Our Scheduled trip to Italy

We are scheduled to take the Classic Italy Small Group Tour that departs on April 19th. I have been checking periodically on the availability of this tour and it has been listed as Soldout for quite some time. In fact many of the adjacent dates have also been listed as soldout. Checking today, our tour, as well as most of the tours from Spring to mid to late summer are now listed as available. I am guessing this is more than just coincidental and people are canceling their trips. With just 6 weeks until we leave for our tour, my concern level has gone from just a minor concern last week to about 90% chance that this tour won’t take place at least in it’s current itinerary. The U.S Department of State has just raised the travel advisory to Italy to Level 3 with Lombardy and Veneto to a Level 4.

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/italy-travel-advisory.html

This will be our 6th Tauck trip and we have nothing but good things to say about our previous trips and our dealings with Tauck. I am confident that Tauck will provide a fair resolution to all this. We did receive an email a couple of days ago that Tauck is on top of all this.

As a side note we are from the Seattle WA area which is now being referred to as US Ground Zero. The first US case of Covid-19 was diagnosed here and the first death was from here. Unless instructed otherwise we will be at Seatac airport in about 6 weeks for our flight.
Just my 2 cents on all this since I know the topic is being beaten to death on this forum. I also know there are probably many concerned people.

Comments

  • edited March 1

    I'm so sorry for you guys that have trips coming up soon. In its current form, I just don't see how the folks with tours (with any company) are going weather this storm outside of major changes/cancellations. As others have said, with all the closures of museums and monuments, let alone the travel bans/recommendations, it makes little sense to go. But time will tell. We have our trip coming up in late July (Danube) and we will just wait and see what Covid-19 does as it could, and very likely, will make its way across Europe.

    Nice Little Write Up of Coronavirus Disease 2019 vs. the Flu

  • Thanks for your post JohnS! We have a river cruise scheduled for early May beginning in Milan. I have also noticed that the sold out sign has been removed for most of the accommodations. I can't imagine the tour going through at this point. The infection has already spread to Switzerland which would be our next destination.

    Please let us know how things go. I would be curious to know how Tauck deals with your situation.

  • I will keep the thread updated when we hear from Tauck and what transpires. I fear that 2020 may not be the best year for travel to most places on the planet. We are trying to make up for a couple of trip cancellations in 2019 due to my wife having eye surgery and me breaking a foot. This Italy trip is a reschedule. We have 2 other European trips scheduled for this year. (Not Tauck) A Rhine river cruise in June hosted by a British Folk group I have been following since the late 60’s and a Barge cruise through Burgundy France in August. We are considering another Tauck tour in Autumn of this year but that is currently on hold until all this Covid-19 stuff settles down.

  • We have a land tour with Tauck ending in Venice in June and we would not dream of canceling the tour. It’s too far in the distance and even now our own personal opinion is that the panic will be over by then. We have another tour beginning in one week and hope it will not be cancelled. We feel we have better odds of being killed on the road getting to the airport than becoming badly infected with the Covid 19 virus. I have this crazy suspicion that when we were on the Tauck China tour this past October That my husband and several other men and one woman on the tour fell ill with fever, dry cough and some nausea, probably an early case, especially as it was the day we left the three days on the ship. It lingers for several weeks. The only time my hubby has been ill over several years three times now has been when he caught things from Ill Tauck people.
    There is small print on Tauck insurance that in extreme circumstances that they can decide to give a credit rather refund for a cancellation. If so many people cancel and Tauck goes under, you can even say goodbye to that I guess.

  • An interesting article I just read recommends a wait and see approach for European travel already booked for April departures and beyond.

    https://yahoo.com/lifestyle/time-cancel-trip-europe-because-162500327.html

    Things seem to be changing almost hourly on the Covid-19 issues. We are anxiously waiting to hear anything from Tauck but our plan now is to proceed with the trip in April.

  • JohnS, we are on the classic Italy 4/20 tour, not small groups. Same here, our tour and the ones around it were sold out, not anymore. I’m trying to find out our options and supposedly the TA is working on it. If I hear anything I’ll let you know as well. Thanks for starting this.

