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How to hire private tour guides, through Rick Steves?

Venice, Italy: October 4, 2021 - 8:30am - 1:30pm - tours with guide "easy to moderate difficulty" what options and prices?

Dubrovnik, Croatia: October 6, 2021 - 8:30am - 9:00pm " " " " " "

Kotor, Montenegro: Ocrober 7, 2021 - 8:30 am - 4:00pm " " " " " "

Corfu, (Kerkyra) Greece: October 8, 2021 - 8:30am - 4:30pm " " " " " "

Athens, (Piraeus) Greece: October 10-11th 2021 - 8:30am - 4:30pm " " " " "
( on October 10th we are overnight and would be interested in evening activities and or dinner.)

Crete, (Heraklion) Greece: October 13 2021 - 8:30 - 5:30pm tours with guide "easy to moderate difficulty" what options and prices?

Ephesus, (Kusadasi) Turkey: October 14th 2021 - 8:30am - 5:30pm " " " "

Istanbul, Turkey: October 16th 2021 - 8:30am - unsure of time we must return to ship......" " "

I appreciate your prompt response and help with finding Great guides to enhance our travels!
We are traveling with another couple who may want to tour with us on some of these excursions!
Gods Blessings on all of you and yours during these difficult times!
William and Debra Farris

Posted by
25720 posts

hi gasmeters, William and Debra,

I don't have an answer for you, but as this is your first post, both Welcome, and be aware that for folks who do reply they will not be replying on behalf of Rick Steves or his company unless in the rare occasion a staffer replies. If a staffer does reply they will have a round blue Rick Steves badge next to their name (the same place that a star appears next to mine).

We are all fellow travellers here, answering (mostly) from our own personal knowledge. Nice folks here, but we don't speak for the company or the leader of the band.

Posted by
20 posts

Get RS Mediterranean Cruise Ports guidebook. It is available at RS website or on Amazon. Includes names and contact information of guides in most of the ports you mentioned. We used RS Baltic Cruise Ports guidebook to book private guides in many Baltic ports. Much better than the expensive and crowded tours sold by cruise line.

Posted by
21192 posts

Personally, I would go to the TI in each city and hire you guides there. You can often speak with to check your understanding of their English skills and to customize the tour for you. We have always had very good luck doing that. The one problem with arranging guides in advance especially for outdoor tours is the weather. That is why we often wait till on site to determine if we will be inside or out.

Also, since it looks like you are on a cruise, there will be all kinds of guides to choose from when you get off the ship. We have always had good luck with those guides.

And Rick Steves is a not a booking agency for the guides that work for him. If the guide is available he/she will be listed in his guide book with a contact point -- generally email address.

Posted by
2041 posts

If you go to Toursbylocals.Com they have a link to private guides for cruises. At the top of the page just click on Cruise Excursions.

Posted by
1646 posts

Under "Our Tours" on this website you will find "Guides' Marketplace":

New! Guides for Hire
We're excited to launch this "Guides for Hire" directory, a fun and creative way for you to connect with our amazing friends in Europe. As teachers at heart, they're itching for the chance to connect with independent travelers and bring meaning to your next European adventure.

To keep things simple, these guides have agreed to a fixed, discounted rate — you simply email them, set a date for your tour, and tell them what you're interested in seeing and doing. This is an excellent value for any traveler wanting to get the very most out of their 2021 trip, with the luxury of having their own private Rick Steves tour guide.

And if you need a hand with building your itinerary, setting priorities, and figuring out transportation for your upcoming European vacation, we're currently offering 50 percent off our in-house Trip Consulting Services.

Posted by
12365 posts

I can give you the names of the guides I used in Istanbul, Croatia and Montenegro over the years. All good as I did my homework. PM me if you are interested.

Posted by
5965 posts

gas1meter1, if these are all cruise ports, you'll find a bunch of reviews and information on cruise ports, guides and excursions, at the website cruisecritic.com. Its a difficult site to navigate, but you can ask for specific help from other cruisers in the cruise forums.

Posted by
7906 posts

The TI is not always your best place to find a guide. Sometimes they are and sometimes they aren't. If they are selling their own tours, no other guides will be recommended. Tours by Locals? Unless the guide is willing to pay 20-25% commission, you won't always find good guides there either. Get Your Guide? Same thing. Viator? Same thing. Air BnB experiences? Same thing. All of these companies charge a large commission to guides just to be listed.

RS Marketplace? Great guides, but they all work for Rick Steves anyway as guides. They don't let any other guides join their marketplace. I was hoping that they would let other guides join during the pandemic, when most of the guides in Europe were not allowed to work.

Use Google and Trip Advisor to find your guides and read their reviews, but don't book with them. Book direct.