The Emerald Isle

Uncover Ireland's many charms on this intimate exploration of a country steeped in history and rich in culture.

Starting at: $4,858 * Including airfare, airline taxes & departure fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Cultural traditions reflected in modern life  The dramatic Cliffs of Moher  The 19th-century Elizabethan-style Muckross House, outside Killarney  The 15th-century Ross Castle, outside Killarney  The stunning mountain and coastal landscape of Ireland's Ring of Kerry  The beautiful landscape of Connemara  Kylemore Abbey in Connemara  The lively streets of Galway  The Rock of Cashel, the traditional seat of the Kings of Munster  Irish step dancers  The 12th-century Kilkenny Castle  In the heart of Ireland's Dublin

Tour Details



What a great overview of Ireland's political and religious history, its music, literature and arts. With the small group size, everyone is included in the lectures, activities and experiences. Wonderful adventure! 

Previous Journeys Traveler

Hard to imagine a more rewarding experience. 

Michael G.

My first experience with Smithsonian was beyond all my expectations! I look forward to being a regular traveler with the Smithsonian! 

Gerald M.


See All Journeys Dispatches ››


Jennifer Paxton

Jennifer Paxton

Jun 28 - Jul 10, 2015

Jennifer Paxton has taught Irish history for the past ten years, first at Georgetown and then at the Catholic University of America, where she is currently the assistant director of the University Honors Program and faculty advisor to the CUA Gaels, an Irish-American student group. She earned her B.A. in history at Yale and her Ph.D. in medieval history at Harvard, where she also did course work in the Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures. Dr. Paxton will soon be producing a video course on Celtic Civilization for The Great Courses series, for which she has already made courses on medieval England and the Norman Conquest. Dr. Paxton spent a semester attending high school in Bray, Co. Wicklow, and has maintained a lifelong interest in Irish history, literature, politics, and music.

Christopher Griffin

Christopher Griffin

Aug 9 - 21, 2015; Jul 31 - Aug 12, 2016; Sep 18 - 30, 2016

Smithsonian Journeys Expert Christopher Griffin hails from the West of Ireland and studied at Trinity College and University College in Dublin, where earned a first-class Master’s in Anglo-Irish Studies. He taught many courses relevant to this travel program during his 28 years as a professor of humanities in Washington, D.C. His courses have involved much pre-history, history and other aspects of civilization and cultures.  Also, for more than seven years, Christopher has been a lecturer in English at The George Washington University, where he teaches poetry, drama, and fiction. He has been a study leader on several Smithsonian Journeys tours, including “The Emerald Isle” and a transatlantic cruise.

Cassandra Hannahs

Cassandra Hannahs

Sep 20 - Oct 2, 2015

Cassandra Potts Hannahs has enjoyed leading Smithsonian groups to Great Britain, France and Ireland since 2000.  With a Ph.D. in medieval history, she was a tenured professor at Middlebury College in Vermont, where she taught courses on a wide range of subjects, from ancient history through the Reformation.  A Fulbright scholar and recipient of several grants, she has also spent considerable time living in France pursuing research.  Her publications include a book exploring the Viking settlement of Normandy in northern France during the tenth and eleventh centuries, and the revival of monasticism that took place as the new rulers encouraged monks to return to the region after the Viking raids.  In her research and lectures, Cassandra explores the cultural and political exchanges that have historically linked Britain, France, Ireland and Scandinavia. She looks forward to sharing her love and knowledge of these lands, their history, music, and literature, with Smithsonian travelers on land and by sea.

Miriam C. Davis

Miriam C. Davis

Jun 19 - Jul 1, 2016

Miriam C. Davis has an MA in medieval archaeology from the University of York and a Ph.D. in medieval history from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has participated in archaeological excavations in Mississippi, Alabama, England, and Scotland. In addition to her scholarly publications, Miriam has written for the popular press on archaeology, history, and travel and has lectured throughout the U.S., Great Britain, and Israel. After teaching for sixteen years at Delta State University, she left as Professor of History and is now a freelance writer. Miriam C. Davis is the author of Dame Kathleen Kenyon: Digging up the Holy Land. She is currently at work on her next book.