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Paris, Dordogne and the Côte d'Azur

DAY 1: OVERNIGHT FLIGHT   Depart from the USA.
DAY 2: PARIS   Arrive in Paris and meet your ACIS Tour Manager. Become familiar with the Métro and you are all set to explore the City of Light.
DAY 3: PARIS   Morning sightseeing with a local guide shows you Notre Dame, the famous Champs-Elysées and Place de la Concorde, site of the guillotine during the French Revolution. In the afternoon discover the many treasures of the Louvre, including the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo. Tonight enjoy a boat ride along the Seine.
DAY 4: DORDOGNE VALLEY   Travel on the high-speed TGV to the southern city of Bordeaux. This afternoon drive to the Dordogne, a picturesque region of France named after the river that runs through it. Discover local cuisine as you shop for traditional ingredients of the region's best dishes during the Dordogne Valley Food Challenge.
DAY 5: DORDOGNE VALLEY   Travel along the Dordogne Valley to Sarlat-la-Canéda, a Renaissance town so perfectly restored that you almost feel you stepped back in time. Continue on to the pilgrimage town of Rocamadour, which is built into the side of a cliff. This evening is spent in the Dordogne Valley.
DAY 6: PROVENCE   Drive through southern France en route to Provence, stopping to visit the walled city of Carcassonne with your tour manager. The Romans, Visigoths, and Saracens have at different times controlled the city during its long and interesting history.
DAY 7: COTE D'AZUR   Marvel at Roman engineering today as you visit the Pont du Gard aqueduct. Continue through the Provençal countryside to Aix-en-Provence, where you'll have a chance to Be Cézanne in the town in which he was born and lived. At a local atelier, learn about the great artist's techniques, then put your new skills to the test and re-create one of his masterpieces. Then admire the rugged limestone of majestic Montagne Sainte-Victoire, a favorite and frequent subject of Cézanne, as you continue to the chic Côte d'Azur for dinner.
DAY 8: COTE D'AZUR   This morning's sightseeing with your tour manager shows you Nice, including the Russian Orthodox Cathedral and the Promenade des Anglais. Take in more of the region's beauty on an excursion to the village of Eze, with its ruined castle and steep streets. Visit the Fragonard Perfume Factory, then continue along to Monaco, the glamorous home of the rich and famous. Tonight is spent on the Côte d'Azur.
DAY 9: DEPARTURE   Depart for the USA.

Angelique was a blast, she knew more than the job called for. Being to experience the European city and get away from it all was a nice balance for a vacation. Time was well planned and well spent, and the food was phenomenal.

Grant H.
Participant 2012

Too much time on the bus. Not enough time in Paris. Hotels and food were fancier than they needed to be. Would rather have saved some money.

Tessa R.
Participant 2012

While the group was able to sample a lot of different areas, I feel like the itinerary was too full and covered too much ground in a small amount of time. However, the group was able to sample a lot of what France has to offer.

Sarah P.
Group Leader 2011

I really enjoyed every part of the trip, but I especially liked going to the south of France in Cannes and Nice. I also thought our tour manager, Pascale, was fantastic and she really knew what she was talking about. Also, she made the trip more fun.

Katherine B.
Participant 2010

What to See


Le Bon Marché, Métro: Sevres Babylon
First opened in 1838, this shopping center is considered to be the first department store in the world!

Les Halles, Métro: Les Halles and Châtelet
Since the 12th century, this large, central wholesale marketplace has been a popular shopping destination.  The area has been rebuilt since the 1970s and now features beautiful sculptures, fountains, and mosaics.

The Saint Ouen Flea Market, Porte de Clignancourt, 18th arrondissement
On the outskirts of the city, you'll find this popular flea market.  With over 2,000 stalls filling 17 acres of shopping heaven, Parisians and travelers alike browse the market every weekend.  Here you can find antique furniture, art, glassware and jewelry, as well as books, records and vintage clothing.  You're guaranteed to find something rare and beautiful.


Les Halles, Green Markets, Nimes
Right in the heart of the city sits this permanent covered marketplace.  Here you'll be able to find a wide selection of fresh produce like mouthwatering olives, as well as fresh fish and cheeses.

