COVID Policy

Tauck updated their policy. See updated link on Tauck home page, effective June 9th.



  • I can’t find this, can you paste it please Sam?

  • edited June 2020

    See where it says A Message from Tauck in the snippet from the Tauck Home Page below. Click on the Green Link that is to the right of that COVID-19 (updated June 9, 2020)

  • Noted several asterisks in the policy but couldn't find what they are keyed to. I like to know the gory details.

  • edited June 2020

    Claudia - Nor could I, find where the asterisks are keyed. I will submit a question to Tauck and post any response I get back.

    Here is the question that I submitted to Tauck:

    A new COVID-19 message (updated June 9, 2020) was just posted in that posting there are at least two locations where the information is *'d, but I can't find where the * is explained. Can you please explain each use of a * or better yet have the post updated such that the *'s are explained.

    Here is one such use from the posting

    If you cancel your booking within 45 days of departure: to offer additional peace of mind, Tauck has now lowered penalties for cancellation to the most lenient tier inside of final payment as referenced in the grid below. Any penalties assessed will be placed into a Dreamsaver account along with your protection plan premiums*.

    Here is another usage:
    All cancellation penalties will be frozen at the current tier and will not increase prior to final payment. Under the terms of our standard cancellation policy, guests incur cancellation penalties based on tiered time periods, with fees increasing as the departure date draws near. Under our amended policy, cancellation fees will remain frozen at the tier that currently applies to your scheduled departure and will not increase prior to the 45-day final payment date. By freezing cancellation penalties, if you purchased Guest or Cruise Protection and cancel your trip before your final payment is due, the cost of the Guest or Cruise Protection fee is Dreamsaved. If you did not purchase Guest or Cruise Protection, the cost of your deposit will be Dreamsaved. In either case Dreamsaved funds are available for you to use for future travel*.

    And here is a third usage:
    Guests who booked and paid for their flights through Tauck will receive a full refund of their airfare including change fees, if applicable. Guests who booked their flights directly with the airline will need to contact the airline for reimbursement. Most airlines are currently waiving change fees. However, for non-Tauck flights we will reimburse change fees up to USD $250* per person with the submission of a receipt to [email protected]. Please allow up to two weeks for any refunds to arrive.

  • Thank you Sam, my hubby found it by going to our account, which I never look at. If you google it, it is still the May one. Yes, I see it is now 45 days for payments. But nothing about if THEY cancel. Well, we can no longer get to our tour in October, no flight. so I hope it is canceled.

  • Thanx Sam. At some point I'll have to spend time on the phone with a rep and would prefer to know as much as possible so I'm not making bad decisions on the fly.

  • I’ve e just read the latest AARP MAGAZINE, it’s all doom and gloom. So now another sleepless night!

  • I found it by clicking on the June 9th date update. It was all there. Many European countries are opening back up. Then there is WHO, which released a statement yesterday saying the chances of catching the virus from an asymptomatic person was extremely rare. This is the same agency that in Jan. said there was nothing to worry about and three weeks later said we all needed to hide in our homes.

  • Thanks for the link Sam. For whatever reason it doesn't show when I view the Tauck site on my Ipad. I only see it on my laptop.

    Is everyone thinking it's best to have Tauck cancel? Is it because they are giving extra $$ if they cancel?

    I'm just wondering what the differing opinions are.


  • edited June 2020

    Kathy0529 - Not just giving extra dollars, but not applying any cancellation penalties.

  • It’s the cancellation policy. We declined the extra money if we applied the deposit to another tour on our recently canceled tour, we took the refund. We still have three tours booked, Tauck have enough of our money in limbo.
    So that’s why I couldn’t see the update policy, I always use my iPad to visit Tauck.

  • ** wildcat03** Then there is WHO, which released a statement yesterday saying the chances of catching the virus from an asymptomatic person was extremely rare.

    WHO backtracked on that story and issued a clarification:>

  • Thanx kfnknfzk, I see it now. Either missed it before or they added it since. Good that it's there.

    • Dreamsaver funds are non-refundable and must be redeemed toward travel to be completed by 12/31/2021. Dreamsaver funds can be applied to any Tauck purchase.

