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LATEST RELEASES          |          SEPTEMBER RELEASES          |          MORE NEW TOURS

Browse our list of newly released tours for 2018. Our 2018 collection offers a stimulating range of familiar favourites and new experiences, from enchanting natural history tours to dramatic city breaks.

Last updated: Friday 3rd November, 2017 

 

TOURS RELEASED ON FRIDAY 3 NOVEMBER

THE GOLDEN AGE OF DUTCH PAINTING

1 Nov – 5 Nov 2018, £1825 | Rupert Dickens

A second departure of this magical Art History tour, exploring a golden age of Dutch art that was heralded in the 17th century, under the patronage of a new merchant class. Dutch painting flourished as never before, as the middle classes commissioned portraits of themselves, and also bought pictures to decorate their homes of a sort rarely seen before More>>

 

SHAKESPEARE AT STRATFORD

11 Jul – 14 Jul 2018, £865 | Viven Heilbron

See productions of Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and experience the new musical Miss Littlewood, telling the story of the revolutionary 20th century theatre director Joan Littlewood. More>>

 

ISLAY, JURA & COLONSAY

3 Jul – 10 Jul 2018, £1825 | Mark Welch

Islay is internationally famous for its birdlife, especially the rare chough, twite and corncrake. The moorlands hold birds of prey such as golden eagle, hen harrier, merlin, peregrine and short-eared owl all in the company of Mark Welch, a research scientist in the Department of Earth Sciences at the Natural History Museum in London. More>>

 

ROUSSILLON

1 Oct – 8 Oct 2018, £1985 | Cathy Oakes

Roussillon, bordered by the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean, is regarded as one of the most picturesque regions of southern France. Often known as French Catalonia, Roussillon overflows with Romanesque architecture and sculpture. This second departure in 2018 is led by associate professor in Art History, Cathy Oakes. More>>

 

SARDINIA: BIRDS, FLOWERS & NURAGHI

11 Sep – 18 Sep 2018, £2140 | Kevin Hand, Mark Welch

Based in the lakeside town of Cabras, where local fishermen still set out to sea in traditional reed boats, and Cala Gonone, bordering one of the most scenic stretches of the Mediterranean, this tour takes in Sardinia’s rugged interior and coastal waters on an exploration of its natural history and archaeology, on the September departure with Kevin Hand and Mark Welch. More>>

 

POMPEII WITH HERCULANEUM

27 Oct – 2 Nov 2018, £1895 | Andrew Wilson

This perennial favourite offers a thought-provoking window onto Roman life in the company of archaeologist Andrew Wilson. More>>

 

TOURS RELEASED ON THUSRDAY 2 NOVEMBER

BOLOGNA, MANTUA & PARMA

30 Apr – 6 May 2018, £1995 | Colin Bailey

This navigation of northern Italy absorbs the artistic splendours of Bologna, Mantua and Parma and highlights the oft-neglected wonders of Ferrara. More>>

 

INTERNATIONAL GILIBERT & SULLIVAN IN HARROGATE

16 Aug – 20 Aug 2018, £1225 | Donald Maxwell

Gilbert and Sullivan represent quintessential Victorian England. The brilliant, witty lyrics of W S Gilbert dazzle alongside the attractive melodies of Arthur Sullivan. In 2018, the International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival will celebrate 25 years with an exciting and memorable programme of operas and fringe events. More>>

 
BATH BACHFEST

22 Feb – 25 Feb 2018, £1095 | Sandy Burnett

Alongside its acclaimed and long-established Mozartfest, the beautiful Georgian city of Bath has created a second annual festival to celebrate one of Europe’s most eminent composers: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750). More>>

 

 

DORSET: THE ISLE OF THE PURBECK

17 May – 24 May 2018, £1625 | Mark Welch

This tour will explore the habitats and wildlife of the magical Isle of Purbeck, the lands either side of the ridge of chalk that forms the spine of coastal Dorset. We will study the fauna, flora and geology of this spectacular stretch of coastline, which is of international scientific and cultural importance, and part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. More>>

 

 

TOURS RELEASED ON WEDNESDAY 1 NOVEMBER

HANDEL FESTIVAL IN GÖTTINGEN

16 May – 23 May 2018, £2595 | John Bryden

Visit Göttingen, the old university town of half timbered houses set amid the rolling mountains of Lower Saxony. Our tour will take in a range of festival concerts performed by outstanding musicians, and will include the festival’s fully staged opera by Handel: ArminioMore>> 

 

