Thursday, June 30, 2011

5 Day Cairns, Great Barrier Reef

Spend 5 days exploring the sights of Far North Queensland from the city of Cairns. Highlights include, a full day cruise on the Great Barrier Reef, a Skyrail Cableway tour above the rainforest canopy to Kuranda and a river cruise through the rainforest wilderness of the Daintree.

Your 5 Day Cairns, Great Barrier Reef sightseeing highlights:

* Kuranda Skyrail journey over rainforest
* Pamagirri Aboriginal Dancers performance
* Take a guided Dreamtime Walk
* Stay three nights in tropical Cairns
* Transfers to and from the airport
* Cape Tribulation National Park

Enjoy this amazing 5 day independent vacation from Celtic Tours

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Celtic Dream Tour

Premier Escorted Motorcoach Tour!

Our premier tour offers you an updated itinerary in 2011. This tour has added attractions for 2011 and features most of the major historic and scenic attractions of Ireland. The Celtic Dream is acknowledged by visitors and Travel Agents as being the best value tour offered to Ireland.

Your Celtic Dream tour includes:

* First Class and Superior First Class hotels throughout.
* Full Irish breakfast daily, except day of arrival.
* Dinner each evening except for two nights in Dublin, including a traditional medieval castle banquet and traditional Irish entertainment and dinner in Dublin.
* Full sightseeing by Deluxe Touring Motorcoach.
* Professional Irish driver/guide to escort you through out.
* Visit to Rathbaun Farm to see an actual working farm, including coffee/tea and Irish Farmhouse scones.
* Lough Foyle Ferry.
* Visits to: Whitefriar Church, Guinness Storehouse, Trinity College and the Book of Kells, Kilkenny Castle, Cobh Heritage Center, Blarney, Dingle Peninsula, Foynes Flying Boat Museum, Cliffs of Moher, Rathbaun Farm, Galway Crystal Factory, Belleek Pottery Factory, Glenveagh Castle and National Park, Fort Dunree, Moville Pottery, Giants Causeway, Titanic Docks & Pump House.
* Porterage of one (1) suitcase per person.
* Tips and taxes in Ireland. Gratuities to the driver/guide not included.
* Celtic Tours flight bag and portfolio of travel documents.

Visit Ireland with Celtic Tours on our Celtic Dream Tour!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tall Ships Festival in Waterford, Ireland

Leave the present day behind and experience the thrill of the open water as you take part in the Tall Ships Festival this summer in Waterford, Ireland. There’s beauty in a mass of sails and rigging, the sight of 50 ships sailing into the Irish port will stir your maritime soul. One of the most thrilling and colorful events in the world, Waterford is expecting to host 50 majestic Tall ships, 1500 sailing trainees and an anticipated 500,000 maritime, music and festival fans on the quays of Ireland’s oldest city.

The history of the Tall ships race goes back over 50 years. The first race was held in 1956 between Torquay, Devon and Lisbon. 20 of the world’s remaining large sailing ships participated in what was meant to be a last farewell to the era of the great sailing ships. The Tall ships race attracted so much public interest that the race organizers founded the Sail Training International Association to direct the planning of future events. The Tall Ships Races have occurred annually throughout the world since. From the Baltic to the Mediterranean, the races are planned four years in advance to ensure a carefully selected route, enabling visits to different sea areas around Europe.

Come and explore the majesty and wonder of tall ships through the smells, sounds and sights of real working tall ships. Thursday June 30 through July 3 will be four fays of festival fun with an array of activities. The Tall Ships Race will be celebrated with a festival program capturing the very best of Irish and international acts including street theater, fireworks, music and food. With up to 500,000 visitors anticipated in Waterford and along the Suir Estuary to watch the Tall Ships come into port, it is easy to see why this is expected to be the biggest event in Ireland in 2011.

Waterford is no stranger to maritime history, as it was founded by Viking adventurers almost 1100 years ago. With great sailing ships docking in the port for over a thousand years, it is no wonder the city in bygone centuries earned the title ‘Waterford of the Shippes.’ Let us leave our present day lives behind and see what folks would have seen a hundred years ago as they stood in the same place.

