Join us on an amazing tour-of-a-lifetime to Ireland, the ancestral home of renowned fur trader and early St. Louisan Robert Campbell! Celebrate 200th anniversary of Campbell’s arrival in St. Louis from Ireland on this fundraiser tour which visits both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The itinerary highlight will be a visit to the Ulster American Folk Park and Aughalane House, Campbell’s birthplace. We look forward to having you with us, and thank you for your support of this unique fundraiser.
September 11, 2023 – Our Journey Begins
Meet Campbell House Executive Director Andy Hahn and your St. Louis-based tour directors Dea Hoover and Declan Rutan of Are We There Yet? Tours at the St. Louis Airport as we begin our journey. Dea hired Declan to help her plan a tour to Ireland back in 2008; they ended up falling in love and have been leading tours around the world ever since. They are also longtime friends of the Campbell House, and are excited to be a part of this inaugural tour! We fly on Delta Airlines, connecting through Atlanta before our overnight flight to Dublin. Try to get some sleep on the flight – we’ll be in the Emerald Isle before you know it! (Meals on Plane)
September 12, 2023 – Welcome to Ireland
Once we arrive in Dublin Airport, we clear customs and immigration before being met by our local driver/guide who will lead us to our awaiting motorcoach. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the green rolling pastures as you travel westwards through the Irish midlands towards the coastal city of Galway and the region known as Connemara. Once described by Oscar Wilde as a ‘Savage Beauty’, its wild and rugged landscape of mountains, lakes and bogs has been featured in many films, from the John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara classic The Quiet Man and Richard Harris’ The Field to more modern movies such as The Matchmaker and Leap Year. The magical scenery is a paradise for artist and photographer alike, so make sure your camera is charged! Our home for the next two nights is in Galway, where we enjoy a welcome dinner in the hotel. (Meals on Plane, Dinner)
September 13, 2023 – Galway and the Aran Islands
After breakfast this morning we head further west still, escaping from the hustle and bustle of the city and ride the ferry to Inishmore, the largest of the three Aran Islands and one of the gems of the Wild Atlantic Way. The Aran Islands have inspired countless generations of artists and artisans, poets and playwrights, most recently featured in the award-winning film The Banshees of Inisherin. The island is steeped in history, serving as an outdoor museum with over 50 different monuments to the Christian, pre-Christian and Celtic heritage. We take a minibus tour of the island, with a stop at the world-renowned fort of Dun Aonghasa, standing guard over the dramatic 300-foot cliff that spans the entire western part of the island. For the adventurous, enjoy the walk to up Dun Aonghasa and enjoy the spectacular views before we return to the ferry for our journey back to Galway. Tonight is yours to explore the city and enjoy dinner on your own in one of Galway’s many lively pubs and restaurants. (Breakfast)
September 14, 2023 – The Road to Northern Ireland
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before our journey towards Northern Ireland. Before we cross the border we make a few stops along the way, including Ballymoe where you will visit the newly opened Father Flanagan Visitor Centre. Fr. Flanagan founded the world-renowned Boys Town in Omaha, Nebraska, which grew from a single home to being a worldwide force for change. Enjoy the Centre’s Garden with storyboards detailing his life and writings as well as a specially commissioned wooded sculpture. Next, we travel onward to the Knock Shrine, commemorating the appearance of a vision of Mary, St Joseph, and St. John the Evangelist in 1879. Every year over one and a half million pilgrims from around the world visit this holy site. Then it’s off to Sligo where we stop in Drumcliffe, the final resting place of one of Ireland’s greatest poets, W.B. Yeats. Nestled in a churchyard in the shadow of Benbulben Mountain., his grave is marked with a simple headstone with the inscription, “Cast a cold Eye On Life, on Death, Horseman, pass by.”
