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The Essence & Elegance of France

The Essence & Elegance of France

26 May - 19 June 2017

Be captivated by the beauty of France, with its effortless style and impeccable taste! From the romance of Paris with its magnificent buildings, cafes and inspiring art galleries, to the charm and quaintness of beautiful historical villages, we will understand how this country has inspired the greatest artists, poets and composers. And then the music: Rigoletto at the Paris Opera, Phantom of the Opera (to be confirmed), Faust and 2 chamber concerts are included!

$18,529 NZD
per person
twin share
Single Room Supplement
- ADD $4,930 NZD
Initial Deposit On Booking
$2,000 NZD
Second Deposit Due 7 December 2016
$3,000 NZD
Final Balance Due 31 January 2017

The Essence & Elegance of France

  • From elegant chateaux and grand boulevards to charming villages, fairy tale castles, thousand-year-old cathedrals and glorious countryside and gardens, we will be enthralled by it all. From the romance of Paris with its magnificent buildings, cafes and inspiring art galleries, to the charm and quaintness of beautiful historical villages, we will understand how this country has inspired so many of the greatest artists, poets and composers. But France is more than that. It is a sensual experience that effortlessly engulfs all our senses.

    TASTE: mouth-watering ham off the bone, cheese and warm French bread from a local food market in Provence, exquisite chocolates, vintage wines, gourmet meals and cooking demonstrations. Ah, but best of all is the pastries which melt in your mouth and we know why: butter!

    SIGHT: A visual symphony of colour - French countryside, architecture, gardens and art, vast texture and beauty with so much history and colour including the very garden that inspired Monet to paint as well as many of his actual paintings in the Louvre, the Orangerie and the Musee D’Orsay.

    SOUNDS of France, the music like Rigoletto, Verdi’s masterpiece with confirmed tickets at the Paris Opera Bastille, Sainte-Chapelle twilight concert, other concerts to be confirmed plus the beauty of the language.

    SCENT: and the essence of France, its perfume, the scent of flowers in one of our fairy tale castles in the Loire Valley, garlic wafting from a street stall, the smell of freshly baked bread or chalk from a picture drawn by a street artist in Paris beside the Seine.

    FEEL: But the best of all is how France makes us feel. Romantic, captivated, wondrous, spell-bound, breathless. France gave us the phrase Joie de Vivre. This is what we will feel!

  • (1 night plus late check out - outbound)
    (Early check in, 1 night, late check out – inbound) ~ York Hotel

    The York Hotel is conveniently located in the heart of the city. It is a short distance to Orchard Road, Singapore’s main shopping and entertainment belt.

    HIGHLIGHTS in Singapore include:
    • Local tour with guide.
    • High tea at Raffles Hotel.

  • (4 nights plus early check in) ~ Scribe Paris Opera Hotel by Sofitel
    Paris is the capital and largest city of France. The city is built on an arc of the River Seine, and is thus divided into two parts: the Right Bank to the north and the smaller Left Bank to the south. Paris is also famous for its tree-lined boulevards such as the Champs-Élysées, and for its many architectural gems.

    HIGHLIGHTS in Paris include:
    • Numerous musical experiences including Rigoletto, with confirmed tickets at the Paris Opera Bastille, plus choral concert at Notre D6ame.
    • A beautiful welcome dinner cruise on the Seine River to watch the beautiful sights of Paris.
    • Drive around Paris to see some of its famous monuments by night.
    • City tour of Paris including Champs-Elysees, Arc de Triomph, Invalides and Eiffel Tower plus a visit to the magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral.
    • Tour of the fabulous Louvre Museum with private guide and see amongst other famous art treasures, the Mona Lisa.
    • Day free to explore Paris at leisure.
    • Excursion to Versailles Palace and Gardens when the fountains are operating.

    On route to NORMANDY, highlights include:
    • A visit to Giverny to see Claude Monet’s house and glorious gardens including lunch.
    • Our first chance to see the beautiful French countryside.

