Holland and Belgium in the Spring 2022 - departing April 18

Has Tauck got any idea if Holland will be opening up for this trip? Currently, everything is closed, including all the major museums. I believe the Netherlands Govt. has asked most workers to work remotely, if possible, and there is a curfew. How many of you readers still plan to take this trip? This will be the third year we have tried. If travel occurs, I would appreciate insight on packing. I have read weather can be cold and rainy. We are planning to arrive early to Amsterdam and staying in a hotel on one of the major canals. We then will transfer to the W designated hotel the night before we board boat. I would greatly appreciate any input.

Comments

  • No one here would know. Just keep watching the news and see if the situation changes. Having done 2 Tauck tours last fall we kept watching up to the last minute worrying that restrictions would change and our trips would be canceled. Glad we hung in there though - unlike many who canceled - because the tours were fantastic and worth the worry.

    Yes, plan on cold rainy weather. I've been to Amsterdam in Oct and in Jun and both times got rained on. Particularly cold in Oct. The wind just sort of whistles down thru the canyons formed by the canals/houses.

    Pack so you can layer as needed and don't worry a lot about dress up clothes. When we were there in Oct there were almost no women in dresses or men in sport coats. Bring a sweater for the evening. It can be chilly sitting next to the outer wall in the dining room for dinner. And days will be short compared to summer cruises.

  • GatorMom,

    As of just a few days ago The Netherlands began to slowly open up, including shops, restaurants and museums. Hopefully the trend will continue as you get closer to your trip.

    April, especially mid to late April, is ideal weather wise. Early mornings and evenings can be cool, but most days should be in the mid to late 50s. Rain in April is not likely but can certainly occur. More than likely you might experience a brief and light sprinkle.

    I agree that a layered wardrobe is the best way to pack with mix and match outfits being the best. Dressing up for dinner on the boat is a personal choice. I like to bring one simple dress, one pair of dress slacks, two dressy tops and some scarves. On our last river cruise, my husband opted for dressy shirts and sweaters instead of a coat and tie. Again, do what you feel comfortable doing.

    I will look forward to reading your review. Stay safe and well.

  • Going on the same cruise in April. Fingers crossed.

  • Hi everybody traveling Easter week! We are looking forward to our trip. Our only worry is getting the PCR test. First, it is finding a place to test, then getting the results in the time frame required. Any tips on this? I am so done with this virus. I just want to enjoy my trip!

  • Neve, it depends on where you live. Most people in my state get theirs scheduled at a local pharmacy like Walgreens or CVS unless it's part of a preop routine. Does your state dept of health have a website with resources/information? Does your insurance provider have information?.

  • Has anyone else been informed that their Holland/Belgium river cruise has been cancelled? My travel agent called yesterday to say my 4/20/22 sailing isn't happening because of "supply chain" issues affecting the refurbishment of the ship. My count-down clock still indicates that the cruise is leaving in 12+ days. Left a message for Tauck Customer Service yesterday, but promised call-back never happened.

  • I’m on 4/18 and it’s still a go, as far as I know. Different ship, of course. If Tauck notified your travel agent, it is probably true, unfortunately. If the source is somewhere else, it may or may not be correct.

    If it is cancelled, it looks like there is still availability on later tours.

  • The ms Inspire was completely renovated in 2020. It appears you have been given misinformation. Moreover, Tauck would have contacted you by now if there was an issue. Perhaps I am wrong.

  • Yes, learned of cancellation last night. Have 9 girls going - 2 years in planning -and just like that it's canceled?

  • on hold now with Tauck. Also have countdown clock still running. The "cancel" email was not addressed as usual, so hopefully not true.

  • Like Dottie D, we are on the 4/18 trip and it's still a go as far as we know. Hope things work out for you for the 4/20 trip!

  • just got off the phone w/Tauck and they said the 4/20 trip is canceled. :'( You should probably call Tauck directly to verify for yourself.

  • Yes, our 4/20 trip on the Inspire was cancelled- supply chain issues. Was notified by email by Tauck and immediately called them. After a long wait time on the phone, I did get through to them. They were very nice and my husband and I were able to re-book for a northbound cruise a week later. Since we made the air through Tauck, they handled that as well. They offered us $ each for the inconvenience. I now have some tickets to the Anne Frank museum/house and Van Gogh museum available (they were non-refundable). Tauck has been great. They have been inundated with calls. I hope the Inspire will be ready a week later. Otherwise, we will be out of luck.

  • I apologize for my prior post doubting the cancelation. Although terribly disappointing, Tauck will make it right for those guests impacted. I just hope there is not a ripple effect.

