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The Kirker Music Cruise Around Ireland

Dublin, Belfast 7 nights Price from £2,115 per person
Departs: 22 May 2021
Departs: 22 May 2021

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Enjoy the very best of the Emerald Isle in one week during early summer, joined by world-class musicians Melvyn Tan and the Navarra String Quartet. Sailing clockwise around Ireland, we will take in the entire spectacular coastline, from the idyllic beaches of West Cork and County Kerry to the towering cliffs and dramatic islands of the Wild Atlantic Way, as well as visiting the convivial cities of Dublin, Cork, Galway and Belfast where there will be optional shore excursions to discover fascinating history, splendid architecture and traditional pubs.


The Itinerary - A seven night music cruise

Liverpool – Dun Laoghaire (Dublin) - Cobh - Galway - Killybegs - Belfast – Liverpool

Our journey circumnavigating the island of Ireland will take us to five contrasting ports. First comes Dublin’s port, Dun Laoghaire, just half an hour from the capital, a city of vibrant culture and exceptional Georgian architecture. Next we call at Cobh in County Cork. Formerly known as Queenstown, Cobh was the port from which so many emigrants waved good bye to the Shamrock Isle before crossing the Atlantic to begin new lives in the north America, and was the final port of call of the Titanic. We’ll then sail around the beautiful south west of Ireland on a scenic voyage past The Ring of Kerry, the Dingle Peninsula and Tralee Bay before reaching Galway, passing the rugged Arran Islands on the way. Rounding the coast of Connemara we’ll reach the mountains of Mayo before hugging the wild Donegal shoreline to the port of Killybegs. We will then sail around the northern tip of Ireland passed the Antrim coast, and Rathlin Island before spending a day in Belfast, our last port of call before arriving back in Liverpool.






22 May   Late PM Liverpool
23 May Early AM Late PM  Dun Laoghaire (Dublin)
24 May Early AM Late PM Cobh
25 May Early AM Late night Cruising South West region
26 May Early AM Late PM Galway
27 May Early AM Late PM Killybegs
28 May Early AM Late PM Belfast
29 May Early AM Late PM Liverpool



What's included

...when you travel with Kirker

  • Seven nights' accommodation on board the Black Watch
  • All meals on board
  • Private drinks parties
  • All concerts and talks as described
  • Services of the Kirker Tour Leader

Departure Dates and Prices

Prices range from £2,115 per person for Inside cabin to £3,020 per person for a Balcony Suite. All meals on board are included, as well as private drinks parties, all concerts, plus exclusive talks and interviews. For full prices and cabin descriptions please call 020 7593 2284 to speak to an expert or view our online brochure here.

22 May 2021

Status Limited

Price from£2115

Single Supp.£510

Call 020 7593 2284
Navarra String Quartet

The Navarra String Quartet


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Melvyn Tan


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Simon Roland-Jones

Simon Rowland-Jones

Viola, Composer & Kirker Music Director

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Ship Details

Fred. Olsen’s Black Watch has a relaxed, stylish atmosphere that harks back to cruising in a bygone age. She is a comfortable world-class cruise ship where you will feel a warm sense of hospitality from the very first moment you step aboard, with broad teak decks, generous promenades, elegant décor and bright, spacious public areas.

With just 435 cabins, Black Watch has been designed with a generous amount of space for each passenger. The cabins are a good size and most have a sea view (speak to a Kirker expert to discuss your personal requirements). It is always easy to find a quiet corner - and you certainly won’t find yourself having to compete for space with hordes of other passengers. There are a number of dining options and guests may choose from a selection of contrasting bars including the nautically themed Lido Lounge and popular Scottish Piper’s Bar, or you may elect to retreat to the Braemar Lounge or the Observatory. Other on board facilities include two swimming pools, a fitness centre, a health and beauty salon, deck sports, library, indoor games, internet access, casino, cabarets and shows.

Black Watch spent the last month of 2016 undergoing a multi-million pound refurbishment of both public areas and cabins. The ship now has a brighter look to it, notably in the main restaurant, the Glentanar. There’s also a new intimate dining room called the Black Watch Room, which seats just 46 guests. All the cabins and bathrooms have been improved and furniture, curtains and carpets have been replaced. The Marina Theatre, which is central to our music cruises with all the concerts taking place here, remains unchanged.

Music Programme

The musicians for the cruise are well-known to many Kirker clients; pianist Melvyn Tan and the Navarra String Quartet. Together with Kirker’s Director of Music, violist and composer, Simon Rowland-Jones, they will offer seven concerts on board, with a colourful and varied programme.

Melvyn Tan is so well-known in the musical world that he hardly needs an introduction. The Guardian recently summed him up as: “…the most thoughtful, elegant and refined of pianists… everything seemed to illuminate everything else.” He often joins us on Kirker Music Festivals, not only because of his wonderful playing and charming spoken introductions, but also because his ingenious programming reveals meaningful and fascinating musical associations between the composers he loves. For this cruise he will be including works by Chopin, John Field (the Irish inventor of the ‘Nocturne’), Debussy, Haydn, Beethoven, Schumann and Schubert.

The award-winning Navarra String Quartet has built an international reputation as one of the most dynamic and poetic string quartets of today. They lead a busy life together with concerts around the world, recordings and their own highly successful Festival in Weesp in the Netherlands. Their programmes will be made up mainly from a range of string quartets and quintets as well as piano quintets and duo sonatas from the great chamber music repertoire – but as always on Kirker music holidays they will introduce us to a number of recent works that they have personally selected.

To make an enquiry please speak to one of our experts on 020 7593 1899, or enquire online

Our expert reservations team regularly travel to a wide range of destinations to explore new cities, visit hotels and to research museums, galleries and restaurants so that we can offer the most up-to-date advice and recommendations.