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World art tours

Travel with friends

If you’re planning on travelling overseas, a tour with the Art Gallery Society of NSW will ensure you have a memorable and meaningful experience in the company of like-minded travellers. It also means you’re helping us buy art, as funds raised from tours go towards the Gallery’s collection.

We have a wide range of world art tours to diverse destinations. Individual tour itineraries have been carefully designed to include the most fascinating and important art historical, archaeological and architectural sites.

The Society’s tour leaders are chosen for their adventurous spirit, their knowledge, experience, ability to communicate and to manage groups. In many countries local guides are essential, and the Society has a very good network of international guides who share their intimate knowledge of complex cultural, political and religious sensitivities.


India

January/February 2017

Contemporary art and literature in India
With Joyce Morgan
From approx $10,000 pp plus airfares

Join the world’s leading writers, thinkers and creative minds at Asia’s preeminent literary event, followed by a tour of the great sites of historic Rajasthan and the India Art fair in Delhi.

Itinerary available soon. Contact Renaissance Tours for more information.


Russia

January 2017

Russian winter wonderland
A tale of two cities: Moscow and St Petersburg
With Kenneth Park
From approx $10,000 pp plus airfares

Experience the magic of Russian in midwinter. Avoid the summer crowds, enjoy the peak of the winter cultural season and celebrate Russian Orthodox Christmas (6/7 January).

Itinerary available soon. Contact Renaissance Tours for more information.


Mexico

January 2017

Mexico: Mayan to magic realism
With Julian Droogan
From approx $10,000 pp plus airfares

With a fascinating history, vibrant culture and modern lifestyle, Mexico offers the cultural traveller everything from ancient monuments and archaeology to modern and contemporary art.

Itinerary available soon. Contact Renaissance Tours for more information.


Myanmar

21 November – 6 December 2016

Mystical Myanmar
A luxury cruise on the Upper Ayeyarwady
With Judy Tenzing
From $17,500 pp including airfares

Take a journey back in time through mystical Myanmar on this luxury cruise along the majestic Upper Ayeyarwady River, combined with the splendours of Bagan and the colonial charm of Yangon. This tour features stays in Bagan and Yangon and the key highlight is the cruise along the less frequently explored Upper Ayeyarwady as far north as Bhamo.

Note: This tour has been cancelled. Contact Renaissance Tours for any enquiries.


Egypt

4 – 20 November 2016

From Akhenaten to Alexander
An historical and cultural survey of Egypt
With Christopher Hartney
From $8950 pp plus airfares

Travel through 5000 years of Egyptian history, beginning with the treasures of Cairo and heading south on a luxurious four-day Nile cruise to Abu Simbel, the Pharaonic majesty of Karnak and Luxor, the Ptolemaic temples of Kom Ombo and Edfu and the Valley of the Kings. Other highlights include Alexandria with its rebuilt historic library, and a relaxing stay in an oasis resort.

From Akhenaten to Alexander itinerary (PDF 1.6 MB)


Turkey

7 – 24 October 2016

Magnificent Turkey: crossroads of culture
With Andrew Yip
From $9150 pp plus airfares

Discover the secrets of Turkey, the world’s largest open-air museum and the bridge between East and West. From bustling Istanbul to mystical Cappadocia, via the extraordinary Greek and Roman cities of the coast and through an astonishing variety of landscapes, this comprehensive tour will uncover the splendour of the cultures that have formed the melting pot that is modern Turkey.

Magnificent Turkey itinerary (PDF 1.3 MB)


Islands of Hesperia

24 September – 8 October 2016

Islands of Hesperia
Corsica and Sardinia
With Christopher Allen
From $9450 pp plus airfares

Discover an enchanting but unfamiliar corner of the Mediterranean. Start in Corsica, the former Genoese island with its incredibly wild mountains and breathtaking coastline. Then travel to Sardinia, an island with intriguing Bronze Age civilisation and ancient towns.

Islands of Hesperia itinerary (PDF 1.4 MB)


Silk Road

20 September – 8 October 2016

Silk Road part V
From the Euphrates to the Mediterranean
With Julian Droogan
From $8950 pp plus airfares

Take the final stage of the Silk Road journey through Inner Asia, from the remote reaches of eastern Turkey to the shores of the Mediterranean. Visit some of the great trading cities of antiquity and journey past Lake Van, Mount Ararat and the Armenian highlands, then cross the Euphrates, traditional border of the Roman Empire, visiting prehistoric ruins and early sites of Christian devotion. The tour ends at the ancient coastal city of Antioch, a traditional place of rest for weary Silk Road travellers.