  • (3 nights) ~ Le Manoir du Lys
    Le Manoir du Lys is an elegant and classic French mansion, with beautiful individually decorated rooms. It is situated in the beautiful Normandy countryside.

    HIGHLIGHTS in Normandy include:
    • A demonstration of French culinary skills followed by dinner. Bon appétit!
    • A drive through an ocean of rolling green meadows and thick forest brings us to the border of Normandy and Brittany.
    • Visit to the most splendid of all the abbeys of France, Le Mont-St-Michel.
    • Time at leisure in lovely Bagnoles de l’Orne plus time to enjoy our lovely country manor house, a walk in the woods or swim in the pool before relaxing with a glass of renowned Normandy cider over dinner.
    • Drive to the D-Day landing beaches, and visit Arromanches Museum.
    • Drive to Bayeux and view the 11th century tapestry embroidered by Queen Mathilda.

    On route to THE LOIRE VALLEY, highlights include:
    • Drive to Saumler, famous for its 10th century fairy tale castle over looking Loire Valley.
    • Visit the Chateau Villandry, and enjoy a guided tour of the Chateau and its famous 16th century gardens.

  • (2 nights) ~ Hotel Le Domaine de Beauvois
    The Loire River is in the region of Saumur, famous for its fairytale castles, sparkling wine and mushrooms.

    HIGHLIGHTS in the Loire Valley include:
    • Visit ‘The Chateau of Six Women’ at Chenonceau with local guide plus gardens.
    • Visit the quaint little town of Ambroise.
    • Afternoon wine tasting in Tours. 

    On route to SARLAT-LA-CANEDA highlights include:
    • Visit to the Limoges Factory, famous for its manufacture of bone china since the 18th century.

  • (3 nights) ~ Hotel de Selves
    Considered one of the most beautiful towns in France, Sarlat-la-Canéda is a picturesque tangle of honey-coloured buildings, alleyways and secret squares!

    HIGHLIGHTS in Sarlat-la-Canéda include:
    • Morning walking tour of Sarlat with private guide.
    • Visit the small food market in Place de la Liberté.
    • Scenic drive of the Dordogne, visit Lascaux II - Stone Age cave drawings.
    • Visit Roccamadour, a small clifftop village.
    • Free time to wander Sarlat at leisure.

  • (1 night) ~ Hotel de la Cité
    Carcassonne, is a medieval citadel famous for its 53 watchtowers and double-walled fortifications that have stood the test of time and look today much as they did 700 years ago.

    HIGHLIGHTS in Carcassonne include:
    • Guided tour with local guide.
    • Stay at the 5 star luxury Hotel de la Cité.
    • Free time to explore this stunning town.

    On route to AVIGNON highlights include:
    • Visit the Pont du Gard, an almost perfectly preserved aqueduct built by the Romans in the 1st century and regarded as one of the wonders of the ancient world.

  • (2 nights) ~ Avignon Grand Hotel
    Avignon, a city in southeastern France’s Provence region, is set on the Rhône River. From 1309 to 1377, it was the seat of the Catholic popes, and remained under papal rule until becoming part of France in 1791.

    HIGHLIGHTS in Avignon include:
    • Sightseeing of Avignon, including a visit to the Papal Palace on walking tour with private guide and the Place de l’Horologe and the Pont St Bénézet’s, the bridge across the Rhône River made famous by the song ‘Sur le pont d’Avignon’.
    • Note we are here when the Festival d’Avignon is on so we have included one performance either there or at the Avignon Grand Opera, subject to availability
    • Visit the lovely town of St Rémy-de-Provence. Nostradamus was born here in 1503 and for one very productive year Vincent Van Gogh lived among its tree-lined boulevards, narrow streets and bubbling fountains.
    • Walking tour of St Rémy-de-Provence with a private guide
    • Visit Saint Paul-de-Mausole (Van Gogh – Starry Night)
    • View the citadel of Les Baux-de-Provence
    • Visit the Carriéres de Lumiéres

    On route to CANNES highlights include:
    • Scenic and leisurely drive to Cannes via the Luberon and Alpes-Maritimes.