We end our day in the walled city of Derry, Northern Ireland, also known as Londonderry. The border is a soft border, without checkpoints, and in many cases the only way you can tell which side of the border you are on is if the petro stations have their prices in Euro or Pound Stirling and if the speed limit is in miles or kilometers per hour. We check into The Ebrington Hotel, our home for the next three nights and the location of our included dinner this evening. (Breakfast, Dinner)
September 15, 2023 – Malin Head, Donegal and Derry
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before our excursion to the Inishowen Peninsula in County Donegal, renowned for its rugged coastal landscape and attractive beaches. You will travel to Malin Head, the most northerly point of Ireland which is ironically not in Northern Ireland but rather back in the Republic. Our next stop is Buncranna where you will visit the Amazing Grace Park, a beautiful, tranquil space overlooking Lough Swilly. The dramatic landscape where the land sea and sky come together was also the location where John Newton and his crew found shelter from a massive storm. His near-death experience made him decide to give up the slave trade and become a clergyman, composing perhaps the most famous hymn, “Amazing Grace”.
We return to Derry this afternoon where you will enjoy the award-winning Derry City Walking Tour. Our walk along the 17th century walls is a walk through the history of this ancient city, from its founding by St. Colmcille in 546 AD to the battles between the Williamites and the Jacobites in late 17th centuries, from the troubles of the late 20th century to the new era of peace in the present day. We make stops at St. Columbus Cathedral and the new Derry Peace Bridge over the River Foyle, a pedestrian bridge opened in 2011 that serves as both a physical and metaphorical bridge between two sides of a once divided community. This evening is free for you to enjoy on your own. (Breakfast)
September 16, 2023 – Ulster American Folk Park and the Campbell House
After breakfast at the hotel, we head towards Omagh and the famous Ulster American Folk Park, an outdoor museum of emigration history depicting emigrant life on both sides of the Atlantic. Buildings from across Ireland and even from America have been moved to the park to give visitors a chance to have a taste of what life was like for the Irish, both in their native land and their new homes across the sea. Walk down the street of a typical Irish seaport on the way to the replica of the Brig Union ship, one of the many ships that carried emigrants away from the Emerald Isle, and as you exit, you are suddenly transported to America, from the city streets of Baltimore to the rolling hills of Tennessee. Reenactors are stationed throughout, bringing to life some of the hardships endured during the 12-week journey across the Atlantic. But perhaps the most important building for our tour is Aghalane House, the childhood home of Robert Campbell. Built by his father, Hugh Campbell, in 1786, the home was moved from its original location on a farm near Plumbridge in County Tyrone to the park to help preserve it for future generations, allowing us to explore the house and other buildings from the homestead. On our return trip to Derry we will visit Plumbridge, the quintessential Irish village where Campbell spent his boyhood. Back in Derry we will enjoy dinner at the hotel. (Breakfast, Dinner)
September 17, 2023 – Giant’s Causeway and the Antrim Coast
This morning we bid farewell to Derry and travel to Limavady, traveling along the Antrim Coast Road Drive. Of course, no visit to Northern Ireland would be complete without a visit to Giant’s Causeway – a remarkable basaltic formation made of approximately 37,000 columns and ranked as one of the natural wonders of the world. Enjoy the visitor center and take a stroll down hill along the paved path towards the site, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986. Our tour continues along the Antrim Coast Road with spectacular views of the northern coastline and, if the weather is in our favor, you might even see Scotland’s Mull of Kintyre across the sea. This afternoon we arrive in Belfast City, at the Grand Central Hotel for our two-night stay. Tonight, enjoy dinner at the hotel. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Sept 18, 2023 – Belfast and the Titanic Museum
This morning you will enjoy a tour of Belfast City. Set upon the banks of the River Lagan, Belfast is home to many hidden gems, such as the City Hall, recognized as one of the finest Classical Renaissance buildings in Europe. We’ll also visit the Linen Hall Library, still lending books after over 200 years, and the Grand Opera House, one of the most beautiful Victorian era theatres in the world. Keep an eye out for the many murals for which Belfast has become famous, depicting the history and political views of the various neighborhoods and were once a method of marking territory. After the tour we visit Titanic Belfast, a state-of-the-art visitor center which tells the story of RMS Titanic, from her conception in Belfast to her famous maiden voyage and tragic end. As you pass through the nine galleries spread among numerous levels, you will get a true feeling for what a milestone the ship was as well as the human impact of her loss.
