HWS Alumni/Alumnae and Parent Trip Overview

Rock of Cashel

The Hidden Ireland II: Early Civilizations, Famine, Emigration, and Struggle for Independence

September 11 - 21, 2014
(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. Together they spent two semesters in Ireland leading the Colleges' Irish Studies program at the National University of Ireland (NUI) at Galway. In the fall of 2012 they led the first HWS alumni/ae and parent trip to Ireland and have made many trips to Ireland over the years. They have also participated in the Colleges’ off-campus programs in London and Central Europe as well as a semester with Semester at Sea. During his tenure at the Colleges, Pat co-founded, with Professor Emeritus Joe DiGangi of the Political Science Department, the Colleges' Public Policy semester in Washington D.C. and he has been faculty director 10 times over the past 28 years since the program began in 1985. Pat and Jim Spates (Sociology Department) developed the Two Cities course, a bi-disciplinary course which has taken HWS students to both New York and Toronto for five days each as part of their regular coursework. The course has been taught every other year for the past 25 years. The McGuires believe in the transformative impact of off-campus programs for our students whether it is in the United States or a foreign country. They hope to provide you with similar enlightening experiences in Ireland.

The University at Cork

Trip Overview

Ireland has a rich and complex history that integrates politics, economics, poetry, literature and, at times, tragedy, pain and suffering. Through it all, the people have remained much the same while the country has undergone dramatic changes. The south and southwestern regions of Ireland reflect both change and stability. The people are warm, friendly and fun and the land is full of some of the most beautiful scenery you will ever see. We hope to share the history, past and present, of this part of Ireland as we travel to the South and Southwest. We start with two unique cities in the South: Waterford and Cork. Waterford is an old Viking city founded in 941 AD and current center of glass manufacturing. Cork is a city with a thriving economy and an interesting history including a central role in the Irish rebellion and the struggle for independence. It was also the major point of departure for millions of Irish people who fled the famine of the 19th century and the economic decline of the 20th century. We will learn about each city and its unique characteristics by touring with city residents. We will also explore two areas of the Southwest of Ireland: the Ring of Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula. First, the famous Ring of Kerry with mountains, lakes and coastal scenes to take your breath away. Next, a personal favorite of ours, the Dingle Peninsula, a beautiful and lesser known coastal region, but an area with a long and rich history. Dingle is known for its ancient sites, for recognizing the importance of the Irish language in the literature, history and culture of Ireland (The Blasket Island Museum), and for historical evidence of a former strong and vibrant economy. What is left are remnants of its glorious past, beehive huts, ogham writing , abandoned island communities and miles and miles of some of the most incredible scenery in Ireland. Yet, there is a lack of population for an area that once was a dominant trading port in the 16th through 19th centuries…where have all the people gone?… gone to America, England, Australia, as a result of the Great Famine, and the overall decline in the local economy. Some evidence of the larger population still remain… there are 52 pubs on the sparsely populated Dingle Peninsula.

We will travel throughout the South and Southwest of Ireland, stopping to look and listen,walk and talk, and in general experience the evolving history of this beautiful area of Ireland. Once again we will have lectures and guided tours of much of the area to help you enjoy these unique urban and rural places. We hope you can join us on this new installment of our “Hidden Ireland.”

Surfers and seals in the water near Slea Head on Dingle

Trip Details

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

What is included:

  • Hotel accommodations for nine nights at quality hotels located in the center of Waterford, Cork, Killarney and Dingle
  • Breakfast each morning
  • Three group dinners on nights 1, 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

Guinness –Ireland's famous stout

What's NOT included:

  • Any meals not stated above
  • International flights - we will offer an optional group flight
  • 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.

Inside the Cobh Cathedral

Reserving a place on the trip:

  • We can accommodate a maximum of 26 people on this tour, so book early to ensure your place. Our prior trips have sold out within weeks!
  • 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 26-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 Betty Merkle in the Office of Advancement at (315) 781-3771. 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 April 15, 2014.

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

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

    Tel: (315) 781-3771
    email: merkle@hws.edu
  • Once we have received your online reservation, we will email you Part 2 of the registration form.

View of Cobh Harbor from the cathedral

Cancellation policy:

Once you have paid the deposit, if you cancel the trip before April 15, we may, at our discretion, refund your deposit if we are able to find a replacement for you.

If you cancel the trip after April 15, 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 strongly recommend that you purchase trip cancellation insurance (see above under “What’s NOT included.”)

Group Flight:

We will provide a group flight option through United Airlines from Newark to Shannon. The approximate cost for our trip in May will be $800-$900 per round trip ticket and it is assumed that the fee for September will be close to that. United will also offer rates on flights to Newark from your home airport. If you are unable to make the trip after buying a ticket, the ticket can be changed to your replacement’s name or if no one replaces you, the value of the ticket can be used by you on United for one year. The flight leaves Newark at 7:25 pm and arrives at Shannon at 7:00 am (Ireland’s time is 5 hours ahead of Eastern time). The return flight leaves on Sunday, at 9:05 am from Shannon and arrives in Newark at 11:20 am.

You are not required to purchase the group flight, although if you choose to book elsewhere, we suggest that you book the same flight (or a flight that arrives earlier than the group), so that you can be included in the transportation from the airport to the hotel. If you arrive later than the group, you will be responsible for making your own way to the hotel in Waterford.



Dates: September 11-21, 2014

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 April 15, 2014.


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