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Derek Burke from Crystal Swing performs during the Punchestown Festival last year
Derek Burke from Crystal Swing performs during the Punchestown Festival last year
Image: Gary Fox/PA Wire via PA Images

Cruise to the Bahamas - in the company of Crystal Swing

For more than $1000 you could be cruising from Florida to the Bahamas, accompanied by a bevy of Irish modern showband stars.
Mar 22nd 2011, 10:37 AM 1,940 3

FANCY AN EXOTIC cruise…with Daniel O’Donnell, Crystal Swing and a host of other Irish performers for company?

For some it could be the stuff of dreams; for others, not so much: spending a week surrounded by Irish musicians such as Keith McDonald and the Showband Show, the Davitt Brothers, Dominic Kirwan, Dublin City Celtic Dancers, Brendan and Emily Shine.

Gertrude Byrne of Gertrude Byrne Promotions is the woman behind the cruise. And before you think this is a one off, it’s actually a 25th anniversary cruise to celebrate Ms Byrne’s quarter of a century of promoting Irish themed cruises, which started out with 80 passengers and grew to entire ships.

She says herself “nobody does it better” and from 12 – 19 February 2012 she will be bringing fans of Irish culture on a seven-day cruise that sets sail from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, stopping off at locations like Grand Turks, Turks & Caicos Islands, before making its final stop at Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas before heading back to Florida.

What’s Half Moon Cay? Well, it’s only a privately-owned 9.2 acre tropical island, where you could no doubt sun yourself while watching Derek Burke from Crystal Swing and Daniel O’Donnell challenge each other to a hucklebuck-off.

A sense of Irish pride is a must, as according to the official brochure, on entering the terminal for check-in, “your first experience will be the lilt of Irish music” and “as it nears times for us to leave port, Irish and American flags are flying high in the air”.

In between gigs, the 2000 passengers can choose between heading to the Greenhouse spa and salon for a massage or Pilates session, or going for a bite to eat in the five-star Vista dining room.

But keeping such illustrious company doesn’t come cheap. The Holland America Line cruise ship’s deluxe verandah suite, with its king size bed, whirlpool bath, high tea service, and a cocktail party with ship officers on request, will set you back $2,899 per person, while the cheapest room, a standard inside stateroom, with a queen size bed, and flat-panel TV, is $1,199 per person.

But perhaps it’s a small price to pay for the chance to drink tequila with the Crystal Swing trio…

Read the official brochure here, as tweeted by Una Mullally>

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Aoife Barry

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