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Cancel within 60 days of departure and any penalties will be applied toward your next Tauck purchase.
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Any Tauck, any time. If your 2021 plans do change any time up until the day of departure, your full deposit can be applied to a future Tauck journey of your choice.
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Celebrate the history, cultural heritage and natural beauty found in three of the most popular states in the Appalachian Mountains... and discover the natural wonders of the Great Smoky Mountains... on an intriguing journey c rafted with filmmakers Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan. Tauck Exclusives and highlights include... original film content produced exclusively for Tauck by award-winning documentary filmmaker Ken Burns exploring the development of Bluegrass, Country and Appalachian musical forms, as well as the history of westward expansion and American Indian perspectives... exploring Great Smoky Mountains National Park, America's most visited national park... standing at the Cumberland Gap, gateway to the west... a Starting Gate Suites tour of Churchill Downs with a professional jockey... meeting a Nashville songwriter at the Country Music Hall of Fame... private presentation on Appalachian music and instrument craftmanship... a country music performance at the Grand Ole Opry or Ryman Auditorium... and much more, including a special highlight – a "Bluegrass" dinner event at a mansion in Lexington, Kentucky, featuring a live Bluegrass band. Kentucky ... enjoy an insider tour of Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby... visit the homestead that inspired Stephen Foster's "My Old Kentucky Home"... learn the secrets of bourbon at a visit to a bourbon distillery... North Carolina ... explore the Biltmore Estate, a palatial manor house built by George Vanderbilt in 1895... spend two nights in Asheville, one of America's top culinary destinations... trace the roots of Appalachian music at the Folk Art Center... visit the Museum of the Cherokee Indian in Cherokee... Tennessee ... visit The Hermitage, the plantation home of President Andrew Jackson... tour the Ryman Auditorium and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville... and more.
Tour begins: 5:00 PM, The Brown Hotel. A transfer is included from Louisville International Airport to The Brown Hotel, a landmark in the heart of downtown Louisville near the theatre district. Since 1923, this gracious hotel has entertained celebrities and dignitaries with its opulence, charm, and impeccable Southern hospitality, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Please join us at the hotel this evening for a welcome reception and dinner.
A historic home & a famed distillery
Your travels through Kentucky continue today with a short drive to Bardstown and another iconic landmark, Federal Hill. The Georgian-style house was built in 1795 by Judge John Rowan and is known as the inspiration for Stephen Foster's My Old Kentucky Home; tour the impeccably preserved mansion and formal gardens. Following lunch, make a visit to a famed distillery for a guided tour that's accompanied by a tasting of their delicious product. Tonight, dinner is at your leisure in Louisville.
Meals: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Churchill Downs and a private "Bluegrass" evening
Begin the day with a visit to Churchill Downs, the legendary thoroughbred racetrack that has hosted The Kentucky Derby since 1875. Your visit includes a Tauck Exclusive tour with a professional jockey who'll share insider views of the track's history and daily operation while the horses take their morning exercise. On the racetrack grounds, you'll also visit The Kentucky Derby Museum for insights into the race's celebrated history, and what goes into the breeding and training of a thoroughbred champion. Following lunch, delve deeper into equine culture at The Kentucky Horse Park, a working horse farm and theme park showcasing breeds from around the world. Return to your hotel for a special, private "Bluegrass" evening, including a banquet dinner and a live band.
Meals: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Currents of the Cumberland Gap
Travel off the beaten pathway to the Cumberland Gap, a break in the Appalachian Mountains that provided a gateway to the west for migrating buffalo herds, American Indian tribes, and restless pioneers – including Daniel Boone, who blazed a trail known as the Wilderness Road here in 1775. And today you will join that long list of "travelers" when you behold the naturally formed gateway. Explore its rich history and cultural currents at the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park visitors' center. Continue to Asheville, North Carolina, where your accommodation is both historic and gracious, exemplifying the best of Southern hospitality at The Inn at Biltmore Estate. Dine at your leisure tonight at the Inn.
