Transformative Tours & Trips 2020

66 trips to Transformative tours from 215 tour companies. 1,562 reviews. 4.7/5 avg rating.

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Style Style Small Group Tour Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Private Guided Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Self Guided Tour A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Group Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ship Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Large Ship Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.
Retreats Similar to a self guided tour but staying in one location only with activities and day outings included as a part of the stay.

Price

Duration Dropdown

Travelers Age

Lodging Level Lodging Level Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.

Physical Level Physical Level Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.

Theme

Attractions & Cities Visited

Activities & Interests

Travel Style Travel Style Flexible schedule A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers.
Full schedule For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included.
Balanced schedule You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included.

Flight & Transport Inclusions

Solo Friendly Solo Friendly Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.

Supplier (Company)

Countries Visited

Continents Visited

Rivers & Seas Visitied

Stride Gives Back Stride Gives Back This trip visits a destination impacted by climate change. When you opt in to the Travelstride Gives Back program, we will donate 10% of our net revenue to organizations that help mitigate climate change in these destinations and across the globe. Learn more

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Japan: Land of the Rising Sun

Intrepid Travel
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
13 days
$ 385 / day
$ 5,010
From : $ 6,764
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : Array Mixed
Physical Level : All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value (3*)
Highlights
  • Soar high above Lake Ashi and (on a clear day) get a glimpse of glorious Mt Fuji on a ride on the Hakone ropeway.
  • Be impressed by the efficiency and ultra modernity of Japan’s bullet trains as you zip from place to place with your included 14-day Rail Pass.
  • Explore traditional Japanese culture in Edo-period Takayama and visit a folk village, tour a 600-year-old market and a enjoy a sake brewery tasting.
  • Visit the Peace Park for moving insight into the devastation of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, then cruise to peaceful Miyajima Island where wild deer roam the streets.
  • Finish your tour with three nights in Kyoto, Japan’s cultural capital and home to literally thousands of temples, the Gion District where Geisha entertain the wealthy elite and renowned Kyoto sushi.
Visits:
Hakone, Hiroshima, Kyoto, Tokyo, Japan
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North India Revealed

Intrepid Travel
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
22 days
$ 45 / day
$ 990
From : $ 1,386
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : Array Mixed
Physical Level : Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment. Easy
Lodging Level : You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic (2*)
Highlights
  • Travel into the Thar Desert on camelback, spending a memorable evening eating Rajasthani food under the stars in a camp set among sand dunes.
  • Cut through the chaos of Jodhpur’s Sadar Bazaar with your knowledgeable local leader, haggling for handicrafts and sipping some of the best lassi in town.
  • Snap incredible photos of the immense Chand Baori, a grand ninth-century stepwell in rural Abhaneri that extends over 20 metres into the earth.
  • Explore the centre of India’s spiritual heart – Varanasi – on a guided walking tour through the alleyways of the Old Town right to the bank of the Ganges.
  • India can be intimidating, but with your local leader there the whole way, you’ll be dodging cows, navigating market stalls, and eating from the best chaat stalls in Delhi in no time.
Visits:
Agra, Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, Taj Mahal, Udaipur, Varanasi, Red Fort, India
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Indian Getaway

Intrepid Travel
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
11 days
$ 55 / day
$ 608
From : $ 851
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : Array Mixed
Physical Level : All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included. Moderate
Lodging Level : You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic (2*)
Highlights
  • With so much going on in the chaotic capital of Delhi, a local leader is a must. Get to know the city with your leader helping you navigate.
  • Have your expectations smashed by the spectacular Taj Mahal during a guided tour that illuminates the building’s fascinating back story.
  • Spend sunrise along the holy Ganges River in Varanasi, watching thousands of Hindu pilgrims bathe in the water as the sun soaks everything in warm light.
  • Tordi Garh is a place few travellers get to see, but you’ll stay in this rural Rajasthani village in style during a night at a 16th-century palace.
  • Travelling across India wouldn’t be complete without a journey on a sleeper train. With padded bunks for comfort and vendors selling chai and samosas, it’s a quintessential Indian experience.
Visits:
Agra, Delhi, Jaipur, Taj Mahal, Varanasi, Amber Fort, India
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Greek Island Escape

