If you were in charge of Rick Steves Tours and could create a brand new tour, where would the tour go? To be consistent with his current tours, any transportation would have to be by bus and should not be longer than 21 days. Maybe Rick will read this and create tour based on your suggestion.
Some of this was addressed recently: https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/general-europe/questions-for-rick
Having read that link.. I still will contribute to this thread.. as it is more specific then other one.
I think more village tours would be nice.
I would love to take another tour.. but I don't need them for cities.. those are pretty easy to do on ones own once you have done one.. but getting into the country side would definitely be more appealing.. perhaps lump a tour of Villages in Germany and Eastern France..
I also think the idea of a WW type tour is a good idea.. I personally would likely not take it.. but I know many people would be interested.. it could start in London and then go to France via Calais.. then end in Paris.. ( or vice versus)
I'd wish for a tour that spends more time in Croatia that just the bit covered by the Adriatic tour.
I know it's not Europe, but now that Cuba is opening up for Americans to visit, I'd dearly love to go there!
I definitely agree with Pat regarding more village tours and I appreciate the logistics problems such as finding hotels capable of handling a tour group. For the most part the current tours are Front Door, not Back Door and I think this is contrary to Rick's original concept. Do you really explore "like a native" in Rome, Paris or Lisbon? I've been on 12 tours and there's nothing being offered that really appeals to me. This autumn I'm planning three weeks beginning in Sardinia, visiting Corsica and then some of the smaller towns in Italy. No Rome, Milan, Florence or Venice.
I also miss some of the discontinued one week city tours. Perhaps some could be added extra on a rotating basis - Berlin, Glasgow, Dublin, Budapest, Marseille.
I also read that link and will throw in my two cents worth. Village tours are better than city tours (they can pretty much be done on one's own) and it would be nice to have more of them. Germany is full of villages that are really great and that would be a super tour. I also like the idea of a WWII tour from London to Normandy to Paris to Berlin and would take it in a heartbeat.
More city tours (Berlin, Budapest), Best of Germany, maybe a Best of Albania?
I can't begin to guess all the factors that go into the decision about what tours to offer. These are business decisions about what products will sell to enough customers to make them profitable. Some of the RS tours (Ireland for example) are staples where the market is clear and what RS offers is an experience that is different than one would find with another tour company. It's not easy when all the tours hit all the same major attractions.
That being said, I'd like to see more RS tours to Eastern Europe. Romania maybe. Or maybe a tour that gets off the beaten path taken in Croatia during the Adriatic tour to explore more of the former Yugoslavia (to include Sarajevo, for example).
Agree with other posters, more village tours. The Village Italy tour is my most favorite tour I have ever taken. I would dearly love to see more added. Any country would suffice. Since so many WWII veterans are passing away, it would be a good idea to have a tour with that focus. How about a wine and or beer tour? Visit lots of vineyards or breweries.
I would love to see a 6-8 day tour that hits Venice and the Veneto. Also, more village tours, I agree with everyone else I can do the big cities on my own. However, I would like them to bring the week in Prague back. This is a great thread and I hope they are reading it.
I will agree with previous posters. For me, the big cities are pretty easy to do. What I really appreciate is how much more I see on a tour of smaller towns and villages when I tour than when I go on my own. The tours just get you there faster and easier so you are ready to roll and seeing more instead of sitting in a bus station (IMHO.) I already see some focus on towns and villages in RS tours which are centered in just one country. The country tours often just spend a day or so in a large city, more or less as an easy "meeting point" and then move on. As I have taken a number of RS tours another suggestion may be more of a rotating tour. For example, I've done his "Best of Turkey" tour. For example, how about a "Best of Turkey II" which could go to different sites there? To give a more concrete answer to the OP, I would say a Greek Island Tour. I have taken the "Best of Greece" tour but would like to visit some more of the islands.
I agree about the cities being easy to do on your own, so more village tours would be nice. Would love to see a village/small town tour of central Europe - Czech Rep, Austria, Hungary (14 days) or add in Poland and Slovakia (21 days). I've not taken a RS tour but I think I would go for that one.
Oh, l like the idea of a Part Deux. Great idea, Ray.
Hmmm. My first tour was Venice in 7 days. I wouldn't mind a variation on that. Or even a My Way of Venice, Florence, Rome. I do like the idea of more Village tours: northern Italy (Dolomites, Val d'Aosta, Trieste); definitely Germany, especially the northern or eastern areas that are not really covered on current tours); or a Village Austria taking in the eastern parts like the Burgenland.
