€9,000 train tickets for Irish luxury sightseeing tour going fast
The luxury Belmond Grand Hibernian Irish sightseeing train is set for a bumper summer, with many of its €9,000 tickets already selling out.
The €11m sleeper train - operated by the same company that whisks passengers through mainland Europe on the Orient Express - was launched last August and resumes its 2017 schedule next month.
Belmond reported this week that the Grand Hibernian generated revenues of $1.2m (€1.1m) in its first few weeks of operations last year, but made a loss of $400,000 (€797,000). The service only operates between August and October, and takes a winter hiatus.
It broke down on its first trip last year. But that hasn't deterred wealthy travellers from snapping up tickets.
Belmond's website shows that a number of trips for its seven-day 'Grand Tour of Ireland' are already sold out for some dates in May and September. Tickets on the May trips cost up to €8,900 per person. The 252m train - the longest in Ireland - carries 40 passengers.
The train combines passengers taking seven and five-day journeys. Five-day trips cost up to €6,260 per person. Those trips are also selling out fast. It means the train is probably raking in somewhere in the region of €300,000 a week at times when it's fully booked.