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  • Rick Steves relaxing in the Dolomites

Guidebook author and travel TV host Rick Steves is America's most respected authority on European travel. Learn more about Rick by watching his TED Talk: "Why Travel Is Well Worth the Money."


Rick's Biography

Short Version (71 words)

Rick Steves is a popular public television host, a best-selling guidebook author, and an outspoken activist who encourages Americans to broaden their perspectives through travel. He is the founder and owner of Rick Steves' Europe, a travel business with a tour program that brings more than 30,000 people to Europe annually. Rick lives and works in his hometown of Edmonds, Washington, where his office window overlooks his old junior high school.

Medium Version (200 words)

Rick Steves is a popular public television host, a best-selling guidebook author, and an outspoken activist who encourages Americans to broaden their perspectives through travel. But above all else, Rick considers himself a teacher. He taught his first travel class at his college campus in the mid-1970s — and now, more than 40 years later, he still measures his success not by dollars earned, but by trips impacted.

Rick is the founder and owner of Rick Steves' Europe, a travel business with a tour program that brings more than 30,000 people to Europe annually. Each year, the company contributes to a portfolio of climate-smart nonprofits, essentially paying a self-imposed carbon tax. He also works closely with several advocacy groups and has been instrumental in the legalization of marijuana in states across the US.

Rick spends about four months a year in Europe, researching guidebooks, fine-tuning his tour program, filming his TV show, and making new discoveries for travelers. To recharge, he plays piano, relaxes at his family cabin in the Cascade mountains, and spends time with his son Andy and daughter Jackie. He lives and works in his hometown of Edmonds, Washington, where his office window overlooks his old junior high school.

Long version (390 words)

Rick Steves is a popular public television host, a best-selling guidebook author, and an outspoken activist who encourages Americans to broaden their perspectives through travel. But above all else, Rick considers himself a teacher. He taught his first travel class at his college campus in the mid-1970s — and now, more than 40 years later, he still measures his success not by dollars earned, but by trips impacted.

Widely considered America's leading authority on European travel, Rick produces a best-selling series of guidebooks and is the author of Travel as a Political Act. He is dedicated to providing all Americans with access to travel information, and has made extensive resources available for free on the Rick Steves' Europe website, via the Rick Steves Audio Europe™ app, and in Rick Steves Classroom Europe™, a searchable database of short, teachable video clips.

A longtime supporter of public broadcasting, Rick produces and hosts public television and radio shows that air across the nation. 

Rick is the founder and owner of Rick Steves' Europe (RSE), a travel business with more than 100 full-time employees. RSE operates a successful tour program which brings more than 30,000 people to Europe annually. The company contributes annually to a portfolio of climate-smart nonprofits, essentially paying a self-imposed carbon tax.

Rick works closely with several advocacy groups and makes regular financial contributions to more than 170 organizations, including annual contributions to Bread for the World. He is a board member of NORML and has been instrumental in the legalization of marijuana in several states. He has also provided $8 million in funding to build two new neighborhood centers in his community, and has donated a 24-unit apartment building for homeless women and their children to his local YWCA.

Rick spends about four months a year in Europe, researching guidebooks, fine-tuning his tour program, filming his TV show, and making new discoveries for travelers. To recharge, he plays piano, relaxes at his family cabin in the Cascade mountains, and spends time with his son Andy and daughter Jackie. He lives and works in his hometown of Edmonds, Washington, where his office window overlooks his old junior high school.

Download Publicity Photos

You may publish these photos free of charge. The files are all 300 dpi, print-quality JPEGs saved with the highest quality compression. Please note that some of these photos are high-definition screen captures from our shows and are smaller in size.

To download images, click on a link for the image you want below. Once the image finishes loading, right-click on it and choose "Save Link As." If you would like assistance in downloading these images, or prefer another format, please email pr@ricksteves.com. All photos were taken from the filming of Rick Steves' Europe, unless otherwise noted.

