Art Excursions, Inc.


What makes Art Excursions different; Why is an Art Excursions tour special?

The owners of the company hold advanced degrees in the History of Art and personally host, research, and coordinate multi-day excursions, serving as tour leaders and tour directors. This ensures that you can enjoy yourself without having to worry about where to go, how to get there or where to stay.  We have earned an extraordinarily loyal repeat clientele due to our organization and personal attention.

We are always described as "enthusiastic." Our tours and lectures are designed to be "edu-taining." We want our clients to thoroughly enjoy themselves and learn a great deal at the same time.  We find that people are most open to learning when they are having a good time.

As art historians and frequent travelers, we design our tours to bring you in touch with the best experiences in a given city including those hidden gems that are not particularly well known.

We do not "over schedule" you. Most evenings are free for you to enjoy as you wish. We are an "anti-whirlwind" tour company.

We base our tours in great hotels in great locations so you won't need a car to visit restaurants, theater, museums and shops. The hotels we use are typically four-star accommodations located in the center of the action within a given city.

Our group sizes are small (typically ranging between 15 and 30 people (depending on the tour)).

What are the physical requirements of your tours (how much walking and standing)?

This is a complicated question because people have different ideas of how much walking is a "lot" or "little." So, what we have to say in answer to this question is very general. Honestly, only you and your physician can determine whether a tour is right for you.

In general then, if there is a real concern about walking/standing, etc... on the tour, then this tour might not be right for you. In other words, "if you have to ask..." or "if your instincts are no, then perhaps those instincts are valid."

That said, we have had many people from a broad range of ages attend our tours and not find them strenuous. It all depends how active one is on a daily basis.

Most importantly, one needs to consider the multi-day nature of the tour. It is one thing to think about whether or not this itinerary item or that one will present a problem. It is another to think about the level of sustained activity over 4 or 5 days. Think about doing 4 or 5 days of touring in your local area with one or two museums, walking tours, gardens, performances each day.  Consider how this would impact you as a guide to how you would do on one of our multi-day tours.

If you do have concerns, we recommend that you take our tour itinerary (we can email it to you) to your physician and discuss it with him or her. See if your doctor thinks it's manageable for you.

If I want to add extra nights at the hotel, what is the cost and how to I pay for these extra nights?

Please see the "Pricing" section of the specific tour page on our website for costs. The rates for additional nights we procure on your behalf are typically lower than what you could obtain on your own. We bill you for additional nights that we reserve for you at our group rate. The cost of additional nights is payable by personal check, money order, traveler's check and cashier's check.

Why do you charge a single supplement?

Unlike in Europe, hotels in the U.S. charge the same amount whether a room is occupied by one or two people. We base our tour price on two people per room with the cost of the room split between two people. When one person occupies a room solely, that person pays a supplement to cover the other half of the cost of their hotel room. Of course this does not apply to singles who choose to share a room together. If you ever see a U.S. tour with a small single supplement, the tour cost has either been inflated for everyone to allow for a small supplement or the hotel is very inexpensive.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept personal checks, money orders, traveler's checks and cashier's checks.

What types of accommodations do you use?

We stay in three and four star properties in great locations. You are always able to walk to theater, music, shopping, dining, galleries and museums.

Can you book airfare on my behalf?

Yes. We do charge for this service since airlines no longer pay commission.  Please see the specific tour page that interests you for the airfare service charge.

What is the size of the tour group?

Our groups typically range in size from 15-30.

What sort of people attend your tours? Are they suitable for singles, couples, singles traveling together?

Our clients range in age from 30 on up and come from the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe. We typically have a mix of singles traveling alone and paying a single supplement, singles traveling together and couples. All our clients have an interest in art, architecture, gardens, culture and history or they wouldn't be traveling with such a specialized tour operator as Art Excursions. We have a extremely high percentage of repeat clients.

Will I have enough time to enjoy elements of the tour itinerary?

Yes. Art Excursions was founded as an anti-whirlwind tour company. We had heard many horror stories about people being rushed through too many itinerary items without having a chance to take a breath let alone enjoy what they were experiencing. Our tours are relaxed in terms of schedule. We spend quality time at itinerary venues and when a guided tour is provided, we make sure you have time to explore on your own after the tour.

What is your history?

Art Excursions has been in business since 1998. We have an impressive rate of repeat business. For example, on a recent Cherry Blossoms, Art, Architecture and Gardens Tour in Washington, DC tour we had 20 people in our group, 18 of whom had been on prior tours with us.

We are a husband-and-wife owned business with a strong and visible presence in our community. We typically give about 200 lectures a year for libraries, churches, schools, retirement communities, businesses and clubs. We schedule out months and sometimes years in advance, so we are here to stay. We are also members of the Chicago Tour Professionals Association. We have professional affiliations with several Chicago-area schools of higher learning.

Who are you and what are your qualifications?

For the answer to this question, please visit our home page at http://www.artexcursions.com and click on “About Art Excursions.”

Should I stay over the night before the tour begins?

Please see the answer to the question immediately below.

What about check-in and check-out? How does the tour itinerary accommodate this?

Check-in and check-out can vary depending on the hotel.  Official check-in is usually at 3 p.m. (unless otherwise specified in the tour confirmation letter) at properties where we base our tours. On the first day of a tour, our first itinerary item typically starts between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. While we always request an early check in for our groups, there is always a possibility that your room would not be available before our first itinerary item commences. In this case, you would store your bags and check-in when we return to the hotel (typically by 5:30 p.m. on Day 1 of a tour). If you wish to guarantee that you will be able to check in, unpack and relax in your room prior to the first itinerary item on Day 1 of a tour, we suggest you stay the night before. This is why we offer you a special "pre" and "post" rate at our group hotel.

Official check-out time is 11 a.m or 12 Noon depending on the hotel. If you are checking out on the last day of one of our tours, you would need to check out and store your bags at the hotel. You can collect them when we return (typically by 3:15 p.m. on the last day of a tour). We always encourage people on our tours to stay over the last night and depart the morning after the tour's conclusion, especially if they are flying across time zones.

What is your cancellation policy?

Art Excursions specializes in multi-day group tours that typically range between 10-20 participants.  We determine the viability of a tour by counting each and every individual who signs up.  For this reason, once we receive a tour deposit, that tour deposit is nonrefundable and cannot be transferred to a different tour.  Furthermore, any future payments (installments) toward the total tour cost are nonrefundable upon receipt and cannot be transferred to a different tour.  Art Excursions encourages our clients whose travel plans must change to find a replacement or replacements for their spot(s) on the tour rather than cancel altogether. Clients of Art Excursions have in the past purchased trip insurance from major providers such as Travelguard and Access America.

Frequently asked questions about tours

PO Box 92, Riverside, IL 60546 • 630.671.9745 • ae-news@artexcursions.comwww.artexcursions.com

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