Explore Irish Ancestry with Friendly Planet Travel’s New Nine Day Tour to The Gathering Ireland


Friendly Planet Travel is offering travelers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to trace the family roots and heritage of the Fitzgerald Clan, one of Ireland’s oldest and most powerful families.

The nine-day Fitzgerald Clan Gathering in Ireland tour starts at $3,099 and includes a special opportunity to take part in The Gathering, a year-long celebration of Ireland and Irish ancestry with clan gatherings, festivals, special sporting events, music and concerts across the country.

“Whether you have Irish roots or just a love of Irish culture, there has never been a better year to visit Ireland,” says Peggy Goldman, President of Friendly Planet Travel. “The Gathering is a year-long series of festivals and activities aimed at helping visitors trace their Irish ancestry.”

The journey begins with a panoramic tour of Dublin’s fair city, including stops in the North Side on O’Connell Street and Phoenix Park; and the South Side, home to Trinity College and Dublin Castle. Visit Leinster House, home to the national parliament of Ireland, followed by dinner and a genealogy workshop with Heritage Profile Ireland. From there, the tour continues, tracing family roots at the National Library of Dublin and at Dublin Castle, once owned by the Fitzgerald Family. Also visit Maynooth Castle and University, which was built by the Fitzgerald family in the 13th century. The second night ends with dinner and entertainment at the Irish House Party.

Cliffs of Moher at sunset - Ireland

Travelers then depart Dublin for the Fitzgerald Castle in Kildare, followed by a visit to the Rock of Cashel, once inhabited by grave enemies of the Fitzgerald Clan. Continue to Cork for a second genealogy workshop. The next day, travel to the picturesque town of Kinsale, the gourmet capital of Ireland. A stop at Adare Castle, whose Tower House reflects the widespread influence of the Fitzgerald family during the 16th century, afternoon tea at Castlemartyr Castle, and a visit to the Cobh Heritage Center round out the day.

Highlights of the next day include a morning spent in the scenic town of Kenmare between the high mountains and the sea; a visit to Molly Gallivan’s Cottage and Traditional Farm to experience butter and whiskey making; and a stop at the Kerry Writer’s Museum in Listowel. On day seven, travelers visit Bunratty Castle, one of the most authentic medieval castles in the country; Folk Park; Lough Gur, a magnificent lake filled with diverse flora and fauna; and a final genealogy workshop. They’ll also enjoy a performance by local entertainers at the Honey Fitz Theater, named for John Francis Fitzgerald, grandfather to President John F. Kennedy and a former Boston mayor. The journey concludes with a visit to the Foynes Flying Boat Museum, a stop at Glin Castle, and a medieval banquet in Adare before the flight home from Shannon the following day.

The one-time-only tour departs on June 27 and returns July 5, for $3,099, if booked by Mar. 26. The package includes round-trip flights from New York or Boston, including fuel surcharges, taxes, and fees; all ground transportation and transfers; accommodations in first-class hotels; and 15 meals. The tour also includes an Irish house party with dinner and entertainment in Kildare; a medieval banquet in Adare; afternoon tea at Castlemartyr Castle; three Genealogy workshops; a Fitzgerald history and information pack; comprehensive touring, including entrance fees; and an English-speaking driver/guide.

Friendly Planet Travel, www.FriendlyPlanet.com