Join us for a fortnight in the world’s most dynamic cultural city, attending the very best in opera, symphony concerts and drama while visiting some of the world’s top art and history museums and dining in a selection of the city’s best restaurants. Accommodation is in spacious premier-plus rooms at the Warwick Hotel on 54th Street in midtown Manhattan. The location is perfect for theatre and concert goers, being within walking distance of major performance venues, art galleries and some of the city’s architectural icons.
Eight outstanding performances: opera, orchestral concerts, plays and a Broadway musical
New York’s marvellous architectural heritage, with a focus on art deco, modern and contemporary
A breathtaking array of visual arts, ranging from the European Old Masters to 20th-century classics and the cutting-edge contemporary scene
A survey of New York’s food scene, from historic venues to Michelin three-star establishments
New York’s excellent small museums
Seven outstanding performances
Each year we offer a wonderful line up of performances, spanning operatic and orchestral classics, quality drama and a Broadway musical. This itinerary will be updated during 2017 as performance details become available. The performance program will be finalised when details of stage plays become available in November 2017.
The spectacular Franco Zeffirelli production of Puccini’s Turandot at the Metropolitan Opera
Legendary pianist Marta Argerich and violinist Itshak Perlman in recital at Carnegie Hall
Handel’s baroque masterpiece Rinaldo, in a concert performance at Carnegie Hall
A new production of a Broadway musical, selected from the 2017-18 season
Two new productions of plays selected from the 2017-18 season
An evening of jazz in the elegant Appel Room overlooking Central Park
The itinerary includes some of the world’s top art and history museums and dining in a selection of the city’s best restaurants.
Art, Architecture and History
Private out-of-hours viewing of the Museum of Modern Art with a museum lecturer
Day-trip north to Westchester County and the Rockefeller Estate at Kykuit
Curator-led tour of The Cloisters, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exquisite medieval collection
Remarkable small galleries, including The Frick Collection and the Neue Museum
The Cooper-Hewitt design museum, housed in Andrew Carnegie’s 5th Avenue mansion
Architectural walking tours of The Financial District, Midtown Art Deco, SoHo, Chelsea and the High Line
Three fine meals
Lunch at The Boathouse restaurant in Central Park
Lunch at the Michelin two-star restaurant The Modern, inside the Museum of Modern Art
Degustation dinner at the Michelin three-star restaurant, Eleven Madison Park, recently rated as the best restaurant in the world
In addition, lunches at the historic Fraunces Tavern and the Morgan Library
A detailed itinerary for this tour is available. Click on the link above to view or download.
Qantas and United Airlines fly regularly to the East Coast. Contact us for competitive quotes and bookings.
Included meals are shown with the symbols B, L and D.
Wednesday March 14: Arrive New York
Flights from Australia arrive in New York in the late afternoon. In the early evening, we gather for drinks in the hotel bar. If you have arrived early we suggest you take one of the many harbour cruises available in Manhattan, and can particularly recommend the AIA tour. The Staten Island Ferry, the Museum of Natural History and going up the Empire State Building are other iconic New York offerings not specifically covered on our tour that you might consider visiting beforehand. Academy Travel can arrange bookings.
Thursday March 15: Downtown – Musical
We begin our exploration of New York’s unique history and architecture in the downtown area, where the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam was founded in the 17th-century. We walk down some of New York’s oldest streets, learning the history of the Dutch and British colonies and visiting sites such as the elegant beaux-arts style Customs House, Wall Street, the 9/11 Memorial, Trinity Church and the site of George Washington’s inauguration. Lunch and an introductory lecture will be at the historic Fraunces Tavern, one of New York’s oldest remaining buildings and where Washington famously farewelled his officers prior becoming the first president of the newly independent USA. This evening we kick off our performances with a new production of a Broadway musical, to be selected from the 2017-18 season. (B, L)
Venue: A Broadway theatre
Program: To be announced October 2017
Performers: To be announced October 2017
Friday March 16: Frick Museum and Central Park
This morning be begin with a visit the Frick Collection, a unique museum of European old masters’ paintings of very highest quality, displayed in the former private home of Pittsburgh entrepreneur Henry Clay Frick. The house and its staggering art collection epitomise the taste and wealth of America’s ‘Gilded Age’ from 1890-1929, and is an exemplar of the opulent mansions that once dominated the Upper East side. We then head to Central Park for a late lunch at the Boathouse restaurant. Weather permitting, we will stroll home through Central Park, whose landscaping has been described as New York’s largest work of art, and take in some of the carefully sculpted vistas the park provides, as well as notable areas like Strawberry Fields and the Bethesda Terrace. This evening there is the option of catching a Broadway show, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly at the Met Opera, or a chamber concert at Barge Music in Brooklyn. (B, L)
