Best Galapagos Islands Tour Companies

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18 Travel Providers meet your criteria (Providers 1 to 18 shown)

Intrepid Travel Preferred

Intrepid Travel

#13 Pick of 85 Galapagos Islands Tour Companies

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4.6 • Excellent
Total Trips 985 Trips
Average Price $ 203 per day
Size Global Operator
Tour Length 10 – 10 days
Trip Prices $ 5,905 – $ 5,905
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise
Trips in Galapagos Islands 8 Tours in Galapagos Islands

Intrepid doing "bait & switch" with hotels?

Bored during my lockdown - i reviewed my fantastic trip to Morocco back in late 2019. It was "comfort" style and worked out really well, perfect in every respect, however i cant help feeling Intrepid did some "bait and switch" on the hotels. Although Intrepid does cover themselves by saying "or similar" when advising the hotels you will be staying at, after review i discovered 8 of 11 hotels were switched. And here is the thing - they were ALL switched to cheaper quality hotels. I'm not saying switched hotels were horrible, just saying its beyond "or similar" when majority of hotels were of cheaper standard when i google and compare the hotels. I also understand that not all hotels advertised may be available, but very suspicious 8 of 11 were substituted downward, none upward. If Intrepid are downgrading guests to cheaper hotels they should also pass on some of these $$$$ savings to the guest, maybe a voucher for future trips or perhaps shout a free dinner as compensation. This would provide transparency and result in more guest appreciating this honesty - rather than feeling a bit gouged. It also took 1 star off the rating i really wanted to give Intrepid. I'll will still consider Intrepid for my next trip, but now also looking at other companies that offer "comfort style" trips. And in comes Intrepid response very promptly, thanks Intrepid. I think you have missed the mark with that "generic" response. I never said I was unhappy with the alternative hotels. I truly loved the trip and could write paragraphs on how enjoyable it was. I was offering Intrepid constructive ideas and the opportunity to address situation where a customer feels they have been "bait and switched" and not compensated. Instead, Intrepid chose to challenge the way customers should feel, rather than acknowledge events that can cause customer angst. I cant wait until we can all travel again. Ihave 2 x Intrepid "comfort" trips on my hit list - but if i get "bait & switched" for majority of hotels again ( with zero compensation) - I promise I will be back on Trustpilot to tell others of experience. My 2019 Morocco trip was booked through Flight Centre if it helps to locate me if you NEED. Good advise from my grandad - you get just as much "free" business from repeat customers and word of mouth vs costly advertising. Never abuse the former.
4.0 • David C.

Kimberley Wild Broome to Darwin

This trip was awesome. It was a great experience to sleep in a swag each night under the stars or in a tent, hiking through stunning scenery, swimming in gorges, being exposed to plenty of flora and fauna, and just appreciating the wide open spaces of the Kimberley. Don’t expect 4 or 5 star comfort, which is the attraction of the trip - getting back to nature and away from technology and phones and internet, which allows you to soak up your surroundings. Travelling along the dusty Gibb River road was an experience in itself, and the bus handled the road well. Our guides, Jacob and Marjorie were fantastic, and their food was an absolute delight, exceeding all expectations. They looked after us 24/7 and did a fabulous job narrating along the way, story telling, and lessons in the local flora, fauna and aboriginal culture. This trip requires some physical activity, which is a welcome break from travelling in the bus. Although we couldn’t get to Darwin due to COVID, our guides kept us well informed all the way and gave us options for getting home, and made us feel safe. We had to go back to Broome instead of Darwin, however some extra activities were thrown in to compensate this. During these difficult times of COVID, I recommend you expect there may be a need for back up plans in the event of any changes.
5.0 • Carol Clifton
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0

