Cultural Tours and Music Holidays
Whether you want to learn more about the history and art of a particular region, or experience a Kirker Music Festivals, a classical concert or opera performance at one of Europe’s leading festivals or opera houses. We are confident you will find something that will whet your appetite for travel. All our escorted holidays are led by a guest lecturer who will help you experience the best of what your chosen destination has to offer, but we will always allow plenty of time to enjoy your surroundings at a leisurely pace with the company of your fellow travellers.
The 10th Kirker Ischia Music Festival
The festival is based at the 4* Albergo San Montano which has splendid views out across the Bay of Naples to Capri and Vesuvius. An included a private guided tour of La Mortella and a half-day sightseeing tour of Ischia, which takes you to the lush, rural interior and spectacular coastlines. There are also two optional excursions- one to Naples where you can visit the cities two great museums, the Archaeological Museum and the Capodimonte Museum. Should you prefer to explore independently you can use the hydrofoil service to visit Naples and the nearby island of Procida or take the shuttle to the village where you can catch the local bus service to all parts of the island.
The Kirker Chopin Festival in Mallorca
The festival will introduce you to the spectacular stretches of the north coast of Mallorca which come as a complete surprise to visitors who have experienced the crowded resorts to the south. The north coast is completely unspoilt and has been protected from development. You will spend a full day in Palma, capital of the island and a city of great style where we will see the cathedral and the delightful old quarter. There will be a visit to La Granja, a beautiful patrician hacienda, and to the charming town of Soller – for this visit we will travel on the historic train which links Palma with the town. One day will be spent enjoying the glorious coast road as we travel to Deia to see the house where Robert Graves lived for more than fifty years. Visit the estate and villa of San Marriog, once the home of the Hapsburg Archduke Luis Salvador.
Norwegian Fjords Cruise
Travelling along Norway’s long and dramatic coastline is universally acknowledged to be one of the world’s greatest journeys- it impresses both first time visitors and those who come back time after time to enjoy the glorious scenery. The deep, silent fjords are lined by towering mountains with their glaciers and fast-rushing waterfalls plunging for hundreds of feet into the clear waters. Optional excursions on the cruise include visits to the beautiful cities of Bergen and Stavanger. This year we have the added bonus of sailing along Scotland’s beautiful west coast from our Liverpool departure.
Canary Islands, Madeira & Lisbon
Throughout these days the Kirker Music Festival at Sea programme will be in full swing with concerts, master classes, talks and interviews with the musicians on board. Our first port of call is the sub-tropical island of Madeira. Madeira is one huge floating garden, its roads and lanes lined by luxuriant and exotic flowers and shrubs.
After a day in Funchal, the ship sails to Santa Cruz on the island of Tenerife where Santiago Calatrava’s great concert hall overlooks the sea. The island of Gran Canaria is our next stop where the ship will spend a day in Las Palmas before heading to the third island, Lanzarote. This is quite different in atmosphere and style from the others, with a flat but beautiful lunar landscape. Arrecife the capital has been protected from mass tourism by strictly-enforced rules which make sure there are no high rise buildings and houses and shops are all painted white. We then sail back to the mainland for a day in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon on the banks of the River Tagus. Lisbon is one of Europe’s most charming and unspoilt capitals with a number of distinctive neighbourhoods each with their own atmosphere.
The Metropolitan Opera & Art Galleries of New York
In addition to the three included performances at the Metropolitan Opera we will be visiting the city’s most important galleries and museums. Our first visit is to The Metropolitan Museum of Art followed by a visit to the remarkable collection of mediaeval art at The Cloisters, a department of the Met overlooking the Hudson River. We will visit MOMA an hour before the Museum opens to the public so that we can enjoy the collection’s highlights before the crowds arrive. The Frick Collection overlooking Central Park is one of the finest private art collections in the world. A guided backstage tour of the Met is always a highlight. There will be a welcome drinks party on the first evening when the tour leader will give advice on local restaurants for those evenings when dinner is not included. We stay in the heart of Midtown at Fifty NYC – an Affinia Hotel between Lexington and Third Avenues on East 50th Street. You will be accommodated in Studio Suites, each with a small kitchen with full facilities so you can make yourself feel really at home in the city.
Opera at La Fenice in Venice
During the holiday there will be three guided walking tours with visits to the Academia, the ‘National Gallery of Venice’, which houses the most important collection of Venetian paintings from the 14th to the 17th century and the Ca’Rezzonico for 18th century Venetian art including works by Tiepolo, Canaletto and Rosalba. We will also visit a number of important churches including Palladio’s magnificent church of San Giorgio Maggiore, wonderful painting cycles by Veronese in the Church of San Sebastiano, the paintings of Tintoretto in the Scuola di San Rocco and the Church of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari for works by Titian, Giovanni Bellini, Alessandro Vittoria and Donatello and the tomb of Canova. In the Castello area of Venice we look at the less well known churches and scuole. Highlights include Carpaccio’s fabulous cycle of the story of St. George in the Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni, the jewel-like Miracoli and the recently restored Palazzo Grimani.