What fun to think of back door destinations. Lately, I have been investigating Litschau, Austria, where a music festival is held each year. It really seems off the beaten tour path.
I spent the past year writing a long academic book on the Holocaust and spent a lot of time visiting sites in Eastern and Western Europe and on to the Western Soviet Union. I had the pleasure of meeting people of all ages who were very interested in visiting sites specifically associated with the Holocaust. I offered suggestions to a number of people of sites from Germany, Austria, Poland and the Netherlands to France, the Czech Republic, Denmark, and other areas. Such a tour would be both thought-provoking and pleasurable as people would be educated yet see some beautiful places in Europe.
There used to be a Village Europe tour...I would like to see Rick bring that one back.
Oh, Rhonda, thanks for the reminder. I had forgotten all about that tour. What a terrific idea to offer it again! I'd sure want to sign up.
We'd absolutely be onboard for a Village Europe tour!
Baltics beyond just Talinn -- Lithuania and Latvia!
There used to be a Village Turkey tour which I was intending to take, but when I was able it had been removed from the schedule. I would love to see that one come back.
I also would love to see the return of Village Europe tour. I would imagine that you would need all of 21 days with a minimum of 3 nights per village.
How RS comes up with tours would be a good topic for his blog. Maybe they'll think so too.
I think the guides make suggestions for new tours. When I was on the Village Italy tour, the guide was doing some research for a Tuscany/Umbria tour she was hoping to introduce and lead. I haven't seen her tour announced yet but it sounded really great.
I like to have an all Slovenia tour. We have done both the Eastern Europe and Adriatic Tours and the the time we spent in Slovenia was great but much too short. He has created the 12 days in Switzerland, which we hope to take soon, and I think to do the same in Slovenia would be terrific. I also agree that Romania looks like it would make a great tour.
I thought it might be interesting to do something like the Dolomites, Venice, Tuscany and Cinque Terre.
I'd like to chime in as others have with an interest in Eastern Europe. There are many Americans with an Eastern European heritage and a tour of countries such as Poland, Hungry, Austria, the Czech Republic could be embraced.
I think the tour suggested by chevyfrost: Dolomites, Venice, Tuscany, and Cinque Terre would be extremely popular. I don't think Rich would do it as it would probably take away from some his other Italy Tours.
I do have to say that all of the tours that have been suggested sound wonderful!
I would also add my vote to Village tours and more tours in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. They did just roll out a new Switzerland tour and all the dates sold out by the end of November. There so the interest is there. There also used to be Village France tour which I would love to see brought back.
I'd like to see more city tours, with greater emphasis on "back door" experiences, although that might necessitate even smaller groups - maybe 10-12 people. We do love the city tours, and I'd like to see the Venice tour and the Florence tour return.
I'd also jump at a Village Europe tour, but it's hard to see how it could be done in under 3 weeks. Maybe like the 21 Day BOE, but downplaying Paris, Rome, etc. Hmmm.
Lots of great suggestions. I've been on 6 RS tours (signed up for #7) and appreciate the broad perspective on a bit of art, history, etc.
If I could design a new tour, I'd like to see a few that are more focused. For example, WWII sites, medieval Europe, all about Monet, etc. I also love the small towns and villages where we stop for lunch and would like to see more of them.
Singles tour or brewery tour throughout Europe.
Agree with cheyfrost. Believe I mentioned in the other thread that I think a northern Italy west to east or east to west tour would be welcome. I think there would be enough people interested in that region to make it worth the effort. Especially people who don't want to repeat Rome....again. :)
This is not a new place or tour, but I wish they would bring back the week long Venice tour! I started going on RS tours when they discontinued this tour that year. I know it is easy to see this city along with other cities, but being a solo traveler, I like the company and having the tour take you places you may over look if you went on your own, or get into places much easier than if you went on your own. I like the week long city tours and hope they add more city tours. I like doing the city tours back to back.
Dublin, Belfast, Edinburgh
As many others I would like to see village tours. Without a car they take time to do on my own. All big important cities in western and central Europe are already covered and also they are easy to do on my own. I would like to see tours to the countries which are not as easy to do on our own: Bulgaria - fortunately we already have tour there, Romania, Albania, Ukraine, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia. Some smaller countries could be combined together. Some countries already have village tours. It would be nice to see villages of Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and maybe more. Krakow, Prague, Budapest has been already taken care of. Also it is easier to do them on our own than to do villages.
