Jan 14 - 28, 2021
15 days
$10,450per person, twin share (land content only). $2,490 supplement for sole use of a hotel room.

Tour Leader

Christopher Menz
Jan 14 - 28, 2021

Tour Leader

Christopher Menz$10,450per person, twin share (land content only). $2,490 supplement for sole use of a hotel room.
  • Tour Info
  • Itinerary
  • Tour Leader
  • Hotels
  • Inclusions

Overview

London and Paris come alive in the wintertime, with blockbuster exhibitions and excellent performance programs designed for lovers of art and music when the tourist numbers are low. Explore two of the world’s great cultural capitals, from their celebrated collections to their less visited galleries and house museums, and appreciate the range of performances on offer, from grand opera and orchestral concerts to well-reviewed stage plays and recitals. A week in each city, staying in the centre, allows you ample time to unwind and enjoy the best of times with likeminded travellers.

Highlights

  • Seven great performances with best available tickets at the Royal Opera House, National Theatre and Barbican Centre in London, and in Paris at the Palais Garnier, Opéra Bastille and Philharmonie de Paris
  • World-class museums and blockbuster exhibitions at the British Museum, Tate Britain and Tate Modern, the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay
  • Intimate house museums and galleries, including London’s Wallace Collection and Paris’s Musée Nissim de Camondo
  • 20th-century ‘starchitects’, from Gehry’s Fondation Louis Vuitton and Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye
  • Day trips to Oxford and the Chateau de Malmaison just outside Paris

Itinerary Overview

Days 1–7: In London, enjoy major exhibitions at the National Gallery, Tate Britain and Tate Modern; explore the vast British Museum and the V&A; and visit smaller galleries, including the Wallace Collection and Apsley House. Day trip to Oxford visiting the Ashmolean and experiencing Christ Church College evensong. Performances at the Royal Opera House, National Theatre and Barbican Centre.

Day 8: Eurostar to Paris.

Days 9–15: In Paris, admire the greats without the crowds at the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay. Appreciate Paris’s smaller galleries, including the Rodin Museum, the renovated Picasso Museum, the elegant Musée Nissim de Camondo, Frank Gehry’s Fondation Louis Vuitton and Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye. Performances at the Palais Garnier, Opéra Bastille and Philharmonie de Paris.

Start & Finish

The tour begins at our hotel in London and ends at Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport. Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines and Emirates all offer direct services into London and out of Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport. Contact us for quotes and bookings.

Detailed Itinerary

Included meals are shown with the letters B, L and D.

Thursday 14 January: Arrive London

If you have booked your air travel through Academy Travel we will organise a transfer from London Heathrow Airport to our hotel. Please note that hotel rooms may not be available until early afternoon. In the evening meet Christopher Menz in the hotel for welcome drinks and dinner. Overnight London (D)

Friday 15 January: Tate Britain
– Performance I

After a morning talk on today’s program, we begin our tour with a visit to Tate Britain, a bastion of British art. Sporting old-world marble floors, spiral staircases, and Grecian columns, Tate Britain is a veritable temple of British art from 1500 to today. We plan to see the major temporary exhibition – Turner’s Modern World – as well as tour the permanent collections. Highlights include Sir John Everett Millais’ Ophelia and Pre-Raphaelite portraits of mythical and literary characters. We will follow our visit with a welcome lunch at the Rex Whistler Restaurant surrounded by the mural The Expedition in Pursuit of Rare Meats. The later afternoon is at leisure before we head out in the evening to our first performance at the National Theatre. Overnight London (B, L)

Performance details
Venue: The National Theatre
Program: To be announced
Performers: To be announced

Saturday 16 January: Queen’s Gallery and Duke of Wellington’s House

Today we head to the Queen’s Gallery, constructed 40 years ago on the west front of Buckingham Palace. The Gallery has been redeveloped and was reopened by the Queen on 21 May 2002. We will then walk through Green Park to Apsley House, the home of the first Duke of Wellington, who defeated Napoléon Bonaparte in June 1815. It is also known as Number One London because it was the first house encountered from the countryside after passing the tollgates at the top of Knightsbridge. Apsley House is a palatial mansion that is today a museum dedicated to showcasing the art and treasures bestowed upon the Duke of Wellington. We will then travel to the Victoria and Albert Museum, the world’s leading museum of art and design. Overnight London (B)