  • Update: As prior posters have noted, the 4/20 sailing was cancelled. Although I received no communication from Tauck (not even a call-back from a message), my travel agent came through. Sister & I spent 1-1/2 hours with her yesterday rebooking on the 4/24 sailing of the Esprit. Yes, we will receive some $$, but our airfare will likely be more expensive; I think Tauck should be responsible for the upcharge, but I'm not holding my breath. Another inconvenience: Our excursion choices didn't transfer to the new booking & the pre-sail choice option is closed. Hope the Tauck rep on the ship can help with this. I'm not sure that Tauck has really "made it right," although Sister & I are still looking forward to our trip!

  • Gosh Linda, so sorry that happened to you. Its curious that you said Tauck didn't notify you. Was your tour booked through your travel agent? Tauck's policy is that they communicate directly with the person who does the booking, i.e. travel agent, not the client. We did this trip a few years back and it is really fun.

  • edited April 10

    When Tauck consolidated one of our tours, they paid us the difference in how much extra our flights would cost.
    I’m sure you will be able to change your excursion choices when you arrive.
    Yes, you contact is your Travel agent, not Tauck, so they are not obliged to contact you. So In effect your might not be getting the whole story from your agent, if they did not ask the right questions then maybe that is why you don’t know about the possibility of getting compensation for other flight prices, which so late may cost you hundred of dollars more.

  • @LindaB
    We were to sail on the MS Inspire leaving tomorrow from Brussels and out trip was cancelled due to the ship not being finished with refurbishing and maintenance. We were very disappointed. Could not re-book on another tour to include the Floriade.

  • LindaB: I am also sailing on the April 24 departure of the Esprit (followed by a "back to back" cruise on the "Treasures" doing more of the ports in Holland and an extra day at the Floriade) and I hope to meet you and your sister. I will be traveling as a solo so hopefully I will be easy to identify. Safe travels until we meet up in Brussels.

  • I was just wondering, is this connected to Scylla's temporary re-assigning a few boats to their subsidiary Viva Cruises GmbH for a year or so and in some cases repainting them in Viva blue, etc.? According to the Scylla website, Inspire got refurbished in 2020 and Esprit got a total renovation in the winter of 2017/2018.

    It is hard to tell what is going on now in 2022, but according to Cruise Mapper, MS Inspire was renamed "VIVA Inspire" (MS Esprit was renamed Viva Esprit), since 2021 the riverboat is full-time chartered to VIVA Cruises GmbH (Scylla-owned subsidiary and travel brand). For VIVA Cruises, in summer 2021 both boats (VIVA Inspire and VIVA Treasures) offer 4-night river cruise . . . . There is no update for 2022, but both ships were supposed to return to Tauck livery. The boats are not listed on Viva's cruise search page.

    All are currently in Belgium.

  • Thanks for the replies; I hadn't realized that Tauck would use our travel agent as the default for communication. Fortunately, our agent is stellar & we're all set to travel (fingers crossed!). As it turns our, our airfare hasn't increased - yay!. Sister & I will look forward to meeting smark50 in Brussels. People mistake Sister & me for twins, so we should be easy to spot.

  • We must have hit the window for our next tour where Tauck sent an email about changes in requirements, masking, etc. I noted this at the end of the email:

    "A Final Thought: Expecting the Unexpected
    The global recovery from the pandemic will not be even across destinations. There will be setbacks, bumps and surprises along the way. Supply chain issues and labor shortages will continue to create service challenges in some destinations. We are well prepared to make adjustments as needed to deliver the Tauck experience you expect. So, please bring a flexible attitude and a spirit of adventure, and be ready for the trip of a lifetime. We are ready."

    Last year when we went ahead with our Normandy/Brittany tour it turned out to be wonderful. In part due to great weather, a fun knowledgeable TD and a small group of 9. But the 9 that went on the tour had flexible attitudes and a spirit of adventure. We were all just so happy to be traveling again.

    Lesson learned - no the trip you reserved back how ever many months (years?) ago might not be exactly the one you planned, but it can still be a great time. Go enjoy.

  • I was desperate to travel last year so in addition to a cruise on the Mississippi I went to Kenya and Tanzania, there were only 4 people in that tour a couple, my friend and me, it was absolutely wonderful.

  • gladysorlando984: I can beat that - I did the "Northern Italy" trip with Tauck in September and there were only three of us - a mother and daughter and me. We traveled around in a small van and had a grand time. A lot of work for the TD (for few tips) but she said she had a grand time too, and it was her first trip since COVID started.

  • smarks50 - I don't know about the couple in the K & T trip but my friend and I went really extra on the tip to the TD realizing how she did the same work as if there were 20 people in the tour.

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