As we work through the challenges surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, I want to provide an important update on our plans for your journey.
Please know that, as always, your health and well-being are our very highest priorities, and that we are well prepared to deal with the current situation. We continue to draw on learnings gleaned from other challenges we’ve faced during our 95-year history, from 9/11 and SARS to earthquakes, political upheaval and H1N1. Most importantly, our robust financial foundation (including zero debt) provides us with the flexibility to do what is best for our guests.
Over the past days, a cascading series of events have prompted us to reevaluate our plans for the coming weeks. New and potential travel restrictions and closures of popular attractions, museums and restaurants threaten our ability to deliver the kinds of enriching and engaging experiences our guests expect from Tauck. Additionally, the mood of the country (and indeed, the world) has changed. Sporting events have been cancelled, schools are closing, and organizations everywhere are making changes to limit or eliminate gatherings. These are prudent steps, and we too must do our part at this critical time. Finally, we must also look beyond the present moment, and have the time and space to prioritize and plan accordingly for all of our guests. At this time, we would all benefit from the opportunity to pause and take a breath.
We have accordingly decided to pause, and forgo operating our scheduled tours and cruises from March 17, 2020 through April 14, 2020. We will revisit our re-start date as mid-April approaches, and of course, we will be here and available throughout this entire time. As per our recently relaxed policy pertaining to Tauck-cancelled departures, you will be receiving a full refund of your tour or cruise cost. Any Guest Protection Product premiums will be Dreamsaved (and any Cruise Protection Product premiums will be kept on account in voucher form) for use on future Tauck journeys. Most airlines are currently waiving change fees. However, if you booked your flights through Tauck, and any change fees are incurred, they will be covered by Tauck. (For Tauck-booked flights, reimbursement will arrive separately from any tour or cruise refund.) For non-Tauck flights, we will reimburse change fees up to $250 per person with the submission of a receipt. Please allow up to two weeks for any refunds to arrive.
We fully recognize that you want to travel with us – you’re just anxious about traveling now. With this in mind, we’re offering a $500 credit per traveler if you transfer to a new 2020 or 2021 reservation. If you are unsure of your future travel plans you can instead choose to leave the funds from your cancelled tour in a “Tauck Travel Wallet,” and receive the same $500 credit per traveler to be used toward your future reservation. For up-to-the minute availability on all of our land tours and cruises, please visit our website, www.tauck.com. (If you preemptively cancelled your journey on March 12, 2020, we will honor the above offer and reconcile your account within 30 days.)
To summarize, we’re providing you with the flexibility offered by two options; 1.) You may cancel and receive a refund, or 2.) receive a $500 credit by transferring to a new journey or leaving your tour funds in a Tauck Travel Wallet.
Thank you for choosing Tauck. I know that we will emerge from our current circumstances stronger than before, and be ready to provide you with the kind of life enhancing travel experiences that have been Tauck’s hallmark for the past 95 years.
Dan Mahar Daniel W. Mahar, CEO
Announced March 19th
As you look ahead to your travels, or consider booking a trip, it is possible that your sense of anticipation may be overshadowed to a degree by concerns about Coronavirus (COVID-19). First, and most importantly, please know that your health and wellbeing, and the health and wellbeing of our employees around the world, are Tauck’s very highest priorities. Tauck has been fulfilling our guests’ travel dreams for 95 years, and during that time we have weathered many storms, from 9/11, the financial crisis, SARS/Avian Flu/H1N1/Ebola, the Iraq invasion, terrorism, and numerous weather related impacts, amongst other experiences. Tauck's accumulated learnings help shape our plan for each new challenge we face.
Tauck is confident that this situation will pass, and the desire for authentic and enriching experiences will be as strong as ever. In fact, in recent days we have heard clearly that the inner desire for travel continues to burn brightly for our guests.
But we also know that each crisis is different, and with the current challenge, the environment is changing almost daily. We know that some of our guests are concerned – while many others are determined to continue traveling. With this in mind, Tauck would like to provide our guests with additional time to make a more informed decision. Effective immediately, we are implementing the following policy changes for any guests confirmed to travel on any Tauck journey (tour or cruise) through June 30, 2020.
If you would like to change or cancel your journey:
Bookings paid in full: Any guests who wish to cancel their booking will have ALL cancel fees (including Guest or Cruise Protection Product premiums) issued back to them in the form of a travel credit to be used on any 2020-2021 Tauck journey. Airline change fees will not be covered for guests who voluntarily cancel.
Bookings not paid in full: Final payment for guests booked on these tours is now due 30 days prior to departure. Any guest who cancels after making final payment will have ALL cancel fees (including Guest or Cruise Protection Product premiums) issued back to them in the form of a travel credit to be used on any 2020-2021 Tauck journey. Airline change fees will not be covered for guests who voluntarily cancel.
If Tauck cancels your journey:
To date, all journeys that travel primarily to U.S. State Department Level 4 (“Do Not Travel”) destinations(China departures through June; Lombardy and Veneto, Italy, departures through April) have been canceled by Tauck.
Guests booked on a trip where cancellation is initiated by Tauck will have all tour/cruise costs returned in the original form of payment. (Any Guest Protection Product/Cruise Protection Product premiums will be kept on account by Tauck for future use.) For guests with Tauck-booked air, Tauck will cover all airline change fees. For guests with non-Tauck air, Tauck will cover airline change fees up to $250 per person.
As always, Tauck offers you one of the most customer-friendly protection plans in the industry, and we encourage you to take advantage of the great peace of mind these programs offer. Immediately following 9/11, Tauck created our “Dreamsaver” program which allows guests to transfer their land tour funds to any future tour or cruise (within one year of cancellation) should their plans change for any reason.
In closing, the current situation is fluid, and as it evolves, so will our response. Please know that Tauck’s Global Response Team is monitoring all developments closely, and meeting regularly to review the latest updates and take the appropriate actions.
We will keep in touch with you as appropriate, with new information and updates. Our experienced and dedicated team is committed to the care of our guests. We appreciate your patience in the coming days as we first contact the guests who are scheduled to travel to impacted regions, prioritizing those with the earliest departures..