Inspiring expert-led experiences worldwide with ACE Cultural Tours

Founded in 1958, ACE Cultural Tours is the oldest and most experienced provider of study tours and cultural travel in the United Kingdom, running tours, cruises and courses in the UK, Europe and across the globe.

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In 2018 ACE celebrated their 60th year offering tour programmes that combine three essential elements: exciting destinations, interesting subjects and stimulating leaders, covering a wide variety of themes: art, architecture, archaeology, history, music, regional culture and natural history.

Each ACE tour is led by an experienced Tour Director, a specialist in the subject area: from one of the BBC’s most distinguished music commentators and a geo-physicist with the British Antarctic Survey, to the Head of Special Collections at the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Ancient walls in Pompeii with volcano Vesuvius in the background

The experienced Tour Directors are chosen not only for their specialised knowledge but equally for their ability to communicate their passion to others with clarity and enthusiasm. They are involved in the planning and creation of all tours and deliver regular talks and lectures on tour.

Although experts lead the tours, participants need no previous knowledge to enjoy an ACE experience; all that is required is a curiosity in the subject concerned.

Gjirokastër Castle, Albania

Many itineraries for their worldwide destinations include privileged access, exclusive visits and private concerts to provide unique experiences that are characterised by their originality and diversity. ACE’s itineraries illuminate and illustrate the themes of the tour and allow for comprehensive exploration of the sites and areas visited. Evenings and dinners on an ACE tour are a wonderful opportunity to discuss the day’s visits and experiences in a convivial atmosphere and to get to know new friends.

Seine River Cruise

To mark its 60th anniversary, ACE launched a new category of Cultural Cruises which encapsulate all that make ACE tours special, spanning many cultural subjects each informed by their own dedicated Tour Director and so resulting in an in-depth insight into the region. The cruises proved extremely popular within their first season, with routes that year including along the River Seine, the Portuguese Douro river and skirting the Turkish Lycian coast.

Proboscis monkey in Borneo

Following the success of the Cultural Cruises category, ACE have also launched another new ‘Gentler Tours’ category. Travellers, whilst often still independent in spirit, can now enjoy the same intellectual tour details at a more relaxed pace.

ACE’s upcoming tours can be found in their most recent brochure and on the ACE website.ACE is delighted to present their popular destinations including cultural cruises and European music festivals, as well as brand new tours to destinations further afield in Asia, the Middle East and Australasia. Not forgetting closer to home destinations, such as tours exploring the UK’s history and appreciating the rich wildlife we have on our doorstep.

Illuminated Moscow Kremlin and river on a winter morning

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ACE Cultural Tours is owned by the ACE Foundation, an educational trust founded in 1958 by Philip Barnes in order to promote cultural and international understanding through education. Committed to responsible tourism, ACE is proud to provide tours for people who are committed to giving something back to local communities and to support the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO).


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