Founded in 1932, CIE Tours has over 80 years of experience in the travel industry. They continually work to develop their tours to deliver the highest quality holidays and offer the largest selection of trips across Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales.
Each escorted journey is curated with a commitment to quality and value, with a product range designed to suit a variety of traveller budgets. On a CIE tour daily sightseeing, most meals and unique experiences are included, so you get the most out of your time away and can simply relax and enjoy a holiday to remember.
CIE’s local tour directors make the history and culture of their homelands come alive on tour. They share their insider knowledge, stories and passion with travellers so you can truly get to know the places you visit like a local. You’ll enjoy interesting narratives, commentary, and doses of humour delivered daily.
Your local tour director will also take care of all the finer details and be on hand to provide assistance during your journey, making for an enjoyable and worry free holiday. CIE Tours takes pride in the outstanding service provided by their local tour directors, which has earned them a 95%+ customer satisfaction rating.
When you travel with CIE Tours you can rest assured that there are no hidden extras. All guided holidays include daily sightseeing for which admission is included, as well as unique visits and admissions throughout the itinerary. There are no optional extras offered on CIE tours, so you don’t need to worry about paying for these while you are away.
On your guided holiday you will also enjoy full breakfasts, most dinners, and special evening shows/entertainment. With this all prepaid as part of your CIE tour, there is less you have to worry about budgeting for on your holiday.
CIE Tours strives to make every journey one that their guests will treasure forever. Their tour itineraries incorporate unique and authentic experiences, exclusive visits, and immerse travellers in the destinations they visit.
With such a rich history in Ireland and Britain, CIE Tours will share a historical perspective of the region with travellers, showcasing ancient cities, churches and castles. All CIE tour directors are well trained and well versed in the places and history you will encounter on tour and will impart their knowledge in a way that is fun and easy to digest.
CIE Tours' itineraries are curated by experts with traveller comfort in mind. Many tours include two-night stays giving guests more time to experience a destination and take it all in at a more leisurely pace. Itineraries include planned activities daily with a balance of free time for travellers to enjoy their way. Most hotels on tour feature leisure facilities and spas, so guests can enjoy these amenities onsite or head out exploring in their spare time.
On tour guests will travel on a modern, luxury coach and enjoy plenty of stops on travel days. With no more than two hours on the road without a break, travellers can look forward to photo opportunities and rest stops to truly enjoy the journey as well as each new and exciting destination.
Like many travel destinations, the best time to visit Ireland or Britain is during the summer months when the weather is warmer and drier and there is more daylight. However, if you have a choice of dates, it is worth bearing in mind that the prices of CIE Tours’ coach tours are lower in the spring and autumn. Airfares will also cost less and with fewer people on holidays, and popular attractions are less crowded.
Ireland and Britain have an unpredictable climate with many people saying that all four seasons can be experienced in one day! Average summer temperatures range from 15 – 24°C (60s F), spring and autumn temperatures are in the 10s°C (50s F) and winter averages 0 – 5°C (30s F) with no huge day/night differences.
Many coach tour itineraries are ideally suited for combining and CIE Tours offer a discount on the second tour.
On average CIE Tours’ coach tours have around 35 passengers but their coaches hold a maximum of 44 passengers. CIE Tours also offer dedicated small group departures on select itineraries on which the trip is limited to 26 guests.
Most of CIE Tours’ coaches are equipped with emergency restrooms. However, for safety reasons they cannot be used when the coach is in motion. The coach makes frequent rest/bathroom stops, at 2-hour intervals or less, for the comfort of all passengers.
Children over the age of 8 years old are permitted to travel on coach tours with CIE Tours. Those aged between 8 and 18 are charged 90% of the full adult rate.
After the stress of organising a wedding, many newly-married couples choose CIE Tours’ programs as they are happy to have their honeymoon planned for them and not have to worry about booking hotels, planning itineraries or finding places to eat.
