Enjoy Thanksgiving in the Big Apple and a host of other events on this special tour. As well as the regular offerings on our New York performing arts tours – opera, symphony, private visits to galleries such as MoMA etc – we’ve included seasonal events that are only on offer at this special time of year, such as the Thanksgiving Day Parade and the legendary Radio City Rockettes. There’s also some great new season stage drama and musicals on offer. Accommodation, as always, is in spacious premium plus rooms in the perfectly located Warwick Hotel on 54th Street.
The unique atmosphere of New York in the fall, with seasonal food and the leaves turning gold in Central Park
Special Thanksgiving events – the most important annual festivities in North America
A stimulating range of new season performances of stage drama, musicals, opera and symphony
An expert’s account of the history and architecture of New York over the decades
Newly opened exhibitions at galleries including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and MoMA
Franco Zeffirelli’s spectacular production of Puccini’s Turandot at the Metropolitan Opera
The New York Philharmonic Orchestra performing Saint-Saëns and Rachmaninov
The new Broadway musical Bandstand
A piano recital at Carnegie Hall
Junk, Ayad Akhtar’s new play, set in 1980s NY
An evening at the Jazz at the Lincoln Center Theater
The Radio City Music Hall’s Rockettes’ Christmas Spectacular
A new stage play, selected from the 2017-18 season
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
A private out-of-hours viewing of the Museum of Modern Art with a museum lecturer
Charming small galleries, including the Frick Collection and the Neue Museum
Private guided tour of the refurbished Whitney Museum of American Art in Chelsea
Architectural walking tours of midtown art deco, Brooklyn Heights and the High Line
Lunches at the Morgan Library and Guggenheim Museum dining rooms
Lunch at the Michelin two-star restaurant The Modern, inside MoMA
Degustation dinner at the Michelin threestar restaurant Eleven Madison Park
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.
Begin the tour relaxed
In order to enjoy performances and get the most from sightseeing we suggest you plan to arrive in the United States a few days before the tour commences.
Wednesday November 15: 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 the AIA harbour cruise today. Academy Travel can arrange bookings.)
Thursday November 16: Downtown – Met Opera
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 then explore Grand Central Station, a magnificent Beaux-Arts building. Lunch is at Cipriani Dolci, overlooking the main vestibule of Grand Central. This evening we kick off our performances in style, with the spectacular Franco Zeffirelli production of Puccini’s Turandot at the Metropolitan Opera. Rising star Oksana Dyka sings the title role, with tenor Marcelo Álvarez tackling the celebrated aria Nessun Dorma. (B, L)
Venue: The Metropolitan Opera
Program: Puccini, Turandot
Performers: Oksana Dyka, Marcelo Álvarez, Hei-Kyung Hong (Liu)
Friday November 17: Upper East Side Museums – Play
This morning we 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. We then stroll up Madison Avenue and call in at the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum, housed in the former home of steel baron Andrew Carnegie. This evening we head to Broadway to attend a production of an American drama. Previous tours have featured works such as The Crucible, The Glass Menagerie and A long Day’s Journey into Night. (B)
Venue: A Broadway theatre
Program:to be announced September 2017
Performers: to be announced September 2017
Saturday November 18: Midtown Art Deco – Carnegie Hall
This morning we explore some of the Art-Deco architecture of New York’s midtown district, including the Chrysler Building and the Rockefeller Center. The afternoon is free. Tonight we attend a performance at Carnegie Hall. This legendary venue regularly attracts the world’s top orchestras and soloists. (B)
Venue: Carnegie Hall
Program: to be announced May 2017
Performers: to be announced May 2017
Sunday November 19: Neue Galerie – Central Park
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. After brunch in a private room at the elegant Café Boulud on the Upper East Side restaurant we visit the Guggenheim Museum, Frank Lloyd Wright’s last great masterpiece. We stroll home through Central Park. (B, L)
Monday November 20: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
