We offer unique, exclusive, luxury travel for opera and the arts to the most spectacular destinations in the world.
We are not the only opera travel company out there, but we feel that we offer a unique approach that sets us apart from the competition. The creative approach to our tour design, the focus on themes such as architecture and literature, to augment the performance schedule, the generous inclusion of superb cuisine and wine, and the compassion and expertise of our Tour Directors make us the distinctive alternative for luxury opera travel—a leader in the field.
Our tour itineraries are inspired by our own excitement about the destinations and the performances, touring, accommodation and culinary opportunities… to be had there, but also by the desire to provide unique and memorable travel experiences. We approach each tour as though it is the “trip of a lifetime” for our clients. We design each itinerary to appeal equally to those who will be visiting a given destination for the first time and those who have been there many times.
Groups are small, limited in most cases to 16 members, assuring personal and attentive service and making for an intimate and memorable experience. Each member of our groups should feel special, that their travel needs and desires have been attended to with the utmost care, compassion, patience and professionalism.
Our hotels are 5-star (and occasionally, when ideal, 4-star), thoroughly researched and always highly-rated and highly-recommended. We prefer small luxury hotels, selected for their elegance and charm, for their superb location, for the size and quality of their rooms, for the warmth and efficiency of the staff, and for the overall experience they provide. In most cases, we secure deluxe category rooms.
In addition to opera (as well as theatre, ballet, classical music and other performing arts), we often incorporate other themes into our itineraries in order to provide an even more interesting experience. Depending on the location, this focus may be architecture, painting and visual or decorative art, horticulture, history, literature, wine or even chocolate!
Our guides are local and esteemed experts in their fields: art historians, musicologists, archaeologists, authors. They are carefully selected not only for their knowledge of each subject and location, but also for their ability to entertain and connect with the participants while imparting knowledge. Guiding is a performance, and it should be as scintillating as it is informative.
Superb Meals and Wine
We believe that partaking in the very best local cuisine and wine (or whatever the preferred local distillate may be) is an important part of the tour experience. We therefore spend a great deal of time researching restaurants, and have found what we think are the best in each city. This does not always mean the most expensive restaurant (though it may), but it always means a restaurant selected for exquisite, regional cuisine, ambience and gracious service. In many cases, these are “hidden gem” restaurants not frequented by tourists. On occasion, we dine in historic or Michelin-starred restaurants that are well known (and for good reason). In all cases, we have long-established relationships with the restaurant, which guarantees preferential service for our groups.
We do our wine research as well, both during our travels and also from home (but not excessive research, rest assured…). Wines at most meals will be pre-selected by Aria Tours, and will be what we think are the best examples of local varietals (where quality allows it—rarely a problem in Italy or France, for example).
We are very generous with menus and wines. Meals are usually 3-5 course affairs, depending on the time of day and portion size, and a choice for each course is usually offered. We cater to any and all dietary concerns.
Professional, Compassionate Tour Direction
Not only will we take care of any and all arrangements for your travel experience, we will be there to take care of you as well, every step of the way. Our Tour Directors are not only the best in the business, all with at least a dozen years experience, but they are all knowledgeable and professional while also being incredibly warm and friendly people, focused on attention to the client’s needs as a concierge at a 5-star hotel would be. They do not play the role of lecturer or caregiver to a class of schoolchildren—they are travelling companions who are confident and compassionate leaders, and they know the territory.
Best Seats in the House
Our seats for performances and events are always excellent. We think that seats between 6th and 15th row in the central orchestra section of most venues is ideal for opera. Where preferable, we may select boxes or front row grand tier, again, depending on the venue. Whether you join us for a tour that features performances at Bayreuth, La Scala, Glyndebourne or the Lyric Opera in Chicago, you will enjoy best seats in the house.
We provide each tour member with a soft cover Guidebook that is a comprehensive compilation of tour information, usually numbering over one hundred pages. We include detailed daily itineraries with approximate timings, performance synopses (courtesy of our relationship with Grove Music), background information on the cities and sites that we visit, and a “Before You Go” document that assists tour members in their tour preparation. We consistently receive glowing praise for the guidebooks, which are, from all reports, without parallel in the travel industry.