About The Tours
St James’s Art Tours has been operating since 1998 and is renowned for its friendly approach and for reasonably priced but well planned cultural visits. Small, congenial groups follow a particular theme or topic, accompanied by a specialist in the field. We try to be as far removed as possible from mass group travel. Our approach is personal, the pace is relaxed, and visits and talks aim to provide real insight rather than an outpouring of facts. The organization is small and this is reflected in the number of tours organized each year. Many of our customers come back again and again, which is reassuring. Prices are very competitive for the style of tours arranged; however, they are not, nor are they intended to be, cut price holidays. Hotels tend to be in the upper range as it is felt that people enjoy the amenities of a comfortable, centrally situated hotel at the end of what can be a tiring day. Considerable time is spent in making the arrangements for each tour and planning is meticulous.
The aim of our tours is to provide a culturally enriching as well as an enjoyable and relaxing experience, hopefully in well balanced proportion. Specialists, who have helped in shaping the itineraries, accompany tours. All of our lecturers are well known for their enthusiasm and skill in communicating their subject at every level of knowledge and they play a pivotal role in holding a group together and ensuring that everyone is content. Frequently the lecturer is fluent in the language of the country being visited, which can be a most important asset. In addition to the lecturer, almost all tours have the assistance of an escort, either a member of staff from St James’s Art Tours, or a local guide who works jointly with the lecturer. Some countries insist on one of their own guides being present during visits; in these cases we try to select the appropriate person. In those instances where a lecturer operates alone there is always back-up assistance from local representatives.
Although there is no age limit to participate in a tour, general fitness and good health is a necessity. All excursions involve a certain amount of physical exertion, some of the tours are by nature more strenuous than others, and this is indicated on the itineraries. Anyone over 80 who books may be asked to provide a medical certificate of fitness to undertake the tour.
The cost of the tours is as inclusive as seems sensible. Entrances, tips, porterage, aviation taxes, are included in the price. Sometimes all meals are included, but where a meal is not included the lecturer will always assist in arranging an impromptu outing, open to anyone. Groups average 14-20 people, to a maximum of 25. If a tour is under-booked and we are required to cancel the trip, members will be notified not later than two months prior to the departure date. Deposits will be refunded or alternative tours offered. It is possible for individuals to purchase the tour only, without flight, and we are very happy to assist if anyone wishes to prolong their stay. We can also assist in upgrading flights and rooms. Single rooms are nearly always double rooms for sole occupancy.
All tours are booked through Millennium Tours who specialise in tailor-made group travel arrangements. Their management has over twenty-five years experience in the travel business and group travel. They are fully bonded by the Civil Aviation Authority (ATOL10040). Whilst St James’s Art Tours works out all the academic aspects of the itineraries, selects hotels and restaurants, engages lecturers and advertises the tours, Millennium Tours are responsible for all travel and hotel bookings and for the handling of monies. All payments are made directly to Millennium Tours.