We spend the morning at the The Cloisters, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s medieval department, located on the northern tip of Manhattan. We then travel to the Museum’s main campus, where you can select from the 50 departments presenting outstanding art from pre-historic to the 20th century, and from all corners of the globe. (B)
Tuesday November 21: SoHO to Chelsea – Jazz
We continue our exploration of New York’s neighbourhoods with a coach and walking tour of historic Soho, Washington Square and the Flatiron District. In Chelsea we visit the newly re-opened Whitney Museum of American art, and stroll the High Line, an urban park created from a disused industrial railway. This evening we enjoy a performance at the Jazz at the Lincoln Center at their magnificent auditorium overlooking Central Park. (B)
Venue: Appel Room, Jazz at the Lincoln Center
Program: to be announced September 2017
Performers:to be announced September 2017
Wednesday November 22: MoMA private viewing – New York Philharmonic
A highlight of our tour is this morning’s private tour of MoMA, New York’s famous Museum of Modern Art. A museum lecturer guides us through the museum’s greatest works before the doors open to the public. The remainder of the day is free to enjoy MoMA, or visit other sites. This evening we return to the Lincoln Center for a concert by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. (B)
Venue: David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center
Program: Rimsky-Korsakov, Suite from The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh, Saint-Saëns, Violin Concerto No.3, Rachmaninov, Symphony No.3
Performers: Frank Huang (violin), Gianandrea Noseda (conductor), New York Philharmonic Orchestra
Thursday November 23: Thanksgiving in New York
We celebrate Thanksgiving today, beginning with the Macy’s Parade, New York’s biggest event, with spectacular floats and displays to bring a smile to all age groups. We then celebrate with lunch at The Modern, the elegant two-star Michelin restaurant, located in the Museum of Modern Art. In the later afternoon, you may choose to join the tour leader in a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. (B, L)
Friday November 24: SOHO To Chelsea – BanDstand
Today we travel north from New York by train to visit Philip Johnson’s stunning Glasshouse in the town of New Canaan, Connecticut. Actually an estate comprising several buildings, this iconic example of 20th-century architecture was created between 1949 and the 1980s. Johnson is a key figure in American architecture. We stop for a lunch break in New Canaan before returning to New York, where the Black Friday sales are in full swing! This evening we return to Broadway for the new musical Bandstand. Created by some of the same people who brought the hit musical Hamilton to the stage, Bandstand is a tale of musical hopefuls, set in New York in the last months of WWII. (B)
Venue: Bernard B Jacobs Theater
Performers: Laura Osnes, Corey Cott, Beth Leavel. Book and music by Richard Oberacker and Robert Taylor
Saturday November 25: Morgan Library – Rockettes
This morning we visit the exquisite Morgan Library, containing a wonderful collection of extremely rare manuscripts and books. The afternoon is free. This afternoon we tour the art-deco Rockefeller Center, culminating in the Rockettes’ Christmas Spectacular, a New York institution. (B)
Venue: Radio City Music Hall
Program: Christmas Spectacular
Performers: The Rockettes
Sunday November 26: Gospel – Junk – Degustation Dinner
For early risers, there is the chance to witness a gospel church service in the Harlem neighbourhood. We return to the Lincoln Center. Pulitzer prize winning playwright is best now to Australian audiences through Disgraced, which played in Sydney and Melbourne in 2016. Junk is set in New York in 1985. The play revolves around the murky dealings of Robert Merkin, the resident genius of the upstart investment firm Sacker. “Hailed as ’America’s Alchemist,’” the producers say, “his proclamation that ’debt is an asset’ has propelled him to dizzying heights. Set over 30 years ago, this is a play about how, while most of us weren’t watching, money became the only thing of real value.” This evening we farewell New York with the dining highlight of the tour – a degustation dinner at Eleven Madison Park, a Michelin three-star restaurant regularly ranked in the world’s top 10. (B, D)
Venue: Vivian Beaumont Theater, Lincoln Center
Program: Junk, a new play by Ayad Akhtar
Performers:to be announced May 2017
Monday November 27: 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. 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. www.warwickhotelny.com
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.