Saturday March 17: Midtown Art Deco – Broadway Play
This morning we begin with a lecture in the lecture in the Rockefeller Center, and we explore some of the Beaux-Arts and Art-Deco architecture of New York’s midtown district, including icons such as the Waldorf Astoria, Rockefeller Center, the GE Building, the New York Public Library and the Chrysler Building. We also look at mid-century architectural masterpieces by Mies Van der Rohe, Gordon Bunschaft and Phillip Johnson, as well as the United Nations Complex. The late afternoon is free. This evening we head to a theatre in Broadway to see a new production from the 2017-18 season. On previous tours, plays have included classic American plays by Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Eugene O’Neill and Edward Albee, starring performers such as Glenn Close, Helen Mirren, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sally Field, Ben Whisaw and John Lithgow. (B)
Venue: A Broadway Theater
Program: Play, to be announced October 2017
Performers: to be announced October 2017
Sunday March 18: Neue Galerie and the Cooper-Hewitt
Today we visit two small museums on the Upper East Side. The Neue Galerie holds a fine collection of Viennese art-nouveau and Secessionist art from the early 20th-century, including Klimt’s masterpiece, the portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer. It also hosts very interesting exhibitions. In the afternoon, we visit the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum. Part of the Smithsonian Institution’s museum network, this superb design museum is located in steel baron Andrew Carnegie’s elegant Fifth Avenue mansion, itself an interesting historic site. For those interested, there will be an optional walk in the morning to take in some of the top sights on 5th Avenue, long a home of the finest shopping and accommodation in the city, including the Plaza Hotel, Bergdorf Goodman, Tiffany’s and the now infamous Trump Tower (B).
Monday March 19: Soho to Chelsea
After a morning lecture, we continue our exploration of New York’s neighbourhoods with a coach and walking tour of the cast-iron architecture of Soho, Washington Square, Greenwich Village and Chelsea, as well as stopping by the Merchant’s House Museum and Flatiron Building on the way. In Chelsea, we’ll stroll the High Line, an urban park created from a disused industrial railway, compete with plants and art work that overlooks a rapidly changing area of the city. The slick apartments buildings on either side of the High Line are a showcase of contemporary architecture, with buildings by Renzo Piano, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid and many others on view. There will be opportunity for you to lunch and shop at the Chelsea Markets. (B)
Tuesday March 20: The Metropolitan Museum of Art – Jazz at the Lincoln Center
We spend the morning at The Cloisters, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s medieval department, located on the northern tip of Manhattan, featuring a collection of medieval works of art and sculpture that is easily the rival of many European collections. On the way to the Cloisters we call in at the Riverside Church, built in the gothic style with funds provided by the pious Baptist John D. Rockefeller. Adjacent is the tomb of Civil War hero Ulysses S Grant. We then travel to the Metropolitan Museum’s main campus, where we’ll explore the impressive American Wing and a selection of the museum’s 54 departments. A free afternoon will follow to allow you time to explore this vast and encyclopaedic collection of the world’s art and culture. This evening we enjoy an evening of Swing or Jazz music at the Appel Room at Jazz at the Lincoln Center complex. Overlooking Central Park, the musical temperature rises as the sun sets over Manhattan. (B)
Venue: Appel Room, Jazz at the Lincoln Center
Program: Jazz band and/or vocalists, to be announced November 2017
Performers: to be announced November 2017
Wednesday March 21: Lower East Side and Ellis Island – Puccini’s Turandot
Today we explore the rich history of immigration and cultural interchange that has defined much of New York’s unique history and peoples. We begin with a tour of the Lower East Side, long a hub for new immigrants to the city, and explore Little Italy and Chinatown, as well as take a visit to the Tenement Museum, a remarkably preserved example of the 19th century immigrant experience. We’ll also take the opportunity to take in some of the Jewish heritage in the area, such as the Eldridge Street Synagogue and Katz’s Delicatessen. In the afternoon, we’ll take the ferry out to Ellis Island, now maintained as a National Park unit. Ellis Island was the port of entry for millions of immigrants to the United States and now stands as a permanent museum of their lives and stories. This evening we make our way to the Metropolitan Opera for the spectacular Franco Zeffirelli production of Puccini’s Turandot. Soprano Martina Serafin, with tenor Marcelo Álvarez tackling the celebrated aria Nessun Dorma. (B, L)
