Dec 21, 2020 - Jan 4, 2021
15 days
$10,990per person, twin share (land content only). $2,590 supplement for sole use of a hotel room.

Tour Leader

Robert Gay
Dec 21, 2020 - Jan 4, 2021

Tour Leader

Robert Gay$10,990per person, twin share (land content only). $2,590 supplement for sole use of a hotel room.
  • Tour Info
  • Itinerary
  • Tour Leader
  • Hotels
  • Inclusions


Academy Travel is delighted to offer its musical Christmas and New Year tour. This 15-day tour visits three of the great musical capitals of Central Europe – Salzburg, Prague and Vienna – each of which will be decked in their festive season finery. The itinerary begins in Salzburg, Mozart’s birthplace and a delightful alpine city, followed by Prague, where we explore its rich musical heritage, then progress to our final base, Vienna, which combines an unrivalled musical heritage with spectacular New Year celebrations. Nine performances – of opera, ballet and orchestral music – are included.



Best available tickets to:

In Salzburg

  • Two performances, including an opera at the Landestheater

In Prague

  • Two performances at the National Theatre
  • A performance at the Estates Theatre

In Vienna/Bratislava

  • An opera at the Vienna State Opera
  • The Vienna Symphony Orchestra’s New Year’s Eve concert at the Konzerthaus
  • The New Year’s Day concert at the Reduta Concert Hall in Bratislava
  • A ballet at the Vienna State Opera

Itinerary Overview

Days 1–4: In Salzburg, visit Mozart’s family home. Excursion to the Salzkammergut district. Performances at the Landestheater.

Days 5–9: In Prague, explore the Castle District and Municipal House. Enjoy performances at the Estates Theatre and National Theatre.

Days 10–15: In Vienna, visit the Beethoven Museum and survey the collections of the Kunsthistorisches Museum. Marvel at the spectacular view of the fireworks over a New Year’s Eve dinner; take a day trip to Bratislava for a New Year’s Day concert at the fine Reduta Concert Hall. Excursion to Baden for lunch in a typical winery. Two performances at the celebrated Vienna State Opera.

Detailed Itinerary

Start & Finish

The tour begins at our hotel in Salzburg and ends at our hotel in Vienna. Qantas and Emirates both offer suitable connections into Salzburg and out of Vienna, from most Australian cities. Contact us for quotes and bookings.

Detailed Itinerary

Included meals are shown with the symbols B, L, D and C for canapés.

Monday December 21: Arrival

Transfers to the hotel are included for those booking flights with Academy Travel and can be arranged for those who have booked their own flights. In the early evening, tour members meet in the hotel for welcome drinks and canapés with Robert Gay. Overnight Salzburg (C)

Tuesday December 22: Salzburg’s Musical Heritage
– Performance I

Besides being Mozart’s birthplace and home to a famous music festival, Salzburg is quite simply one of the most beautiful small cities in the world. After a morning talk on this evening’s performance, we take a guided walking tour of the city focusing on the sites associated with Mozart and other musicians. We see the delightful Mirabell Gardens and take a stroll along the Getreidegasse. We also stop at St Peter’s Church and Salzburg Cathedral, both important in the musical life of a city ruled by a prince-archbishop. After our welcome lunch in a local restaurant, we visit the Mozart residence, where Leopold Mozart and his family lived from 1773. Our performance this evening is at the Landestheater. Overnight Salzburg (B, L)

Performance details
Venue: Landestheater
Program: to be announced
Performers: to be announced

Wednesday December 23: The Salzkammergut Lake District
– Performance II

Today we travel to the stunning Salzkammergut lake district to visit two picturesque villages on the lovely Wolfgansee. We stroll through St Gilgen, where Mozart’s mother was born, before driving to St Wolfgang where we have lunch at the famous White Horse Inn. After lunch, we visit the local church to see its superb painted wooden altarpiece. We return to Salzburg in the late afternoon for our second performance at the Landestheater. Overnight Salzburg (B, L)

Performance details
Venue: Landestheater
Program: to be announced
Performers: to be announced

Thursday December 24: Salzburg

Today is free for you to explore Salzburg at your own pace. The delightful Christmas markets will be open, or you may decide to take the funicular up to Hohensalzburg Castle to enjoy the wonderful views. In the afternoon you might chose to relax in one of Salzburg’s famous coffee houses. This evening we gather for a traditional Christmas Eve dinner. Overnight Salzburg (B, D)

