Sep 2 - 5, 2021
4 days
$2,580per person, twin share (land content only). $440 supplement for sole use of a hotel room.

Tour Leader

Christopher Menz
Sep 2 - 5, 2021

Tour Leader

Christopher Menz$2,580per person, twin share (land content only). $440 supplement for sole use of a hotel room.
  • Tour Info
  • Itinerary
  • Tour Leader
  • Hotels
  • Inclusions


Join us in Brisbane, as the Queensland Art Gallery hosts a major exhibition of European art, with 65 masterpieces from New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art coming to Australia for the first time. The span of the exhibition is truly impressive, representing 500 years of painting and featuring works by Caravaggio, Titian, Vermeer, Cezanne, Degas, Van Gogh and others.

Our tour is timed to coincide with the annual Brisbane Festival. We’ve secured tickets to the premiere season of Boy Swallows Universe by the Queensland Theatre Company, an adaptation of Trent Dalton’s much-loved novel and we’ve also included a performance of works by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Enjoy accommodation on Brisbane’s Southbank close to festival venues and private dining in one of Brisbane’s best restaurants.


The following special cancellation and refund conditions applies to this tour.

  • If you book on this tour and then find that you are unable to travel due to Government imposed COVID-19 travel restrictions we will provide a 100% cash refund of all monies paid to Academy Travel for this tour. This refund will be given irrespective of how close to the tour start date you become ineligible to travel, but you must inform us within 24 hours of becoming personally unable to travel in order to obtain a full refund.
  • If the tour cannot proceed due to Government imposed Covid-19 travel restrictions, the tour will be cancelled and all participants will receive a 100% cash refund of all monies paid to Academy Travel for this tour. This refund will be given irrespective of how close the cancellation occurs to the start date of the tour.


  • European Masterpieces – New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art opened in 1880, just when Americans were opening their eyes to the beauty of European art. We are privileged to be able to see some of the Met’s best works in Australia.
  • Boy Swallows Universe is Trent Dalton’s novel, set in Brisbane, is being brought to the stage for the first time in this highly anticipated adaptation (pictured above).  Tickets are all but sold out for the show.
  • Queensland Symphony Orchestra, concert of Beethoven and Richard Strauss with pianist Jayson Gillham and conductor Dane Lam leading the Queensland Symphony.
  • Enjoy a degustation meal at one of Brisbane’s best restaurants, with views over the Brisbane River.

Itinerary Overview

Day 1: Meet your tour leader Christopher Menz at The Emporium for an in-depth introduction to the European Masterpieces exhibition.  Dinner in a fine dining restaurant overlooking the river.

Day 2:  Christopher Menz gives the second part of his introduction to the European Masterpieces of the MET.  Enjoy a performance by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, before visiting the exhibition at the Queensland Art Gallery. This afternoon, enjoy a sunset cruise down the Brisbane River.

Day 3: Enjoy the morning at leisure, followed by lunch at the Gallery of Modern Art’s well regarded restaurant.  Enjoy an evening performance of Boy Swallows Universe.

Day 4: The tour end after breakfast.

Detailed Itinerary

Start & Finish

The tour begins at 4.00pm on September 2 in the Emporium hotel.
The tour finishes after breakfast on September 5 in the hotel.

Thursday September 2 – Introduction

Arrive in the early afternoon and check in to your hotel. At 4.00pm join Christopher Menz for coffee and the first part of an in-depth introduction to the European Masterpieces exhibition. This evening we head to Otto ristorante overlooking the Brisbane River. (D)

 Friday September 3 – European Masters Exhibition

This morning Christopher gives the second part of his introduction to the masterpieces. We then head to the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) for an 11am performance by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Jayson Gillham performs Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, bookended by a new work commissioned for the orchestra and Richard Strauss’s tone poem Til Eulenspiegel. This afternoon we head to the Queensland Art Gallery to view the exhibition. At sunset we take a cruise down the Brisbane River to take a backstage tour of The Powerhouse, Brisbane’s newest performing arts venue. (B)

 Saturday September 4 – Boy Swallows Universe

The morning is free, and we recommend you visit the permanent collection of the Queensland Art Gallery or the adjacent Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA). At lunchtime we dine at GOMA’s well regarded restaurant. This afternoon we enjoy the events and atmosphere of the Brisbane Festival in the Southbank precinct. This evening we head to the QPAC playhouse for Boy Swallows Universe. (B, L)

 Sunday September 5 – Depart

The tour ends after breakfast. (B)

Christopher Menz

A former art museum director and curator, with expertise in the arts and music throughout Europe, the USA and Australia.

Christopher Menz is a former art museum director and curator and has been leading cultural tours in Europe, the United States and Australia since 2013. He has expertise and interest in the visual arts and music.

Christopher has a BA (Hons) from Flinders University. He is a former director of the Art Gallery of South Australia. Before that he was a curator, specialising in decorative arts, and worked at the National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of South Australia, and National Gallery of Victoria. He has published and lectured extensively on Australian and European decorative arts, notably on the design work of William Morris, and curated numerous exhibitions. Christopher is based in Melbourne where he is an art consultant and valuer, and Development Consultant for Australian Book Review.

Christopher has led cultural tours to Germany, England, the United States, as well as in Australia. He has also been a tour leader on European river cruises.

We asked Christopher, what do you think clients get from travelling with you?

“It is always a great thrill to be able to introduce clients to new experiences and to places they might otherwise not have visited or not have visited recently. I always hope to give tour guests something that adds to the experiences of the places, cities, museums and art galleries, and performances that they would not get if travelling alone.”

View Bio & Upcoming Tours

The Emporium Hotel,  Brisbane (3 nights)

We have reserved rooms in this five-star boutique luxury hotel in the heart of Brisbane’s Southbank. Emporium Hotel South Bank 

Tour Inclusions

  • 3 nights’ accommodation and breakfast at The Emporium Hotel Brisbane
  • Sunset cruise on the Brisbane River
  • Private dining at Otto Ristorante overlooking Brisbane River
  • Entry to the QAG exhibition and all other sites included in the itinerary
  • Performance tickets included in the itinerary
  • Travel on excursions by private coach
  • In-depth introductions to the European Masterpieces by Christopher Menz
  • All group tipping

Tour Details

Fitness Requirement

Grade One

A Grade 1 tour is appropriate for travellers in good health with good mobility, who can comfortably participate in up to 3 hours of physical activity per day on most days.
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For further information or to secure a place on this tour please contact:
Hannah Kleboe (02) 9235 0023 or 1800 639 699
(outside Sydney)

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