your favorite tauck trip and why
edited January 2022 in General
We have only taken one Tauck trip so far 2017 Amsterdam to Budapest River cruise but we have more booked and are researching for the future.
We have only taken one Tauck trip so far 2017 Amsterdam to Budapest River cruise but we have more booked and are researching for the future.
Our favorites are the four different Sub Saharan Africa tours we have taken. Then Galapagos, we’ve taken that tour twice and fortunately we only went to the same place as before on one day. After these, all others have been so unique, they are all favorites for different reasons. We have only one which was disappointing and that was because of the poor, tired and passed his sell by date tour director. The tour itself was good.
We have five tours booked with Tauck, we are still favoring the ones that may become more difficult to do as we age.
We recently discovered that you no longer need a visa to enter Brazil, we felt we could not go there since we heard it could take up to three months to get the visa. So we will add Essence of South America for a future tour. It goes back to Buenos Aries where we have already been, but different sites we had no time to see the first time.
Hard to pick one as each has had unique high points.
Amernity-wise, my fav was Australia/NZ. There's nothing like going in through the back door of airports with the bus stopping right at the plane, avoiding the terminals, travelling on our private plane.
AFRICA! We’ve done K&T twice and Z,B, & SA once, and we loved them both. K&T of course is the ‘classic’ and it is all safari. Z,B, & SA includes before and after touring that we enjoyed but did not need to do twice. The next on our favorite list was the Baltic and St. Petersburg aboard Ponant’s Le Soleil.
Below is how I'd rate the tours that we've taken. For me, the ranking is based on the uniqueness of the amazing wildlife, followed by the uniqueness and history of the architecture and culture, and finally all other factors.
Kenya & Tanzania 1
Treasures of the Aegean 3
Spain & Portugal 4
Peru & Galapagos 2
Venice & Dalmation Coast 5
Vietnam, Cambodia & Thailand 4
Berlin, Danube, Krakow 5
Portrait of India 3
This is a great question, especially when the trip reviews are not on the travel forums yet!
American Canyonlands 4
Israel & Jordan 1
New Zealand 3
What a great topic! Here goes my two cents!! When we began traveling with Tauck in 2000, we loved our first trip, Classic Italy, so much so that we took it again three years later! It bounced to second place after we took Grand Australia and New Zealand in 2007. Treasures of the Aegean, when that trip included Turkey which was a very important part of the trip for us, took second place in 2008. Then Peru & the Galapagos swept to first place in 2009, putting every trip down a notch. Who would have thought that a bunch of birds and sea animals would have been so incredible, not to mention the spirituality and solitude of Machu Picchu? There were other trips in the ensuing years, but we really we loved Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand and Paradors of Northern Spain, but they did not move our top three down. Germany, Japan, Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, Eastern Europe, etc. Then in 2013 when Tauck cancelled our Egypt and Jordan _trip, we took the _Kenya/Tanzania Grand Safari which immediately went to first place and has remained in that spot! What is not to love about feeling like one is in the middle of a National Geographic show! How jaded were we that we saw so much wildlife that we found ourselves thinking, "Zebras? Giraffes? Gazelles? Heck with them! Let's get on to the lions and cheetahs!!" And now for the surprise that caught us off guard. Upon a recommendation from some fellow travelers in Africa, we did the Portrait of India tour in 2016. I don't want to say that my husband went kicking and screaming, but he was not enthusiastic about this trip. Surprise!! He loved it and it quickly moved to number two in our all time favorite trips! Why? A bit of a break for my "travel philosophy"...I believe that everyone has different expectations with travel. Some of us like to sample countries within our own comfort zones, some of us love museums, some us us look for religious connections, some of us like more adventurous activities, some of us like cultural connections...and the list goes on. I suspect that my husband and I like the history and the cultural connections. Some of our very best experiences have been when we are completely out of our comfort zone and/or when things do not go as planned! And this is why the India trip spoke to us. First, it is a country of contrasts, and the most colorful country we have ever visited. We loved learning about the Hindu religion and the influences of the various cultures that are represented. Much like Africa, we were met with smiling faces on a daily basis.
I have spoken with Tauck and they expect the trip reviews to return to the website by the end of summer. They are currently in test. They will be accessed in a similar fashion as the Forum is accessed now.