The Monday Morning Marché, Bd. Jean-Jaurés
This market is quite the popular place in Nimes come Monday mornings. It stretches the length of the Boulevard Jean-Jaurés, and you'll surely see a variety of bright regional fabrics, pottery and other collectibles.

Nouvelles Galeries, Centre Bourse/Bir Hakeim
Only one block away from the port and the tourist office, this casually priced department store is a great place to stop and pick up items before you tour the city.


Marché Provençal, Cours Masséna, Antibes
Inside the fortified walls of Antibes lies the old town and a market place at the Cours Masséna, in front of the Mairie. The market is open daily, closed on Mondays except for June through August.

Marché Forville, Cannes
At the foot of le Suquet, you'll find this permanent marketplace selling the freshest regional food and produce around.  The booths are open every morning, and on Monday it becomes a flea-market selling a variety of brocante, or collectibles

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La Conciergerie, Métro: Cité
Eighteenth century prison held Danton, Robespierre, and Marie Antoinette during her final hours. Open daily.

National Museum of the Middle Ages - The Baths and Hôtel de Cluny, Métro: Cluny La Sorbonne
Built on the site of former Roman baths. Holdings include Dame à la Licorne tapestry and the oldest sculpture in Paris. Open daily, closed Tuesday.

Le Musée Carnavalet, Métro: St.Paul
Occupying two adjoining mansions, the Hôtel Carnavalet and the Hôtel le Peletier, this museum's holdings include fascinating pieces of Parisian and French history. Open daily, closed Monday.

Musée d'Orsay, Métro: Solférino
Housed within an old train station, this museum contains an impressive collection of sculpture and impressionist work, sure to be a favorite. It houses works from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries including Monet, Renoir, Cassatt, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Matisse,  and Degas. Open daily, closed Monday.

Musée Marmottan, Métro: La Muette
Begun with Paul Marmottan's donation to the Académie des Beaux-Arts and augmented by a large bequest of his father's art to the little museum by Monet's son Michael, the Musée Marmottan houses Monet's late Waterlilies and impressions as well as works by Sisley, Renoir, and Pisarro. Open daily, closed Monday.

Musée Rodin, Métro: Varenne/Invalides
Housed in the magnificent Hotel Biron, which was once Auguste Rodin's residence, this museum boasts impressive gardens of over 2,000 rose bushes as well as some of Rodin's most famous works: The Thinker and The Kiss are among them. Open daily, closed Monday.

Musée National Picasso, Métro: Chemin Vert/St. Paul
The largest collection of his works in the world. It is housed in a beautiful 17th century hotel, the Hôtel Salé. Open daily, closed Tuesday.


Atelier Cézanne, 9 Av. Paul-Cezanne
The studio of the famous painter Paul Cézanne is now a precious museum.  It was in this studio, built above the town center, that Cézanne painted some of his most famous pieces.  On exhibit, you be able to see the simple objects that he used in his still lifes.  Everything from a tin milk can, a flowered crockery, a coffee pot, and bottles and glasses.  In addition, you'll find his brushes, paint tubes and his bowler hat hanging from a peg on the wall, all as if he had just left them.

Espace van Gogh, Pl. Dr. Felix Rey
The hospital courtyard in which Vincent Van Gofh recovered after cutting off his own earlobe has now been restored and landscaped to match the paintings that he completed during his time there.  The gardens have become a sort of shrine for visitors, and in the spring and summer the scene is filled with beautiful blooming flowers.  In addition to these live recreations of his paintings, contemporary art influenced by Van Gogh's work is also on display.

L'Eglise St-Trophime, Pl. de la République, Arles
This Romanesque church has a magnificent twelfth century portal of the Last Judgement. Church and cloister open daily.


Le Casino, Place du Casino, Monaco
This beautiful casino was designed in 1878 by Charles Garnier, architect of the Paris Opéra Garnier. The interior is decorated in the style of the Belle Epoque. The Monte-Carlo Casino sits atop a cliff and looks onto the Sea. In back of the Casino is the Café de Paris,an art deco style café, which is a nice yet expensive spot to sit and watch the casino goers. The casino is open daily.

Le Musée Océanographique, Avenue Saint-Martin, Monaco
Founded by Prince Albert I, this museum was also the site of a research center for marine explorer Jacques Cousteau. This museum includes an aquarium filled with rare marine plants and animals, a 450,000 liter shark lagoon, and artifacts from Prince Albert I's polar expeditions. Open daily.

