Christmas Ballet Spectacular
Ballet lovers are in for a treat with a flurry of beautiful ballet (and maybe snow too!) during Europe’s most enchanting season performed by the world’s leading companies.
Begin in Baden-Baden for the Mariinsky Ballet’s Christmas program. Then continue to Stuttgart and Paris for more masterpieces of the classical and contemporary repertoire by the Stuttgart Ballet and Paris Opera Ballet. See in the New Year in London and attend superb ballet productions at the Sadler’s Wells and Coliseum theatres.
In between the glorious nights at the theatre, amble through Germany’s colourful Christmas markets, see how Paris lives up to its reputation as the ‘city of lights’, and be reminded why London remains one of the world’s greatest cities.
Suggested departures on flights from Australia or New Zealand to Frankfurt. Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your travel arrangements.
Arrive in Frankfurt. For flights arriving in Frankfurt in the morning or early afternoon, there is a group coach transfer at 2pm from Frankfurt airport to Baden-Baden (included in tour price). For those arriving on other days or later flights, please make your own way to Baden-Baden. Arrive in the spa resort town of Baden-Baden and check in to your hotel.
This evening, join Donna and fellow travellers for welcome drinks and light refreshments.
After breakfast, join Donna for a welcome briefing and pre-performance talk about the two Mariinsky Ballet productions of Romeo and Juliet and Paquita. Afterwards, enjoy a guided walking tour of the world-renowned Black Forest spa town, taking in sights such as the Casino, ending with lunch.
Return to the hotel for some free time before transferring to the Festspielhaus for an early-evening performance of Romeo and Juliet, a ballet in three acts with music by Sergei Prokofiev and choreography by Leonid Lavrovsky. Pyotr Williams is the set and costume designer.
Enjoy a morning at leisure to explore the Christmas Market and Christmas shop window displays of Baden-Baden. After lunch at leisure, meet at the Festspielhaus for a backstage tour of Europe’s second-largest concert hall and opera house. Return to the hotel in the mid-afternoon for some free time.
After an early dinner at the hotel, return to the Festspielhaus for this evening’s performance of the Mariinsky Ballet’s new production of Paquita, with libretto and choreography by Yuri Smekalov. The set designer is Andrei Sevbo and the costume designer is Elena Zaitseva.
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and transfer by coach to Stuttgart, capital of southwest Germany’s Baden-Württemberg state. After a brief orientation tour of the city centre, including the city’s Palace Square, check in to the hotel and enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at leisure.
This evening, enjoy a special Christmas dinner at the hotel.
On this merry morning, join Donna for a pre-performance talk on this evening’s performance of John Cranko’s iconic production of Swan Lake by the Stuttgart Ballet.
Enjoy the rest of the morning and early afternoon at leisure, with the possibility to further explore Stuttgart on foot or attend a Christmas Mass.
In the late afternoon, stroll across to the State Theatre for an early-evening performance.
After a morning at leisure, check out of the hotel around midday for the TGV rapid (direct) train to Paris, departing around 1pm. Arrive in Paris in the late afternoon and transfer by coach to the hotel for check in. Dinner is at the hotel.
After breakfast, join Donna for a talk on the two performances of the Paris Opera Ballet which you will be attending, Play and Don Quichotte. Afterwards, walk to the Palais Garnier for a private visit of the magnificent theatre, followed by a guided tour of the beautiful Fragonard Perfume Museum. Discover the heady secrets of perfume – how it is manufactured, the raw materials used, and view a stunning collection of precious bottles of all styles and eras. After lunch, enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at leisure to explore Paris.
This evening, return to the Palais Garnier for a performance of Play, a new production by Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman.
This morning, enjoy a guided tour of the Louis Vuitton Foundation, an art museum and cultural centre opened in October 2014 and designed by the architect Frank Gehry. The museum’s collection, a combination of works owned by the Louis Vuitton Corporation and its Chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault, includes works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Gilbert & George and Jeff Koons.
After lunch, return to the hotel for some free time before transferring to the Opéra Bastille for this evening’s performance of Léon Minkus’s Don Quichotte, a joyful work with flamboyant costumes with a Spanish air. The set design is by Alexandre Beliaev and costume design is by Elena Rivkina.
Transfer to the Jacquemart-Andre Museum, a private museum located on the Boulevard Haussmann. The museum was created from the private home of Édouard André and Nélie Jacquemart to display the vast collection of art they acquired during their lives.
The rest of the day is at leisure, maybe for a slow amble back to the hotel, window-shopping along Boulevard Haussman.
Optional performances this evening (to be advised)
Check out from your hotel and travel by train from Paris Gare du Nord to London St Pancras aboard the Eurostar.
On arrival in London, transfer to the hotel and enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at leisure before dinner with your fellow travellers.
In the morning, join Donna for a pre-performance talk on The Nutcracker and Cinderella. After an early lunch at leisure, stroll to the London Coliseum for the English National Ballet’s afternoon performance of Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, a cheery farewell to the passing year. Choreographed by Wayne Eagling, this production comes off a record-breaking previous season attended by over 79,000 audience members.
In the evening, enjoy the option of a special New Year’s Eve dinner at the hotel. (Not included in tour price, additional cost applies. Details to be advised.)
After breakfast, enjoy a guided tour of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Theatre and Performances collection. Inherited from the former Theatre Museum and opened in 2009, the Theatre and Performances collection displays set models, costumes, wigs and promotional posters from the Shakespearean era to the present day. The collection embraces dance, drama, concerts and musicals, circus acts and all manner of live performance.
Lunch and the remainder of the afternoon is at leisure.
Enjoy a morning visit to one of London’s cultural attractions before a special farewell lunch with Donna and fellow travellers. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure.
In the evening, attend Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella at the Sadler’s Wells Theatre, the capstone of two weeks of bravura ballet performances. Lez Brotherston won an Olivier Award for his original costumes and set designs for this production, set during the Blitz in London.
Tour arrangements conclude after breakfast. Whether returning to Australia or New Zealand or travelling onwards, Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your travel arrangements.
*Single travellers may request to share.
Please advise at time of booking.
Final payment due
20 October 2017
Please see booking conditions for fitness level definitions.
Please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for current airfares and flight reservations.
Australian and New Zealand passport holders do not require visas for Germany, France or the United Kingdom
Tour price includes
- Accommodation in centrally located hotels with breakfast daily (B)
- Meals as per itinerary (L = Lunch, D = Dinner, R = Reception), including wines
- A-reserve tickets for two performances by the Mariinsky Ballet, one performance by the Stuttgart Ballet, two performances by the Paris National Opera Ballet, one performance by the English National Ballet and one performance by the New Adventures Ballet Company
- Airport/hotel transfer on arrival if travelling on suggested flights
- International train journeys from Stuttgart to Paris and Paris to London
- Comprehensive sightseeing, including local guides and entrance fees as per itinerary
- Transportation throughout in comfortable air-conditioned coaches
- Talks and discussions with your tour leader
- Gratuities for local guides and drivers
- Hotel porterage (one piece per person)
Tour price does not include
- International airfares (please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
- Airport/hotel transfer on arrival if not travelling on suggested flights
- Hotel/airport transfer on departure
- Airport porterage
- Items of a personal nature, including telephone, laundry, taxis, room service, etc.
- Travel insurance (a condition of travel; please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
Baden-Baden – Hotel Dorint Maison Messmer *****
Stuttgart – Althoff Hotel am Schlossgarten *****
Paris – Marriott Opera Ambassador Hotel ****
London – The Bloomsbury ****
NB. Hotels of a similar standard may be substituted