    I think they ought to allow the funds to apply to any trip booked by the end of 2021 vs completed given that no one knows how soon travel is going to open back up to pre-covid levels. Some may have trouble squeezing it in. Not everyone is lucky enough to be in the "retired with time on our hands" club.

  • Claudia, you were helpful to me on another thread. So let me share my experience this past week. First of all, I found the Tauck representatives to be very helpful and patient. Tauck cancelled our K&T trip starting at the end of August. The representative said they try to call the passengers before they post the update in chronological order. I guess this helps spread out the calls. We knew we would be taking another Tauck trip but not exactly sure which one and when. We chose to have the funds from the K&T trip put into a travel wallet plus since they cancelled the trip and we were putting those funds (all of them including the travel protection(we did not purchase air through Tauck)) into the travel wallet they added $250pp travel credit. The travel wallet funds have no expiration date. The additional travel credit has to be used towards a 2020 or 2021 trip. The amounts were sent in a confirmation email with separate columns for travel wallet and additional credit. Today we decided to book the Normandy trip for Fall 2021. The funds are shown as our deposit and the $250pp credit is shown on the invoice as a reduction in the price of the trip. I understand that someone like British has more difficult decisions since she has so many trips planned. I am glad we waited until Tauck cancelled our trip. I hope this was clear and perhaps helpful to some.

  • edited June 2020


    . . . . they added $250pp travel credit.

    Tauck cancelled our Mar 2020 J&E, we already made our final payment, and rebooked for 2021- we received $500 pp which we applied to a re-booking of the same tour. (If we hadn't paid in full, the credit would have been $250 pp.)

    The new policy has the credit item addressed in "Option #1" but it appears to be a subset of "Passion Play Updates."

    Per "Option #2", if you leave your money in your "Tauck Travel Wallet" you will receive the same credits.

    The way they are presented, indented under "Passion Play Updates," it is unclear to me if these Options apply to Passion Play tours only or to all tours.

    We didn't apply for it, but the airline change reimbursement for non-Tauck flights was USD $250 pp and is also listed under "Passion Play Updates."

    Our tour was not a Passion Play tour. Can anyone shed light on this? I think a clarification is needed from Tauck.

  • I found it very confusing again and it is not how we were told things.
    We never got the confirmation email about our Dream saver and travel wallet,
    We were told that we could apply the money to a trip in 2022 as long as it was booked before the end of 2021 and that was before the agent knew we had other tours booked. The agent said money was no longer considered insurance money, it was now just money.
    I would have to look at our notes now because we had to call A second time the next day because we did not think the first agent was correct. The second agent told us a different story and told us She had worked for Tauck for years and knew what she was talking about. I’m still glad we took our deposit cash back, a voucher for trips we might never get to tske is not money in hand to me.
    The latest trip going forward we have with Tauck is Scandinavia in July. After that, we go to Japan in Sept 2021 but not with Tauck. My husband was just yesterday saying that Japan is virtually the only country he would be happy to visit since he knows it well and they are excellent at following rules such as social distancing and mask wearing.
    I remain concerned that apart from anything else, Americans could be banned from many counties because of our appalling numbers. New Zealand says it will keep its borders closed for the foreseeable future doesn’t it?
    I guess everyone is finally realizing that a vaccine for everyone is a long way off.
    I feel less stressed going out to shop for food now despite constantly seeing people in stores without any masks and store workers not caring to say anything apart from Trader Joe’s. When I get back to the car, that’s when I have to start cleaning my hands before I touch it. I keep my mask on until I get home. I clean my hands again before I tske my mask off at home, then put the mask in a plastic bag above the laundry room sink, then wash my hands again.
    Then I need to sir down, have a cup of tea and read theTauck forum, I’m worn out.
    I’m not sure I could keep The level of caution, hand washing and mask laundering up for a constant two weeks on a Tauck tour. The amount of paper masks required for two weeks would certainly fill up that suitcase space. Every time you take a drink or eat, in theory and for safe practice, you need to wash your hands and put on a new mask. Exhausting. At least we ladies don’t have to worry about make up any more. 😟😟😟Trying to be positive but it’s so hard.