Unable to make it to Waterford for the Tall Ships Festival? Here are the rest of the stops in this years race:

Race One starts in Waterford (Ireland) (Thursday 30 June - Sunday 3 July) to Greenock (Scotland) (Saturday 9 July - Tuesday 12 July).
Cruise in company to Lerwick (Shetland) (Thursday 21 July - Sunday 24 July).
Race Two from Shetland to Stavanger (Norway) (Thursday 28 July - Sun 31 July).
Race Three is from Stavanger to Halmstad (Sweden) (Friday 5 August - Monday 8 August).

Or start planning your European Vacation for next year:

Race One starts in Saint Malo (France) (Thursday 5 July to Sunday 8 July) to Lisbon (Portugal) (Saturday 19 July to Sun 22 July).
Race Two is from Lisbon to Cadiz (Spain) (Thursday 26 July to Sunday 29 July).
Cruise in company to A Coruña (Spain) (Friday 10 August to Monday 13 August).
Race Three from A Coruña to Dublin (Ireland) (Thursday 23 August to Sunday 26 August).

Leave the present day behind and experience the thrill of the open water as you take part in the Tall Ships Festival this summer in Waterford, Ireland with Celtic Tours. Let us help you arrange your self-drive tour of Ireland today. Or you might be interested in arranging a group trip for the 2012 Tall Ships Festival in Dublin.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Explore Ancient Ireland: Newgrange

Imagine going back 5000 years to 3200 BC and being one of the 300 people to spend 20 years building the Newgrange passage tomb. Predating Stonehenge by over 1000 years, Newgrange is one monument within the Neolithic Bru na Boinne complex.

The Bru na Boinne complex is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is the largest prehistoric megalithic sites in Europe. The site is often referred to as the “Bend of the Boyne” as it sits within a large bend in the Boyne River. With over 40 examples of Neolithic chamber tombs, standing stone, henges and other prehistoric enclosures all dating back to the 35th and 32nd century BC, Newgrange and its two similar passage tombs: Knowth and Dowth are the most famous sites in the Bru na Boinne complex.

The Newgrange monument primarily comprises a large mound, built of alternating layers of earth and stones, with grass growing on top and a reconstructed facade of flattish white quartz stones studded at intervals with large rounded cobbles covering part of the circumference. The mound is 250 ft in diameter and 40 ft in height. Within the mound is a chambered passage, which can be accessed by an entrance on the south-eastern side of the monument. The passage stretches for 60 ft, or about a third of the way through into the center of the structure. At the end of the passage are three small chambers off a larger central chamber, with a high corbelled vault roof. Each of the smaller chambers has a large flat "basin stone", which was where the bones of the dead were possibly originally deposited, although whether it was actually a burial site remains unclear.

In fact, the purpose of the Newgrange site remains unclear. Many archaeologists have believed that the monument had religious significance of some sort of another, either as a place of worship for a "cult of the dead" or for an astronomically-based faith.

Newgrange contains various examples of abstract Neolithic rock art carved onto it which provide decoration. One of the most notable examples of art at Newgrange is the triskele-like features found on the entrance stone, which has been described as "one of the most famous stones in the entire repertory of megalithic art."

Explore ancient Ireland with Celtic Tours on your next self-drive tour of Ireland. One of our most popular Irish self-drive vacations is our Endless Possibilities tour.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Grove of Monsters

Nestled in the small hill town of Bomarzo, an hours drive from Rome lies the mythical Grove of Monsters. One of Italy’s best kept secrets, The Grove of Monsters is a great stop when day tripping from Rome.

Built in the 1500’s by Prince Vicinio Orsini in memory of his late wife, the Grove of Monsters in a fabulous and somewhat grotesque fairyland. It is said that the Prince created the garden not only as a monument to his wife but to reflect his inner state of mind after her passing.

Some of the sculptures were cut from existing boulders on the property. Here nature and art intertwine to create a surrealistic fantasy. You will find sculptures of Hannibal’s war elephants, winged mermaid, a larger than life tortoise, a dragon and a leaning house among others. The many monstrous statues appear to have been strewn almost randomly about the area, sol per sfogare il Core ("just to set the heart free") as one inscription on an obelisk says. Everything in the park seems to want to prove that life and love always triumph.

