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Smithsonian On The Camino

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by UnkleHammy, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    Today I got the 2019 Worldwide tour & cruises catalog from the Smithsonian. On page 48 it lists "Hiking and History along El Camino de Santiago" tour. For 11 days starting at $5,995. You can get more info from 833.254.6678.

    As I remember this is about the same as the one from the New York Times.

    Has anyone ever taken one of this type of tour?
     
  2. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Uncle Hammy, I've not been on a structured tour like you describe. However, I've traded emails with a few people that were considering walking the camino and said they were considering using a guide service. The total program cost was in the range of $3,500 / person, so if you assume two people travel together = $7,000. Very expensive. No doubt these are nice places to stay and include meals, baggage transport, flight, etc. That compares to our first camino, Cindi and I averaged 35 euros per person per day. I've shared our experience and how it's pretty easy to become self sufficient and save a ton of money. I also think it's more of an adventure when you plan your own trip. That said, some people prefer to have a travel firm plan everything for them.
     
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  3. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    It looks as though they skip a bunch, it is only 11 days long. I spent a little less than 30e a day myself. With their price it shows what "management " adds to reduce some of the "fun".
     
  4. Ginamarie

    Ginamarie Active Member

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    UnkleHammy I saw a tour one time that lasted 11 days and it was all by bus. You can imagine some places on the Camino inaccessible by bus so they just breeze by. Reading about these bus tours on Camino Frances makes walking any other Camino next time much more attractive.
     
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  5. davebugg

    davebugg DustOff: "When I Have Your Wounded"

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    Actually, when you look at most of these tours, they do not include fights, medical or travel insurance, gratuities, or other things like sim cards or the cost of phone plans, and the little nit-picky stuff like laundry cost, etc. When you actually consider what they provide as service, it is awfully expensive for having someone do the arranging for bag transportation, obtaining lodging, and arranging meals.

    These tour services play to the insecurities of folks, and THAT, my Forum friends, is why this forum and others similar sites are so vital. It provides a secure place for a novice to come in and learn how-to-do for themselves what a tour company will charge an arm and leg for.

    Not only that, but as has been pointed out in several posts, the entire gamut of experience and richness gained by doing a Camino yourself cannot be reproduced in a tour bus. Your days are entirely flexible and self-directed as to where you want to explore; what you want to do, and who you wish to associate with. . or to remain to yourself as needed.

    How can one compare the sterility of a tour, to that of an independent walking pilgrimage? It is like driving in an SUV at 70 mph from San Francisco to New York City, only stopping at night at a fancy hotel to sleep, before heading out on the freeway again. Then when all is said and done, you can then say you've seen the US.

    There are some places and travel for which a formal tour is a grand idea; to me, a Camino de Santiago is not one. :)
     
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