HAYDN IN EISENSTADT

10 Sep – 16 Sep 2018, £2295 | Robert Hanson

Eisenstadt comes alive every September with the music of its adopted son, offering the unique opportunity to hear works by Joseph Haydn (1732–1809) in the very rooms for which they were composed. More>> 

 

LUCCA PUCCINI FESTIVAL

9 Aug – 14 Aug 2018, £2215 | John Bryden

Join the 2018 Puccini Festival set in the beautiful lakeside village of Torre del Lago with performances of Madama Butterfly, Tosca and Il Trittico. More>> 

 

TOURS RELEASED ON TUESDAY 31 OCTOBER

SIBELIUS FESTIVAL IN FINLAND

4 Sep – 10 Sep 2018, £2950 | Sandy Burnett

Each year music aficionados from around the world gather in the Finnish city of Lahti for the International Sibelius Festival, a celebration of the composer’s music. Performances take place in the spectacular Sibelius Hall, situated on the southern shores of Lake Vesijärvi. The hall is an architectural and acoustic marvel with stunning views over the surrounding lake. More>> 

 
MELK BAROQUE FESTIVAL

17 Mar – 22 May 2018, Register interest | Sandy Burnett

The 2018 edition of the Melk Baroque Music Festival will continue the tradition of offering imaginative, varied and entertaining programmes.There could be no more appropriate setting for a festival dedicated to Baroque music than the beautiful Melk Abbey. More>> 

 
FROM COIMBRA TO LISBON: PALACES OF THE PORTUGUESE KINGS

14 Mar – 21 Mar 2018, £2595 | Christopher Catling

Nestled in a crown of pine-crested hills, the Portuguese town of Sintra beguiled the country’s rulers and foreign visitors alike with its captivating European Romantic architecture and lush gardens. Beloved by Hans Christian Andersen – who described Sintra as “the most beautiful place in Portugal” – the UNESCO-listed town has witnessed centuries of Portuguese history, reflected today in its breath-taking monuments. More>> 

 
TOURS RELEASED ON MONDAY 30 OCTOBER

 
LUCCA

September 2018, Register interest | Christopher Wellington

Discover Lucca’s best art collections housed in some of the city’s most beautiful buildings, including the stunning Palazzo Mansi, built for a wealthy local silk merchant on this gentle tour. More>> 

 
DERBYSHIRE

17 Sep – 21 Sep 2018, £1095 | Andrew Barber

Uncover Derbyshire’s historic country houses, from Haddon Hall, the quintessential medieval manor, to Kedleston, Robert Adam’s beautifully restored neoclassical masterpiece. More>>

 

 

TOURS RELEASED ON FRIDAY 27 OCTOBER

 
WEXFORD OPERA FESTIVAL

Autumn 2018, Register interest | Sandy Burnett

Nestling amidst the medieval streets of old Wexford, Ireland’s most impressive music venue – the National Opera House – celebrates a superb annual festival of opera with an impressive range of music and performers. More>>

 
 
FESTIVAL DE PÂQUES IN AIX-EN-PROVENCE

4 Apr – 9 Apr 2018, £2395 | Emilie Capulet

In 2013, a creative collaboration between violinist Renaud Capuçon and Dominique Bluzet, Director of the Grand Théâtre de Provence, led to the foundation of a magni cent Easter festival in the picturesque and sunlit town of Aix-en- Provence. The 2018 festival will present us with an unrivalled programme of high quality music from an eminent cast of performers. More>>

 
ART TREASURES OF BAVARIA

5 Nov — 12 Nov 2018, £2595 | Andrew Spira

Take in superlative collections of German art, including those at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, the 17th century Schloss Johannisburg and the Schack Galerie More>>

 
TOURS RELEASED ON THURSDAY 26 OCTOBER

RIGA OPERA FESTIVAL

12 June – 17 June 2018; Register interest | Nicholas Wearne

Riga boasts a strong musical heritage: Wagner lived and worked there during the late 1830s, and the magnificent National Opera House was built in the 1860s to the design of St Petersburg architect Ludwig Bohnstedt. More>>

 
MENDELSSOHN IN SCOTLAND

June/July 2018; Register interest | John Bryden

Follow in the footsteps of Felix Mendelssohn, who made an unforgettable visit to Scotland in the summer of 1829, and join the festival celebrating the composer’s work on the Isle of Mull. More>>

 

OXFORD COLLEGE CHAPELS & ORGANS

6 Nov – 8 Nov 2018;  £745 | John Bryden, Nicholas Wearne

Join two accomplished organists on this exploration of a selection of Oxford buildings, with an emphasis on their distinguished and varied organs. More>>

  

