opening ceremony, and we get there early before the crowds arrive to catch it with our famously boisterous Beefeater guide. Since its construction, the castle has been used as a treasury, palace and prison—today it houses 1,000 years of Royal history and the Crown Jewels. Then, all the world may be a stage, but to get an authentic feel of Shakespeare's theater it is essential to visit the reconstructed Globe Theatre along the Thames Embankment. Attend a
workshop, conducted by actors, that introduces you to both the plays of Shakespeare and the conditions in which Elizabethan actors worked. If treading the boards at the Globe doesn’t get you soaring, skipping the lines with your subsequent timed reservation at the London Eye certainly will. On your 30 minute “flight” to a height of 443 feet, you’ll be amazed at how the London landscape unfolds below you and the engineering marvel of the Eye itself. Tonight, whether it is fish and chips or curry or Yorkshire pudding, you’ll get a chance to dine like the locals with restaurant vouchers and insider tips on the best places to go.
Monarchy by biketour around Hyde Park and St. James's Park. Starting at Kensington Palace, home to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, pedal your way past many notable buildings and monuments linked to England's royal history and learn their stories. Dinner tonight is a London classic: fish and chips. Perhaps follow this with an evening stroll under the giant illuminated billboards of Piccadilly Circus.
National Theatre backstage tour. Your entertaining guide will share performance secrets and provide an insider's look at all the contributing pieces to a thriving and active production facility. Celebrate on your final night abroad with a theater performance in one of London's many world-class venues.
Optional Extensions and Extra Nights:
Further immerse yourself in the culture and delights of England's capital with an extra night in London, including the services of your ACIS Tour Manager.
This was a amazing trip! Our guide James Higginson was excellent! His knowledge is impeccable. All the places we went were delightful and to see London was unbelievable. A must see in ones lifetime.
Marisa our guide was very knowledgeable approachable and above all friendly for the entire duration of the trip. Our destinations included all of the things in London that we could have wanted to see. It was an amazing experience overall.
Loved that our tour guide was with us for so much of the trip. She was a wonderful guide with lots of information about the planned stops and extremely helpful with our additional outings. Kids and adults both enjoyed her company.
I loved it!!!!!!
I am so glad we got a variety of activities but I do wish we had more than one hour at the British Museum. Marisa was absolutely fantastic.
I was very pleased with the trip overall in 2013. I thought most aspects of the trip were quite good.
Group Leader 2013
Our tour guide, Paul Daley was great!!
just another great trip. Every step of the way went flawlessly. I promissed the students a trip of a lifetime - ACIS delivered.
Group Leader 2011
I have traveled abroad 13 different times and this is one of my best experiences. I truly enjoyed this experience.
Group Leader 2011
Overall, the trip was fantastic. But Washington (Dulles) had a ridiculous amount of walking to our connection. ACIS office made a major mistake, listing Dulles as the return connection, when it was actually Chicago (O'hare).
Group Leader 2011
This was the most well-organized trip I have ever been on with students. What made the trip so great was our energetic, funny, patient, and knoweldgeable tour guide, Peter. He is definately an asset for ACIS. Most Memorable Trip Ever!
Group Leader 2011
Let's do it again!
Group Leader 2011
This was an absolutely tremendous experience. I had never been to England before, and it exceeded my expectations. Dominic was the perfect tour guide. The students adored him, and he was so knowledgeable and thoughtful.
Group Leader 2011
ACIS worked with us to give us the Ireland portion we wanted; the trip worked out to fulfill all we dreamed of.
Group Leader 2011
I always like the Showtime trip because of how much ACIS incorporates into the itinerary over and above just theatre emphasis. Also, the way the trip is arranged allows for free time for the teacher to incorporate what he/she wants to do.
Group Leader 2011
Our itinerary worked perfectly. This trip was one of the best I have ever done--possibly because we were such a small group. But ACIS did not treat us so. We were given every consideration and made to feel appreciated.
Group Leader 2011
Tour manager was amazing and outstanding.
Stan bent over backwards to helpeach of the groups with spare time. he seemed to be everywhere at once. HE was plesant and kept everyone together during planned time! Superb!!!!!
On Wednesday we ended our trip at the Hard Rock Cafe. In my estimation, we should have been provided a tube pass or a coach to get back to the hotel. We had several older people in our group.
It was the best traveling experience I have ever had.
Our tour guide was very knowledgeable of all the sites and the places we traveled, not to mention a lot of fun. I learned so much about England and I can't wait to come back for another visit.
This was my very first foreign tour. Though I enjoyed every leg of the trip, I am a senior citizen and it was a lot of walking for me. I wanted more than anything to visit Stonehenge and it was included in program. Thanks.
Paul, our tour guide, was absolutely phenomenal. He not only possessed an immense amount of information, but utilized it in helpful and friendly manner. He went out of his way to make sure that everyone was happy and doing what they wanted to do.
Overall, everything was great! We were busy from sunup to sundown, and the activities were educational and engaging. Everything ran very smoothly, which took a lot of pressure off yours truly; thanks for that. The kids really enjoyed it, and none of them wanted to come home.
Group Leader 2008
Our trip was glorious! Make that sensational! No, make that extraordinary! What an experience for my students and me! ACIS is THE BEST! Always has been and continues to live up to its reputation: QUALITY PERSONIFIED!
Group Leader 2008
I think the kids saw more stuff in 8 days than most people who live in London.
Group Leader 2008
What to See
Portobello Road, Tube: Notting Hill Gate or Ladbroke Grove
For over 300 years, Portobello Road has been attracting tourists and natives alike to its varied markets. Throughout the week, Pembridge Villa sells high quality antiques at high prices, and on Saturdays the North end of Portobello Road offers more in the way of bargains, curios, and second-hand clothes.
