Easter at the Met

New York City awaits you for a week of opera and art as the city that never sleeps awakes to a splash of springtime colour.

In the company of broadcaster Mairi Nicolson, enjoy world-class operatic performances at the Metropolitan Opera by sopranos including Nina Stemme and Ana María Martínez, and tenors Joseph Calleja and Andrea Caré. Explore the galleries of the Upper East Side, from contemporary art of the Guggenheim to the Renaissance works of the Frick Collection.

Let your eyes feast upon vibrant floral displays at the expansive New York Botanic Gardens and be dazzled by the grandeur of Radio City Music Hall, the largest indoor theatre in the world.

Suggested departure from Australia and New Zealand with Qantas or Air New Zealand; arrive in New York in the late-afternoon on the same day. The rest of the day and evening is at leisure.

After breakfast, join your tour leader Mairi for a talk on the performances you will be attending over the next few days. Then, rise swiftly above the hustling streets of New York’s financial district as you ascend 381 meters to the newest and highest observation deck to be built in the city in forty years, the One World Observatory. Marvel at the dense and complex landscape as the iconic metropolis sprawls beneath you. Continue to the Chelsea Highline before lunch at the recently unveiled Hudson Yards precinct. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure.

This evening’s performance of the Metropolitan Opera’s enchanting Madama Butterfly is conducted by Pier Giorgio Morandi and stars Andrea Caré as Pinkerton, Ana María Martínez as Cio-Cio San and Maria Zifchak as Suzuki.


This morning return to the Metropolitan Opera House for a private backstage tour. Go behind the scenes for a fascinating look at what it takes to make operatic magic at one of the world’s premiere performing arts organisations, including visits to the scenery and carpentry shops, rehearsal and dressing rooms, and stage area.

Continue your exploration of Manhattan north of Central Park as you drive through the Upper West Side and continue across town to the acclaimed New York Botanical Gardens. The annual Orchid Show, which will be underway at the time, is a horticultural spectacle not to be missed with a vivid pop of floral fuchsia, pink and white. Enjoy lunch in the ground’s arboretum overlooking the 250-acre green space with gardens awash with fresh spring blooms.

Return to the hotel in the late afternoon. The evening is at leisure.


After breakfast, enjoy an early access guided tour of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), often identified as the most influential (and certainly one of the largest) museums of modern art in the world. The museum’s collections offer an overview of modern and contemporary art, including works of architecture and design, drawing, painting, sculpture and photography.

Continue to Radio City Music Hall, where America’s most popular entertainers have thrilled audiences since 1932 and take a VIP tour of the rehearsal halls, dressing rooms and a complete view of the Roxy Suite.

Before leaving for the Met this evening, join Mairi for a talk on tonight’s and tomorrow night’s performances.

This evening Nina Stemme, one of opera’s most thrilling dramatic sopranos, reprises her fierce portrayal of Turandot. Carlo Rizzi takes the podium to conduct Franco Zeffirelli’s dazzling production of Puccini’s final masterpiece, which also features tenors Marco Berti as Calàf, soprano Hibla Gerzmava as Liù, and bass-baritones Nicolas Testé as Timur.


This morning visit the Frick Collection, heralded as one of the best small museums in the world. This collection on 5th Avenue boasts an impressive display of distinguished Old Master paintings and outstanding examples of European sculpture and decorative arts. Visit the Guggenheim Museum’s unmatched collection before lunch on the Upper East Side. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure.

This evening’s performance of Verdi’s Simone Boccanegra will be conducted again by Carolo Rizzi. Ailyn Pérez, a Met audience favourite, takes on the role of Amelia Grimaldi, with renowned baritone Carlos Álvarez returning to the Met for the first time in more than a decade in the title role.


Enjoy a full day at leisure to visit a favourite store, museum, gallery or sight before joining Mairi and your fellow travellers for an early farewell dinner at the Met’s splendid Grand Tier Restaurant. After dinner, sit back and enjoy a performance of Tosca. In this production, conducted by Bertrand de Billy, soprano Jennifer Rowley returns to the Met stage in the title role paired with Brian Jagde as Cavaradossi and George Gadnidze as Scarpia.


Tour arrangements conclude after breakfast. Suggested return flights to Australia and New Zealand with Qantas or Air New Zealand leaving New York in the early-evening via Los Angeles, and arriving in the early morning on Saturday, 18 April. Please note: Late check out not included in tour price.


Per person, double-share Essex King (1 king bed)

AUD 8,750

Per person, twin-share Essex King (2 beds in the room)

AUD 9,500

Single supplement*

AUD 2,150

Deposit (per person) at the time of booking

AUD 1,500

Upgrade to Orchestra Premium

AUD 750

*Single travellers may request to share.
Please advise at time of booking.

Room category upgrades available. Please enquire with us.

Final payment due

10 February 2020

Tour code


Fitness level

Please see Terms & Conditions for fitness level definitions.

Suggested airline

Qantas / Air New Zealand
Please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for current airfares and flight reservations.


In order to visit the United States under the Visa Waiver Programme, all Australian and New Zealand passport holders require an ESTA pre-authorisation application (completed online in advance of travel).

Tour price includes

  • Six nights’ accommodation in a 5-star deluxe hotel with breakfast daily (B)
  • Meals as per itinerary (L=Lunch, D=Dinner). Wines with meals
  • Orchestra Prime tickets for four Metropolitan Opera performances (optional upgrade to Orchestra Premium available for AUD 750 – please advise at time of booking)
  • Comprehensive sightseeing, including local guides and entrance fees as per itinerary
  • Luxury transportation throughout on comfortable air-conditioned coaches
  • Enlightening pre-performance talks by Mairi Nicolson
  • Other meals as per itinerary (L = Lunch, D = Dinner), including wine with meals
  • Gratuities for local guides and drivers
  • Hotel porterage (one piece per person)

Tour price does not include

  • International flights (please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
  • Late check-out on the final morning of the tour
  • Airport/hotel transfers on arrival and departure
  • 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)


Your hotel
JW Marriot Essex House Hotel *****
Perfectly situated in Midtown opposite Central Park, the luxurious JW Marriott Essex House Hotel is a historic Art Deco hotel with 5 star facilities and service. The spacious Essex King Rooms boast custom-designed furniture, flat-screen internet-enabled TVs, WiFi included and minibars. The hotel offers a range of spa treatments, 24-hour fitness centre and round-the-clock room service. The hotel is within easy walking distance of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, as well as the Museum of Modern Art, Times Square and the upscale shopping districts of the city.

Upgrades to Park View King Rooms and Junior Suites are available on request. Please enquire with us.

N.B. A hotel of a similar standard may be substituted.

JW Marriot Essex House Hotel, Exterior


Essex King Room