All Things Irish - a Pub, a Wake & Crystal
Duration: 8 hours
Tour Code: wat-002
Departing from the pier, drive through Waterford's beautiful countryside to the lush green village of Kilmeaden, situated at the foot of the Comeragh Mountains. Here you will board the Waterford & Suir Valley Railway for a journey along the picturesque banks of the River Suir. The voyage offers stunning views over undulating farmland and mountains. The rolling stock includes a restored Simplex 60sp Locomotive which originated in England and once had an arduous working life in the peat industry. It now pulls two Edwardian style carriages traveling at just 10 mph enabling you to enjoy the panoramic views around you during this memorable journey.
Rejoin your motor coach for the short drive to a nearby local pub. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by its proprietors and enjoy morning tea or coffee. Next, you will learn the time-honored tradition of baking bread and butter pudding. Following the baker's instructions, become a master of this ancestral art. As you freshen up, the puddings are in the oven beginning to rise and sending a delicious aroma wafting through the kitchen.
Now there has been a tragedy! A local has passed away and a wake must be given for the mourners to honor his life. Enter the "wake room" that adjoins the bar where the body of the deceased is laid out. The wake conducted in this room reenacts the traditional Irish custom of celebrating the life that just passed, a "send-off" to the next life. Take part in the customary "sniffing of the snuff" and "tasting the poitin". As you look on, hear the keening and crying of the local women. As the Irish have always loved a good party - the wake descends into a celebration of life, food, drink and music.
From the "wake room", you proceed into the bar where a delicious lunch accompanied by authentic Irish coffee is served. The mealtime entertainment is traditional Irish music, song and dance.
All too soon it is time to bid farewell to your hosts. A short drive will take you to Waterford City where a stop will be made at the new Waterford Crystal Showrooms. Since the closure of the original factory in 2009, only a limited production of crystal can be found in Waterford. The new showrooms and exhibition will take you through a reconstruction of the production process and the finished product is here on display for you to browse through or perhaps purchase a memento.
Following your visit to the showrooms, you will rejoin your coach and guide for the return drive to the port and your awaiting ship.
Please note: This tour includes a minimal amount of walking, mostly over even surfaces. The tour is available to guests who utilize a collapsible wheelchair, can make their own way on and off the coach and have a companion to assist them. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina. Weather appropriate clothing 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.