  • (3 nights) ~ Hotel Le Canberra
    Cannes is the “star” of the French Riviera, famous for the International Film Festival and the glitzy hotels, cars, beaches and visitors attracted here.
    The hotel is located in the very heart of the city. We can act like a star and stroll down La Croisette or Rue d’Antibes with their luxury boutiques or take a five minute walk to Palais des Festivals.

    HIGHLIGHTS in Cannes include:
    • Morning drive to extraordinarily fortified hill-top village of St-Paul-de-Vence with ample time to shop and explore.
    • Cannes for afternoon at leisure to explore and shop.
    • Monte Carlo and Monaco with drive along the famed corniches of the French Riveria.
    • A coastal drive along the famed ‘corniches’ of the French Riviera towards Antibes, Nice and Monaco.
    • Visit Villa Ephrussi and Gardens (from the book, The Hare with Amber Eyes). A member of the Rothschild banking family, Béatrice de Rothschild built her rose-colored villa, filled with sculpture and art and surrounded by what is considered one of the most notable gardens in France.
    • Dinner of regional cuisine in local restaurant on one of the Corniches.

    On route to PARIS, highlights include:
    • Orientation tour of Nice and short time to explore city.
    • Early afternoon we board the 300 km an hour high speed TGV train and speed off to our final night in Paris.

  • (1 night) ~ Scribe Paris Opera Hotel by Sofitel
    Farewell dinner in a charming character filled restaurant including music and wine in Latin Quarter.

This trip includes

  • Singapore Airlines return flights to Paris with stopovers in Singapore each way including taxes.

  • Fully escorted 25 day tour with beautiful accommodation including 3 nights in Normandy, 3 nights in Sarlat-la-Canéda, 2 nights in Avignon, 2 nights in Tours, 1 night in Carcassonne and 3 nights in Cannes.

  • 5 nights plus early check in Paris at the magnificent 5 star Scribe Hotel, including city tour, Tour of the Louvre, Notre Dame, night cruise on the River Seine, Versailles Palace & garden excursion.

  • 5 musical experiences including Rigoletto at the Paris Opera Bastille (confirmed tickets) plus choral concert at Notre Dame. Plus other concerts to be confirmed.

  • Special flavours including French cooking demonstration, wandering local French markets and cute villages such as St Rémy-de- Provence, Bayeaux tapestries, wine tasting, Limoges factory tour, fabulous churches, museums and galleries.

  • All excursions, entrances and tours as listed in this itinerary, with full time guide as well as local guides for special places of interest.

  • Visits to many famous houses and gardens including Claude Monet’s house and glorious gardens, the 16th century gardens of Chateau Villandry, The Chateau of Six Women, and the Luberon region.

  • D-Day landing beaches and Arromanches museum.

  • Other highlights include Loire Valley, Lascaux (Stone Age cave drawings), Pont du Gard, Monte Carlo, Mont St Michel, and TGV train for speedy rail journey Nice to Paris.

  • All tips, portage and taxes.

  • All breakfasts, 1 afternoon tea, 3 lunches and 7 dinners included.

  • Escorted by Sue, John and our European guide the fabulous Fred!
  • Important Information
    • For further information please ring our office or visit our website.
    • All trips are subject to change but any changes will be of equal or greater value.
    • All deposits are refundable up until final payment date minus any costs that the company has incurred.
    • Please refer to our terms and conditions on our booking form.
    • While we carefully plan our trips to be well paced, all travellers need to possess a certain level of fitness. Some trips are more arduous and carry an advisory note in the itinerary that a specific level of fitness is required.
    • Operatunity Travel requires all travellers to obtain comprehensive travel insurance.

    Please be sure to ring our office if you require any information or clarification about insurance or any questions regarding travelling with Operatunity Travel.