Friday December 25: To Prague

Merry Christmas! After a relaxing Christmas Day breakfast, we depart mid-morning for Prague. We have opted to travel on this day because with the major sites, theatres, restaurants and shops closed, there is less traffic on the roads, making it the ideal day to travel to our next city. This evening we enjoy Christmas Dinner in the hotel’s beautiful Art Deco restaurant. Overnight Prague (B, D)

Saturday December 26: Old Town Prague
– Performance III

After a talk on this evening’s performance, we explore the magnificent city of Prague. With its gothic spires, elaborate baroque domes and winding, cobbled streets, it is one of Europe’s most perfectly preserved cities. We take a guided walking tour through the Old Town, ending on the far side of the Charles Bridge in the charming small district known as the Lesser Town. The later afternoon is at leisure before this evening’s performance at the historic Estates Theatre, where two of Mozart’s operas premiered. Overnight Prague (B)

Performance details
Venue: Estates Theatre
Program: to be announced
Performers: Czech Philharmonic Orchestra

Sunday December 27: Castle District
– Performance IV

For hundreds of years, Prague Castle was the seat of Bohemian royalty. During our guided walking tour of the huge complex we visit St Vitus Cathedral, Vladislav Hall and tiny Golden Lane. We then continue on to the strikingly situated palace of the famous Lobkowicz family, who were important patrons of Beethoven amongst others. The later afternoon is at leisure before this evening’s performance at the National Theatre. Overnight Prague (B)

Performance details
Venue: National Theatre
Program: to be announced
Performers: to be announced

Monday December 28: Art Nouveau Prague

This morning we have a guided tour of the beautiful Municipal House, a masterpiece of Art Nouveau architecture, design and decoration. The afternoon and evening are at leisure. Overnight Prague (B)

Tuesday December 29: Prague
– Performance V

After this morning’s talk, the remainder of the day is at leisure for you to explore Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. The lovely Christmas markets will still be open and are filled with unique ornaments and decorations as well as traditional Czech gifts, food and drink – something for everyone! Tonight, we attend our second performance at the National Theatre. Overnight Prague (B)

Performance details
Venue: National Theatre
Program: to be announced
Performers: to be announced

Wednesday December 30: To Vienna

This morning we depart by coach for Vienna, stopping for a guided tour of Brno on the way. Vienna, for hundreds of years the capital of the mighty Habsburg Empire, became from the mid-18th century to the end of the 19th century the epicentre of a great flowering of music and the arts. We arrive in this most famous of musical cities in the late afternoon and enjoy dinner in our hotel. Overnight Vienna (B, D)

Thursday December 31: Vienna’s Musical Heritage
– Performance VI

The city of Vienna is synonymous with the names of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Johann Strauss and Mahler, and this morning’s coach and walking tour focuses on this musical heritage as we visit Schubert’s birth house on the edge of the old city and the newly refurbished Beethoven museum in the village of Heiligenstadt. The later afternoon is at leisure before this evening’s concert, which is followed by a splendid dinner at a fine Viennese restaurant offering panoramic views over the city and the New Year’s Eve fireworks. Overnight Vienna (B, D)

Performance details
Venue: Konzerthaus
Program: Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony
Performers: to be announced

Friday January 1, 2020: New Year’s Day in Bratislava
– Performance VII

Happy New Year! After a leisurely late breakfast, we drive to the delightful small city of Bratislava situated on the Danube River about an hour’s drive due east of Vienna. Over the last couple of decades, the city has shed much of its former Communist-era architecture and reclaimed its charming old city centre. In the early afternoon we take a guided walk through the old centre – now declared a pedestrian zone – before enjoying an early dinner in a local restaurant. This evening, we attend the city’s New Year’s Day concert in the beautiful Reduta Concert Hall, home of the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra. Afterwards we return to Vienna by coach. Overnight Vienna (B, D)

Performance details
Venue: Reduta Concert Hall
Program: New Year’s Day Concert
Performers: to be announced