Coaches used by CIE Tours are not handicap accessible so you must be able to get on and off the coach unaided by CIE staff and be able to rotate seats on the coach. If you need extra walking assistance, you may bring a light-weight foldable wheelchair which can be stowed in the luggage compartment. You must let your GLobal JOurneys Travel Advisor know when booking your tour that you will be using a wheelchair or other medical equipment.
CIE Tours uses three classes of hotels – these are first class (3 star), superior first class (4 star, which include castle properties) or deluxe (5 star, which include castle properties).
First class hotels (3 star) feature a dining room, lounge, bar and comfortable guest rooms. Many have leisure facilities. Superior first class hotels (4 star) offer the same amenities with higher standards and many have leisure and spa facilities. Deluxe hotels (5 star) offer luxurious features and are often in unique settings.
CIE Tours chooses hotels either in central locations or scenic regions, depending on location, and name all hotels used on each tour.
For your hotel room you can choose to have a Twin (2 separate single beds) or a Double (usually Queen size). Please note that bedding is subject to each hotel’s discretion and availability.
If there are three people sharing a room, then a triple room will usually have a double and one twin bed (total 2 beds). Please note there is no reduction in cost for a third person sharing a room with two others, and triples are limited to a maximum of one per departure. For comfort, CIE Tours suggests that three adults take two separate rooms. No more than three people can share a hotel room on CIE escorted tours.
To ensure the comfort of all passengers, CIE Tours does not offer the option of sharing a room for solo travelling passengers. CIE Tours do, however, offer a single supplement whereby you will have the privacy of your own room. CIE Tours often have special departures where this supplement is reduced.
Due to the cooler climate in Ireland and Britain, most hotels do not have or need air-conditioning.
It’s a 4- or 5-course meal dinner with a choice of appetisers, soups, entrees and desserts. Most hotels feature a good assortment of red and white meats, fish and vegetarian foods. If you have certain tastes or dietary restrictions, you can let your Travel Advisor know at time of booking or at the restaurant.
Hotels throughout Ireland and Britain offer a wide variety of foods. When making your reservation please notify your Travel Advisor of your specific requests, especially for low-salt or celiac diets. CIE Tours cannot guarantee all requests and it is a good idea to double check once you are in your tour hotels.
All tours offer included sightseeing every day to maximise your time. If you want to take a day out to play golf, ride or simply relax and browse around, you may choose not to travel on a day tour when you are staying in the same hotel for two nights.
Conditional courtesy group transfers can be prebooked by CIE Tours on the first and last morning of each tour. These group transfers operate between nominated airports only and you will need to provide your Travel Advisor with your arrival and departure details at least 14 days prior to travel to secure your place on a scheduled transfer. The documents you receive prior to departure will provide information on your transfer option and how to meet your tour on arrival.
With CIE Tours, you are free to enjoy your holiday without enduring daily sales pitches and unexpected costs while on tour. This inconvenience and distraction can eat into your holiday budget, and therefore these features are already included in your package price.
CIE tours include daily sightseeing with prepaid admission fees, full breakfasts, table d’hote dinners, medieval banquets, cabarets and much more – everything to make your holiday a lifelong memorable experience. The “No Optional Extras” policy with CIE Tours enables tour directors to focus 100% of their time to your enjoyment.
You will need a valid passport, preferably until six months past your travel date and with blank pages so that officials can stamp entry/exit details. Please check your entry and visa requirements with your nearest Irish or British embassy or consulate well in advance of your planned trip. More information on visa requirements for Ireland can be found on the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs website. For visa requirements for the UK please visit gov.uk/check-uk-visa.
You will receive your travel documents electronically approximately 21 days prior to your tour departure date provided that full payment has been received. This includes the vouchers for the coach tour and other services, an itinerary, hotel list and a Go-To-Guide booklet in PDF format.
A welcome pack will be provided to you at the first hotel of your tour including a backpack, document wallet, maps, an adapter and luggage straps and tags. You have paid for tour vouchers so treat them as you would money as they are non-refundable. You will need to present the relevant voucher in return for services such as hop-on, hop-off bus tours.