GLYNDEBOURNE

October 2018; Register interest | Nicholas Wearne or Sandy Burnett

Glyndebourne’s annual tour of world-class opera begins at its East Sussex home. Every year, the Glyndebourne Tour produces an exhilarating programme of world-class opera featuring young and promising singers. More>>

 

INTERNATIONAL GILBERT & SULLIVAN FESTIVAL IN HARROGATE

16 Aug – 20 Aug 2018; £1225 | Donald Maxwell

 In 2018, the International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival will celebrate 25 years with an exciting and memorable programme of operas and fringe events. The festival stages performances by amateur companies and its own professional opera company in Harrogate’s beautiful Royal Hall. More>>

 

TOURS RELEASED ON WEDNESDAY 25 OCTOBER

VERDI FESTIVAL IN PARMA

16 Oct – 22 Oct, 2018; £3095 | John Bryden

In 2004, the city of Parma inaugurated an annual festival to honour its most famous local son, Giuseppe Verdi. The festival takes place throughout October, the month of Verdi’s birth. Our tour takes in productions of Un Giorno di RegnoAttila and Le TrouvèreMore>>

 
SCHUBERT IN SCHWARZENBERG

26 Aug – 2 Sep 2018; £2775 | Nicholas Wearne

Schwarzenberg, where the annual Schubertiade takes place, is a charming Austrian village with panoramic views stretching across lush meadows to the soaring Alps. Here, amidst the tranquil mountain scenery of the Bregenz Forest, some of the best musicians in the world gather each year to perform a selection of Schubert’s music. More>>

 
HEREFORD THREE CHOIRS FESTIVAL

28 Jul – 1 Aug 2018; £1255 | Richard Wigmore

1 Aug – 5 Aug 2018; £1255 | Robert Hanson

For nearly 300 years the cathedral cities of Hereford, Gloucester and Worcester have taken turns to host a renowned annual music celebration. In 2018 the Three Choirs Festival will take place in Hereford, where we will experience a programme of concerts performed in the surroundings of its cathedral.

28 Jul – 1 Aug 2018 – More>>

1 Aug – 5 Aug 2018 – More>>

 
TOURS RELEASED ON TUESDAY 24 OCTOBER

ALDEBURGH FESTIVAL (REGISTER INTEREST)

June 2018, Register interest | Ashley Solomon / Sandy Burnett

In June each year, artists such as Thomas Adès, Andrew Watts, Tamsin Waley-Cohen and Ian Bostridge have assembled alongside the likes of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the London Sinfonietta and the BBC Symphony Orchestra to bring us the Aldeburgh Festival. More>>

 

THE ALLEGRI STRING QUARTET AT STAPLEFORD GRANARY (REGISTER INTEREST)

November 2018, Register interest | Robert Hanson

ACE Cultural Tours is delighted to collaborate with the internationally renowned Allegri String Quartet to offer a weekend of concerts at the newly improved arts centre at Stapleford Granary. More>>

 

 

TOURS RELEASED ON MONDAY 11 SEPTEMBER

UZBEKISTAN: CITIES OF THE SILK ROAD

May 29 – Jun 08, 2018; £2550 | Andrew Wilson

Uzbekistan has long been a prized territory: in the 4th century BC Alexander the Great married the daughter of a local chieftain, and in the 14th century Genghis Khan waged war over the region. It was Timur, better known to us as Tamerlane, who finally overpowered the Mongols and established Samarkand as the glittering capital of an empire encompassing much of Central Asia. More>> 

 

TOURS RELEASED ON FRIDAY 08 SEPTEMBER

ART & ARCHITECTURE OF PUGLIA

Oct 2 – 8, 2018; £1795 | Colin Bailey

Nestled in the heel of Italy lies Puglia – or Apulia as it was originally named – the most prosperous region in the south of the country but surprisingly one of its least visited parts. The diversity of its architectural heritage – Greek, Roman, Romanesque, Norman, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque – reflects its multifaceted past and importance on ancient trading and pilgrimage routes. More>>

 

FLEMISH PAINTING: FORM VAN EYCK TO RUBENS

Aug 8 – 12, 2018; £1315 | Colin Bailey

No country – with the exception of Italy – has made such a profound contribution to European art as the land we know today as Belgium. With the development of oil painting in the 15th century onwards, Belgium played an essential role in the evolution of western painting, strongly influencing Italy itself. More>>

 

TUSCIA: ETRUSCANS, POPES & PRINCES

Sep 24 – 30, 2018; £1895 | Christopher Wellington

Lying between Tuscany and Umbria, the lush landscapes of the province of Viterbo are studded with ancient remains and picturesque medieval villages. At one point the city of Viterbo rivalled Rome in importance, becoming a favoured refuge for embattled popes while the capital endured chaos and feuding. More>>

