FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the Museum Travel Alliance?
The Museum Travel Alliance (MTA) provides individual members of participating museums with access to unique, high-end cultural travel programs. Travelers will be joining members affiliated with other participating museums from across the country on MTA tours.
Who is eligible to travel on MTA trips?
All travelers must be members of an institution participating in the Museum Travel Alliance. To find out if an institution you are member of is the Alliance, please see this updated list. If you have other questions about your eligibility to participate on an MTA trip, call us at 1-212-302-3251 or toll free at 1-855-533-0033.
Who operates the programs for MTA?
All tour programs are developed and operated by Academic Arrangements Abroad, the leader in museum travel since 1977.
What makes MTA trips different?
MTA develops and operates trips that all include a curator, art historian, or other scholar among it leaders. In addition, trips typically include visits to major museums, archeological sites, and tours of interesting architecture. Frequently, receptions by local museum directors, curators and visits to private collections are included on the programs. Finally, many cruise programs are accompanied by other scholars who are experts in horticulture, politics, or the performing arts, for instance, to enrich our journeys on world class conveyances.
What is the group size for most of your travel programs?
The size of each travel program varies depending upon destination and type of trip. Most of our land programs have approximately 25 or fewer participants. Ocean voyages are usually smaller than 75 travelers, and river voyages range between 50 and 90 travelers.
What is the activity level of your trips?
River boat cruises tend to be the least challenging programs, and are conducted on calmer, inland waterways. Open water voyages on sea-going vessels have more rigorous program elements. Land programs, particularly exotic destinations, are the most demanding, but can be enjoyed by any person who is fit and active, and not constrained in walking ability. Please call our office at 1-855-533-0033 or 1-212-302-3251 for details on the activity level of specific programs.
Are all tours conducted in English?
Yes, all of our tour directors are native English speakers, or are as fluent as if English was their native language. In addition, those sections of tours led by local guides are also in English. For other requests, please contact our office at 1-855-533-0033 or 1-212-302-3251.
What is the appropriate attire for your travel programs?
The emphasis is on comfortable clothing. Daytime attire is casual both aboard ship and ashore. Depending on the destination, you may wish to bring warmer clothing to layer during cruising and for some of the excursions. A windbreaker or a raincoat will be useful in damp or rainy weather. A hat or an umbrella is recommended for protection against the sun, as are sunglasses and sunscreen.
Most passengers on cruises change for dinner. Jackets and collared shirts are appropriate for men, and we suggest skirts and blouses, dresses, or suits for women. At welcome and farewell dinners, attire is more formal. A jacket and tie are appropriate for men and a cocktail dress or suit for women.
Comfortable walking shoes are essential for shore excursions! Shoes with rubber soles are best for walking. If you are traveling on a program that involves a river boat or a voyaging ship, choice of footwear should include shoes that have non-skid soles to ensure maximum traction on the wooden ship decks.
Can I make payments by credit card?
Our tour operator, Academic Arrangements Abroad, accepts only program reservation deposits by credit card. All final payments are to be made by personal check or wire transfer.
Will you make air arrangements for me?
We would be delighted to assist you with air travel arrangements for your trip, including specially negotiated group airfare when available, suggested group flights, or your requests. The cost of this service is $40 per person. All airfares are guaranteed once the ticket has been issued.
This includes personalized access to a broad range of airfare options, many of which are exclusive to your group. In addition to the pre-flight fare analysis and consultation, once ticketed your reservation will be monitored for any changes that might affect your travel plans. If your airline travel plans are affected, which might include potential weather delays, your adviser will assist you with alternate arrangements to minimize the disruptions.
Complete details are provided in the program confirmation mailing.
Can I travel with you as a single?
We welcome individuals who are traveling as singles. If you wish to reserve a room or cabin for single occupancy, generally we must pass along the cost of a single supplement.
Can you book extra nights for me?
We are pleased to offer group rates for additional nights at the group hotels before and after trips. Regrettably, we cannot assist with individual arrangements at hotels not included in the program itinerary. For more information, please contact our office at 1-855-533-0033 or 1-212-302-3251.
Can you book reservations, opera tickets, or private tours for me?
As a group tour operator, typically we cannot assist with individual arrangements such as private touring and dinner reservations. We recommend seeking the services of a travel agent or hotel concierge to help you with these arrangements.
Can I participate only on a portion of the program?
In order to maintain the integrity of the program, travelers are unable to skip portions of the tour. Please contact our office with questions or concerns.
Can you hold a place for me while I decide?
Pending availability, we will hold a place for you for seven days to allow you to make a decision. After seven days have passed, a signed reservation application along with a deposit to guarantee your place are required. The deposit will be applied toward the total cost of your travel program. Deposit amounts (of which $350 is non-refundable for administrative fees) vary depending on the tour. You may pay your deposit with a credit card, wire transfer or personal check.
Can I go with the group transfer if I am not on the group flight?
Airport transfers are not included for those who are not on the group flight. However, if your flight is arriving prior to the group flight, you are welcome to meet the group for the transfer. We suggest that you arrive at least one hour prior to the group flight in case your flight is delayed.
If you are on a flight to exotic destinations where you may not wish to take public transportation or a taxi, we recommend arranging a private car. Please contact us at 1-855-533-0033 or 1-212-302-3251 if you would like to make any of the special arrangements above.
Can you make my flight arrangements if I do not originate in the departure city noted in the brochure?
Travelers are welcome to make arrangements to meet the group flight in the departure city, and we are happy to assist you. Please contact us at 1-855-533-0033 or 1-212-302-3251.
Is airfare included in the program rate?
In order to provide travelers with flexibility in their travel arrangements, we do not include round trip airfares in program rates. However, flights within and between foreign countries that are part of the travel itinerary are generally included in program rates.