Le Musée Picasso, Grimaldi Castle, Antibes
This museum is housed by the Château Grimaldi and contains over 50 drawings, paintings and ceramics, including his Ulysses and his Sirens, which Picasso made when he used the museum as his studio in 1946. Open daily, save Mondays.

Fragonard, Eze-Village
This building houses both a factory and factory store for the Parfumerie Fragonard. Named for the French painter, Fragonard is a brand of perfume sold only in France. The perfumes, soaps, and creams fabricated here are all made from local materials including lavender, olive oil, and other provençal aromatic herbs. Open daily.

La Colombe d’Or, Place de Gaulle, St. Paul-de-Vence
This famous auberge once held the wedding reception for Yves Montand and Simone Signoret and is now the most elegant restaurant in St. Paul. Visitors find works by Klee, Picasso, Braque, and Utrillo hanging on the wall.

Fondation Maeght, St. Paul-de-Vence
Just outside and uphill from St. Paul, this museum is known as one of Europe’s finest modern art museums and features Giacometti, Miró and Chagall. Open daily.

Chapelle du Rosaire, 468 avenue Henri Matisse, Vence
A short drive away in the nearby town of Vence lies the celebrated Chapelle which Matisse decorated between 1947 and 1951 in thanks to the Dominican nuns who nursed him through an illness. The beautiful stations of the cross are made of black lines tinted with stained glass. Open Mon, Wed & Sat 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Tues & Thu, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday Mass at 10 a.m.

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L'Arc de Triomphe, Métro: Charles de Gaulle-Étoile
Commissioned in 1806 for Napoléon, although he died without ever seeing this edifice in its finished state. Incredible views of Paris and down the Champs-Elysées from the top. Beneath the Arch is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Open daily.

La Bibliothéque Nationale de France, Métro: Bibliothéque-François Mitterand
This incredible structure, in the form of four enormous glass books, houses the French National Library, also known as the La Grande Bibliothéque, the last of Mitterand's Grand Projects. Open daily.

Le Pont Neuf, Métro: Pont Neuf
Despite its name, this bridge is actually the oldest in Paris, and features turret-shaped recesses. Construction began in 1578 with Henri III and finished in 1604 with Henri IV.

Café de la Paix, Métro: Opéra, 12, Boulevard des Capucines
Most beautiful and expensive café in the city of lights, this societal landmark is adjacent to the Opéra building and was designed by the very same Garnier.

L'Hôtel de Ville, Métro: Hôtel de Ville
This has been the site of Paris city halls since 1260. The current structure, completed in 1882, is a néo-Renaissance marvel. Information center is open Monday through Saturday. Free admission.

Les Deux Magots, Métro: St. Germain des Prés, 6, Place St. Germain des Prés
The place to see and be seen in the Quartier Latin. 1950s haunt of intellectuals and philosophers. 

Les Buttes de Chaumont, Métro: Buttes-Chaumont
With 5 kilometers of walking paths, this park is full of beautiful panoramic opportunities.

La Tour Montparnasse, Métro: Montparnasse-Bienvenüe
The Eiffel Tower is an iconic symbol of Paris, but lines to go to the top can be long and tiresome.  A great alternative that gets you a better view of the city skyline is the Tour Montparnasse, the only skyscraper in Paris. Although the tower is considered an eye sore for many Parisians, it is open everyday and offers a 360 degree open-air view of Paris.  There is no pre-booking needed and the tour can take less than an hour.  It is sometimes said by the French that the view from the top is the most beautiful in Paris, as this is the only place from which you cannot see the tower!

The Château de Vincennes, Métro: Château de Vincennes
Since its construction in the 14th century by Charles V, the Château has been, along with the Louvre, one of the most importat castles in French history.  Now after a 10-year rennovation, the Château has opened its doors for the public to explore.


The city's first inhabitants were Roman veterans from Augustus's 31 BC Egyptian campaign. They gave the city her coat of arms, which depicts a crocodile chained to a palm tree. This city is also famed for its textile industry and the creation of denim (de Nîmes).