Venue: The Metropolitan Opera
Program: Puccini, Turandot
Performers: Martina Serafin, Marcelo Álvarez, Guanqun Yu (Liu)
Thursday March 22: Morgan Library – Carnegie Hall
This morning after a final lecture on New York we visit the exquisite Morgan Library, containing a wonderful treasury of extremely rare manuscripts and books collected by the banker J.P. Morgan. Ranging from ancient cuneiform tablets to key documents of American history, this is one of the world’s great bibliographic collections. Morgan’s collection is housed in several exquisite and connected buildings, beginning with Charles McKim’s Renaissance-style rotunda of 1906, flowing into Renzo Piano’s light-filled 2006 atrium. We stay for lunch in the Morgan’s elegant restaurant. This evening we head to historic Carnegie Hall to hear two of the world’s finest instrumentalists present a recital of chamber works, including Bach and Franck. (B, L)
Venue: Carnegie Hall
Program: Chamber works, including violin sonatas by Back and Franck
Performers: Marta Argerich, piano and Itzhak Perlman, violin
Friday March 23: MoMA Private Viewing – Broadway Play
A highlight of our tour is this morning’s private tour of MoMA, New York’s famous Museum of Modern Art. Before the doors open to the public, a museum lecturer guides us through the museum’s greatest works, ranging from the early pioneers and masters like Cezanne and Van Gogh, to cutting edge contemporary pieces. After the tour, you are free to spend the entire day at MoMA if you wish. Lunch is at the Museum’s excellent restaurant The Modern. This Michelin two-star restaurant overlooks the MoMA’s sculpture courtyard as is certain to be one of the culinary highlights of the tour. This evening we return to Broadway for a second play, selected from the 2017-18 season. (B, L)
Venue: A Broadway theatre
Program: New production selected from the 2017 season
Performers: To be announced October 2017
Saturday March 24: A Day in Brooklyn
Brooklyn was first developed as an independent city, becoming part of New York only in 1898. Today Brooklyn native Joe Svehlak shows us its elegant precincts including Prospect Park, wealthy Park Slopes, the area Down Under Below the Manhattan Bridge Overpass (DUMBO) and Brooklyn Heights – home to writers, artists and millions of immigrants. Weather permitting, we’ll walk back to Manhattan over the Brooklyn Bridge, a wonder in is own right, and take a walk around the landmarks in the Civic Precinct, including the Woolworth Building and City Hall. The evening is free, with lots of entertainment offerings available, including Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte at the Metropolitan Opera, Barge Music in Dumbo or a dance performance. (B)
An early departure this morning to catch the 8.00am sung service at the Convent Avenue Baptist Church in Harlem. Our Palm Sunday service will feature traditional choir, gospel, a vibrant congregation and a thundering sermon delivered by the pastor, the Rev Dr Jesse T Williams Jr. After a free morning, we return to Carnegie Hall in the afternoon for a final performance. The renowned baroque music group, the English Concert, performs a concert version of Handel’s Rinaldo, a tale of knights and damsels set in the age of crusades. This evening we farewell New York with a dining highlight of the tour – a degustation dinner at Eleven Madison Park. Recently Eleven Madison Park was rated at the world’s best restaurant in a leading annual survey. Our degustation menu features locally sourced produce prepared and presented in innovative ways. (B, D)
Venue: Carnegie Hall
Program: Handel, Rinaldo, in concert
Performers: The English Concert, directed by Harry Bicket
Monday March 26: Top of the Rock – Departure
Late this morning we visit the ‘Top of the Rock’ observatory for 360-degree views over Manhattan, Long Island and New Jersey, located within the Rockefeller Center. In the mid-afternoon, there is a transfer to JFK airport for those departing New York. (B)
Dr Matthew Laing
Is a historian and political scientist with a PhD from the ANU. Matthew leads tours to the United States and Scandinavia and lectures for Academy Travel.
In 2007 he spent six months in Washington as a congressional intern and has travelled extensively in the North East USA. He has lectured at the ANU’s Centre for Continuing Education and led tours in Australia and the USA.
Our four-star hotel is very conveniently located in midtown Manhattan, on 54th Street. We have booked premier-plus grade rooms. These are large and comfortable, each with modern amenities. The hotel is in walking distance of many of New York’s most popular attractions. The hotel has just completed a major renovation. The Warwick has an interesting history. It was built in 1926 for newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, primarily as a residence for his Hollywood friends, among whom was his mistress Marion Davies. Over the years guests have included James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor, Elvis Presley and The Beatles. Actor Cary Grant lived in the Warwick for 12 years.
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.