Peak District Cycling Trip, UK

Over the last ten years, I have used Intrepid for international travel however due to COVID this has not been possible. I have been so impressed with the number of trips that Intrepid have developed within the UK but most especially the variety. I recently went on the Peak District cycling trip which was very well organised and the routes had been thoroughly planned and ridden beforehand. The accommodation was in a perfect location, the bikes were well maintained both before and during the trip and the leader was fantastic who was very quickly able to gauge the fitness of the group.
5.0 • Sarah Stephenson
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Complete Galapagos (Grand Daphne)
Complete Galapagos (Grand Daphne) Trip Type: Small Ship Cruise
  Intrepid Travel - Quick Facts Founded in 1989 No Single Supplement (rare exceptions) Small Groups: max 16 on most trips (10 max during Covid-19) Average Age: 48 Travel Style: Cultural immersion, adventure, overland, sustainable, and active Accommodation Style: Camping, Hostels, 3 /4 star hotels, locally owned Average Tour Price: $2,377 Top Regions: Asia, Africa, Europe, South America Other Brands: Peregrine Commonly compared with G Adventures » Intrepid Travel is all about ‘real life experiences.’ With a name meaning fearless and adventurous, Intrepid offers nothing less than big travel adventures -- such as an 11-day hike through Papua New Guinea. However, Intrepid is broad-based enough to offer varied experiences such as food tours in Greece, complete with a visit to a Kalamata olive grove. What Makes Intrepid Travel Stand Out? Responsible travel Industry experts Authentic experiences Small groups Intrepid believes that with great travel experiences comes great responsibility. They are focused on responsible tourism which includes not only treading lightly but also making a positive impact on the destinations they send travelers to. As a Certified B Corp since 2018, Intrepid donates to grass root projects around the world, are a carbon-neutral business and are committed to animal welfare. Travelers can rest assured when they travel with Intrepid because they will be in the hands of industry experts. Intrepid partners with local leaders to be guides for travelers. This gives travelers first hand experiences from someone who knows the area well. Above all else, Intrepid strives to get its travelers off the beaten path and under the surface of the local culture. To accomplish this, group sizes are small, maximum of 16 on most trips. This allows for more use of local transportation and lodging, along with fostering cultural immersion. Intrepid also employs local English-speaking leaders who act more as a resource for local exploration than do typical ‘guides,’ shepherding groups from one place to another.  Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Intrepid Travel? All ages All types of travelers Cultural enthusiasts Intrepid is one of the early pioneers of the “adventure”-style guided trip. Despite its informal beginnings and emphasis on younger, highly adventurous travelers, Intrepid has expanded to a global company with a broad range of trips to fit all ages. Intrepid divides its small-group trips into three separate styles of travel, all priced accordingly. “Basix,” for budget travelers, keep inclusions to a minimum and offer plenty of free time. “Original” journeys offer more included activities and hotels, while “Comfort” trips offer luxury experiences that include the highest level of included activities and standards of accommodation, as well as roomier vehicles. No matter what kind of traveler you are, there is a style right for your specific desires. The age range on Intrepid tours varies widely from tour to tour, and they are welcoming to all ages. The only exception to this are their 18-29 themed tours which are specifically for that age group.  Intrepid travelers have  a real sense of adventure - whether this means hard adventure, or simply going deeper off the beaten path. Interacting with locals is an important factor when you travel, as is gaining a unique cultural perspective. A sense of fun is also essential, whether it means going out at night with your tour mates, trying new foods, or exploring the local markets. Which is better? Intrepid Travel or G Adventures? Commonly compared, both G Adventures and Intrepid Travel specialize in culturally immersive and off-the-beaten-path experiences. They are top companies to consider if you enjoy local & authetic travel and value having lots of free time during the itinerary. See our ultimate guide to decide which is right for you: Intrepid vs G Adventures, full comparison » Top Destinations Originally focused on small group adventure tours to Asia, Intrepid has expanded rapidly over the years, while maintaining its classic, adventurous, and immersive style. Today Intrepid Travel offers more than 1,000 different experiences in over 100 countries, on all seven continents. Regions with the most trips include Asia, South America, Africa, and Europe. Does Intrepid Travel include flights? While all your internal transportation is taken care of, often utilizing traditiona local methods such as tuk-tuks in Thailand, international flights to and from your home and the tour destination are not included. Their travel specialists can recommend where to look for flights however. Intrepid Travel Style Intrepid enjoys using local, unique forms of transportation. You might find yourself traveling by felucca in Egypt or in a tuk-tuk on the best Thailand tour of your life. Accommodations, which could range from guesthouses to home stays, are also locally owned, allowing a more authentic taste of the region while contributing to the local economy. There are a few broad travel styles to choose from when deciding on an Intrepid tour: 1. Basix - Budget travelers who don’t mind, and in fact prefer, simple accommodations - camping and homestays with basic amenities, and crave a lot of free time for exploring independently will love these tours. Public transportation is used exclusively so pack light! These trips often attract a younger crowd who love the idea of throwing a backpack on, keep plenty of room for the unexpected in their schedule, and allocate their travel funds towards spontaneous bus tickets and street food instead of museum tours and 5 star restaurants. 2. Original - These trips take the backpacker spirit of local immersion, incorporating all the benefits that come with going with a planned itinerary. This style is called “Original” because it’s the type of travel that put Intrepid on the map...pun intended. Accommodations are still simple and budget minded - often homestays are used to give you a true sense of place, personality, and culture. Mostly public transportation is used. 3. Comfort - Intrepid is known for the active adventure style of travel and these trips keep that mentality, with a few more creature comforts thrown into the mix. You can expect higher luxury accommodations that include a wider variety of included amenities, transportation is mostly private, though you can still expect to use some public transport, as is the Intrepid way. More meals are included in the trip price, and more group activities - which means a bit less free time to explore on your own. Why Choose a Tour With Intrepid Travel? Intrepid is a good tour company if you don’t mind foregoing some creature comforts for a truly authentic, local experience. If you enjoy meeting locals when traveling, sampling new and exciting foods, and traveling in mixed-aged groups of 10-16 people, Intrepid could be a good fit for you. It’s important to note, sometimes “ample free time” can be a blessing and a curse. It sounds great on paper, but if you’re looking to maximize your dollar and your vacation time, be sure you understand the implications of having a lot of free time during your itinerary. For some travelers this is an absolute requirement, but for others it can be tough to branch off and explore independently - you also need to make sure you allocate enough travel money for independent meals. The tour leaders are great resources of information for how to spend your free time, but if you like having a full day scheduled from breakfast to dinner, Intrepid may not be the best company for you. Lastly, if sustainable and responsible travel is important to you, Intrepid has poured millions of dollars into local economies, and has a very strong emphasis on responsible travel. So you can feel good knowing that your money helps support some of the innkeepers, vendors, and communities that you’ll meet along the way. Is Intrepid Travel Safe? Yes, Intrepid is a very safe company to travel with and they take the safety of their tour goers very seriously. In response to Covid-19, Intrepid has reduced their group size to an average of 10 people. Their guides have been fully trained on new sanitation requirements and Covid-19 health and safety guidelines. They have also implemented flexible booking options.  General Covid-19 Travel News Some countries are beginning to reopen to international visitors, with entry restrictions, while others have remained closed.  Keep checking back regularly to keep up to date with the frequently changing situation of the coronavirus. Want more information about travel safety and the coronavirus? Read about where it's safe to travel to in 2020 >>
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Collette Premier