Sunday 17 January : National Gallery
– Performance II

After a morning talk on today’s program, we walk to the National Gallery to visit its outstanding collection of Old Master paintings. The National Gallery’s collection is one of the world’s finest, with masterpieces from Leonardo to Turner. We will also be able to visit the Raphael exhibition, exploring Raphael’s complete career and marking the 500th anniversary of his death, with loans from the Louvre, Vatican Museum and Uffizi Museum among others. The afternoon is free before this evening’s concert at the Barbican. Overnight London (B)

Performance details
Venue: Barbican Hall
Program: To be announced
Performers: To be announced

Monday 18 January: Wallace Collection & British Museum
– Performance III

Mid-morning, we visit The Wallace Collection, a world-famous museum of 15th to 18th-century art, housed in the former residence of the Marquesses of Hertford. The collection surveys European fine and decorative art from the Renaissance to the 19th century. It has a fine collection of Italian art and some exquisite ceramics, but the most famous work in the collection is undoubtedly Frans Hals’ The Laughing Cavalier. In the afternoon we visit the British Museum, to see the exhibition Thomas Becket, marking the 850th anniversary of his dramatic assassination in Canterbury Cathedral. Tonight, we head to Covent Garden to attend the opera. Overnight London (B)

Performance details
Venue: Royal Opera House
Program: To be announced
Performers: To be announced

Tuesday 19 January: Oxford Museums and Evensong

With arguably the most famous university in the world, Oxford has been a centre of learning since 1167. This morning we travel out of London to Oxford, touring the historic university town with a fine musical history. We visit the Ashmolean Museum, Britain’s oldest public museum, displaying a rich and varied collection from the Neolithic to the present day over five floors. After lunch at the Ashmolean Rooftop Restaurant, we then tour the town with our local guide, seeing Christopher Wren’s superb Sheldonian Theatre and the Divinity School as well as a special visit to Harris Manchester College Chapel which features William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones stained glass. We will attend Evensong at Christ Church College before returning to London. Overnight London (B, L)

Wednesday 20 January: Tate Modern
– Performance IV

Today we visit Tate Modern, one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary art in the world and housed in the iconic Bankside Power Station. Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall has hosted some of the world’s most memorable and acclaimed large-scale works of art in the vast, former industrial space, transforming public perceptions about contemporary art. We will also have the opportunity to enjoy the permanent collections and a temporary exhibition. This evening we attend our final performance in London. Overnight London (B)

Performance details
Venue: To be announced
Program: To be announced
Performers: To be announced

Thursday 21 January: To Paris and Musée d’Orsay

This morning we take the high-speed train to Paris. After time to check in to our Paris hotel and freshen up, we walk to the Musée d’Orsay. When it was built in 1900, painter Edouard Detaille declared that the Gare d’Orsay looked like a palace of fine art. How appropriate that one of his paintings is now part of the exceptional collection at the Musée d’Orsay, the national museum of 19th century art. Our visit takes a thematic approach following the development of painting from the early academic paintings to the celebrated work of the Impressionists. This evening we meet for dinner in a restaurant near the hotel. Overnight Paris (B, D)

Friday 22 January: Musée Nissim de Camondo
– Performance V

Following this morning’s talk, we will visit the Musée Nissim de Camondo, a mansion commissioned by a wealthy banker, Moïse de Camondo, as a setting to showcase his collection of 18th-century furniture and objets d’art. After his death in 1935, the house and everything in it were left to the state as a museum. Today we see on display rare Sèvres porcelain, intricate Savonniere carpets, and fine gilded furniture, all well preserved and in the same configuration as when Camondo and his family lived there. The afternoon is free to explore Paris at your leisure. This evening we attend the Opéra de Paris at its main theatre at the Bastille. Overnight Paris (B)