Amphithéâtre Romain, Bd. Victor-Hugo, Nîmes
This amphitheater was built in the first century. It is 520 feet long and 330 feet wide and holds seating for more than 20,000 people. Today, this is considered the best preserved of all Roman amphitheaters. The arena still hosts bullfights during the three annual férias. Open daily.

La Maison Carrée, Bd. Victor-Hugo, Nîmes
The name of this building translates to "the square house"? though it is neither a house nor square. It is considered to be the Roman world's best preserved temple. Built by Agrippa, it is Hellenic with Corinthian columns. Directly across the street from La Maison Carrée, you will see a modern version of the same building called the Carré d'Art. This is a modern art building that stands in bold contrast to the nearby ancient architecture. Open daily. Free admission.

The city of Arles was originally a Greek site expanded by the Romans with intentions of creating a little Rome. They built shipyards, a racetrack, baths and an arena. At this point, Arles was the capital of the three Gauls: France, Spain, and Britain.

Les Arénes, Rond-Point des Arénes, Arles
This arena is 446 feet by 358 feet, it was capable of seating over 20,000 spectators, and was built to provide entertainment in the form of chariot races and bloody hand-to-hand battles. Today, both Provençal and Spanish bullfights are held here regularly. Open daily. 

Le Théâtre Antique, Rue du Cloître, Arles
This theater hosts 12,000 tiered seats organized in a hemisphere. Construction of this theater was begun by Augustus in the 1st century and now only two Corinthian columns remain. The famousVenus of Arles was discovered here in 1651 and today it may be viewed in the Louvre. Open daily.

This city is best known for its two Roman monuments: Le Théâtre Antique d'Orange, and L'Arc de Triomphe. Orange is now the center for the Côtes-du-Rhône vineyards. When the first Roman army attempted to conquer Gaul, they were defeated near Orange in 105 B.C. They returned three years later and triumphed, building a monument to celebrate this victory and all the victories of Julius Caesar.

Vieux Orange
The old town includes the Mairie and the Ancienne Cathédrale Notre-Dame. La Cathédrale is distinguished by a crumbling Romanesque portal reminiscent of the Wars of Religion. The Colline St-Eutrope offers beautiful views of the city, the Théâtre, and the Rhône Valley. The walls of the Théâtre are part of the Place Fréres-Mounet, which Louis XIV cited as the "greatest wall in my kingdom."

Le Théâtre Antique, Rue Madeleine Roch, Orange
This Roman theater was constructed during the reign of Augustus (25-27 BC). The cavea, a tiered semicircle, holds up to 10,000 spectators. Open daily. 

This medieval city is completely walled and the circumference is measured at three miles with 39 towers and seven gates included. The city hosts the famous Festival d'Avignon every July, which celebrates theater, cabaret, and mime.


This city is best known for the International Cannes Film Festival, which takes place every spring when numerous actors, directors, celebrities, and socialites flock to this coastal town just twenty minutes west of Nice.

La Croisette, Cannes
This promenade extends almost the entire length of the bay of Cannes. The street is bordered on one side by the sea and the other is lined with trees, expensive boutiques, and hotels.

Le Suquet, Cannes
This is the name of the port and old town of Cannes and is a very lovely quarter to visit. There is an old castle called Le Castre, which was built by the Lérins monks during the eleventh and twelfth century and houses a museum which contains a collection of archeological and ethnographical objects from around the world. The Iles de Lérins are two small islands just off the bay off Cannes, Ile Ste Marguerite and Ile St Honorat, where these monks once lived, and where the Man in the Iron Mask was imprisoned. The islands are a nice place to visit for a day to find less crowded beaches and a superb view of the coast. Boats leave from both Cannes and Nice almost daily. In front of the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, there is an Allée des Stars which has the handprints of both European and American actors. The beaches in Cannes are sandy, unlike those of Nice, and have both a garden and port on either side of them.

This principality is both home to the longest reigning family in the world, the Grimaldi family, and is also the smallest sovereign state at less than .75 square miles. Its citizens are called Monégasques and they do not pay any taxes. There is a Monégasquedialect, which can be found on street signs but is seldom spoken as the official language is French. There is also a proper Monégasque currency, which is accepted but rarely found.

