Australian Book Review – one of Australia’s leading cultural magazines – is pleased to offer a 14-day tour to Germany for readers and arts lovers, ABR supporters and their friends. The program begins in Munich, the capital of Bavaria, then moves to Weimar, home of Goethe, and then on to baroque Dresden. Our tour ends in the dynamic capital of Berlin. This exclusive tour is led by Australian Book Review‘s Editor and award-winning author Peter Rose, and former curator–museum director and experienced tour leader Christopher Menz.
A rich and varied sightseeing program has been created to include five brilliant performances – four outstanding operas and one orchestral concert by the renowned Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra led by one of the world’s leading conductors, Sir Simon Rattle. There is a strong art focus, with visits to the major art galleries in Munich, Dresden and Berlin. The itinerary of course has a literary theme, with visits to the Goethe House and the beautifully restored Anna Amalia Library in Weimar. The tour is rounded out with several meals and private events arranged through ABR. Accommodation is in four-star hotels, conveniently located for sightseeing and performance venues.
Visit the Lenbachhaus in Munich, home to the world’s largest collection of art of the Blauer Reiter (Blue Rider), one of Germany’s and indeed Europe’s most important groups of avant-garde artists in the early 20th century
Travel to the city of Bayreuth where practically everything is related in some way to its extraordinary past resident, Richard Wagner
Explore Weimar’s history as a cultural center that is centuries old
Spend time in Dresden, brimming with outstanding museums, galleries and palaces
See four exceptional operas, including Verdi’s masterpiece Rigoletto, in Dresden, and two rarely-performed operas – Janáček’s House of the Dead (Munich) and Offenbach’s Bluebeard (Berlin) – and Puccini’s inimitable Tosca in Berlin, conducted by Simone Young
ABR literary event and reception at the Embassy of Australia in Berlin
Days 1–4: The tour begins in Munich, see an opera by Janáček and spend time in the world-class art quarter visiting the Alte Pinakothek and the Neue Pinakothek as well as the Lenbachhaus.
Days 5-6: Travel to Weimar to visit the Goethe House and the Anna Amalia Library. An excursion to Wagner’s Bayreuth.
Days 7-8: In Dresden see Rigoletto at the Semperoper and visit the Old Master Picture Galley, the Albertinum and the historic Green Vault.
Days 9-14: Our tour ends in Berlin, where we see Sir Simon Rattle conduct the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and attend the opera. Visit Museum Island, the Gemäldegalerie, Schloss Tegel and attend an ABR event. Take a guided tour to explore the fascinating history of Berlin.
A limited number of places remain on this tour and as such, internet bookings are not taken. Please contact our travel consultant listed above if you wish to make a booking.
Etihad flies into Munich and out of Berlin at times that coincide with the tour. Contact us for competitive quotes and bookings.
Included meals are shown with the symbols B, L and D.
Saturday June 2: Arrive Munich
Meet your tour leaders Peter Rose and Christopher Menz for early evening drinks and dinner in the hotel. Overnight Munich (D)
Sunday June 3: Art and opera in Munich – House of the Dead
After a talk on tonight’s opera, we spend the day in Munich’s world-class art quarter, first visiting the Alte Pinakothek which holds one of the most significant art collections in the world. Among the European masterpieces on view are paintings by Dürer, Titian, Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci, Rubens and Murillo. Our next stop is the Neue Pinakothek, where French impressionists Monet, Degas, Manet are all well represented. Our day ends at the Pinakothek der Moderne, home to four outstanding museums under one cupola-topped roof: art, graphic art, architecture, and design. Overnight Munich (B)
Venue: Bavarian State Opera
Program: Janáček’s House of the Dead
Performers: Peter Rose (Goryanshikov), Ales Briscein (Morosov), Bo Skovhus (Shishkov)
Monday June 4: Munich and the Cuvilliés-Theatre
After a guided walking tour of the Bavarian capital, we have lunch at one of the many top restaurants. Afterwards, we visit the Cuvilliés-Theatre with a local guide. Built from 1751 to 1753 by François de Cuvilliés in rococo style, many lavish opera productions were performed here, including the first performances of Mozart’s Idomeneo, in 1781. Overnight Munich (B, L)
Tuesday June 5: Neo-Classicism to Fascism
In the middle of the 19th century, Munich was one of the most important art centres in Europe, and in the 1880s, Lenbach was one of the most famous artists in Germany. Today Lenbachhaus is home to the stunning collection of art from the early-20th-century Der Blaue Reiter (Blue Rider) group: Kandinsky, Klee, Jawlensky, Macke, Marc, and Münter. Next we visit the Glyptothek museum, which houses a magnificent collection of Greek and Roman sculptures. Our final stop today is the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism, a museum focusing on the fascist era. Overnight Munich (B)
Wednesday June 6: Wagner’s Bayreuth
Today we travel to Bayreuth, an elegant provincial city where Wagner chose to build his Festspielhaus, a theatre specifically designed to house his great music dramas. We will also visit Wahnfried, the villa built for him by King Ludwig, and the newly-restored Margravine’s Opera House, another jewel of rococo architecture. In the late afternoon we arrive in Weimar with time to take a stroll through the town before dinner. Overnight Weimar (B, D)
Thursday June 7: Weimar Classicism
