Built around one of the world's largest natural ports, Cobh (pronounced 'cove') is a small town with enduring ties to the sea. A soaring cathedral dominates the historic town and looks down over the rows of brightly-painted Victorian houses that wind up the hill from the waterfront.
Although the port brought employment and trade opportunities it was also the scene of heartbreak as the main emigration point from Ireland and the last port of call for the ill-fated Titanic. A guided walking tour brings the history of this little town to life and throws light on some of the world's most famous maritime disasters.
The hour-long private walking tour begins on the waterfront and provides an introduction to Cobh, whose strategic location has meant that it has been a place of importance throughout Ireland’s history.
Your guide gives you a lively overview of Ireland’s history and Cobh’s place in it as you wander along the town's streets and waterfront learning about the mass migration of Irish people to destinations worldwide both during and following the Irish potato famine.
You’ll also learn of the two most infamous events the town is linked to: the sinking of the Lusitania and the final port of departure of the Titanic. You'll visit 'Heartbreak Pier' from where so many Irish emigrants waved their last goodbyes to family and friends, see the memorial to the victims of the Lusitania tragedy. You can learn about the rescue mission that followed the sinking of the ship and why Cobh, then a British Naval Admiralty base, became the focus of rescue efforts.
You can see the original White Star Line ticket office in Casement Square, where so many Irish people bought tickets for a passage to America and a new life aboard the Titanic.
Your guide is extremely knowledgeable and will tailor the tour to any specific interests that you have, so please do ask questions. If you have any ancestors who were involved with either the Titanic or the Lusitania, or who emigrated to North America from Cobh (Queenstown) the tour can be tailored to incorporate more specific details.
Your tour ends in the middle of Cobh and your guide can direct you to further places of interest such as the Cobh Heritage Centre in the restored Victorian railway station. Meanwhile, the Titanic Experience recounts what life was like aboard the liner.
Photos of Titanic Trail walking tour in Cobh
Experience it for yourself
You can enjoy this activity as part of the suggested tours below, or we can weave it into a trip shaped entirely around you.