Small group tour

Apr 16th, 2013, 10:15 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2009
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Small group tour

We always travel solo but now that we are retired we thought it would be fun to travel with a small group...meet fellow travelers, dine together etc.
Are there any tour groups that cater to 10-12 people?
We never stay at ultra luxury hotels since we prefer nice boutique type hotels and restaurants where we can experience the local color and flavor of a country. But we are not looking for budget travel either.
We will be flying out of NYC and we are open to anywhere in Europe.
Thanks.
bellagio is offline  
Apr 16th, 2013, 10:26 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
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Well I would suggest checking out Rick Steves - the groups may be a bit bigger than you are looking for but it would seem to be in line with your travel philosophy. I think his tours are a "happy medium" between the large groups and the pricey small packages.
suec1 is online now  
Apr 16th, 2013, 10:54 AM
  #3  
 
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Small group of that size will probably have to be a high end outfit like Tauck, since the overhead must be spread over fewer people. Even with Tauck, they define a small group as less than 20.
When you mentioned having traveled solo, is it more than driving in the Caribbean? Have you traveled solo in Europe?
The Rick Steves tour are active tours meant for people who can move around briskly without any assistance with luggage.
I would suggest you test the water first using a short duration trip especially if you have not done group tours to the target destinations. I travel with a group every several years as a part of a group I belong to. While I like the special interest aspect of the trips, I don't like the choice of group tour hotels in the hinterlands with no easy access to the cultural centers. Also most people in my group have little interest in trying out unfamiliar meals especially when the cost of institutional hotel meals are included in the trip cost.
greg is offline  
Apr 16th, 2013, 11:11 AM
  #4  
 
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I would recommend Tauck too.

They are great for someone like me (a woman who sometimes travels alone, with several bags and who doesn't want to fuss with logistics all the time). Often, once we would get to a destination, I would leave the group and do my own thing (I do lots of research and know what I want to see and how to find it). However, even if you stayed with the group, there is usually additional free time.

The hotels they use are usually very high end in wonderful locations (e.g. Bristol in Vienna [Starwood], Excelsior in Rome [Starwood], Grande Bretagne in Athens [Starwood], Westin Grand in Berlin, Danieli in Venice [Starwood], Luna Baglioni in Venice, Europa & Regina in Venice [Starwood], etc.) Sometimes they do stay in smaller, boutique hotels like the Eisenhut in Rothenburg, Germany, depending on what's available in the location. These are just some I have personally experienced.

There tours are not cheap and cost even more for the small group departures.
Delaine is offline  
Apr 16th, 2013, 11:13 AM
  #5  
 
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Check out www.intimatefrance.com

The owner/operator is a Fodorite.
StCirq is offline  
Apr 16th, 2013, 11:30 AM
  #6  
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We've traveled through Europe a number of times (and we are very light packers).
When we have gone it's always been just the two of us or with one other couple.
But I find it so interesting to travel with other people though we have never done a tour.
We are quite fit and are used to walking extensively since we live in a city.
We are prepared to splurge since it's our anniversary but I don't think Tauck fits our style.
bellagio is offline  
Apr 16th, 2013, 11:42 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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I like Intrepid, but they may be a bit too budget for you, although you could look at the comfort level tours. Other small group outfits with less stratospheric prices then Tauck are Imaginative Traveller, Adventures Abroad and Peregrine/Gecko. Also Explore! and Exodus, although Explore's groups run a bit bigger. You could also take a look at http://www.adventurecenter.com/ which represents several companies in the US.
thursdaysd is offline  
Apr 16th, 2013, 12:09 PM
  #8  
 
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We like Odysseys Unlimited. However, the group size is 12 to 24.
jrjcolllins is offline  
Apr 16th, 2013, 12:28 PM
  #9  
 
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We aren't tour people but we actually went on one last year to Italy. We used Amber Road. We had a blast. There were 15 people on our tour (they take a maximum of 18) and everyone was great. We saw so much and we stayed in lovely small hotels. We will absolutely go on another trip with them. There were 4 Aussies (2 couples not traveling together), 2 Canadians and the rest Americans. So a nice mix of people.

http://www.amberroadtours.com
sharona is offline  
Apr 16th, 2013, 01:10 PM
  #10  
 
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Bookmarking
rncheryl is offline  
Apr 16th, 2013, 01:26 PM
  #11  
 
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Not a tour, and normally (though not always!) more than 10-12 people, but have you considered a Hurtigruten trip?

There are lots of nationalities on board but they do try to put English speakers together for dinner, and you quickly form on-board friendships. You can choose to do the organised excursions or explore on your own when in port.

More relaxed than a cruise, stunning scenery, good food, good company, and no need to keep packing and unpacking every day or two.
hetismij2 is offline  
Apr 16th, 2013, 08:53 PM
  #12  
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Amber Road sounds perfect though they are pretty much booked for this year. Guess we'll have to start planning for 2014. Thanks!
bellagio is offline  

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