PLACES WE STAY (see photos below)

York Hotel is housed in a modern building with floor-to-ceiling windows, and is situated a 5 minute walk from the world class shops at Orchard Road and is located on Mount Elizabeth. You will be surrounded by the perfect combination of tranquillity, comfort and convenience at York Hotel Singapore.

Scribe Paris Opera Hotel by Sofitel is a five star hotel, ideally located between the Opéra Garnier, La Madeleine, the Louvre, Place Vendôme and the department stores and
occupies a majestic 19th century building. Designed by Jacques Grange, our rooms, suites and duplexes create an idyllic retreat in the heart of Paris

The Cité de Carcassonne Hotel is a historic hotel with an amazing history situated in the heart of the medieval fortress. Overlooking the lower town, it offers an amazing panoramic view of the city walls. Set in Carcassonne's circular walls, Hotel de la Cite Carcassonne - MGallery Collection is set in a Medieval-style chateau. The hotel features gardens and an outdoor pool with views of Saint Nazaire Basilica.

Le Manoir du Lys, Normandy is an authentic hunters’ lodge nestled in the Andaine forest this period resort is surrounded by three hectares of parklands. The hotel has an elegant restaurant steeped in the charm and character of the Normandy countryside, just a short distance from the town centre of Bagnoles de l’Orne.

Hotel le Domaine de Beauvois, Tours is a 4 star hotel, located west of Tours on the road to the vineyards and surrounded by forests, meadows and a pond. Each room in this boutique hotel is decorated in quintessentially French style, with exquisite materials and antique furniture. 

Avignon Grand Hotel is ideally located just outside the city’s Middle Age walls, just 70m from Avignon Central Station. The hotel opened in 2000 and remains an example of Provencal architecture in Avignon ever since.

Hotel le Canberra, Cannes is a glamorous boutique hotel located centrally, across the street from the shops on Rue d’Antibes, is a 7-minute walk from the beach and 1.2 km from Palais des Festivals et des Congrès. The hotel is located in the very heart of the city. You must not miss the opportunity to act like a star and stroll down La Croisette or Rue d’Antibes with their luxury boutiques or take a five minute walk to Palais des Festivals.

Hotel de Selves, Sarlat-la-Canéda is set in beautiful gardens with wide terraces and an amazing swimming pool, just 400m walk from the old town. It puts you in the heart of Sarlat-la-Caneda, within just a 10-minute stroll of Place du Marché aux Oies and Place de la Liberte.

MUSICAL HIGHLIGHTS

Rigoletto with confirmed tickets at the Paris Opera Bastille, plus choral concert at Notre Dame. 

Faust presented by Avignon Grand Opera. 

Wiener Philharmonica Soloists with Yeree Suh soprano

Final night concert at the Moulin Rouge.

Travel Insurance

Every customer is required to take out insurance for all international travel when taking a trip with Operatunity Ltd. We have our own travel insurance broker and we invite you to ring direct for your insurance requirements.

Phone Harriet on 09 3629038 Or email Harriet.lawrence@aon.comYou are of course welcome to make your own insurance arrangements for travel, just be sure that your insurance policy covers you extensively especially when travelling to certain countries such as USA with its high health costs.

 

MOBILITY

Operatunity provides group senior travel and with this in mind we plan trips to suit our target market. But not every trip is created equal in terms of mobility. We want to give you the best possible experience but that will only be achieved if you are able to enjoy everything that our trips have to offer.
Most of our long haul trips require a better level of mobility. We will look after everyone as well as we possibly can, but we cannot look after one at the expense of the rest of the group. We also cannot have one person slowing the rest of group to the point where the group is not able to enjoy every experience we are able to provide.
With this in mind we have put a mobility clause into every trip. Under each explanation here I have popped a statement. Ask yourself if this is ‘you’, when booking on a trip.

None of the following mobility clauses preclude you from ordering a wheelchair at the airport if required.

