The largest town in the Southeast and Ireland's oldest city, Waterford was founded by the Vikings in the 9th century and was taken over by Strongbow, the Norman invader, with much bloodshed in 1170. The city resisted Cromwell's 1649 attacks, but fell the following year. It did not prosper again until 1783, when George and William Penrose set out to create "plain and cut flint glass, useful and ornamental," and thereby set in motion a glass-manufacturing industry long without equal. View more
The famed glassworks closed after the 2008 financial crisis, but Waterford Crystal has triumphantly risen again from the flames in a smaller, leaner version, opened in 2010 and now relocated to the Mall.
The romance of the seas, small ship sizes and intimate atmosphere, Silversea has long been a leader in the ultra-luxury market. Travelling to both iconic and secluded ports, Silversea’s award-winning itineraries inspire wanderlust and exploration. With over 900 destinations, longer port stays and more late-night departures than ever before, even the savviest traveler will find something new. A butler for every suite, a complimentary in-suite bar stocked with your preferences, all-inclusive exquisite dining, award-winning onboard entertainment and an unparalleled space to guest ratio all contribute to the Silversea experience. Not forgetting our famed Italian hospitality, where new faces become old friends. Bienvenuti a bordo.
Discover the pastoral beauty and history of the Irish countryside during this picturesque, half-day sightseeing excursion to the 12th-century Jerpoint Abbey.
Waterford, River Arrigle and Jerpoint Abbey
Depart the pier for the scenic, approximately one-hour drive to Jerpoint Abbey. En route, your picturesque route traverses the rich farmland of County Kilkenny. Nestled on the banks of the River Arrigle, Jerpoint Abbey is a 12th-century Cistercian monastery. Its expansive grounds contain a well-preserved series of ruins that paint a vivid picture of monastic life. Upon arrival at Jerpoint Abbey, take a guided walking tour. Along the way, see the gardens, watermill, granary, large kitchen, a number of stone carvings depicting the saints, and intricately-designed, rounded archways. The precision and attention-to-detail in the architecture is truly inspiring.
Jerpoint Abbey Transepts, Chancel, East Window, and Central Tower
The oldest sections of Jerpoint Abbey are the Irish-Romanesque transepts and chancel. The east window dates from the 14th century, and the magnificent central tower was added in the 15th century. You may opt to climb the stairs for a magnificent panoramic view. The restored cloister bears carvings of knights and ladies, bishops and dragons, and even a man with a stomach ache, echoing a drawing found on a medieval manuscript. Legend has it that a ruined church just to the east of Jerpoint Abbey is the final resting place of Saint Nicholas, the man who inspired Santa Claus.
Thomastown, Inistioge, and Nore and Barrow River Valleys
Next, re-board your coach for a splendid orientation drive through Thomastown and on to Inistioge, an enchanting Irish village nestled on the banks of the River Nore. A photo stop is made here to capture the idyllic scene of a stone-arched bridge spanning the gently flowing river. At the conclusion of your visit, re-board your coach and commence the approximately 45-minute drive back to the pier. En route, take in lovely views of the Nore and Barrow river valleys and countryside.
Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking, at time over uneven surfaces and inclines, with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach, four steps at the entrance to Jerpoint Abbey and 15 steps inside the venue. It is suitable for guests who utilise a wheelchair who can embark and disembark the coach via the coach steps however parts of the Abbey Ruins will be inaccessible. Guests are advised to wear warm, layered clothing and a waterproof jacket or coat with flat, closed-toe and non-slip walking shoes, and bring an umbrella from the ship. Due to the local climate, most of the coaches are air-cooled.
Discover Kilkenny, arguably the pre-eminent medieval city of Ireland. Kilkenny's rich medieval heritage is evident in the city's treasure trove of historical buildings and landmarks, including St Canice's Cathedral and Kilkenny Castle.
The day begins with a lovely scenic drive to Ancient Kilkenny which was named after St. Canice. Kilkenny is home to two exquisite structures, St. Canice Cathedral and Kilkenny Castle.
The first stop is Kilkenny Castle where the Normans arrived in the 12th century and built the castle, which overlooks the River Nore. The vividly painted ceiling of its long gallery has been implicated in a few stiff necks - its beauty is simply fascinating. Three of the castles four original towers survive today. Kilkenny Castle became the home of the Butlers - the Earls and Dukes of Ormonde - in 1391. The family continued to reside there until 1935. You will undergo a self-guided visit and 'meet' a few generations via a plethora of portraits that still adorn the Castle.
Free Time in the City
Following your visit to the Castle there will be some time to explore Kilkenny independently and perhaps visit the famous Kilkenny Design Centre to browse the wonderful collection of Irish Designer products.
Rejoin your guide and travel short distance to Langtons House Hotel for a delicious 3 Course Lunch followed by tea and coffee. Established in 1938 and ever since expanding filled with character and plenty of charm Langton's has a reputation for a leading venue in food. Prepare your senses for the flavors and tastes of award winning food.
St Canice's Cathedral
Next stop for photos is outside St Canice's Cathedral and Round Tower, which are an essential part of the structural heritage in the vibrant medieval city of Kilkenny. This ecclesiastical site was founded in the 6th century and named after St Canice. "Cill Channigh" (the Irish name for the town of Kilkenny) is the Gaelic for the Church of Canice, the church that originally stood on the site in the 6th century.
After Lunch, visit the Smithwick's Brewery. This new multi-sensory and interactive experience will take you on a journey through the medieval origins of brewing on the site of the St. Francis Abbey Brewery to the arrival of John Smithwick in the 1700's, and right up to the present day. Be fully immersed in the history of Smithwick's, Ireland's oldest beer brand, the amazing heritage of the Smithwick's family and its place in Kilkenny, a city steeped in history and brewing. Smithwick's, with its rich ruby glow and creamy head, is the perfect marriage of innovation and tradition. Enjoy a sample before departing for the pier
Please note: This tour requires a moderate amount of walking 1.5 miles (2.5 kilometres) with many steps at the castle. Due to the stairs at Kilkenny Castle this tour is not suitable for guests in wheelchairs or those with limited mobility. Due to the local climate, most of the coaches are air-cooled. Lightweight, comfortable clothing, a light sweater or jacket, flat, closed-toe walking shoes are recommended