Context Expands in Vienna

written by | Posted on March 13th, 2013

Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. (Photo courtesy of Brigida Gonzáles)

Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
(Photo courtesy of Brigida Gonzales)

Context takes travelers on a different type of walking tour, or “seminar,” led by scholars and specialists that delve deeper into a city. This month, the company is expanding its walking tour offerings with the much anticipated re-opening of the Kunstkammer collection in Vienna.

Part of what makes Context stand out from other operators, and earn recognition like Conde Nast Traveler’s “Top Travel Specialist,” is the in-depth city tours led by experts. “Our tours have the smallest group size in the industry—six participants—making it possible for people to really interact with their docent,” says Jessica Stewart, expansion manager at Context. “We think of our walks as life-long learning experiences that allow our clients to peel back the layers of the city and get up close to what they are seeing.”

With Context’s network of over 300 scholars worldwide, it can customize walks for travelers and gain entry into special sites, with tours offered in 23 cities from Shanghai to Istanbul.

“If agents have clients who are intellectually curious and who want to go deeper into the meaning of their city, Context is perfect for them,” Stewart says.

Launching March 18 in honor of the re-opening of Vienna’s Kunstkammer is the Kunstkammer Visit, a 2-hour guided tour of the art collection, led by local art historians.

“We’ve been anticipating the opening of the Kunstkammer for some time,” says Alexa Brauner, a Viennese art historian and docent for Context in Vienna. “The exact displays are still top secret. But since the works themselves are breathtaking, we’re extremely excited.”

The Kunstkammer, which contains a collection of 16th and 17th century objects, has been closed for renovations for the last 10 years. With Context’s tour, travelers will be given advance tickets to the Kunsthistorisches Museum and Kunstkammer and without having to wait in line.

Stewart, who helped develop the Vienna program and who is currently in charge of the programs, says that when surveying clients about where they wanted Context to expand to next, Vienna was on top of the list. “It’s such a dynamic city, with a great traditional history of art, music, architecture, as well as some unexpected surprises like vineyards within the city limits and a happening design scene,” she says. “This has all made Vienna an exciting place to program and bring the magic of the city to our audience of intellectually curious travelers.”

As for what guests can expect of the tours in general, Stewart says, “they can expect a smart, transformative experience that gives them the tools to understand the history and culture of the city they are visiting. They should expect to be engaged and asked to engage with their docent, making for a personalized experience.”

Private walks start at $331 for the party, and group walks start at $78 pp. For more information, visit contexttravel.com.