1. GENTLE TOUR This tour will suit most people, even with a stick or a walker, but sorry not someone in a wheelchair. The activity level is gently paced, but you still need to be able to get on and off buses easily. There will be walking, but not a lot. “I love travelling, but at a gentle pace. I like to avoid stairs or too much activity, but I am able to get on and off buses easily.” 

2. EASY TOUR This tour will suit people with a stick, but not a walker. You will be required to walk to get from place to place and stand in museums, but it is designed to be an easy tour with lots of times to rest, travel on a coach and walk easy leisurely distances.  ”Walking is fine. I can get on and off a coach. I am happy to stand for an hour or two in museums and galleries and gently stroll through places of interest. I am happy to climb the odd set of stairs.” 

3. MODERATE WALKING TOUR This tour requires a better level of fitness with no wheelchairs or walkers. Generally, there may be times when we can’t get the coach close. In some of our Pacific Island tours we will need you to transfer onto a tender and walk on soft sand. We also will have much longer flights and long walks through airports. “I like walking at a moderate pace. I love to keep my days full and experience everything the tour has to  offer. Stairs, tender transfers and cobblestones don’t bother me.” 

4.  EXPLORING TOUR This is still a moderately paced tour, but you will be required to walk longer distances, walk on cobblestones and stand in museums. To really get the best out of this tour you need to be able to stand or walk for a couple  of hours comfortably, be it at a leisurely pace.  “I like to spend most of the day exploring. Whether walking historic neighbourhoods on cobblestones at a moderate pace or out and about on a coach, I want my days full. Stairs don’t bother me and I am keen to see and do as much as I can with the odd day off to recuperate.” 

  • 2021/2022
    NZ TRIP COVID POLICIES

    We understand the need for flexibility at present but there is also the need to have something to look forward to. Operatunity has put the following in place for our trips to protect your health and financial security.

    Financial

    1. Generally as a policy if we are unable to proceed with a trip due to
    COVID-19 restrictions, we would, if possible, transfer the trip to new dates.
    2. However we will refund you IN FULL if this trip is unable to be transferred due to Covid restrictions, even once you have paid finals for this trip.
    3. This does not mean we would refund you if you simply changed your mind and decided not to go at the last minute.
    4. It does mean, however, that if you had a medical certificate to say you were unwell to travel that we would work very hard to get as much of a refund back for you depending on hotels and other costs involved.
    5. If we have booked your flights and the trip was unable to proceed, we will work hard to get you a credit or refund, but if the flights have already been ticketed this would be a credit for you to use on another occasion. We would be unable to get you a full refund for your airline tickets.

    Health and Safety
    Please do not travel if you are unwell.

    1. If you have any cold or flu symptoms the week before departure, you must see your GP and obtain a medical certificate.
    2. Wearing of Masks - You are welcome to bring your own mask and wear it
    at any time. At time of printing this brochure, you are required to wear masks on the plane and on public transport. Masks will not be mandatory on our own coach, at our own meals or activities, or when we are within our group as we will be in our own bubble.
    3. If you fall ill while on the trip, you will be asked to isolate in your room for a couple of days off to rest. You may also be asked to see a doctor and obtain a COVID test.
    4. Hand washing - We have provided a travel size hand sanitiser, please use this frequently throughout the day and wash your hands!

    These policies have been compiled to allow you to travel with confidence and with utmost enjoyment as well as keep you safe and keep our New Zealand bubble safe! Let’s go and have some fun and experience the most beautiful country in the world!

  • Operatunity is a company specialising in music lovers tours to the senior market. Each trip has been especially planned to include music and arts experiences and has a level of friendliness and care which cannot be found anywhere else! Our trips are packed with features not found anywhere else

  • Yes we have lots of people who travel on their own. We endeavour to match you up with someone who lives close to you or is close in age to you. Often you will get a chance to meet with your matchup or ring them before you leave on your trip. You also may prefer to travel solo and pay the single supplement price. We travel as a happy band so there will be lots of chances to meet people. You will find fellow music lovers and those with other similar interests. In fact those like the nicer things of life so you will travel with like-minded people.
    It is also important to remember that our singers are our escorts so you will see at least a couple of familiar faces as you leave.

