From Istanbul’s dazzling architecture to South Africa’s sparkling night skies, a new collection of Cultural Odyssey Tours from Saga offers the chance to broaden your horizons in expert company
One of the great joys of travel – and one largely denied to us over the past two years – is immersing yourself in another culture. No online tour or TV show can replace the experience of standing inside the vast dome of Istanbul’s Blue Mosque or wandering the star-crossed backstreets of Shakespeare’s Verona.
And if you happen to be accompanied by an expert guide, someone who can bring the history and stories of the place to life for you, you gain memories and knowledge for life. That is the thinking behind a new collection of Cultural Odyssey Tours from the award-winning tour operator Saga.
All the holidays in Saga’s new Cultural Odyssey Tours collection are the perfect fusion of stunning destinations and cultural immersion, offering a deep dive into astrononomy, history, art, literature, ballet and music. And all are accompanied by experts in their field – a range of distinguished academics, authors and specialist guides who have devoted their lives to the subject in hand. Perhaps you would enjoy a tour of St Petersburg’s Hermitage with an eminent art historian; roaming Shakespeare’s Italy with an actor who specialises in the First Folio; soaking up the spirit of Andalucia with a flamenco scholar; or travelling with an award-winning writer to Ottoman and Byzantine Istanbul?
These specialists have been chosen both for their expertise and their passion – no dusty lectures here. On some tours, they may accompany you for exclusive backstage, behind-the- scenes visits and private performances – and on every tour, without fail, they’ll provide a fascinating insight into places you may already know and love.
Classics, cruises and safaris
For lovers of classical music, there are tantalising trips both in the UK and overseas. Saga has partnered with the Royal Academy of Music to create breaks in London and Canterbury with the chance to hear concerts by talented young musicians from the Academy. Further afield, a Rhine cruise offers on-board recitals culminating in a private concert at Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw.
If stargazing is closer to your heart, another partnership will appeal. The new Astronomy in South Africa tour is devised in partnership with the Royal Astronomical Society in the UK, which explores African night skies in the company of a space scientist and key player in the ambitious Cassini/ Huygens mission to Saturn. It begins with a lecture and tour of the Society’s London HQ before travelling to Cape Town, Sutherland and Prince Albert in the Karoo wilderness. And there’s plenty of time to sample the best of South Africa by day, too, with time in the Franschoek winelands and a tented safari lodge in the Kruger National Park with a chance to view the Big Five. As with all the tours in the collection, the holiday includes some truly exceptional places to stay and the chance to sample local gastronomy – so it’s not just about feeding the mind.
Outstanding service from your door
As you’d expect from a company with nearly 70 years’ experience organising award-winning holidays for the over-50s, Saga takes care of you every step of the way. Each trip includes the services of a tour manager or cruise host as well as a specialist lecturer.
Getting to the airport is wonderfully stress-free, thanks to a chauffeured VIP car service to your UK departure point. And the trip prices include flights, transfers and porterage between accommodation, as well as thoughtful extras such as travel insurance to cover Covid cancellation. In fact, these ABTA- and ATOL- protected trips offer peace of mind and the knowledge that Saga has thought of everything – so that you don’t have to.
All you need to do is pack your suitcase and bring your curiosity with you for the journey of a lifetime.
Explore more with saga
Boundless members can enjoy a 5% discount on all Saga holidays and cruises, including the Cultural Odyssey Tours Collection – to find out more or request a brochure, call 0800 096 3270 and quote ‘BOUND’ or visit saga.co.uk/boundless.