London and Paris come alive in the wintertime while the tourist numbers are low, with blockbuster exhibitions and excellent performance programs designed for lovers of art and music. Explore two of the world’s great cultural capitals, from their celebrated collections to their lesser-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 like-minded travellers in these two cities.
A tale of two cities: the history of these vibrant and cosmopolitan capitals and long-time rivals
Premier ensembles in iconic venues: opera, orchestral music and theatre
Masterpieces of European art, medieval to modern, at world-class museums and in lesser-known galleries
Excellent gastronomy: fine dining in London and the proud traditions of the brasseries and bistrots of Paris
Opulent historic opera houses, including Covent Garden and the Palais Garnier; modern reinterpretations at the Opéra Bastille
Blockbuster winter exhibitions and small house museums – without the high-season crowds
Eight outstanding performances, including:
Star-studded operas at the Royal Opera House, Palais Garnier and Opéra Bastille
Fine orchestral concerts by the London Philharmonic and the Orchestre National de France
Exceptional theatre productions
Visits to world-class museums, including the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay, British Museum and the V&A
Smaller, more intimate house museums and galleries, including London’s Courtauld Institute of Art and Paris’s Musée Nissim de Camondo
Day trips to Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum and to the private apartments of the King at the Palace of Versailles
Days 1–7: In London, admire winter blockbusters at the British Museum and V&A. Attend a Covent Garden opera, fine orchestral concerts and a West End play. Survey smaller galleries, from the Royal Academy to the Wallace Collection and Dulwich Picture Galley; enjoy a day trip to Oxford’s Ashmolean and Christ Church College evensong.
Days 8–15: In Paris, spend a day exploring the Louvre. Admire the Impressionists at the Musée d’Orsay and survey collections dedicated to Rodin and Picasso. Attend performances at the Palais Garnier and Opéra Bastille, enjoy the elegant Musée Nissim de Camondo, and marvel at Versailles’ extravagance on a day trip.
A detailed itinerary for this tour is available. Click on the link above to view or download.
For this tour we recommend Emirates, Etihad, Singapore Airlines or Cathay Pacific which all have flights to London and out of Paris from most Australian cities. Contact us for quotes and bookings.
A detailed itinerary for this tour will be available in the coming months. Bookings are open for this tour, however if you would like to receive the detailed itinerary booklet once available, please register your interest below and we will send you a copy.
A former Director of the Art Gallery of South Australia and previously a curator of decorative arts. He is also an experienced cultural tour leader.
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.”
Hotels will be selected principally for their central location, often within walking distance to the museums, galleries and performance venues visited on tour. We generally use a range of 4-star hotels, suitable to group stays, throughout all our tours.
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 public transport is 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
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? Open-age 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
Costs involved in obtaining visas for countries visited, where required
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
You will be asked to sign an acknowledgement of these conditions when you book a place on a tour.
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.
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.
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.
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.