Performance details
Venue: Opera Bastille
Program: To be announced
Performers: To be announced

Saturday 23 January: Villa Savoye & Château de Malmaison

Today we venture out into the French countryside to visit two remarkable residences. First, we travel to Poissy to the Villa Savoye. Designed as a modern take on the French country house, the Villa Savoye is perhaps architect Le Corbusier’s most famous work of the 1930s. We will break for lunch at the historic town of Saint-Germain-en-Laye before continuing to Château de Malmaison, Napoléon and Josephine Bonaparte’s private estate and, briefly, the seat of the French government. Josephine purchased the venerable property in 1799 while her husband was off fighting in Egypt. When he returned, they hired architects and decorators to renovate the dilapidated house and grounds. Josephine was given the estate after the couple divorced in 1809 and lived there until her death five years later. Overnight Paris (B)

Sunday 24 January: The Louvre

Charles V transformed an existing fortress into a royal château in the 1360s and the Palais du Louvre remained a royal residence – demolished, rebuilt and extended by successive monarchs – until Louis XIV took his court to his splendid new palace at Versailles. After the Revolution the Louvre became a public museum and today contains one of the world’s great collections of art and sculpture. Our visit this morning looks at some of the highlights of this magnificent collection followed by time to explore the collection at leisure. Later in the afternoon, Christopher leads a walking tour of the Île de la Cité, including Sainte-Chapelle and glimpses of Notre Dame cathedral, so badly damaged in a 2019 fire. Overnight Paris (B)

Monday 25 January: Palais Garnier behind the curtain
– Performance VI

The Palais Garnier is one of the most famous opera houses in the world, a symbol of Paris like Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, or the Sacré Coeur Basilica. Built from 1861 to 1875 for the Paris Opera, it became known as the Palais Garnier in recognition of its opulence and its architect, Charles Garnier. Adorned with gold leaf, coloured marble, paintings, and sculpture from the top artists of the day, the opera house was about as subtle as Versailles and sparked controversy in post-Revolutionary France. An undoubted highlight of the tour will be this morning’s private guided tour of the Palais Garnier, including a presentation of its history and architecture. Following lunch together, we will attend a performance at the Palais Garnier. Overnight Paris (B, L)

Performance details
Venue: Palais Garnier
Program: To be announced
Performers: To be announced

Tuesday 26 January: Musée Rodin and Musée Picasso
– Performance VII

This morning we visit the Musée Rodin which underwent an enormous renovation some years back that included the building and grounds, and the Rodin sculptures themselves were restored and re-presented. Highlights of the permanent collection include some of Rodin’s most treasured works: The Kiss, The Thinker, Fugit Amor and Thought and a series of sculptures portraying celebrated French writer Honoré de Balzac. Afterwards we continue to the Musée Picasso, home to the world’s largest public collection of Picasso’s works, beautifully displayed in the elegant Hôtel Salé. This evening we travel to the north-eastern edge of Paris to the Philharmonie de Paris, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel. Overnight Paris (B)

Performance details
Venue: Philharmonie de Paris
Program: To be announced
Performers: To be announced

Wednesday 27 January: Modern Paris

On our final full day in Paris, we first make our way to the Fondation Louis Vuitton. Rising up out of the Bois de Boulogne like a magnificent ship sporting billowing crystal sails, Frank Gehry’s new contemporary-art museum and cultural centre is the most captivating addition to the Parisian skyline since the unveiling of the Centre Pompidou in 1977. Later in the afternoon we travel to this iconic Centre, which houses the National Museum of Modern Art. Our visit looks at some of the major pieces in this renowned collection. We enjoy farewell drinks and dinner at the rooftop restaurant Georges, with stunning panoramic views across the city. Overnight Paris (B, D)

Thursday January 28: Departure

The tour ends after breakfast. Departing group members transfer to Charles de Gaulle Airport for outgoing flights. (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

Hotels

These fine four-star hotels have been selected principally for their central location.

