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(24,873 posts)
Sun Dec 31, 2023, 07:44 PM Dec 2023

Seeking tour or guided travel recs

after our bust of a Rick Steve's trip to Scotland this year (we got our first and only bout of COVID 3 days in and had to leave the tour. Came home.), I am seeking recs for a future trip.

We don't travel internationally often. We had gotten off to a great start and made it home ok..given we had COVID.

Would a cruise be better, since well have our accommodations with us so could theoretically isolate if we get sick again?

We couldn't access Paxlovid or even health care in Scotland. Wondering if any of the cruise lines have basic med care onboard?


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(15,223 posts)
1. We have taken two exceptional trips with Kensington Tours
Sun Dec 31, 2023, 07:50 PM
Dec 2023

Safari in Tanzania and a Nile river cruise with Cairo. They have pre-set trips, or you can design your own.

We also took two Viking ocean cruises. We are scheduled for a Viking river cruise in 2025.

Both highly recommend.


(15,223 posts)
7. No fancy dress!
Sun Dec 31, 2023, 08:11 PM
Dec 2023

They only ask that you not wear jeans to dinner.

The ships hold 900 passengers, 450 crew. You never feel crowded anywhere. Excellent service, great food.

No casino, no children.


(24,873 posts)
11. Thanks so much, leftie -
Sun Dec 31, 2023, 09:35 PM
Dec 2023

for your helpful info!

Am I correct in understanding all the ships are the same size and design?

Or maybe within each class - river and ocean?


(6,265 posts)
13. All the European river ships are of similar design, but the sizes vary by river routes.
Mon Jan 1, 2024, 01:03 AM
Jan 2024

Those on the Seine hold 168 passengers, on the Elbe 98 passengers, and on the Douro 106 passengers. The other European ships, on the Danube, Main, and/or Rhine routes, hold 190 passengers.

The ships for Egypt, Asia, and the Mississippi vary by region.

I took the Grand European Tour back in 2014 and loved it! Casual, comfortable, good food, interesting people. The tours in the various ports of call are separated into small groups that are mobility limited, with normal mobility, and those who want to test their limits. I'd go again in a heartbeat!


(626 posts)
2. A company I highly recommend
Sun Dec 31, 2023, 07:52 PM
Dec 2023

Is Overseas Adventure Travel. I have been on 4 trips with them. Outstanding travel guides. Also CIE Tours of Ireland and Scotland. And a friend swears by Gate 1 Travel. We are going to Greece next May with them.
Cruises are another thing. Really depends on your physical abilities for a land tour, what you want to see and visit, the level of comfort you require or need.


(51,559 posts)
3. My number one rule for international travel is to get a good travel insurance policy.
Sun Dec 31, 2023, 07:55 PM
Dec 2023

I have gotten sick while in a different country and was always seen by a doctor arranged by my tour guide. I was with a small EF Go Ahead tour in spring of 2022 when a couple came down with COVID. They were isolated in the hotel we were using and their travel insurance picked up the expense.

I recommend both EF Go and Insight for higher end accommodations and smaller groups. For a more active tour, try gAdventures out of Canada. They have great costumer service.


(21,357 posts)
4. Cruises are nice and if you get sick they do have small hospitals on board
Sun Dec 31, 2023, 07:57 PM
Dec 2023

My sister got sick on our last cruise because she wasn’t watching her blood sugars levels. She ended up staying 3 night in their hospital. If there is a Covid outbreak they will test you and you price psotivw they will bring food to your door.

We like Oceania it’s a smaller cruise line ( no more than 600 cruisers) the bigger ones have over 2 thousand people. Or Viking which has only about 400 cruisers. We’ve been on Royal Caribbean ( awful ) and Princess ( they nickel and dime you to death)


(21,357 posts)
9. I had a friend who went on Viking in 2018 and she only had 400 people on her cruise
Sun Dec 31, 2023, 08:39 PM
Dec 2023

But this was pre pandemic.

Major Nikon

(36,831 posts)
15. I've used this company several times
Sat Jan 6, 2024, 05:12 AM
Jan 2024

I'm going to take a trip with them again this year. All of their trips are extremely well organized. Someone meets you at the airport when you arrive and from then on pretty much every detail is taken care of. We have gone on several trips with them to places like China, Costa Rica, and Italy and never had a bad experience.

I've never gotten sick on one of their trips, but on a trip to Peru a woman got really bad altitude sickness in Cusco. They took care of her including getting her oxygen and medical attention.


(63,947 posts)
16. Atlas has excellent cruise options. We took one in the Mediterranean last year and are booked on another that will
Thu Jan 18, 2024, 05:45 PM
Jan 2024

start in Nice, France, touch North Africa and end up in Portugal. The food is excellent, not piggish, but refined and superb. We each had a massage while at sea and they were wonderful (with tip $100 apiece). Go to their website and get their full schedule of cruises.

Here is where I highly recommend getting a travel agent. She took care of so much detail it was wonderful.

I usually plan out my art tours, since I know pretty much every exhibit I want to see, and it sure is nice to have someone plan the nitty gritty stuff that can steal your time.

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