Telephone: +44 (0)1280 820521
Mobile: +44 (0)7590 839015
Email: abroad@artpursuits.com
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Art Pursuits Abroad specialises in Art History and Architectural Cultural Study Tour Holidays in Europe and beyond.


About Us

About Art Pursuits Abroad

Study Tours

Art Pursuits Abroad has been organising cultural holidays since 2003. We are proud of our independent status and are committed to providing you with a high quality experience with a personal touch. We like to call our holidays ‘Study Tours’, so as to highlight the learning aspect of what we do. At the same time, we hasten to add that our holidays are certainly not university field trips, as we enjoy travelling in comfort, staying at good hotels and dining in fine restaurants.

Our Study Tours combine the art of travelling with the pleasure of looking at and learning about art and history in beautiful places. We endeavour to give you an enjoyable experience in the congenial company of like-minded individuals and of an expert lecturer who will enthuse, even inspire, so that you return home enriched, stimulated, full of ideas and happy memories.

  • Expert lecturers and efficient tour managers

    Our Study Tours are led by a cohesive but ever-developing team of expert lecturers. Their specialist knowledge and academic credentials are second to none, but they are also excellent communicators and good company.  Most holidays are also accompanied by an experienced tour manager who takes care of day-to-day matters and ensures your wellbeing during every moment of the tour. Our aim is to achieve a judicious balance between activity and relaxation.

    For those of you who like to do preliminary reading, we normally send out reading suggestions before the tour. These are not compulsory — you decide how much or how little ‘studying’ you want to do. During the tour, sets of study notes act as aide-mémoires and are intended to enhance your understanding of historical contexts and works of art and architecture.

  • Imaginative programmes on a human scale

    Over the years we have built up a repertoire of over one hundred Study Tours. The wealth of academic knowledge at our disposal, combined with professional expertise, hands-on experience and personal input, enable us to create imaginative itineraries. These are constantly reviewed, updated and improved by thorough research and regular prospecting, resulting in a cultural holiday experience which will remain with you for a long time, well beyond the trip itself.

    The size of the group on one of our Study Tours is 17 on average, and never exceeds 22. This ensures that you are treated as an individual rather than as part of an anonymous crowd. It also allows us to dine in some smaller, more special restaurants and gain access to some venues which can only accommodate limited numbers of visitors.  Single travellers are welcome.  We normally offer you the use of a digital audio system; our lecturers talk to you via a small transmitter while you listen via receiver devices and comfortable headphones or earpieces. This facilitates hearing in busy places and allows you to roam or sit at some distance from the lecturer, without losing out on what is being said. It also minimises disturbance to others in places where loud talking is inappropriate.

  • Trains, boats & planes…

    We book scheduled flights (economy class) using reputable airlines. Alternatively, we arrange international travel by train on Eurostar (standard class). We choose the most sensible departure times available. Upgrades are available on request and we provide ‘No flights/Eurostar’ options at a reduced price which allow you to make your own arrangements for international travel. Local transport companies are chosen for the safety and comfort of their vehicles and vessels.
     
  • Bed & board

    The hotels where you will stay are normally small or medium-sized and often owner-managed establishments, mostly of four-star rating. We have personally inspected the vast majority.  Over the years, we have forged excellent relationships with many of them, which ensures a warm welcome. As quite a few of the hotels we use occupy historic buildings, rooms may vary in size, décor and view. Where we think single rooms are of a good standard and size, we offer them as a more economical alternative to double rooms for sole occupancy.

    All Art Pursuits Abroad Study Tours include a number of dinners and/or lunches. Group meals are arranged in good restaurants with menus typical of the region visited. They normally include wine, water and coffee/tea. This limits the amount of extra spending money you will need during a tour. Even so, while it is enjoyable to spend an evening in company, it sometimes is equally good after a day’s excursions to have time off and explore restaurants individually or in a small party. Our tour managers will be happy to make a suggestion, book a table or to accompany you, making sure that you won’t be marooned in your hotel room trying to survive on peanuts from the minibar.

