I’ve recently traveled to Europe for the first time in two years, as have several members of my team. We all had the same experience: It was great to be back. We felt safe and comfortable to be on the road again and inspired by the sensible and effective European approach to the pandemic. While COVID-19 lingers on, I’m feeling optimistic about taking our tour groups to Europe in 2022.
Being in Europe has given us a better sense of conditions and requirements on the ground. But those will continue to change over the winter, and we'll be spending that time sorting out how the new reality affects our 2022 groups.
However, we have made one very important policy decision: Proof of a COVID-19 vaccination will be required to participate in any 2022 Rick Steves tour.
It's clear that Europeans expect everyone (especially visitors) to be vaccinated in order to fully participate in society — including many of the experiences that we promise on our tours. In many places, you simply can't eat inside a restaurant or enter a museum without a vaccination card. More than that, we believe that vaccines are key to keeping everyone — both our fellow travelers and our European friends — safe and healthy. In addition to tour members, we’ll require that our guides and bus drivers also be fully vaccinated.
We understand that returning to international travel may feel like a big leap of faith, so we’re committed to providing booking flexibility (book by Dec. 1 and your deposit is 100 percent refundable until Dec. 31, 2021), no fee transfers, and full refunds if we should need to cancel a tour.
It’s our hope and reasonable expectation that the COVID-19 situation will continue to improve and that our tour groups will be back in Europe — safely and happily — in 2022.
We hope you can join us!