We were happy to see this whole-hearted return to U.S. destinations by one of America’s premier travel companies and thought we’d share it. This is another indication that all of us can expect to see rising numbers of tour travelers enjoying the faces and places of our great country. Check out the full press release from Tauck with more information below:
WILTON, Connecticut— A year ago Tauck CEO Dan Mahar reached out to the company’s guests and travel advisor partners with an important and ultimately upbeat message: even though Tauck was suspending its tours and cruises, the company was already looking forward to the day when it would again welcome guests. Today, Tauck announced that day has arrived.
In an email to guests and travel advisors, Mahar revealed Tauck’s plans to fully restart its U.S. tours by July 1. Today’s announcement noted that departures of Tauck’s “Southern Charms: Savannah, Hilton Head and Charleston” itinerary have already begun operating, to be followed this month by “New Orleans & Mississippi River Country,” with other popular tours across the country relaunching in the coming months. Guests and travel advisors can access information on specific tour departures at a new Open for Travel page on Tauck’s website.
Tauck’s readiness to restart its U.S. operations was demonstrated in January and February when it ran several departures of its “Wonderland: Yellowstone in Winter” itinerary. According to Mahar, the overwhelming success of those tours was a key factor in leading to today’s announcement. “Guests told us they loved their tours, and their positive feedback proved conclusively that we can deliver a true Tauck-level experience while still following all of the appropriate health and safety protocols,” said Mahar.
Besides providing several operational advantages, restarting in the U.S. also seemed fitting from a historical perspective, Mahar noted. Although Tauck offers tours and cruises in more than 70 countries and on all seven continents, the company’s roots are firmly in the U.S. where it first began hosting travelers in 1925. Today, Tauck’s U.S. journeys offer unique access to exclusive experiences ranging from “inside the park” accommodations at America’s premier national parks to itineraries crafted in partnership with the award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns.
Today’s announcement was made in a “Porchlight” email from Mahar, the latest in a series of themed Porchlight updates the CEO has provided since the start of the pandemic. (Today’s Porchlight announcement can be found in its entirety here.) The porchlight metaphor was chosen to convey that, despite the temporary suspension of its tours and cruises, the company would remain hard at work preparing to welcome guests “home” as soon as travel could resume.
The Porchlight series is just one way Tauck continues to engage its guests and travel advisors since global travel ceased a year ago. Besides posting frequent blog entries and social media updates, Tauck launched a particularly effective and popular series of exclusive “insideTauck” events. Hosted by Tauck Director guides and other Tauck experts featured on the company’s tours, the live-streamed events have ranged from a bicycle tour of Florence to an exploration of the secrets of Belgian chocolate. More than 6,000 Tauck guests recently viewed an insideTauck guided walk through the historic sites of Jerusalem.
Operationally Tauck has been just as busy, working in close cooperation with its network of supplier-partners on plans to restart its tours. The company’s Worldwide Operations team communicates continuously with more than 2,000 attractions, national parks, hotels, restaurants, guest lecturers and others involved in the delivery of its tour experiences, all while developing health and safety protocols and monitoring developments in 70+ countries around the world.
Those health and safety protocols feature prominently on all of Tauck’s 2021 itineraries, and will include the mandatory use of masks, social distancing wherever possible, and enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures. Tauck is also requiring guests to complete and sign a Travel Well Pledge which confirms that they have either been vaccinated against Covid-19 or passed a PCR Covid-19 test within five days of departure, that they are free of virus-related symptoms, and that they have not been in close contact with anyone diagnosed with Covid-19. The latest updates on Tauck’s travel policies, and the status of destinations served by the company, are featured in a Travel and Health page on the Tauck website.
95% OF SURVEYED GUESTS VACCINATED; 88% EAGER TO TRAVEL
While today’s announcement from Tauck refers only to its domestic trips, the company hopes to provide an update on selected international itineraries in the coming weeks. In the meantime, Tauck’s customers are ready and excited to travel, whether domestically or abroad. A recent survey of more than 5,000 guests booked to travel with Tauck from now through September revealed that a full 95% of respondents have already been vaccinated, and another 2% have their vaccinations scheduled. And while a small proportion of guests remain undecided, the overwhelming majority – a full 88% – are eagerly looking forward to taking their upcoming Tauck trip as planned.
The ability and willingness to travel shown by Tauck’s guests are reflected in the strong bookings the company is seeing for its U.S. tours. And although Mahar stated that a number of departures are sold out, he also noted that availability remains on several of the company’s popular domestic itineraries, including “America’s Canyonlands,” “The Best of Hawaii” and “Southern Charms: Savannah, Hilton Head and Charleston.” (As noted above, and for the very latest availability on all Tauck itineraries, guests and travel advisors can go to the Open for Travel page on Tauck’s website.)
Founded in 1925, Tauck is a world leader in upscale guided travel, with more than 150 river cruises, small ship ocean cruises, land tours and safaris to 70+ countries and all seven continents. In each of the last 23 years, Tauck has been honored in Travel + Leisure magazine’s annual “World’s Best Awards” celebrating the very best in luxury cruises, tours, hotels and more.
Those interested in more information can contact their local travel professional, call Tauck at 800-468-2825, or visit the company’s website at www.tauck.com (www.tauck.ca in Canada, www.tauck.co.uk in the UK, www.tauck.com.au in Australia/New Zealand).