Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic, made up of relatively low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain, with several navigable rivers extending inland. Did you know that the island is actually two completely separate countries each with its own government and currency - Ireland and Northern Ireland? The island has lush vegetation, a product of its mild but changeable climate which never sways too far in extremes.

Ireland has become a very popular destination for travelers. Many come for an extended stay and many more come via cruise ship. Most of the cruise lines, large and small, make stops in Ireland; those include Voyages to Antiquity, Cruise and Maritime, Fred Olsen, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess, MSC, Silversea, NCL, Viking Ocean, Crystal, TUI, Cunard, Holland America, Oceania, Seabourn, Azamara, Windstar, Disney, AIDA, Pheonix Reisen, Regent Seven Seas, Saga, and Hapag Lloyd.

During your visit to Ireland, you may be tempted to sit in the pubs and sing your cares away. While that's one way to spend an afternoon, you may also consider going on a whale-watching trip! Just a short 45 minutes from Baltimore, Co. Cork, across the Roaringwater Bay to Cape Clear Island, whales and dolphins are a sight to behold.

Ireland is full of such unique attractions as the Cork Butter Museum, which features a 1,000-year-old keg of butter, demonstrations of butter making through the ages, and a comprehensive collection of Irish butter labels. Or how about the Indian Sculpture Park in County Wicklow, home of 33 black granite stone sculptures and three bronze sculptures, ranging in size from 5 to 15ft. Even more interesting, near Skibbereen, West Cork, the Irish Sky Garden is a massive conceptual garden built around a huge crater that contains a central plinth, which you can lie on and look upwards to see a perfectly framed sky.

Whatever your interests are, you will surely enjoy your visit to Ireland.