(For tours departing Jan. 1–Dec. 31, 2024. You can also view our Tour Conditions for 2023)
Thanks for your interest in our tours. This document outlines what Rick Steves' Europe ("RSE") provides when you sign up for an RSE tour, and what you agree to do while on tour with RSE ("Tour Conditions"). By signing up for a tour with RSE you are agreeing to these Tour Conditions so please read this document carefully before completing your reservation request.
Tour price guarantee: The price for the tour you've selected will be locked and guaranteed the moment we receive your deposit. For current tour prices, visit ricksteves.com or call Tour Sales & Service at 425-771-8303 (Note: Our tour prices do not include airfare and may change without notice.)
Included in the price of each tour: We pride ourselves on including a lot in our tour price; sightseeing tours by an RSE guide, and local guides when appropriate, including admissions to sights seen as a group; meals as specified; accommodations each night, often in family-run hotels in the historic heart of each city; all transportation from the first hotel to the last hotel of the tour (does not include optional activities or independent travel during the tour); all RSE guide, local guide, and driver tips; and a tour kit including a guidebook (when available) and a moneybelt. Exception: "My Way" tours do not include guided sightseeing, admissions, or lunches/dinners.
Itineraries are subject to change: Europe is full of surprises, and we need to be flexible enough to take advantage of whatever comes along (good or bad!) so that we may provide you with the best possible tour. Uncompleted portions of the tour itinerary are not cause for refund.
Tour payments: To reserve a seat on an RSE tour you must agree to these Tour Conditions and provide us with a deposit of $400 per person. We accept MasterCard, Visa, and American Express for all tour payments. We also accept personal checks, bank drafts, or money orders in US dollars drawn on a US or Canadian bank. Your final tour payment is due in our office at least 60 days prior to the start of the tour, in one payment. Your final payment due date will be listed on your tour invoice in your tour account. Missing the final payment deadline may result in your being removed from the tour. If you sign up for a tour less than 60 days before its departure, the entire tour price must be paid, and is non-refundable after 7 days.
Solo travelers and single supplements: We are an unusual tour company in that we offer solo travelers the option to either share a room with another solo tour member of the same sex* or pay a single supplement to secure a private room (required by most other companies). If you wish to guarantee a private room, we offer a limited number of single supplements on each departure for an additional fee. (Refer to your tour's web page at ricksteves.com for current single supplement prices.) If a private single room is not available when we receive your tour order, we will notify you immediately, and you will have the option to either cancel your reservation or agree to share a room with another tour member. Please note that a single supplement guarantees a private room — not a larger or nicer room, as European single-bed rooms are generally the smallest and most basic rooms the hotel has to offer! Single supplements are refundable if cancelled at least 60 days prior to tour departure; those cancelled later will be forfeited, unless you booked a tour less than 60 days before its departure date, in which case, the single supplement becomes non-refundable after 7 days, but may be creditable in the case of a Creditable Event, as outlined below.
Returned payments: If a payment to RSE is returned unpaid for any reason (in other words, if your check "bounces"), we will assess a $35 returned-item fee per occurrence. The fee(s) will be added to the applicable tour balance and must be paid in full prior to your tour departure.
Transferring to another tour: Change in plans? Up to 60 days prior to your tour's departure, you can transfer to any other tour in the same calendar year with seats available, applying your existing deposit and with no transfer fee. If you transfer to a different tour, the price of that tour will be applied, effective on the date we confirm your transfer. Transfers less than 60 days before your tour's departure are generally not possible.
Cancellations, refunds, and credits: Tour deposits are refundable up to 120 days prior to the tour's departure date. Deposits made 91–150 days before a tour departs become non-refundable after 30 days. Deposits made 68-90 days before a tour departs become non-refundable on the final payment due date. If you book a tour less than 67 days before its departure date, the entire tour cost becomes non-refundable after 7 days, but may be creditable in the case of a Creditable Event, as outlined below. Once your deposit refund date has passed, your deposit will not be refunded under any circumstance.
All payments to RSE become non-refundable on your final payment due date (60 days before departure). We may provide you a credit for future travel with Rick Steves' Europe Tours if you cancel your reservation or if your tour is interrupted due to a Creditable Event, as outlined below. If you cancel your reservation for a Creditable Event 31–60 days before the first day of the tour, your credit will be equal to 100 percent of your original tour price. If you cancel your reservation for a Creditable Event 1–30 days before the first day of the tour, your credit will be equal to 50 percent of your original tour price. If you must leave your tour after it has begun for a Creditable Event, not related to Covid-19, a pro-rated credit of $200 per day may be issued. If you or your travel partner must leave your tour due to a positive Covid-19 test, a pro-rated refund of $200 per day will be issued instead of a credit. The credit is not transferable and will expire on December 31, two years following the year of the originally scheduled tour (e.g. if you receive a credit for a tour set to depart in 2043, you may use that credit toward any tour(s) departing prior to December 31, 2045). This is not insurance and is not intended as a substitute for comprehensive travel and health insurance.
