coronavirus and china trips

I have a question regarding upcoming China trips. Tauck is still showing availability and appears to still be offering tours in China starting in April. However, several airlines have cancelled all flights to the mainland through the end of April. We have been booked for our early June China and Yangtze river for about a year and a half and are obviously concerned about elective travel with our children to China even in June. I am curious if others have been contacted by Tauck in regards to cancellation or changes in itinerary? Of course, the river cruise goes right through the epicenter of this outbreak. I clearly understand that May and June is a long time from now, but Tauck also certainly understands the complexity of travel and changing travel plans especially on short notice. I am very surprised that there is nothing on the site in regards to April tours especially since China is currently a level 4 travel advisory from the state department.
I emailed Tauck over a week ago with no reply and have had a phone conversation in which I was told that they have a global response team that meets daily to discuss the safety of their guests as well as upcoming trips but they have not made any decisions about the China trips as of yet.
I know this is a broad topic and there is not going to be a definite answer but there seems to be quite a few people in the forum that seem to have a long history and a great deal of experience with Tauck that may have some information/advice..?

Comments

  • We were on your tour in October and had concerns about Hong Kong protests. We know Tauck have a Global response team, so we trusted their judgement. We saw no protests and the tours prior to ours had had none either. People had canceled, so there were only 24 of us and we had one of the most experienced tour directors who we knew from a previous tour. If Tauck needs to cancel your tour, they will compensate you for the tour and any losses you might incur from having to cancel or change your flights. We have just had experience of their efficiency on this type of thing. They had to cancel a tour we were taking in September for lack of business,beds. They offered us another date and promptly sent us a check for the change fee we had to pay to change our flights with a small inconvenience fee added. They also sent a personal letter thanking us for the gracious way we had handled the change. We had booked this tour back in October 2018.
    My concern now is that many people will be canceling tours all over the place for unnecessary fear of travel. So upcoming tours may be canceled for lack of numbers. Reading this forum it’s clear that people don’t get the vaccines they should have to optimize their good health for traveling and yet they panic about a virus that is far less deadly than the flu. That’s unless the Chinese are not telling us the truth. We traveled to Africa during the year of the Ebola panic and that was another tour that had small numbers to our advantage.

  • I’m scheduled on the China Yangtze River trip in mid May and I believe that I will cancel. I don’t trust the Chinese government to be honest about the cases and deaths. It’s still on my bucket list. Maybe 2021 will be safer

  • I did receive an email from Tauck last week concerning Asia travel. It was quite vague and not specific to this particular tour

  • edited February 2020

    Hi Shelley,

    I apologize that you found our email vague, that was not our intent. We know that the Coronavirus is on everyone's minds, we just want to make sure our guests are aware that we are closely monitoring the ever evolving situation. If you have concerns regarding your tour, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-788-7885 or you can email me at [email protected]

    Thanks,
    Emily

  • I reluctantly cancelled my May 21 trip. I’m hoping to do this tour next year, since it is on my bucket list. I’m really not good with the wait and see what happens scenario. I know that Delta cancelled all trips until April 30. Still trying to get a refund on my flights. Would have liked to go on the Russia trip but it was totally booked. Here’s to next year in China!!

  • I don’t think anyone will want to go to China for several years.

  • I’ve rescheduled China for 2022!, cannot wait!

  • edited March 25

    I went to Hong Kong many times when it was British, and I went to Macao when it was Portuguese. I consider those to be fortunate happenings. The old Kai Tak airport was really a hoot. Great memories of the old Repulse Bay Hotel, and of course the China Fleet Club for ‘military’ shopping. I did scheduled air service into Hong Kong for Air India, and I was there several times on aircraft carriers. Great memories ... I have no plans to return, although Ned Kelly’s and the Star Ferry are probably still a lot of fun.

  • A good list. For reasons beyond my ‘ken’, I never went to Taiwan ... a frequent visitor to most of the rest on that list.

