Jan 9 - 22, 2023
14 days
$9,480per person, twin share (land content only). $2,690 supplement for sole use of a hotel room.

Tour Leader

Dr Michael Adcock
Jan 9 - 22, 2023

Tour Leader

Dr Michael Adcock$9,480per person, twin share (land content only). $2,690 supplement for sole use of a hotel room.
  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Tour Leader
  • Hotels
  • Inclusions

Overview

Unpack your bags and discover centuries of fine art, architecture and history in Paris on our popular residential-style tour.

Go beyond a superficial treatment of tourist hot-spots with historian and Francophile Dr Michael Adcock, to understand why Paris occupies a central place on the European stage. From its emergence as a medieval centre of power and knowledge, as witnessed at Sainte-Chapelle, to its twentieth-century history as a crucible for modern art, Paris has always embraced both tradition and innovation.

Over 14 days in a centrally-located hotel in a Hausmann-era building, explore historical and cultural sites in depth with an expert, including an entire day in the Louvre and two full-day excursions to Reims and Versailles. There is ample time to discover lesser-known sites, such as the Canal Saint Martin, and to enjoy stand-out performances of opera and ballet. Off-season travel ensures that you get the most out of your experience, with Paris’s charming and sophisticated atmosphere unaffected by the usual crowds.

COVID-19? Book with confidence
If Government imposed COVID-19 restrictions mean that we cannot run a tour, or that you cannot travel to join a tour, then you will be given a 100% refund of all monies paid to Academy Travel for your tour.

Vaccination requirements
Academy Travel requires all participants on its tours to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. We reserve the right to inspect your digital vaccination certificate.

Highlights

Treasures of medieval Paris

Visit Sainte-Chapelle and the extensive collections of the Musée de Cluny, to understand how kings, monastic orders and a university preserved a legacy of power and wealth.

Paris beyond the guidebook

Cruise down the Canal Saint Martin from La Villette to the Seine, where few tourists venture to explore Napoleon’s network of inner-urban canals.

Reims and Champagne

Journey north to Reims, admiring the Gothic cathedral with stained glass from the thirteenth century to Chagall, and savouring a tour and tasting at Maison Taittinger.

World-class art, from medieval to modern

Spend a full day admiring the Louvre’s superlative collection and deepen your appreciation of modern and contemporary art at the Musée d’Orsay, Pompidou and Quai Branly.

The glory of Versailles

Marvel at Louis XIV’s dazzling reflection at the Royal Palace at Versailles, its Hall of Mirrors and extensive gardens outstanding examples of the French Baroque.

 

Start & Finish

The tour begins at 7pm on Monday January 9 at Hotel Le Six, Paris.
The tour ends on January 22, after breakfast at the hotel.

Emirates and Qatar Airways offer the best connections between Australian cities and Europe. Contact us for bookings and quotes.

Detailed Itinerary

Monday 9 January – Arrival

Flights arrive in Paris today. We meet in the early evening for a welcome drink and canapés in our hotel. (C)

Tuesday 10 January – The Historic Heart of Paris

Today’s exploration of medieval Paris will start with a visit to the little church of St. Julien the Poor, built in the 12th century, and the last remaining example of the original network of parish churches of medieval Paris. We will then cross the Seine River to view the exterior only of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame. From here, we will go on to visit the superb secular medieval architecture of the original Palace of the Conciergerie, with its soaring Gothic halls. Nearby, we will visit the breathtaking Holy Chapel, with its gem-like programme of 13th century stained-glass windows. We shall then proceed to the Left Bank to explore some of the remnants of streets and churches of the area known as the Latin Quarter in medieval Paris. We will conclude with a visit to the Cluny Museum, one of the world’s richest institutions devoted solely to the art of the Middle Ages, and beautifully housed in the splendid 15th-century Cluny Mansion. Returning to our hotel there is time to relax before we make our way to Montparnasse and enjoy the view as we dine at the Ciel de Paris Restaurant at the top of the Montparnasse Tower, offering 360o views across Paris to the Eiffel Tower. (B, D)

Wednesday 11 January – The Marais

After a stroll through the Place des Vosges we visit the Musée Carnavalet, a unique museum charting the history of Paris to 1789, housed in two former hôtels. Our walking tour then takes us past many of the other mansions in this diverse quartier before we stop at the Hôtel Donon, an exquisite residence displaying the art and antiques collection of Ernst Cognacq and his wife Louise Jay, founders of the La Samaritaine department store. This evening we attend an opera or ballet performance (details to be confirmed later in 2022). (B)