Collette

#7 Pick of 85 Galapagos Islands Tour Companies

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4.5 • Excellent
Total Trips 768 Trips
Average Price $ 289 per day
Size Global Operator
Tour Length 14 – 15 days
Trip Prices $ 5,999 – $ 6,919
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Group Tour Operator
Trips in Galapagos Islands 6 Tours in Galapagos Islands

we had an absolute wonderful time

My wife & I just returned from your National Parks tour and we had an absolute wonderful time. Great itinerary, tour director (Merrin) and driver (John). First class!
5.0 • David

The Best

The best. I've worked with many travel companies, but now I only book my groups through Collette.
5.0 • Kathy
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0

Had a river cruise booked for May 2020

Had a river cruise booked for May 2020 on the Danube but unfortunately because of Covid 19 it was cancelled. I had no issues in getting a full refund for my vacation. I will definitely rebook with Collette when things return to normal...
5.0 • Francis
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
With a history that goes back to 1918, their experience speaks for itself. They provide comprehensive, well-managed guided tours for travelers seeking an exploratory, comfortable travel experience. Collette - Quick Facts Founded in 1918 Group size: It varies. Collette offers private and customizable tours, as well as small groups of between 14-24 guests Typical age range: 45+   Average tour price: $2,996 Accommodation style: 4 star and above hotels and unique locations Top regions: USA & Canada, Europe & UK Commonly compared with Tauck and Trafalgar  What Makes Collette Tours Stand Out? Flexibility & personalization Expert tour managers Easy booking process Private & Customizable tours Balances iconic must-sees with immersive cultural experiences A long history in guided tourism means Collette knows every inch of guided travel. Take care of all the details like it’s second nature, and even though it's old hat every traveler is new and they dig into that. Collette recognizes that no two traveler is the same and approach each planning experience from a perspective of flexibility and personalization. Their goal is to ease the hardship of planning and organizing for the traveler so you can fully enjoy the experience without worry or stress. At Collette, they know guided travel and have been successfully leading tours around the world to a growing, devoted customer base for nearly 100 years. Collette tours are about letting you, the traveler, experience unbelievable, classic, and unique moments around the world.   Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Collette? Travelers aged 45+ Moderately active travelers Upper budget range Do you love the ease of mind that comes with having every detail taken care of when you travel? Details that allow you to relax and enjoy the special little moments of discovering the world; learning about new cultures, awe inspiring wildlife encounters, and leisurely meals highlighting local cuisine? Then you are ideally suited to Collette tours. The Collette traveler is typically older, in the 50+ range. Travelers who enjoy the finer things, value a premium to luxury style of accommodation and transportation, yet have an adventurous spirit will love traveling with Collette. Recent retirees and active seniors who are game for anything are the kind of traveler who relish a tour with Collette - check out this group in Costa Rica - taking part in Costa Rica's famous ziplines! If you don't want to be encouraged to jump in and push your comfort zone a bit, you may find yourself out of step on a majority of Collette tours. They have several offerings though, so don't let that discourage you.  Collette is ideal for active travelers who enjoy a comprehensive guided tour, with a lot of activity, and local experiences. These tours can involve extensive walking, sometimes over uneven surfaces, so a certain basic level of physical fitness is required. Tours with Collette are classified by 5 basic physical levels, to help you find one best suited to you: Level 1 - Mostly flat services and minimal walking. You should be comfortabe with climbing a few stairs, plus getting in and out of the coach  Level 2 - Average physical ability is required such as long stairs and walks of a few hours. Some walks may be over uneven ground. Level 3 - Slightly longer distances and more frequent walks can be expected. Expect stairs and some uneven surfaces such as cobblestones or nature trails. Level 4 - Expect to be on your feet longer, including periods of standing and more extensive walking periods. These tours may also feature nighttime activities, so you'll be active for a longer period of time. Level 5 - Very active travel. Expect adventure experiences and activities, early mornings and late nights. You can also expect to experience the elements so be ready for rain, wind, dust, what have you. Free days are included in most Collette tours, giving travelers time to relax, take walks on the beach, or maybe do some shopping. If you’re the kind of traveler for whom the a glass of champagne out in the blazing sun of the Australian outback, gazing