Each elegant carriage is named after an Irish county, and comes dressed in the appropriate tartan. Expect dark-wood accents, fresh flowers and plaid furnishings throughout. The Observation Car is an obvious highlight. Fostering a saloon-like atmosphere, guests sip whisky (and other all-inclusive fineries) while being regaled with live music and animated storytelling. The menu of malts is truly world class.
Cabins are similarly impressive, with plush natural fabrics paired against slate-grey panelling – part traditional, part modern luxury. Expect full-length wardrobes, writing desks and en-suite toilets and showers. You’ll also have the option of twin or double beds, with interconnecting options available. Indeed, everything has been thought of, right down to the Egyptian cotton bed linen and the all-natural Irish duck down bedding.
Meals are served up in two luxurious restaurant carriages, Wexford and Sligo, where the likes of just-caught seafood and exquisite country cheeses grace considered menus. It’s all designed to rank among the country’s finest restaurants, with ingredients sourced from along the train’s route. It’s all served up to a backdrop of Waterford crystal, warm woods and Irish tweed. The oysters and Beara Peninsula scallops are particularly impressive.
Lastly, in terms of routes, the train’s signature departure takes three days to loop along the east coast between Dublin and Kilkenny. Otherwise, the four-day alternative brings you out west to Cork, Galway and Westport, with both options starting and finishing in the Irish capital. Throughout, you can expect everything from whisky tastings and national-park visits to loch cruises and castle tours. Can’t choose? There’s the option of linking both itineraries together.