Rick Steve's Tours

FYI, Rick Steve's tours have cancelled all tours through August 15.



  • I’m sure Tauck will cancel all their tours too. But they are sensibly doing it in stages so they can contact people without there being a huge rush. When they canceled my tour, it was a Thursday evening. When I checked on the Sunday, the money was already back in my credit card account.

  • edited May 2020

    British - As much as you deny it, I say that you got your refund so fast because you or your travel agent (if you use one) are a special Tauck customer. While my tour got cancelled at the same time as yours, I've heard nothing from Tauck yet. I will wait until after the 15th and then give them a call, if I haven't heard before then.

  • There was an article in the Seattle Times about a week ago on Rick Steves. In the article Rick indicates he has pretty much written off all of his tours for 2020. That is probably not a good sign for any tour company. Here is a link to the article.
    Rick Steves Article

  • Sam, I am not a special customer! What date was your tour due to begin? Ours was June 3rd or 4th, I can’t rememberers now, it’s history. We always book with Tauck directly. It may be Ponant that is being awkward with Tauck. If I were you, I would call Tauck tomorrow.

  • Heard something on the news this morning that international travel may be on hold for the rest of the year. They didn't go into detail.

  • International travel could be out all next year, that’s what I am sad about. We are still on lockdown. If people don’t abide by the rules, there is no end to this.
    When international travel returns, will we be able to afford the air fares?

  • British, that would indeed be very sad if we cannot travel until 2022. My boyfriend and I just retired this year, actually unplanned as we were both laid off from our jobs last November. Regardless of the job loss, which was a bit distressing, we had high hopes to begin our retirement with travel and adventures. We now have the time with no work restrictions, the world is our oyster and then COVID-19 came along and our whole world turned upside down. Who knows how this virus is going to hit our health or our investments over the next 2 years, we may not have time to recover financially. Talk about terrible timing. You work your whole life to be able to enjoy your golden years. Everything I planned this year from overseas travel to just local events like seeing a Play , concerts, local events, monthly dinners and movies with friends, etc have all been cancelled. We have one more chance of a local long weekend getaway at the end of June, however, I have a feeling this will also be canceled as the opening day for the resort has been pushed out twice already. I think the chances of it opening up are slim to nothing as our state of NC is still basically on stay at home orders. We move to Phase 1 of 3 phases this Friday, however, little will change from the previous stay at home order with the exception of additional stores opening up for business. I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed that we can enter Phase 2 by the end of May. This whole virus is so crazy. I never thought I would see the day when the grocery stores and big box stores like Walmart, would have such bare shelves and continue to be this way after 2 months or more. I try to remain positive and grateful for all that I do have, as I know there are many people out there who are suffering losses much greater than me. It is still a "bummer" though. Sorry for the rant, feeling a bit down today. I hope for better days for us all.

  • edited May 2020

    We'll never make it to Phase 2 or 3 in NC if people in the state don't start following mask and social distancing guidelines. We were in the little Washington Walmart yesterday to get a few necessities. My wife and I were in the 20% minority who were wearing masks. We had to maneuver, often rapidly, to avoid the 80% who were not wearing masks and were totally oblivious to social distancing!!! The active infection count in our county is really low (5 or 6) but a large number of locals work in the nearby larger (college) town where the count is not so low. What is it about being infected by someone who is asymptomatic don't they understand?!?!?

  • Alan S: Unfortunately, I think a lot of the response is political. We should forget about politics and go back to the universal Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you wish others to do unto you." We're all in this together. (Me being philosophical!) And yes, we Tauck travelers are more fortunate than most of the rest of the world.

  • AlanS: I hate to admit it, but I tend to agree with you that NC may never make it to Phase 2 or 3, which is a very depressing thought. I hope we are wrong. I am seeing the same thing in our county. The numbers are extremely low but Charlotte has an outlandish amount of cases and unfortunately I think whatever happens in Charlotte or Raleigh will over rule the balance of the state with regards to opening up. I tend to agree with you that the majority of people do not wear masks and pay little attention to social distancing. A Lowes Hardware store in one of the nearby towns was wall to wall people with very few people wearing masks. It was a like a regular busy Saturday except that it is going on Monday thru Sunday, every day hordes of people shoulder to shoulder, no social distancing, not an empty space in the parking lot. I guess most people have alot of time on their hands and are catching up on home improvement projects. However, I agree, that if we are not all practicing the same rules, we don't have a chance of opening up. I have noticed many of my facebook friends from NC are now traveling across the border to SC to Hilton Head and the like for Beach getaways and camping. I just don't know what to think anymore. I guess everyone is just tired of staying at home. I can only hope that this virus goes away quickly or we get a vaccine quickly. I lament for the "old" days (like 2 months ago) as I fear we will never be able to return to the way things used to be. So sad. I hope that Tauck can weather the storm as I would love to be able to travel with them again at some point.