Download Rick Steves Logos

Taking a break from filming in Italy's Dolomites.
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Rick in Bern, Switzerland.
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Rick and his TV crew in the Scottish Highlands.
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Conducting guidebook research in Bern, Switzerland.
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Rick at Cambridge University's Trinity College in Cambridge, England.
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Rick in Rossio Square in Lisbon, Portugal.
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Rick Steves, New York Times Magazine.
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Photo by Zachary Scott

Relaxing (chillaxing) in the Swiss Alps.
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Speaking at the Edmonds Center for the Arts.
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Teaching a Travel Skills class at the Edmonds Center for the Arts.
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Taping his radio show, Travel with Rick Steves.
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Cruising Stockholm's archipelago.
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Rick in Vernazza, Italy.
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Hiking in Italy's Cinque Terre.
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Filming at Germany's Wartburg Castle.
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Basking in the Norwegian sun above the Sognefjord.
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Hanging out with schoolgirls in Iran.
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Rick Steves receiving his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
(Note: This image is 72 dpi and only suitable for digital use.)
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Rick at the early-medieval parish church of Stanton, England.
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Rick in Asia in 1978. (vertical)
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Rick Steves, New York Times Magazine. (vertical)
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Rick Steves, New York Times Magazine. (vertical)
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Rick Steves, New York Times Magazine. (vertical)
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Rick Steves, New York Times Magazine. (vertical)
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Rick Steves, New York Times Magazine. (vertical)
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Photo by Zachary Scott

Interview Rick

If you'd like to interview Rick Steves, please email pr@ricksteves.com. Here are some possible story angles:

Story Angles

Ugly American Sentiment Abroad
Recently, much has been written about Americans being chastised or targeted in Europe because of the United States' foreign policy. Rick believes that although most Europeans take issue with US foreign policy, they feel differently about the American people. The following information, excerpted from Europe Through the Back Door, demonstrates how Americans can keep these "ugly" stereotypes just that.

Safe Travel
Many Americans are nervous about traveling now more than ever. And while the concern is natural, you're safer going to Europe than getting behind the wheel of your car.

Rick's Business
Rick Steves offers a tremendous amount of free travel information through his bi-annual travel newsletter, European travel classes, and his 3,000+ page website. The different components of Rick's business — his tours, travel store, television and radio productions, and guidebooks — feed off each other to create overall brand awareness. Furthermore, his business (Rick Steves' Europe, Inc.) has grown from a one-man operation to a thriving 100-employee office, and it sells more tours to Europe than ever before. Rick is the author of over 60 guidebooks, and his guidebook to Italy is the bestselling guidebook to any foreign destination in the United States.

Rick Supports Public Radio and Television
Rick raises millions of dollars annually for public radio and television. At a time when public radio and television stations are struggling financially, Rick enthusiastically raises money for public broadcasting.

Rick's Travel Philosophy
Travel is freedom...one of the last great sources of legal adventure. Travel is intensified living, with maximum thrills per minute. It's recess, and we need it. Experiencing the real Europe requires catching it by surprise. Check out Rick's travel philosophy.

Rick's Social Activism
Rick believes that travel is more a vital force for peace than ever. He believes the most effective way individual Americans can contribute to our "Homeland Security" is to travel a lot, learn about the world, come home, and help the United States fit better into this ever-smaller planet. He also believes that America's current stand on world trade and the environment is in the world minority, and that the world's well-being depends on travel so we can understand other countries' policies on these issues. Learn more about Rick's social activism.

In the News

Rick and His Business

CBS Sunday Morning

Rick Steves explores how he has employed a "traveler's mindset" during the pandemic: hosting virtual travel parties, sorting through 40-year-old postcards, and tickling the ivories.

Forbes

For the Love of Europe: Travel expert Rick Steves talks coronavirus and business ethics. Plus, why you'll want to read his enticing new book

TIME

Rick Steves Talks About Staying in One Place, What America Is Getting Wrong, and Dreaming of Escargots

WEDU

Rick Steves with Cathy Unruh

WTTW

Rick Steves' new documentary Hunger and Hope explores solutions to poverty

Travel + Leisure

Samantha Brown and Rick Steves got adorably lost together in LA

The Seattle Times

In your travels and at home, channel climate-change anxiety into action

Popular Science

Your travel-related COVID-19 questions, answered

Edmonds Beacon

Rick Steves cancels tours to Italy

USA Today

Travel writer Rick Steves explains self-imposed $1M carbon tax, where that money is going

CBS News

Rick Steves rolls out self-imposed carbon tax

Travel + Leisure

Rick Steves self-imposes $1 million 'tax' to help offset the environmental impact of the 30,000 people who take his tours each year

Quartz

Rick Steves is putting a $1 million "self-imposed carbon tax" on his travel company

The Washington Post

Europe's 'flight shame' movement doesn't stand a chance in the U.S.

