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The best cultural vacation packages for 2022, from New York to Vienna

‘Met’ Opera Backstage Tours and Jazz Concerts on a Danube River Cruise: Best Cultural Holiday Packages for 2022 Revealed

  • American music and culture combine on a five-night tour of New York
  • Titan Travel has itineraries that include tickets to Oberammergau Passion Play
  • See Andre Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra perform in Maastricht


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Every week our Christmas hero Neil Simpson takes a deep dive into a sparkling holiday theme and does all the fieldwork so you don’t have to. This week: Holidays for lovers of music and culture …

Tickets to some of the best concert halls, opera houses, theaters and galleries in the world are part of the package in a variety of cultural holidays introduced for the New Year and beyond.

American music and culture combine on an art tour with Kirker Holidays. Your five-night trip to the Metropolitan Opera and New York’s Galleries and Museums includes an after-hours private tour of the city’s Museum of Modern Art and a guided tour of the Frick Collection.

Culture Club: Take a behind-the-scenes tour of New York's Metropolitan Opera House

Culture Club: Take a behind-the-scenes tour of New York’s Metropolitan Opera House

Guests also enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the famous Met Opera, two dinners at its Grand Tier restaurant, and of course a world-class opera. Tickets, including flights, cost from £ 2,884 per person (kirkerholidays.com).

A big draw for 2022 is the return of the Oberammergau Passion Play in Bavaria. Every decade for 400 years, the inhabitants of the Bavarian town of the same name form a huge cast to tell the story of Jesus on an outdoor setting.

It was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, and many performances for next year’s shows from May to October are already sold out, not least because organizers say most 2020 ticket holders chose to rebook. But it is possible to get tickets as part of an organized tour.

Titan Travel has three itineraries that include tickets for the play. Choose from a seven-night tour of the Italian lakes with full accompaniment, a nine-night tour of the wonders of the Danube (including a week-long river cruise), and a five-night tour of Innsbruck and the Dolomites. Prices are from £ 2,499 per person including flights (titantravel.co.uk).

If you’re on holiday on your own, solo travel specialist One Traveler has a few spots left on his nine-night trips to Oberammergau – Austrian Lakes And Mountains starting at £ 3,090 per person.

The company also has many other vacations for music lovers. Your eight-day vacation in Vienna and the Vienna Woods includes a private tour of the city’s 1,709-seat State Opera, with its sweeping curved architecture and rich red and gold interiors.

Access all areas - Enjoy a private tour of the ornate Vienna State Opera

Access all areas - Enjoy a private tour of the ornate Vienna State Opera

Access all areas – Enjoy a private tour of the ornate Vienna State Opera

There’s more classical music as you watch the Lipizzaner stallions perform under the chandeliers in the colonnaded hall of the Spanish Riding School, then traditional folk music in a town tavern.

And on the last night of the tour, you will go to a concert by Strauss and Mozart in the great hall of the Hermesvilla palace. From £ 2,190pp (onetraveller.co.uk).

Jazz lovers may prefer Saga’s seven-night river cruise: Jazz And Wine On The Rhine And Moselle. Richard Leach’s six-piece Street Jazz Band will be on board and perform nightly.

See Andre Rieu perform in his hometown of Maastricht (pictured) in the Netherlands next summer

See Andre Rieu perform in his hometown of Maastricht (pictured) in the Netherlands next summer

See Andre Rieu perform in his hometown of Maastricht (pictured) in the Netherlands next summer

Or choose your Classical Music cruise on the Danube with expert talks on board, concerts ashore in a glorious array of ornate palaces and ancient abbeys. Cruises start at £ 1,399 per person, including flights (saga.co.uk).

Another highlight of the summer will be Andre Rieu’s return to his hometown of Maastricht in the Netherlands for a series of open-air concerts with his 60-piece Johann Strauss Orchestra.

Get tickets as part of a three-night break that includes England and Wales coach pickup, ferry crossings, accommodation, and tours of Maastricht and Brussels. Price from £ 399pp (justgoholidays.co.uk).

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