Touring Italy – Tauck Tours' Luxury & Value Beats Competition

Yesterday, I participated in a teleconference with Jackie Coulson, and attended a roadshow with Charmaine MacDonald about Tauck Tours’ expansion into the Canadian market.

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 vs tauck venice

insight vs tauck florence

insight vs tauck rome

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 – 2 nights Venice – Luna Hotel Baglioni – 5* luxury hotel – 100 m from St. Mark’s Square
2 nights Florence – Hotel Londra – 4* hotel–xhFLO05-h-23.html 3 nights Florence –Luna Helvetia & Bristol – 5*luxury hotel in central Florence
3 nights Rome – 2 nights at Romanico Palace a 3.5* centrally located , 1 night at Sheraton Roma a 4* 8km from city centre    2 nights Rome – 5* luxury Regina Hotel Baglioni – centrally located on Via Veneto
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)
Less n/a
$   225 CAD pp if pay in full by Apr.29.11 $     0
Plus n/a
$  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)

$486.25/ day

  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