Thursday 12 January – Reims

Our journey today takes us to Reims, an ancient university town north-east of Paris where Clovis, King of the Franks, was baptised in 496 and twenty-five French monarchs were crowned. Here we explore the many highlights of this lovely town including the superb UNESCO world heritage listed Gothic cathedral and the former bishop’s residence, now an excellent museum. We also visit the Basilique St Remi, which dates from 1007. Reims is also the heart of France’s Champagne region, so we’ll enjoy a tour and tasting at the famous champagne house, Maison Taittinger, before we rejoin our train for Paris. The evening is at leisure. (B)

Friday 13 January – The Louvre

Charles V transformed an existing fortress into a royal chateau 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. Tonight, we meet for dinner in a local restaurant. (B, D)

Saturday 14 January – Palais Royal & Jacquemart-André Museum

This morning, we visit the precinct of the Palais-Royal. Built for Cardinal Richelieu, the Palais was also the childhood home of Louis XIV and became the venue for lively parties thrown by the Regent, Phillipe d’Orléans, before being developed in the 18th century into one of the first purpose-built shopping promenades in the world. This afternoon we visit the Jacquemart-André Museum, which displays a fine collection of paintings, including works by Botticelli, Canaletto, Donatello, Jacques-Louis David and Rembrandt, in the palatial splendour of a private dwelling. We also enjoy afternoon tea in the museum’s sumptuous tea salon, decorated with tapestries and a ceiling painted by Tiepolo. The evening is at leisure. (B)

Sunday 15 January – Versailles

This morning we travel out to Versailles. Built by the French Monarchy at the moment of its greatest splendour the harmonious composition of château and landscape make Versailles one of the definitive examples of French Classicism.  Our visit takes us through the imposing interiors, including the vast 19th-century Gallery of Battles, a grandiose picture gallery devoted to the history of France. A highlight of our visit is a special to the Kings chamber, a dazzling reflection of the Kings glory, with sparkling half of mirrors which contributed to the fame of the Sun King’s Palace. After a break for lunch in the area adjacent to the château we visit the often-forgotten Jeu de Paume museum, where the Tennis Court Oath was signed in 1789. Returning to Paris the evening is at leisure (B)

Monday 16 January – At Leisure

Today is a free day for individual sightseeing. Your tour leader will be able to help you with suggestions on what to see and do today. (B)

Tuesday 17 January – Musee D’Orsay

When it was built in 1900, painter Edmund 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. After a talk in our hotel, we make our way to the museum where our visit takes a thematic approach following the development of painting from the early academic paintings to the celebrated work of the Impressionists. We’ll have lunch in the museum’s lavishly appointed restaurant then the afternoon is free for you to explore the collection further. The evening is at leisure (B, L)

Wednesday 18 January – La Villette and the Canal Saint Martin

Walking down the grand boulevards and through the small back streets it is easy to overlook the importance of the waterways to the evolution of Paris. The Canal Saint Martin was built in the time of Napoleon I to supply fresh water to the growing population of the city, funded by a tax on wine.  Today the streets around the canal in the 10th arrondissement are full of cafes and boutiques and the area is a popular destination for Parisians on sunny days. After a leisurely morning we travel to La Villette, in the lively 19th arrondissement, where we join our boat and then cruise down the canals and through the locks to the quay near the Musée d’Orsay. This evening we meet for dinner at a local restaurant. (B, D)

Thursday 19 January – Republic of Pleasure

Beyond the clichés and tourist tat, Montmartre has a fascinating and colourful story to tell. The site where Saint Denis was believed to have been beheaded by the Romans and crowned by the basilica of Sacre-Coeur, Mons Martyrium was also the birthplace of Parisian bohemia, cabaret and, arguably, of modern art. Our guided walking tour takes us through the winding, cobbled streets and past the diverse facades. We also visit the small Musée de Montmartre, housed in a 17th-century manor house overlooking Montmartre’s vineyard. There is the option to visit the cemetery, where the graves of Stendhal, Alexandre Dumas, Degas, Nijinsky, Berlioz and Francois Truffaut reflect the character of the quartier. This evening we enjoy a cabaret or concert performance. (B)

Friday 20 January – Modern Masters

Today we visit two smaller museums in which the work of two modern masters is beautifully displayed.  August Rodin bought the 18th-century Hôtel Biron in 1908, using the residence as a home and studio until his death in 1917. He donated his entire collection of sculptures together with a number of significant paintings to the French State and the Musée Rodin opened in 1919. Recently restored, the house and gardens make a beautiful backdrop to his work.  In lieu of payment, Pablo Picasso’s family chose to offset a sizeable inheritance tax debt by donating a vast collection of his works encompassing all the major periods of his work. The Musée Picasso, housed in the 17th– century Hôtel Salé. Evening at leisure. (B)