Generally, the dress code for CIE tours is very comfortable and casual. A dinner jacket for men is required on the Irish Supreme and Scottish Supreme tours, and the Irish Heritage & Dromoland Castle tour; no other tour will require a dinner jacket. Dressing in layers provides most comfort as you can shed and add items when the temperatures fluctuate. Consider packing comfortable walking shoes, an all-weather coat with removable lining, and comfortable clothing that can be easily layered.
On coach tours with CIE you are permitted one piece of luggage and one carry-on bag per person. Porterage between the coach and your hotel room is included. Airlines have their own regulations and some carriers charge for checked baggage.
As most components of your Ireland and/or Britain tour have been prepaid, you will only need money for lunch each day and dinners when you have an evening at leisure. If you are an avid shopper, or enjoy a cocktail in the evening, these costs are incurred at your own expense.
Also, it is customary to tip your guide and driver at the end of the tour (please see the question on tipping guidelines for more information). Use credit cards and ATMs to avoid carrying large sums of cash. High denomination bills are not readily accepted for exchange, even in banks, so it is better to carry smaller denominations.
Major credit cards are widely accepted, and CIE Tours recommend you use them to avoid carrying cash. ATMs are widely available and will accept appropriate cards and dispense cash in the local currency. Additional fees may be charged so please check with your financial institution before you travel. It’s also a good idea to inform your bank that you are travelling overseas to ensure that they don’t block your ATM / credit cards.
The Republic of Ireland uses the Euro (€), while in Britain and Northern Ireland the Pound Sterling (£) is used. The two currencies are not interchangeable.
Gratuities are included on all services except guiding and driving. Tips for these services are not included within the price of your tour but are customary to show gratitude to your tour director or driver for satisfactory service. CIE Tours provides tipping guidelines in the documentation provided to you before your tour.
Most hotels feature laundry and dry cleaning services and can be used when you stay in the same property for two nights. However, they do not offer self-service facilities. Check with the hotels to see exactly what services they offer.
Many hotels in Ireland and Britain do not provide washcloths so it is a good idea to bring some with you. Guest rooms have TVs and hairdryers; some also offer an iron and ironing board. Hotels also provide a shaver outlet in the bathroom.
Most small medical devices, for example C-PAP machines, are permitted on tour. If you travel with a C-PAP machine, be aware that distilled water is always readily available in stores. Some, but not all, pharmacies stock supplies. Bring distilled water with you or contact one of the hotels and arrange this directly with them.
If you need to bring insulin, please be sure to bring a box to store it in together with freezable ice packs. Hotels can store the insulin for you and can freeze the icepacks to keep it cold when travelling on the coach. If you take prescription drugs, ensure that you have an ample supply for the duration of your trip and always keep them with you. Any medication must be in its labelled container when going through airport security and customs.
CIE Tours wants you to see as much of the country you are visiting as possible, without spending all your time on the coach. CIE Tours generally incorporates a sightseeing feature each morning and afternoon. There are breaks at two-hour intervals or less so that you get a chance to stretch your legs, purchase a snack or lunch, take photos or use a restroom.
On all tours, seats are rotated on a daily basis to allow all passengers an opportunity to sit towards the front of the coach. The tour director assigns seats for all clients. Seat belts must be worn when the coach is in motion. If you suffer from motion sickness it is recommended to bring medication with you.
Morning departure time depends on the itinerary to be covered on any particular day. In Britain the tour day begins between 8.00am to 8.30am, while in Ireland the day usually begins between 8.30am and 9.00am. Arrival back to the hotel or at the next hotel is usually between 4.00pm and 5.00pm. CIE Tours’ coaches make frequent stops for sightseeing, smoking, lunches, snacks and bathroom breaks. You will have breaks at least every two hours or less.
