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Design a New Tour Itinerary?

Hi Guys,

Yes, it's that time again to dream up new itineraries that we would love Uncle Rick to offer!

So, where would you like RS Tours to offer tours, that they don't currently have?

I would love to see a 'Northern Cities' tour, working from Brussels over towards Warsaw.

I ALWAYS look for more Village tours as well.

How 'bout you all?
Gretchen

Posted by
1 posts

I'd love a tour that included England, Scotland and Ireland (maybe Wales). Right now there are individual tours however, a combination similar to Germany, Austria, Switzerland or BPV would be awesome. Similar in length too, 14 days! :)

Posted by
556 posts

@dagraf - RS used to offer this tour MANY years ago (about 10 I believe). I'm not sure when they ended it. Too long perhaps? IIRC, it was 17 or 18 days. I know RS doesn't like to go for more than 14 if possible. :)

Posted by
733 posts

Kiev to Tirana with stops in Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Kosovo and Macedonia.

It will never happen, but I wish it would - and hurry up - time is running out!

Posted by
2118 posts

An interesting topic, I'm thinking a "Best of Poland" tour could be a popular addition, I've noticed a bit of a trend of Americans wanting to explore more of Poland, outside of the typical "3 days in Krakow". Here's a potential itinerary I've drawn up:

"Best of Poland" 13 days
-Warsaw (3 days) - day trip to the medieval town of Torun
-Gdansk (3 days) - day trip to Malbork Castle
-Gniezno (2 days) - day trip to the Iron Age fortified settlement of Biskupin
-Wroclaw (2 days) - day trip to the Churches of Peace in Jawor and Świdnica
-Kraków (3 days) - day trip to the Tatra Mountains

Posted by
1007 posts

i noticed that there is a Best of Andalucia charity dress rehearsal tour scheduled for fall 2019 (already filled up). How about creating a 14 day tour that combines Andalucia and Portugal?

Another idea is to restructure the Eastern Europe tour to include only Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic. The latter part of the current Eastern Europe tour overlaps with the Adriatic tour and covers a lot of countries with considerable bus time.

Idea # 3: Create a 14 day tour that includes Sicily and Malta.

Posted by
1910 posts

Best of Poland tour; split Scotland into two separate tours; Ljubljana city tour (lengthy enough to include a day trip or two; same for Budapest, Berlin, etc); the Baltic States (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia); a French Villages tour similar to Village Italy (different from the current Eastern France tour) . There once was an "Vineyards and Villages" France tour. Can it be brought back or was it too similar itinerary to the current Eastern France tour?
Edit to add: Carlos, I love your itinerary! Missed that post first time around.

Posted by
6351 posts

A tour of Puglia that also includes Matera which is in Bascilata. We easily combined this area with Sicily, independent travel.

Posted by
22 posts

As mentioned above - Malta & Sicily
Regional tours of Britain - Cornwall & Devon, Yorkshire & Lake District, and Highlands & Islands of Scotland.

Posted by
905 posts

Since the current Village trips seem to be popular I’d love to see the 3 week Village Europe trip resurrected.

Posted by
733 posts

Dear scythian,

Not to worry - no one will live that long.

Posted by
6277 posts

I agree with Patricia, a 3 week villages of Europe would be great. I'd also like to see one to Sardinia and Corsica.

Posted by
448 posts

I am not that famywith the tour offered by RS. As I tend to roll my own as it were and just read his books watch his videos and buy some of his stuff. So forgive me if this is offered and I am just unaware of it.
But a Holiday/Christmas tour would be interesting.
I know that the River Cruise do this kind of thing but they are pretty expensive and the boat is not all that great an idea in the cold. It is not like you want to sit outside in the winter.
So a Christmas tour that hits various markets and other “pretty” or “scenic”. Locations would be interesting

Posted by
6277 posts

Douglasjmeyer - not specifically for the Christmas markets, but the Munich, Salzburg, Vienna tour does go several dates in December with the opportunity to see the markets in those cities.

Posted by
556 posts

@Bob - I like your idea of breaking up the Eastern Europe tour into two different ones. There is certainly enough area to be covered that it could be done.

