Geneva and the experiments changing our understanding of the world

Trip Scholar: Professor Ian Shipsey

Professor of Experimental Physics, University of Oxford
Available to Alumni of Oxford and Cambridge, family and friends

5 day tour
Price from £1,995

Join experimental particle physicist Professor Ian Shipsey on a visit to Geneva to explore fundamental questions about the structure of our universe. Enjoy a private visit to CERN, home to the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments including the Large Hadron Collider. Here, physicists are conducting ground-breaking research into dark matter and subatomic particles, with consequences which could forever change our understanding of our existence. Whilst in Geneva, there will also be time to explore some key city sights as well as visiting the ISDC Data Centre to learn about the fascinating field of observational astrophysics.

Tour highlights

  • Understand complex questions about the universe and the matter it is made of with a private visit to CERN
  • Enjoy lakeside Geneva with a walking tour of the old town, and visit the beautiful Art Deco Palais des Nations, Europe’s UN headquarters
  • Discover the Bibliotheca Bodmeriana, one of the most important private libraries in the world, containing some of the oldest papyri from the New Testament
  • Travel to nearby Versoix to the ISDC Data Centre for Astrophysics and Astronomical Observatory to learn about High Energy Astrophysics and Young Stars
  • Gain special insights from Professor Ian Shipsey, Professor of Experimental Physics at Oxford, who has conducted research using the LHC at CERN

Itinerary at a glance

Day 1:    Meet in Geneva  |  Afternoon guided walking tour of Geneva’s historical sights
Day 2:    Visit the UN Building  |  Afternoon at the Martin Bodmer Foundation
Day 3:    Morning guided tour of CERN  |  Free time in the afternoon
Day 4:    Visit Versoix and the ISDC (Data Centre for Astrophysics)
Day 5:   Tour ends after breakfast  |  Extensions begin

Dates and Prices
Prices are in UK£, per person, based on double occupancy

Departures 2018
DatePriceSingle SupplementOptional Flight from LondonAvailability
17-21 June 2018£1,995£495From £110Waitlist Only
27-31 August 2018£1,995£495From £110Availability

Share of twin or double bedded room with private bathroom, breakfast daily, 3 lunches, 3 dinners, all excursions mentioned with local guides including entrance fees,  expert leader.

International flights (see optional flights below), airport transfers (we will arrange a group transfer for all those on the recommended BA flights, as well as private transfers for those arriving independently, for a small extra sum), breakfast and lunch Day 1, dinner day 3, lunch and dinner day 5, drinks, visa if required, travel insurance, tips to drivers and local guides, items of a personal nature.

Optional flights
Temple World can arrange flights from the UK to coordinate with this tour for those who need them.  If flying from London, we recommend the following British Airways flights: 17 June BA726 departing 08:20 arriving 11.00 and 21 June BA 729 departing 13:10 arriving 13:55.  The standard fare when booked in advance is around £135 including taxes and fees, but this is subject to fluctuation along with availability.  We can arrange flights on different dates and flying to/returning from different cities if you plan to extend your stay. We will arrange a group arrival and departure transfer for all those arriving on the specified flights and private transfers for those arriving on other services, for a small extra sum.

Making your own way there
Clients wishing to use airmiles to buy or upgrade flights, or who wish to fly from outside the UK are advised to book their own flights. The start and end point for the tour is GENEVA in Switzerland.  Sightseeing on 17 June starts at 2pm so we recommend arranging to arrive in plenty of time to join the group for this.  It won’t be possible to check in to the hotel until 3pm so we will be arranging for guests to leave their bags at the hotel whilst you take your tour. You will check-in formally on your return.  We can arrange early check-in for anyone who wishes to have immediate access to their room, – please ask us for a quote.

On your last day in Geneva, the tour ends after breakfast.  Please see our extensions tab for some ideas for tailor-made extension ideas to add to this tour if you would like to spend more time exploring this region.  Those taking our recommended BA flight to London will depart after breakfast to the airport.  All other group participants may stay on at the hotel until check-out at 12.00 and if you plan to depart late in the day, the hotel can store your baggage after check-out.  Temple World can book late check-out for you if needed  – please ask for a quote.

Very Important! Clients should not make any binding or non-refundable travel arrangements until their place has been confirmed on the tour and Temple World has confirmed that it is a guaranteed departure.



