Abercrombie & Kent - Comparison with Tauck

I am a Tauck loyalist, to the bone, but thinking about a trip with Abercrombie. Any thoughts, suggestions, experiences, and advice would be most welcome.

Comments

  • We have been in tandem with A and K on two of our tours, China and K and T, if I remember correctly. Example, Tauck went on to Hong Kong when A and K went home and their tour cost more, it might have been a smaller group but not that much smaller.
    If they have a better itineraries and dates that suit you, go for it, if not then I think Tauck is as good but cheaper.

  • I have been on both. I think that decision can depend on where you want to go. Yes, I’m a Tauck loyalist as well but sometimes, don’t you think, it depends on the itinerary? Some people compare dollar to dollar and which offers more bang for the buck. A&K is definitely one or two notches above Tauck. Is it a cruise you’re looking at ie land tour? I went to India with A&K as well as Antarctica much before that and it was a luxurious trip to say the least. Are you looking at the most fabulous hotels that exist or does that matter to you? If you have a true blue travel agent, ask what their opinion is. I only traveled with A&K because I wasn’t aware of Tauck at the time. Since then I’ve been in a dozen Tauck trips. Sometimes, I have to say, that I do enjoy mixing it up a bit, and seeing what another company had to offer. You really can’t go wrong with either.

  • Have only studied A&K online. Their small groups max out at 18, but of course no GoT. Sometimes I have to reject Tauck because cooler months are not offered, but in the end it is the itinerary that decides. I met a woman on Tauck Puglia who had just completed two back-to-back A&K tours (what can I say, I seek out the wealthy) and she said it was close, but she preferred Tauck. Tauck HK stay is cursory at best (a problem that has made me reject a number of T tours) and I wouldn't be surprised if it gets dropped given the political climate. So far it's my favorite city in Asia.

  • I just completed back to back trips of Tauck's "Week in Portugal" and A&K's "Spain: 7 Cities." Both trips were the same size -- 22 vs. 23 people. Tauck won hands down! Our tour director, Laura Nunez, was much better than the A&K tour director, whom my daughter (who was with me on the A&K portion of the trip) described as "a chaos monkey" (though I will say that he did add a few extras, such as an evening walk in Madrid and a bullfight in Sevilla, for those who wanted to participate). Tauck did more to help people get to know each other. I find it very helpful to have the list of participants and where they're from. It helps me to remember names. For Tauck's opening reception, we had name tags, mingled over cocktails and introduced ourselves to individuals and to the group. A&K's opening reception was seating at tables for 4 in the hotel bar, where we just conversed with the other 2 people at the table until the tour director just read off the schedule for the trip from the material that we had received when we checked in to the hotel. There was no list of participants until several days into the tour when the tour director handed out a hand-written list of names without any other information. I also appreciate the fact that Tauck tour directors (on this and other tours) gave people the opportunity to eat dinner with others on the nights that the meals are included, at whatever time we wished by sending around sign-up sheets with times and spaces for the names of people with whom we wanted to eat, with the option of "anyone." On the A&K trip, we flew from Barcelona to Granada, where we had to pick up our bags from the carousel and bring them across the parking lot to the coach. (Not a big deal, I know, but Tauck would have had someone there to transport the luggage.). Our farewell dinner with Tauck was at a lovely palace, where we had cocktails on the palace grounds and had group photos taken (not the official Tauck photos like in pre-Covid days). The farewell dinner with A&K was at a restaurant with several tables where there was no opportunity to mingle...and the meal went on forever, until people just peeled off to go back to the hotel, with no real opportunity to say good bye. I anticipate that I will travel with A&K again, when Tauck does not offer a tour to that area (as I did to Egypt when Tauck wasn't going there, and as I hope to do to Turkey once the Blue Mosque reopens), but given a choice between them, it's no contest!

  • edited June 25

    Very helpful and quite different experiences, MCD. i wonder whether the small groups were possibly covid-related. I for one am not looking forward to my upcoming maskless reception, having not been in an indoor group in ages. I will be the one in the corner with my mask, esp. having just stepped off a plane of naked faces. I have been on several tours, mostly non-Tauck, where we made suggestions and took actions to help the group coalesce; granted, that should be the job of a good TD. [Then there's the RS tour last century when the group fired the TDs, at least for a day, and put the bus driver in charge; I heard we are still known in Edmonds as the "group from hell."]

  • Market Art, when we took the China Hong Kong tour with Tauck, we stayed two extra days. My husband would spend twenty four hour layovers in HK back in the day of business travel before HK went back to China, he always promised to take me there and it took him 23 years to do that 😀 He knew what to do and what we should see, so we told the fabulous TD, Larry, one of our favorites who we have had twice now and he arranged a day trip to Lantau Island for us after the tour. My husband had never manage to get there. It turned out to be the best part of the trip. Another couple asked to join us. We stopped to look at the view of all the suspension bridges, then on a beach, toured through a small fishing village, went to the monastery high on the hill with the big Buddha, had lunch there and then took the long cable car down over the bay with stunning views.
    That tour will probably not run again for many years, I’m glad we went, it was November 2019, Hong Kong had all the riots, friends and family didn’t want to us to go. As soon as we saw Larry, we knew he would keep us safe. Yes, a number of our tour group came down with a mysterious fever and cough that lasted a couple of weeks…yikes was my hubby one of those who brought Covid here!