at Uluru, sounds idyllic - then Collette would be perfect for you. Top Destinations Collette tours travel all around the world, to all 7 continents including Antarctica. They are well known for Central and South America, Australia, and Africa. They also offer an impressive variety of North America tours including several in the United States and Canada. Travel styles include everything from river cruises to family tours to faith based tours. Collette Travel Style Collette promises the “trip of a lifetime” through exclusive outings, luxury touches, and appreciating the moments of anticipation before the world reveals itself. Their travel style is about discovering new cultures, embracing the explorer within -- in time for a cocktail at the end of the day. They have 6 broad classifications for travel style: Classic, Explorations, Spotlights, River Cruise, Faith, and Impact Travel: 1. Classic Collette Tours - This is what they call their Flagship collection, group tours that make the postcard come to life. Visit all the must see sites, enjoy cultural experiences, all with a professional and knowledgeable guide, there to help make your travel as seamless as possible. Groups are on the larger side 2. Explorations - These tours are about going deeper, meeting locals, and getting off the beaten path. “Authenticity” is a big word for Collette Explorations. You’ll experience the destination in a smaller group, an average of 18 people, allowing for access to more local experiences not available to larger groups. Classic sites will also be included in your itinerary, but the focus is mostly on unique experiences. 3. Spotlights - Have a shorter amount of time and don’t want to miss anything? Collette Spotlight tours are designed to maximize your city stay or short getaway experience. These are primarily walking tours, packed with sightseeing, historical and cultural information, but with some downtime as well. Typically these tours are between 5-9 days. 4. River Cruise - A very popular mode of travel, particularly for 50+ travelers, river cruising is ideal for those seeking a leisurely vacation, unpacking only once, enjoying gliding by beautiful sites and participating in various guided shore excursions. Collette river cruises go around the world, including China, Egypt, and Europe. 5. Faith - For those travelers interested in visiting religious sites, Collette has a group of tours dedicated to faith based travel. Visit world famous icons and learn their ancient histories. Collette Faith tours visit everything from grand churches to the humble beginnings of the three major world religions in the Holy Land. Tours are history based with an emphasis on finding deeper spiritual significance and meaning. They also have trips to the Oberammergau Passion Play. 6. Impact Travel - Being a responsible traveler is an important component on all Collette tours, however if you’re seeking to do more to give back, their Impact Tours are a great way to do so. Sightsee with a purpose as you assist with local initiatives, volunteering among the community, helping in classrooms, and protecting local wildlife. Why Choose a Tour with Collette? Flexibility in planning Extensions available pre or post tour date Private airport transfer Expert planners  If you are looking for an entertaining, fully escorted, active tour to explore new cultures, and enjoy unique experiences, Collette could be for you. They provide a dedicated guide, and handle all the details throughout the tour. Free time is available on some days, but for the most part expect fairly full itineraries and a good amount of walking on their group tours. Some optional excursions are offered during the tour, so you can tailor your experience to a certain extent. This is a great opportunity for meeting fellow travelers in a similar age range. Collette tours are open to everyone, but the majority of people on your tour will be older - in the 50+ range. Collette tours are ideal for travelers who want to have fun, enjoy the outdoors, and are open to new experiences.
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Peregrine Adventures Preferred

Peregrine Adventures

#21 Pick of 85 Galapagos Islands Tour Companies

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4.7 • Excellent
Total Trips 156 Trips
Average Price $ 396 per day
Size Global Operator
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Group Tour Operator
Trips in Galapagos Islands 13 Tours in Galapagos Islands

Expect I'm not the only one

they are 'fair weather friends' I did not receive so much as an email advising of changes in the cancellation policy, discovered when I contacted them to cancel. I now receive automated emails/msgs as I attempt to work through this. The email states I may contact them on 31 July to discuss the matter!....4 months away. I'm absolutely stunned by how shoddy this outfit is....who knew?! Out of pocket $4000. Expect I'm not the only one.
1.0 • Jane

Highly Recommended

Currently experiencing “Cruising the Thai Islands” with Peregrine and I am loving everything! The local knowledge and immersive experiences are second to none and our guides are extraordinary
5.0 • Bec
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0