  • No hidden extras

    The basic tour price is based on two people sharing. Single room supplements are kept to a minimum and simply reflect what the hotel charges us. The advertised price includes most things, from hotel and transport, services of the tour lecturer and manager, to group meals with drinks and gratuities for porters, waiters, drivers and guides. We do not levy surcharges on exchange rates or fuel price increases.
     
  • Individual service

    Our small and friendly team of ‘real’ people aims to give you a professional, well-informed, clear and courteous service from an initial enquiry to post-tour feedback. Our clients value our personal commitment, attention to detail and genuine enthusiasm, and most come back for more!
     
  • Fitness and stamina

    Art Pursuits Abroad Study Tours have a full programme of visits for almost every day of the holiday, and they all involve a significant amount of standing and walking, often across uneven ground, over cobbled streets, or up and down steps. We require you to have a level of fitness which does not spoil other participants’ enjoyment of the holiday. You should be able to walk and stand for at least 30 minutes without aid or without requiring a break. None of this should present a problem for anyone who manages everyday walking at a reasonable pace without difficulty. Slow walking reduces the time at the places everyone has come to see and can be frustrating for others. If you need special assistance at the airport or need a walking stick for everyday walking, our tours are not likely to be suitable for you.

    Each tour description includes a short paragraph on stamina to indicate the level of intensity. If you are in any doubt about the suitability of a tour for you, please ask. Please also look at our Booking Procedure, Terms and Conditions section at the bottom of any of our Study Tour pages.

  • Quality assurance and peace of mind

    Art Pursuits Abroad is a member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO), an umbrella organisation that represents 122 of Britain’s best independent tour operators. All AITO members are required to provide the highest level of customer satisfaction by concentrating on three main pillars: Choice, Quality and Service — as enshrined in the AITO Quality Charter.

    Every company admitted to AITO is financially assessed and bound by AITO’s own code of business practice which demands clear and accurate descriptions of holidays and the use of customer questionnaires for monitoring standards. For more information, you can visit the AITO website (www.aito.com) or call AITO on 020 8744 9280.

    All Study Tours which include air travel are protected by the ATOL scheme. We will give you an ATOL certificate when you make your first payment for your tour. Please check it to ensure that everything you  have booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Our booking conditions give further information. Full information on the ATOL Certificate and the financial protection it offers are available at www.caa.co.uk/ATOL-protection .  For non-flight holidays, similar protection is provided by International Passenger Protection (IPP). Please also look at our Financial Security and Consumer Protection section at the bottom of any of our Study Tour pages for more details.

 

Dr. Joachim Strupp

Dr Joachim Strupp

Dr. Joachim Strupp, the founder of Art Pursuits Abroad, tragically died as a result of a car accident on April 3 2017. He was an extraordinary and gifted person with many wonderful qualities.

Joachim was a man of the world. He was born and raised in Germany, studied in Italy for several years, lived and worked in the UK for many years, and was a constant traveller across the globe. He was multilingual with fluency in English and Italian as well as his native German language. He could also converse in French, Spanish, and I suspect in several other languages.

He was an art historian with a specialisation in Italian and German art of the Renaissance and Baroque periods. A true academic, after ten years as a lecturer at the universities of St Andrews and Buckingham, he lectured independently for organisations such as the Victoria & Albert Museum, the John Hall Pre-University Course in Venice, Martin Randall Travel and for a number of Europe-based American academic programmes. He published a number of articles on Italian Renaissance art and appeared on BBC Radio 4.

He was a truly inspirational lecturer with a unique personality, who could educate, entertain, enlighten and enthuse both experts and beginners alike. In 2001, he co-founded Art Pursuits; the company was incorporated in 2003 and later changed its name to Art Pursuits Abroad in 2011. He used his expertise in history of art to design a large range of popular Study Tours, Short Courses and Study Days which reflected his personality, style and passion for the subject. As well as leading the business, Joachim always made time to lecture on many of the Art Pursuits Abroad tours, days and courses which were always extremely popular.