Tour Inclusions

What is included in the tour price? 

Unless otherwise stated in the itinerary, our tours include the following:

  • Any flights mentioned in the itinerary that take place during a tour
  • Land travel by private air-conditioned coach. Where appropriate, taxis or public transport are also used for short distance travel on some tours
  • All accommodation in hotels or apartments as stated in the itinerary
  • Breakfasts, lunches and dinners specifically stated as included in the itinerary
  • Drinks at welcome and farewell meals. Other meals may not have drinks included
  • Background talks on tour, site notes and online resources
  • Services of tour leader throughout tour
  • All entrance fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary
  • Local guides at some sites
  • Tips for drivers, local guides and restaurants for included meals
  • Costs involved in obtaining visas for countries visited, where required and when stated as included

Airport Transfers

Tours begin either at the arrival airport or the first hotel, depending on the itinerary. If you have booked your international flights with Academy Travel and arrive before the tour commences, we will provide airport to hotel transfers to the closest main city on your arrival, and to the closest airport at the end of the tour. These may be either individual or group transfers.

What is not included in the tour price?

Our tours do not include the following:

  • Return international/domestic air travel unless those flights take place during the tour
  • Special taxes and airport levies that can only be paid in cash at the destination. We will advise you of these charges (if any) before you depart
  • Travel insurance. We require all participants to have comprehensive travel insurance. A typical policy for one of our tours will cost from $160 upwards, depending on your age, pre-existing medical conditions, the countries you are visiting and the overall length of your trip
  • Lunches and dinners not specifically mentioned as included in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
  • Costs associated with any activity mentioned as “optional” in the itinerary, or any suggested free time activity

 

Booking Conditions

You will be asked to sign an acknowledgement of these conditions when you book a place on a tour.

Deposits

A deposit of $500 per person is required to confirm your booking on a tour. Final payment of the tour fee, insurance and any additional travel will be due 60 days before departure.

Cancellation Fees

If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply:

  • More than 60 days before departure: $500*
  • 60-45 days before tour start: 25% of total amount due
  • 44-15 days before tour start: 75% of total amount due
  • 14 days or less before departure: 100% of total amount due

*This amount may be credited to another Academy Travel tour within 12 months of the original tour you booked.

Unused Portions of the tour

We regret that refunds will not be given for any unused portions of the tour, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation, flights or transfers.

Travel Insurance

Academy Travel requires all participants to obtain comprehensive travel insurance. We offer a comprehensive policy with a reputable insurer if required.

Passport and Visa

A valid passport is required for all international travel. If you do not hold an Australian passport you may require a re-entry permit. Some countries require a visa to be issued before you depart Australia. We will advise you of all passport and visa requirements, but it is your responsibility to ensure that you meet passport and visa requirements before you depart.

Will the tour price change?

If the number of participants in a tour is significantly less than budgeted, or if there is a significant change in exchange rates Academy Travel reserves the right to amend the advertised price. If this occurs you will be given the option of cancelling your booking and obtaining a full refund. If an Academy Travel tour is forced to cancel you will get a full refund of all monies paid.

Will the itinerary change?

Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of Academy Travel make it necessary to change airline, hotel or to make slight amendments to daily itineraries. We will inform you of any changes as soon as they occur.

Final Payment

Full and final payment for the tour, airfare travel, insurance and any additional travel you book is due 60 days before departure. Payment may be made by bank deposit, cheque, cash or credit card. Please note there is a surcharge for payments made by credit card.

Academy Travel reserves the right to decline the booking or terminate the holiday of any traveller. We aim to be fair and reasonable in all our dealings with our clients. We aim to provide full and accurate information about our tours and promptly provide information of any changes or alterations that take place before departure.

Tour Details

Fitness Requirement

Grade One
i

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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Bookings

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Speak to a consultant

For further information or to secure a place on this tour please contact:
Rebecca Fussell 02 9235 0023 or 1800 639 699
(outside Sydney)
rebecca@academytravel.com.au

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