The New York Times Magazine

Rick was profiled in an 8,000-word cover story by Sam Anderson

Time Magazine

Rick Steves: The Traveler's Aid

The New York Times Magazine

A profile of Rick conducting guidebook research in Europe

USA Today

Rick Steves has the inside track to Europe

Puget Sound Business Journal

Rick Steves' travel empire is moving as fast as a Europe-bound 747

Updating a Rick Steves Guidebook (4-minute video clip)

Rick gives us a peek at what it takes to update his guidebooks.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Outspoken Travel Guru Rooted in Edmonds


 

Travel as a Political Act

Wall Street Journal

Rick’s plan for a better world:  more travel

USA Today

Rick provides 10 great places to challenge American assumptions

NPR

Rick gets uncomfortable in "Travel As A Political Act"

Budget Travel

#BTReads: Rick Steves's 'Travel as a Political Act'

Writer's Digest

Write Like Rick Steves: Travel Writer Extraordinaire

USA Today

Rick writes an op-ed about how travel helps gain global perspective

The Seattle Times

Rick comments on recent elections in Iran

The Costco Connection

Travel guru Rick Steves says travel with an open mind and think globally

Book Slut

G is for Geopolitical: Rick Steves Revealed

WorldHum.com

Interview with Rick Steves: 'Travel as a Political Act'

Seattle Times

The World According to Rick Steves

Faithful Travel with Rick Steves (10-minute TV interview)

Learn why Rick is dedicated to thoughtful travel

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Rick talks about how Europe perceives the United States

The Seattle Times

Rick writes an op-ed about what he sees as the real threat to U.S. security

The Seattle Times

Rick writes an op-ed about global warming

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Outspoken Travel Guru Rooted in Edmonds

The Seattle Times

Rick writes an op-ed about what he sees as the real threat to U.S. security


 

Drug Policy Reform

Rolling Stone

Mr. Steves goes to Washington – to talk drug policy

The Marijuana Times

Rick briefs members of Congress on marijuana law reform

Houston Chronicle

Rick Steves offers a European take on America’s drug war

Seattle Hempfest

Rick sums up his drug policy views in this 8-min video

New York Times

Fresh ideas on a tired crusade

Los Angeles Times

Rick’s op-ed on "Europe: Curing, Not Punishing Addicts"

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Rick Steves’ writes on "We need to get smart about marijuana"

Huffington Post

Rick's LA Times op-ed listed as one of the "Top 10 Reasons for Optimism"

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Travel guru stands firm on war and weed


 

Rick's Products & Travel Advice

MSNBC

Rick's guidebooks endorsed

USA Today

Rick writes an op-ed about why a weaker dollar can actually give you a richer travel experience

Washington Post

Rick Steves, Through the Front Door

Europe Awaits Press Release

Rick Steves Europe Awaits Explores Favorite Destinations to Visit Post-COVID

New two-hour special premieres June 7, 2021 on public TV stations nationwide

Download the PDF

BOSTON, MA (May 17, 2021) – A new two-hour public television special features travel expert, author and host Rick Steves as he shares his favorite European destinations to visit when travel is possible again. From offbeat and romantic to picturesque and restorative, these locations offer inspiration to travel lovers who have spent the past year dreaming of their next vacation when the global pandemic ends. Co-produced and presented by American Public Television (APT), the leading syndicator of content to public television stations nationwide, Rick Steves Europe Awaits premieres June 7, 2021 (check local listings). 

“We are proud to be Rick Steves’ public media partner for more than three decades, presenting his insightful and enriching programs as he explores our world,” notes Cynthia Fenneman, President and CEO of APT. “Rick Steves Europe Awaits is a timely and relevant special that sparks our travel imagination from the safety and comfort of home.”

“When the time is right, Americans will rekindle their travel dreams, and Europe will greet us with a warm and enthusiastic welcome,” says Rick Steves. “Europe Awaits is my dream itinerary: places away from the hubbub, places made for embracing life, and places that are good for the soul. It’s good to dream — and once we emerge from this pandemic, it will be even better to travel.”