10 days
$ 170 / day
$ 1,699
Travel Style : Array Mixed
Physical Level : Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Comfort (4*)
Highlights
  • Discover the gorgeous Greek islands of Mykonos and Santorini
  • Explore Athens
  • Opportunity to see UNESCO-listed Acropolis to admire its glorious temples, including the double gatehouse of the Propylaea
  • See the Aegean Sea and savor views of the windmill-dotted island as you approach
  • Experience the famous Santorini sunset
Visits:
Acropolis, Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, Greece
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Highlights of Morocco

G Adventures
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
15 days
$ 67 / day
$ 1,104
From : $ 1,349
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : Array Mixed
Physical Level : Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value (3*)
Highlights
  • Wander through ancient medinas and roman ruins
  • Ride a camel into the sahara
  • Spend a night in a mountain gîte
  • Enjoy traditional moroccan fare at a local home
  • Shop in seaside essaouira
  • Set eyes on the blue city of chefchaouen
Visits:
Atlas Mountains, Casablanca, Chefchaouen, Essaouira, Marrakech, Tangier, Meknès, Medina, Sahara Desert, Morocco
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North China Getaway

Intrepid Travel
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
12 days
$ 139 / day
$ 1,670
From : $ 2,338
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : Array Mixed
Physical Level : All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included. Moderate
Lodging Level : You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic (2*)
Highlights
  • China is a land of contrasts. From soaking up the bright city lights of Shanghai’s waterfront to exploring the unearthed Terracotta Warriors outside of Xi’an, you’ll get to see it all for yourself!
  • Spend two nights at the base of the Great Wall in a locally run guesthouse, and follow in the footsteps of soldiers from hundreds of years ago when you trek the lesser-visited Gubeikou to Jinshanling section.
  • This adventure offers plenty of opportunity to get active among the wonders of China. Explore city laneways on walking tours, climb the steps of the Yellow Mountain, trek the Great Wall and cycle countryside lanes in Hongcun.
  • Two overnight trains means you'll maximise your time in each destination, get to know your fellow travellers over a game of mahjong, and have a real sense of the vast size of the country.
  • We’re all about authentic experiences, so go local every step of the way with an experienced local leader, public transport, and family-run guesthouses and lodgings wherever possible.
Visits:
Beijing, Shanghai, Silk Road, China
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South India Revealed

Intrepid Travel
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
16 days
$ 60 / day
$ 956
From : $ 1,338
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : Array Mixed
Physical Level : Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment. Easy
Lodging Level : You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic (2*)
Highlights
  • Take the atmosphere of Shimla or Darjeeling, add lush tropical jungle and you have the Western Ghats: a hotspot of thundering waterfalls, tea plantations, spice markets, and echoes of a colonial past.
  • Glide through the backwaters of Kerala on a pole boat, going ashore for a village homestay – a beautiful break from hotels and overnight trains and a perfect way to get close to local customs and culture.
  • Cross into Kochi – a colonial centre and major port city in India’s southwest. Explore the seaside Fort Kochi area and consider watching a traditional Kathakali dance performance in your free time.
  • The word ‘colourful’ gets thrown around a lot when people talk about India, but the gateway towers of Meenakshi Amman Temple truly are a technicolour dream.
  • Golden beaches and age-old fishing villages make Goa one of India’s most popular retreats – and a perfect place to consider extending your southern India adventure.
Visits:
Kochi, India
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China Highlights

Intrepid Travel
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
9 days
$ 166 / day
$ 1,490
From : $ 2,012
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : Array Mixed
Physical Level : Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value (3*)
Highlights
  • This is our most popular trip in China and one of the top trips from the entire Intrepid range. The trip may be quick, but it is packed full of experiences that will give you a great insight into China in a short time.
  • In addition to the main highlights in the big cities of Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai, you'll get a glimpse of small-town life in Xitang and a taste of the countryside when we stay near the Great Wall. 
  • Our small group size allows us to explore destinations on foot together, eat in authentic local restaurants, travel by subway and train, and escape the tourist traps - all under the expert guidance of a passionate local leader.
  • Spend the night in a charming, family-run guesthouse near the Great Wall. Learn how to make dumplings for dinner and see this iconic structure without the masses.
  • Stay overnight in Xitang, a water town just outside of Shanghai. Imagine a way of life lost long ago as you explore the narrow alleys and canals after the daytrippers go home. 
  • Like everything it does, China’s ancient history is on an epic scale. No matter how many guide books you have read, nothing truly prepares you for the grandeur and immensity of sights like the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square and the Terracotta Army (or thousands of local tourists at the Forbidden City!).
Visits:
Beijing, Shanghai, Silk Road, China
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China Experience