  • milmil
    edited June 25

    Abercrombie & Kent - has 98% same itineraries and uses same hotels, but they doble the $$$ and if you are going solo! ...
    PRAY TO THE LORD FOR MERCY!!!! Their single supplement is a complete Rip-Off.

  • We traveled to Italy once and had a good tour director. Lo and behold, we board a Tauck river cruise many years later and saw that A&K tour guide who is now a tour guide on Tauck. This was in 2919. It’s a small world after all.

  • When I went to Egypt with A&K, the "tour director" for the time we were in Cairo told me that he also did the Tauck tours before Tauck stopped going there...and the escort who took me to the airport in Amman following my Tauck Israel & Jordan tour told me that he also worked with A&K.

  • edited June 26

    British, Gosh, sounds like your group may have unknowingly been right there at Ground Zero; I wonder whether anyone sought medical assistance when they got home. And has it contributed to your uber-immunity? With HK's future so problematic, I do not expect to be back anytime soon. I was there in early 2018 after a Natl Geo winter tour to Hokkaido. So glad I made that detour. Btw last I heard quarantine upon arrival was still required for travel to China.

  • Yes, my husband had to see the doctor, but whoever heard of testing for Covid then, and anyway, we went to K and T within weeks. My husband who is normally very fit….neither of us usually get colds….he has caught bad upper respiratory illnesses on two Tauck tours from others on the tour. One time, the ongoing complications nearly killed him.

  • I've written before about the cold that hit our Patagonia group. I'm starting to think that Tauck's crazy schedules are just not healthy. I'm not very good at getting to bed early (usually up til midnight) and can easily end up sleep-deprived on tour. When I travel on my own, I confess I usually arrive at breakfast at 9.

  • edited June 26

    Market Art. Crazy schedules do not cause illness, bacteria and viruses do. I remember another tour , the India one where a couple coming from the airport with us, one had a cold, obviously a fever.. by the end of the tour it had passed to many of us, and yes including my hubby. I wash my hands a lot! I’ve spent a lot of my life sleep deprived, I worked a lot of night shifts, often being awake twenty four hours at a time. I rarely get ill from infections, other things, well, it hasn’t done my BP any favors.

  • MarketArt
    I've written before about the cold that hit our Patagonia group. I'm starting to think that Tauck's crazy schedules are just not healthy

    It's being cooped up on a bus for hours with a group of people, not sleep schedule.

    On one trip I did (long before Covid), someone came on the bus on day 1 with a hacking cough. About a week later, half the group had it.

  • Some will snicker and call it voodoo, but I always travel with zinc and ginger in multiple forms. Always. And I have every intention of continuing to wear a mask around large groups of people. Besides, I have a 97 year old who is determined to visit Normandy next year.

  • Thanks for the feedback. My curiosity centers around trips or itineraries that each offer. The thought being that perhaps A & K offers something Tauck doesn't cover. And, secondly, whether or not for the increased prices charged at A & K is worth it. I have friends who've done A & K and their reviews are mixed; however some have not experienced Tauck so I've been accused of pushing them a bit towards Tauck. Thanks again for all the responses.

  • edited June 26

    Well, the voodoo works for me, placebo or not. I'm often hopped up on antioxidants, and since covid have added elderberry to the mix, along with the usual ginger and turmeric, the best green tea I can find (first flush shincha just released from Shizuoka, no Bigelow thanks) + sacha inchi seeds or butter (Brass Roots in N'awlins), and that's just the tip of my iceberg. I prefer to eat or drink "supplements" as whole foods, and yes, I pack some of these for travel.

  • Ah, don’t get me started on supplements that are not even FDA regulated. But here is a fact, supplements can be illegally to take into such countries as Australia and maybe Japan, I’m not sure on just one….some time ago, someone here got supplements confiscated in Australia

  • Sounds like British is galvanized against Zinc. At least we know kfnknfzk won't rust. Regarding Ginger, I always preferred MaryAnn.

  • You make me laugh, BKMD. It must be the NY connection.

    I think MarketArt and I need to plan a trip together.

  • We’ve been on 8 A& K trips…as others have stated, because Tauck didn’t offer the country or the itinerary at the time. We’ve done Africa * with both…A&K to East Africa, Tauck to South Africa. Hard to compare since the trips were so different. We went to Myanmar after Tauck discontinued their trip and loved every minute of it. Now of course it’s unsafe and unwise politically. What we’ve observed is A&K use local/native tour Directors where Tauck always has a TD apart from the local guides. We enjoy the TDs that can add so much country flavor and information but at the end of the day, it’s good to have a native English speaking tour Director. Especially when they are outstanding. We often compare the itineraries and dates and make decisions accordingly. 15 Tauck vs 8 A&K in the last 23 years says it all. We’ve been blessed to travel the world…trips are booked through early 2024…pray our health and our world allow us to travel.

  • Are we referring to Gilligans Island again? You guys make me want to have a drink.

  • OurTravels34 -- On a 3 hour tour!

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