  • Taxare, thanx. It sounds like Tauck is getting more efficient in handling this compared to earlier experiences others have described here. Our Switzerland trip is supposed to start 4 Sep and we have til Monday to keep or cancel the backup reservation for the same trip 29 Aug 2021. If I don't hear from them I'll call the end of this week to confirm where things stand and what our next moves are. We've always had good experiences dealing with Tauck reps.

    Fyi, on the Normandy tour. Worrying that we might have trouble finding an acceptable 2021 date if we canceled our 2021 date before Tauck made a decision on 2020, I started looking at alternatives and that land tour was on the list. We've done the Seine river cruise which starts at the Versailles Palace but there is very little overlap in itinerary except for D-day beaches. That hotel was lovely and so easy to get into the grounds of Versailles. We used our Gift of Time to have an extra day and a half to explore.

  • Could be just me, but I sense that Tauck is inching back to policies pre-pandemic (assuming no significant degradation in the world environment from the current numbers, meaning some rebound effect as things open, but not a complete new downward spiral). They had dropped final payment due dates to 30 days prior to departure and now they have bumped it back to 45 days prior to departure. My shot in the dark is that January 1, 2021 will be the target for having policies all returned to pre-pandemic terms for trips booked after that date. Tauck, will of course, honor all of the Travel Wallet and Dream Saver options that were made during the prior periods. I say January 1st, simply because it offers some symmetry and an easy to remember boundary point, not based on vaccine availability projections or anything like that. What are others thoughts? I know we have posters with optimistic projections and others with more pessimistic projections. I think I'm closer to an optimistic projection (I'm hoping that will be the case), than to a pessimistic projection ( British - I think worrying, at this time, whether travel will be OK for your 50th anniversary in 2024 is a bit pessimistic. I sure hope it is. :D FYI - my 37th anniversary is this Friday! We have a socially distance at a dine in restaurant planned). Here's to a return to a nearly normal 2021!

  • You could be right. Not really sure why the switch from 30 to 45 days given that they are making decisions on cancellations well before that. Doesn't affect me. I"m not planning to canx anything 2020 before Tauck does it for me.

  • Our K&T tour for August was canceled, and we had an easy time rebooking it for August 2021–and we received a credit of $250pp. Our airfare refund just hit our account. As advised in another feed, we decided not to do back-to-back Africa trips. We were fortunate that the dates we wanted for K&T were still available. We had two other trips booked in 2021–Normandy in May and Israel Jordan in October, but we were able to move the IJ tour to April 2022. We are hopeful that our May tour will be a go. There appears to be some scientific optimism that a vaccine will be available early in 2021, so I am trying to remain hopeful.

  • edited June 2020

    Well, here goes the pessimist in me yet again re the vaccine. It will not be ready by early 2021. If there is a hint in trials that one looks hopeful at all that will be wonderful. Can you imagine how long it will take to manufacture enough vaccine for the entire planet? Sometimes they can’t even make enough annual flu shots and that is for the The people who bother to get them. If and when a vaccine becomes available, we will all be way down on the pecking order.
    On a different note, I keep receiving STEP notifications for our past Malaysia tour, even though we have attempted to stop them several times. Here is part of it today and is essentially why our tour was abruptly ended, closing of country, national parks and hotels overnight.

    ‘Countries around the world are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and implementing travel restrictions, mandatory quarantines, and border closures with little advance notice. U.S. citizens should be prepared for additional travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice. Travelers should closely monitor the situation in Malaysia and other transit countries before travel. ‘

    This was a frightening experience. Thank goodness the travel company was able to secure five flights for us In total to get home, but before then we endured ‘imprisonment’ in a small hotel room in a rough area of a big city, could not leave the room, limited food to order, nothing but BBC News in English on the TV. Thank goodness that turned out to be only 48 hours but it seemed much longer. We had to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice. My hubby was calm, I was worried that the two weeks extra BP and essential thyroid meds I require might not be enough. We assumed we would be quarantined when we got back to the US for two weeks, nothing , not even a temperature check.
    If travel gets back to normal, it looks as if there will be no tours left by Tauck to book for 2022. I guess wait lists might be the only hope. I am amazed by how many people we meet on tours who were way down wait lists but managed to get on the tour.
    Thanks to Smiling Sam for being optimistic, my kids always called me the worst case scenario Mum. I couldn’t help it, my job meant I did see the worst case thing happen many times.

