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Minimum number on a tour

Our tour to Sicily on March 31 has gone from 28 to 20 people....does anyone know what the minimum number they an have to continue with the tour? Especially if more people drop out

Posted by
405 posts

RS has NO publicly set number.
When they have cancelled in the past it is usually earlier or it is the result of an emergency- guide sick and no back up guide available (very rare).
I’m sure they are buried in phone calls and do not need more...but...you can always check in with Rick Steve’s Europe Tour Sales 425-608-4217.

Posted by
3915 posts

And it's still over a month until the tour begins. There's plenty of time for more folks to sign up.

I've heard of groups with only 20 or so people; I don't think they would cancel that one for lack of participation.

We were once on a RS tour that only had nine people on it. That surprised me.

Posted by
38 posts

Good to know. My husband thought that they may cancel if the numbers got too low. We are on a wait and see situation. Thank you

Posted by
16742 posts

Hi, Valerie. While I can't answer your original question, and such decisions tend to be made on a case-by-case basis, you may like to know that your departure date is being actively marketed for sale, in hopes of replacing a few drop-out customers.

Posted by
38 posts

Yes, I did see that. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to go on such short notice.

Posted by
3915 posts

If we weren't already locked in on our mid-May tour (including flights, pre- and post-tour hotels, and several local tours pre- and post-RS, we'd jump on it. Or if not the Sicily tour, then either the MyWay or the 17 Day Best of Italy.

Posted by
33 posts

I once was on a tour with 18. It was marvelous. A couple on one of my tours said there were 15 on their tour and a minibus rather than a big bus was used.

Posted by
17 posts

My very first RS tour was the Best of Barcelona and Madrid. There were only 14 people on our tour; absolutely fabulous!
You will be well and truly spoiled.

Posted by
856 posts

We were once on a tour with only 14. Don’t despair!

Posted by
38 posts

I am happy for all the responses. We are not inclined to cancel as of now but we were curious if and when they will pull the plug

Posted by
69 posts

Valerie I am curious how you knew how many cancelled..

Posted by
761 posts

18 on our holland/Belgium tour after the bombing. Loved it!

Posted by
2231 posts

I just happened to call the RS travel office about my own situation involving an early May tour in Italy. I was surprised to get right through. I asked the hypothetical question about if there were various cancellations on different departures of the same tour, leaving small tour groups, if RS would cancel some tours, or run them with low numbers, or try to combine dates. The quick answer was “oh, we would run tours with low numbers”. Now I suppose there might be some limits to that, can't imagine they could afford to run tours with only 4 or 5 people. My Tuscany tour remains full at this time, evidently no cancellations to date. In my conversation, we agreed that combining two tour dates into one probably would not work, because most travelers could not easily adjust their dates on short notice. Also, trying to tell people they could schedule their tours later in the year would also be tough, because many fall tours are already full. Of course, IF the virus situation gets worse in Italy and other countries in Europe, with many cases, closures, quarantines, cancelled flights, etc., plans and decisions may be beyond our control, at least for a while. Good luck everyone!

Posted by
38 posts

Sue,
I saw our roster under documents. You receive the list about a month before the tour. I was curious if anyone canceled and was surprised that 4 people had already cancelled.

Posted by
4149 posts

Since full payment is due 60 days before a tour starts, Rick Steves Europe has your money and doesn't have to refund it if you cancel. That means late cancellations don't cost the company, if anything they add profit. The tour conditions seem to leave open the possibility that they'll refund, wholly or partly, if you cancel for a good reason, but they don't have to. A tour with fewer people is cheaper to run. The fixed costs, like guides and buses, remain the same but the variable costs, like rooms and meals, are less. So no surprise that there's no minimum number, at least once payments have been made.

A tour that never signs up more than a few people might be cancelled or scaled back to stay in the black. We've had that experience with a small company, but RS operates on such a scale that I can't imagine it happening.

Posted by
19 posts

We just received our roster for Spain. There are 13 people listed. So, our RS Tours is a go with that many, at least in our case! Hoping no one else drops off but certainly understand if they do.

Posted by
38 posts

Karen,
unfortunately, our tour to Sicily leaving on March 31 had been cancelled by RS .
Hopefully, I’ll get to go on one of his tours some day.

Posted by
27 posts

Although that tour has probably been cancelled because of travel restrictions, the smallest group I was in had eleven people. It was wonderful!