Countries, Cruising, Culture, Deals, Europe, Ireland, UK

On a clear day – Ireland and Wales

And on a clear day in my old stomping ground of Co. Wicklow in Ireland I could see Wales.

As the nearest neighbours from the east of Ireland, Wales was always the first port of call.

Either for workers, families going over to see loved ones, or later holidaymakers.

And before air travel and budget fares the Land of the Dragon was a seaport of call rather than an airport of call.

Green for go: Irish Ferries

Irish Ferries and the boat to Holyhead are as familiar to travellers as the Luas tram.

It is heartbreaking to see boats carrying haulage on the big sea while us passengers are forced to stay home.

But there is light on the horizon and that is that glimmer of Wales you can see atop Bray head.

Haven holidays we know from family holidays way back then in England’s Lake District.

And of course we know of their Welsh sites too from visiting North Wales too.

Not too deep

Presthaven Beach: North Wales has some of the most unspoilt beaches around even before social distancing.

Haven are offering seven nights at a 25% discount down from €846 to €621.

Everyone loves a slide

Hafan y Mor: And as you can see this is packed with family fun.

What would have cost you just short of a thou for seven days (€989) is now 752.

Upwardly mobile

Quay West: Billed as boasting breathtaking views of New Quay harbour and Cardigan Bay.

This €1125 package for seven days has been reduced to €868.

You’ll have the run of two-bedroom deluxe mobile homes for up to six people on dates in June.

So for a little bit of Haven then just look across the water.

Asia, Countries, Cruising, Culture, Deals, Europe, Flying

Flyday Ferryday Friday

I’m channelling my inner Oleta Adams (the darling of the Gulf War soldiers) by saying I don’t care how I get there I’ll get there if I can.

And so I’m flagging up airplane, sailboat and maybe even camel too today although Oleta it’s not just an Arab man who uses the ‘ship of the desert’.

Canary Orange

The future is orange

And obviously this caught our attention. Prosaically because the latest map for the European Centre for Disease control has classified Ireland and the Canaries orange.

Which means that anyone returning from the Canaries doesn’t have to restrict their movements upon their return, having done a pre-departure test 72 hours before departure.

Unlike the canary Aer Lingus isn’t flying out there until December 27.

But from then you can be sure of availability out to Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and my old fave Tenerife.

A word on canaries and the Canaries and, no they’re not named after the birds but after the latin name for dogs because they had big mutts.

And as for orange canaries, well they’re really Red Canaries which can have an orange hue. Now you know.

French fancy

We are sailing

France, we’ve missed you. Like so much else this year I had my bag packed ready for an arts and culture trip to see you when this pesky bug got buggier.

But we and my ferry friends aren’t going to let this beat us and Irish Ferries are preparing for a better year next year.

Irish Ferries will operate daily overnight sailings from Dublin to Cherbourg with their new cruise ferry WB Yeats (or WB Yachts as I call it) throughout next summer.

I’ve met WB, the ship that is, but that was in Dublin Port… next stop Cherbourg 2021.

And it truly is a pleasure to sail around French shores

Cruise away to 2022

Enchanted Princess

And the thing about cruises is that you usually have to save up for them.

So Princess Cruises are giving us plenty of time to do just that with their 2022 brochure.

They will have five ships on the seas.

Pick of them (heck they’re all mouthwatering) is Enchanted Princess which will be sailing around Russia snd Scandinavia from Copenhagen.

While we’re intrigued about their festival packages.

So you can take the Crown Princess to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo,

And I promised you a camel

He’s got the hump

Now this is the one I rowed back on, the 15-day G Adventures Jordan and Israel Adventures trip.

Because I didn’t feel it was right to leave my work without me for that length of time!

It’ll take you from Amman whose charms and that of Jordan I did enjoy, to Jerusalem and every stop in between. From £1954 (was £2999). Valid from January 15.

And as I now know after making new Israeli friends at the World Travel Market you’re just as likely to need a camel here too.

Because the land of milk and honey is a half sand.



Holiday Snaps – the WB Yachts

In one of my more inspired moments I christened the new Irish Ferries ship WB Yachts, a twist on the Irish Nobel-winning poet WB Yeats.

They had invited us to give their new ship a name and were offering free travel for life to the winner.

And it had to be on an Irish theme, with their other ships already boasting literary names.

What’s in a name?

And so I lodged the name in my old newspaper column Holiday Snaps from where your even snappier Blog-ready Holiday Snaps derives.

Imagine then my incredulity when the less snappier WB Yeats won the competition.

Which was something I cheekily brought to their attention when they invited me on earlier this year.

WB Yachts, WB Yeats? It’s still an incredible boaty.

And you can get 10% off bookings next summer to France if booked before December 3.

Available on return bookings from March 28 until September 30. 

The WB which carries 1,800 passengers from Dublin to Cherbourg in Normandy has as you would expect a Yeats theme running through it.

There’s the high-end Lady Gregory Restaurant, above.

The less formal but tasteful Maud Gonne Bar & Lounge, below.

And The Abbey & The Peacock Cinema and Lounge.

And here’s a couple of things that will really float your boat… unlimited luggage and free wi-fi.

Now Yeats is the only poet who I can recite a whole poem from which I can only verify by videoing myself and sharing.

But you’ll be happy to know that I won’t be inflicting my rendition of An Irish Airman Foresees His Death here.

I am reminded now of my old University lecturer George Watson.

A proud native of the North, he kept us enthralled with his witty takes on the great Irish writers.

And he cheekily ended his précis on WB Yeats’ love life by saying: ‘He never did get over Maud Gonne.’

For more information and to book visit

And for more cruise and ferry news remember Tuesday is Cruiseday..


As a winner of our French Travel Awards it is a country I know well and am getting to know even better…

French treats



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