Please sign in to post.

RS Fanatics: any differences in 2025 tours?

I suspect there are a few fanatics who have already compared all the 2025 itineraries to the 2024 itineraries, and I'm wondering if any have changed. Someone posted a different stop on the Best of Spain tour, but that's all I've heard about so far, and I've only looked at a couple of tours myself.

Posted by
20 posts

Hi Tony and thanks for your question--you prompted me to start looking. So far I've noticed that the Best of Scandinavia 2025 tour spends 3 nights in Copenhagen, as opposed to the 2024 tour which spends 2 nights in Copenhagen and 1 night in Varburg. Also, the 2025 GAS tour starts in Koblenz, rather than Cologne, and stops in the Wachau Valley rather than Hallstatt.

Posted by
74 posts

I noticed on the Best of Europe 14 Days the tour goes to Füssen instead of Munich.

Posted by
2499 posts

I’m so glad the Scandinavia tour will spend 3 nights in Copenhagen. I took this marvelous tour in May 2022 and I loved Copenhagen and felt we were shortchanged with only 2 nights there.

Posted by
19 posts

The Best of Italy tour will start in Venice next year, then go to the Dolomites, Lake Como, and down to Florence from there. Very different! On the bright side, it looks like for next year's tours, group members will get to enjoy a first night dinner together. My BOI tour this year does not include dinner on the first night, which feels unusual in comparison to other RS tours. (It's also something I'm a little nervous about as a solo traveler!)

Posted by
2924 posts

There's an addition to Single Supplements which may not be an awful thing.

If you wish to add a single supplement at any time after placing your original tour order and a single room remains available, we will add it to your order at the single supplement rate originally posted for that departure. If no single room remains available, you can either 1) maintain your original rooming selection or 2) for a non-refundable $250 fee, RSE will research and book a market rate single room on your behalf and at your expense, if possible. If you elect option 2, RSE will confirm the additional cost of the single room prior to booking. If no single rooms are available or you do not wish to pay the additional cost, we will maintain your original rooming selection.

Posted by
14288 posts

"My BOI tour this year does not include dinner on the first night, which feels unusual in comparison to other RS tours. (It's also something I'm a little nervous about as a solo traveler!)"

@ Anna - I too was concerned about this when I did BOI in October 2022. I can't remember what I did the first night after the meet-up and walk around Varenna but on the 2nd night my guide organized a happy hour get together which was nice.

Posted by
865 posts

Anna, I remember that after the meeting we did a walk as a group around Varrena. We then were free for dinner and the group split up into a few smaller groups because the restaurants weren’t that large and the town is quite small. I’m sure someone will include you but don’t be shy to ask someone if you could join their group. There was quite a number of us who gathered at the pasta restaurant across the square from the hotel and we kept pushing tables together.

Posted by
2499 posts

The Munich Salzberg Vienna tour has dropped Hallstatt (1 night) and will stay somewhere in the Wachau Valley instead. This is a wonderful tour which I did the first week of December. I loved the cold weather, Christmas markets and the festive decorations.

Posted by
6 posts

The Best of Germany, Austria & Switzerland has changed a bit. 2025 tours now start in Koblenz (instead of Cologne). Also, instead of staying at Lake Hallstatt for a night the tour stays in the Wachau Valley and a trip to the Abbey at Melk is included.

As I have been on this tour previously, these seem like good updates at first glance.

JEFF

Posted by
76 posts

hello
we are looking into booking booking a couple of back to back tours next spring!

We will have to read the the policies- about refunds as it is a long way off.. And when the final payments are due? We are new to booking tours
reading the forum and what is BOI mean?
thanks annie

Posted by
131 posts

Annette, BOI is "Best of Italy". Although I suppose someone could mean it as "Best of Ireland", but I think the Italy tour is probably more likely.

Posted by
2924 posts

Per Tour Conditions:

Your final tour payment is due in our office at least 60 days prior to the start of the tour, in one payment. Your final payment due date will be listed on your tour invoice in your tour account.

https://www.ricksteves.com/tours/tour-conditions

BOI usually refers to Best of Italy. I wish people would spell it out, at least for the first mention in their post. Someone used so many abbreviations a few days ago, I gave up trying to read her post.

Posted by
768 posts

The 2025 "Heart of Belgium & Holland in 11 Days Tour" shows big changes for the Netherlands portion. The stay in Delft is dropped for 2 nights in Rotterdam and 3 nights in Amsterdam is shortened to 2 because it's preceded by a night in or near Hoorn for a "Waterland" visit.

I'm not sure I'd enjoy the Rotterdam stop as much as I enjoyed the time in Delft on the 2023 tour. I'd like the visit to the north but I definitely wouldn't like a shortened stay in Amsterdam.

The Belgium itinerary is unchanged.

There's already an April 2025 "Heart of Belgium & Holland" tour wait listed!

Posted by
5 posts

The best of Spain change that was mentioned was replacing Arcos with Cadiz. Arcos is lovely with nice people, but it is a hill town so it is isolated and a few people in our tour had issues with the long uphill walk to the hotel. The tour now has more time on the Med which sounds like a better idea.

Posted by
1426 posts

“ The stay in Delft is dropped for 2 nights in Rotterdam and 3 nights in Amsterdam is shortened to 2 because it's preceded by a night in or near Hoorn for a "Waterland" visit.
I'm not sure I'd enjoy the Rotterdam stop as much as I enjoyed the time in Delft on the 2023 tour. I'd like the visit to the north but I definitely wouldn't like a shortened stay in Amsterdam.”

Oh dear. As much as I (learned to) love Rotterdam, I don’t think it’s what the target audience of RS has in mind when they think of the Netherlands. This is quite a negative change to the itinerary, I’m afraid.
I don’t think most Americans would prefer a walking tour thru a modern city with skyscrapers over the possibility to walk in the same streets where Vermeer used to walk and to see how Delftware is made.
I’m also very surprised because RS previously didn’t seem to be all that enthusiastic about Rotterdam. I mean, in the 2024 itinerary, only The Hague is mentioned as a possible way to spend the free afternoon in Delft, not Rotterdam. Whereas the 2025 itinerary mentions now both Delft and The Hague as suggestions to visit on the free afternoon in Rotterdam.
This change doesn’t make much sense from a things to see perspective, so I guess it’s a monetary or hotel availability issue, or both.

However, there is one big positive thing about the change to Rotterdam; the closeness and easy access to the windmills of Kinderdijk. On your free afternoon you can take the waterbus to Kinderdijk and admire the 19 windmills. This means however that you won’t be able to visit Delft or The Hague.

Posted by
16 posts

Best of Europe in 21 days now stops in Salzburg rather than Reutte.

Posted by
14288 posts

"I don’t think it’s what the target audience of RS has in mind when they think of the Netherlands. This is quite a negative change to the itinerary, I’m afraid."

@Dutch Traveler, I agree with you and I am the target audience, lol. I only spent a good portion of a day in Rotterdam on a Road Scholar tour and don't need to go back. We did do a walking tour around the Delfshaven area to see where the Pilgrim Fathers left from. That neighborhood was not obliterated by German bombings. For those not aware here's a WIkipedia article with a shocking picture of what the city center looked like in May, 1940 so you can see that all the center is post-War.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_bombing_of_Rotterdam

We were turned loose to eat at the Markt Hall and then I walked thru the Cube Houses to the Old Harbor to see that.

I did like Delft a lot although that hotel was weird. I LOVED going to Den Haag on the tram to visit the Mauritshuis.