La Cathédrale,4 rue Colonel Bellando de Castro, Monaco
The original thirteenth century church of St. Nicholas was replaced by this nineteenth century Neo-Romanesque cathedral where Princess Grace is now buried.

This city was originally the Greek trading post of Antipolis. Over the centuries, Antibes has been heavily fortified, mainly by Vauban in the seventeenth century when he built the port and the Fort Carré. Napoléon himself lived and was temporarily imprisoned in the Fort Carré at one point.


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Café de la Paix, Métro: Opéra, 12, Boulevard des Capucines
Most beautiful and expensive café in the city of lights, this societal landmark is adjacent to the Opéra building and was designed by the very same Garnier.

Chez Omar, Métro: République/Temple
A trendy, Moroccan restaurant with nice outdoor seating.

Le Vaudeville, Métro: Bourse
Known to be an incredible (and hip) dining experience,this bistro retains its marble walls and Art Deco carvings from 1918.

Le Train Bleu, Métro: Gare de Lyon
In the heart of the Gare de Lyon train station, this restaurant was built to impress foreign visitors in 1900.  With gilded archways and beautiful murals painted on the ceilings, it is truly an elegant dining experience.

La MediterraneeMétro: Odéon
A favorite of Hollywood stars, be sure to make reservations early for this upscale seafood restaurant!

Café Marly, Métro:  Palais--Royal Musee du Louvre
Tired after you're trek through the Lourve?  Be sure to stop at this quaint bistro for a light lunch and a glass of champagne.


Lou Caleu, 27 rue Porte de Laure, Arles
Just behind the Amphitheater, you'll find Lou Caleu housed in a wonderful 16th century building.  This place is popular for its regional specialities, genial owner, and inexpensive prices.  Open 6 days a week, closed on Mondays.

Vitamine, 16 rue du Docteur Fanton, Arles
Vitamine specializes in fresh, full-meal salads.  They have over 50 varieties that you can chose from for under 10 euro each.  If you desire a pasta option they have those too.

Café Cinarca, Rue Trencat, Les Baux-de-Provence
There is a tiny dining room, but the majority of weary travelers opt to dine in the garden courtyard.  The blackboard menu gives you a few hearty meal options like salads and meat dishes, served hot or cold.  Be sure to stop by for a cup of afternoon tea and a pastry.


Le Bouchon d'Objectif, 10 rue Constantine, Cannes
Traditional Provençal cuisine is served at this tiny bistro.  It is popular amongst the locals, unpretentious and certainly inexpensive.  There is an gallery of photography hung along the walls that gets updated quite frequently.

La Chirane, 4 rue de l'Hospice, Seillans
With wonderful outdoor seating high above the Old Town slopes, this small inn serves delicious French dinners.  Sometimes on Saturday nights there will be a live jazz band that plays during your meal.

Loumiri, Av. Jardin Exotique, Eze
With fixed lunch price of 15 euro, this little bistro offers the best deal in town.  On the blackboard that lists the daily specials you find classic Provençal and local seafood dishes.  Lourmiri is located near the entrance to the Vieille Ville.

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Curious about travel with ACIS? Find out answers to your burning questions below.

For Group Leaders and Teachers:

see all FAQs
Can I bring my family members or colleagues along?

Certainly. You have three different options:

1.      Assistants
Family members or colleagues may travel as assistants (even if minors, though children must be five years or older to travel in an ACIS group), according to the terms of the Group Leader Stipend Chart.* Assistants must be 21 years old and have at least five participants to their name to be eligible for the Experience Bonus.

2.      Family/Colleague Discount
Family members or colleagues may take a 20% discount from the program fee. These participants will not count toward your free trip, stipend or other group leader benefits. Like all paying participants, they are subject to mandatory fees (registration, tax, etc.) as well as full payment deadlines.

3.      $150 Child Discount
For children under the age of 12, you may take a flat $150 Child Discount (plus the 20% Family/Colleague Discount) off their program fee, but they will still be subject to mandatory fees. The child's registration will not count toward your free trip, stipend or other group leader benefits. The minimum age to travel with an ACIS group is five years old.

*Anyone can become an assistant to the group, provided they have at least one full-paying participant to their credit.

Can a paying participant become an assistant?