The business continues using the same qualities and standards that Joachim was passionate about: academic excellence, well designed programmes, comfortable and stylish hotels, meals in superior restaurants and a friendly, personal service.

We will all miss him but his legacy remains.

Mark Gadd, friend and fellow Director

Tailored Study Tours

We can also offer Art History and Architectural Cultural Study Tour Holidays in other locations (or alternative programmes) tailored for organisations or groups to suit the particular interests of the audience.

If you would like to discuss this option without obligation please contact us

Directors: Mark Gadd, Alan Hartnell
Registered Office: Unit 6, Stowe Castle Business Park, Buckingham MK18 5AB
Office Address: 1 West Street, Buckingham MK18 1HL
Postal Address: PO Box 2198, Buckingham MK18 9BP
VAT Reg. No 928 0683 06
Registered Company no. 4995604 England.

 

Booking Information Click to Show - Click to show details

Booking Information Click to Hide - Click to hide details

How to Book a Study Tour Holiday:

You can book on-line by going to the tour web page and clicking the "Book this tour" button, or download a tour booking form** or ring us on 01280 820521 or write to us - see our address details below. More information about the booking procedure can be found in the "Booking Procedure, Terms and Conditions" section below.

How to Pay by Credit or Debit Card:

You can pay your deposit or balance payment for a Study Tour Holiday in the following ways:

  • On-line by clicking the "Make a payment" ..button in this section and following the instructions.
  • Or ring us to make your payment (please have your your credit or debit card details ready (and we will also need to have your phone number or email address) - our contact details are on each page.

Please note that payment can be made by cheque, bank transfer or debit card (Maestro or Visa Debit cards - free of charge). On-line card payments are processed securely by WorldPay on our behalf. Credit card payments (Visa and MasterCard only) incur a 2% handling fee to contribute to the charges levied upon us by card companies and this handling fee is non-refundable under any circumstances. We will NOT retain any card information once payment has been received.

**Note: You can get a free copy of Acrobat Reader by clicking here.

We only accept payment in British Pounds (GBP) and accept the following types of cards only:

Visa Credit and Debit payments supported by Worldpay Mastercard payments supported by Worldpay Maestro payments supported by Worldpay Worldpay Payments Processing

An on-line booking may be cancelled within 7 days of the booking being made and the associated on-line payment will be refunded less an administration charge. We would need to be informed of the cancellation in writing within the 7 day period. Our normal booking terms and conditions will also apply.

Art Pursuits Abroad will not have access to any of the card details that you provide to WorldPay when you make your payment.

 


 

Booking Procedure, Terms and Conditions Click to Show - Click to show details

Booking Procedure, Terms and Conditions Click to Hide - Click to hide details

BOOKING PROCEDURE

PROVISIONAL BOOKING

A provisional booking should be made by telephone or through our website. Once we have confirmed availability, we will hold your reservation for one week.

DEFINITE BOOKING

To make your booking definite, please fill in our booking form. This must be signed by the person authorised by all persons named on the form to make the booking based on our terms and conditions. If you make a booking on behalf of others as well as yourself, we shall take it that you have the authority of each of those other people to enter into that contract and that you and they have agreed to be jointly and severally liable to us. You then need to send your completed and signed booking form to us together with the deposit specified in the tour description. This deposit is non-refundable unless we have to cancel the holiday in which case all money you have paid us for that tour will be refunded.