@Patricia and @andi I also like your ideas to resurrect the longer Villages tours and do a different France villages tour as well.

We can all dream...
:)

Posted by
1195 posts

"I know RS doesn't like to go for more than 14 if possible. :)"

It is not that RS dislikes tours more than 14 days but they do not sell well as most Americans do not have more than 2 weeks vacation per year.

Posted by
12213 posts

Kiev to Tirana with stops in Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Kosovo and
Macedonia.

It will never happen, but I wish it would - and hurry up - time is
running out!

Or on that theme, "Eastern Europe Before 'Annexation' " That would be Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova; maybe throw in Montenegro for good measure.

A coastal Eastern Europe tour would be good too; Slovenia to Greece, right down the coast. Lots to see, not easy to do on your own. Good mix of cities, nature, walled cities, modern and ancient history.

It is not that RS dislikes tours more than 14 days but they do not
sell well as most Americans do not have more than 2 weeks vacation per
year.

Anyone know the demographics of a RS tour? I would have guessed older, wealthier, retired, etc? All of whom generally get more than 2 weeks.

WW2 Themed Tour (Poland, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France).

First 2 weeks, the Western front, second 2 weeks the Eastern front. Fred, how much territory did the Russians "liberate" vs the Western powers?

Posted by
8065 posts

I love the idea of Villages of Europe being revived and am on board with Villages of France that Andi proposed.

I did a wonderful Brittany and Normandy tour with Road Scholar that Rick would do very well!!

Quimper-3 nights
Vannes-2 nights
Saint-Malo 3 nights
Caen 3 nights
Rouen 2 nights
Paris 1

I’d change the Caen overnights to Bayeux. It did repeat some sights from Paris and HOF but that wouldn’t bother me altho there is enough in the area that that could be avoided.

Anyone know the demographics of a RS tour? I would have guessed older, wealthier, retired, etc? All of whom generally get more than 2 weeks.

Based on the tours I’ve been on at least half are still working, maybe more. What is older? 60’s? Then maybe the bell curve is largest in that decade. Wealthy? No based on my bank account. Compared to other tour companies, it’s about mid range, cost-wise.

Fun topic!

Posted by
2577 posts

Another vote for "Best of Poland." Kudos to Carlos for your great itinerary!

Posted by
2118 posts

@Janis - thanks, it's actually quite fun "designing" these RS tours!
Currently mulling over what a 12-14 day "Village Spain" tour would look like...

Posted by
3449 posts

When I first started going on RS tours, several were over 14 days. In fact, the very first tour I took was the Germany Austria Switzerland tour and it was 16 days. This worked well with the majority of the RS customers in the earlier days who seemed to be teachers with 3 month summer vacations or retired.

The decision to reduce these trips to maximum 14 days was an attempt to allow more non-retirement aged people to go on them (also the daily events line up better and would seem to be easier to schedule for the group when you are always in the same place on the same day of the week which didn't happen with tours that were longer than 2 weeks but not exactly 3 weeks long). It seems to have worked as there have been more people in their 40s as well as younger couples on many of the tours I have taken since then that were shorter length.

As far as the current demographic, can't really say. I wouldn't say they are the wealthier bunch since those tend to gravitate toward the more full service high end hotels. Not that any of the tour members I have been on RS tours with appeared poor (not that really matters if they were).

Posted by
2118 posts

Well here would be my shot at a "Village Spain" 10 day RS Tour, I chose the region of Extremadura in western Spain, as it's full of time-warped old castles, Roman ruins, medieval villages, and beautiful countryside... a sort of "Spanish Tuscany".

Fly in to Madrid
-Cáceres (2 nights) - day trip to Monfragüe National Park
-Trujillo (2 nights)
-Real Monasterio de Guadalupe (1 night)
-Mérida (2 nights)
-Zafra (1 night)
-Jerez de los Caballeros (2 nights) - day trip to Monesterio (town produces the best jamón ibérico)
Fly out of Sevilla

Posted by
11450 posts

Ive only taken one rs tour -14 day Family Europe - most adults were 35-45 -most kids were 10-16 ( youngest was 8 oldest was 18 ) .