  • British - If not through optimism, you keep us all happy through your educated and enlightened posting about all of your travel adventures. Not to mention with your small ship, swimming pool modeling! :D

    I received an email from a gentleman we met on our Portrait of India tour, who lives near London, that we've kept in touch with. He sounds very much like you. Here is some of his email.

    From my London friend,

    Things just starting to open up – non-essential retail will be opening on the 15th June, but I’m not convinced! I think the younger generations will be happy to go out and shop, mix together etc., but us mouldy oldies?

    Statistically if you’re over 80 you are 70 times more likely to suffer than under 40, therefore unlikely I’ll be going anywhere soon.

  • I'm not super optimistic about a vaccine - although plenty of resources focused on it. I'm more optimistic about effective treatments that could change how countries deal with the pandemic. I also think geographically we'll see differences. Some countries more open than others.

    On the more pessimistic side, I wouldn't be booking anything spring or early summer next year.

  • Sam and Claudia, you are such sweethearts. I’m in the house today waiting for a phone call and my grandkids are outside social distancing and playing in our little swim spa, so I am happy.
    And Sam, for your enjoyment.....yesterday I got an email from Tauck saying there was a live Zoom event We could sign up for tomorrow Thursday at 5pm and it’s one of the photographers who photographed me swimming in that now famous pool thanks to you! His name is Denver. Both photographers were really friendly guys and we all had a great time with them on tour. He actually almost persuaded us that we really should visit Antarctica. The BBC naturalist on that special Panama tour was also excellent, he was British and a bit of a geek when he was a child, a bit like my hubby when it comes to wildlife. We ate lunch with him several times. It was a newly gigged tour and had issues, SeaLord took the tour just after us and felt the same, but there was no Naturalist on that tour and he went the opposition direction. I think they have implemented improvements since then, I made helpful suggestions like providing Whispers when I gave feedback.

  • Coronavirus came to UK 'on at least 1,300 separate occasions'
    This is a great article, fascinating.

  • Sam Happy Anniversary !!!
    I'm booked on a Scandinavia land tour this September, can not imagine how Tauck would do this tour considering how the virus is still rampant in Sweden. Both Denmark and Norway will not open their borders to Sweden and both are part of the tour. This is just a wait and see game.

  • gladysorlando984 - Thanks for the anniversary wishes. I just got off the phone with Tauck. We had received an email from them saying to we had made it off the waitlist for an upgraded room for our Egypt tour in October. We accepted the upgraded room - it was just a move from 603 to 605, a twin room to a king room. I asked about Tauck cancelling the tour. I got the expected response that they are deciding roughly two months out whether to cancel tours. They said we should expect to hear for our October tour in August. That says you should expect to hear in July for your September tour. I'd expect your tour to be covered in the next COVID-19 update that has the link on the Tauck home page.

    British - You're swimming pool notoriety continues to grow, receiving special invites from Tauck to join Zoom events. I think they'll likely be requesting more publicity shots! Your shots in the pool have been a tremendous marketing success for them. :D

  • Alan S, you are usually so concise that I must be reading your question wrong. Obviously my K&T tour is not the Passion Play. I believe they prefer to discuss the current options over the phone and perhaps that is why they are not articulated in the update. I had not made final payment. When I spoke to them on the phone about my cancellation they went over options 1 and 2 (booking a new trip right away or putting the money into the travel wallet and using it later). I didn't discuss the refund option. It is on the email that I received that indicated the travel wallet funds can be used anytime into the future and the additional travel credit can only be used for 2020 or 2021 tours. They also did discuss the $250pp airfare change fees that will be available to us if necessary and that I will need to provide documentation to them since I didn't use them for airfare. Please let me know if I didn't get that right. I am very thankful to you, British and many others that have provided me invaluable information for our tour planning.

  • Thank you for the info Sam, I had thought it would be in the one just released but I can only imagine all the tours they have canceled, I do know that so far they have not canceled any August tours so according to what you said that should be this month. I did the Egypt/Jordan tour in 2007, it was incredible.

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