NHS Fit for Travel advises travellers to Switzerland should ensure their UK childhood vaccinations are up to date. No other vaccinations are usually advised.   Some travellers may be recommended to immunise against Tetanus and Tick-borne Encephalitis depending on their personal circumstances.  Please seek professional medical advice at least 8 weeks before departure.
NHS Fit For Travel


Entry Regulations
If you are a British Citizen or British Subject with Right of Abode in the United Kingdom, you will not need a visa to enter Switzerland. Other British passport holders and nationals of other countries should check entry requirements with the nearest Swiss Diplomatic mission.
Swiss Diplomatic Missions Worldwide
UK Foreign Office advice

Fitness Guideline

We have graded the fitness level required for participation in this tour as Easy/Moderate.  Participants should be prepared to walk on uneven, cobbled streets and up and down steep steps without handrails and should be able to keep up with the group when sightseeing – this means walking at a reasonable pace for 30-40 minutes or standing for 20-30 minutes without a rest.  If you use any kind of walking aid at home or if unsure whether this tour is for you, please contact us.

Trip Scholar

Professor Ian Shipsey
Professor Shipsey is an experimental particle physicist based at the University of Oxford’s Department of Physics. He works in large international scientific collaborations seeking to understand how the universe was born, how it will evolve and how it will end, using particle accelerators and telescopes. He studies quarks and the Higgs Boson, searches for dark matter and studies dark energy.

He was Chairperson of the Collaboration Board of the Compact Muon Solenoid Experiment (CMS) at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, Switzerland (2013) and works regularly at the facility. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Lectures during our tours
All our tours are accompanied by an academic ‘trip scholar’ as well as local guides. The local guide or guides provide the day-to-day guiding on our tours, whilst the trip lecturer will give regular lectures on his/her specialist subject throughout to provide an academic overview. Lectures/talks usually last 30-40 minutes including questions and answers (if applicable). These are generally held in the evenings before dinner and attendance is optional. We don’t usually specify before travel which days the lectures will be given (for operational reasons) but guests can expect them roughly every other day as a minimum, with some lecturers giving some kind of talk or presentation more frequently.

Tailor-made extensions after your tour

Geneva is ideally placed for exploring the Swiss Lakes, historic French cities or even northern Italy. All are within easy reach by road or rail from the city and with our tailor-made holiday service you can extend your stay easily with hotels, car hire, train tickets and guiding. Whether you’ve got two days or two weeks, we can come up with an itinerary to suit you.  Below are a few suggestions but the choices are unlimited in this incredible region.

Reached in under two hours by road or rail from Geneva, is Lyon. The capital city of France’s Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, sits at the junction of the Rhône and Saône rivers. Its centre reflects 2,000 years of history from the Roman Amphithéâtre des Trois Gaules, medieval and Renaissance architecture in Vieux (Old) Lyon, to the modern Confluence district on Presqu’île peninsula. Traboules, covered passageways between buildings, connect Vieux Lyon and La Croix-Rousse hill.

Less than 3 hours by road from Geneva, Turin is the capital city of Piedmont in northern Italy, known for its refined architecture and cuisine. The Alps rise to the northwest of the city.  Stately baroque buildings and old cafes line Turin’s boulevards and grand squares such as Piazza Castello and Piazza San Carlo. Nearby is the soaring spire of the Mole Antonelliana, a 19th-century tower housing the interactive National Cinema Museum.

Glacier Express
This day-long scenic train journey runs from St Moritz to Zermatt, crossing from the eastern to the western Swiss Alps.  Along the way, venture across steep mountain passes and impressive viaducts. The Glacier Express travels through 91 tunnels and cross 291 bridges while you experience the alpine wonders of Switzerland.  Enjoy panoramic views of snow-capped mountains, breathtaking rivers, peaceful alpine pastures, magical castles, and charming villages.

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[The lecturer] was outstandingly good and well-nigh worth the whole cost of the tour on his own. As one would expect, his lectures were a model of how to communicate with an intelligent  but lay audience. Anthony

Congenial Companions

Our small group tours are exclusively available to alumni of Oxford and Cambridge universities and their friends and family, making for a wonderful atmosphere amongst like-minded individuals.

Expert Lecturer

All our small group alumni tours are accompanied by a university lecturer as well as local guides, with illuminating lectures given throughout the tour to enrich understanding of the destination.

To reserve a place on one of our small group alumni tours, contact us for availability then send us a signed booking form and deposit.

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