The information on our first day at Versailles is lacking. Will Tauck take us on a tour, and what is included on the tour.
They did on our tour last year. The morning of the tour start the concierge arranged for Passport tickets with timed entry to the main chateau. We picked the time. The time is kind of a time range so if you say 10 but get there at 10:10 it's fine. We walked over from the hotel and used the Versailles app on our smartphones to do a self guided tour. Passport tickets get you into everything - the main chateau, the gardens/fountains, the Trianon chateaux, The Queens Hamlet, coach house, etc.
I wrote a detailed review of this tour last fall - 12 Sep 21 tour review
Thank you so much. We are going a day early, and I was wondering if they would do the tour or if we had to make arrangements.
We completed the tour last month. Tauck does not take you on a tour per se but will arrange with the hotel concierge for tickets for you to tour Versailles on your own.
There's a lot to see at Versailles and the place is huge.
Recommend downloading the Versailles app to your phone's at home where you have good, secure wifi.
Just returned from France and we did not get a tour by Tauck nor tickets to Versailles. Our TG had emailed us early and told us to pick up complimentary tickets at the concierge desk upon our arrival. We checked in very early in the morning - approximately 8:30 am and immediately asked about the tickets. The concierge had to call Versailles for a time slot and unfortunately the only time available was at 4:30 pm. Since we had our welcome dinner at 6 pm we were unable to make the tour time. We did however walk over to the chateau and tour the gardens. You will have to have a ticket for that as well, but it is not time restricted. We had a map and then discovered a cart rental tour. We rented a golf cart with a built-in narrative and drove all over the grounds. The area is so large we were able to see things we never would have walked to. Don't count on getting free tickets at the hotel - if you go a day early you will have more time to be accommodated, but unfortunately, the chateau is very popular and you may want to purchase tickets in advance to be sure you can get in.
RhondDe, thank you for the information about the cart tour! We're headed there in 40 days and 7 hours, but who's counting!?
Because Tauck was not clear about touring or providing tickets for Versailles, we bought tickets before leaving home. We were automatically given tickets when we arrived leaving the four of us with two each. It would have been nice to have been told in advance what to expect. Perhaps they cannot be certain that tickets are always available.
Because we are arriving 1-1/2 days beforehand, we are considering purchasing tickets for early on the day our tour starts. If we are given tickets upon arrival, we'll go twice once to the gardens and once to the palace. We can take our time and not get too tired or hot. We aren't going all this way to take a chance on not getting a spot!
The Passport tickets we were given not only get you into the chateau itself but also free entry to the palaces at the Trianon complex and the Queens Hamlet. The section of the gardens with the fountains is free on week days but if you're there on a weekend the fountains are on and music is playing. When that happens there is a charge to get into them which the Passport will also cover. The official Versailles website gives lots of information about everything to see there. After 2 Tauck tours there and a total of 3 days touring we still haven't seen everything. https://en.chateauversailles.fr/
Versailles was on my bucket list and planned to visit on our pre tour days. We found out about complimentary tickets from the tour director while waiting for our room and picked them up at the concierge. Tauck should indicate the tickets are available pre-tour (Although some may complain if they get there too late to use them)! We went many years ago (it was one of my favorites) and I don't understand why guests are not told ahead of time. Suggest that those going in the future mention this in their comment cards. The cards are read, and usually the response acknowledges issues raised.
When you check in for a tour, you must remember to say it is with Tauck. Mr. B is a culprit of forgetting to do this, snd you know me, I’m at his shoulder prompting him like a Nancy Reagan. Then you should always ask if there is an envelope from Tauck. Some desk clerks remember, others don’t, others haven’t a clue or they could be new. This is especially now with so many new hotel staff…..I digress….but on two of our flights yesterday, we both noticed novice young flight attendants being prompted what to do from the other attendants. We have never seen this before. It was quite entertaining watching them balance drink trays etc, forgetting what people ordered and having to come back to ask. What with that and the woman opposite taking off her socks and blowing her nose on them, it helped pass the time.
If you arrive a day early , you may need to go to the front desk the next morning and ask about an envelope again in case the TD has only just arrived to send them in.
Oh and also tell the front desk WHICH named Tauck tour you are on. I can’t tell you how many times we have been staying in a hotel with more than one tour. This passed tour, we were in the hotel with the a Bridges tour. We kept running into the same family on the plane, the hotel and breakfast the next day, the kids were so excited.
Well, I can’t believe I’m still in bed, over 24 hours awake traveling yesterday finally did me in.
I did mention on our comment form for this tour last year that it's a problem they aren't clear about the option/tickets to Versailles especially since you need timed entry to the main chateau. Having the same issue with the start of the Week in Scotland where you get a vague optional city sightseeing options on the Day 1 itinerary. I guess part of the problem is some people don't have GoT or pay for an extra day at the start so they'd likely get there too late to take advantage of it. At least with the England Scotland Wales tour they tell you up front that the tour will be going to Stirling Castle in the afternoon before the welcome reception.
Speaking of other tours and travelers and saying you are with Tauck. We had just boarded the Tauck bus (unbranded) for an excursion during Treasures of the Aegean. Our TD could tell by the number of seats filled "we" were all on board. She was rushed so didn't do a head count. After about 10 minutes something must have seemed wrong to our TD so she did a count. It seems a couple from another non-Tauck tour had joined us on the bus with nobody noticing! Luckily for them our bus passed by the area where their excursion was headed, so the bus stopped and our TD handed them off to the right group.
We just got our final documents from Tauck for our September 2nd tour. This was included in the Itinerary section, so it seems pretty clear :
Disappointing not to have it included but better to know for sure so you can book it yourself.
Like my hubbie said: We're not traveling all this way to try and save 20 euros by not booking our own tickets!
Well that settles that!
I appreciate all the comments here; we are scheduled for the Sept 9 small group and this info was very helpful. Thanks!