Yellowstone in Winter, hands down! We still talk about how beautiful this park is in the winter and how much wildlife we were able to see. On top of that, no crowds - just a chance to really enjoy the beauty of Yellowstone National Park.
We are considering our first Tauck tour and looking for trip reviews-especially the North and South Island of New Zealand. From an earlier comment I see that they may be on the website later this year. Correct?
SLS2001, yes that is the promise but I wouldn't hold my breath. We waited for this updated/improved forum for quite a while.
I'd recommend reading all the older threads for New Zealand (or any other areas of interest) here on the forum then asking additional questions. Lots of helpful participants here.
We have done seven Tauck trips and have three more booked. I have enjoyed every trip we have taken, but my top two would be Australia/New Zealand and China/Hong Kong. Australia offered iconic sites while New Zealand was absolutely beautiful. China was a favorite for some reasons you would expect - like seeing the Great Wall and the terra cotta warriors - but also the cultural experiences that were woven into the itinerary. That is one of the things I especially like about Tauck. In China we were able to visit three families in their homes. Interacting with people and gaining an understanding of their daily lives was a tremendous opportunity. Despite some of our differences, talking with these families reinforced for me how much we have in common with people no matter where they are from.
Africa - Kenya and Tanzania. Reasons - (1) The animals ! (2) We had only 30 travelers. For most of the trip you are a captured audience in the vehicles and at remote locations. We had 6 folks per vehicle and 5 vehicles. You pick you seats within each vehicle during the day and rotate vehicles every day. We even rotated seats on our own within the vehicle during the long days. As a result, most of our group became very close and really enjoyed each other's company. Of course there were the few that weren't fun to be with but that was the exception.
Although all my Tauck tours (6 so far, with 4 more booked) have been great, I'd have to say that my favorite was Grand Australia and New Zealand -- so much so that when I got an e-mail saying that Tauck was adding new tours to Australia and NZ next year, I immediately signed up for the NZ tour. (I had been to Tasmania on my own before the GA&NZ Tauck tour. I definitely recommend going to Tasmania if you go to Australia.)
“Of course there were the few that weren't fun to be with but that was the exception.”
Yes Virginia. I am fairly certain we are thinking of the same couple from LA. They were the exception, and everyone has been great on our other seven Tauck trips.
That's funny Sealord! The LA folks were with us in Business Class on our Kenyan flight from Nairobi to Paris on return home. Surprised we all still remember this.....haha.
Sealord. A perfect example of why Small group tours can be a disadvantage.
Agreed. On the other hand our first K&T was only a group of 19, and Z, B, and SA is also small. No problems. You can run into difficult people in any group. It is just more difficult to ‘get away’ in a small group. I had a friend who decided to do a barge trip with ‘one’’ other couple. I don’t think they ever spoke again after returning. Other than family, there are only two other couples we travel with ... I draw the line at playing tour director, carrying water, or doing wakeup calls. The couples we travel with easily, do there own thing, and we get together only when it suits everyone’s interests.
It is nearly impossible to rank our Tauck trips as they are all so different, but here goes:
1. Classic Italy because it was our first Tauck tour, and seeing Italy had been a dream for a long time. Amalfi Coast was exquisite, and Florence, Rome, Cinque Terre, and particularly Venice on the gorgeous sunny day we had riding along the Grand Canal.
2. Tied for this position are Grand Australia and New Zealand, and Peru and the Galápagos Islands. I can’t decide which was more special—both were truly amazing. Impossible to compare such activities and sites like jet boating thru the canyon in NZ, sunset at Uluru, Great Barrier Reef, the culture and diversity that is Sydney with walking thru Machu Picchu and enjoying its resident llamas, getting up close and personal with the wildlife of the Galapagos, the vastness of the sky with the myriad of stars from our expeditionary vessel.
3. Treasures of the Aegean when Istanbul was still included. In particular, we loved the Windstar and Santorini was incomparable.
4. A Week in Paris and Provence. Nice was a wonderful city that we thoroughly enjoyed, and we could have spent another week in Paris; hopefully we will one day. Loved the wine, the olives, and the beauty of southern France.
5. Canadian Maritime Provinces. Although we enjoyed this trip, it was a lot of bus travel and a fair amount of rain. It was a part of Canada we had not visited previously.