Highly Recommended

Currently experiencing “Cruising the Thai Islands” with Peregrine and I am loving everything! The local knowledge and immersive experiences are second to none and our guides are extraordinary
5.0 • Bec
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
With Peregrine Adventures, ‘anywhere is possible.’ Based in Australia, Peregrine has led small-group, ‘soft’ adventure-style trips worldwide for over 30 years. It was one of the first operators to employ local leaders, a practice that is now widespread in guided travel. What Makes Them Stand Out? While considering itself an adventure travel company, Peregrine promises to “smooth down the bumps and rough edges.” In short, it’s more about soft adventure with added comforts than roughing it. Group sizes are kept small, with no more than 16 travelers per trip. Its philosophy is that while “seeing the famous sites is a must, it’s those memories of wandering through a little village or sharing dinner with a local family that leave a lasting impression.” The small-group aspect allows for more time to absorb the nature of the places visited, and to make a minimal environmental impact on them as well. Who Travels With Them? While Peregrine is a global company, many of its travelers originate from Australia and New Zealand. However, their groups can be geographically diverse, with most travelers 50+ years of age. Where Do They Operate? Peregrine offers a wide variety of exciting global destinations, with 200 trips across 80 countries -- spanning from Egypt to Turkey to Canada trips! The company is perhaps best known for its Himalayan trekking excursions to far-flung destinations including Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet. It was a pioneer in high-altitude trekking and these trips remain among their most popular today. How Does it Work? Most travel is by private, air-conditioned minibus, but you might find yourself on a houseboat in Kerala, India, a tuk-tuk in Sri Lanka, or a mountain lift on the best Switzerland tour you've ever experienced. Lodging and dining is at smaller, locally run hotels and restaurants. You might also dine with locals from time to time, and stay with local families or at campsites as well. Why Travel With Them? Peregrine is a good choice if you’re looking for a bit of a softer landing with respect to transportation and accommodations but still crave an authentic, off-the-beaten-path experience. If you’re looking for more individual travel, Peregrine will craft independent journeys, arrange self-guided walking and cycling tours, or arrange private group and tailor-made trips. It’s your choice. Peregrine also helps support various community and conservation projects via its ties with the Intrepid Foundation. Tweets by PeregrineSpirit
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Quark Expeditions

Quark Expeditions

#25 Pick of 85 Galapagos Islands Tour Companies

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4.0 • Great
Total Trips 14 Trips
Average Price $ 745 per day
Size Local Specialist
Tour Length 10 – 10 days
Trip Prices $ 5,998 – $ 5,998
Service Level Luxury
Operator Type Small Ship & Expedition Cruise Line
Trips in Galapagos Islands 1 Tours in Galapagos Islands

Terrible company.

Terrible company. It has taken me 10 months to finally get the refund from the trip me and my wife had booked (Aberdeen to svalbard). Quark refused to refund for the first 7 months saying they didn't cancel the trip (even though it didn’t run and the boat was at anchor in a different country) i was told that the trip has been re scheduled and not cancelled so legally they do not have to refund me. I hope Andrew white the ceo is proud of his decision to steal hard earned money from customers and make them fight for months to get back what is rightfully there's. After 7 months of me constantly badgering the travel agent i booked through and quark directly they agreed to refund my money but it will take them 90 days to process this refund. Its amazing quark can accept payments automatically but needs 90 days to return payments. If you are booking with quark now on there new refund terms be careful of the wording. It says IF THEY CANCEL THE TRIP which quark will not do, they will re schedule it for another date 12 months or more away, ie next years trip which you will then have to pay the price increases to them as well. Avoid at all costs.
1.0 • Stephen Jones

Lifetime Experience

It was an epic personal voyage, but also a learning experience and unforgettable journey to meet wonderful people and a great team (both crew and Qaurk team members) who looked fabulously after each and everyone. Thank you for all Thomas
5.0 • THOMAS W.
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0

Warning

Warning I booked a trip to the Arctic Circle 2021 on 08/28 and paid a deposit. On 09/10 Quark canceled the trip and informed me today that the repayment will take up to 90 days due to the high workload! I assume that Quark knew about the cancellation at the End of August and managed to collect my money in 2 days despite the workload. I would like the money back that fast! With the cancellation, Quark made a promise that it would be very easy to rebook in 2022, fo the same voyage, the same ship and the same price (or two options for money back). Well, nothing was easy, because the promise could not be kept, since 2 trips in 2021 will only become one trip in 2022. First they had a single cabin for me, then suddenly they didn't. Instead of offering me another shared cabin at the price of the booking period - there was an early bird discount - they offered a single cabin for 34,000.00 and told me that the prices in 2022 were now higher. Where was the promise? And now they keep my money up to 90 days. This is really bad style Quark Expeditions!
1.0 • Michael Kling
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
Founded in 1991, Quark specializes in polar expedition cruises to the Arctic and Antarctica. What Makes Quark Expeditions Stand Out? Adventurous and off the beaten path destinations Knowledgeable and expert guides Small groups Strong commitment to sustainable travel If you'd like to follow in the wake of some of the great Arctic and Antarctic explorers, this company will provide you the opportunity. Passengers often board Zodiacs to get out on the water or make landings in remote locations. Quark was in fact the first company to lead cruises for tourism through the Northwest Passage; adventure and pushing boundaries is in their blood and their destinations and itineraries reflect this. Quark has been a leader in expedition-style cruising for nearly a quarter century, specializing in the polar regions. You can travel in an icebreaker -- including one that's nuclear-powered and goes to the North Pole -- or in smaller, more mobile ships, all of which hold fewer than 200 passengers. Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Quark? Adventurous travelers History buffs Ages 45-65 Wildlife lovers Photographers Travelers who choose Quark will be adventurous minded, seeking a cruise not for the luxury aspect but for the types of destinations only accessible by this mode of travel. Be ready for lots of winter weather and challenging but rewarding shore excursions. Quark cruises are all about functionality first - designed to be able to travel to remote corners of the globe.  This is not to say that the accommodations are bare bones - but travelers who love the mechanics of expedition cruises and are interested in the style of these ships will most enjoy traveling with Quark among other expedition cruising enthusiasts.  Because these ships are quite small, the stateroom space allotted for their limited passenger numbers is spacious and comfortable.  Top Destinations Quark is known for traversing the polar regions - the rugged Arctic and expansive Antarctic. Their ships are designed specifically to cut through icy waters and navigate remote byways.  Quark Expeditions Travel Style The Quark cruise style is comfortable but not excessive. Think packing hiking boots and thermal layers instead of a cocktail dress or dinner jacket. Accommodations are comfortable but basic and the style aboard ship is informal.  For Quark the travel experience is about what’s on shore rather than on board - though the on board amenities are certainly not non-existent. Travelers used to luxury cruises may find the Quark on board experience a bit jarring. Why Choose a Cruise with Quark? If you are seeking a true adventure on board state of the art vessels designed to visit remote polar destinations than Quark is for you.
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Monograms