  • One big thing to learn from this, never put off until tomorrow, what you can do today, because tomorrow may never come. Live in the moment, call friends, hug your significant other.
    I am so proud of my children and how they are coping with this, being so creative in home schooling, being frugal about food and not wasting anything. Both the girls worry about their friends and help take things round for friends. My daughter lost her job straight away, my daughter in law can do some on line work. Thank goodness the boys can work from home so far. They offer to shop for us but apart from when we first got home from our abandoned vacation and straight into lockdown, we go out very rarely to shop and are super organized when we do, being as quick as possible. Here in PA and our county being the hot zone in the entire state, we have had compulsory masks for over a week now. Yes many people do not social distance or keep their hands off their darned masks!
    I think we fit seniors have it so easy compared to the majority of people... no jobs or little children to worry about, probably no mortgage to pay etc etc.
    So now I finally know what I look like with gray hair! Not so bad, thinking of foregoing color to see how it goes. If that’s all I have to think about, I’m so lucky.
    It’s normal to have down days. Last Sunday when it rained all day, was just hard. Temps are way below normal here too. I am having Covid oriented bad dreams. The only way I know how to get through is keep as busy as possible and to the point of exhaustion. I’m so grateful it’s prime gardening season, I’m doing so much bending, stretching and lifting, chopping down, digging up, re arranging. We are keeping up our walking, watching what we eat.....but oh dear, wine consumption! I think I am almost at the end of everything I can sort and tidy and super clean. We are buying so many things on Amazon, you name it, We have ordered it in the past few weeks.
    We are now looking forward to a Staycation summer.

  • British: I agree with your philosophy of " never put off until tomorrow, what you can do today, because tomorrow may never come". I have always lived my life this way and I can truly say that I have no regrets. I have traveled to many countries and islands around the world from the time I was 19, most of them independently and on the cheap. I only really started doing tours little by little about 15 years ago, because I am now a bit lazy in my senior years and I want to be pampered and have someone else do all the planning. I have been keeping myself busy with planting some flowers and puttering around the yard. I have already pretty much organized and reorganized everything in the house. I try not to listen to the news, just get some hi-lites and listen to music instead plus I try to get out and walk as much as I can and I am photographing anything within distance of my house, which is mostly birds, squirrels, cows and now a horse that just joined my neighbor's farm the other day. I stopped coloring my hair and went totally gray about some 20 years ago and I love it. I don't miss the coloring process plus I always seemed to end up with a different shade each time. I also appreciate some the links that Tauck is now providing for programs to watch during the week and concerts and other interesting stories to while away the time until we can travel again. They are truly an awesome company. I am feeling better already.

  • British, I also agree with your philosophy. My husband and I planned our first big trip the night I was diagnosed with cancer. I needed something to look forward to and told him I didn't want to be in a bed some day regretting all the things I hadn't done when I was able. That was 18 years ago and I appreciate every day how travel has enriched our lives.

  • Travel Maven -- Where are those Tauck links to programs and concerts?

  • I agree with much of what has been said here recently. My husband and I are retired and really looked forward to increasing our travel—this year was supposed to be K&T in August—and then the virus hit. We live in the Chicago area, and all festivals, concerts, gatherings etc will not be happening this summer. We are still under a stay at home order through May, although there is a little flexibility in what is allowed to open with significant restrictions. Restaurants and bars, for example, may not open for quite some time except for carry out or delivery. Masks are required in our state, but enforcement may be an issue. I too am getting more grey and would love to get to the hairdresser but likely not until mid-June at the earliest. Although we are very disappointed that our August trip will likely be canceled (either by us or by Tauck), at least we are not being financially devastated as so many are. We remain fairly comfortable with our various hobbies sheltering at home. At our age (69), though, every year lost is more significant than if we were in our 40s or 50s. We have two trips booked for 2021–hopefully there will be an effective treatment or vaccine by then to allow safe travel to resume. Once it does, we may spend more time out of the country than in it to make up for lost time.