BOOKING CONFIRMATION

Once we have received these, a contract exists between you and Art Pursuits Abroad Ltd. We will then issue you a booking confirmation invoice. Please check this invoice carefully as soon as you receive it. Contact us immediately if any information appears to be incorrect. We regret we cannot accept any liability if we are not notified of any inaccuracies in any document within fifteen days of sending it out. If you are booking within eight weeks of the date of departure, full payment is required with your booking. The final balance is payable at the latest eight weeks before the tour. It is your responsibility to ensure that the full amount reaches us on time. If it doesn't, we are entitled to assume that you wish to cancel your booking. In this case, we will be entitled to keep all deposits paid or due at that date.

PAYMENT

Payment can be made by cheque, bank transfer or debit card (Maestro or Visa Debit cards - free of charge). We also accept credit card payments (Visa and MasterCard only), but these incur a 2% handling fee to contribute to the charges levied upon us by card companies. Please note that this handling fee is non-refundable under any circumstances.

Download a copy of the Booking Procedure.

BOOKING TERMS AND CONDITIONS

PRICE

The basic tour price is per person sharing a double room and includes VAT. A list of what is included in the price of a tour is given in each tour's description.

PASSPORTS AND VISAS

You must have a valid passport for all our tours. For most countries, this needs to be valid for six months beyond the dates of travel. Non-European nationals may have to obtain a visa. Visa requirements for British citizens on our tours outside Europe are stated in the individual tour description.

INSURANCE

We require that you have adequate holiday insurance, covering medical treatment, repatriation, loss of property and cancellation charges. We also recommend that you carry a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which can be obtained from the Department of Health.

AGE AND FITNESS

All our tours involve a significant amount of standing and walking, often across uneven ground, over cobbled streets, or up and down steps. While we do not have an upper age limit for participants, we require you to have a level of fitness which does not spoil other participants' enjoyment of the holiday and you should be able to walk or stand for at least thirty minutes without aid or requiring a rest.

If you are in any doubt as to whether a particular tour is suitable for you, please ring us to check before placing your booking. If you or any member of your party has any medical condition or disability which may affect your study tour or has any special requirements as a result of any medical condition or disability (including any which affect the booking process), please tell us before you confirm your booking so that we can assist you in considering the suitability of your chosen study tour and/or making the booking.

In any event, you must give us full details in writing at the time of booking and whenever any change in the condition or disability occurs. You must also promptly advise us if any medical condition or disability which may affect your participation in our study tour develops after your booking has been confirmed. If we reasonably feel unable to accommodate properly the particular needs of the person concerned, we must reserve the right to decline their reservation or, if full details are not given at the time of booking or the condition/disability develops after booking, cancel when we become aware of these details. You further agree to accept the authority and decisions of Art Pursuits Abroad and our tour lecturer or manager whilst on your study tour. If in the opinion of any such person(s) your health endangers the safety or smooth running of the study tour we reserve the right to cancel your study tour or your participation in any part of it and shall have no further liability to you..

CANCELLATIONS AND CHANGES BY YOU

If you have to cancel your booking, we will make a charge to offset costs incurred on your behalf. Charges vary according to the period of notice given. Up to 57 days before the tour the deposit is forfeited. Thereafter, a percentage of the total cost of the tour will be due:

  • Between 56 and 29 days: 40%
  • Between 28 and 15 days: 60%
  • Between 14 days and 3 days: 80%
  • Thereafter: 100%

We take as the day of cancellation that working day on which we receive written confirmation of your cancellation. Your travel insurance policy may cover you for at least some of your losses.

If you want to make a change after your initial booking, we shall endeavour to try to satisfy your requirements once we have received written confirmation from you, but we shall make a charge to reflect any cost involved in this.

CANCELLATIONS AND CHANGES BY ART PURSUITS ABROAD LTD

We do our utmost to provide the tour programme as confirmed, but we reserve the right to modify or cancel the tour and any of its ingredients if unforeseen circumstances arise. If a programme change represents a significant loss to the tour, we will offer compensation. If you decide to cancel because the alternative offer were not acceptable, we will give a full refund. We also reserve the right to cancel the tour if there are insufficient bookings up to eight weeks before departure. If we have to cancel the tour, we will offer a full refund of all money paid to us.