Theme tours like WWII sites could be also interesting. I think that wine and beer or wine or beer tours would also have many customers.
Village France, perhaps I and II, splitting the country in East and West OR North and South.
More winter tours. I have been looking for something in November, February or March; I have been to many of the areas that the winter tours go to. Perhaps a southern France and Spain tour would be great for winter.
Best of Croatia!
So many possibilities. I did read the other stream; fabulous ideas there too.
I would like to go on a tour of The Netherlands only - no other countries.
I would like to see garden tours. Last year my husband and I took the Best of England tour in May. We wanted to see the Chelsea Flower show, so we took a May tour. The day that the tour was over we attended the flower show. This show is one of the best in the world and is sponsored by the Royal Horticultural Socierty. It was incredible! We also saw Bodnant Gardens in Wales. We were there for all the rhododendron blooms. Also Fabulous! There are many different gardens all over England, or perhaps you could add the Chelsea Flower show to the beginning or end of a tour, like you add Keukenhof gardens to the Holland tours. Now that I'm a member of the Royal Horticultural Society I see lots of tours all over Europe in their magazine. Our Tour guide in England was Roy Nicholls. He did a radio interview about Garden tours on Ricks' radio show recently. He would be a phenomenal guide. There were several people on our GAS tour last Fall that were very interested in a garden tour. Just my two cents.
I would love to see an adult version of the Family Europe: Amsterdam to Rome in 14 days.
@CJ: Unfortunately Lake Baikal is not in Europe so we would have to go on our own. Rick is not going to take us there.
Travel with kids. We had a lot of "Europe through the back door" experiences.
Castles, Country Houses and Gardens of England and Wales. A lot of people who travel to England and Wales love these three things. There would be plenty here to fill up two weeks. I think Rick would have a lot of people signing up for such a tour.
@CJ: Unfortunately Lake Baikal is not in Europe so we would have to go on our own. Rick is not going to take us there.
He might, after all the Best of Turkey tour takes people to Asia.
Ray, that's a good logical answer. I am packing my swimming suit.
Rebecca, I love your idea! That would be a perfect tour for me!
Thanks Tamara! I hope the people who put Rick's Tours together will give it some thought. There are a lot of good ideas being posted on this thread!
A fantastic idea of creating a 21 day max tour going by bus. One such tour would focus on villages, small towns, and specific places in a city...memorials, museums, monuments, historical spots, a Schloss, cemeteries.... all connected with Prussian history, which cover a good deal of ground...Duisburg, Kleve, Münster/Westf.. Rüdesheim am Rhein, Wesel am Rhein, Minden an der Wesel, Potsdam, Berlin (certain sites), Lüneburg, Kaub am Rhein, Bacharach, Neuruppin, Leipzig, Jena, Wustrau/Brandenburg. These are places I would include on such a tour with that focus.
Having been on 7 RS tours (plus many other european trips w/o a tour), I can say that his tour population is aging (along with me!) Personally, I'd love to see more younger people on the tours, and for working professionals, his 12-14-21 day trips are not realistic. I miss some of the old 7-8 day city tours like tours of Venice, Budapest, Edinburgh. Perhaps an 8 day tour could be a city + environs tour. 4 days in the city combined with 4 days just outside of it. Venice and the Veneto would be ideal for this. Edinburgh could lend itself to that too --castles, England-Scots border with Hadrians wall. The city tours that he has combined with other cities like Barcelona-Madrid, Vienna-Prague would be better served IMO as one city only with the extra 3-4 days spent outside the city. Prague + Czesky Krumlov, Barcelona + Catalonia (Dali country: Figueres, Cadeques).
That said, we took the Prague tour before it was a combined city tour and never felt it was a stretch to spend the whole week in Prague with a day or two outside of it!
For those suggesting a theme tour, that would be interesting (Barcelona + Catalonia could be the Creativity tour). RS already has a kind of wine tour with the Eastern France tour--we went to a lot of wineries on that tour and learned a lot about wine!
This is a great thread--I like the Villages tours suggested too. And eastern europe is high on my list.
How about Corsica+ Sardinia?
@mjgave - great idea, I would love to see a 7-10 day tour of Corsica and Sardinia!
How about a tour that tracks a Mediterranean cruise -- Barcelona, south coast of France, Italy to Rome, by bus rather than ship. Warm weather, great food, scenic coasts.
I would take the Mediterranean Cruise tour by bus. I think that would be a lot of fun. I don't know any tour company that offers that itinerary. The tour could even include the Cinque Terre.