Meals: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
The Biltmore Estate & Appalachian music
Back in 1895 George Vanderbilt II, grandson of railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt, decided to build himself "a little mountain escape" in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. The result was the Biltmore Estate, a fabulous 250-room French château for which he employed architect Richard Morris Hunt for the castle design and Frederick Law Olmsted (the designer of Central Park) to lay out the woodlands and formal gardens. You'll have an opportunity to learn more about this magnificent estate on tours of both the estate grounds and through the mansion itself. See Antler Hill Village, a town built to house the employees who worked on the estate and tended its crops and livestock. After lunch on the estate, you'll visit the Folk Art Center for a private presentation on Appalachian music. Return to Asheville where the remainder of the day is free to spend as you please. Asheville has emerged as one of America's top culinary destinations – a "foodie haven" with many new twists on traditional southern cuisine. In addition to being ranked #12 on the recent "Top 100 Best Places to Live in America," its restaurants and chefs have won top accolades in numerous polls.
Meals: Breakfast Lunch
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Today you'll experience one of the most beautiful, and one of the oldest, places on Earth – Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited national park in the US. Historically, it is known as a place of refuge; the fascinating story of its creation includes the heroic efforts of Horace Kephart, George Masa and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Ecologically, it is one of the world's best examples of a deciduous hardwood forest – a UNESCO World Heritage Site with one of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth, it is dedicated as an international biosphere reserve. Scenically, the grandeur and beauty of the Southern Appalachians is at its very core – from mist-shrouded "smoky" mountains with their wide range of elevations to fresh streams and miles of forests; it is the very definition of the word "vista." In Cherokee, North Carolina, explore 19th-century wilderness settlement life at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park visitors' center. Arrive in Knoxville late afternoon.
Meals: Breakfast Lunch
Travel today to what has emerged as the music capital of America... Nashville, Tennessee. First up is a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame, where you'll truly get a behind-the-scenes look at the industry during a private Nashville songwriter session. Enjoy time on your own to explore the museum, then head to the Ryman Auditorium for a private front-of-house and backstage tour. The venerable hall is best known as the former home of the Grand Ole Opry, from 1943 to 1974, having hosted the biggest country stars of its day. Your downtown hotel is a palatial Beaux-Arts landmark built in 1910; dine as you wish this evening.
Meals: Breakfast Lunch
From The Hermitage to the Opry in Nashville
Visit The Hermitage, the plantation home of Andrew Jackson, military hero, populist, and 7th President of the United States. Dayton Duncan notes that you can understand Andrew Jackson by his own words – "I was born for a storm. And a calm does not suit me." Jackson ("Old Hickory") lived here until his death in 1845 and his brick mansion is considered the most accurately preserved presidential home in the US, with restored décor and original furnishings. Drive along Music Row to your hotel; enjoy some free time to explore Nashville as you please before an early farewell reception and dinner. Join us this evening for a performance of country music at the inimitable Grand Ole Opry (schedule permitting; if an Opry performance is not available on day 8, we may attend a performance on day 7, or a performance at the Opry's original home, the Ryman Auditorium).
Meals: Breakfast Dinner
Tour ends: Nashville. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from The Hermitage Hotel to Nashville International Airport. Allow a minimum of two hours for flight check-in.
Celebrate the history, cultural heritage and natural beauty found in three of the most popular states in the Appalachian Mountains... and discover the natural wonders of the Great Smoky Mountains... on an intriguing journey crafted with filmmakers Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan.Tauck Exclusives and highlights include... original film content produced exclusively for Tauck by award-winning documentary filmmaker Ken Burns exploring the development of Bluegrass, Country and Appalachian musical forms, as well as the history of westward expansion and American Indian perspectives... exploring Great Smoky Mountains National Park, America's most visited national park... standing at the Cumberland Gap, gateway to the west... a Starting Gate Suites tour of Churchill Downs with a professional jockey... meeting a Nashville songwriter at the Country Music Hall of Fame... private presentation on Appalachian music and instrument craftmanship... a country music performance at the Grand Ole Opry or Ryman Auditorium... and much more, including a special highlight – a "Bluegrass" dinner event at a mansion in Lexington, Kentucky, featuring a live Bluegrass band. Kentucky... enjoy an insider tour of Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby... visit the homestead that inspired Stephen Foster's "My Old Kentucky Home"... learn the secrets of bourbon at a visit to a bourbon distillery... North Carolina...explore the Biltmore Estate, a palatial manor house built by George Vanderbilt in 1895... spend two nights in Asheville, one of America's top culinary destinations... trace the roots of Appalachian music at the Folk Art Center... visit the Museum of the Cherokee Indian in Cherokee... Tennessee... visit The Hermitage, the plantation home of President Andrew Jackson... tour the Ryman Auditorium and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville... and more.
