To get to Dublin, our member took advantage of a great Finnair Business Class sale to Europe, departing from Singapore. Singapore Airlines then filled the gap between Perth and Singapore.
Late last year GLIDER (thank you) posted about cheap Business Class Fares on Finnair from Singapore to various European cities. So we bit the bullet and booked a trip to Dublin. We paid about $2,730 each for SIN- HEL – DUB return, which I still think is good value.
The Finnair flight from Singapore to Helsinki ended up being cancelled with just 15 hours’ notice. After being given a run-around by Finnair, our member was eventually rebooked on Qatar Airways via Doha. In hindsight, our member believes this was actually a “blessing in disguise”. They found Qatar Airways’ business class to be the best they’ve ever experienced.
The 6-hour flight from Doha to Helsinki was on a narrow-body A320 aircraft. Narrow-body aircraft are not known for a high quality business class cabin, but Qatar Airways is an exception…
Within an hour we were on a bus to our next flight. I was a bit concerned as it was an A320 but I need not have worried as it had very nice lie flat seats as well. They were very comfortable but this time the foot hole was a little narrow for my big feet to be entirely comfortable.
After a few days in Helsinki, our member flew to Dublin for the start of the tour of Ireland and Northern Ireland. This time the flight was on a Finnair A320. The difference between it and Qatar’s A320 business class product was night and day. Our member particularly disliked the first row of Finnair’s A320 due to a lack of legroom.
A few days were dedicated to exploring the sights of Dublin, including Dublin Castle and Trinity College. But our member says that they never really warmed to Dublin. From their observations, they believe the city is still recovering from the financial crises of the past decade.
A few day trips out of Dublin were made to Dalkey and the Wicklow Mountains. But it wasn’t long before our member left Dublin in a hire car for some self-guided touring. Subsequent stops included Cork, Killarney and Kinsale – a small but very fine town.
Plenty of great castles were visited, but one thing that unfortunately let the trip down was the consistently miserable weather.
We were there in May – June and I am struggling to remember a day which was sunny for the entire day. A couple of the more scenic touring days were plagued with extra low clouds which meant that we were actually driving through the clouds when we should have been looking at the scenery around us.
The friendly Irish people made up for the weather though – particularly the bed & breakfast hosts.
I have been disparaging about some of what we encountered in Ireland – especially the weather. However, I could not complain about the B&Bs’ that we stayed in which were all comfortable. The hosts were invariably friendly. They offered tips about the best places to eat, sights to see and where to go on the next part of trip. The breakfasts we were served varied from very good to excellent and the variety offered was good.
If you’re thinking about a trip to Ireland, you won’t want to miss this trip report. You can even pick up a few tips on hiring a car! Read the full trip report HERE.