Nestled somewhere in the heart of Waterford City in Southeast Ireland, you will find the House of Waterford Crystal, which is renowned all over the world as a leading brand in the production and sale of commemorative crystal pieces, brilliant crystal stemware, and exquisite chandeliers. You would be hard pressed to find any other factory in the world that is as well known as Waterford Crystal. Waterford Crystal makes glassware ranging from scotch and whiskey glasses to crystal bowls, decanters, crystal balls, and sporting and entertainment trophies as well.
The Waterford Crystal Factory was established in 1783, in what is Ireland’s oldest city. Centuries after it was opened, Waterford has managed to maintain the long and rich tradition of crystal making as the Waterford products can be seen richly displayed at the Prestige Factory and retail showroom, which is also situated in Waterford city.
Waterford crystals are not cheap. One glass
typically goes for upwards of $75, however, the price is definitely worth it. When
you pay for Waterford Crystals, you are also paying for supreme quality, which
can be handed down from family member to member. Additionally, the House of
Waterford never discontinues a stemware pattern. Whenever anyone needs to
replace a piece, all they have to do is place a custom order and the Prestige
Factory will create a handmade replacement. If you are ever in Southeast
Ireland, a trip to Waterford Crystal must be included in the itinerary,
particularly for collectors and lovers of crystal.
What to expect
You do not need to pre-purchase any tickets; however, they are readily available online. You should allocate about 2 hours of your time for a tour of the Prestige Factory, as well as some designated shopping time in the retail showroom. The Waterford Crystal Company also has a café situated on site where you can stop over for a snack or drink.
What the tour involves
A tour of the factory will allow you to experience the factory’s skilled craftsmen undertake the crystal making process from blowing to cutting. Although the factory tour will reveal how everyday pieces such as vases and glasses are made, it is the sporting goods and trophies that take center stage at the factory.
The factory will also give you a short lesson on the history of the factory from its humble beginnings at Waterford Glass house to its present location. The tour will include a stop at each major crystal making process including the making of the molds, the blowing process, quality inspection, finishing process and cutting, sculpting, and finally engraving.