Intrepid Travel
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
19 days
$ 207 / day
$ 3,930
From : $ 5,306
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : Array Mixed
Physical Level : All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value (3*)
Highlights
  • This is one of our most comprehensive trips in China, taking in key destinations from north to south with plenty of variety in experiences and sights along the way 
  • Travel by overnight train to get a sense of the vastness of this country, as well as zip between cities on this high-speed rail network
  • Take through the iconic scenery of the Yangzi River as you meander through the dramatic Three Gorges on a three-day cruise
  • No matter how many guide books you have read, nothing truly prepares you for the grandeur and immensity of historic sights like the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Leshan Big Buddha and the Terracotta Army. However, the country's modern man-made sights refuse to be outdone, and you can see the modern equivalence of those ancient feats in the skyline of Hong Kong and the Yangzi River's Three Gorges Hydroelectric dam 
  • Get up close to giant pandas in Chengdu and learn about their struggle for survival
  • Beyond adorable, endangered giant pandas, Chengdu is one of our favourite cities in China. Find out why our travellers end up falling in love with this emerging travel hotspot here: intrepidtravel.com/adventures/chengdu-china-travel-guide
  • Escape the cities to discover China's natural beauty. Trek up the misty forests of Emei Shan for a stay in a monastery, waking to the sound of drums and prayers in the morning Buddhist ritual.
  • Cycle through the Chinese countryside with backdrops that resemble paintings – the picturesque limestone karsts of Yangshuo, for example, grace the walls of conference rooms and Chinese embassy's around the world
Visits:
Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Silk Road, Three Gorges, Yangshuo, Yichang, China
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Japan Express

Intrepid Travel
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
9 days
$ 212 / day
$ 1,910
From : $ 2,674
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : Array Mixed
Physical Level : Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment. Easy
Lodging Level : You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic (2*)
Highlights
  • From the ultra-modern to ancient traditions, this express adventure will introduce you to some of the many faces of Japan in a short amount of time.
  • Visit the little town of Nikko – packed with World Heritage-listed temples and picture-perfect hiking trails, and one of the best backdrops for a soak in a steaming onsen.
  • Eat your way from Tokyo to Kyoto with plenty of chances to try all kinds of delicious street food, sake, snacks and surprises – from a hearty bowl of ramen to world-class sashimi.
  • Even getting from place to place is fun in Japan! Ride the renowned Shinkansen bullet train and make use of public transport day passes to get to and from the activities you choose.
  • With a local leader to show you around, a new group of friends to explore with and plenty of free time for discovery, you’re guaranteed to get the most out of Japan’s wondrous sights.
Visits:
Kyoto, Tokyo, Japan
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Iconic India

Intrepid Travel
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
37 days
$ 56 / day
$ 2,055
From : $ 2,877
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : Array Mixed
Physical Level : All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included. Moderate
Lodging Level : You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic (2*)
Highlights
  • Rajasthan is the India that many people imagine when they dream of travelling to this captivating country – ancient forts, palaces, rural villages and the colourful cities of Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Udaipur and Jaipur.
  • Pushkar and Varanasi are among the holiest cities in India. Climb to hilltop temples at sunrise, dodge cows in the street, and observe pilgrims praying along the ghats of the sacred Ganges River during a boat cruise.
  • Ride out into the Thar Desert on a camel safari. Feast on Rajasthani cuisine at sunset before bunking down to camp between the sand dunes.
  • Glide through the backwaters of Kerala on a pole boat, going ashore for a village homestay – a beautiful break and a perfect way to get close to local customs and culture.
  • The word ‘colourful’ gets thrown around a lot when people talk about India, but the gateway towers of Meenakshi Amman Temple truly are a technicolour dream.
Visits:
Agra, Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kerala, Kochi, Rajasthan, Taj Mahal, Udaipur, Varanasi, Jama Masjid, Red Fort, Western Ghats, India
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Tibet: Beijing to Kathmandu Overland

