I want to add something that I think is very important.
Today we received a very lovely letter and a check for $1000 from Tauck for the unexpected overnight stay in the Ushuaia airport.
This gesture certainly affirms to me that Tauck truly cares about their customers. We did not complain, we did not file an insurance claim. This was strictly Tauck being Tauck.
British, I’m not sure if my Wifi will allow for uploads - it’s been really spotty. But will try!
So far we’ve have incredible weather and got an extra landing because the Drake went so smoothly. With so few passengers, everyone gets to do both landings which allows for lots of flexibility. A lot of the crew have been coming out with us as well. This morning we woke up to killer whales outside our window and kayaking.
I don’t want to jinx anything for the last few days but the trip has been excellent so far. And Dale is one of the highlights for sure.
Am currently on L’Austral in Antarctica! We’ve had some incredible weather and sun for the first few days. Due to Omicron, they’ve increased testing onboard (adding testing on Day 3 and Day 5, which we just finished). Personally, we’ve tested 7/8 times as of today, in the last 10 days. We also took every precaution we could flying down and in Buenos Aires, and now onboard everyone is still extremely diligent about masking. There’s hand sanitizer everywhere too, which we appreciate. You can tell Ponant and Tauck are doing absolutely everything to keep the journey going.
Perhaps we can return to the discussion of travel and how Tauck has responded to changes. This pandemic is a very fluid situation, as evidenced by the ever changing variants and levels of outbreaks across the globe. I believe Tauck has done an extraordinary job of trying to handle the many facets of this pandemic. The logistics alone are difficult for me to even fathom. As mil mentioned, Tauck is doing the best they can.
For some, it is a lot easier to complain than to exercise some compassion. May your trips come to fruition.
I just got off the phone with Tauck regarding our cancelled February Morocco trip. I received an email yesterday they were cancelling the tour. I told them to move the funds to a June trip we have booked. At the end of our conversation, the agent told me that because I let them keep the money, they were giving me $1000 ($500 each) off your June trip. I was impressed. I think they are doing the best they can. Tauck is our favorite tour company.
When my husband and I travel, we like to look for something from a local artist. It's something small enough to pack in one of our suit cases. The problem I am now having is finding room to hang the art.
This is the latest we picked up on our Tauck South Africa trip in November.
My original post got deleted somehow when I tried to edit a misspelled word. I have hopefully recreated my post below. If you are typing a long reply or review, it is best to type it off line and paste the contents on Tauck’s site, just to be on the safe side.
Side Note to Alan: I checked the Recycle Bin and did a Contol plus Z (back key) but still could not get my post back. Thanks again for the helpful tips. It is much appreciated.
Claudia: Great idea for a post. I think it was done once before, perhaps a year ago or so, but I always find it interesting to read what people purchase or collect. You can pick up some good ideas.
If I see something interesting or unique to the country visited then I will purchase it, otherwise, my pictures and videos are my prime souvenirs. I will, however, always purchase postcards that have a view that I couldn’t capture with my camera, local stamps, local currency and a charm for my bracelet that is representative of the country visited. For instance, I purchased a small sterling silver charm of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. I also like to purchase a CD of local music or the CDs offered by the musicians on board the Tauck Riverboat or functions. Occasionally I will purchase a Christmas Ornament or a trinket that would make a good ornament. I always hang on to the local coins and pick out some of the more interesting ones to make a bracelet. I take the coins to my local jeweler and they punch a hole in the coin and attach it to my bracelet. This makes a very interesting keepsake and conversation starter.
When I return home from my trip, I always make a scrapbook and also a video of my best images with background music representative of the country. These days I utilize the on-line Photo Books and create an album of the finished product versus the “old school” scrapbooks. I still collect all types of scraps of the Tour, including menus, itineraries, ticket stubs, etc. The on-line scrapbooks allow you to customize your photo book and add text about a specific day. I also leave empty pages so that I can add my paper “scraps” plus paste in the local currency, stamps and other small keepsakes.
I used to keep a daily journal on my trips but as I get older, I have become a bit lazy. Next time I take a big trip, I am going to try to again keep a journal. I reread some of the passages of previous journals and there are many interesting details or incidents which I had forgot about.
Below are some of the things I purchased over the years:
Australia: When we were in the outback, Tauck arranged to have several Aboriginal Artists display and sell their wares. I purchased one of the paintings and I had another person take my photo along with the Artist holding her painting. I now have the framed Painting hanging on my wall and the framed photograph of me and the artist sitting below it on an end table. Great memory and documents the event.
Paris: Eiffel Tower charm for my bracelet. A box of Macarons which didn’t make it home as they were too tempting to ignore. Two postcards from the early 1900’s I picked up in an antique store that had a lovely photo on the front and was postmarked with an interesting stamp. What made it unique was the hand written message in French on the back side. Once back on the ship, I had a Tauck TD translate the writing. The message did not contain anything scandalous, just basically “having a great time, wish you were here” type message.
Budapest: Paprika, of course.
Italy: A glass paperweight with a beautiful flower design made in Murano.
Norway: Like BKMD, a small troll figurine along with a storybook about Trolls. Unfortunately, I no longer can locate those items. They probably got misplaced or sold after many moves.
Thailand: A small round lacquer box purchased in 2004 that contains a beautiful waxed flower that still retains the wonderful scent, even after all these years.
The Romantic Rhine Amsterdam to Basel: Tauck had a very long map of the Rhine River displayed by their front desk on the ship. It was very detailed and included all of the small towns and Cities along the River, many of which we visited on our Tour. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to purchase the map which I believe was sold in the ship’s gift shop. When I returned home, I sent an e-mail to the Tauck Customer Care Team that takes care of after tour issues. I asked them if they could obtain the map along with a CD from one group of musicians that had performed on the ship. I would be happy to pay for these items. We had shot a video of the Musicians but should have purchased their CD. They were incredible. I received a reply from Tauck and they said they had mailed a complementary copy of the map entitled “The Long Rhine Tour” and provided an e -mail for the Musicians so that I could contact them to purchase the CD as they do not keep copies on the ship. I really appreciated Tauck going above and beyond on my request and this is another reason I keep traveling with them.
Officially on our way! LA - Houston - Buenos Aires. Fingers crossed we test negative again in a few days and make it onto the ship! We’re nervous but so excited!
Happy New Year all you Taucktourians and Happy Travels in 2022.