If we cancel a tour you have reserved, the entire amount you have paid to RSE for the applicable tour will be refunded to you within 14 days after the tour's cancellation, as required under Washington State law. Or, you may choose to transfer within two weeks to another tour with seats available (see "Transferring to another tour," above). Once this occurs, RSE and its representatives have no other obligations to tour members on cancelled trips including any additional costs or fees related to the issuance and/or cancellation of airline tickets or other travel reservations not made by RSE.
Creditable medical or family emergency ("Creditable Event"): RSE may provide you a credit for future travel with Rick Steves' Europe Tours if one of the following creditable medical or family emergency events requires you to cancel your reservation or interrupts your tour. A Creditable Event must first occur less than 60 days prior to your tour's start date or while on tour. It is RSE's sole discretion to determine if your situation is a Creditable Event. For these purposes, we consider your traveling partner to be someone who shares the same accommodations with you and a family member to be your spouse, step-child, or blood relative in the first degree.
- You, your travel partner, or a family member dies or suffers an unexpected and disabling injury or illness requiring hospitalization or urgent medical care prior to joining or during the tour.
- You, your travel partner or family member suffers a certifiable personal disaster (such as your home floods or burns down, or you are a victim of a serious crime) necessitating a change in travel plans.
- You or your spouse are called into active military service or have leave revoked.
- Loss of employment.
Documented illness due to coronavirus and/or COVID-19 may be considered a Creditable Event. However, fear of infection or concern regarding prevalence of the virus in the tour location(s) will not be considered a Creditable Event.
Credit request process: If you need to cancel your tour you must notify RSE immediately in writing: sent via email to [email protected] or mailed to 130 4th Ave N, Edmonds, WA 98020. Cancellations become effective on the date received by RSE and are governed by the RSE Tour Credit Terms and Conditions. If you wish to request a credit for a Creditable Event and you have comprehensive travel insurance, you must first file a claim with your insurance provider before requesting a credit from RSE. RSE will only process your request for credit after you have filed a claim with your insurance provider and can demonstrate the final insurance payment or settlement. You also must provide the following documentation along with your cancellation notice: For an unexpected illness or injury, we require you to provide a letter from your attending physician, on the physician's letterhead, verifying the specific reason and date of the onset of the condition given for advice against traveling; for a positive Covid-19 diagnosis, we require a voluntarily provided, certified or proctored test result (PCR preferred); in the event of a death, we require a death certificate or obituary; due to a crime, flood, fire, or accident, you must provide a copy of a pertinent police, fire department, or investigative report; for unexpected loss of your job, we require a letter signed by your employer specifying the date of termination, on the company's letterhead (including contact information).
Tour forms, obligations, and risks: To travel on a tour, and to qualify for cancellation credit, all tour members are required to review and accept a General Release and Waiver Agreement, and a Health and Safety Pledge prior to the beginning of a tour. Omitting important information, or altering any of these agreements, will render it invalid, and could result in expulsion from a tour at your own expense.
Participation: While we do our very best to help everyone on our tours have a great trip, it sometimes happens that someone participating in a tour can misbehave or do things that are incompatible with the safety, comfort, or convenience of other members of the tour. In those circumstances we have the exclusive right and discretion to expel someone (even you) from a tour at any time.
Tour member expectations: RSE tours are physically active, our hotels are centrally located but may provide fewer American-style amenities, and our people policy emphasizes NO GRUMPS! These are essential characteristics of the RSE tour experience. On any RSE tour, you assume certain obligations and responsibilities to RSE and your fellow tour members, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Carry or roll your own luggage for up to 15 minutes over uneven pavement from the bus to the hotel (not applicable on 7-day city tours), then haul it up a few flights of stairs to reach your room.
- Be comfortable on your feet with brisk two-hour walking tours, climbing lots of stairs, hopping on and off public transportation, plus standing and walking for up to four hours inside museums and outdoors in all weather conditions.
- Sleep in hotels with no (or inadequate) air conditioning, possible street noise, and slow Wi-Fi connections or Wi-Fi only in common areas.
- After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate towns and cities on your own.
- Our tour guides cannot provide assistance for any of these activities! Tour members requiring help must be accompanied by an able companion who can be entirely responsible for providing the assistance. (If you have concerns about the physical demands of our tours, please call us!)
- Follow all safety precautions and health directives set by your guide, by RSE, or by local officials. Examples may include maintaining proper social distancing, the use of face masks (covering your nose and mouth), proper handwashing, the use of hand sanitizer, quarantining if you are showing symptoms of any contagious illness, being seen by a health professional, and/or taking a certified or proctored COVID test as a condition of continuing on with the tour. The possible precautions and directives required are not limited to the examples included here.
Pack light: Each tour member is advised to bring just one airline carry-on-size piece of luggage (approximately 21" x 14" x 9") plus a small day pack or shoulder bag. Your Pre-Tour Planner includes tips for packing light and creatively.
Smoking policy: No smoking or vaping is allowed on the bus, in the hotel, or where other tour members are present.
Rick Steves' Europe, Inc. is registered with the State of Washington as a provider of travel (#601-035-937-001) and the State of California as a seller of travel (CST# 2086743).
*In the event of a solo traveler who indicates an unspecified gender on their passport, we will reach out to understand the traveler's roommate preferences.