Best places to travel for music holidays

"More than just a catch-all term used in record shops, world music covers an amazing range of styles, histories and genres known across the world."

July 2017 • Jules Verne

Best places to travel for music holidays

More than just a catch-all term used in record shops, world music covers an amazing range of styles, histories and genres known across the world. Many of our tours are ideal for exploring the different forms music takes across the globe. With this in mind, we’ve created a guide to our favourite destinations for those looking to incorporate music into their next Jules Verne tour or cruise.


Vienna has been an important centre of musical innovation since the 18th century. The best-known composers of the day, including many of the masters still revered now, were drawn to the court of the Habsburgs by the promise of patronage and fame. Many of the most famous classical composers spent time in Austria, including Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert and Johann Strauss II, who, as well as Schubert, was born in Vienna. A tour of Austria is an unmissable experience for anyone with a passion for music. There is a wide variety of opportunities on offer, including museums, concerts and lectures.

Suggested Tour: We have a specially designed tours available that allow classical music aficionados to delve deep into the history of music. Our “Christmas Markets & Music on the Danube” tour features concerts and visits to the places where the heroes of Austrian music lived.


Italy is the cradle of operatic music; the opera was born in Florence in the 16thcentury. The golden age of the opera came in the 19th century when Bellini, Donizetti and Rossini were at the height of their dominance of the opera scene. Verdi was the last of the great composers of the time, known for his vigorous, passionate style, composing technically flawless operas that matched showmanship with emotional range. Those with an interest in the opera’s diverse virtuosity will enjoy tours of Italy with Jules Verne. The focus on culture and history allow you to understand the context in which the world’s favourite operas were composed.

The American South

For contemporary music lovers, touring the United States is a dream come true. In particular, the Deep South’s association with music is as strong as its association with comfort food. Many of the most influential styles of modern music have been nurtured among the sugar cane plantations and fertile cotton fields that line the banks of the Mississippi. There’s so much musical pedigree in the American South that it can be hard to decide where to start. Tennessee is home to country and western music, while the city of Memphis is associated with rock and roll, blues and soul. The air of New Orleans is filled with jazz from the clubs lining Bourbon Street, and the strolling musicians in Jackson Square.

Suggested Tour: Named after the famous show tune, our Ol’ Man River cruise is the perfect way to soak in the essence of the Old South, and experience authentic southern culture and living history. Travelling along the Mississippi from Memphis to New Orleans you can hear the river’s music in rock and roll, blues, jazz and zydeco.


In Cuba, son is at the heart of the colourful local culture, and no tour of Cuba would be complete without enjoying the variety of music played throughout this unique country. Many of the styles popular in Cuba have become iconic across the world, with mambo, cha-cha-cha and salsa all finding their origins on the island. With such a rich musical scene, it is unsurprising that music and dance form such a core part of Cuban culture. You will be sure to stumble upon live performances in public squares and spilling out of the many clubs and bars.


Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, is perhaps best known for its distinctive style of musical films, known across the globe as “Bollywood Films”. It is no accident that music plays such a big part in the local cinema scene. Exploring India will reveal that music is inextricably woven into the history and culture of this fascinating country. With different styles popular across this vast country, travelling around India will open up endless musical experiences. From Indian classical music to bhangra, music lovers will discover music’s rich history in India. 

Suggested Tour: For those with an interest in the intersections between Indian music and culture, A Grand Tour of India is a great place to start. Special events include attending the Palki, Aarti and border ceremonies, and a Kathakali classical dance performance.