Note: This tour has been postponed. Contact Renaissance Tours if you have an enquiry.


Mongols and Manchus

15 September – 1 October 2016

Mongols and Manchus
Beijing, Chengde, the Great Wall and Mongolia
With Jackie Menzies
From $10,500 pp including airfares

Explore the history and culture of Northern China and Mongolia where, for six centuries, China was in turn invaded, conquered and ruled. Discover the influence the Mongols and Manchus exerted over food, religion, language, art, architecture and town-planning. Via Chengde, the Great Wall and the steppes, travel from Beijing, capital of the Qing Dynasty of the Manchu, to Karakorum, ancient capital of the Mongolian Empire.

Mongols and Manchus itinerary (PDF 1.4 MB)


Uzbekistan

14 – 30 September 2016

Splendours of Uzbekistan
The jewel of Central Asia
With Julian Droogan
From $9250 pp including airfares

Travel across Uzbekistan, the jewel of Central Asia and melting pot of cultures. Explore its historic treasures set amid arid deserts, vast steppes and majestic mountains. Visit the architectural legacy of Timur and his successors in the romantic oasis cities of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand – strung across the desert like rare pearls, with their dazzling turquoise-tiled mosques, madrassahs and minarets.

Note: Julian Droogan will lead this tour rather than Liz Gibson as previously advertised

Splendours of Uzbekistan itinerary (PDF 1.6 MB)


Peru

27 August – 11 September 2016

Art, treasures and cuisine of Peru
Lima, Moche and Inca cultures, and Mistura Food Festival
With Chris Carter
From $10,900 pp plus airfares

Delve into the fascinating melange that is Peru, from archaeological sites to the world’s most ‘in-demand’ cuisine. Discover golden treasures of the Incas, the contemporary art scene and mystical landscapes. Begin with the Moche culture (100–800 AD) then journey high in the Andes to Cusco, the Sacred Valley of the Incas and Machu Picchu. Finish in the capital Lima with a ‘must do’ for foodies.

Art, treasures and cuisine of Peru itinerary (PDF 1.5 MB)


Java

19 – 30 August 2016

Temples and textiles of ancient Java
Jakarta, Solo, Borobudur, Jogyakarta, Prambanan
With Joyce Morgan
From $6500 pp including airfares

Visit sublime sacred sites in south-east Asia, from ethereal Buddhist Borobudur to the temple towers of Hindu Prambanan. Discover a living artistic tradition shaped by influences borne to Java in centuries past by trade winds of the maritime Silk Route. From the bustling capital Jakarta and the old Dutch colonial port of Batavia, travel east into the cultural heartland rich in ancient palaces, intricate textiles and age-old customs.

Temples and textiles of ancient Java itinerary (PDF 1.3 MB)


Art and music cruise

19 June – 4 July 2016

The critics’ choice art and music cruise
Munich – Main and Rhine – Amsterdam
With Christopher Allen, Christopher Lawrence and John McDonald
From $9750 pp plus airfares

Beginning and ending in the great cultural capitals of Munich and Amsterdam, enjoy a relaxing river cruise aboard the Amadeus Elegant from Bavaria to the Netherlands along the Main and Rhine Rivers, stopping at the charming smaller cities of Nuremburg, Bamberg, Wurzburg, Koblenz and Cologne. By day immerse yourself in some of Europe’s finest art collections; in the evening enjoy concerts, recitals and operas in a variety of venues; on board unpack for a week, sit back, relax and marvel at the constantly changing panorama.

To guide you on this cultural journey will be Australia’s two foremost art critics, Christopher Allen and John McDonald, and one of Australia’s favourite classical music presenters, Christopher Lawrence.

  • 5-day stays in Munich and Amsterdam
  • 7-night luxury cruise on Amadeus Elegant
  • Guided visits to the great art collections of Munich, Nuremburg, Wurzburg, Cologne and Amsterdam
  • Six musical performances including symphony concerts, chamber recitals and operas
  • Illustrated art lectures and musical introductions
  • Optional post-tour to Belgium (Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent and Brussels)

The critics' choice itinerary (PDF 1.9 MB)


From the Danube to Dalmatia

20 May – 6 June 2016

From the Danube to Dalmatia
Vienna to Dubrovnik, with a six-night Adriatic Cruise
With Liz Gibson
From $8950 pp plus airfares

From the remarkable art treasures of Vienna to the medieval walled city of Dubrovnik, explore a diversity of art, culture and history from ancient Roman to modern times. Travel through the breathtaking scenery of Slovenia and cruise the dramatic Dalmatian coast.

