Tauck & non-Tauck passengers on Wind Star Greek Tour

We have heard both negatives & positives on this subject from other Tauck travelers. We've done two other river cruises with Tauck but would now like to try sailing the Greek Isles. How is it handled during the voyage with regards to eating, drinking, touring? Does it still feel like a united group or is there a definite divide between those with Tauck & those who aren't with them? I don't like the idea of not everyone being on the same page while sailing, but it seems there is no other option. I guess I am more worried about not receiving the same high standards you receive on a regular Tauck river cruise. If anyone has thoughts regarding this cruise I would love to hear them. *I see the Wind Star was refurbished in 2018 so that is a plus, but any thoughts on that would be welcome, also. Many thanks.


  • We took the Treasures of the Aegean on Windstar in 2016. We had the high standards to which you refer that Tauck always provides. Our tour was a little unusual in that there had been trouble in Istanbul so several people canceled—we only had 12 in our tour group and a total of 84 on Windstar. We had our own private Tauck cocktail party each evening before dinner. We enjoyed meeting others not in our group. In fact, one evening at dinner, we had a table of only Midwesterners (some in our Tauck group and several not). Where others had to sign up for their land excursions, ours had already been planned as part of our tour. We had a wonderful time, and there was no disadvantage to having a mixed group on board Windstar.

  • We have done five Tauck small boat tours, four on Ponant and one on the Wind Surf. We have done seventeen Windstar cruises, and have been on all their boats except Wind Spirit. The service and food has always been excellent. We have only been on one ‘full boat’ charter with Tauck, and I found the drink selection to be better when it is not a full boat charter. I’ve read that some have encountered people who pretend to be with Tauck guests to get the Tauck benefits.

  • In the event that it may mean something, I just booked our 2023 Tauck trips. They would be ‘Exploring the Douro, plus Lisbon and Madrid’ westbound, and … ta da … ‘Treasures of the Aegean’ on the “Wind Star”. It took an hour and a half to get a callback from Tauck … I think they are busy.

  • Sealord,

    I am already thinking of repeating the Douro River tour in the near future. We loved it that much! Enjoy!

  • I think I waited over two hours for a Tauck callback to book a tour tonight

  • I booked the Douro cruise with Lisbon & Madrid eastbound in January for October 2023. Used my travel agent as I have done on past tours. Waiting for the specifics to beco,e available from Tauck.

  • If you send an email of contact via the form on the Tauck website you'll get an answer the next day, sure beats being on hold!!!,

  • Only sent a couple of emails to tYauck, but that is not my experience, I think it was more like two weeks

  • BSP51: We don’t know the ‘price’ yet, but we have made a deposit and have a room number assigned. If you don’t have at least those specifics, I would call the TA … or Tauck.

  • Aaron, I personally have not traveled with Tauck on Windstar, but have traveled with Tauck on their small ship Ponant cruises. As I think someone else pointed out, Tauck will run their own excursions and you will not be comingled. While on Ponant (pre-covid) the Tauck group dined together. Of course since Ponant is a French line, most other travelers spoke French and we obviously had more in common with the Tauck group. As far as the "bar" areas we were not separated. I never felt we were slighted in the least, and in fact as I recall we were always the first group off the ship. We wore a dime sized Tauck pin to identify us as a group, plus we received our little Tauck extras. I would not let the mix put you off on taking this trip, Tauck will provide you with their premium level of experience.

  • Sealord - same here. Deposit, insurance paid and cabin number. No pricing or itinerary yet but no concern on our end. As an aside, Tauck’s customer service continues to amaze me. On our 2019 Rhine Enchantment trip there was an issue at the Milan train station on our way to Basel. Suicide on the tracks on the route caused a long delay on our departure. Had to take a non direct route on a very crowded train and we were 4 hours late getting into Basel with the usual complainers complaining. It was in no way under Tauck’s control or in any way their fault.

    A few weeks after returning home we received a nice letter with a check for $200 and a $500 voucher for travel in 2020. Today I asked our TA to see if Tauck would allow us to use the voucher in 2023 and Tauck agreed right away. It’s nice to spend our time and significant dollars with a company that understands customer relations.

    Travel safe!

  • I’ve been looking at the Windstar page, which they call ‘The Treasures of the Greek Isles’, and it appears that the dinner in front of the library is a ‘Wind Star’ event that will be for all of the “Wind Star” guests. Alan, when are you doing this trip?

  • We have our pricing and are signed up for May 11, 2023. This is our third try - fingers crossed! Maybe they are working through their list?

  • Bucketlist, we did this tour on May 11, 2016! I remember the date because it was my 65th birthday. Have a great time!

  • jan_page511
    February 23
    . . . . we did this tour on May 11, 2016! I remember the date because it was my 65th birthday. Have a great time!

    Ooh, using my fingers and toes, it looks like you are coming up on the SEVEN ZERO! :o:D

  • Aaron, I was on a Greek Island Windstar cruise about 14 years ago. This was my first exposure to Tauck tours, as they had a tour on this voyage. When we got off the ship in Kusadasi to see Ephesus there was the Windstar bus, a Tauck bus (a bit smaller bus), and a private van for my family group. When we got back to the boat, I googled (I think google may have been around then) and looked up Tauck. I priced their tour with what we had paid for the cruise and added the hotels, pre, and post-cruise. I decided that it was cheaper to book Windstar on my own but developed an interest in Tauck that continues to today. From my experience on the ship, there was little difference between Tauck guests and Windstar guests. I didn't even know they were a separate group until I had seen their private bus. The Windstar ships are great and we have enjoyed about 14 cruises with them. I think you will be fine with a great cruise and the Tauck advantage of having your Tauck tours booked at the stops the boat makes between Istanbul and Athens.

  • Actually, AlanS, SEVEN ONE!🎈

  • jan_page511
    February 24
    Actually, AlanS, SEVEN ONE!🎈

    I lost a finger. :D I still got you beat. :/:o

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