After some time to refresh at the hotel, we head to the seaside village of Helen’s Bay where we meet with some dear friends of the Campbell House Museum. Afterwards we return to Belfast for the night. (Breakfast, Dinner)
September 19, 2023 – St. Patrick Centre to the Center of Dublin
We bid farewell to Belfast this morning and head south to County Down. We stop at the quaint little town of Downpatrick for a visit to The Saint Patrick Centre. This exhibition presents an authentic view of St. Patrick, exploring him through his own words and in the context of the period. Then walk a short distance to St. Patrick’s Cathedral to see the reputed burial place of St. Patrick. Then it’s back to the Republic of Ireland and its capital city, Dublin. Our hotel for the next two nights is centrally located, and this evening we will travel to the Merry Ploughboy Pub for dinner and enjoy one of Ireland’s premier shows of Irish music and dance. (Breakfast, Dinner)
September 20, 2023 – Dublin’s Fair City
This morning you embark on a tour of Dublin City, founded as a Viking settlement and home to the Irish Parliament since the creation of the Irish Free State in 1922. On your tour you will see the Georgian Squares with their 18th Century houses, Phoenix Park, the biggest town park in Europe, the famous statues of O’Connell Street and the fashionable Grafton Street with their shops and pubs. We visit Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, an architectural and historical site which has been at the heart of Dublin history for over 800 years as well as the Old Library at Trinity College, home to the famous of Book of Kells. Tonight, you will have a farewell dinner at your hotel. (Breakfast, Dinner)
September 21, 2023 – Return Home
After breakfast we sadly bid farewell to Ireland, heading to Dublin Airport for your flight home. Thanks to an arrangement with the US government, passengers heading to America clear customs and immigration in Ireland rather than the US, which means when we connect through Atlanta we are able to go directly to our connecting flight. They even have Global Entry kiosks for those who have registered with the program to make the process easier. (Breakfast, Meals on Plane)
Click here to download a short history of Ireland by our guide Declan Rutan.
Per person: $5,759 (double occupancy)
Per person: $6,495 (single occupancy)
Make your reservation with a $1,000 deposit per person. Group airfare is included in the price. If you wish to explore other air arrangements or will joining from city other than St. Louis, please contact us for further details.
Download the Reservation Form by Clicking Here
Itinerary price includes:
• $500 donation to the Campbell House Museum
• A pre-trip VIP tour and reception at the Campbell House with live Irish music
• Round trip airfare from St. Louis to Dublin on Delta Airlines
• Luxury accommodations across Ireland
• 17 Meals (10 Breakfasts and 7 dinners)
• Visits to the Titanic Museum, Giant’s Causeway and a walking tour of Derry
• Scenic drives of Antrim Coast Road, Inishowen Peninsula
• Visit to the Aran Isles via ferry to Inishmore
• Tours of Belfast, Dublin
• Tour Ulster American Folk Park and Robert Campbell‘s birthplace Aughalane House
• Music and Dance Show at Merry Ploughboy Pub in Dublin
• All other Activities as indicated
• Baggage Handling
• Professional Tour Directors Dea Hoover and Declan Rutan (leading tours to Ireland since 2008)
• Special Guest: Andy Hahn, director of the Campbell House Museum, St. Louis
• All gratuities including step-on guides, waitstaff at included meals, driver and director
Have questions or need more information? Contact: Are We There Yet?, LLC at 314–304-3508 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note: Any notice of fuel surcharges imposed by carriers and/or attractions will be disclosed at least 30 days prior to tour departure.
This is an Are We There Yet? Select Tour. We will take no more than 30 travelers and once this tour fills, a wait list will be formed. We encourage all travelers to purchase travel protection and pay with initial deposit.
Please remember that certain benefits are time sensitive. Insurance plans help provide coverage for unexpected circumstances and help protect your trip and your investment.
Balance on base tour price is due June 20, 2023, and no refunds will be given after that time. If you attempt to book after this date, there may be a substantial increase in price or you may have to arrive on a separate flight.
Please ensure that you have a valid passport for this tour. You will not be allowed to fly without the proper documents, nor enter Ireland or return to the USA. Travel protection will not cover any expenses due to not having valid travel documents.