COMPLAINTS AND PROBLEMS

If something goes wrong, please inform a member of our staff as soon as possible. We will then endeavour to put things right quickly. If a problem cannot be resolved while on tour, you will need to send us a written report within 28 days of your return, giving full details of your complaint. We will then endeavour to agree a reasonable level of compensation, if appropriate. In the unlikely event that agreement cannot be reached, you may wish to take advantage of the independent dispute resolution scheme offered by AITO - details available on request.

YOUR FINANCIAL PROTECTION

In accordance with the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 all passengers booking with Art Pursuits Abroad Limited are fully protected for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all monies paid to us, including repatriation if required, arising from cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Art Pursuits Abroad Limited.

FOR ART PURSUITS ABROAD LIMITED AIR HOLIDAYS

We provide full financial protection for our package holidays, by way of our Air Travel Organiser's Licence (number 6436). When you buy an ATOL protected flight-inclusive holiday from us you receive an ATOL Certificate. This lists what is financially protected, where you can get information on what this means for you and whom to contact if things go wrong.

We will provide you with the services listed on the ATOL Certificate (or a suitable alternative). In some cases, where we are unable to do so for reasons of insolvency, an alternative ATOL holder may provide you with the services you have bought or a suitable alternative (at no extra cost to you). You agree to accept that in those circumstances the alternative ATOL holder will perform those obligations and you agree to pay any money outstanding to be paid by you under your contract to that alternative ATOL holder. However, you also agree that in some cases it will not be possible to appoint an alternative ATOL holder, in which case you will be entitled to make a claim under the ATOL scheme (or your credit card issuer where applicable).

If we are unable to provide the services listed (or a suitable alternative, through an alternative ATOL holder or otherwise) for reasons of insolvency, the Trustees of the Air Travel Trust may make a payment to (or confer a benefit on) you under the ATOL scheme. You agree that in return for such a payment or benefit you assign absolutely to those Trustees any claims which you have or may have arising out of or relating to the non-provision of the services, including any claim against us (or your credit card issuer where applicable). You also agree that any such claims may be re-assigned to another body, if that other body has paid sums you have claimed under the ATOL scheme.

FOR ART PURSUITS ABROAD LIMITED RAIL-BASED PACKAGES AND INDEPENDENT TRAVELLERS

In accordance with the Package Travel, Page Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 all passengers booking with Art Pursuits Abroad Limited that do not include flights are fully protected for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all monies paid to us, including repatriation if required, arising from cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements in the unlikely event of the insolvency of Art Pursuits Abroad Ltd.

Consumer Aware: Your booking is insured by IPP Ltd and its panel of insurers. This insurance is only valid for passengers who book with and pay directly to Art Pursuits Abroad Ltd. For further information see www.ipplondon.co.uk.

OUR LIABILITIES TO YOU

We accept responsibility for ensuring that all parts of the tour are supplied as described and that all services reach a reasonable standard. However, we shall not be liable for the failure or improper performance of these services where such failure or improper performance is attributable to the fault of the client, or the unforeseeable or unavoidable actions of an unconnected third party or to unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our or our suppliers control. Our obligations and responsibilities shall also be limited where international conventions in respect of air carriers apply.

ENGLISH LAW

These conditions form part of your contract with Art Pursuits Abroad Ltd and are governed by English law. All proceedings shall be within the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.

Download a copy of the Terms and Conditions.


 

Financial Security and Consumer Protection Click to Show - Click to show details

Financial Security and Consumer Protection Click to Hide - Click to hide details

In accordance with The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 all passengers booking with Art Pursuits Abroad Limited are fully protected for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all monies paid to us, including repatriation if required, arising from cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Art Pursuits Limited.

 

FOR ART PURSUITS ABROAD LIMITED AIR HOLIDAYS

Art Pursuits Abroad Limited air holidays are ATOL Protected, since we hold an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is ATOL 6436. All the flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLcertificate

 

Art Pursuits air holidays and flights are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our Atol number is 6436.

