London, Paris, Seine River cruise - can anyone on this recently- tell me exactly what was done with Tauck in London? Is St. Paul’s included? We’ve never been to London- this is probably a one and done city for us- so we are considering a private guide for our extra days there pre-tour. We plan to fly in 2 days before the tour starts since we can't extend in Paris at all.

Also- does anyone know why they’ve switched hotels from the Savoy to the Rosewood?


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    That's a bummer about not having the Savoy. That was a really special hotel - we stayed in it when we did the England tour.

    Tauck got the Savoy because it came with the deal they made with the larger organization (chain of hotels). Don't remember who owns the Savoy. Tauck may have done a deal with a different hotel chain.

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    I believe the Savoy is part of the Fairmont chain.

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    When we booked the England, Scotland, and Wales trip for 2025, we were asked if we want to upgrade to a suite at the Savoy. Hopefully they won’t change that tour to stay at the Rosewood.

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    The Savoy is a Fairmont hotel--our favorite brand of luxury hotels, especially in Canada and Eastern USA.

    We took this tour Apr 2023. Tauck took us on a driving tour of the major sights, then free time, then an after-hours tour of Churchill's War Rooms/Bunker--fabulous! The next morning we were off to Paris on the high speed train.

    We added several pre-and-post tour days since we had never been to London (I regret never traveling there before) and we always add extra days when in Paris. Dining at Guy Savoy's was possibly one of the best dining experiences we have had in a very long time.

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    edited January 16

    Our bus pulled up to the Savoy and they got us into the hotel and the bus out of there fast. The Savoy did not want to be seen as a "Tour Bus" hotel. Way too déclassé. :)

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    Terrylynn I went on this tour last year and stayed at the Savoy, it was lovely. We did go to St. Paul's, I went 2 days early did a private tour to Bath one day and Stonehenge the next.

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    Terrilyn. If you could possibly do an entire trip just staying in London, even if you stayed two weeks. You would not see everything that there is to see. I know you have no problem with staying in cheaper hotels, also many of the museums are entirely free, so many sites are outdoors like the gardens and parks, which helps keep the cost of the trip down. If you travel out of the summer season that also helps, cheaper air fares too, and essential as you live in NY, the competing for air fares is to your advantage. You can also eat very cheaply, go to West End shows for way way cheaper prices than NY. and so on, I just think you will regret not staying longer in London. We are possibly heading there this August with a huge group of friends, it will be on a budget, so if I pick up any more good tips, I’ll let you know. Last time our group did this, we stayed in a cheap hotel just opposite the Savoy, very small rooms but we were out all day, had a blast.

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    I had to respond to British's comment about seeing West End theatre cheaper than in New York. In years past, I could fly (from Boston) to London (economy class), stay in a hotel for a long weekend, and see several West End shows cheaper than I could by going to New York for the same weekend, staying in a hotel, and going to the theater. Sadly, those days have passed. But, fortunately, my daughter now lives in Manhattan and I can stay with her. When I do go to London now, I stay close to the West End for the access to the theatres (and the Picadilly line from Heathrow).

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    MCD...I live just outside of Boston. Do you take advantage of the touring Broadway shows? I do love NYC theatre and have only seen one show in London on the Week in London/Paris tour, but I'm happy to have shows to see in Boston, too. Moulin Rouge is Sunday!

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    I agree with British. There is so much to see in London! If you have the opportunity to spend a few days there, it's worth it.
    I have only been twice (3 days each time) and could easily go back and spend more time.

    St. Paul's is easy to visit, lots of history there, and it was cool to be at the cathedral where Charles and Diana were married. It’s also where funerals for Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher took place, and where Martin Luther King once preached. We attended Evensong there.

    You are adventurous, so you may want to download Rick Steves' Audio Europe (free) and do a variety of London walking tours. We did several of his walking tours in London. We've used the audio app in large and small cities all over Europe.

