WHAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT THE EMERALD ISLE

There’s More to Discover than Guinness, Castles and Magnificent Scenery

The heart of Ireland is worn proudly on its sleeve, from the melodies that spill into the city streets from the pubs and seem to echo clear across the rolling hills to the sea. Indeed, you can hear, see and taste its rich spirit in every distinct town and city. Ireland is passionate, complex, welcoming, gloriously beautiful and – perhaps best of all – a centerpiece of several Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity voyages in 2021, 2022 and 2023. Because of this unabashed character, many of Ireland’s tales and top sites are famous the world over. But there is still so much to discover…

Cobh, Cork, Ireland
Cobh, Cork, Ireland

Cork

WHAT IT’S KNOWN FOR
Postcard-worthy, quintessential Irish setting, with spired churches (don’t miss St. Colman’s Catholic Cathedral and its 49 Carillion bells), cozy pubs, lush green hills and Georgian buildings of nearly every other color. As a European Capital of Culture, new buildings are popping up, joining other contemporary structures to give the city a fresh vibe.

WHAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW
Cork Harbour is known to be the world’s second largest (behind Sydney) natural harbor, represented in the town’s coat of arms, which boasts the motto “A Safe Harbor for Ships.” And yachts, apparently, as the world’s oldest yacht club – the Royal Cork Yacht Club – was founded here in 1720.

Belfast

WHAT IT’S KNOWN FOR
In the 20th century, the decades-long “Troubles” beset Belfast’s global identity, but the capital city of Northern Ireland has been an important site of innovation, industrial progress and naturally stunning landscapes. Belfast today boasts a hip, art-filled, foodie-scene, a glittering waterfront and welcoming personality. Giant’s Causeway is about an hour outside of town, while the city’s drydock is the world’s largest, with record-setting “Samson and Goliath” cranes towering above.

WHAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW
Pop culture is right at home here. HBO hit series Game of Thrones was set against a castle-estate in the countryside (Crystal guests can spend half a day exploring the world behind the scenes), Led Zeppelin debuted “Stairway to Heaven” live for the first time at Ulster Hall in 1971, while fellow musician Van Morrison is one of Belfast’s famous sons. C.S. Lewis also hails from here, using the breathtaking countryside as inspiration for The Chronicles of Narnia.

Fungie the Dolphin, Dingle, Ireland
Fungie, the beloved dolphin of Dingle, Ireland

Dingle

WHAT IT’S KNOWN FOR
A proud devotion to Irish heritage, enduring traditional arts, music and old Gaelic dialects. Part fishing village, part cosmopolitan hub of culture and creativity, Dingle is unpretentious and welcoming, from its small-town locals to Fungie, the town’s resident bottle-nosed dolphin.

WHAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW
Dingle has a thriving surf culture. Yes, there is surfing in Ireland, and this is the place to do it. There are three major spots within 30 minutes of each other on the town’s stretch of coastline, where the best swells begin in September through the winter. Full winter surf gear (not an oxymoron) is recommended, understandably.

Waterford

WHAT IT’S KNOWN FOR
The port city of Waterford, founded in the 9th century, lies on the banks of the River Suir (pronounced Shure) and is the perfect gateway for rolling green countryside, traditional villages, castles and abbeys. Particularly special here (though we’re biased) is the crystal. Though the original Waterford Crystal Factory was closed in 1851, its revival in 1947 has brought a new wave of prosperity to this region. Today, visitors from around the world marvel at the factory’s award-winning displays and witness firsthand the time-honored skills of glass blowing, cutting and engraving.

WHAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW
As Ireland’s oldest city, it’s fitting that two of the country’s best-known treasures were created by Waterford natives. The Irish Tri-Colour sported on the national flag was created by Thomas Francis Meagher, while it was Luke Wadding who established the St. Patrick’s Day holiday as part of the official Roman Catholic calendar.

Dublin

WHAT IT’S KNOWN FOR
It’s a long and venerable list, one that comprises most facets of Irish culture. Pubs, folk bands, a lovely gritty city center full of an artistic vibe and ringed by one of the loveliest landscapes in Europe. Craggy Howth Head shelters the natural harbor at Dublin Bay and the gurgling River Liffey flows through the center of town. A UNESCO City of Literature, Dublin has been the birthplace of some of our greatest literary figures, including Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, W.B. Yeats and James Joyce.

WHAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW
While you may not know exactly, it should come as no surprise that Dublin overflows with Guinness – and places to enjoy it. More than 650 pubs serve it in the city where more than 10 million pints are produced per day. The pubs here are more than a place to wet your whistle. They are woven into the very spirit and character of the culture and offer visitors an observational education with every sip. Ireland’s oldest pub – the Brazen Head – still welcomes one and all, as it has since 1168.

Dún Laoghaire, Dublin, Ireland
Dún Laoghaire, Dublin, Ireland

Dún Laoghaire (or Dunleary)

WHAT IT’S KNOWN FOR
Once considered a major port for Great Britain, Dún Laoghaire, has successfully maintained its quaint country charm despite the recent tourism boom. Now a popular cruise stop in Ireland, conveniently located just outside of Dublin, the city still boasts an intimate country feel with its offering of local retail shops, bistros and a scenic pier promenade.

WHAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW
The harbor is considered one of the finest man-made docks in the world, the setting for romantic strolls and afternoons spent seaside for centuries. During its 42-year construction, King George IV visited and was so impressed he decided to symbolically claim it for himself, changing the name from Dún Laoghaire to Kingstown, a name which stuck for half a century until 1920, just before the birth of the Irish Free State.

Crystal invites travelers to  plan your future journey with added flexibility as we look ahead to sailing together again.

The post WHAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT THE EMERALD ISLE appeared first on CRYSTAL INSIDER.

CRYSTAL INSIDER

Crystal Palace kid merino
crystal cruises
Image by meknits

Book your dream luxury cruise at Luxury.TopCruiseFinder.com.

One thought on “WHAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT THE EMERALD ISLE”

Leave a Comment