HWS Alumni/Alumnae and Parent Trip Overview

Dunluce Castle, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

Hidden Ireland: The History and Culture of the West of Ireland

April 7 - 17, 2016
(9 nights and 10 days)

Tour Leaders

Professor Emeritus of Economics Pat McGuire and his wife Sandy have a special relationship with Ireland and, of course, Hobart and William Smith Colleges. They spent two semesters in Galway, Ireland while Pat was leading the HWS off-campus program at the National University of Ireland (NUI) at Galway, and have visited many times since then. They have led three alumni/ae and parent trips to Ireland since September 2012.

During Pat's tenure at the Colleges, he also led HWS off-campus programs in London and Central Europe and taught a fall semester on the Semester at Sea. He co-founded, with Professor Emeritus of Political Science Joe DiGangi, the Public Policy semester in Washington D.C., of which Pat was faculty director 10 times. The program has taken place every other year since 1985. Additionally, Pat and Jim Spates, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, developed the Two Cities course, a bi-disciplinary course taught every other year, which takes HWS students to both New York and Toronto for five days each as part of their regular coursework. Pat served as interim provost at the Colleges for the academic year 2011-2012. Pat and Sandy believe in the transformative impact of off-campus programs for students, whether it is in the United States or a foreign country. They hope to provide you with similar enlightening experiences in Ireland.

Cliffs of Moher

Trip Overview

There are many ways Ireland has been described including: a land of saints and scholars, poets and playwrights, of happy wars and sad love songs, and, more recently, the Celtic Tiger. Join us to create your own description of this beautiful and friendly island. We will focus on the West of Ireland, where you can still see and feel Ireland's long, complex, and sometimes tragic history. We will introduce you to the Ireland that we love so much - the sea and coastline, the rolling hills, pre-Christian sites, monastic settlements, the pubs and, most of all, the people of Ireland that you will meet along the way. We will visit cities and small towns, and you will have plenty of time to be on your own in the shops and in the pubs. You will learn about the history, the archeology, the language and the culture of Ireland from friends and colleagues whom we have met during our two off-campus Irish Studies Programs in Galway. We will walk and talk, rain or shine, uphill and down as we attempt to show you the Ireland of legend, song and poetry. We will see and feel the Ireland of the past, the present and perhaps the future. And we will have a great time - we promise you! Please see the itinerary for details.

Ring Fort, Dun Aengus, Aran Islands

Trip Details

Cost: $2100 per person for double occupancy and $2295 per person for single occupancy.

What is included:

HWS alums at the Jameson Distillery

  • Hotel accommodations for nine nights at quality hotels located in the center of Galway, Westport, Sligo, Derry and Donegal.
  • Breakfast each morning
  • Lunch on the day of arrival
  • Four group dinners on nights 1, 6, 7 and 9 – all other dinners are on your own
  • Transfers to and from Shannon airport with the group
  • All tours, guides and transport as indicated in the itinerary
  • All entrance fees for site visits including the fare to and from the Aran Islands

What's NOT included:

Guinness –Ireland's famous stout

  • Any meals not stated above
  • International flights
  • Medical and travel insurance:
    • Every traveler needs to have medical coverage while in Ireland so check with your current medical insurance provider to see if you are covered abroad. If you are not, you can purchase a short-term travel medical policy online from companies like CMI or Med Ex Assist, to name just two.
    • We also strongly recommend that everyone purchase travel insurance to cover trip cancellation (not just trip interruption) in case you are unexpectedly unable to travel after you have paid for the trip.
    • Some companies offer a combined medical/travel policy if you need both. The best place to start the search for insurance is at http://www.insuremytrip.com/plans/index.html where you can choose medical, travel cancellation or both, and compare policies from different companies side by side. You should also inquire with your credit card provider to determine if you have specific coverage.


Reserving a place on the trip:

  • We can accommodate a maximum of 25 people on this tour, so book early to ensure your place.
  • In order to reserve a place on the trip, you are requested to fill out a registration form online. We will accept reservations on a first-come-first-served basis and we suggest that you reserve as soon as possible, as we expect this trip to sell out. Please note that alums and parents of HWS students and graduates, along with their guests, have priority in booking this trip. Once we reach the 25-person maximum, we will start a waiting list.
  • Within 10 days of making the online registration, we require a non-refundable deposit of $500 per person. We prefer payment by check but credit card payment can be arranged by calling Kathy Regan in the Office of Advancement at (315) 781-3700. The deposit will be applied to the overall cost of the trip. The remainder of the trip cost, minus the deposit, will be due by February 1, 2016.

    Alums at the emigrant statue at Cobh Harbor

    Checks should be made payable to "Hobart and William Smith Colleges" and mailed to:

    Kathy Regan
    Office of Advancement
    Hobart and William Smith Colleges
    300 Pulteney St.
    Geneva, NY 14456

    Tel: (315) 781-3700
    email: regan@hws.edu
  • Once we have received your online reservation, we will email you the required "Part 2" of the registration form.

Cancellation policy:

Once you have paid the deposit, if you cancel the trip before January 1, we may, at our discretion, refund your deposit if we are able to find a replacement for you.

If you cancel the trip after January 1, you will lose your $500 deposit and you will be responsible for any fees or deposits that we have paid to vendors on your behalf that are non-recoverable by us. For this reason, we recommend that you purchase trip cancellation insurance (see above under “What’s NOT included.”)

View of countryside
and Galway Bay


You are not required to take a specific flight and we encourage you to shop for the best fares. Please keep in mind that the group will depart from Shannon on April 8 at around 9 a.m. You should arrange for a flight that arrives prior to that. We encourage you to check out United flight 25 from Newark to Shannon (and UA24 from Shannon to Newark), and Aer Lingus flight 134 from Boston or Newark (connect to Boston) and from Shannon to Boston EI135.



Dates: April 7 - 17, 2016

Cost: $2100 per person for double occupancy and $2295 per person for single occupancy.

Register/Deposit: Complete and submit the online registration form now to reserve your spot.

Within 10 days of making the online booking, we require a non-refundable deposit of $500 per person. The remainder of the trip cost, minus the deposit, will be due by February 1, 2016.