 

ODISHA

Nov 10 – 24, 2018; £3995 | Annie Owen

One of India’s most distinctive regions, Odisha (Orissa) stretches along the Bay of Bengal and the flanking hill country. Enriched by ambitious medieval kings but then neglected by both Mogul and British conquerors, it remains a byword for traditional oratory and poetry, dance, crafts, rites and religious architecture. Less widely appreciated is that much of this heritage draws on tribal roots of the deepest antiquity. More>>

 

ART & PATRONAGE IN RENAISSANCE FLORENCE & SIENA

Nov 19 - 26, 2018; £2295 | Colin Bailey

This tour will offer an opportunity to discover the art of the Renaissance in two of its most influential cities – Florence and Siena – and in the context of the important individuals, institutions and families who were responsible for commissioning some of the era’s most significant paintings, sculptures and buildings. More>>

 

ANCIENT SICILY

Sep 10 - 19, 2018; £2595 | Philip Kenrick

Our circuit of historic Sicily, starting in the heart of Palermo, travels via Agrigento and Syracuse to Taormina – Goethe’s “patch of paradise”, characterised by idyllic coastal vistas.As well as absorbing the monumental magnificence of Sicily’s Classical heritage, we will examine later cultural influences. More>>

 

ART ON THE CÔTE D'AZUR

Sep 10 – 17, 2018; £2395 | Suzanne Fagence Cooper

Enjoy the rich art collections of the Cote d’Azur in the landscape which inspired artists such as Monet and Bonnard. More>>

 

AQUILEIA CITY OF ANTIQUITY

Sep 3 – 8, 2018; £2395 | Andrew Wilson

Aquileia, once described by Emperor Justinian as “the greatest of all towns in the West” is today a little known but important Roman city perched on the Adriatic coastline. As the ninth biggest city in the Roman Empire during the 1st century AD Aquileia served as a crossroads, with a wide trading network between Rome and the East. More>>

 

TOURS RELEASED ON THURSDAY 07 SEPTEMBER

WILD ROMANIA

May 3–10, 2018; £1795 | Marcus Kohler

From its vast areas of undisturbed forest to the dramatic peaks of the Carpathian Mountains, Romania has some of the nest landscapes and most diverse flora and fauna in Europe. The rich cultural legacies of its historic towns and cities are no less fascinating, including the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Sighișoara and Sibiu. More>>

 

VIENNA: CITY OF THE ARTS

April 24 – 28, 2018; £1645 | Patrick Bade

Vienna is a city of great romantic charm and incomparable historical and cultural richness. As the capital of a vast multi-ethnic empire for several hundred years, it accumulated treasures from every corner of Europe. More>>

 

PIERO DELLA FRANCESCA

Oct 29 - Nov 5, 2018; £1975 | Colin Bailey

Discover the abundance of paintings and sites relating to the great artist Piero della Francesco situated along the eponymous trail throughout Tuscany, Umbria and the Marches. More>>

 

WILDLIFE & WALKING IN EXTREMADURA

May 9 – 16, 2018; £1555 | Kevin Hand

With its mighty Tagus and Guadiana rivers, its wild mountain ranges and its limitless rolling plains, Extremadura boasts an enticing variety of landscapes. In the springtime the region’s cork and holm oak dehesas are abundantly carpeted with rock roses and cistus, while the grasslands boast mile after mile of catchfly and marigoldMore>>

 

HOGARTH IN LONDON

Aug 6, 2018; £175 | Lars Tharp

Take a day to explore the fascinating world of Georgian London visiting the Foundling Museum, Sir John Soane’s Museum, the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery. More>>

 

MEDIEVAL BURGUNDY

Jul 15-22, 2018; £2595 | Cathy Oakes

From 1363 to 1477 the old Duchy of Burgundy – with the glittering court of Dijon at its heart – became the focus of one of the most influential polities of the Middle Ages, extending its authority as far north as the Netherlands. More>>

 

TOURS RELEASED ON WEDNESDAY 06 SEPTEMBER

ART IN COPENHAGEN

Aug 14 – 18, 2018; £2095 | Lars Tharp

Copenhagen, founded by Bishop Absalon in 1167, is a bustle-free city brimming with museums and galleries, notably the Statens Museum for Kunst, whose roots stretch back to the 16th century private collection of King Christian II. More>>

 