Croatia. 8 day tours. For working people it is very hard to take anything longer than 8 or 10 days max.
I would not go to Europe just for 8 days. For that short time US or Canada or Mexico depending where you live in the States.
Ilja, I agree with you. When I go to Europe it's a minimum of two weeks otherwise, for me, it's not worth the horrible flights from the west coast to get there. But others feel differently and for some that's all the time they can spare.
Well, I would say that working people struggle to get enough time off at one clip to do the 14+ day tours. I mean, I did a Best of Europe in 14, plus one additional day in Paris. With travel time, that is a solid 15 days away from home at 10 or 11 vacation days taken. Point is, I like the idea of a 7 - 10 day trip as it would allow an extra day or two for independent travel to bookend the trip.
Take the Best of Ireland in 8 days, for example - I'd plan to stay an extra day in Dublin, then take the ferry over to the U.K, and explore another 3-4 days before flying out of London.
As for creating tours, RS has enough itineraries to make this a tough question. But while they have a variety of England, Scotland, and Ireland tours, they don't really have any that combine the three. Perhaps a greatest hits on those 3 would make a good tour.
Got a few:
London-Paris-Rome (plus extension to Florence and Venice available)
Munich, Salzburg, Vienna, Dresden, Prague, Budapest, Cesky Krumlov, Lucerne, etc and a couple of castles. (Germany-Austria-Czech Republic-Hungary-Switzerland)
Actually I could see a BOE 21-West, BOE 21-Central, and BOE 21-East. That'd make for one awesome back-to-back-to-back tour! West Edition would include London, Amsterdam, Brugge/Ghent, Paris, and the Italian trio. Central would follow the route above, and someone here can put together a East edition. Or a Northern/Baltic edition.
What great ideas are posted here! aslperformingarts, I particularly like all of your tour suggestions!!
How about an all Germany tour hitting the big cities (Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich) and smaller cities (Heidleberg, etc).
Good idea, Julie. Rick might also design a Reformation tour next year. I'd fancy there's nothing like a 500th anniversary to pique interest, and nothing like beer to make it go down smoothly.
So many places to go. I, too, think a Reformation tour would be good. While the big cities have been great on my tours, I've really enjoyed the smaller places so I guess I lean toward more village-type tours.
Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia St. Petersburg & Moscow - 21 days
I would suggest a tour of the vineyards of western and another of eastern Europe. The western tour could start in northern Spain, head up to Bordeaux, swing over middle of France, hit a bit of Burgundy not covered by Eastern France tour, and head over to wine areas of Italy.
The eastern tour could start in Germany, head to Switzerland, then to Austria, Romania, and other eastern Europe countries.
It does incorporate areas covered by other RS tours, but could do a purely wine-centric tour.
Just a thought.
I think there was a RS tour that included southern Spain with a trip to Gibraltar and Tangier. Wish they would bring that one back. It would be like the Istanbul city tour where one sees the borders of 2 continents, but instead of Europe and Asia, this would be Europe and Africa.
I would love to see a new BOE 14 day tour. I would like to see other countries not included in the one BOE. Really don't want to go on the Family tour with lots of kids but the one starting in Amsterdam looks interesting.
My husband and I have long wondered why there is no Best of Germany tour?! We are planning our fourth trip that includes more of Germany and still haven't even touched the tip of the iceberg with all there is to see and do there. Would also love a Best of England, Wales and Scotland tour. I know that one would need to be a long one but it is definitely do-able. That's my two cents for what it's worth. I really hope they come up with some new tours - we wanted to take the new Switzerland tour this year but it sold out on our dates so fast we never had the chance. Going to try and get it for next year....
Happy Travels All!!!
Jaye, I noticed that they added another Best of Switzerland tour beginning September 19, 2016.
I agree with Judy, a revamped BOE 14 Day Tour would be great - the Family Tour looks like a blast, but I'm not sure I would fit in as a single adult! And I have to disagree with those who would eliminate the city tours, I love them. I've only been on Rome and Paris, and plan to do the Rome tour again next year, this time with my sister. These tours are great for people who are short on time, and who really want to sink their teeth into one desination. Yes, they're easier to do on your own than some of the other tours, but having a knowledgeable and seasoned guide, utilizing the amazing local guides, and being able to settle into one location and not have to jump back on the bus every couple of days is appealing to me. The "time off" during the tours allows people to find their own adventures, or catch up on their rest if they want to. The city tours are also great for first time travelers who are nervous going to a place they've never been before. I say, keep them, and add more cities to the list!