The Grove of Monsters is a unique experience for everyone. Visit this fantastic sculpture garden on your next visit to Rome with Celtic Tours.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Top 10 Attractions in Rome

Discover the history of fallen empires and epic adventures in Rome. With many sites of ancient history and intrigue it can be hard to choose what to see. Here is a list of sites that need no introduction, the top 10 attractions in Rome:

Vatican City
The largest museum complex in the world with over 1400 rooms, the Vatican Museum includes the museum, galleries with 3,000 years of art, the Sistine Chapel, and parts of the papal palace.

Trevi Fountain
Trevi Fountain is one of the largest Baroque Fountains in Rome, Italy and one of the most famous fountains in the world. This impressive monument dominates the small Trevi square located in the Quirinale district.

Rome’s most famous landmark, the Colosseum is the largest surviving Roman-era amphitheater.

Roman Forum
The heart of ancient Rome, the Roman Forum was the center of political, religious, and commercial life of ancient Rome and provides insight into the splendor that once was the Roman Empire.

Well worth a visit, the Pantheon is the most intact ancient Roman building. It has been in continual use for 2000 years.

Spanish Steps
138 steps climbing a steep slope between the Piazza di Spagna at the base and Piazza Trinità dei Monti, dominated by the church of Trinità dei Monti.

Villa Borghese Gardens
The Villa Borghese Gardens offer a chance to catch your breath after a long day of sightseeing. Offering spectacular views of the city, relaxing fountains, romantic walkways and secret gardens, the Villa Borghese Gardens make the perfect spot for a summer afternoon.

Piazza di Campo de Fiori market
This lively and colorful early morning hotspot is the place to grab yourself the makings of a great picnic lunch and interact with locals.

Capuchin Crypt
This is one place that will give you the shivers, the Capuchin Crypt is several small chapels eerily decorated with the bones of more than 4,000 Capuchin friars.

Palantine Hill
A large open-air museum that was once the place where the powerful and wealthy retreated to build their homes and relax.

Discover Rome with Celtic Tours. We offer visits to Rome on a number of our escorted and independent vacations to Italy including our new Semi-Chauffeured Luxury Tour of the Amalfi Coast and Rome: Enchanting Amalfi Coast & Rome

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Celtic Tours announces new semi-chauffeured luxury tour of Amalfi Coast & Rome

The Buzz at Celtic Tours

For Immediate Release – June 7, 2011

Celtic Tours announces new semi-chauffeured luxury tour of Amalfi Coast & Rome

Albany, New York….Celtic Tours reveals the newest addition to their luxury line of products, “Enchanting Amalfi Coast and Rome.” To kick off this new luxury tour, Celtic Tours is pleased to offer up to $460 per person off of land on this great tour.

Travelers will experience the best of the Amalfi Coast and Rome on this semi-chauffeured tour of Italy. They will discover the natural beauty and cultural charm of Rome with its magnificent art, architecture and panoramic views and then head south to the breath-taking Amalfi Coast and the Isle of Capri.

With 7 nights accommodations in 4 and 5 star properties, tour of Rome and private guided tours of Pompeii, the Amalfi Coast and the Isle of Capri, travelers will be enchanted by Italy on their Enchanting Amalfi Coast and Rome Vacation. Land from $4283 per person sharing (before discount). More details:

Discount applicable for travel through November 30, 2011, must be on deposit by July 30, 2011. Travelers must use promocode AAP10P to receive discount.


Contact: Sandra Thomas – E-Marketing Manager

We are a family-owned company founded over 39 years ago. Travel agents and individual passengers can attest to Celtic Tours reputation. As a Worldwide tour operator, we are pleased to offer many destinations to choose from with top notch vacations to Ireland, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, as well as many other European destinations, Australia, New Zealand and Tahiti too!

Visit us online:

Friday, June 3, 2011

Top 11 Places to Visit in Florence with Children

Imagine a family walk along the River Arno, your children discovering ancient history in the Etruscan tombs or opt for a horse and carriage ride through the magical city. Your family will delight in the treasures of Florence lying around every corner from endless shopping possibilities to sampling the gelato, you and your children will enjoy their Tuscany family vacation. Here are just a couple of recommendations for your next family vacation to Florence:

1. Uffizi Gallery – One of the oldest and most famous art museums of the Western world, the Uffizi is chock full of spectacular art. Be advised this art museum has long lines and a lot to take in. You will want to be prepared for your visit, book ahead to skip the lines and pick what you want to see ahead of time.