Posted by
11450 posts

As for a new rs tour itinerary- I’d like something I’d be less likely to do on my own - Turkey , Egypt , Morocco for example , we travel to many other countries independently.

Posted by
1792 posts

I appreciate Rick’s approach with tour dates, many beginning on a Monday and ending on a Sunday, for example, which allows those people who work to maximize their limited vacation days. For example, I'm going to Israel with my church group in March, we leave on a Tuesday and come home on a Friday a week later. That’s 8 vacation days! I don’t have to count Tuesday as we leave in the late afternoon. If Rick had designed this itinerary, I’m sure he would have used weekend days.

Posted by
1792 posts

I would like to see a 7 day tour of Berlin and a Greek Islands tour. An 8 day tour of Venice and Florence.

Posted by
7846 posts

I'd like to see a Villages of Germany tour. There are so many beautiful towns here, that too few people on this forum visit because Rick only praises one small town and they think that is the only one or the best one. It isn't.

Something that followed the Half-Timbered Route, but choosing towns that are also historical.

Posted by
844 posts

Hi, Mrs. Jo, I was just looking at an idea I floated in October, and Villages Germany came up then, too. Count me in for that. I especially know little of the north - or of the east!

Myself, I was thinking of a variation of the first half of the GAS tour since the MSV is basically the second half. Something that takes in the Rhine, Alsace, Black Forest, and swings at the end into Switzerland. Run it in December, too, pls for the Christmas markets.

BTW, Eastern France tour is the same as the Vineyards and Villages tour of the past with the exception of where it ends. The ending location has changed several times. This is a fantastic tour taking in such a wide variety of locations. Not sure why the name changed since I think the original name was prettier, but there have been quite a few postings over the last few years with folks concerned about having to consume alcohol on a tour, so maybe that prompted the change? Anyway, it is a great tour.

That said, I would enjoy other variations on Villages France - just about anywhere!

How about northern Germany and Denmark? I can never take the time for the (pricey) longer Scandinavian tour so would love an option to dip my toe in.

I would welcome a return of some earlier 7 day tours or a variation like the suggested combined tour of Venice/Florence. And then there was the short-lived French mediterranean tour.

And, let me just put it out there since it will never happen - I want The Enchanted April. Maybe that is not a tour, but just some good ideas of where to chill for a week or so - or for April.

Fun thoughts.

Posted by
121 posts

I don't know where all the castles in Europe are but I think it'd be cool so find a route that maximizes the number visited. Might be too much drive time though.

Posted by
2673 posts

I would like to see a 7 day tour of Berlin.

Me, too!

Posted by
59 posts

Ohh what a fun post!

I would love to see England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland. Starting in Cotswolds> Bath> Cardiff> Dublin> Galway and Dingle> Snowdonia and Conwy> Keswick> Glasgow>Edinburgh>York

Also, I thought it would be nice to do a European capitals London>Paris> Brussels>Amsterdam>Copenhagen> Rostock or Tallinn> Stockholm/Oslo

Touring the wine areas will be great, I thought... Bordeaux, Loire, Dijon, Reims/Alsace and through in the Rhine too for fun. You could also dip down to Aix/Cassis as well.

Posted by
3446 posts

Agree 100% with Ms. Jo about a "Villages of Germany" tour. Lived there at one time and know there is a lot more to see than just the "name" villages and big cities.

Posted by
864 posts

How about northern Germany and Denmark? I can never take the time for the (pricey) longer Scandinavian tour so would love an option to dip my toe in.

Yes! I'd also like to see an expanded Wales tour, perhaps with Chester and Liverpool thrown in.

Posted by
6 posts

I would like to see some of the tours scheduled to allow two tours in a row. That would satisfy the folks who have more time and still allow the 'two weeks' folks a chance to take a tour. Like 'Village Italy' and 'Rome in 7 days' combined end to end. It's the end to end part that would be tricky. Might be worth a try. Give a discount for doing two in a row.
Of course I should look at the schedules myself. Maybe that already do align for multiple trips. The one time I thought to try this the dates were good but the trip ended in the wrong city.

