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All RS Tours Cancelled Through September 6th Start Date

All Rick Steves' Europe tours are cancelled through September 6, 2020. We are not currently accepting new bookings or final payments for any tours in 2020, as we wait to see how the fall season unfolds.

https://www.ricksteves.com/tours/coronavirus-faq

I'm sure everyone who had signed up has already received the email. Just posting for those who might be interested.

Posted by
1619 posts

My tour is 2 days from the cutoff! I will go if the tour runs.

Posted by
317 posts

Yikes! Mine is 3 days from September 6. Oh, please, oh please, let me travel to Italy this September!!

Posted by
994 posts

Our tour was cx today for 9/2. We weren’t going to go anyway. Just too much uncertainty with this virus to take such a risk.

Posted by
674 posts

I've got a Oct 6th start date and I'm beginning to think that i's probably not going to happen. I miss Europe!!

Posted by
48 posts

This made me chuckle actually. My tour starts on 07 SEP. We were traveling with another couple that we met on our last RS tour. We have already decided as a group to reschedule for next year. It is heartbreaking though.

Posted by
460 posts

Aargh! I've been trying to be patient, but this waiting is SO hard! Our tour is scheduled for September 14th. For a couple of months I held out hope things would be better by then, but now I just want the official word the tour is cancelled so that I move on and make other plans (md appointments, etc) for the fall. I would like to attempt to get my money back from the airline, pre-booked tours, pre/post tour hotels, etc. I fear the longer I wait, the harder that is going to be. We ceased all planning for this trip in March, don't have a house/pet sitter lined up, etc. If the trip does happen, we'll be incredibly unprepared....yet it seems absurd to be looking for a house sitter at this point. I'd just like some certainty! And I know I can cancel and put the deposit toward a 2022 trip, but I don't feel I have that kind of flexibility. I could lose my job, and having the cash on hand would keep us in groceries for more than a month.... I will definitely reschedule this tour down the road, if at all possible....but I need to be in control of that. At this point I'm just hoping we don't have to wait another 6 weeks or longer for the cancellation. If it's not going to happen (and we strongly suspect that's going to be the case, as Italy hasn't given any indication they'll be welcoming American tourists back this year....) please tell us soon! Thank you!

Posted by
501 posts

Sorry Ruth but tough love time. You are in charge. Period.
Act now as if the 2020 tour is cancelled. Kaput. A no go. Decision done. RS will probably cancel in the near future and you will see your deposit refund then. And if by a miracle the tour goes RS is not pressing for the final payment now so you can be the one cancelling (if he doesn’t). The worst that can happen then is you get a credit for your deposit on the books good for 2 yrs. You could lose your job the day before you leave or the day after you return then what....seriously, if a simple tour deposit will have any effect what-so-ever on your financial stability the last thing you should be doing is international travel. Get a couple years of living expenses in the bank then return to Europe.

As for other trip expenses, start unwinding them now...well hold off on cancelling Air if you bought it- wait and see if the flight is cancelled for refund vs voucher purposes. You are easily in control- just do it—-intelligently .

Posted by
1571 posts

Ruth, the waiting is not fun. I know - I waited for my RS tour in May to be cancelled and am now waiting to see if my flight to Poland in September will be cancelled. In spite of what our minds may expect, our travel hearts are slower to catch up.

I will mention, however, that in checking for my same tour in September, I see each departure now says "full," whereas pre-pandemec they would have said "Join waitlist." I checked other tours (but not all) and saw the same. That speaks loudly. But - well I know - it's not the same as knowing with certainty.

Posted by
501 posts

CW- ALL RS Tours now say Full. They are not accepting any new bookings (nor any final payments) on any remaining tour for 2020. It doesn’t mean it is “full” in the traditional sense; everything is just frozen until the future is known....

Posted by
171 posts

My tour starts Sept 7, but I am as sure as I can be that it, too, will be cancelled in the next go round. If somehow it is not cancelled by RS, it will be cancelled by me.

Fortunately I have no other sunk expenses - never bought plane tickets, no other pre or post tour deposits or reservations.

Edit: just got the tour email cancellation notice on June 9...

Posted by
464 posts

I have enough trouble getting up the courage to go to Costco every 14 days. My dear wife and I have become quite comfortable with our seclusion and can wait out June to see how the numbers come in. We’re are no hurry to go anywhere or accomplish anything. It can all wait.
More to the topic, dear wife has declared that there will be not raveling for me till at least 2021 and even then, she says, “We shall see.”

Posted by
1571 posts

onefastbob, that's how I was interpreting it as well.

Posted by
19 posts

My Spring 2020 trip to Greece was cancelled. My Turkey trip is mid-September. Waiting to hear about cancellations is death by 1,000 cuts. Even if Europe is cleared, won’t countries place a 14 day quarantine on tourists outside Europe? 2021 will be in question unless a vaccine is developed.

Posted by
1118 posts

"won’t countries place a 14 day quarantine on tourists outside Europe? "

Some countries are not. Italy, Portugal and Greece if I remember correctly. Also some of the former Yugoslavia countries. They are desperate for tourists.

Posted by
42 posts

Back in April, Rick said he was "psychologically prepared to have no tours this year" when interviewed for an LA Times article.

https://www.latimes.com/travel/story/2020-04-10/when-will-we-travel-again

Rick has shown that he is a smart and conscientious business person who values humanity over profit. So, although one can interpret his statement as you wish, if I were Ruth, or others in a similar boat, be prepared to pull the plug.

Mine was pulled a month ago, for my August Scandinavia RS tour, and I appreciate that he did a large block of cancellations at the time, instead of the rolling 2 week cancellations he was doing up until that point. He won't wait unnecessarily long to put you out of your misery. (I think that's just the kind of guy he is, as well as all the staff who work for him. Many other businesses and organizations could learn a thing or two.)

Posted by
1168 posts

I agree and read what Alleyo read in the newspaper. I had read that too. I think that Rick Steves is going to cancel all the tours for the rest of the year. I believe he is doing it in piecemeal. First he cancelled up to August and now September 6. He does not want to overwhelm his staff with the paper work and refunds they have to provide once they cancel the tours. People expect the refunds fairly quickly. If all the tours were to be cancelled all at once, for the rest of the year, then his staff would be working non stop to provide the refunds quickly. It cannont be done, this way, they can do their job and return the funds in a reasonable amount of time without the stress of getting everyone's refund in the mail.

Once they finish up providing all the refunds up to Sept 6, you will see he will cancel tours for September and October. Until he is able to provide all the refunds up to December.

Also has others have pointed out on this forum, if you look at the our tours section, for all the tours, they are all filled. They were not all filled in March and April. I think they said all the tours were all filled, so that no one can sign up for the tours as they are not going to accept deposits on tours for Oct, Nov and Dec and any other tours in all the months for this year. Then they would not have to return the deposits knowing full well they will be cancelling all the tours.

Posted by
19 posts

My September 19 to October 1 trip to Turkey has been cancelled via a Rich Steves email. That will be the 2nd trip Rick Steves cancellation. Let's hope a vaccine will be ready for the 2021 travel season or for 2022.

Posted by
171 posts

My Sept 7 departure to Turkey tour was just cancelled; email said tours up to Sept 20 are now cancelled.

Posted by
3436 posts

Yes, all cancelled through September 20 start.