Monograms

#30 Pick of 85 Galapagos Islands Tour Companies

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4.7 • Excellent
Total Trips 1,308 Trips
Average Price $ 231 per day
Size Global Operator
Tour Length 4 – 26 days
Trip Prices $ 1,139 – $ 9,049
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise
Trips in Galapagos Islands 46 Tours in Galapagos Islands

I would not recommend this place

I would not recommend this place. I had a trip booked and because of covid-19 I canceled. They would not refund 500 dollars.
1.0 • I

Obsessed

Obsessed. Very good experience throughout.
5.0 • Mark
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0

Monograms canceled but no refund

Monograms canceled our October African Safari in June due to their new Covid restrictions. They did not refund our deposit paid in January.
1.0 • David Murry
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
Galápagos Highlights
Galápagos Highlights Trip Type: Self-guided / Independent Tour
Machu Picchu Getaway with Pre-Stay in Cusco & Post-Stay in Lima
Machu Picchu Getaway with Pre-Stay in Cusco & Post-Stay in Lima Trip Type: Self-guided / Independent Tour
Machu Picchu Getaway with Pre-Stay in Cusco
Machu Picchu Getaway with Pre-Stay in Cusco Trip Type: Self-guided / Independent Tour
Monograms, one of the Globus family of brands, offers classic vacation packages to many of the world’s most popular destinations. The company has many years of experience creating packaged tours and is based in Colorado, USA. What Makes Monograms Stand Out? It can be difficult to find a company that successfully marries two seemingly disparate ways of travel: independant or self guided and classic group travel. But at Monograms this is exactly the task they have set for themselves, and their positive reviews and large variety of products would seem to say they do a solid job. With Monograms there is no need to choose between self guided or group travel. You can personalize your experience as well - an important element for many of today’s travelers. Themes include Family travel, Food & Wine, Cruises, and Active. Monograms prides themselves on the all-inclusive nature of travel planning, pre-organizing everything from your airport transfer to your activities and meals. They also provide a Local Hosts program, which is basically like an in-destination concierge. Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Monograms? Monograms is ideal for travelers who don’t love group travel but also highly dislike the stress of arriving in a destination and having to plan everything themselves. It’s for the traveler who wants the freedom of a private couple or family getaway and the comfort of a local guide who can assist with everything from restaurant recommendations to skipping the line at major attractions. Monograms is Globus’ mid-tier brand in terms of pricing and thus travelers span across many different age groups. Many couples choose Monograms for a romantic trip to places like Italy and France, although they also offer specialized packages for families. Most Monograms packages are a mix of group sightseeing tours and independent exploration. This can result in some very large touring groups when visiting popular tourist attractions like the Louvre in Paris, for example. However, most of their trips still afford some level of flexibility to explore a destination on your own terms. Top Destinations You can travel with Monograms to many different locations in Europe, Australia, Asia, South/Central America, and Africa. Perhaps their most well-known destination is Italy, and they also offer some unique trips to Australia, specifically to areas other similar tour companies don’t operate. Monograms Travel Style At Monograms, their travel style is about providing you with a no hassle private vacation, catered to your interests. Everything from honeymoon vacations to family vacations are available through Monograms. When you use Monograms, you can elect to have the help of a travel agent, or book a pre-planned package. Why Choose a Monograms Tour? For a well rounded trip, designed for you, and with an attentive local host there to make your journey as seamless and stress free as possible, Monograms is the perfect company. These tips are mostly private, so ideal for families, couples, and honeymooners - though during some days on the itinerary you will join up with a larger group for guided day tours Monograms is all about providing personal touches, and arranging a trip for you that matches your travel style. Providing some personal input and likes / dislikes / must sees is going to take your Monograms tour from “ordinary” to extraordinary, so these trips are best suited to travelers who like to be involved with planning the itinerary.
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Contiki Preferred

Contiki

#29 Pick of 85 Galapagos Islands Tour Companies

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4.7 • Excellent
Total Trips 1,092 Trips
Average Price $ 192 per day
Size Global Operator
Service Level Budget
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise
Trips in Galapagos Islands 1 Tours in Galapagos Islands

Cape Safari & Falls...amazing!!!

