Wine Tours with Tim Clarke join Kirker’s Cultural Tours programme
New escorted itineraries for 2019/20 also include Beethoven in Bonn, Opera & Art in Dresden and Exclusive Kirker Music Cruises to the Low Countries and the Norwegian Fjords
Specialist tour operator for discerning travellers, Kirker Holidays (www.kirkerholidays.com) has added two new wine holidays to its selection of escorted itineraries for 2019/20. Led by wine guru Tim Clarke (co-founder of Arblaster & Clarke, which he sold some years ago), both offer the same irresistible combination of expertise and conviviality for which Kirker’s Cultural Tours & Music Holidays programme is renowned.
Join Tim and a small group of like-minded travel companions this autumn for an insider’s view of Champagne during a three-night Reims & Champagne tour that visits the caves of this famous French region’s most prestigious marques, including Pol Roger and Taittinger, as well as smaller houses and growers out in the vineyard villages. Enjoy behind the scenes access to the cellars, with private tastings and exclusive meals, and learn more about the complexity of this much-celebrated tipple as Tim Clarke shares his personal insights, gathered over 30 years of working in the wine industry. Departing 24 November 2019, the price is from £2,168 pp (two sharing), including return Standard Premier (first class) Eurostar tickets, three nights’ four-star hotel accommodation with breakfast, two dinners, one lunch, Champagne tastings and talks, and the services of the Kirker Tour Lecturer, Tim Clarke.
Alternatively, sample the Wines of Rioja & Northern Spain on a five-night tour through Basque Country, La Rioja and Old Castille that takes in some of Spain’s finest vineyards – both the famous and the lesser-known – with plenty of opportunity for those all-important tastings. Experience the legendary hospitality of the region’s bodegas and explore historic cities such as Burgos and Segovia, where the Kirker group will dine at one of Spain’s most famous restaurants, Méson De Cándido. Departing 11 May 2020, the price is from £2,298 pp (two sharing), including flights (Gatwick), five nights’ four-star hotel accommodation with breakfast, four dinners, four lunches, all entrance fees and gratuities, and the services of the Kirker Tour Lecturer, Tim Clarke.
Also NEW to Kirker’s Cultural Tours & Music Holidays programme for 2019/2020 are:
Designed to tell the story of the famous D-Day landings in June 1944 that launched the invasion of France, this five-night tour visits iconic sites such as the Sword, Utah, Omaha, Gold and Juno Beaches, the battlefields around Caen, and Pegasus Bridge, as well as finding time to take in other aspects of this beautiful part of northern France, including the Norman Castle at Falaise (where William the Conqueror was born) and Bayeux, with its famous tapestry.
Departing 25 August 2019, the price is from £1,859 pp (two sharing), including return ferry (Portsmouth/Caen), five nights’ three-star hotel accommodation with breakfast, four dinners, two lunches, all entrance fees and gratuities, and the services of the Kirker Tour Lecturer, Hugh Macdonald-Buchanan.
Three new music-themed holidays join Kirker’s cultural tours collection in Germany for 2020:
Celebrating 250 years since the composer’s birth in the city, Bonn will mark this major anniversary with the European Cycle (15, 16, 18 & 19 March): eight symphonies performed over five concerts at the Bonn Opera House by the MusicAeterna Orchestra, led by Teodor Currentzis. This six-night holiday includes second category tickets for the Beethoven Symphonies as well as Mozart and Poppe concerts by the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, a visit to the house where Beethoven was born, sightseeing in Cologne and Brühl, and a cruise on the River Rhine followed by a cog railway journey to Scholss Drachenburg and wine tasting.
Departing 14 March 2020, the price is from £2,246 pp (two sharing), including flights (Heathrow), six nights’ four-star accommodation with breakfast, concert tickets, three dinners, one lunch, excursions, all gratuities and entrance fees, and the services of Kirker Tour Leader, Christopher Monckton, plus a local guide.
Enjoy world-class performances of ‘Il barbiere di Sivigila’ by Rossini and Puccini’s ‘La bohème’ at one of the most important and historic opera houses in Europe, Dresden’s Semperoper, during this five-night holiday which also promises a walking tour of the city with a local guide and viewings of the art treasures of the Historic Green Vault, the New Green Vault and the Zwinger Gallery. Take a boat ride along the Elbe to the Baroque palace at Pillnitz and visit Schloss Wackerbath for wine tasting and lunch.
