The New Look of Guided Vacations

Your next travel experience could be straight out of a Ken Burns film.

Photo: Rahoul Ghose / PBS

Thanks to a partnership between award-winning documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, his co-producer, Dayton Duncan, and the Tauck tour company, you can experience American destinations through Burns’ lens, so to speak.

A new take on guided vacations

It’s been 90 years since Arthur Tauck Sr. founded Tauck Motor Tours in 1925. A lot has changed in nine decades, both for the still-family-owned tour company and the nature of guided vacations in general.

A few years ago, after the airing of Burns’ PBS documentary series The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, Tauck President Jennifer Tombaugh remembers sitting around a board meeting and coming up with the “what if.”

“We’re always trying to raise the bar and enhance the guest experience,” she says. “One thing led to another, and we are so thrilled to now be working with Ken and Dayton on Ken Burns American Journeys.”

Drilling down deep

Designed for the traveler who wants to drill deep into a subject, these guided vacations dip into Ken Burns territory in different ways. Sometimes Burns makes an appearance, as he recently did in New Orleans for a five-day Jazz Event, an intimate themed exploration co-curated by Burns. Some of the trips include filmed vignettes created for Tauck that connect a place to one of his documentaries. Others are trips designed by the filmmakers around a given theme, like The Civil War or National Parks.

Jazz musicians playing at Preservation Hall in New Orleans

Photo: Alamy

“I love the complementary nature of making films and creating travel experiences, because each enhances the other—regardless of the order in which they occur,” says Burns. “For example, some guests who may not have seen our jazz film will likely go home and view it after attending our Jazz Event in New Orleans, and they’ll get far more from the film for having been in New Orleans with us. ”

That kind of connection between history and the places where it unfolded is something special, and it elevates a guided vacation to something much richer altogether. Watch the video below to see how Burns and Duncan were inspired by aspects of American history as they helped to create this collection of Tauck tours.

Disclaimer: Ken Burns is a partner of the Tauck tour company. Tauck does not guarantee Burns will appear in person on these guided vacations.

To learn more about Tauck’s innovative vacations, call 877-396-7159 or contact a AAA Travel Counselor today.

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Marco Ruiz, AAA Travel Counselor, Monterey, Calif.

I love to suggest Italy and Spain because of the culture and the flair of the people–their fashions, language and way of life. They take time to enjoy life's pleasures. When you're there, you feel it, too.

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