- TAUCK EXCLUSIVE - Filmed narratives exclusively produced for Tauck by filmmakers Ken Burns & Dayton Duncan feature new insights based on themes from their films, from national parks to country music
- TAUCK EXCLUSIVE - Starting Gate Suites tour of Churchill Downs - meet a professional jockey
- TAUCK EXCLUSIVE - Private "Bluegrass" event dinner at a Lexington mansion
- Private "Legacy of the Land" guided driving tour of Biltmore Estate grounds and history
Health and Safety Protocols for Tauck Tours
Traveling with Peace of Mind
Our commitment never wavers – to earn your trust by always doing the right thing. As we explore the world together again, this will be more important than ever as we adapt to living and traveling in the presence of COVID-19.
Tauck is 95-years young this year, and our ability to weather many storms over the decades is a result of our values and beliefs – as a family and as a family-owned and led company. In addition to the guiding light of these values, our extensive experience, local knowledge and global support network help to ensure your safety on every Tauck journey. Building upon our bedrock of award-winning guest care, we have worked tirelessly to prepare for your return following the COVID-19 hiatus in travel. With guidance from leading experts, including the CDC and WHO, together with our internal Global Response Team and, most importantly, with feedback from thousands of our guests, we have redefined how we will conduct our experiences as we resume travel.
Tauck is Prepared for the Unexpected
For decades, Tauck has operated in over 70 countries in all 7 continents. Over this time, our staff and network of supplier partners have always been there to support our guests and team on the road. Our guests travel with a comprehensive, built-in support system that starts with the care and local knowledge of our Tauck Directors and extends to our network of partners around the world, including hoteliers and transportation companies.
At the core of our ability to quickly and effectively respond to the unexpected is our Global Response Team - a group of over 50 employees across all departments who stand ready to spring into action around the world. This team has plenty of experience, from weather events, high and low water on rivers, earthquakes, volcanic ash, civil unrest and work stoppages. They have also dealt with past virus outbreaks including the SARS and Zika viruses.
The Tauck Travel Well Pledge
Before we operate tours and cruises, all Tauck employees, our supplier partners and our guests will take Tauck’s Travel Well Pledge.
As a company, we will follow our enhanced protocols with diligence and rigor; review them frequently as the landscape changes and always make common-sense decisions grounded in purpose and pride. We embrace these new and necessary measures to combat COVID-19 and will do our very best to provide the Tauck care we have been honored to deliver for 95 years.
OUR NEW HEALTH & SAFETY PROTOCOLS
Consistent with our commitment to the well-being of our guests, we are implementing enhanced health and safety protocols. These protocols may vary by geographic regions and will certainly evolve over time, as science and society respond to new realities:
Prior to interacting with guests, each member of Tauck’s field staff is trained in enhanced protocols and participates in a personal health screening.
Once on tour, our Tauck Directors and supporting staff are responsible for maintaining these protocols with a special focus on cleanliness and physical distancing. They will relay critical information regarding requirements, advise when protocols are mandatory – such as wearing a face covering in group settings – and help facilitate guest care through communication with appropriate parties should a guest become ill on tour. All Tauck staff will adhere to the same requirements.
When joining a Tauck journey, every guest is responsible for their own health and, in turn, the protection of their fellow travelers, the Tauck staff, our suppliers and the places we visit. Guests will pledge to follow the direction of the Tauck staff and adhere to health and safety protocols.
Guests are expected to wear face coverings in all group settings, to wash their hands frequently and to adhere to supplier and government regulations. While supplies of face coverings, gloves, and hand sanitizer will be available, guests are asked to bring such personal items for their own comfort.
Small is BIG
For many years, Tauck has emphasized and invested in more choices of activities, resulting in smaller groups for activities like sightseeing and events. This is consistent with our mantra that “Small is Big” – small groups and smaller ships with fewer guests.
We initially focused on these elements to improve the guest experience. Yet today they take on an additional dimension; small group experiences and more personal space are critical in providing the peace of mind our guests expect. Accordingly, we are offering even more small group experiences and limiting guest numbers across all of our journeys.
We have been working diligently with our partners to be prepared to welcome you back when the time is right.