THE GREAT SPANISH MASTERS: FROM EL GRECO TO SOROLLA

Sep 24 – 1 Oct, 2018; £2095 | Colin Bailey

From the cobbled streets of sun-drenched Toledo to the artistic metropolis of Madrid we will immerse ourselves in UNESCO World Heritage sites, see hidden artworks displayed in the churches for which they were made and delve into international collections that reveal works by El Greco, Sorolla, Velázquez and Picasso. More>>

 

 

MORE NEW TOURS


 

THE DODECANESE ISLANDS

Oct 8 – 19, 2018; £2895 | Andrew Wilson

The Dodecanese islands, located in the southeastern Aegean sea, encompasses a dozen large islands – with the term Dodecanese translating as ‘twelve islands’ – and many smaller ones. Our tour will explore these islands’ history and the array of important archaeological finds to be found on Samos, Patmos, Kos and Rhodes. More >>

MOROCCO: ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE WESTERN KINGDOM

Oct 10 – 23, 2018; £3550 | Andrew Wilson

The spread of Islam, combined with the spirit of al-Andalus, gave birth in Morocco to an artistic and architectural legacy of enormous diversity. Meknès, founded in the 11th century and revitalised by Sultan Moulay Ismaïl in the 18th, reflecting his imperial ambitions, is an especially attractive example of the harmonious blending of the Islamic and Spanish styles. More >>

TOWNS, PALACES & CHURCHES OF POLAND

Oct 2 – 11, 2018; £2350 | Alex Koller

Our survey of the towns and palaces of Poland starts in Warsaw, where the medieval core and the castle of the Vasa kings have been handsomely restored after the destruction of the last war. More >>

STOCKHOLM & DROTTINGHOLM PALACE

Jun 6 – 10, 2018; £1995 | Ian Cox

Explore the artistic and architectural treasures of Stockholm, often called the ‘Venice of the North’ and visit 17th century Drottningholm Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to the King and Queen of Sweden. More >> 

POMPEII WITH HERCULANEUM

May 19 – 25, 2018; £1815 | Andrew Wilson

One of two departures of this perennially favourite tour, offering a thought-provoking window onto Roman life in the company of archaeologist Andrew Wilson. More >>

WILDLIFE OF ANDALUCIA & THE STRAITS OF GIBRALTAR

Sep 15 – 22, 2018; £2195 | Marcus Kohler

Our wildlife tour to the southern tip of Andalucía and Gibraltar has been timed to coincide with the autumn migratory season, when up to 190,000 raptors take advantage of the narrowest sea crossing between Europe and North Africa. More >> 

 

DANISH PALACES & COUNTRY HOUSES

Jul 26 – Aug 3, 2018; £3175 | Roger White

The gentle Danish countryside, where the sea is never far away, hosts a distinguished array of historic houses that are largely unknown outside Denmark. Some of the earliest examples, from the 16th century, boast romantic and evocative skylines, whilst the visual impact of others – notably Rosenholm and Hesselagergård – is accentuated by their moated sites. More >>

COUNTRY HOUSES OF NORTH SHROPSHIRE

July 2 – 6, 2018; £1175 | Roger White

Shrewsbury is our base for this exploration of country houses and churches in the northern half of the beautiful county of Shropshire. Our tour focuses on fine but little-known private houses, and also gives the opportunity to explore one of the handsomest county towns in England. More >>

MOORISH SPAIN: CORDOBA & GRANADA

Sep 17 – 23, 2018; £2195 | Rose Walker

Discover the legacy of al-Andalus as we explore the endlessly evocative architecture of Córdoba and Granada where highlights include the Great Mosque of Córdoba, and Granada’s famous Alhambra and Generalife – all UNESCO World Heritage sites. More >> 

GERMANY'S ROMANTIC ROAD

Jun 11 – 18, 2018; £2495 | Colin Bailey

Our survey of the art treasures of Bavaria will reacquaint participants with some familiar names – the great Giambattista Tiepolo, to name but one – and introduce them to some less well-known craftsmen, notably Tilman Riemenschneider (circa 1460-1531), whose sculptures and wood carvings are one of the artistic highlights of Würzburg. More >> 

A WHITE GARMENT OF CHURCHES

Jul 16 – 21 Jul, 2018; £1475 | Imogen Corrigan

The later Middle Ages was a time of contrasts; of spirituality but also of scientific achievements and a greater degree of realism than is often imagined. It was a time of new ideas concerning church, state and education, and when ordinary people could read more into the signs and symbols in church architecture than we can today. Before the period we now call the Renaissance, there was a general awakening in religious and social terms, and a surge of church building. More >>

 
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