for Sept 1 and now I'm worried COVID will keep us from going.

Happy planning,
AZ

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Old Mar 4th, 2021, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by AlessandraZoe View Post
vatraveler46--I am laughing so hard here. You asked a quick, clear question, and all these truly lovely people very, very kindly answered questions you didn't ask and opinions you did not request. I am so often guilty of doing the same!

No, I have NOT used your driving service, but I'm dying to know about your experiences with it. New bodily conditions are making our public transport options a tad limited these days.

My question to YOU is when are planning to go? I have booked our flights for Sept 1 and now I'm worried COVID will keep us from going.

Happy planning,
AZ

Exactly. I was guilty of this on the first reply. AlexanderZoe, do hope you are able to go. We have reservations for Nov, have our vaccinations but want France to get with the program. Take the AZ vaccine and get on with it, please.
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Old Mar 5th, 2021, 12:03 PM
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We are vaccinated, Macross. We just don't know if it's enough. I've been glued to the UK and Ireland COVID traveler websites for weeks now, hoping for a glimmer of restriction lifting. I don't think my husband will be interested in going anywhere in either place if pubs aren't involved, either.
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Old Mar 7th, 2021, 03:17 PM
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I'm hoping to go back to Ireland on Sept. 1, 2021 too! But also starting to doubt that it will be possible. Still hoping, though. I've been wondering when to make airline reservations, and how long I should hold off on that. Any advice?
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