Departing 22 April 2020, the price is from £2,272 pp (two sharing), including flights (Heathrow), five nights’ four-star hotel accommodation with breakfast, three dinners, two lunches, tickets for two operas, all sightseeing, entrance fees and gratuities, and the services of the Kirker Tour Leader plus a local guide.
Surrounded by the Black Forest and brimming with magnificent parks, gardens and open spaces, the stylish spa town of Baden-Baden is also home to the Festspielhaus, which attracts musical performances of the highest international standard each year. Kirker offers two departures for this five-night holiday, the first to coincide with the Festspielhaus’ Easter Festival; the second timed to take in The Mariinsky Summer Season. Escorted visits to the house where Johannes Brahms spent many summer holidays, the Frieder Burda Museum (with its collection of Classical Modernism and contemporary art), Schloss Rastatt and historic Strasbourg also feature.
Departing 9 April and 22 July 2020, the price is from £2,987 pp (two sharing), including flights (Heathrow), five nights’ four-star hotel accommodation with breakfast, first category concert and opera tickets, three dinners (two at the Festspielhaus), excursions, and the services of the Kirker Tour Leader, plus a local guide.
Discover the fascinating history of these two unforgettable islands on a five-night holiday led by award-winning journalist, Juliet Rix. Discover prehistoric temples thought to be the earliest free-standing buildings in the world, mediaeval settlements and the ‘Silent City’ of Mdina, learn more about the rich legacy of the Knights of Malta and explore Malta’s vital role in World War II.
Departing 18 November 2019 and 23 March 2020, the price is from £1,868 pp (two sharing), including flights (Heathrow), five nights’ four-star accommodation with breakfast, two dinners, three lunches, all entrance fees and gratuities, and the services of the Kirker Tour Lecturer.
Also NEW for next year are two Kirker Music Festivals at Sea. Sailing on Fred. Olsen’s Black Watch, both cruises offer Kirker clients an exclusive programme of on-board events that are not open to other passengers. Enjoy world-class concerts, interviews and talks, as well as the opportunity to meet the performers themselves – over drinks at Kirker cocktail parties, both before and after the concert, and at dinner.
Kirker’s Music Festivals at Sea for 2020 are:
Sail from Southampton to the Low Countries with the Aquinas Piano Trio and art historian Ger Van Den Munckhof, who will accompany excursions to the galleries of Amsterdam, Antwerp, Delft, Ghent and The Hague during this seven-night cruise.
Departing 17 March 2020, the price is from £1,470 pp (two sharing), including a full music, concert and lecture programme, two private drinks parties and all meals on board.
Travelling to the scenic fjords of southern Norway at a delightful time of year, this 11-night cruise sails from Liverpool with The Danish Clarinet Trio, Trio Ondine, the Marmen Quartet and pianist Tim Horton. Optional shore excursions include Bergen, Oslo, Stavanger and the picturesque fishing village of Resor.
Departing 12 May 2020, the price is from £2,845 pp (two sharing), including a full music, concert and lecture programme, two private drinks parties and all meals on board.
Two itineraries, launched earlier this year, also appear in the Cultural Tours & Music Holidays brochure for the first time:
Marking the 500th anniversary of Da Vinci’s death, this six-night tour – led by Juliet Rix – follows in the footsteps of Leonardo, from the small Tuscan village in which he was born to his magnificent masterpiece, ‘The Last Supper’, in Milan.
Departing 20 October 2019, the price is from £2,798 pp*.
Encompassing a colourful and complex period of history spanning 1,600 years from 330 AD until the early 20th century, this five-night tour – led by Andrew Allen – features a comprehensive programme of sightseeing as well as free time to explore the Grand Bazaar.
Departing 15 October 2019 and 25 March 2020, the price is from £1,515 pp*.
*Prices are based on two people sharing and include flights (London), transfers, accommodation with breakfast, excursions and other meals as per the itinerary, and the services of the Kirker Tour Leader.
For more information on Cultural Tours & Music Holidays, including tailor-made itineraries to Europe and beyond, call Kirker Holidays on 020 7593 2283 or visit www.kirkerholidays.com.
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