Many itineraries incorporate walking tours in interesting places such as Derry, Cobh, York and Edinburgh; these are leisurely paced guided walks. You will have free time when you arrive at a hotel in the afternoon, so you may like to take a walk on your own or use the hotel’s leisure or spa facilities. Pack comfortable shoes with non-slip soles as many historic places have uneven paving.
Check-in time varies between 12:00 noon and 3:00pm depending on the individual hotel. If you arrive in the early part of the day, this can mean a wait at the hotel. Many hotels offer a left luggage area so you may enjoy this time by taking a walk, having a snack or doing some exploring.
Most of the hotels on your tour have wonderful leisure facilities and spas. You have some free time most days and may like to enjoy some relaxation and spa serenity, so be sure to pack a swimsuit and workout clothes.
CIE Tours could not exist without their great locally employed tour directors. From the moment you land in Ireland or Britain, your tour director is there to welcome you, handle your luggage, drive you from place to place and give you daily commentaries. Tour directors make history and culture come alive and create a superb experience with daily doses of humour, information and assistance.
Once you meet your tour director, you don’t have to handle your luggage! At every hotel your suitcase is delivered to your bedroom door and collected before departure. However, luggage is restricted to one suitcase and one piece of carry-on baggage per person.
If you become ill on tour or have an emergency situation at home, advise your tour director immediately. In the case of illness, have the front desk call a doctor or direct you to a medical facility. If you need to fly home immediately, CIE Tours personnel in Ireland or Britain will assist you in making the best possible arrangements. Any additional expenses for transportation or accommodation to catch up with the tour will be at your own expense. CIE Tours regret that they cannot issue any refunds or credits for any missed portions of the tour.
Free Wi-Fi aboard coaches enables you to keep in contact, browse and share your travels with friends and family back home. Most hotels will offer internet services, some in guest rooms and some in the lobby only. As some hotels charge for Wi-Fi, you should check rates with the front desk in your hotel.
If you carry a mobile phone, check usage rates with your provider before departing and remember to switch off roaming. In Ireland and Britain, pre-paid calling cards offer excellent rates and are on sale in many stores. You can also buy a simple mobile phone with pre-paid minutes. In some parts of Ireland and Britain you may experience poor mobile phone signals.
The documents you receive prior to departure will tell you which transfer option you will be taking. More information is provided in your Go-To Guide booklet and below.
CIE Group Transfer: You will meet the tour in the arrivals hall of the airport. A CIE representative will be holding a CIE Tours sign and will direct you to the coach. You will then meet the tour in the hotel lobby at the designated time on the tour start date, as shown on the tour itinerary.
Taxi Transfer in Dublin: In lieu of a CIE Group transfer you may have received a taxi voucher within your documents. Call the number on the voucher and the taxi will take you to your hotel. You will then meet the tour in the hotel lobby at the designated time and day as shown on the tour itinerary.
City Transfer in London: A representative from City Transfers will be awaiting your arrival in London with a City Transfers sign. They will direct you to the vehicle where you will be transferred to your first hotel. You will then meet the tour in the hotel lobby at the designated time and day as shown on the tour itinerary.
Scotlinks Transfer in Scotland: A representative from Scotlinks will be awaiting your arrival in Scotland with a Scotlinks sign. They will direct you to the vehicle where you will be transferred to your first hotel. You will then meet the tour in the hotel lobby at the designated time and day as shown on the tour itinerary.
In order to book transfers, you must provide complete arrival and departure details to your Global Journeys Travel Advisor at least 14 days prior to travel. Without your airline information, CIE Tours are unable to book transfers.
If you have access to phone or internet, please contact CIE Tours office. Call +353-1-7031888 or email email@example.com and advise approximately when you will be arriving. CIE Tours will alert personnel in Ireland or Britain to ensure they are aware. If you are scheduled to take a group transfer and you miss it, CIE Tours recommend that you take a cab from the airport to the first hotel where you will meet the tour. If you are delayed longer than a day, you should make your way to the relevant hotel on the tour. A cab or public transport may be most suitable method of getting to the next hotel which may be a distance from your arrival airport.