Saturday January 2: Baden
– Performance VIII

After this morning’s talk in the hotel, we drive south to the spa town of Baden, situated on the edge of the famous Vienna Woods. Beethoven spent many summers here in Baden and in the surrounding countryside, far away from the heat and noise of the capital. After a short guided walk, we enjoy a typical lunch at a winery outside the town before returning by coach to Vienna. This evening we attend our first performance at the Vienna State Opera. Overnight Vienna (B, L)

Performance details
Venue: Vienna State Opera
Program: to be announced
Performers: to be announced

Sunday January 3: Farewell Vienna
– Performance IX

After this morning’s talk in the hotel, we visit the magnificent Kunsthistorisches Museum, one of the great art galleries of the world, followed by a farewell lunch in a local restaurant. The later afternoon is at leisure before our final performance takes us back to the Vienna State Opera. Overnight Vienna (B, L)

Performance details
Venue: Vienna State Opera
Program: to be announced
Performers: to be announced

Monday January 4: Departure

The tour concludes after breakfast. There are included transfers for those passengers who have booked flights with Academy Travel. (B)

Robert Gay

One of Australia’s leading music tour leaders and music educators, he has designed and led more than 90 tours.

Since 1987, Robert Gay has managed to combine his passion for music and his love of teaching with his enthusiasm for travel. He has visited the great opera houses and concert halls of Europe and America and heard most of the great singers and instrumentalists of the last half-century. Robert was President of the Sydney Schubert Society for eighteen years, and for several years was a guest lecturer for ADFAS.

After gaining a BA, Dip. Ed. from the University of Sydney, Robert trained as a lyric baritone in London and Munich before turning to the field of music education with a position at 2MBS-FM. He has taught music history courses at Sydney University’s Centre for Continuing Education since 1985. Robert’s musical expertise ranges wide, from baroque to modern. He particular enjoys placing works in their larger contexts – musical, biographical, social and historical.

In the early days, Robert always designed his tours to include a visit behind the ‘Iron Curtain’ – whether it was Berlin, Dresden, Prague or Budapest – thereby providing fascinating insights into a world which has now largely disappeared. His tours, which total nearly 90, have regularly featured the great musical cities of Austria, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Russia, as well as Scandinavia and the United States of America.

“It has been an enormous privilege to have travelled the world for the last 30 years taking groups of music lovers to the great musical and cultural cities of Europe and America,” Robert says. “There is something magical about music – an art form which only truly lives as it is performed – which seems to bind people together so effortlessly and harmoniously.”

“I have always been a great believer in ‘the spirit of place’,” says Robert. “You can read and research and google all you like, but it cannot for a moment match the thrill of standing in the beautiful villa on the shores of Lake Lucerne where Wagner and his beloved Cosima first lived together; or of hearing a service in Bach’s unassuming St Thomas’s church in Leipzig; or seeing a performance in the old Paris Opéra, the auditorium ‘crowned’ by its superb Chagall ceiling celebrating both opera and ballet. Such experiences are treasurable and unforgettable!”

View Bio & Upcoming Tours


Hotels have been selected principally for their central location. All properties are excellent four and five-star hotels, mostly in renovated historic buildings.

Salzburg, Imlauer Hotel Pitter Salzburg (4 nights)

Hotel Pitter Salzburg is a well located 4-star hotel in the shopping district of Salzburg. It is well located, with some of Salzburg’s best attractions within walking distance.  Classic style rooms include a safe, Wi-Fi internet, satellite TV, mini-bar and bottled water.

Prague, Art Deco Hotel Imperial (5 nights)

The Imperial Hotel is a luxurious Art Deco hotel, centrally located in Prague. The historic hotel has the ambiance of an original building from 1914. Elegant rooms with historic high ceilings offer high-speed internet, safe, mini-bar, flat screens and marble bathrooms.

Vienna, InterContinental Vienna (5 nights)

The InterContinental Vienna hotel places you moments away from the world-renowned Vienna State Opera and stylish shopping on pedestrianised Kärntner Strasse. Classic rooms blend traditional and contemporary furnishings, offering high speed Wi-Fi, safe, mini-bar and satellite TV.

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

Tour Details

Fitness Requirement

Grade Two

A Grade 2 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.
More Details


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Speak to a consultant

For further information or to secure a place on this tour please contact:
Hannah Kleboe (02) 9235 0023 or 1800 639 699
(outside Sydney)

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