Europe travel expert Rick Steves says his company has canceled tours in 2022 that include stops in Russia, citing the invasion of Ukraine and the reality that bringing travel dollars to the country “would support [Vladimir] Putin’s aggression.”
Steves, a well-known guidebook author, travel advocate, and host of TV and radio shows, announced the decision on his blog Thursday. His company, Rick Steves’ Europe, resumed small-group tours in Europe this month after halting trips during the pandemic. Over the past two years, he has used his platform to praise the value of traveling abroad and has encouraged people to keep dreaming about upcoming trips.
“Today is a profoundly sad day,” he wrote. “Russia’s aggressive action is heartbreaking for the death, suffering, and economic turmoil it will cause in Ukraine and, indirectly at least, beyond.”
Steves said in his blog that his company would monitor any impact on travel throughout the rest of Europe but did not announce any other cancellations. As of Friday, his website did not list any tours through Russia. Representatives for Steves did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and it wasn’t immediately clear how many trips were affected.
“For 40 years now, we have lived, worked, and traveled through many periods of tragic warfare in lands far from where we lead our tours (and some closer),” he wrote. “And at this time, we see no reason to change the rest of our travel and touring plans.”
Several cruise operators, including Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Viking have removed Russian and Ukrainian stops from their plans this year, USA Today reported.
Russia has banned airlines based in Britain from landing in the country and using its airspace after Britain said it was banning Russian carrier Aeroflot. Global air carriers have been routing flights around closed airspace in Ukraine, Moldova and parts of Belarus and southern Russia, Reuters reported.