Intrepid Travel
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
15 days
$ 310 / day
$ 4,655
From : $ 6,284
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : Array Full on
Physical Level : Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment. Hard
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value (3*)
Highlights
  • Like everything it does, China’s ancient history is on a grand scale – see it first-hand, with time to explore and walk the epic Great Wall’s Mutianyu section.
  • Sit back and relax on one of the world’s greatest train journeys – a marathon 45-hour journey to the literal Roof of the World, passing by incredibly mountainous and remote terrain, and the occasional grazing yak!
  • Get to know Lhasa, from the incredible atmosphere of the pilgrim-filled Jokhang Temple – the most sacred in the Tibetan Buddhist world – to a traditional momo making class, you’ll get a real taste for this place.
  • Climb phenomenal mountain passes, twist up thrilling peaks, and take in incredible views of skies and lakes on your overland journey, standing in the shadow of the mightiest of them all – Mt Everest – and visiting the world’s highest monastery on your way!
  • Relax in the lovely Thankot after an epic journey in Tibet and enjoy a short hike to Indradaha, with a view snow peaks of Langtang, Ganesha and Manaslu.
Visits:
Beijing, Kathmandu, Lhasa, Potala Palace, Tibet, Chengdu, China, Nepal
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Wild Mongolia

Intrepid Travel
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
15 days
$ 233 / day
$ 3,500
From : $ 4,725
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : Array Mixed
Physical Level : All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value (3*)
Highlights
  • Mongolia is a far-out destination, but you'll be in excellent hands. Your experienced drivers, manning sturdy Russian vans fit to tackle the rugged environment, will take you on a ride to some of the most fascinating places in the country
  • Whether by camel or on foot, experience Mongolia's incredible landscapes, from the rolling dunes just outside of Karakorum to the volcanic craters of the Great White Lake among the mountains
  • Two family ger camps allow you to experience nomadic life from the inside – a rare and rewarding cultural experience to remember
  • Situated in the valley of the Delger River, the Tsenkher Hot Springs offer the perfect place to relax and unwind after a long journey on the road
Visits:
Ulaanbaatar, Gandan Monastery, Mongolia
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Beijing to Moscow

Intrepid Travel
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
16 days
$ 245 / day
$ 3,925
From : $ 4,523
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : Array Mixed
Physical Level : All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value (3*)
Highlights
  • Experience this incredible rail adventure through China, Mongolia, and Russia – one of the world’s greatest, most epic journeys.
  • Stay in the Mongolian wilderness in a ger camp and experience local life up-close.
  • Immerse yourself in Mongolia's rich cultural heritage, from the country’s original Buddhist temple to the city built by Genghis Khan
  • Live life on the shores of magnificent Lake Baikal in a Siberian village
  • Experience a traditional Russian banya – a refreshing steam, wash and birch branch ‘massage’
  • Encounter fascinating sights over the 6000 kilometres from Beijing’s Tiananmen Square to Moscow’s iconic Red Square
  • Check out our Beijing to St Petersburg trip ( search 'CBSQC' on our website) if you are interested in continuing this epic journey in Russia from Moscow to St. Petersburg.
Visits:
Beijing, Moscow, Ulaanbaatar, Lake Baikal, Russia, China, Mongolia
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Beijing to St Petersburg

Intrepid Travel
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
23 days
$ 228 / day
$ 5,235
From : $ 6,028
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : Array Mixed
Physical Level : All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value (3*)
Highlights
  • Experience this incredible bucket-list rail adventure through China, Mongolia, and Russia – one of the world’s greatest and most epic journeys
  • Stay in the Mongolian wilderness local-style with an overnight in a tourist ger camp
  • Immerse yourself in Mongolia's rich cultural heritage, from the country’s original Buddhist temple to the city built by Genghis Khan
  • Discover a way of life that has changed very little since the 18th century with a visit to an ‘Old Believers Village’ near Ulan Ude
  • Live life on the shores of magnificent Lake Baikal in a Siberian village
  • Visit the austere mausoleum of Lenin, the initiator of the 1917 Russian revolution, contrasting with the eye-bulging treasure collection in the Kremlin and Armoury Museum
  • Share in traditional tastes with a visits to the homes of our local friends in Suzdal & St Petersburg for a hearty home cooked meal, piles of pancakes and endless cups of tea
  • Encounter the legacy of Russian tsar Peter the Great while exploring the enigmatic streets that showcase the many palaces and museums of St Petersburg
Visits:
Beijing, Moscow, Ulaanbaatar, Lake Baikal, Russia, China, Mongolia
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Top Transformative Attractions & Experiences

Top Transformative Experiences

    Exploring remote villages in Asia, meeting locals and learning about their approach to daily life

    Helping a clean-up crew improve the beaches in Costa Rica, making them safer for the sea turtles that nest there

    Spending a day helping build a school and distribute supplies

    Going deeper into a yoga practice with help and guidance from a teacher in India

    The feeling of personal fulfillment that comes with going deeper into any destination - participating in and learning about the nuances of local life

1,562 Transformative Tour Reviews - Summary 98% Recommend

4.7 out of 5
Excellent 1,213
Great 327
Average 1
Disappointing 1
Terrible 20
Value
4.7
Guide
4.7
Activities
4.7
Lodging
4.7
Transportation
4.7
Meals
4.7

Tour Reviews Write a Review

The worst waste of money in my life

1.0
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 1.0

This trip was the most poorly organized and executed trip I have ever been on. I have attended other trips by other companies in the past and always had a wonderful experience.

