Small Group vs Big Group

My wife and I wish to do the 20 day AUS / NZ trip in 2020 and are trying to decide between the small or large group. It is right at 8K per couple difference... Any advise and/or information would be appreciated.

Comments

  • There is no way I would pay the extra for a small group Tauck tour.
  • So you'd be OK with a group size of 40 ? Just seems expensive for such a large group.
  • Given a choice, my husband and I would choose a small group tour every time. We have done both, and we prefer the ease of working with a smaller group of people. All the logistics are simpler, and I think we get some extra perks because of the smaller size. It is simply easier to herd 24 cats than 40. We think it is worth the extra cost.
    Nancy
  • While we've enjoyed 2 Tauck land tours that were small group - the first was a large group that happened to only have 10 couples and a family of eight and the other we actually paid the difference for the smaller size - 8K extra seems like too much to be worth it. Yes a larger group does take more herding and means issues like extra luggage, time for loading, people who are chronically late, etc are a bigger potential problem. But who knows, you may end up with a great group with few problems. I think for 8k I'd take the chance on the larger group.
  • It's interesting because the Tauck reservationist that I spoke with stated that the small groups tours fill up faster. Of course there are less of them offered so I guess it stands to reason.
  • Danny W wrote:
    So you'd be OK with a group size of 40 ? Just seems expensive for such a large group.

    Yes, have been on a few Tauck tours that have been that big. Usually with bigger groups the groups are divided into smaller groups. More recently we have been on tours that have not been full anyway. Our last tour was supppsed to have 40 or maybe it was 44 but there were only 29.
    I have taken the Australia and New Zealand tours but separately because at the time my husband was not retired and almost three weeks was too long a time all at once. . We took advantage of adding on a couple of days to either end of the tours which for us was Perfect.
    Tauck is expensive but you get what you pay for. We have only used one other tour company one time and never again, lots of extras to pay for, even water for goodness sake and when it’s a safari and you even have to pay out in the bush for your Sundowner it kinda takes the special moment away. but that was only one of the minor things.
    We’ve been on lots of Tauck tours and the Australia New Zealand one is good value for money, you even get private chartered jets to get you around, straight off the bus onto the plane and a glass of champagne.
  • I've now been on 5 Tauck tours -- 2 were designated "small group," and of the other three, we had 34, 37 and 16 people on the tour. (That 16 is not a typo.). I will be going on another tour in February, which will be a small group tour. I have chosen the tours by date and not by size. While it is true that a small group moves faster, I have not noticed a significant difference in the tours. With the larger groups (Grand Australia and New Zealand and Empire of the Incas) we often split into two smaller groups for specific activities. Fortunately, people were very considerate of others and showed up on time for our bus rides.
  • British wrote:
    There is no way I would pay the extra for a small group Tauck tour.
    I agree. I've been on 5 tours, all large group, including Aus/NZ, and there's never been a problem related to group size.

    Even if the price were the same, I'd opt for the large group. More people to interact with, and easier to avoid someone if there's a problem person :-)
  • edited October 2018
    I think 8K more for a small group is bit much. Two of our Africa tours were less than 20 and one was 30. But the small ship and river cruises are many more, but the actually touring is done in groups of 15 to 20, which is fine. Our next trip to the Panama Canal on the Le Champlain with Ponant appears to be a charter. So there could be 180. There are several days where there are multiple tour options.

    P.S. I just checked with Tauck. The Ponant Panama Canal trips are a “Tauck Exclusive”, so we have the whole ship. But there are a number of Tauck employees, so the number of guests is actually 158. That sounds like a lot of Tauck people but I’m guessing there are a number of solo travelers.
  • Sealord wrote:
    I think 8K more for a small group is bit much. Two of our Africa tours were less than 20 and one was 30. But the small ship and river cruises are many more, but the actually touring is done in groups of 15 to 20, which is fine. Our next trip to the Panama Canal on the Le Champlain with Ponant appears to be a charter. So there could be 180. There are several days where there are multiple tour options.

    Sealord, I believe a full ship is 130.
  • edited October 2018
    British wrote:
    Sealord, I believe a full ship is 130.

    There are 92 staterooms and suites. (;-)

    Our ship is now enroute to Lisbon on it’s maiden voyage. (Inaugural Cruise)
  • The regulars here know I am a big proponent of small groups, but $8000 difference is a bit much.
  • I agree with BKMD that "Even if the price were the same, I'd opt for the large group. More people to interact with, and easier to avoid someone if there's a problem person :-)" We've been on 8 Tauck tours, and all were large group. Not one was full, although some were more full than others, and we never had a problem with logistics. All the tours were great, especially Australia/ New Zealand. We have come across tours where groups of people came together and stuck together exclusively so we were glad to have had other people to mingle with.
  • Sealord wrote:
    There are 92 staterooms and suites. (;-)

    Our ship is now enroute to Lisbon on it’s maiden voyage. (Inaugural Cruise)

    Our ship is now enroute from Lisboa to Cadiz proceeding at 15.9 knots. (;-)
  • Sealord wrote:
    There are 92 staterooms and suites. (;-)

    Our ship is now enroute to Lisbon on it’s maiden voyage. (Inaugural Cruise)

    I have this app called Marine Traffic (not spam, it’s free) that allows me to track all ‘my’ ships. It’s kind of fun. Le Champlain is now moored in Casablanca.
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