Worth every penny!! This trip was a once in a lifetime kind of trip and I think was great value for money!!
5.0 • Sharna

A heartless tour company!!

Let me start by saying that I did not even get the chance to go on this trip. A week prior to my trip to Spain, an immediate family member of mine become ill with imminent death. I was unable under the circumstances to travel and wanted to cancel my trip and was willing to reschedule for a later date or get a credit. This was a very expensive trip for both my sister and I, taking us years to save up for it. The response we received from our agent is that Contiki is not willing to postpone the travel, even after we were willing to pay an extra fee. This tells me that this company is GREEDY and HEARTLESS. My family member has since passed away, 3 days before my departure date which was supposed to be on July 2nd. I even went to check the Contiki website and was shocked to see that my trip which was previously full, has now opened up spots to fill our place. Now, not only are they keeping the money of 2 young hardworking people, but also making money off filling our spots!! I've never experienced such injustice and mistreatment from a company in my entire life! This company has no sympathy and ZERO understanding for a situation as devastating as death. My sister and I were so excited to go on this trip and were very upset by the timing of our situation... but how can you control when a loved one will pass??????? SHAME ON YOU CONTIKI. If nothing is done to resolve this unfair policy, I will make sure not to recommend your tours to anyone.
1.0 • Julia
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Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0

The trip itself was incredible

The trip itself was incredible, we had so many activities, most of them you had to pay for but it was defiantly money well spent, it was worth it!! There was a lot of travelling involved but it was all an amazing adventure, and we got to get to know everyone much better.
5.0 • Emma
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Since 1962, Contiki has been a leader in providing exceptional global experiences for 18-35 year olds. What Makes Contiki Stand Out? Contiki offers a huge amount of tour options tailor made for younger travelers. They pride themselves on creating lifelong memories among international groups of like-minded travelers. They offer a comprehensive selection of trips, over 300 of them, all over the world. Their product range spans three different styles based on the pace of the trip: Discovery Plus, In-Depth Explorer, and Easy Pace. Make sure to read the details of each trip and choose the right one for your travel style.   Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Contiki? Is Contiki only for 18-35? Yes, Contiki is specifically for travelers between the ages of 18-35. Sociable, spontaneous, and easy-going travelers who are between the ages of 18-35 will definitely love the Contiki travel experience. These are trips for those young people who travel for the sheer joy of meeting locals, experiencing the nightlife, relaxing in the sun, and pounding the pavement for the next unique local gem.  Having a good time, being active, and spending less time in museums is something to expect on a Contiki tour. If you’re the kind of young person who likes meeting a lot of new people, are excited to try new things Contiki could be a good choice. Contiki trips are very much about being young and having fun - so you might miss a particular cultural attraction in favor of a group decision to instead explore a local market or neighborhood not in the guidebooks. Contiki tends to attract partiers more than bookworms. The guides and groups are generally warm and welcoming. Top Destinations Contiki offers 300+ trips in over 50 countries. They are especially popular for young travelers looking to explore Europe and Asia. Other top regions include Latin America, Australia, and New Zealand. Contiki Travel Style Contiki trips keep budget very much in mind when designing their trips. Expect a mix of 2 to 3-star hotels, guesthouses, and hostels on most trips. Contiki uses a mix of private coaches and public transportation to get around. The Contiki travel style is designed to allow for spontaneity - appreciate and get to know the culture through immersive activities, outdoors adventures, and local gems, off the tourist path. Contiki trips can be found in 6 broad themes: 1. Discoverer - For the widest mix of sites and activities. These trips are multi-country and city, jam packed with attractions and hidden gems. 2. High Energy - For those travelers who are all for maximizing their fun day and night. 3. In Depth Explorer - If cultural travel is what you gravitate to, these trips are going to suit you the best. 4. Independent Insider - For if you value a lot of free time to explore, setting your own schedule and curating the experience for your interests. 5. Camping - Truly budget travel, sleeping under the stars, camping trips with Contiki are currently available in Europe. 6. Winter & Ski - Hitting the slopes and Christmas markets in Europe, enjoying some off-season perks like fewer crowds and lower prices. 7. Sailing, Cruise, Beach - If being out on the water is your bread and butter, and suntanning on the beach calls your name every time you travel, these trips are for you. 8. Festivals & Short Stays - Festival travel has grown in popularity, especially among younger crowds. Contiki will help organize these often confusing and crowded events. Why Choose a Tour With Contiki? Contiki is a great choice for younger travelers looking to socialize with others during their trip. All of their travelers are between the ages of 18-35, and having a good time is one of their primary reasons for traveling with Contiki. Groups are a mix of people from the US, Canada, Australia, and the U.K. They have lots of experience leading cultural tours in different parts of the world and have a wide range of options to choose from.
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Globus