Prior to leaving on our trip we had researched rbe hotels listed and had some concerns about the one we would be using in London: the Copthorne Tara. Reviews mentioned blood in beds, floors, general uncleanliness and even MAGGOTS IN THE BEDS. We called EF with our concerns and were essentially dismissed. This was our first sign to run.

The flights on the way to the trip were just fine, but our accommodations in London were extremely subpar. We checked in at 1pm and our hotel room was not ready until almost 6pm. Other people from our trip arrived and checked in after us and had their rooms ready before us. Once we entered the room we were greeted with the smallest single beds I have ever seen. The room was a room with a adjoining door, this door was broken and did not lock, which is a major security concern for two young women alone. We found blood on our wall and in one bed as well as a curtain. When this information was shared with the front desk we were met with complete apathy. There was no urgency and no concern. A girl on our trip ended up with bedbugs from this hotel, and the rest of the trip we spent in fear that we too would become contaminated. The air conditioning in the room was broken and when we shared this with the front desk we were told someone would be up to address it which never happened. At once point the temperature in our room exceeded 90 degrees Fahrenheit when the weather outside did not go above 70. We shared this as a concern about the heat being activated and were told there was none in our room.

The girl that ended up with the bedbugs was told that they would contact a doctor for her l- they called a doctor once and he never arrived. She finally had to resort to calling back to the USA with a tele health appointment in order to be sure that the rash she had was bedbugs. She was confirmed with rjem and covered all over with bites. She had to miss most of her trip cleaning her belongings and the trip did nothing to assist.

Then we went to Paris. The hotel there was no better. Cleanliness and concern and consideration lacking. Each night from midnight to two am there was a intense clanking outside our bedroom that came from the GRAVEYARD we were next to. When we complained about the noise again we were met with zero concern. The beds were just as small, and I had an allergic reaction to something in their linens.

Amsterdam was the only hotel that was nearly worth our money, but on the way there my friends luggage was stolen. When this was reported to the THALYS employees they did absolutely nothing and did not even check the train to see if the luggage had been moved. We made a police report and reported it with EF but there was again no urgency.

The trip home was also a mess. We arrived at the Amsterdam airport 4 hours before our flight (as requested by the airport) and were told we were unable to check in or check our luggage for two more hours. We waited two hours in line and then checked in. We then waited over two and a half hours for security and almost missed our flight, which when we expressed this concern to the airline, and to the airport employees we were regarded with disinterest. We had to run to make it to our flight only to find out our plane had not arrived on time.

Our flight was then delayed over two hours on the tarmac and when we finally took off, we realized we would miss our next flight because we only had a two hour layover. The only reason we managed to make our flight was because the wonderful employees of Dublin airport and their assistance. We ran to our flight again and made it with less than a minute to spare, the doors closing behind us and the plane taking off minutes after we sat down. The travel time that was estimate to take a total of 17 hours for the two flights and all the in between times turned into close to 24 by the end of the time when we arrived home.

Through all of these issues our tour guide was downplaying the seriousness of all these issues. She refused to believe that our friend was actually infested with bedbugs, and did not get a doctor involved, making them call an emergency service in the United States. In addition she told our friend with this affliction to lie to the rest of the trip and not tell us that she had the bedbugs because she did not want to cause a panic. This is a violation of medical codes and could cause serious harm to others. When we had our issue with the stolen luggage she did not want to accompany us to make a police report and only did so after I asked her to come with us.

For a company charging for an “upgraded trip experience” and for the additional money we paid, we did not receive any of the upgraded “4-5 star accommodations”. I want my money back. I look forward to receiving a refund for the “upgraded” part of the experience, and will be sharing the service I received widely throughout my networks.

