Academy Travel’s tours are designed to appeal to travellers with a strong interest in history, culture, archaeology, the visual arts and the performing arts. All tours are designed around three basic principles:
An expert tour leader
Maximum 20 in a group
Appealing to like-minded travellers
Our tours are carefully researched and developed over a period of time. We strive to cover not only the ‘must see’ sites but also to provide a carefully curated selection of less well-known but equally rewarding experiences on every tour. We can do this thanks to the deep knowledge of our tour leaders, the measured pace of our tours and our network of contacts.
We aim to provide high quality in all our services. Hotels are generally four star, preferably boutique-style, in central locations. Where possible, we arrange private out-of-hours tours of popular sites to avoid the crowds and we reserve the best available seats to live performances.
Exclusive and unique events on our tours play a big part in bringing our Academy Travellers back to travel with us again and again.
Styles of tour
A themed itinerary that that provide a balanced experience – walking tours, museum and gallery visits, live performances, city and countryside. Feedback from our clients consistently tells us that creating itineraries with three and four-night stops, or even longer, is far more appealing that rushing from place to place. We avoid overnight stops and ensure time for individual exploration.
Unpack your bags for 9-14 nights and really get to explore important centres of history and culture. We are one of the few travel companies in the world to offer such an in-depth and relaxing experience. Popular destinations include Paris, Berlin, Rome, Florence, Venice and New York.
Music and theatre lovers can indulge themselves in a carefully-selected run of top-flight performances in the world’s leading venues.
Land and small-ship cruise tours
These tours incorporate a cruise element, usually 6-8 days long. They combine the in-depth coverage of a regular tour with the relaxation and adventure of a cruise. The ships we select are genuinely boutique vessels, with 60-90 passengers only.
Academy Travel was established in 2004 and has grown to become one of Australia’s leading cultural travel companies. Each year we offer more than 70 ‘open age’ tours and 30 teacher and student tours to Europe, the Americas and beyond.
Academy Travel is Australian-owned and Sydney-based, with offices in the heritage listed Bank of New South Wales building at 341 George St. There are currently 16 full and part-time staff, and a team of over 30 tour leaders and managers. The company’s three directors play an active role in the company, leading tours and dealing with clients. We have a subsidiary operations company, Academy Europe based in Rome, and have recently opened a London office.
Academy Travel has developed a network of outstanding suppliers in the countries in which we operate. These include booking agents, local guides, performing arts companies and of course hotels and restaurants.
Academy Travel is a member of the following travel associations:
Learn more about Academy Travel
There are lots of tour operators out there, with lots of tempting offerings. So why choose us? Hear from our director Robert Veel and tour leader Dr Kathleen Olive for more insight into the Academy Travel difference.
About our clients
Academy Travel’s tours are open to everyone. You don’t need any special qualifications, just a strong interest in the themes and destinations we offer. Most, but not all, Academy Travellers live in Australia and are 50 or more years old. Each tour usually attracts a convivial mix of couples, friends travelling together and solo travellers. Around 60% off our clients are female. Academy Travellers often have a good knowledge of the destinations to which they are travelling and have been attracted by the depth of our itinerary. This knowledge may have been gained through previous travel, reading or film.
About our tour leaders
Knowledgeable, experienced and sociable tour leaders are a key element of our tours. Most of our tour leaders lead no more than three or four tours per year and only to destinations for which they have considerable academic preparation and travel experience. This ensures that they are fresh, enthusiastic and can provide genuine insight rather than just facts and anecdotes. You can read more about our tour leaders here.
Many of our tour leaders give public regular public lectures, and Academy Travel offers its own lecture program. This can be a great way of getting to know a tour leader before you decide to travel. You can read more about our lecture program here.
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