  • Sealord - Being a pilot I'm sure you've base your 'It is time to go back to work' opinion on scientific data. :D

  • edited May 2020

    Sealord, what you say is unbelievably to me. I saw on the news tonight that a hairdresser was in big trouble for opening up early. This is one reason why our country has such high numbers of infection. And all I wish I could do is hug my kids not get my hair cut.
    Here is an interesting story Coronavirus lockdown: Would you report people who break the rules? https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-52525463
    And another one. Coronavirus: Dallas hair salon owner jailed for week for defying lockdown https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-52557297

  • "Travel Maven -- Where are those Tauck links to programs and concerts?"

    MCD: I receive an e-mail from Tauck called "The Compass - Connecting The Wold". I don't see a link for it on their website. I am signed up to receive e-mail communications from them. If you go to the Home Page, at the very bottom, it says SIGN UP TO SUBSCRIBE TO OUR EMAILS and you just fill in the info. I believe this brings up a tab to fill in your communication preferences. I am subscribed to the Colin Thread, so perhaps that is why I receive The Compass communication.

    If you enjoy that sort programming, Viking River Cruises also has a program called Viking TV which has some interesting stories and concerts, etc on their website. No need to sign up for it. Just go to their website and scroll down a wee bit and click on "Today's Live Program on Viking TV. (I am not sure if I am supposed to talk about other Tour Companies on the Tauck Page, however, I think it's ok to pass on items of travel interest.) I have traveled with various companies over the years and I traveled with Viking only one time and it was a combination land/river tour to China many years ago, so that is why I still receive emails from them. While their tours are good and less expensive, I still prefer Tauck over Viking as I feel you get such a richer travel experience for the money. I am hooked on Tauck and will always travel with them if I am able.

  • I have not seen any links to Colin Treadwell for a long time. I used to love reading his blogs. I’ve just signed up for emails from Tauck and received an auto reply about receiving their newsletters. Are you sure that the Compass......is not the travel site that Cathy of Cathy and Steve here on the forum mentioned that is not affiliated with Tauck? Anything you might read there is not from Tauck. Or is it the Facebook page? I am not on Facebook so don’t know.

  • edited May 2020

    I get these Compass emails on a regular basis. There is a web version as well. I have posted a link below.
    Compass Emails

  • Thanks John. I can see the link, but where do you subscribe? I use an iPad for Tauck but cannot get the app for it on this iPad, only my newer one.

  • Thanks, travel maven.

  • British: The Compass emails are definitely from Tauck. I couldn't find a link to it anywhere on their website so I have to assume that you need to sign up for the Tauck e-mails and in that manner, you will receive the Compass and Colin Treadwell reports. I have recently received the Colin posts, so they are definitely still going out. There is some good content there.

  • British, I believe on the main Tauck log in page at the very bottom there is an option to sign up and subscribe to the emails.

  • I received The Compass- Royalty & Nobility email yesterday & I also have a recent Musings from Colins World email...they’re definitely still in distribution

  • Thank you both very much! I wonder why I rarely get Tauck emails. There was always a direct link to Colin on the old website, I always read his posts.

  • Email from Tauck has been hit and miss at times. I get the reservation confirmation emails and such. I also get the Colin blog emails. Just received the first Compass email a couple of weeks ago which said it was Introducing Compass. Have not received another though I did just now click the update preferences link at the bottom so many I'll get more. Did not get an email last summer alerting me that prices for my 2020 tour had been set and the 2 week clock started on whether I wanted to go or get my deposit back. Mentioned this to the agent when I put the deposit down for a spot in the 2021 tour.

    I suspect they have multiple email databases between reservations, website login and these types of info emails and gaps occur.

  • Been absent playing golf today. This is not a one size fits all situation. In our entire county we have one person in the hospital with covid. There have been around 240 cases diagnosed, and we have had a total of fourteen deaths all of which were in nursing homes. Our hospitals are empty because they are forbidden to do ‘elective’ procedures, and all but trauma care nurses have been furloughed. We all wear masks in stores or in areas where it is difficult to maintain the proper distance. Over fifty percent of the people who have covid in this state are in the LA area. Areas with a severe problem need to persevere, but areas that do not have a problem need to go back to work. JMHO!

  • Maybe I’m not crazy. UCSF just announced it is opening all of it’s health care facilities except dental. They run a number of hospitals in our area, several of which I have visited.

  • We will come and visit you Sealord, if it’s open out there, we could have a great vacation in California.

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