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Ireland: Kilkenny, Inishmore & Ennis

September 25 - October 6, 2006
With Stephen Cushman, Robert C. Taylor Professor of English at U.Va.

Registration is Closed

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Join Professor Cushman as we explore some of the most colourful parts of Ireland, including medieval Kilkenny, the majestic Cliffs of Moher, the plains of Tipperary and the mysterious Ancient Burren. Professor Cushman will present short lectures and local guides will introduce us to the sights we will see.

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Program Highlights

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Stephen Cushman is the Robert C. Taylor Professor of English at U.Va., where he has taught since 1982. With a B.A. from Cornell and a Ph.D. from Yale, he has brought to the English Department and the American Studies Major his commitment to American literature, modern Literature, poetry, literature, the environment, and the American Civil War. His teaching has been honored with an All-University Teaching Award and the first Mayo Distinguished Teaching Professorship. A poet as well as a scholar, he has published six books, most recently Bloody Promenade: Reflections on a Civil War Battle (Virginia, 1999) and Cussing Lesson, a volume of poems (LSU, 2002). His next book of poems, Heart Island, will by published by David Robert in fall 2006. Steve and his wife Sandra have two sons, Sam, who will enter U.Va. in the fall of 2006, and Simon, a high school freshman.

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Depart your gateway city for Shannon, Ireland aboard scheduled jet service. (Provided for Air-Inclusive participants only.)

DAY 2 - Ennis

Upon your arrival in Shannon, transfer by motorcoach to the Old Ground Hotel in Ennis. (Transfer provided for Air-Inclusive participants only.) En route, stop at the historic Knappogue Castle to enjoy a traditional Irish breakfast. Take an afternoon walking tour of medieval Ennis and step into the 13th century. See the remains of a Franciscan friary, with its echoes of early monastic life, and the Creagh tomb, its carved alabaster panels depicting scenes from the Passion.

DAY 3 - The Burren

Examine the influence of the Celts, Romans, Vikings, Anglo-Normans and British and how each helped shape County Clare and Ireland itself. This wild limestone plateau is a vast, lunar-like landscape of deeply fissured limestone, precipitous gorges, sink holes with a wealth of flora sprouting in the crevices and vestiges of ancient inhabitants from 5,000 years ago. Climbing steeply above the Atlantic are the Cliffs of Moher, where the views go on for miles. This evening we will hold a " Welcome to Ireland Reception and Dinner".

DAY 4 - Coole Park/ Thoor Ballylee

Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, W. B. Yeats and James Joyce are some of Ireland’s renowned literary masters. Examine the unique environmental and historical conditions that have shaped Irish literature over the centuries. Today we will tour Coole Park and see the copper beech bearing the initials of Yeats and other literary masters. We will also visit Thoor Ballylee, the 16th-century tower of where Yeats once lived.

DAY 5 - The Aran Island of Inishmore.

Today we cruise to rustic Inishmore, largest of the Aran Islands, which are renowned for their legendary storytellers and, along the way, we will see the rugged natural beauty of the Connemara. We will also walk to Dún Aengus, a formidable dry-stone fortress perched high on the cliffs with amazing views of the Atlantic.

DAY 6 - Ennis

Today a representative from the Clare Heritage Center will discuss the practical aspects of researching Irish ancestry, offering valuable advice on how to trace your own Irish roots using the many genealogical sources available. Those who are not interested in tracing Irish roots are free to explore the traditional Irish culture and shops of Ennis on their own.

DAY 7 - Kilkenny

Today we will travel across the Emerald Isle to Kilkenny and, en route, vist the Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary. Rock of Cashel is a splendid limestone outcrop that rises from the plains and was the fortress of Brian Ború, high king of Ireland. We will have lunch at the Bru Ború Heritage Center and tonight we will enjoy a reception at Kilkenny's Town Hall.

DAY 8 - Historic Kilkenny and Medieval Ireland

We will tour Kilkenny, the capital of the ancient Irish kingdom, and see the Old Jail House, Black Abbey and St. Francis Abbey, as well as visit Kilkenny Castle to view historic paintings and tapestries in the Long Gallery. We will have lunch at Kyteler’s Inn, once the home of Dame Alice Kyteler, tried for witchcraft in 1323. This afternoon we will visit the facinating Bród Tullaroan Heritage Center which showcases 9,000 years of Irish history from the Stone Age through the early Norman period. This evening we will enjoy evening of Irish story-telling, called shanachi, a tradition preserving Ireland’s wealth of stories and legends.

DAY 9 - Irish National Heritage Park

Located near Wexford, the Park highlights Irish history with exhibits ranging from the Stone Age to the early Christian era. Today we will also learn about the making of Ireland’s beautiful crystal at the Waterford Crystal Visitor Center.

DAY 10 - Jerpoint Abbey

Today we explore the preserved Cistercian Jerpoint Abbey with its cloisters dating to the 14th and 15th centuries, and visit the Dunbrody, a replica of the ship used to transport Irish emigrants to North America. This afternoon we stroll through the Woodstock House Demesne, a national park surrounding the quaint village of Inistioge.

DAY 11 - Contemporary Ireland

Today we Discuss Ireland’s government and the country’s role in the European Union and then you are free to pursue your own interests in Kilkenny. Tonight we will enjoy lively traditional Irish music and entertainment at our Farewell Reception and Dinner.