Yes. This must be done no later than 65 days before departure and an ACIS Assistant Registration Form must be submitted. Assistants added or canceled within 90 days of departure will be charged a $100 late fee payable either by the applicable assistant or the group leader. Please inform us immediately of these changes in writing.

What if my assistant must cancel?

Please inform ACIS immediately. We regret that if the cancellation occurs within 65 days of departure, we will charge the canceling assistant a $150 late cancellation fee and may not be able to accommodate a substitute assistant. If the cancellation is within 45 days of departure, the assistant must pay a $250 late cancellation fee (see ACIS Assistant Registration Form for policy) and their stipend credits are not transferable. Please always alert us in writing as soon as possible when an assistant cancels.

Do I receive travel insurance as a group leader?

Every ACIS Group Leader receives coverage under our most enhanced protection plan, the Ultimate Protection Plan complimentary for any tour they lead.

What if the group leader must cancel?

A mutual effort is made to find a qualified substitute teacher or other adult who will assume full group leader responsibilities. Participants who choose not to travel with the replacement group leader are subject to the standard cancellation/refund policy

Can I stay on after my group returns home?

Yes. An Alternate Return Request Form must be completed and returned to ACIS no later than 90 days before departure. You will be responsible for any additional flight costs, and must arrange for a responsible adult (preferably an assistant) to take charge of your group on the flight home. You must obtain written permission from a parent/guardian of each participant, naming the adult in charge. There will be a $150 charge for any change made within 90 days of departure, and no changes are possible within 65 days.

Can I stay in a single room?

Single accommodations are provided free of charge for group leaders who have eight or more paying participants counted to their credit AND who do not travel with a spouse or an assistant of the same sex. For those traveling in 2010/2011, see our Service Guarantee. In the unlikely event that a single room is not available, ACIS will reimburse you $20 per hotel night. Eligibility for the single room is based on the standard 1:6 prorate and is non-transferable. If the above does not apply, you may also elect to pay a surcharge of $40 per hotel night for a single room. Single rooms are not available aboard cruise ships, overnight ferries or trains, in China, Africa, Russia and most residence programs.

For Students and Parents:

see all FAQs
What airline do we fly?

ACIS groups travel on scheduled flights, using all the major carriers. These include American Airlines, Air France, Aerolineas Argentinas, Alitalia, Finnair, British Airways, British Midland Airways, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Aer Lingus, Icelandair, Iberia, Spanair, Lufthansa, Swiss International Airlines Ltd., Northwest, Air New Zealand, Olympic Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines, Taca International Airlines, TAP Air Portugal, United Airlines, US Airways, Air Europa, and Virgin Atlantic. You'll receive flight information as your departure date approaches.

How many people travel in a group?

ACIS groups average anywhere from 35 to 45 participants traveling together on a bus, led by an ACIS Tour Manager. Small groups are often combined to create one bus group. This is the group with whom you share your travel experience. You eat your meals together, stay in the same accommodations, and travel together on the bus. It's an opportunity to make lifelong friendships!

Tell us more about the tour manager.

"Tour manager" is an important term in educational travel. It refers to your bus group leader, who is rigorously trained and specially selected to assist your group while overseas. ACIS Tour Managers are famous for their multifaceted roles, both educational and logistical. An ACIS Tour Manager is part commentator, counselor, troubleshooter, advocate, and stopwatch! He or she supervises hotel check-ins, directs the bus driver and leads educational activities.

Most importantly, ACIS Tour Managers are travel gurus. They thrive on sharing their passion and love for the cultures of the world, giving you the opportunity to see the world through the eyes of those who live and work there. Over the years, we've employed university professors, film directors, journalists, musicians, business professionals, and other creative achievers. Our tour managers are consistently recognized as top in the industry. You'll receive more information about your tour manager as your departure date approaches.

Your ACIS Tour Manager maintains a professional relationship with the group but is not directly responsible for enforcing discipline or the ACIS behavior guidelines. That is the responsibility of the your group leader. It is your tour manager's responsibility, however, to report to your group leader any infractions and to be sure that ACIS behavior guidelines are adhered to.

Where do we stay?

ACIS groups stay in three- and four-star conveniently located hotels. We place a priority on booking hotels in good locations and safe areas, with convenient access to both local attractions and public transportation.