2. Accademia Gallery – Feast your eyes on the original David, Michelangelo’s most famous work.

3. Duomo, Campile, Bapistery - The Duomo, a Florence landmark with its red brick cupola will take you and your families breath away. Next door to the Duomo is the Campanile, the bell tower started by Giotto in the 14th century. Climb up the tower, the stairs go round and round, with cool slits to peer through as you ascend. The Baptistery is the oldest building in Florence. Don’t miss the glorious gilded bronze doors, the "Gates of Paradise" outside, and inside the incredible mosaics on the Batistery ceiling.

4. Boboli Gardens – Children will love to explore these formal 16th century Italian gardens. The Boboli Gardens are a part of the Pitti Palace complex and can be enjoyed with a tour of the main seat of the Medici family or by themselves. With classical accents such as grottos, nympheums, garden temples and more the Boboli Gardens are sure to delight.

5. Leonardo Di Vinci Museum – A hands-on exhibition dedicated to the universal genius Leonardo Di Vinci.

6. Museo Zoologico, Le Specola – The oldest scientific museum in Europe, it holds the largest collection of anatomical waxworks in the world. Today the museum spans 34 rooms and contains not only zoological subjects, such as a stuffed hippopotamus (a 17th-century Medici pet, which once lived in the Boboli Gardens), but also a collection of anatomical waxes, an art developed in Florence in the 17th century for the purpose of teaching medicine.

7. Galleria del Costume – With more than 6000 costumes dating from the 16th to 20th centuries, children and adults will be delighted to see what boys and girls wore in the old days.

8. Piazzale Michelangelo – Take a stroll up to the Piazzale Michelangelo for a wide open panorama of the city and a spot of ice cream.

9. Museo Galileo - The Museo Galileo is home to the only surviving instruments designed and built by Galileo himself.

10. Church of Santa Croce – Famous for it's lovely Giotto frescoes and for the famous people buried there, the Church of Santa Croce is worth a visit.

11. Roman Theater and Archeological Museum - The Roman amphitheater, built between 50 and 0 BC, could hold a big crowd of 2,500 people, and is still used for dramatic productions. Don't miss the ruins of the Roman baths and a Roman-Etruscan temple.

With so much to do in Florence, your family will want to spend more than 1 day exploring. Visit Florence on your Italy for Families vacation with Celtic Tours. This perfect family getaway is centrally located in the Tuscan region and is only a short drive to Florence. Learn more about this great family vacation package to Italy.

Celtic Tours announces new family vacation package

The Buzz at Celtic Tours

For Immediate Release – June 1, 2011

Celtic Tours announces new family vacation package

Albany, New York….Celtic Tours unveils the perfect family getaway with their new Italy for Families Vacation package. This independent vacation gives travelers the freedom to discover the history, art and culture of Italy with their children, at their own pace. Travelers will have the chance to snap a photo in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, marvel at Florence’s Renaissance art, explore historical Siena, go horseback riding through the Tuscan countryside, sample true Italian cuisines and savor the gelato. With Celtic Tours new Italy for Families vacation package – the choice is theirs.

"We are excited to make travel more accessible to families," President and founder of Celtic Tours, Noel Murphy expressed. "Travel offers an important opportunity for children to learn more about history, heritage and culture."

With this great independent package, travelers will enjoy 6 nights at the Villa Casagrande Apartments, car rental and more, with land starting from $1527 per person (with a minimum of 4 passengers). The Villa Casagrande is an authentic Italian Villa located in Figline Valdarno, in the heart of the Tuscan region. The medieval town of Figline Valdarno is just 15 miles south of Florence and at the center of the triangle formed by Siena, Arezza and Florence, offering guests the rare opportunity to visit each of these historically important cities or to simply enjoy exploring the luxurious Tuscan countryside.

More details about this new Celtic Tours package:


Contact: Sandra Thomas – E-Marketing Manager

We are a family-owned company founded over 39 years ago. Travel agents and individual passengers can attest to Celtic Tours reputation. As a Worldwide tour operator, we are pleased to offer many destinations to choose from with top notch vacations to Ireland, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, as well as many other European destinations, Australia, New Zealand and Tahiti too!

Visit us online:

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