I'm with Sue on this. We love the city tours, and would like to see more of them. In fact, some of our neighbors, who have never been to Europe, want to go with us in a couple of years to celebrate their 25th anniversary. We're going to suggest the Rome tour. Perfect for newbies! We've done that tour, but would gladly do it again.
Best of Germany
Greek Islands (and yes I realize this would have to be by boat mostly)
Northern Greece,Macedonia, Albania
Castles of Scotland (mostly ruined)
Best of Poland
England, Scotland, Wales in 21 days
Would LOVE a village Spain tour.
¡Sí! ¡Con mucho gusto!
I notice a few posters mentioned the Family tour.. and not being a family group so not wanting to take the tour.
I did the Family tour with my then 11 yr old.. quite a few years ago now.
It was of course all families.. single parents, grandparents.. and nuclear .. except for one fellow traveller !
A young man had finished college and his parents wanted to give him a tour as a gift.. but he only had a short window of time he could take it before a job.. and by then most of the tours were filled up.. so they booked him on the Family Europe tour.. and guess what.. he had fun.. he was not plagued by the kids.. .
I have been on this board since 2007 and people have been asking for a Best of Germany since then. However, I have heard a rumor that they may actually add one next year! We'll see.
Also, they used to have a Best of England,, Scotland, Wales, but they discontinued that one a while back too.
I would also like to see a Village Spain. We'll see about that one too.
Sue, I travel as a single from Boston as well. We should meet up sometime.
"There also used to be Village France tour which I would love to see brought back. "
Didn't the old Village France tour get re-titled as Villages and Vineyards of Eastern France before it became the current Best of Eastern France? Maybe ending in Marseille now prevents the "village" moniker.
Longer Scotland tour
Border region of Scotland and England
How about a musical tour of Ireland?
A singles tour, a hostel tour (keep prices low) or a under 40 yrs old tour.
You may already know this, but Contiki Tours specializes in tours for 18-35 year olds. Also, they often cater to smaller budgets due to the demographics of the members. I did one with two friends when I was 28 years old and there was a good mix of people. These tours are slightly heavy on the partying side ( although you may be into that), but it's an option. :)
I can't wait for the new tour schedule and new itineraries to be realeased!!
I would love to see a Scandinavian and Baltic combined tour that goes to Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, and St. Petersburg Russia. Currently, to get all of this you have to take two tours. It would be nice to have one extended tour to hit all of those sites.
You may not know this, but Rick Steves' son Andy runs tours for the under-40s crowd. He writes a blog on the Watch, Read, Listen section of this website. There is probably a link to Andy's tours. Or, you can call the tour office.
Here is the link:
Return of the French Riveria tour.
We would like to see the My Way concept greatly expanded. Being veterans of nine RS tours and as many trips on our own over an almost twenty year period, we find ourselves wishing to return to some of the same places. We don't really need to full RS tour approach though. However the convenience of not arranging local transportation and lodging is very attractive. The "old days" of some of the 21 day tours would be great for some of us retirees who have the time and interest in revisiting some of those places.
Village France, Village Spain. I really enjoyed Village Italy a few years ago; I stayed in Venice before the tour and Milan after so I had a variety of experiences.
I am not sure what Rick has for Croatia but I would love to see it by tour.
I'm wishing Rick Steves would offer a tour of Australia and New Zealand. I have been looking for a small group tour that is similar to Rick's and have not found any. I like Rick's tours because everything is included (no tipping, no optional excursions, etc.). Most tours I have found have numerous optional tours that drive up the listed price. The closest I have found to a RS tour is Holiday Tours. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Bulgaria & Romania as a 14-16 day tour.
Susan, I agree with you. I would love a combination of those two countries. Especially after watching the last two episodes of his show.
I'd love a WWII tour and I think a Following the Footsteps of Martin Luther tour would be great.......I would also jump on the chance to do a Best of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
We aren't retired yet so the multi-week tours are a bit difficult for us to do at this time. We do like to maximize our time while in Europe, though. This coming trip we are taking the Best of Munich, Salzburg, and Austria and the 8 day tours are great as it allows us a few days to extend the trip and still only miss 2 weeks of work.
I would love a trip starting in Berlin, moving south to Munich and points in between, as well as Switzerland!
Nightlife tours for those interested in finding out what the nightlife is like in various cities and towns across europe accompanied by the usual sightseeing in the day