The city of Weimar was a focal point of the German Enlightenment and home of the leading characters of the literary genre of Weimar Classicism, the writers Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller. We take a guided tour of Weimar, then in the afternoon visit the beautifully reconstructed Anna Amalia Library followed by the Goethe House, where Johann Wolfgang von Goethe worked, studied, researched and penned Faust and other works. Our days touring ends at the Nietzsche Archive, dedicated to the life and work of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Overnight Weimar (B)
Friday June 8: Art and Opera in Dresden – Rigoletto
This morning we depart for Dresden, a city of baroque splendor sitting on a wide sweep of the Elbe River. We arrive in Dresden and take a guided walking tour of the historic Old Town, visiting the Frauenkirche, the Dresden Castle and the Zwinger Palace. The latter contains the superb Old Masters Picture Gallery with masterpieces by Raphael, Giorgione, Titian, Van Eyck, Rubens, Rembrandt, Vermeer and others. This evening at the historic Semperoper we see Verdi’s operatic masterpiece Rigoletto. Overnight Dresden (B, L)
Venue: Semperoper Dresden
Program: Verdi’s Rigoletto
Performers: Stephen Costello (Duca di Mantova), Markus Marquardt (Rigoletto), Elena Gorshunova (Gilda)
Saturday June 9: Dresden treasures
After a morning talk, we continue our exploration of Dresden starting with the Albertinum, the New Masters Gallery, which displays an arc of painting by some of the great names in art from the 18th century onwards. Caspar David Friedrich and Claude Monet’s landscapes compete with the abstract visions of Marc Chagall and Gerhard Richter. After a break for lunch, we visit the Historic Green Vault, a treasure-trove of fine and decorative arts, including one of the world’s finest collections of jewels. Overnight Dresden (B)
Sunday June 10: Opera in Berlin – Bluebeard
Mid-day we make the short journey to Berlin, a fascinating city with a rich and complex history. We have lunch together after an orientation walk. The later afternoon is free to relax before this evening’s opera, the rarely performed Bluebeard. Overnight Berlin (B, L)
Berlin is one of the most interesting and diverse of all the great capitals of Europe, and is currently enjoying a major cultural renaissance. This morning a local guide takes us on a walking and coach tour of Berlin. There will be a particular focus on the sites that shaped Germany’s history in the 20th century, including the Reichstag and the Berlin Wall. In the evening ABR presents a major literary event at the Australian Embassy. Overnight Berlin (B)
Tuesday June 12: Schloss Tegel
This morning we head to the outskirts of Berlin to Schloss Tegel, a privately-owned residence that is an architectural gem by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, the Prussian court architect. Schloss Tegel was the summer residence for the von Humbolt family and where Wilhelm von Humboldt, the philosopher, linguist and founder of the Berlin University, and his brother, the natural scientist Alexander von Humboldt, spent their childhood. In the evening attend an ABR Literary event and reception at the Embassy of Australia. Overnight Berlin (B)
Wednesday June 13: Museum Island – Tosca
On the site of one of Berlin’s two original settlements, this unique complex of five state museums is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a must-visit in Berlin. See the German Historical Museum with its rich and superbly displayed collection on the history of Germany. We also visit the Egyptian Museum to see the famous bust of Nefertiti in the splendid Neues Museum, restored by British architect David Chipperfield, and the Old National Gallery to see German 19th-century Romantic art and the unsurpassed collection of landscape paintings by Caspar David Friedrich. Tonight, we head to the recently re-opened Staatsoper unter den Linden for Puccini’s melodrama Tosca (tickets on sale October 2017), under the musical leadership of Simone Young. Overnight Berlin (B)
Venue: Staatsoper unter den Linden
Program: Puccini’s Tosca
Performers: Adrianne Pieczonka (Tosca), David Oštrek (Angelotti), Jan Martiník (Mesner)
Thursday June 14: Farewell Berlin – Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Our time in Berlin culminates with a farewell lunch atop the Reichstag, seat of the German parliament. After lunch we head to the Gemäldegalerie art museum to tour the stunning collection of European paintings that includes masterpieces by Botticelli, Raphael, Caravaggio, Breughel, Vermeer and Rembrandt. We then walk across to the Philharmonie concert hall to see one of the world’s leading conductors, Sir Simon Rattle, with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in concert in his farewell season. Overnight Berlin (B, L)
Venue: Berlin Philharmonie
Program: Works by Dvořák, Turnage and Brahms
Performers: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Simon Rattle (conductor), Krystian Zimerman (piano)
Friday June 15: Departure
The tour ends after breakfast. Departing group members transfer to Berlin airport for outgoing flights (B)
One of Australia’s leading literary figures, Peter is an award-winning poet, memoirist and novelist. Since 2001 he has been Editor of Australian Book Review.
Peter Rose is the Editor and CEO of Australian Book Review. His books include a family memoir, Rose Boys (2001), which won the National Biography Award in 2003. He has published two novels and six poetry collections, most recently The Subject of Feeling (UWA Publishing, 2015).
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 Director of the Art Gallery of South Australia (2005–10) and in 2011–12 was Acting Director of The Ian Potter Museum of Art, The University of Melbourne. Prior to these roles, he held curatorial positions at the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of South Australia, and the National Gallery of Victoria, specialising in decorative arts. He has published extensively on the decorative arts, notably the design work of William Morris, and is a regular contributor to ABR. In 2016 Christopher led the ABR/Academy Travel tour to the United States.
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.