Tauck will now require all guests ages 12 and over to present proof of being fully vaccinated at the start of their trip. This comes as an expansion to a policy implemented earlier this year on its European tours and cruises. The expanded vaccination requirement was instituted on Sept. 7, 2021, and applies to all of Tauck’s tours and cruises worldwide.
According to Jeremy Palmer, Tauck’s senior v.p. of worldwide operations, the move comes as entry requirements have been evolving rapidly around the world. “We’re seeing a steady increase in restaurants, museums and attractions requiring proof of vaccination,” said Palmer in a press statement, “to the point where unvaccinated travelers won’t be able to fully participate in their Tauck journeys. It’s become clear that a universal vaccination requirement is the best way to ensure our guests enjoy all of the incredible experiences we build into our tours and cruises.”
Palmer added that over the past few months Tauck has safely hosted thousands of Tauck guests on more than 80 itineraries around the globe, earning high guest-satisfaction scores along the way. He also anticipated that the company’s customers—97 percent of whom are already vaccinated—would appreciate the simplicity of the new policy.
Tauck paused its operations due to Covid in March 2020, and began hosting guests again in January and February of this year on several departures of its “Wonderland: Yellowstone in Winter” itinerary. In the months since, Tauck has successfully resumed operating its tours and cruises in the U.S., Europe, Africa, Latin America and elsewhere.
Guests who are impacted by the policy change may take advantage of Tauck’s 2021 Flexible Booking Policy, which waives all change penalties when their booking is transferred to another Tauck trip operating in 2021 or 2022. Information on Tauck’s policies is available on their Travel Updates page on the company’s website.
Response to EU Announcement of Removing U.S. from Safe Travel List
At the same time that Tauck was revising its vaccination policy, it was also busy reaching out to its network of travel advisor partners to clear up the considerable confusion regarding the EU’s removal of the U.S. from its “Safe Travel” list. While the EU suggested that its member nations prohibit non-essential visits by American travelers, Tauck noted in an e-mail to its travel advisor partners that the EU’s action was merely a recommendation and that each EU member is free to set its own policies. The e-mail, written by Steve Spivak, Tauck’s v.p. of global sales and partner relations, emphasized that “the EU has no authority to require that countries restrict entry to travelers from the U.S.”
The e-mail also took issue with how the EU announcement was sometimes distorted in press reports, and stressed the need for Tauck and its travel advisor partners to stay fully informed. “In light of the broad misunderstanding of this development in Europe, and the misinformation being disseminated,” the e-mail read, “it is incumbent on all of us to serve our clients and our industry, by confidently sharing facts and information that are grounded in reality.”
Having a trusted source for accurate information can foster peace of mind in uncertain times, noted Palmer, who also urged travelers today to be prepared and stay flexible. “Being prepared can be as simple as keeping proof of vaccination and a negative PCR test result handy,” said Palmer, “and traveling with a reputable tour operator like Tauck is a great way to stay flexible and ensure you’re never alone. We have knowledge and resources far beyond the scope of an independent traveler, and we stand ready to support and assist in a hundred different ways should any need arise.”
For more information, visit tauck.com.