Posted by
593 posts

In regard to timallman's post, we are doing the Best of Paris tour, then zipping over to Reims to start the Eastern France tour on the day Paris ends, so that's one that works back-to-back.

I would love to see Blue439's tour from Kiev to Tirana. We spent 5 days in Moldova when my son was in the Peace Corps there. There is so much history in the whole area, it would be incredible. Unfortunately, at least in Moldova, they don't have the tourist infrastructure for it, though the local economy would certainly benefit from it.

Posted by
888 posts

Northern Italy-only running east to west or west to east to include Dolomites, lakes, Piedmont, Alps, and can throw in Venice and Turin.

Posted by
844 posts

Northern Italy-only running east to west or west to east to include Dolomites, lakes, Piedmont, Alps, and can throw in Venice and Turin.Blockquote

Rachel, I have been thinking about that, too. Glad I am not the only one. Bring it, RS Tours. There may still be backdoors here.

Posted by
3168 posts

Yes, it's that time again to dream up new itineraries that we would
love Uncle Rick to offer!

"Uncle RIck"? Yikes....

We have never done a full travel tour but what would interest us are tours in Russia which would probably be easier to go on an organized tour than to do it independently especially to smaller towns, not just St Petersburg and Moscow (both of which I would want included too). I'm wondering when we'll see a Rick Steves Russia tour.

Posted by
6277 posts

Ukraine-Kiev and Lviv.

Plus some small villages and a couple of days in Odessa on the Black Sea.

Posted by
4637 posts

Bulgaria has already its own tour. Very beautiful country and not very easy to do on your own. I think you can say the same about Romania, that's why I would like to see the tour of Romania.

Posted by
5740 posts

We just heard there will be a new Tuscany tour on the menu next year.

Absolutely agree that a Poland would be a good idea, or even some combo of Poland withLithuania or Ukraine, or NE Germany. Or even a Poland/Czechia/Slovakia tour.

Yes the demographics seem to skew older, retired, and as some folks have said "the PBS crowd". But that's probably true of most tour companies. Even us old, retired and not-wealthy folks have time limits. Two weeks is about the max for me. I'd prefer more options for shorter 7-10 day tours, so that you can add-on time on your own before or after. Many folks who want longer tours, take more than one back-to-back.

Posted by
408 posts

Been on 6 tours and the majority of people were not retired. These were shorter tours. Would love more week to 9 day options. Get more younger people that can not get more time off work. Croatia would be on my dream list for a shorter tour option. They used to offer more week tours and wish they would offer again.
Then if you would like can add touring on your own before or after. Think they consider these options when it is posted on the forums?

Posted by
844 posts

Think they consider these options when it is posted on the forums?

I think attention is paid - at least over the long term. When MyWay first came out there was GAS My Way. I remember being among those who advocated for a MyWay that focused on more mountains and did not exactly follow the GAS itinerary. There must have been enough feedback from multiple sources because, voila: MyWay Alpine.

And, over the years, folks have asked about a tour where Christmas markets could be visited - knowing that RS is not into offering shopping tours, but could there be an intersection of great locales that just happen to have Christmas markets? Munich, Salzburg, Vienna, began a few years ago, and the options for Christmas market visiting were noted. Christmas markets in Prague and some other cities have been noted as well. I think tulip time is mentioned on pertinent tours, too.

I think tour guides keep their eyes and ears open, as well. Since they are in the field, they get first-hand experience of what may or may not work. Hence, tweaks and improvements we see in some persisting tours over time. Thanks, tour guides!

Posted by
4485 posts

A new Tuscany tour? We're in!

I chuckled at the use of "Uncle Rick." Around our house, the expression is "our friend Rick." As in "I know the washing machine is on the fritz, but we have to pay our friend Rick." After all, it's all about priorities!

Posted by
15 posts

I would love the Village France tour several others have mentioned, especially if it was slower moving. Maybe 2-3 days in each location so you could wander around at leisure and get to know the place.

Excited to hear about the new Tuscany tour also.

Posted by
2 posts

I would love a tour that includes Berlin, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

Posted by
8065 posts

Ooohhhh, I'm in for a Tuscany tour!

I've had a few RS guides refer to Rick as "Uncle Rick"!!