We took this tour while in Munich yesterday. Our tour guides name was Maxine. She was knowledgeable and was able to provide us with a wealth of information we could never been able to learn without her assistance. She was able to handle various incidents involving participants with grace and ease while still maintaining her goals for the day. It was an overwhelming tour. Certainly not fun, but was so informative. She created an environment of respect and dignity for the victims of Dachau. Our appreciation cannot be measured. We highly recommend this tour to anyone who wishes to understand Nazi concentration camps better. Thank you Maxine.
Thanks for your review of the Radius tour to Dachau. We did the Radius tour too, and we were glad we did. We found our guide to be very knowledgable and happy to answer all questions. As you said, Dachau isn't a fun destination, but I think everyone should see firsthand what happened to so many millions of people.
Carol, in my opinion, location is the main reason to choose Dachau. There are better preserved and more memorable concentration camp memorials that you could visit if they are along your route. For me, these included Mauthausen near Vienna, Buchenwald near Weimar, and Auschwitz near Krakow. I have not been to Sachsenhausen near Berlin. See also a short list at http://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/read/articles/sobering-sites-of-nazi-europe. There are others.
Did you also take one of the tours given by the Memorial for 3€ ($4)? So how can you compare it to the 22€ ($29) tour you took?
Memorial guides have to take a much more extensive training course than do outside guides, but I suspect that the outside guides are just Memorial guides, with all of their training, who have been hired away by Radius, et al. In 2009, I went out to Dachau on the MVV pass I was already using and took their own tour for 3€. I was very pleased with my guide and her knowledge of Dachau, and I didn't have to pay almost $30.
What were the "incidents involving participants"? (referred to in OP)
Additional parts about taking a tour like Radius, is that the price of the tour includes your transport ticket for the day, as well a professional guide that is with you the entire time. The ride to Dachau and back is not conducted in silence. The guide will be telling stories, relating historical facts, and giving insights as to the hows and whys of this time period. A good guide will be spending hours on each tour, and if spending 22 euro for 6 hours of guiding sounds like a lot, it isn't. Where else can you get something like this for about 2.50 € an hour?
The guides on these tours spend an enormous amount of time on research, not just memorizing a script. This is an extremely sensitive subject and needs to be presented in a professional way. Imagine if there is a survivor on their tour, or one of their children?
I really wish that posters who have not participated in these kinds of tours would stop denigrating them and putting them down. What is the purpose of doing this?
There is enormous value in going on a tour that is well researched and well planned. If one doesn't see this, why constantly try to make people feel bad about their choices? Our OP felt this tour was very special and really good. Why try to take something away from them? Just step away from the keyboard and let people be happy with what they spent their money on.
Very well said Ms. Jo. There is more to the tour than the tour that is done at Dachau. This was a trip report from someone who enjoyed their trip, not someone asking for advice.
Why do some people feel the need to criticize others who choose to do things differently than they do? We see this too frequently when people who want a car are told a train is always cheaper, so therefore better. Or people who want luggage with wheels are told that they shouldn't use wheels because it adds weight, and everyone must use a backpack. If I want to have the freedom of using a car and don't mind spending the money, that's my business. Maybe someone who wants wheeled luggage can't, or just doesn't want to carry a backpack. Okay, rant over. :-)
Of course people are free to spend there money however the see fit, but I would be remiss if I didn't inform people of better, IMO, alternatives. I'm not trying to denigrate anyone, but I do feel that those who write in saying it had to have been better (because they paid more) when they have nothing to compare it to, are just trying to justify a questionable decision.
No one has ever been able to show me that you get anything more from the 3rd party tour than you get from a tour by Memorial trained guides. Has anyone ever taken both? I know I got plenty of information in the 3 hours I was there, and, BTW, there was a "survivor" on our tour, not from Dachau, but from Ravenbrück. Our guide was very respectful and let her explain her experience.
The Memorial's tour takes 2½ hrs (150 minutes) plus there is a 20 min film (so 170 min, total - almost 3 hours, and the tour company's site says the whole guided trip takes 5 hours (300 min), so they are only giving you an extra 2 hours, most of it on a crowded, noisy S-Bahn or on a public bus with no PA system. Since the Memorial's tour costs 3€ and the movie is free, the net cost of the 3rd party tour is 19€. That's more like 9€/hour, most of it on public transportation.
As for travel cost, IF you are staying with walking distance of the Hbf and do no other traveling in Munich that day, you would need the whole cost of a München XXL Tageskarte (8,10€ single, 14,20 partner). But realistically, you probably will need an Innenraum Tageskarte (6,00€ single, 11,20€ partner), if only to get to the Hbf, so a single person only saves 2,10€ on transportation, two save 1,50€ each. When I went to Dachau, I was going on two the airport that evening, so I had a Gesamtnetz Tageskarte anyway, so the trip out cost me nothing.
Yes, Lee, but you do denigrate and insult people and the decisions that they have made quite often.
It is one thing to offer advice when someone asks for it, before they go on their trip, not after.
The OP posted a review of their tour and how much they enjoyed it. They said their appreciation can't be measured. They never asked if they got their moneys worth, or if they made the right decision to go on this tour or if they should have done something else. It was just a review.
So how about following your own suggestion, since no one else has complained about the cost of a tour except for you? Go on one of these tours that you feel are such a waste of money and then come back and let us know. I will even pay for it. Let me know the next time you will be in Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt, Büdingen, or Stuttgart and I will shell out the cash.
Someone asked about the incidents that I referred to in my original post. We had 2 people arrive late and almost miss the train. Another woman sprained her knee and could not walk.
I'm glad you enjoyed your tour and it sounds like you got a lot out of it. When we took a tour of Auschwitz, I had already read a lot about it, but just seeing it, and being surrounded by it was very moving.
thanks for the information on Maxine and Radius tours.