From the Danube to Dalmatia itinerary (PDF 1.5 MB)


The road to Santiago

19 May – 4 June 2016

The road to Santiago
Art, architecture, culture and gastronomy in green Spain
With Brian Ladd
From $8950 pp plus airfares

Explore the 1200-year-old pilgrimage tradition along the Camino de Santiago. Discover the outstanding art, architecture and extraordinary history of five vibrant and culturally diverse cities across Spain – Barcelona, Pamplona, Bilbao, Leon and Santiago de Compostela.

The road to Santiago itinerary (PDF 1.3 MB)


Paris and the Seine through the artist’s eyes

8 – 19 May 2016

Paris and the Seine
Through the artist’s eyes
With Wendy Sharpe and Bernard Ollis
From $6750 pp plus airfares

Join acclaimed Australian artists Wendy Sharpe and Bernard Ollis as they take you to their favourite haunts in and around their adopted home town of Paris. See famous museums, intimate gallery spaces, artist walks and iconic locations loved by artists throughout history. Discover anew the wonders of the City of Light, including the latest museums, galleries and exhibitions, and journey along the River Seine from Paris to Honfleur on the Atlantic.

  • Enjoy eight days in the heart of Paris, followed by four days in Rouen
  • See the new Foundation Louis Vuitton, the re-opened Picasso Museum and the brand-new Paris Philharmonie, plus, of course, current exhibitions
  • On leisurely day trips, explore landscapes, towns and sites along the River Seine, including St-Germain-en-Laye, the ‘Île des Impressionistes’, Sannois, Monet’s home and garden at Giverny and Honfleur

Paris and the Seine intinerary (PDF 1.3 MB)


Museums, mansions and masterpieces

5 – 20 May 2016

Museums, mansions and masterpieces
Washington DC – Virginia – Pittsburgh – Chicago
With Ron Ramsay
From $10,750 pp plus airfares

Enter the magnificent homes of the great American philanthropists and discover the extraordinary cultural institutions generously endowed by their patronage. Explore in depth the legacy of the first truly American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.

Museums, mansions and masterpieces itinerary (PDF 1.5 MB)


A feast for the senses

18 – 30 April 2016

A feast for the senses
Arte, cultura and cucina in Central Italy
With Lorraine Kypiotis
From $6750 pp plus airfares

Discover the hidden treasures of the central Italian regions of Emilia Romagna, Le Marche and Umbria. Based in the delightful smaller cities of Bologna, Urbino and Perugia, explore the art, architecture, culture, gastronomy and ‘la bella vita’ of these vibrant centres. Enhance your knowledge of over one thousand years of Italian civilisation from the Byzantine Empire to the Renaissance, with a special emphasis on the Trecento to the Seicento, when these independent city states reached their zenith. Experience the pleasure of Italian life away from the big cities and savour the rich and varied gastronomic culture of Italy – from paddock to plate.

A feast for the senses itinerary (PDF 1.4 MB)


Mountains and monasteries

19 March – 5 April 2016

Mountains and monasteries
Nepal – Darjeeling – Bhutan
With Judy Tenzing
From $11,800 pp plus airfaires

Travel on a cultural journey across the East Himalayan Kingdoms through Everest history, Buddhism and Himalayan culture. Starting in the kingdom of Nepal, travel to the hill station of Darjeeling and on to the once forbidden kingdom of Bhutan.

Mountains and monasteries itinerary (PDF 1.6 MB)


India: land of many gods

26 January – 12 February 2016

India: land of many gods
From Mumbai to Kolkata
With Jackie Menzies
From $10,950 pp including airfares

India is home to the great religions of Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, with magnificent monuments, sculptures and wall paintings that date back centuries. Visit significant sites that convey India’s complex heritage of beliefs, with a focus on surviving Buddhist sites.

India itinerary (PDF 1.2 MB)

More information

To find out more about any of the tours or to register to receive one of the upcoming itineraries once they are available, contact

Renaissance Tours
Tel 02 9299 5801
info@renaissancetours.com.au

Related talks

Joyce Morgan talks about the temples and textiles of ancient Java. Find out more

Chris Carter explores the art, treasures and cuisines of Peru. Find out more

Jackie Menzies looks at the history and culture of China. Find out more

Christopher Allen explores Corsica and Sardinia. Find out more

Julian Droogan discusses the splendours of Uzbekistan. Find out more