I did this tour in 2019 and loved it. Yes, Tauck left a ticket to Versailles at the hotel and I just walked out the door over to the grounds. I had been to Versailles before but many years ago and it was interesting to see it again with older eyes. The grounds and fountain displays are always lovely so it never gets old.
From the comments it seems as though Tauck changes up the order in which attractions are visited. I will say about the Normandy area it is just an introduction, not a real deep dive. I wished that I had had more time everywhere we went but particularly the beaches and the cemetery. We had a guest on the tour whose relative was buried at the American Cemetery and that was a poignant moment when the guide found the grave. We were at the Cemetery before lunch and it was almost a pit stop literally before we went on to lunch. That was disappointing.
I agree with the comments about the Golf Club lunch--it was nothing special at all. I did not mind the hotel in St. Malo and actually loved the town. I was lucky though because I had a room with a view--straight out to the sea. It was a stunning sight--especially seeing how quickly that tide came in and went out each day. I liked the hotel in Deauxville but my room there was like the old maid's quarters--very compact and it overlooked the tennis club and beach beyond. I'm used to tiny rooms as I travel as a single and it's the one thing that really annoys me because I pay a hefty supplement as though there were 2 people in the room but oftentimes it's definitely sized for one.
I was on a small group tour and to me the best hotels were the Waldorf Astoria in Versailles and Le Meurice in Paris. Everything in between seemed to be the best in the area but not up to the same standards as the Waldorf and Le Meurice.
The Brittany Coast was a delight and the boat ride with lunch was very enjoyable. The Bayeaux Tapestry was interesting but I enjoyed the Cathedral in the town even more. There was a lot of history.
Don't miss La Couronne in Rouen, the restaurant where Julia Child had her food epiphany when on her honeymoon. It was a real treat. That was a day lunch was on our own and we didn't have a whole lot of time but it was worth it just to have the experience.
Giverny was spectacular --again not enough time -- just an introduction.
There were so many highlights on this tour, it's tough to pick out just one or two. You are constantly busy as on most Tauck tours and you come away with fabulous memories. If you can do an extra night in Versailles besides the pre-night I think it's well worth it. I would have liked more time to stroll through the town itself, not just the Palace and its grounds. I did my post night in Paris and there is never a shortage of things to do in Paris. In my opinion, you could go there every year and still not exhaust the city.
You will never taste butter better than the butter you get in the Brittany area. I can't get butter like that at home even when I buy the expensive imported stuff. It just can't be beat.
Enjoy the trip--it goes by in a flash!
Just got off the phone with Tauck asking in part about what happens on Day 1 wrt the 2:30 start AND the after hours Louvre tours. Was told they will provide tickets for a self guided tour of the Versailles chateau. Was told to go to the concierge and they will provide/arrange. She didn't know if there was a way to pay to upgrade to a guided tour but I'm fine with self guided especially since we arrive a day early for GoT.
On the after hours Louvre tours, the reason they aren't shown in the 2022 itinerary is they haven't been able to secure them but are still working on it. So if you're on a 2022 tour you may still get the perk.
The day at the Normandy beaches that Tauck arranged for the Seine cruise was excellent - mainly because of the knowledgeable local guides that were provided. The day before one came on board the ship and did a talk about the lead up to the invasion. This likely doesn't happen on this tour but maybe the TD gives a talk. Then the day we actually went there we picked up a different guide that stayed with us all day and he knew so much. My favorite was the time at Arromanche's - the museum and what's left of the harbor they constructed. Interestingly, right after this cruise we took the England, Scotland, Wales land tour and in Wales they pointed out where the pre-fabricated units were built.
Thanks for the info, Claudia! I am happy about the ticket to Versailles! Did they say what kind of ticket? Is it palace only, or palace and Estate of Trianon (Passport)? Did they say why the 2:30 start for the tour? That will shorten our day at Versailles if we have to be back at 2:30.
I'm going to have to call too. We are going to Disneyland Paris for 3 days prior to the start of our tour with Tauck so we cannot use the arrival transportation. We are using the transportation at the end of the trip, but I need to call to explain that. I don't want to decline all transportation to/from the airport, so I want to make sure they understand what I want. If there's something you need answered, let me know and I'll ask while I'm on the phone and report back.
Rochelle, she just said self guided tour and I took it to mean just the main chateau. On the Versailles website the definition of " self guided" sounds more like small group with some sort of professional guide and a time slot. It does also say you can upgrade to a Passport which is normally 27 euros on weekends when the musical fountains are going. Given the implication that your group would have a guide and time slot then I expect we'd need to meet up somewhere. There is a different entrance for groups - B.
The 2:30 time has always implied some activity prior to the welcome reception. Not sure if the TD will be at the hotel the day prior but would imagine they'll be in the lobby Sun morning to answer questions. There's a little cubicle opposite reception.
Wouldn't worry too much about the transfer. Just make sure you put your arr/dep details in your acct on the website and the TD will reconfirm departure details during your tour.
Thanks to everyone for the information I discussed earlier. Like I said, I have been to Normandy before and spent a couple of days there. We hired a private tour guide and the information we received was fantastic. I'll try and find the name of the company (I have to look through a boatload of stuff to find it...three moves ago).
I've also been to Versailles and really liked it. I am happy to hear that Tauck provides passes for self-guided tours. I've also been to most of the other sites on this tour as well. I didn't stay at these particular hotels. I'll be happy to see all of it again. I hope they get the after-hours dinner and tour of the Louvre. I won't miss seeing it again, but I know my girlfriend is eager to visit it. Every after-hours dinner and tour I have taken with Tauck has always been excellent. Paris is not a place I desire to go again, but I know someone else who wants to see it.
Thanks for the help.
Thanks for the info everyone! I’ll try to post while we’re on the trip.
We were supposed to be leaving this afternoon for this trip but have decided to push it off until May 2022. With that change, I can’t report back until next year. If any of you go before then, please let us know how it goes.
Visiting in May is very different from September, the gardens then should be lovely!
Thanks, British. I’m sure it will be wonderful whenever we finally get there. It’s just disheartening to get this close and have to reschedule.