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Operator EF College Break (EF Ultimate Break)

Do not use this travel agency

1.0
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 1.0

My trip to Italy has been a nightmare. I've been stuck in a tiny town outside of Florence since December 15th and still can't get home. Ive been stuck in covid testing hell!! I've been tested at least 5 times and all of my tests are negative and still can't get a flight out of Italy. The travel agency has washed their hands and will not help us get out of Italy. My mom has contacted s Congressman from Texas and they are also working on getting me out of here.

HELP!!! Do not use EF Ultimate Break. Everyone is incompetent and don't have a clue what the hell is going on.

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Operator EF College Break (EF Ultimate Break)

Do not book with this company!

1.0
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 1.0

I booked a trip to Ireland in January 2020 before Covid restrictions went into effect. It was supposed to take place in December 2020, but they canceled it because of covid. I paid over $2700 and purchased travel insurance in case of an emergency, yet they refuse to give me a refund. I have been contacting them multiple times over the past few months, only to receive no response which is increasing my frustration. I do not want a voucher for a future trip - I want a refund for the money they stole from me.

They are liars and thieves, and I hope they get sued.

I would give them negative stars if I could.

DO NOT BOOK WITH THIS COMPANY.

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Operator EF College Break (EF Ultimate Break)

DO NOT BOOK WITH THIS COMPANY!

1.0
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 1.0

We purchased travel insurance because we knew there was a good chance plans would change and get pushed back due to COVID. We booked the trip, purchased travel insurance and were assured that we could get a FULL REFUND with the included insurance. Well they refuse to give us our money back at this time and take 1600 dollars of our 8,000 (for 2 people) we payed for the trip. I see this is happening a lot and think they may have a lawsuit on their hands given they told so many people that travel insurance would refund the full amount of their trip. We have done one other trip with them but we will never be booking with them again and we will be making sure to let everyone we know to avoid this company all together.

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Operator EF College Break (EF Ultimate Break)

A company taking advantage of a bad situation

1.0
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 1.0

I booked a trip with EF Ultimate Break in October for a trip leaving in May. Of course, that trip was rightfully cancelled because of COVID19. What isn’t right is that this company refuses to give refunds for the trip they themselves cancelled. Our options are an expiring trip voucher or to take a refund minus a thousand dollars. I even paid for their insurance and they’re refusing to give a full refund. They’re taking advantage of a pandemic to steal money from young travelers who trusted them with thousands of dollars. They don’t care about their customers and they are not to be trusted with anyone’s money.

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Operator EF College Break (EF Ultimate Break)

AWFUL SERVICE; RIP-OFF; AVOID THIS COMPANY!

1.0
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 1.0

In 2019, I booked a trip thru O.A.T. to Mongolia for 2 weeks starting on July 1st to, among other things, go to the Na'am festival. It is usual and customary to prepay these international trips because of the technicalities involved, such as booking air and hotels. I travel internationally usually two times per year, so I am aware of this practice and have never had a problem with it until dealing with O.A.T.

The first week of March, O.A.T. called me and cancelled the trip, not even departing until July, because of the coronavirus and said they would be returning people's money on April 5th. They did not! They had said they would return it to the form of payment it was made on. For me, $350 was on my credit card and the remainder through a personal checking account. Altogether, it was nearly $8,000.00 US.

Please note O.A.T. had all of my money for at least 6 months, so there wasn't any issue of a check not having cleared. Also please note it was O.A.T., and not me who cancelled, so it wasn't as if I wasn't entitled to a full refund because of late cancellation. I didn't cancel at all.

I have called and called and no one seems to be answering the phone. A message says go to the website because of then coronavirus, but obviously, my payment details will not be there. I have received no money back by mail or credit! I have received no phone calls. No apology letter clarifying their refund procedure. No acknowledgement of my money at all except the receipt I was send months and months ago. Nada. Nothing at all. I cannot reach anyone, despite having waited on hold for hours with their Musack.

While I can understand the coronavirus has slowed things down, I also understand they've held my money a very, very long time and lied about when it would be returned! I'm afraid I've been stiffed and that other seniors will be, too. With this coronavirus thing, many of us have lost 30% or more in our retirement accounts and would like to have our refunds in our pockets.

This is not a company to do business with, assuming they are not filing for bankruptcy and/or going out of business. In fairness, I do NOT know that they are doing either one, it is only my personal fear at this point. They've been around a while, but I cannot help but feel extremely uneasy with them. Certainly, their corporate communications department could use a brush up on basic customer relations skills. I'm very, very worried.

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Operator Overseas Adventure Travel (O.A.T. Tours)

All Transformative tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 4.7 for all Transformative trips.

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