The Jewish Chronicle - - TRAVEL -

HANDS Up Hol­i­days (0800 783 3554; www.hand­suphol­i­days. com); North­ern Ter­ri­tory art tours (00 618 898 53266; www. col­lecta­bo­rig­i­; Mu­sic in the Desert (www.negev-tour. il); Ja­cobs Lad­der (www.jlfes­ti­val. com); Is­rael Festival (­raelfes­ti­; Jerusalem Jazz Festival (www.yel­low­sub­ma­ il); Jerusalem Film Festival (www.; Red Sea Festival (www. red­sea­; Kirker (020 7593 2284; www.kirk­er­hol­i­days. com); Crys­tal (020 7287 9040; www.crys­tal­; Sil­versea 0844 770 9030; www.sil­versea. com); Pres­tige (01425 480600; www.thetrav­eller­; VFB (01452 716838; www.vf­b­hol­i­days.; Kudu (01722 716 167; www. kudu­; Menuhin Festival (www.menuhin­fes­ti­val­ Great Rail Jour­neys (01904 521 980;; An­dante Trav­els (01722 713800; www. an­dan­te­trav­ vis­its to Europe’s great opera fes­ti­vals and cap­i­tals (some in­clud­ing tick­ets, all with per­for­mance brief­ings) and its own mu­sic festival in Ischia.

Art lovers are catered for with ex­pert-led tours of which the new Cote d’Azur itin­er­ary and the Art, Ar­chi­tec­ture, Tyranny and Pa­tron­age tour of Italy’s trea­sures, are high­lights.

Given that the ocean wave is one of the most peace­ful venues for a con­cert, Crys­tal Cruises is field­ing an ap­peal­ing Baltic jour­ney from Dover in­clud­ing an overnight stay in Stock­holm as well as two nights in St Peters­burg and calls at Oslo, Copen­hagen and Helsinki, all in June, month of the mid­night sun. As well as per­for­mances, there will be lec­tures by celebrity guests.

Sil­versea prefers to ar­range ex­clu­sive con­certs for its pas­sen­gers on land, and in 2008 var­i­ous cruises of­fer the chance to hear Greig per­formed at Trold­hau­gen, Nor­way, take in a clas­si­cal con­cert at an­cient Eph­e­sus or en­joy a mu­si­cal evening at the Her­mitage, St Peters­burg. Talk­ing of the lat­ter, Pres­tige are lay­ing on a week in June (again with guar­an­teed mid­night sun) in as­so­ci­a­tion with the city’s Ros­sica Choir, which will ar­range spe­cial con­certs and mu­seum and gallery vis­its.

March may not have cruis­ing weather, but VFB’s three- night Im­pres­sion­ist Cruise, fo­cus­ing on the work of Monet, Van Gogh, Renoir and De­gas among oth­ers, is an ap­peal­ing and, at £299, in­ex­pen­sive way to see great Paris mu­se­ums, in­clud­ing the Or­say and the lit­tle river­side vil­lage of Au­vers-sur-Oise, adopted home of sev­eral painters.

For 10 times the price, you could spend 12 days of March in Bar­ba­dos, in­clud­ing three per­for­mances at “the Glyn­de­bourne of the West Indies” — the Hold­ers Sea­son, cour­tesy of Kudu Travel. A mix of high and low cul­ture will in­clude the Opera Babes, Kit and the Widow and a per­for­mance of Shake­speare’s Much Ado About Noth­ing

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