Students generally stay in rooms with two or three beds. During peak travel periods, hotels sometimes add an extra bed to accommodate heavy bookings. ACIS attempts to prevent this but cannot guarantee that it will never happen. Some hotel rooms in France have a Grand Lit (an oversize double bed for two) instead of twin beds. Those who have paid the adult surcharge stay in double rooms in hotels but not on overnight ferries or trains.

An ACIS bus group is typically made up of two, three, or four groups from around the U.S. who quickly get to know each other and feel part of one overall group. Depending on the mix of male and female students in the bus group, students may be rooming with participants from other groups. Don't worry, this is a great way to meet new people and make some new friends!

The group leader will create a variety of rooming combinations before you leave, in order to make it easier for your tour manager to work out the rooming when you check in to your hotel.

Check-in time at most hotels is early to mid-afternoon. If you arrive overseas early in the morning, you likely have time to change money and do some exploring before you check in.

What will we have to eat?

You will enjoy a variety of meals en route, mixing both native and familiar cuisines depending on your area of travel. Keep an open mind and be willing to sample everything—that's what travel is all about!

Most days you will be served a continental breakfast that includes a variety of fresh rolls, cereal, pastry, butter and jam, coffee, tea or hot chocolate. In Australia and China, you will be served an American-style hot buffet breakfast. On trips to the Americas you may be served the traditional rice and beans. In some hotels in Britain, eggs or other items may be included. In Europe, the larger hotels sometimes serve eggs and other American-style breakfast items for an extra charge.

On most ACIS trips, you will enjoy lunch on your own. Be adventurous and experiment. Many travelers do what the locals do; instead of having an expensive restaurant meal, they buy fresh ingredients at a local market, then put together a sandwich and have a picnic lunch in a city park.

On most tours, beverages at dinner are not included. The are included on tours to China, Costa Rica, Peru, and occasionally other destinations. Sometimes your waiter may put soda or mineral water down on the table without being asked. Be aware that you will be charged for any beverages you consume.

Although ACIS will try to accommodate special-needs meals including kosher, vegetarian and low salt, we cannot guarantee all requests.

How much spending money will I need?

Spending needs vary depending on personal habits, but a typical allowance is $50 per day. This allows for lunch, snacks, soft drinks, postage, souvenirs, local transportation during free time, free-time activities, and optional excursions not already included in your itinerary. Most ACIS participants carry ATM cards, travelers checks and credit cards. ACIS has compiled all the information you need to know in Money Matters.

What should I pack?

Our advice is to pack light—you won't regret it! You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage on and off the bus, in and out of your hotel, and onto trains. Bring comfortable, practical clothes that you can wear more than once, with a few nice pieces thrown in.

Remember to pack clothes that you can layer as the weather can be unpredictable. Lastly, try to avoid bringing new shoes. New shoes can be tough to break in and you’ll want to make sure your shoes are comfortable and reliable. For more information specific to your trip, log into My Account for a detailed packing list.

What about calling home?

Calling home from overseas can be expensive and obtaining local phone cards can be complicated and time consuming. The best way to call is with an ACIS eKit Global Phonecard or Global Mobile Phone. Using the eKit card can save you up to 70% on international and U.S. long distance calls compared to pay phones and hotel phones. Simply charge up your eKit card with the credit card of your choice and it will be ready for use. In addition to cheap calls home, the ACIS eKit Global Phonecard offers you email, Voicemail, the ability to listen to email over the phone and much more!

Another option is the ACIS eKit Global Mobile phone. With a variety of pre-paid plans available, this mobile phone can save you up to 70% on global roaming rates.

Do I have travel insurance?

Yes. Your ACIS Registration Fee includes coverage under our Basic Protection Plan. ACIS recommends you upgrade your insurance coverage by purchasing the Ultimate Protection Plan designed specifically for you travel needs. With the Ultimate Protection Plan, you may cancel for any reason up to the day of departure and receive a cash refund. You will also receive expanded travel protection while on tour.

I am signed up for an ACIS tour. How do I access my account?

You can get your latest account information online—any time, any day. To view your most up-to-date itinerary and account status, just, log in to My Account with your Account ID and password, which can be found in the upper-right hand corner of your invoice. If you have forgotten your password or have additional questions about your account, contact ACIS Client Services at accounts@acis.com.

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