Normandy,Brittany/Rhine Enchantment

We are considering back to back tours in spring 2023–Normandy, Brittany, Paris & Loire Valley followed by the River cruise, Rhine Enchantment Milan to Amsterdam. Has anyone done these two together or something similar? Is it too much? Looking for opinions as to whether to do back to back or to do each separately.


  • I think it all depends on your stamina. Long gone are the days in which we are able to do two back-to-back land tours, especially if each tour is a fortnight. I think, however, a land tour followed by a river cruise is quite feasible since the cruise portion affords the opportunity to participate in the excursions or not. No matter your decision, have a wonderful trip!

  • A few years ago we did the Seine Plus Paris and London river cruise followed by the England, Scotland Wales land tour - both about 2 weeks. We also did the Normandy/Brittany land tour last Sep right after the Switzerland Crown Jewels. The biggest challenge was getting all our dirty laundry clean in between. In London we walked to a nearby laundromat and in Switzerland we had a few days in between tours in Zurich at a hotel that happened to have laundry facilities for guests (was supposed to be at cost but they did it for free).

    Advantages of back to back Tauck tours is you only have to pay the guest protection once and you only have to pay airfare and endure jet lag once. We try to get in as many days in as we can either this way or by adding days at the beginning and/or end of the tour.

  • If we do this, the plan is to have 2 extra days in Paris at the conclusion of the France tour, take the train to Milan and have 1 day there before the River cruise, and 2 days at the end in Amsterdam.

  • I’ve never done true back to back tours but did go to Namibia for two weeks, come home and then four days later go to Galápagos. Ideally, I would much rather separate tours so I can savor each one properly. If that means twice the air fares, that’s Ok.

  • The first time we did it another passenger on the cruise said they wouldn't do a back to back as he felt it would be anti-climatic. We worried it might be too much or that we'd be homesick, but for us it's worked well.

    On the first one the day everyone else was heading to the airport we were taking a train to Edinburgh on a Sat (quiet and cheap first class seats) then checked into the hotel using a Gift of Time day (Tauck gave us Gift of Time days for both tours). The tour started the next so we had some time just the two of us to tour Edinburgh. Meeting the new TD and other travelers we were just as excited about the tour as we had been for the previous one.

    For the one last year we had about 3 days in between with some family members. I was kind of regretting signing up for the second tour right then but as soon as we got to France and the new tour started all that ended. We actually ended up liking the french tour better than the swiss.

  • We like back to back tours as we fly business class and it saves us money rather than two separate tours. Last September we did the Rhine and Moselle river cruise and then we had a few days in between before we started our land tour of Switzerland. This June we are going to Spain with Tauck on a land tour and because they had no availability on the Douro river cruise we are going with Viking. We have four days between each tour which is really nice. We haven't travelled with Viking so we are hoping we won't be disappointed.

  • Noreen - Have you backed to back any tours outside of Europe?

  • Smiling Sam - We did back to back many years ago when we visited South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania.  I think there were three or four days in between this tour.  Also, we are doing this again with Egypt: Jewels of the Nile on October 29 to November 7, 2023 and then Magic of Morocco from November 9 to November 18.  It is a good way in our opinion to save money on airfare and also insurance.  

  • edited February 2022


    Are you referring to Tauck trip insurance? That is a good deal, assuming the price of the insurance is the same for both of your tours as it would be if you only did one tour. I'm doing the Egypt tour a couple of weeks before you. Our Tauck trip insurance was $669/person. Is that what you paid total/person for both tours combined?

    In these days of Covid, do you know what would happen if you tested positive after the Egypt tour, prior to the Morocco tour? Or will a test even be required then? Perhaps you won't have to be tested leaving Egypt, going to Morocco, like you would be if you were returning to the US. Perhaps you'll only be tested at the end of your second tour, prior to your US return.

    For your airline reservation(s) is it all on one reservation - Tucson to Egypt to Morocco to Tucson? Did you do the air through Tauck or on your own?

  • We are doing these trips in 2023.  We decided not to go this year due to COVID and thought it would be safer to be in Europe rather than Africa.   It is such a long way out that we have no air yet but will get Tauck to take care of it.  We have a TA and she is very helpful.  Our business class air for our European trip this June was $3500.00 per person including seat assignments on BA. British Airways charges extra for assigned seats in advance even in business class.  However, we always go on line to see if we could get a better deal on our own.  I was under the impression that the insurance is less if you do back to back tours but looking at my Egypt and Morocco trips this may not be correct.  The Egypt trip's insurance is $769 each exactly the same as Morocco but there is a price difference in the tours.  Egypt cost $20,580 and Morocco wasa $17,380.  I need to check with my TA.  

  • Good question Sam. The way it worked on both of ours we had booked one tour first, then months later added the second. When Tauck sent the statement for the second tour they showed a charge for that trip's insurance, then a subtraction of the same amount. The 1st time the 1st tour was a river cruise and the most recent the were both European land tours.

    If you booked both tours at the same time you might well pay the larger amount if they were different. If you booked tours with time in between, I suspect Tauck wouldn't go back and charge you more. It's kind of like the Gift of Time situation where some get told they only get the free night at the cheaper hotel if they asked for days at both ends, but in fact we have gotten the higher priced one free.

  • Thanks to all who responded to my query. We evaluated and decided not to do a back to back. Thirty days just seems like a long time to be away. Plus, separate tours will allow us to enjoy each one individually to the fullest. We’ll be doing the Normandy/Brittany etc in May 2023 and the Rhine Enchantment Amsterdam to Milan in October 2023.

  • edited February 2022

    We are doing ‘Rhine Enchantment: Amsterdam to Milan’ in late August this year. We are three couples, all in Cat III’s, but I think our partners wanted the Cat VII’s which were sold out. We are quite happy with the loft rooms. Even ‘French’ balconies are a problem, if you are a sleep walker. (;-) And, the 7’s have too many doors to protect.

    Thirty days is a long time. That’s about how long we were normally at sea on an aircraft carrier without seeing a port. Our last Tauck trip was eighteen days. Our dog walker/border friend always walks the dogs past our house … that’s how I met her. After a time on this last trip, she had to change her route to avoid our house cuz our dog Buffy started crying every time she passed our house. (She (the dog) loves our dog care person.). But, for us eighteen days is probably the ‘outer limit’.

  • Thoughts on visiting the catacombs in Paris during free time?

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