We have 2 more trips booked (Costa Rica in Dec. 2019, and K&T Classic Safari in Aug. 2020) and more on our bucket list.
Kenya and Tanzania hands down the best trip of them all. I would rank China next, mostly because of how different it was and how surprised we were to like it so much. The Great Wall, pandas, Terra-cotta Warriors, Tianmen Square, Shanghai. It was wow from start to finish. Currently in third place would be Australia/New Zealand. Uluru, Melbourne, Uluru, Sydney, Uluru. Guess what we liked the most. Lol. Last and will never rise any higher (I hope) is Essence of South America. Just not worth all the travel time and money, except for Buenos Aires, Iguassu Falls, and Rio de Janeiro. Honestly, if we could just go to Iguassu falls — both sides— we’d do that. It was spectacular.
Agree with mcmaj. What can beat this ?
Virginia Travelers ... we resemble that remark. (;-). You ‘caught’ us in that balloon picture. But I think we all knew that.
Haha. You both look great in that balloon photo! Great to hear from you Sealord. We all had a fantastic time on that trip didn't we? I look through our 110 page Shutterfly album periodically and am still amazed at all we saw and experienced. We have a few trips planned - Germany (2020), Australia and Kangaroo Island (2021), and Egypt but we are really wanting to go see the Gorillas of Rwanda!
Africa really does spoil you.
Three weeks until our gorilla trek. We are fit but nervous I will be able to do it. I’ve been reading on another travel company forum about a guy of 88 who did the trek. I’ve also read the porters will carry you for a price.
Yes VT ... we will return to Africa. For now we have three trips planned ... two with Tauck ... Treasures of the Med. Southbound in September, and Antarctica in January 2021. We are doing two weeks aboard the Wind Surf in January 2020 in the Caribbean. We were last on the Wind Surf with Tauck in July in Portugal and Spain. (Currently watching people replace our redwood deck ... quite a project.). Tick ... tick ... tick ... as my friend Ted says. More trips! The ‘baby boomers’ aren’t babies anymore. (;-)
British - wow 88-that's incredible. We can't wait to see your pictures. Hoping all goes well.
Sealord - sounds like great trips! I know you both are small boat cruisers. Hoping to go to Spain and Portugal down the road. But for now, we leave Thursday for Orlando/Port Canaveral for a 4 day 3 night Disney Dream cruise with our daughter, husband, and 3 grand kids aged 2,4,and 6 ! Will probably need a month to rest after that trip. It might be more taxing on us than K&T !
Virginia Travellers, we can relate! We returned home last night after looking after our 5 yr old and 2 yr old grandchildren for four days, we were totally exhausted!
I hope our gorilla tour is a success and we get some photos to show you. We are so busy before we go, I’ve already packed most of my bag, most unusual for me so much in advance.
Please post your opinions of that Disney Cruise, I’m sure Tauck won’t object. Or private message me.
We (us, 4 kids, 4 grandkids) did that in July- same cruise (after two days at WDW) in the heat! We kept up pretty well. It was fun for all, but we decided big ships are not our thing. Have fun.
We took our ‘kids’ and grandkids (7 & 9) to Alaska this year out of San Francisco on the Grand Princess. We are not ‘big’ ship people anymore either, but this was a perfect situation for taking the grandkids ... no flying. We had done Alaska three times before, but never thought much about what a great destination it is for kids. Everyone loved it. We booked two suites, side by side, and the grandkids alternated between the sofa bed and the pullman bed that came out of the ceiling.
British/Alan S - Well, we survived the 4 day 3 night Disney cruise on the DREAM. It was great for the grand kids and we had a great time with them. But we also agree that ships (any kind) aren't for us. The crowds getting on and off, the lines, the people everywhere, and the attempts to gauge you for additional money everywhere (Disney Island, Nassau) made us truly appreciate the Tauck all in one cost (of course except for the TD) and the Small Groups trips. That all being said we are done with boats and have in fact 2 Tauck land trips planned (Romantic Germany and Australia to Tasmania and Kangaroo Island) and 1 that will be in the hopper (10 Day Egypt trip).
Good to hear of your opinions Virginia Travelers, I know we would feel the same as you on a big ship. We are all packed for K and T and Rwanda next week. I can’t believe how excited I am, the most excited ever. I’ll be sure to post a review. We have to survive this weekend looking after our grandson this weekend😀😀😀