Leadenhall, Tube: Bank or Monument
Originating in the 14th Century, the first building was destroyed by the Great Fire of London in 1666. Erected in 1881, the present victorian covered arcade retails meat, fish, flowers and foodstuffs. Fresh coffee from all over the world gives Leadenhall a delightful aroma. Open Monday through Friday.
Lillywhite's, Tube: Piccadilly Circus
This store claims to be the world's finest in sporting goods: from croquet mallets to football strips and cricket whites; it all can be found here! Open daily.
Hamley's, Tube: Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Circus
A short walk up Regent Street will bring you to London's finest toy store and, at one time, the largest. Five stories of toys, games, stuffed animals and many opportunities for fun! Don't forget to admire the window displays. Open daily.
Oxford Street Shopping, Tube: Oxford Circus
Shop here to stay caught up with all the latest fashions in clothes and shoes. Oxford Street is best known for Marks & Spencer, Selfridges and the other big department stores which are all found in the section from Marble Arch to Oxford Circus.
British Museum, Tube: Tottenham Court Road
One of the world's finest museums: "the closest thing this planet has to a complete record of its civilizations." The Rosetta Stone, the Elgin Marbles and an incredible collection of coins. Open daily. Free admission.
Victoria and Albert Museum, Tube: South Kensington
A collection of fine and applied arts from all over the world are displayed here. Particularly noted for the clothing collection and the twentieth century design exhibits. Open daily. Free admission.
Natural History Museum, Tube: South Kensington
This museum illustrates all forms of life, from the smallest bacteria to the largest creatures, dinosaurs, and fossils. Open daily. Free admission.
The Science Museum, Tube: South Kensington
Over seven acres of hands-on scientific history. Also includes a history of medicine and an IMAX 3D film theater. Along with the National Railway Museum in York and the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television in Bradford, these museums together comprise the National Museum of Science & Industry ( NMSI ). Open daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free admission.
The Museum of London, Tube: St. Paul's or Barbican
From pre-history to the present day, the growth of London is charted here. A museum with something for everyone. Open daily. Free admission.
London Transport Museum, Tube: Covent Garden
For those interested in transportation throughout the ages, here is a fabulous collection of buses, trams, trains, and their history. The museum boasts hands-on fun for all ages and a lovely shop with lots of Tube-related merchandise. Open daily.
Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, Tube: Baker Street
Madame Tussaud started in wax modeling making masks of victims of the French Revolution, and in 1835 she moved to England to this location. Be prepared for the Chamber of Horrors! Open daily.
The National Gallery, Tube: Charing Cross
A wealth of art from the early Renaissance to the nineteenth century is catalogued and beautifully displayed here. Spanning the period from about 1250 to 1900, it is one of the greatest collections of European painting in the world. Open daily. Free admission.
National Portrait Gallery, Tube: Charing Cross
This gallery houses a collection of portraits that well illustrate the history of Britain. The Great and the Good, along with some for whom the jury is still out, are represented here. Open daily. Free admission.
Tate Britain, Tube: Pimlico
This is the national gallery of British art with works from 1500 to the present day. Tate holds the greatest collection of British art in the world, including works by Blake, Hirst and Moore. Open daily, 10 a.m. to 5:50 p.m. Free admission.
Tate Modern, Tube: Southwark
This museum displays the Tate's collection of international modern art from 1900 to the present day, including major works by Bacon, DalÃ, Picasso, Matisse, Rothko, Warhol and McQueen. Open daily. Free admission.
Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum, Tube: Wimbledon
Newly opened in 2006, the Lawn Tennis Museum features some incredible new technology in order to immerse the visitor in the world of Wimbledon. There is a 200° cinema that screens a film about the science and biology of tennis, as well as a recreation of the 1980s dressing room where a projected image of John McEnroe gives you a tour. Open daily.
Changing of the Guard, Tube: Green Park
Most famously at Buckingham Palace along with a few other locations, this is a hugely popular tradition of pageantry. Occurs daily or on alternate days depending on the time of year.
Regent's Park, Tube: Regent's Park
The Park is London's largest outdoor sports area with pitches and courts for a variety of athletic activities. It also boasts the London Zoo, an Open Air Theater, cafés, picnic spots and the renowned Queen Mary Gardens and Rose Gardens.
Camden Lock & Passage, Tube: Camden Town
The Passage offers a selection of antiques, while Camden Lock is the weekend haunt of London's trendy youth. Clothes, shoes, records and a mouthwatering variety of foods can be found here.
Piccadilly, Tube: Piccadilly Circus
While on Piccadilly take the opportunity to visit covered arcades on either side of the street, offering expensive purchases. Admire the statue of Eros and stroll to Fortnum and Mason as it is the ultimate place to shop for luxury foodstuffs and is a wonderful shopping experience.
Harry Ramsden's, Euston Station Foodcourt
World famous fish and chips.
Hard Rock Café, 150 Old Park Lane
Full of rock 'n' roll memorabilia and serving tasty, casual fare like the 10 oz. BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger, this is the Hard Rock Café that started it all. See the first donation, Eric Clapton's Lead II Fender, and derive inspiration from viewing John Lennon's hand amended lyrics to 'Imagine,' among many other items, in the Vault.
Curious about travel with ACIS? Find out answers to your burning questions below.
For Group Leaders and Teachers:see all FAQs
Certainly. You have three different options:
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.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ask a Question
If you have any additional questions about this specific tour or about ACIS travel in general, please feel free to ask by filling out the form below.