21 January – A Very Grand Project

French presidents have become known for their grands projets, large and expensive architectural statements built in their name and usually inaugurated by their successor. In 1977 Valéry Giscard d’Estaing opened a radically modern building designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers in the Beaubourg District. The complex, named for his predecessor Georges Pompidou, houses the Museum of Modern Art. Our visit this morning looks at some of the major pieces in this renowned collection followed by free time to browse. In the later afternoon we make our way to another grand projet, Jacques Chirac’s Musée du Quai Branly, designed by Jean Nouvel.  We have time to explore some highlights of the museum’s ethnographic collection before retiring to the panoramic roof terrace restaurant where we enjoy our farewell dinner. (B, D)

Sunday 22 January – Departure

Our tour ends today. Transfers are available to Charles de Gaulle airport for those meeting departing flights. (B)

 

Dr Michael Adcock

An historian who specialises in 18th to 20th century Europe and the political role of art in times of rapid social change.

Dr Michael Adcock is a social and cultural historian with over ten years’ experience in leading residential study tours in Paris and France. He has a strong interest in the interpretation of the arts in the context of the political and social moment in which they were created.

Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts (Combined First-Class Honours in French and History), a Master of Arts (French History) and a Doctor of Philosophy (French History), all from the University of Melbourne. He has held a post as lecturer-in-charge at the University of Melbourne, where he presented courses on the French Revolution and on French society and culture in the 19th and 20th centuries. He is currently Head of History and Head of Humanities at Melbourne Grammar School. In 2013, he was awarded the prestigious History Teachers’ Association of Victoria award for Excellence in the Teaching of History.

Michael led his first Academy Travel tour to Paris in 2006, although this had been preceded by some ten visits, many of them residential trips for the purposes of academic research. During this time, Michael came to know the city in depth, and has since found great intellectual satisfaction in introducing people to its treasures and, perhaps more importantly, in teaching them how to navigate the city so that they may return to travel independently on a future occasion.

We asked Michael what he enjoys most about leading tours?

“I love the feeling of a tour that unfolds with the regularity of clockwork. I like to see people swept along effortlessly on a seamless unfolding of vivid travel experiences. For me, tour leading is not hard work, but a real professional joy. I sometimes feel rather like the operators who provide the New Year’s Eve fireworks display on Sydney Harbour, in the sense that I carefully plan the sequence of spectacles, and then orchestrate them one by one until the whole makes up a dazzling display of French history.”

View Bio & Upcoming Tours

Hotels

Hotel Le Six has been carefully selected, a centrally located hotel within walking distance of many attractions, restaurants, and cafés.

Hotel Le Six, Paris (13 nights)

Tour Inclusions

What is included in the tour price? 

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

All tours

  • All accommodation at properties mentioned in the itinerary
  • Land travel by private air-conditioned coach. Taxis may also be used for short trips on some tours. Some city stay tours may involve local transport
  • All breakfasts
  • Lunches and dinners indicated with the letters L and D in the itinerary
  • Beer, wine and soft drinks at sit-down lunches and dinners. Picnic and light lunches may not include alcoholic drinks
  • Services of tour leader throughout tour
  • All entrance fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary
  • Local guides at some sites
  • All tips for drivers, local guides and restaurants for included meals

On international tours only

  • Costs involved in obtaining visas for countries visited, where required, and when stated as included
  • Background talks on tour, site notes and online resources
  • Any flights mentioned in the itinerary that take place during a tour
  • Some trips may be made by public transport such as high-speed train and subway

What is not included in the tour price?

Our tours do not include the following:

  • Air or land travel from your home city to the tour start/end points
  • Local taxes and airport levies that we are not able to prepay on your behalf. We will advise you of these charges (if any) before you depart
  • Lunches and dinners not specifically indicated with the letters L or D in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses such as passports, laundry and phone calls
  • Costs associated with any activity mentioned as “optional” in the itinerary, or any suggested free time activity
  • Airport Transfers on international tours
  • Tours may begin at either the arrival airport or the first hotel. 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

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, 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.

Travel Insurance

We require all tour participants to have adequate insurance coverage.

  • For domestic tours, Medicare and your private medical insurance should be used to cover any medical expenses.
  • Domestic travel insurance is available and strongly recommended to cover non-medical expenses such as cancellation.
  • For international tours, we require you to have comprehensive travel insurance. Prices vary according to your age, your pre-existing medical conditions, the countries you are visiting and the length of your journey abroad.

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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More information?

The consultant for this tour is Hannah Kleboe. For further information or to have the consultant call you, please email.
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