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Not until August of 2021

For those of us that were hopeful for an RS tour next year. I got an email stating there will be no tours until August. RS company hopeful that they can do tours in the later part of the year, but they don’t know for sure.
A sad day........

Posted by
1515 posts

Well bummer but it’s no surprise, just disappointing. I had already decided that my fall 2021 trip needs to be delayed until fall 2022. Unfortunately a drug reaction seems to have triggered a heart issue I had several years ago. I’ll know more Wednesday. I can’t get sick. Too many things to do and places to go.

Posted by
6503 posts

I think that is good news. More optimistic than expected. Lots of things can still happen, so no point in planning any more than before.

Posted by
2878 posts

So weird, I was in the tours this afternoon to see what tours occur before April 30th for reference when planning 2022, We have flight vouchers to use before April 30, 2022. Went back in two hours later to run the possibilities by my H, and spring was gone. So glad I happened to check the info before they disappeared.

It seems logical that there will be no tours this spring and early summer. There are just too many unknowns for their business. IMO

Horsewoofie, Best to you. I hate it when that %$#& happens.

Posted by
20787 posts

It seems pretty optimistic to me, too. Remember, Rick said in an interview earlier this year that group tours wouldn't resume as early as individual travel.

Posted by
2396 posts

I also believe this is good news. We probably won’t take our RS tour we were thinking of till 2022 but hope to travel in our own in September. Horsewoofie, hope your health issues clear up quickly

Posted by
360 posts

Great Minds Think Alike.

I have been hopping for a certain Spring RS tour, but planning on my own North American travel in Summer and maybe an RS tour in Fall. It seems like that turned out to be a good plan.

I can see RS's point. If we all have to wear masks, can't go here and there without proof off immunity, face mass transit restrictions, and have to risk being quarantined if somebody sneezes wrong, why would that experience come close to what we expect on an RS tour. They are supposed to be fun, learning experiences. Not dicey maneuvering to beat the odds.

Does that mean I don't get a tour patch for 2021? I still have my 2020 tour patch. I figure in 10 years it will be a collectors item.

2034 News Item.........
"The hard to get Rick Steves 2020 tour patches were only distributed for a short time in 2020 before the travel season came to a crashing halt. Lucky patrons got their money back from Rick, then saw the price of the patches go to over $2400 before leveling off at about $1850. Collectors are scrambling to get the few that were distributed to travelers who literally went nowhere."

Heck, in 200 years the things may make their way onto "Antique Roadshow".

Posted by
1515 posts

Thanks Wray and Barbara for your kind thoughts. Guess I’m just feeling a little sorry for myself. If the heart thing is like before, I’ll be fine in a couple months. Like I said I have lots of things to do (Christmas decorating [every room] even when it’s just hubby and me) and many places to go and plan for.

Update: Cardiologist yesterday said it’s not my heart — whew! — but a continuation of the drug reaction. Blood work on Friday. But he thinks time will fix the problem. He was right last time with an a-fib issue and I trust him.

Posted by
25 posts

This is good news, actually.

Anyone who expected tours to start earlier than next August was probably not paying much attention to the stated consensus of the scientific community and current events, or being realistic. Honestly, August is probably still a pretty optimistic target for tours, so I wouldn't start making firm plans yet. It's worth noting: they're still not accepting deposits, so in a way, all they've really done is acknowledge that the tours ain't happening anytime before August, the rest is still officially "ask us later, we'll see." But...this is certainly better than their crystal ball telling them to remove listings for tours all the way through the end of 2021. Glass half full...

My own guess for a while has been that, if all goes well, then independent travel should start opening up around the end of summer 2021. A couple months ago I made my bet on September for a (non-tour) trip to Europe. I've started making flight and hotel reservations for September -- but everything I've been booking is fully refundable. I'm still being cautious, I figure there's a 50/50 chance we will be able to go then.

We've been getting a lot of hopeful news on vaccines in recent weeks (now 3 different vaccines coming soon, 90%+ effective, and several more close behind that we should be hearing about soon). Though it will take some time to roll them out, I'm feeling more optimistic. We have a few rough months to get through first, though. Everyone please be responsible and stay home (listen to the wisdom of Samuel L Jackson...), remember we all have a hand in limiting the spread of the pandemic. Don't let down your guard, be patient, light at the end of the tunnel, the cavalry is coming, etc.

Let's hope next summer brings all the openings we are hoping for. horsewoofie, I hope you are doing fine - we all need to take care and get through the months ahead.

Posted by
1836 posts

Rick said this again at tonight's Monday Travel zoom show -- he expects to help match individual travelers with guides during the summer but doesn't see the bus groups reviving until the Fall at least; he reiterated that his company will take a cautious attitude, not risk having a false start to touring.

Posted by
5467 posts

I wouldn’t be buying a tour for August. Individual travel, yes.

Posted by
2058 posts

I emailed the RS office to ask if they will produce a 2021 Tour Patch? I have my 2020 one displayed with the 7 others for tours I actually took. I’m cautiously optimistic about traveling next October on a tour but won’t be heartbroken if it doesn’t materialize. I want to be healthy and safe so 2022 may be the magic year for tours. What a celebration, I’m sure we’ll be giddy with excitement!

Posted by
4937 posts

We were hoping for a fall South Italy tour in 2021. I suppose that's still a possibility. But not having our heads totally buried in the sand, we have been tossing around ideas for independent travel in Europe next year.

Our original plan (a redo of the aborted 2020 trip) was to do the South Italy tour, with 4 days in Rome before the tour, and about 10 days or so after the tour divided between Siena and Bologna, with the last night in Fumicino. Our alternate plan is quite similar, but drops the RS tour, and adds some other places north of Rome: probably Lucca, possibly Parma, Ravenna, Assisi... And we've been more and more intrigued with adding about 4 or 5 days in Venice. (In fact, I've posted a thread on that elsewhere.)

This news about cancellation of tours makes our revised itinerary more likely, so I'll keep thinking about what our ideal 3 weeks in Italy would be. Golly, so many choices! Stan would love a few days in Florence, we both loved Padova, but I'm looking more at places we haven't been, or have been but only for a few hours or so. Assisi, Ravenna, and Siena are places we've visited on RS tours, but just for a few hours or half day each. We have been to Venice twice on RS tours, but those visits only whetted our appetite for a longer stay with more free time. So this may be the time!

Of course, we're not buying plane tickets or booking hotels yet. Although I am looking...

Posted by
255 posts

No way will Europe be open before August. September is wishful thinking assuming everything falls into place. It will take time to get enough people vaccinated and enough vaccines produced. If I can't see North of the Alps in September, I don't know if October is still decent weather for south of the Alps.

Posted by
9481 posts

Thanks Tammy! Had not seen that so I appreciate the information.

Horsewoofie.....hope all turns out to be well with your heart issues!

Posted by
778 posts

My wife will not let me even consider making travel plans until at least 2022. I agree with her for several reasons, not the least of which, wife. I'm not r planning on visiting friends and family in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Colorado Springs, or Albuquerque. Trip to Europe? Maybe 2023.

Posted by
109 posts

My hope is domestic travel by late summer 2021 and international by 2022. But of course it depends on the numbers. Even with the vaccine, it will take a while to drive the numbers down and view success of vaccine. For the first time, I'm optimistic on this subject.

Posted by
1133 posts

I for one am happy that Rick is taking the health of his participants seriously. It's killing his business but somethings are more important than travel. Fear not, we will travel again and hopefully be more appreciative of our world.

That said, his virtual tours every Monday are a fun way to travel.