  • If you live outside of Auckland, we can arrange travel and accommodation on your way to meet up with our group. We have access and can book domestic airfares in conjunction with Air New Zealand international airfares. Plus we can book your pre and post tour accommodation if required.

  • It is compulsory for our international trips and highly recommended for our domestic tours. 

  • No as most airlines offer various special meals and any restaurants we visit are happy to accommodate special dietary requirements.

  • While we will endeavour to provide the best possible experience and care, all travellers must be fit to travel and be independent. All trips are catering for a senior market but some trips will suit better than others. Some trips also carry an advisory note as they require a higher level of fitness.

  • We ask that you can walk at least 100 metres unaided and be able to get on and off buses with little or no assistance. We cater for a senior market but it is important that you do not jeopardise the enjoyment of others by requiring more care and holding up the rest of the group. Talk to our office or staff at concerts and any advisory notes for individual trips to get a better idea of your suitability for each trip.

  • We stay at 4 and 5 star character hotels, avoiding package, tourist or big hotel chains. We choose  hotels with a more personal feel often with historic content or hotels of beauty and character, centrally located or in parks, by the water, or with beautiful gardens.

  • Breakfast is included daily, and many dinners and lunches are also included as per our itinerary.

  • There are no hidden costs. Included in the trip are tips, taxes, porterage, breakfast, meals where specified, inclusions listed in the itinerary, entry fees where listed in the itinerary, concert/show tickets where listed in the itinerary, tour escorts and local specialised guides. 

  • Some of our trips sell out very quickly and we recommend you make your booking as soon as you can to avoid disappointment. 

  • We will ask you to pay an initial deposit when making your booking. We will then follow up for a second deposit and then a final balance payment prior to travel.

  • All deposits up until final payment are refundable minus any costs the company may incur.

    After final deposit refunds are unlikely and the refund becomes an insurance claim. We do not charge a cancellation fee.

  • Our numbers vary from destination to destination, please contact our office for further information.  We have a minimum number required to operate a tour. Should minimum numbers not be met, a full refund will be made. 

  • For international trips, all guests must have a valid passport that does not expire earlier than at least 6 months beyond their intended stay. 

  • Music is a key element in making our experiences special. There are special experiences and events every day, such as themed dinners, impromptu concerts, music, art tours with art experts and garden tours with garden experts.

  • Most hotels now have internet connection and all hotels have telephones in the room or at reception. If using your mobile telephone check calling and text rates, and disable data roaming before leaving New Zealand. Consider purchasing a prepaid SIM card. And you can keep in touch using social media such as Facebook. We have a copy of your next of kin details in case of emergency and we are also happy to help out with texts, phone calls and emails if you can’t get in touch with your family and need to while away. We are also happy to help out with getting your phones, ipads and cameras to work if needed while away.

  • We spend less time travelling between regions, allowing more time to enjoy experiences when you arrive. We avoid one night stops and “conveyor belt” travel, so you really can capture the local colour and vitality of the region. Our trips are planned so that there is a balance of included activities and free time for you to relax or do some exploring on your own.

  • Contact Operatunity Travel 

    Phone toll free: 0508 886 489
    Mail your booking form to PO BOX 132 150, Sylvia Park, Auckland 1644
    Email: travel@operatunity.co.nz

  • Phone toll free: 0508 886 489
    Email: travel@operatunity.co.nz

Media/Newsflash

Happiness Half Hour - Episode 29 Twist and Shout!
Happiness Half Hour - Episode 29 Twist and Shout!
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Happiness Half Hour - Episode 28
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Happiness Half Hour Father's Day Special Revisited - Episode 27
Operatunity Happiness Half Hour Episode 26 - The Best of the Musicals
Operatunity Happiness Half Hour Episode 26 - The Best of the Musicals

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