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Hi from Rick: Fun Times at Festival of Europe

Horse-insanity at Siena's Palio, scones that'll clot your cream in England, the tapa tango in Sevilla, the Caesar shuffle in Rome, and kilts flapping in the Scottish wind — it's our Festival of Europe — and we're dreaming out loud about travel every night for the rest of the month, and you're invited to join the fun.

I've been swimming in European fantasies lately — last month fine-tuning 22 shows celebrating our love of Europe — and this month hosting a virtual party nearly every night as we throw our biggest travel festival ever. It's exhilarating putting together slideshows, recording fun video clips, joining a European guide live every night (where "party time" is around 3 a.m.!), and washing it all down with a culturally appropriate drink. And, it's been a huge hit. In fact, we had to increase our Zoom limit from 5,000 to 10,000 attendees per event.

Of course we're selling tours, and for independent travelers, we're also sharing our tips and favorites for each destination. In 2023, we'll be taking over 25,000 travelers on about 1,000 different tours, covering Europe with 40 lovingly designed itineraries from Norway to Greece and Poland to Portugal. (While we've sold out about three-quarters of our 2023 departures, we still have 6,000 seats available.)

Each show is fun, fast-moving (75 minutes including time for a Q&A), and free. And, with our wonderful European guides joining us, I think I'm learning and having as much fun as our participants.

And each Monday, I'm reaching deep into my moneybelt — right there in front of the audience — and pulling out the name of the lucky winner of a free Rick Steves tour. (Congrats to Spencer Swank from Michigan who won last week!)

Every show is recorded and streaming on ricksteves.com, so if you missed Spain with Federico, Scotland with Colin, Eastern Europe with Katka, or Italy with David, it's just a click away. But it's even better being there to watch live and it's not too late to register for our upcoming shows: Every evening through January 30, I'll be hosting shows on Ireland (with Stephen), Germany (with Holger), Greece (with Apostolos), and many more — including a special show on climate change and the ethics of travel (with our chief operating officer, Craig).

For 20 years (until the pandemic hit), we flew our guides here to Seattle and hosted an in-person reunion party for our tour groups. Now we're connecting with lots more people and making many more travel dreams come true by turning our 2023 Rick Steves tour alumni party into a 22-night, nation-wide virtual extravaganza. If you have a trip coming up in the next…oh…10 or 15 years… there's no better place to be!

In the meantime, check out this month's Tour News. We're featuring France with its delightful blend of natural and man-made beauty: From a tasty slideshow of our Paris & the Heart of France tour and interviews with a handful of our great France guides to raves from France tour alums and a mouthwatering video featuring a feast of traditional French fare. And you can learn more about our France tours at the January 24 Festival of Europe show.

Happy travels in 2023!

Rick Steves

 

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