Tauck has worked meticulously with our global supplier partners to plan for every itinerary following the hiatus in travel. All partners, whether they be a hotel, museum, small ship/riverboat, restaurant or other partner, have been thoughtful about how to provide a Tauck experience in this environment.
And while it's impossible to list all of the enhanced health and safety protocols for the hundreds of Tauck partners across the globe, we would like to share a representative sample of what you can expect:
Our hotel partners all have world-class health and safety protocols. However, these guidelines may vary depending on local situations and regulations. Here are some typical examples:
- Upon-arrival, health questionnaires and temperature checks may be required. Some hotels may even require daily temperature scans.
- Social distancing may be required in public areas, bars and restaurants.
- High-touch areas such as railings, door handles and elevators will undergo enhanced cleaning.
- In-room measures may include removal of tent cards and magazines. Common use items, such as coffee makers and minibar amenities may be on demand.
- High-touch areas, such as light switches, thermostats, remote controls and door handles will be subject to enhanced and frequent cleaning.
- Guests will have the option to determine housekeeping frequency.
- All hotel staff will undergo daily health screenings.
Ships and Riverboats
We have worked closely with our cruise partners to ensure the best possible health and safety protocols and to ensure the care and service you expect from Tauck:
- Guests on cruises and river journeys will be required to complete a health questionnaire and will undergo a temperature check prior to boarding. In some instances, our ship partners will conduct daily temperature checks.
- Face coverings and physical distancing will be required in most public spaces for guests and crew alike.
- Meals may be offered at staggered times and self-serve buffets will be eliminated.
- In-cabin measures include removing common use items. Coffee makers, minibar amenities and housekeeping will be on demand at guest discretion.
- Ship staff will undergo daily health screenings.
- All vessels will have medical staff onboard.
Sightseeing and Local Activities
Many of our experiences are exclusive and/or private and that’s important in taking care of you. Whether it be a guided tour, a visit to an iconic museum or private home, a musical performance, or any other special Tauck activities, we are applying the same rigor to health and safety protocols:
- Tauck listening devices will be sanitized thoroughly and frequently.
- Sightseeing is being adjusted to ensure proper physical distancing.
- Admission times at venues may be altered to ensure no crowding.
- Paper tickets, handouts and the like may be eliminated.
Tauck has always been known for a la carte dining; having more freedom to decide when and with whom to dine now has more value than ever. Additionally, our partners whether they be hotels, ships, special venues or restaurants, are raising their already rigorous hygienic standards. Here are some examples:
- Waitstaff will likely be wearing face coverings and gloves.
- Seating will be adjusted to accommodate physical distancing.
- Self-serve buffets will be eliminated. Common use menus will no longer be used unless sanitized.
Keeping on-tour transportation safe is a major focus of our team who has worked with hundreds of partners to ensure continuity in health and safety protocols:
- On motorcoaches and other on-tour ground transportation, such as airport transfers, guest should expect physical distancing and will be required to wear face coverings.
- Prior to each trip, our motorcoaches, vans, airport transfer vehicles and on-tour aircraft will undergo a deep sanitizing process.
- Luggage may also be sanitized at each movement.
- Drivers will wear gloves and face coverings during all guest-facing interactions.
- Drivers will frequently clean handrails, door handles, arm rests, tables, seats, air conditioning/HVAC units, restrooms and overhead storage areas.
Our Supplier Partners are ready for you
Tauck is proud to have worked closely with our partners around the world, many of them for decades, to deliver the quality, comfort and safety you expect. Whether it be hotels and resorts, riverboats and small ships, restaurants, event venues or transportation companies, their meticulous health and safety protocols reflect their leadership and well-earned respect in the travel industry. The following are some select health and safety protocols. We will update these on a regular basis.
In addition to our supplier partners, we have also been actively engaged with global travel organizations to standardize health and safety protocols throughout the travel industry. TourCare is one example:
TourCare are health and sanitation guidelines developed by the tour industry's major global associations: the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), The Canadian Association of Tour Operators (CATO) and the European Tourism Association (ETOA). Tauck, and our supplier partners, meet and exceed these guidelines that require members to adhere to the highest standards in the industry.
Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?
Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?
We spent more money on this Tauck tour than a Luxury Gold trip to Spain and Portugal (top of the line) which required international travel and was for a longer duration. Also, I've said this before about Tauck. Although a good company, there is too much food offered and too much time spent sitting down to a meal when we could be sightseeing.
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