Join Rick Steves as he recounts his recommended travel itineraries that will delight both European travel aficionados and novices alike:

  • The rich history and cuisine of Sicily;
  • Mykonos, the romantic Greek island in the Aegean Sea;
  • Rustic and historic Porto, in Portugal’s northern region;
  • Majestic English country views in the Cotswolds;
  • An authentic taste of la dolce vita in Tuscany;
  • and Romania, overflowing with vibrant traditional folk life.

Rick Steves is a popular public television and radio host, a best-selling guidebook author, and an outspoken activist who encourages Americans to broaden their perspectives through travel. He is the founder and owner of Rick Steves' Europe, a travel business with a tour program that brings more than 30,000 people to Europe annually. Rick lives and works in his hometown of Edmonds, Washington, where his office window overlooks his old junior high school.

Select pledge thank-you gifts for Rick Steves Europe Awaits include exclusive access to a live virtual event and Q&A session hosted by Rick from his home in Seattle, WA; DVDs of Rick’s speaking engagements; anthology sets of the Rick Steves’ Europe series; “For the Love of Europe,” a 400-page collection of Rick’s favorite people, places and experiences; and the “Europe’s Top 100 Masterpieces: Art for the Traveler” coffee table book.

Rick Steves Europe Awaits is a production of Rick Steves’ Europe, Inc., American Public Television, and Detroit Public Television. Visit ricksteves.com for additional information. Press materials and photography are available at APTonline.org/press and ricksteves.com/press-room.

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About American Public Television American

Public Television (APT) is the leading syndicator of high-quality, top-rated programming to the nation’s public television stations. Founded in 1961, APT distributes 250 new program titles per year and more than one-third of the top 100 highest-rated public television titles in the U.S. APT’s diverse catalog includes prominent documentaries, performance, dramas, how-to programs, classic movies, children’s series and news and current affairs programs. Doc Martin, Midsomer Murders, America’s Test Kitchen From Cook’s Illustrated, AfroPoP, Rick Steves’ Europe, Pacific Heartbeat, Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Television, Legacy List with Matt Paxton, Front and Center, Lidia’s Kitchen, Kevin Belton’s New Orleans Kitchen, Simply Ming, The Best of the Joy of Painting with Bob Ross, James Patterson’s Kid Stew and NHK Newsline are a sampling of APT’s programs, considered some of the most popular on public television. APT also licenses programs internationally through its APT Worldwide service and distributes Create®TV — featuring the best of public television's lifestyle programming — and WORLD™, public television’s premier news, science and documentary channel. To find out more about APT’s programs and services, visit APTonline.org.

About Rick Steves’ Europe, Inc.

Rick Steves' Europe (RSE) inspires, informs, and equips Americans to have European trips that are fun, affordable, and culturally broadening. Guided by the values-driven vision of Rick Steves, the company brings tens of thousands of people to Europe annually on organized tours and produces a wide range of travel content, including a best-selling guidebook series, popular public television and radio shows, a syndicated travel column, and a large library of free travel information at ricksteves.com. RSE's mission is built around the idea of social responsibility, and it empowers several philanthropic and advocacy groups, including a portfolio of climate-smart nonprofits that it funds through a self-imposed carbon tax.

About Detroit Public Television

Serving Southeast Michigan, Detroit Public TV (DPTV) is Michigan’s largest and most watched television station, with the most diverse public television audience in the country. DPTV is the state’s only communitylicensed station, meaning it operates independent of any educational, government or other institution. Its funding comes solely from the community. Each week, more than two million people watch DPTV’s four broadcast channels, and nearly 200,000 people listen to its radio station, WRCJ 90.9 FM for classical days and jazzy nights. In addition, DPTV is building the next generation of public media with a rapidly growing digital presence, which now reaches more than half a million unique visitors through its website, YouTube channels and social media platforms each month. Visit DPTV.org.

Press Contacts:

Olivia Wong 
APT Vice President, Marketing and Communications
Olivia_Wong@APTonline.org

Hunter Kossodo  
Public Relations Associate  
Hunter_Kossodo@APTonline.org