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Kennedy homestead, Dunbrody Abbey & Dunbrody Famine Ship tour

Your private driver-guide will pick you up from your hotel in Kilkenny on the morning of your tour. Your first stop is a visit to the Dunbrody Famine Ship, a reproduction of a typical vessel that transported Irish emigrants to America in the 1840s.

This full-scale reconstruction is moored in the port of New Ross about 45 minutes’ drive south of Kilkenny. It details the life that Irish emigrants left behind and the struggles they encountered on their journey and on arrival in North America.

You’ll join a 45-minute guided group tour of the ship, which includes performances by costumed actors. They’ll bring to life the challenges that emigrants faced on board during the six-week journey to the United States. After your tour ends, you can explore sections of the ship at your leisure before passing through the Arrivals Hall, which explains how the Irish adjusted to a new life in America.

One of the most acclaimed passengers to cross the Atlantic in hopes of a better life in America was Patrick Kennedy, the great grandfather of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. After your time at the Dunbrody Famine Ship, you’ll continue on to the Kennedy Homestead, the family’s ancestral home. The exhibition there celebrates JFK’s visit to Ireland in 1963, shortly before his death. This self-guided experience displays family memorabilia and uses multi-media displays to describe the dynasty’s impact on the modern world.

Your last stop of the day is 13th-century Dunbrody Abbey, which was founded by the Cistercian monks after the Norman invasion of Ireland. You have time to explore the abbey ruins and nearby Dunbrody Castle, a fortified house, on your own.

Dunbrody Castle houses a small museum and a craft shop selling works by local artists. You can also try navigating through the large outdoor hedge maze.

At the end of the visit, your guide will take you to your hotel in Waterford.

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Other experiences in Kilkenny

These activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences around where you're staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident's eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can suggest tours and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the local ways of life.

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