FOR ART PURSUITS ABROAD LIMITED RAIL-BASED PACKAGES AND INDEPENDENT TRAVELLERS

In accordance with the Package Travel, Page Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 all passengers booking with Arts Pursuits Abroad Limited that do not include flights are fully protected for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all monies paid to us, including repatriation if required, arising from cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements in the unlikely event of the insolvency of Art Pursuits Abroad Ltd.

Consumer Aware: Your booking is insured by IPP Ltd and its panel of insurers. This insurance is only valid for passengers who book and pay directly with/to Art Pursuits Abroad Ltd.  For further information see www.ipplondon.co.uk.

 

IPP

 

OUR LIABILITIES TO YOU

We accept responsibility for ensuring that all parts of the tour are supplied as described and that all services reach a reasonable standard.  However, we shall not be liable for the failure or improper performance of these services where such failure or improper performance is attributable to the fault of the client, or the unforeseeable or unavoidable actions of an unconnected third party or to unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our or our supplier’s control. Our obligations and responsibilities shall also be limited where international conventions in respect of air carriers apply.


 

Client Feedback Click to Show - Click to show details

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Our Feedback Process

We aim to provide Study Tour holidays which are enlightening and enjoyable. It is important to us that we get feedback from all our clients to ensure we meet the high standards we set ourselves and our client expectations.

We send a questionnaire to everyone who goes on one of Study Tours (along with a pre-paid reply envelope). We request that they rate our performance in various areas and provide comments about what we have done well or not so well. We ask for their overall level of satisfaction with us as their tour operator and specific areas to be rated 1 if they think our service has been excellent down to 4 if they regard our service as unsatisfactory. Over 75% send back our questionnaire and all the feedback is entered into our system without alteration.

We review and analyse all the feedback and take action to improve any aspect which has not been rated as excellent.

Please see below for the latest analysis of our feedback which is updated after each questionnaire has been received. We show for each category the average score and the percentage for each rating given (rounded upwards so the totals do not always add up to 100%).

 

Excellent:

Good:

Average:

Unsatisfactory:

How would you describe your overall level of satisfaction with us as your tour operator?

87%

12%

1%

0%

 

Question

Average Score

1

2

3

4

How do you rate the Study Tour as a whole?

1.20

81%

18%

1%

0%

1. The administration before the tour

1.21

81%

18%

1%

0%

2. The choice of itinerary

1.26

75%

25%

1%

0%

3. The lecturer, tour manager, local guides

1.13

88%

11%

0%

0%

4. The hotel

1.49

57%

37%

5%

1%

5. The meals

1.62

45%

48%

6%

1%

6. The travelling

1.38

66%

31%

3%

1%

 

Note: In our feedback system a rating of 1 is excellent and 4 is unsatisfactory.

 

AITO Feedback Process

As members of AITO, we also encourage all our clients to give independent feedback directly to AITO (their on-line scheme was introduced in August 2013). Click here to see how our clients have reviewed us through the AITO review system.

Our clients can rate one our Study Tours using the AITO feedback system by using this link: AITO FEEDBACK . Your will need to enter a Tour reference which is the 6 letter / number Study Tour code which is included in your booking letter reference.

AITO are running an annual prize draw to win £2,000 AITO holiday vouchers. Each traveller who completes an on-line AITO feedback review will automatically be entered.


 

Locations Click to Show - Click to show details

Locations Click to Hide - Click to hide details

We have Art History and Cultural Study Tours going to:

Continents - Europe

Countries - Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Russia, Spain, UK

 

Click here to see a list of our Art History Cultural Study Tour Holidays


 


IPP
Art Pursuits Abroad air holidays and flights are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our Atol number is 6436.
Art Pursuits Abroad is a member of AITO. Our AITO number is 5162.