Not many Canadians know about Tauck Tours. They are kinda the newbie player in the tour operator market to Canada – the newbie that’s 85 years old in the USA. So, Tauck brings a lot of expertise and stability with it into Canada (and it’s a privately run company, still owned and operated by the Tauck family- pronounced like talc, as in talcum powder).
Many Canadians are familiar with Globus, Trafalgar, and Insight tours; and have considered, and/or taken their tours to Europe. And there is no more popular destination for Canadians than Italy. So, after soaking in Jackie’s talk about Tauck , as well as listening to Charmaine’s presentation, I decided to have a closer look, and compare the Insight “Italian Intermezzo” Tour and Tauck’s “Week in Venice, Florence, and Rome” for a week long escorted tour in September 2011.
Tauck generally doesn’t do promos – they are offering Canadians a “gift of time” (if you book before the end of May) with a free pre or post tour hotel as part of their 85th anniversary (which, if we look at their selected Rome hotel, is about $600 Cdn for a night in September). Insight has a new promo that if you pay in full by the end of April, you can get $225 off the land pp (or $450 per couple). Ignoring air costs, here’s a comparison of the two tours.
As you look through the comparison charts, and the Google maps of differences between the hotels, just note that Tauck gives you 5* luxury hotels in the heart of the cities, instead of Insight’s 3.5-4* hotels. Plus, Tauck gives you after hours tours of the Vatican, and so much more. Tauck gives you luxury and better value!
|Insight – Italian Intermezzo||Tauck – week in Venice, Florence, & Rome|
|September 16-24.11 – 9 days (but first day is day leaving Canada)||September 18-25.11 – 8 days|
|3.5-4* accommodations, fairly centrally located (save 1 n Rome)||5* luxury accommodations, very centrally located in heart of city|
|2 nights Venice – Best Western Premier Hotel Sant Elena -4* – 20 minute walk or water bus to St. Mark’s Square – http://www.hotelsantelena.com/||2 nights Venice – Luna Hotel Baglioni – 5* luxury hotel – 100 m from St. Mark’s Square http://www.baglionihotels.com/en/destinations/venice/luna-hotel-baglioni/hotel|
|2 nights Florence – Hotel Londra – 4* hotel http://www.spacehotels.it/hotels/hotel_londra–xhFLO05-h-23.html||3 nights Florence –Luna Helvetia & Bristol – 5*luxury hotel in central Florence http://helvetiabristol.warwickhotels.com/|
|3 nights Rome – 2 nights at Romanico Palace a 3.5* centrally located http://www.hotelromanico.com/romanico-HomePageen-121.html , 1 night at Sheraton Roma a 4* 8km from city centre http://sheraton.hotelinroma.com/||2 nights Rome – 5* luxury Regina Hotel Baglioni – centrally located on Via Veneto http://www.baglionihotels.com/en/destinations/rome/regina-hotel-baglioni/hotel|
|Includes 7 breakfasts, 0 lunches, 2 3-course table d’hote or buffet, 1 dine around dinner; generally dine as a group||Includes 7 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners – eat in restaurant off menu, no group dining|
|Travel by 40 seat motor coach||
Travel by high-speed train Venice -Florence, Florence – Rome
|$2325 CAD price per person||$3890 USD price per person|
|$ 460 CAD additional price pp options||$ 0 options (included)|
|$ 108 CAD additional price suggested gratuities ($12/day/ person)||$ 0 gratuities (included)|
|$ 116 CAD additional pp for transfers if don’t travel exact tour dates||$ 0 transfers (included)|
|$ 75 CAD additional pp for lunches incl. In Tauck tour (estimated. Does not include wine-pairing lunch of Tauck)||$ 0 lunches (included)|
|$ 225 CAD pp if pay in full by Apr.29.11||$ 0|
|$ 600 CAD post-tour night Regina Hotel Baglioni (just to compare- already at airport Sheraton Roma prior night)||$ 0 if book by May.31.11|
|$3459 CAD pp||
$3890 USD pp
|$432.38/ day (ignoring day 1 in Canada)||
|TAUCK EXCLUSIVE!– After-hours guided visit to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, without the crowds; see the treasures of the Vatican unhurried, at your own paceTAUCK EXCLUSIVE! – Special wine-pairing lunch featuring traditional Tuscan cuisine and wine plus an olive-oil tasting at the osteria of a famed monastery in the Chianti Hills|