Nov 15 - 27, 2017
13 days
$9,950per person, twin share (land content only). $2,930 supplement for sole use of a hotel room.

Tour Leader

Dr Matthew Laing
Nov 15 - 27, 2017

Tour Leader

Dr Matthew Laing$9,950per person, twin share (land content only). $2,930 supplement for sole use of a hotel room.
  • Tour Info
  • Itinerary
  • Tour Leader
  • Hotels
  • Inclusions


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



Details of seven performances are now available. The details of jazz at the Lincoln Center will be available in September.

  • Grand Tier seating to Franco Zeffirelli’s legendary production of Puccini’s opera Turandot at the Metropolitan Opera
  • The New York Philharmonic Orchestra performing Rimsky-Korsakov, Saint-Saëns and Rachmaninov
  • Tony-award winning and critically-acclaimed Canadian musical Come from Away, set in the aftermath of 9/11
  • Junk, a new work by renowned playwright Ayad Akhtar, set in 1980s New York
  • The Rockettes’ Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall in the Rockefeller Center
  • An evening of jazz in the Appel Room at the elegant Jazz at the Lincoln Center complex
  • The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, performing a special tribute concert to female composers and lyricists
  • George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker by the New York City Ballet, a highlight of the city’s holiday calendar since 1954

Itinerary Overview

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
  • Excursion to Philip Johnson’s Glass House, north of the city
  • Curator-led tour of The Cloisters, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exquisite medieval collection on the northern tip of Manhattan
  • Charming small galleries, including The Frick Collection and the Neue Museum
  • Architectural walking tours of Midtown, Downtown, SoHo and Chelsea, featuring on Beaux-Arts, Art Deco and Post-Modern masterpieces
  • Lectures on the history, architecture and culture of the city

Fine Dining

  • Lunch at the Michelin two-star restaurant The Modern, inside the Museum of Modern Art
  • A traditional All-American Thanksgiving dinner at one of New York’s leading restaurants
  • Degustation dinner at the Michelin three-star restaurant Eleven Madison Park

There are currently no places available on this tour. If you would like to be notified if a place becomes available on tour, please register your details above.

Getting There

Qantas and United Airlines fly regularly to the East Coast. Contact us for competitive quotes and bookings.

Detailed Itinerary

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

Wednesday November 15: Arrival

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 – Metropolitan 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, as well as Wall Street and the heart of the financial district so central to New York’s rise. We have lunch and a lecture at Fraunces Tavern, where George Washington dined and farewelled his officers at the end of the Revolutionary War in 1783. 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)

Performance details

Venue: The Metropolitan Opera

Program: Puccini, Turandot

Performers: Paolo Carignani (conductor), Oksana Dyka, Marcelo Álvarez, Hei-Kyung Hong

Friday November 17: Upper East Side – Carnegie Hall

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 for a guided tour of the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum, housed in the former home of steel baron Andrew Carnegie. This evening we head to the legendary Carnegie Hall to attend a special concert by the New York Pops, paying tribute to female composers and lyricists. (B)

Performance details

Venue: Carnegie Hall

Program: The New York Pops, Women of Notes: In Dedication to Female Composers and Lyricists

Performers: Steven Reineke (conductor), Adam Kantor and Betsy Wolfe

Saturday November 18: Midtown – Come from Away

This morning we have a lecture and then explore some of the Art-Deco architecture of New York’s midtown district, including the Chrysler Building, the United Nations and the Rockefeller Center. The afternoon is free. Tonight, we attend the hit Canadian musical Come from Away on Broadway, one of the most acclaimed shows of the 2017 season. (B)

Performance details

Venue: Gerald Schoenfeld Theater

Program: Come From Away

Performers: Chad Kimball, Jenn Colella, Rodney Hicks

Sunday November 19: Museum Mile

Today we visit two stunning galleries on the Upper East Side. The intimate Neue Galerie holds a fine collection of Viennese art-nouveau and Secessionist art from the early 20th-century, including the Woman in Gold. After lunch, we visit the Guggenheim Museum, Frank Lloyd Wright’s last great masterpiece and home to one of the finest modern art collections in the city. In the later afternoon we have the option of visiting some of the many small private galleries on Museum Mile. (B)

Monday November 20: Museum of Modern Art

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. We then have lunch at The Modern, the elegant two-star Michelin restaurant, located in the Museum of Modern Art. The remainder of the day is free to enjoy MoMA, visit other sites, or take an optional tour of 5th and Madison Avenues. (B, L)

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. This evening we enjoy a performance at the Jazz at the Lincoln Center at their magnificent auditorium overlooking Central Park. (B)

Performance details

Venue: Appel Room, Jazz at the Lincoln Center

Program and Performers: announced September 2017

Wednesday November 22: The Met – New York Philharmonic

After a lecture, we spend the morning at 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-history to the 20th century and from all corners of the globe. This evening we return to the Lincoln Center for a concert by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. (B)

Performance details

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 and the world’s biggest parade, with spectacular floats and displays to bring a smile to all age groups. We then feast on a traditional American Thanksgiving banquet at one of New York’s leading restaurants, with turkey and all the trimmings. (B, L)

Friday November 24: New Canaan – New York city ballet

Today we travel north 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 the Lincoln Center for a beloved annual New York institution – George Balanchine’s beautifully choreographed production of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, adored by children and adults alike since 1954. (B)

Performance details

Venue: David Koch Theater, Lincoln Center

Program: George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker

Performers: New York City Ballet Company and the School of American Ballet

Saturday November 25: Great Libraries – Rockettes

This morning we visit the Morgan Library, containing an exquisite collection of extremely rare manuscripts and books, and take a tour of the magnificent New York Public Library. The afternoon is free. This evening we take a ride to the top of the Rockefeller Center and attend a performance of the Rockettes’ Christmas Spectacular. (B)

Performance details

Venue: Radio City Music Hall

Program: Christmas Spectacular

Performers: The Rockettes

Sunday November 26: Degustation – Junk

For early risers, there is the chance to witness a gospel church service in the Harlem neighbourhood and tour some of the sights in northern Manhattan. We return to the Lincoln Center for a matinee performance of Junk. Ayad Akhtar is best known to Australian audiences through Disgraced, which played in Sydney and Melbourne in 2016. Junk revolves around the murky dealings of Robert Merkin, the resident genius of the upstart investment firm Sacker. 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)

Performance details

Venue: Vivian Beaumont Theater, Lincoln Center

Program: Junk, a new play by Ayad Akhtar

Performers: Dough Hughes (director), Steven Pasquale

Monday November 27: Departure

We finish our tour with a lecture and walk in Central Park, one of the greatest achievements in urban landscape architecture, and take in many of the unique but often missed features designed by Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux. 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.

View Bio & Upcoming Tours

The Warwick Hotel

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.

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 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

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?
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

Booking conditions

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.

Cancellation Fees

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.

Travel Insurance

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.

Final Payment

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.

Fitness rating

Grade 1

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.
More Details

There are currently no places available on this tour. A place on the waitlist is not a confirmed place on tour. If you would like to be notified if a place becomes available on tour, please register your details.

Tour Full Join Waitlist

Speak to a consultant

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

Detailed Itinerary

Download now

Next Departure

If these dates don't work for you, register to hear about the next tour.

Join Waitlist

There are currently no places available on this tour. A place on the waitlist is not a confirmed place on tour. If you would like to be notified if a place becomes available on tour, please register your details below.


Please keep me informed about the next departure of this tour.

Hold a Place

Thank you for your interest in this tour. We are happy to hold a tentative place for seven days while you make your final arrangements to come on tour.


Sign up to our mailing list for tour updates and latest news.