    We were in London in August 2014, the Queen was away, so we visited Buckingham Palace. Loved it! Don't miss Westminster Abbey.
    I do enjoy museums, but in small doses. The weather was lovely when we were there, so one day we took a boat to Greenwich. Fun!

    Many beautiful gardens, shopping, iconic photo ops, and historical sites. Wonderful Indian food restaurants in London.

    If you decide to spend extra time in London (other than your stay at Rosewood) there are great boutique hotels that are much more affordable.

    Enjoy planning your adventure. We loved our river cruise on the Seine. We added days in Paris, too.

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    edited January 17

    We don’t live in NY, we live in NC

    I’d love to stay longer, but we both still work and my husband only has a certain amt of time off each year- and it’s hard for him to be gone more than two weeks at a time - so until we retire (in 12 yrs), we have to keep our trips at two weeks. We are going to Italy in Oct for 2.5 weeks and that was tough for him to get that approved. Hopefully we get to London again - but if not, I want to hit the highlights in the 3 days we are there. We won’t be able to extend in Paris at all and I hate that- but there are many River cruises we want to do in France - esp the new one Prague to Paris - so I’m sure we will be back to Paris

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    terrlynn, we were also still working when we first started touring with Tauck, so I totally understand your time constraints. Even now my husband has a hard time being away from home longer than 2 weeks.

    London is fantastic. You will definitely want to return there. I love it more than Paris.

    I hope you can get some info as to what the Tauck general tour includes, for example, if it does not go inside Westminster Abbey, I would try to do that on your own because there are so many famous people buried there, and because it will give you a huge contrast to St. Paul's. If Tauck spends most of the time showing you the area around Buckingham Palace, I would focus on walking along the Thames, possibly crossing over the London Bridge and returning along the other bank. We really enjoyed the Sky Garden (timed ticket, purchase in advance) to get a bird's eye view of the city, and also Borough Market. If you can manage to attend at least part of the evensong service at St. Paul's at 5 pm, you will not forget it. It is truly a sanctuary and you will see immediately why Diana preferred it for her wedding. You should probably be able to design a walking tour to end up there.
    If you have a free evening, a tour of the city in a car or double-decker bus is fun.
    Since your hotel is so close to the British Museum, you may wish to consider popping in at least to see the Rosetta Stone and a few of the treasures on the ground floor.
    There are fabulous art museums, theatre, and of course, a traditional tea experience but if your weather is decent I would stay out and about for your one day.
    Sadly the Victoria and Albert Museum is not in the above neighborhood. It's my favorite museum in London, focusing on innovation and design. I've not encountered any other museums like it. Maybe next time!

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    Terrilynn, my husband was also still working when we started traveling with Tauck. He had just three weeks at that time. One of the reasons we started traveling with them was because they could get us around without us having to plan anything and they were more efficient than we could be doing it ourselves with time restrictions. This was not a problem when we lived in the UK because vacation time there is very generous. We were happy when Tauck started to offer a few trips that were only a week long, like Puglia when it was new and various Costa Rica tours as we could manage two tours in one year .
    In my opinion, I think you are fully capable of doing some sites without the help of a guide. When I visit London, I’m like a tourist as I have never lived in Southern England. A few years ago, I traveled there without my husband, the first time I had done that. I used Google maps for the first time ever to go to the places I wanted to see. I walked everywhere, didn’t even need to use the underground, or should I say subway. I had a great time. I stayed in a cheap central hotel near the Savoy with friends but did my own thing as my Americans friends wanted to see the big sites I have been to more than once. I went to more unusual places like Dickens home and also met an English friend at the Churchill War Rooms and toured Clarence House where King Charles now lives. Going inside these places can takes hours and you don’t want to just see the outside of most of these places. I just see no need for the expense of a private guide. I even downloaded a Rick Steves walk for this too. I propose fhat you and your dear hubby could have an entire future vacation just in London, way cheaper than a Tauck tour. .My best wishes Terrilynn

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