  • edited March 25

    I’ve been to Osaka. My sister worked for ten years for a company (home office) in Kakogawa. . (TLV) I went there for her retirement ceremony. My late brother in law and I were ‘jump seating’ on a United Flight that was delayed for an engine change. We phoned to tell them we would be late and go ahead. We might make it for desert. We did not want to inconvenience the host/hostess nor the other guests. When we arrived at his estate, a city block of Kakogowa, we discovered there were no other guests. We ate until three in the morning, and drank some of the sixteen bottles of vintage Ravenswood wine we had brought for the chairmen. My brother in law was one of the founding investors in Ravenswood. Joel had the wine, but he did not have the money for the bottles. Fred gave him the money for the bottles. We thought every course of food after the first was the ‘main’ course, until six courses later the Kobe beef arrived. We did not have room for desert.

  • Fujiwara san was a great host!

  • China was a great trip. Everything we saw and did was worthwhile.

  • I’ve been to Osaka twice, a modern city. My husband lived there on and off for six months and visited there about forty times for work. When I went, the hotel manager was good friends with my husband by then snd gave our family the Presidential suite to stay in. Yep amd we had an earthquake during the night, the whole building had a sort of wave go up it.

  • China (with Tauck) was high up on my list. For a year of two, they had a land trip without the ship component. But that trip is no longer available. I am going to wait a while and hope that trip resurfaces.

  • Nancy, I took the China tour with the three days on the ship. We knew the land tour included visiting Pandas, but we sacrifice that part. But low and behold, Tauck took us to the zoo, forget which, where we were up close and personal with about 9 pandas, so we were glad we took the River tour after all.

  • I took the trip with the 3 day cruise on the Yangtze, too. I would have preferred land only. The cruise was pretty much a waste of time, in my opinion. BTW British, the zoo was in Chongching.

    I would also suggest doing Tauck China before Aus/NZ. I did Aus/NZ first and got very spoiled by the private plane and bypassing the terminals. In China, you'll fly on a bunch of cramped 737s from airlines you've never heard of.

  • edited March 25

    I am a LAND tour lover! I’ve done small boats with some land with Tauck (Japan), river cruise with Tauck (Rhine) and bigger boats (Windstar)...it’s not my preference at this point in my life. I prefer being able to wander and explore when not on tour; to eat in local restaurants and I love going to lots of different hotels! There is more freedom and independence on land!

  • edited March 25

    Nancy - agree with you 100%. During our Ireland and Northern Ireland tour we stayed at Ashford Castle and Lough Eske Castle in the Republic and the beautiful Merchant Hotel in Belfast, Northern Ireland. We met folks from cruise ships and other boats while touring that had limited time and had to go back to their same small rooms aboard ship. Experiencing fabulous hotels, inns, and castles just adds to the overall experience and the ability to get out and walk around does as well. Given how the virus affected cruise ships and their passengers we are very reluctant to go aboard any seagoing vessel and will remain a land lover like Nancy.

  • My disdain for cruising was confirmed while in Bergen, Norway on a Tauck LAND tour. For those who haven't been there, it's a relatively small town and it was just overrun during the day by people deboating from 5-6 large cruise ships about the same time. Our TD gave good advice about our free time - wait until after 4 PM because that's when the cruisers have to return to the the ships. Being summer, it was light almost around the clock, so evening activities weren't an issue.

  • Right now I would go by land or by sea ...

  • Bkmd, that's pretty much the same advice Rick Steves gives people. Wait til later in the day when all those annoying tourists get back on their BUS and leave.

  • I like boats and hate long bus rides. Thanks to RCCL taking away our Diamond benefits and moving them to Diamond Plus, we discovered small boat cruising. (Those benefits have probably moved to Platinum or Platinum Plus by now. They love to move the goal posts.). The small boats tend to go places that big boats can’t go. We only go on big boats when we take the grandkids.

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