  • We're off to Sicily 4/17 (happens to be a reschedule) and just received our Green Book, nothing yet for Amalfi 4/30, both land tours, both also with shifting availability. Fingers and toes crossed. I have to think Herculaneum and the Valley of the Temples won't be closed :-)

  • I just noticed that the trip scheduled for April 5th, which is just prior to our trip on the 19th is no longer showing up on the Tauck website. https://www.tauck.com/tours/classic-italy-small-group-tour?tcd=its2020#pricing

    I am assuming that Tauck has cancelled this departure. We have heard nothing from Tauck that our departure has been cancelled. We did get our Green Book a few days ago. Being retired there are no employment vacation schedule issues to deal with but there are other issues such as care for the dog, house etc. I am pretty sure that someone who is still employed and scheduled a vacation would have a bigger concern than we do. The trip is paid for and we had Tauck book business class air so there is bit of money involved. (We have usually been booking our own air but had Tauck do it this time) We also booked the Island of Capri excursion.

    Reading through other threads, there appear to be quite a few frustrated people. We have not called Tauck as of yet, but I am sure the Tauck folks are as frustrated as the rest of us. I also don’t like waiting in 30 or 40 minute phone queues.

    If anyone has information on what Tauck does when a tour is cancelled I would like to know.

  • JohnS, I went and looked at std. classic Italy tours and yes they cancelled the two prior to ours which is 4/20. We have already decided not to go, so it’s going to be interesting. Wish we could hear from people that were on those tours.

  • John S we just received notice from our travel agent that all April trips are cancelled. We were scheduled for the April 5 trip. Tauck told her we could rebook for May or June or we can get a refund minus the insurance cost.

  • My husband and I just spoke with a Tauck representative about our trip to the Amalfi Coast & Rome scheduled to leave on 4/18. They are still planning to run that tour and suggested we hold tight for a week or two if we can. They pointed out that, under the protection program, whether we cancel now or Tauck cancels, we're entitled to a refund of the trip cost. Either way, the amount we paid for the insurance gets credited towards a future trip. As we see it, the biggest risk is that Tauck decides to only offer credits towards future trips rather than refunds (which they're entitled to do as I read the terms of the ins. plan). My husband is more optimistic than I and is still holding out hope that the virus situation will take a turn for the better by mid-April. Although I have been looking forward to this trip, I'm skeptical that things will drastically improve by then.

  • By the way, there was no wait to speak with a Tauck rep.

  • Thanks for all the comments. I think a call to Tauck is in order just to get some clarification. If the trip goes as scheduled, we are not adverse to going. Just taking extra precautions such as frequent hand sanitizer, no European Kissing etc. We took a trip to the UK in 1982 during the midst of the Falklands Island war when it was advised not to travel to the UK. The plane was less than half full and we had lie flat seats in coach before they even invented lie flat seats. (not anywhere near as comfortable as todays lie flat seats) :)

  • Talked to a Tauck rep a few minutes ago and she said a notice will be coming out tomorrow detailing what is happening to current trips and options for tours that have not been canceled. I was concerned about my 3 June Amsterdam to Milan tour. Also had concerns about my follow on trip on the QE2 leaving on 22 June out of LeHave, since I got a notice from Cunard about “advanced screening” for anyone coming from Italy within the last 14 days of embarkation. Advance screening entails lots of questions of where you have been and temperature taken before you can get aboard. If you have a high temperature you can not get aboard. If your temperature is within limits then you can get aboard but must be further monitored while aboard.

  • Just got off the phone with Tauck and our trip is indeed cancelled. They are in the process of calling all the affected people but I happened to call before they called me. They are refunding 100% of the trip and air costs and keeping the insurance payment in escrow to be used for a future trip. The Tauck rep handled everything very well and I am very pleased with the professionalism. We now need to figure out where we can go in April or May satisfy our travel itch we have had for the past couple of months anticipating our Italy trip.

  • I just found out our tour is cancelled as well, classic italy4/20. The gave full refund, we signed up for 4/21 classic Italy, next year.
    I have been vocal that Tauck needed to do the right thing and they did.

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