DAY 12

After breakfast, transfer to the Dublin airport for the return flight to your gateway city. (Provided for Air-Inclusive participants only.)

NOTE: Itinerary may change due to local conditions. Many excursions in this program involve an element of walking as some of the finest attractions are not closely accessible by motorcoach.

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Program Fees

THIS PROGRAM HAS SOLD OUT. If you wish to be put on a wait list for the program, please email or call 800-346-3882.

Land-Only Program: $2,620 before April 1; $2,720 thereafter.

Price includes:

Air-Inclusive Program: $3,370 before April 1; $3470 thereafter.

Price includes:

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How To Register

Ready to register? The best way to do this is by phone so that we can ensure we are meeting all of your needs. Please call us at 800-346-3882. Or, e-mail with your contact information and the best time to reach you.

Payment can be made via Visa, MasterCard, or check. Depending on the timing, we will either ask for a deposit or may require full payment. Checks will need to be made payable directly to the travel provider. We will provide you with this information, along with a mailing address.

Early registration is encouraged as space is limited.

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Terms & Conditions

NOT INCLUDED-Any increases in U.S. and Canadian air and airport taxes and security or fuel surcharges imposed by air carrier or other transportation suppliers; fees for passports and, if applicable, visas; personal gratuities; laundry and dry cleaning; excursions, wines, liquors, mineral waters and meals not mentioned in this brochure under included features; travel insurance; all items of a strictly personal nature.

MOBILITY AND FITNESS TO TRAVEL-The right is retained to decline to accept or to retain any person as a member of this trip who, in the opinion of Alumni Holidays® (AHI International) is unfit for travel or whose physical or mental condition may constitute a danger to themselves or to others on the trip, subject only to the requirement that the portion of the total amount paid which corresponds to the unused services and accommodations be refunded. Passengers requiring special assistance, including without limitation those who permanently or periodically use a wheelchair, must be accompanied by someone who is fit and able to assist them, and who will be totally responsible for providing all required assistance.

AIR TRANSPORTATION-The price of this trip is based on an Advance Purchase Excursion fare. After tickets are issued, penalties up to 100% of the ticket price may be levied. If connecting flights are requested, special promotional fares may be used, in which case penalties of as much as 100% may be assessed by the airlines if reservations are changed or cancelled after ticketing. After departure, if the reservations are changed, you will be charged the higher, all year Economy class fare. VARIATIONS TO THE GROUP ITINERARY MUST BE REQUESTED NO LATER THAN 60 DAYS PRIOR TO DEPARTURE.

CANCELLATION-In addition to airline cancellation penalties, all cancellations for any reason whatsoever will be subject to a $150 per person cancellation fee. Cancellation from 90-61 days prior to departure will result in forfeiture of 10% of the entire cost of the trip per person; 60-31 days, 30%; 30-15 days, 50%. Cancellation from 14 days up to the time of departure will result in forfeiture of the entire cost of the trip. TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE IS AVAILABLE. AN APPLICATION WILL BE SENT AFTER YOU RESERVE. All cancellations must be submitted in writing to AHI International Corporation.

BAGGAGE-The most restrictive airline regulations permit two checked pieces per passenger for which the total sum of the linear dimensions (length + width + height) of both should not exceed 117 inches or a maximum weight of 50 pounds. The linear dimensions of the first piece must not exceed the sum of 62 inches and the second piece must not exceed the sum of 55 inches. One piece of carry-on luggage is allowed per passenger for which the linear dimensions should not exceed a sum of 41 inches or a maximum weight of 13 pounds and must fit completely underneath an aircraft seat. Differing baggage allowances may apply, depending on program carrier. Baggage allowances are subject to change by the carrier without notice. For additional or oversized/overweight pieces, excess baggage charges are expensive and not included in your trip price, so you should plan your wardrobe accordingly. Liability is clearly stated on the passenger contract. In no event shall liability exceed the actual loss incurred, subject to proof of the amount lost.

RESPONSIBILITY-Alumni Holidays® and the Sponsoring Association act only as agents for the suppliers of travel conveyance, transport, accommodations or other service and have no responsibility for any delays, delayed departure or arrival, missed carrier connections, loss, death, damage or injury to person or property or accident, mechanical defect, failure or negligence of any nature howsoever caused in connection with any accommodations, transportation or other services or for any substitution of hotels or of common carrier equipment, with or without notice, or for any additional expenses occasioned thereby. Dates, Program Details and Tour costs, although given in good faith and based on tariffs, exchange rates and other information current at the time of printing, are subject to change at or before the time of departure. No revisions of the printed itinerary or its included features are anticipated; however, the right is reserved to make any changes, with or without notice, that might become necessary, with the mutual understanding that any additional expenses will be paid by the individual passenger. Baggage and personal effects are the sole responsibility of the owners at all times. If the entire program is cancelled for any reason, participants shall have no claim other than for a full refund. By forwarding the deposit, the passenger certifies that he/she has no physical, mental or other condition of disability that would create a hazard for himself/herself or other passengers and accepts the terms of this contract. The airlines and other transportation companies concerned are not to be held responsible for any act, omission, or event, during the time passengers are not on board their conveyances. The passage contract in use, when issued, shall constitute the sole contract between the company(ies) and the passenger and/or purchaser of this trip.

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