Globus

#33 Pick of 85 Galapagos Islands Tour Companies

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4.7 • Excellent
Total Trips 788 Trips
Average Price $ 273 per day
Size Global Operator
Tour Length 13 – 26 days
Trip Prices $ 5,069 – $ 9,209
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise
Trips in Galapagos Islands 6 Tours in Galapagos Islands

Repeat Globus Travelers, We Couldn’t Be Happier.

We are about to go on our 4th Globus trip and we have had nothing but good experiences with them. My wife and I applaud the mandatory vaccination policy. This is a fantastic company for stress free travel. Amazing and professional guides are the rule.
5.0 • Dan Johnson

Best Vacation Ever

Aug 2021 First timers using a tour group, was alittle nervous how it would turn out.... Best Vacation Ever... From the hotels....to the excursions...tour director... and the bus driver...i give it a 10... Alaska was so beautiful....
5.0 • Bob Schneider
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0

Don't require vaccinations even though…

Don't require vaccinations even though travel agents tell you they do. Have no concern for customers. Will not cancel trip to areas affected by the California wildfires or give a credit for a future trip. Just force customers to cancel and lose the money in order to protect their own health and safety. Irresponsible and unsafe company to travel with.
1.0 • Marvin Fein
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Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
Globus’ roots date back to Switzerland in 1928, when the company’s founder, Antonio Mantegazza, bought a rowboat to carry passengers across Lake Lugano, entertaining them with stories about the local sights along the way. From that modest beginning, one of the world’s leading travel companies was born. Globus is part of the Globus Group of brands, which also includes Avalon Waterways, Cosmos, and Monograms - together they carry more than a half million passengers annually. What Makes Globus Stand Out? All inclusive packages Balanced itineraries between planned activities and free time Centrally located accommodation VIP access (skip the lines and get behind-the-scenes experiences!) Founded in 1928, one of the oldest in the business, they are well respected as a mass market all-inclusive tour company that provides great value. Want free wifi on your tour bus so you can google the interesting sites you pass by? Like convenient hotels centrally located and/or with special local charm? Globus' long experience has helped them learn what makes travelers happy, and they deliver at accessible prices. Offering inclusive, budget friendly coach tours, most notably in Europe, Globus is a classic escorted tour operator ideal for those travelers seeking a comfortable and fun travel experience.   Globus tours include mostly everything in their base rates, they choose hotels that are in the heart of a city (where the action is), allow a good amount of free time to explore a destination on your own, and use knowledgeable local guides -- in short, they offer the complete package. Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Globus? Ages 50+ Low and high budget travelers Those who enjoy slower paced itineraries Globus tours are heavily aimed at active older travelers, particularly recent retirees and baby boomers in the 50+ range, as well as seniors. You have a desire to relax and feel at home, able to linger and appreciate classic sights as well as perhaps enjoy a cappuccino at a local cafe suggested by your tour leader. You don’t want to be rushed or hurried from place to place, yet are attracted to the benefits of guided travel - logistics taken care of and a guide to help keep the itinerary moving. As a long-established, award-winning tour company Globus caters to both budget group travelers and those seeking a more personalized (and costly) travel package. And since you can choose among group, individual, family, or religious travel experiences lasting anywhere from four to 29 days, Globus tours appeal to a broad range of travelers. But their sweet spot remains middle-of-the-road ‘value’ travelers. Top Destinations Today, still family owned, Globus operates in 60 plus countries across the globe, offering nearly 160 different escorted tours to Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, the South Pacific, and North and South America. They are especially known for Europe and Canada Whether you're looking for vacation packages to Switzerland or the best Thailand tours, consider Globus. On European motor coach tours, Globus limits group size to 44, allowing for extra legroom on the bus. Globus Travel Style The Globus travel style is relaxed yet comprehensive. Group tours are designed to allow for personal time to explore, but with many pre-planned activities, excursions, and meals to enjoy throughout your vacation. Groups are medium size - and can accommodate large groups of friends or families. You’ll have the opportunity to meet new friends and like minded travelers. In Europe private tours are also available with Globus. for those looking to make this independent exploration possible to an even greater extent. An attentive Tour Director is never far away on a Globus trip. Globus tour directors are locals, who have input over the itinerary, lend their unique perspective, and take you to the best spots for meals, drinks, shopping, etc. They are also knowledgeable guides, introducing the culture and country’s history through visits to major sites and attractions. Globus travel style is about combining the best of “travel like a local” with the best of “classic tour sites”. Globus is not a luxury brand, but accommodations and transportation will be comfortable. Transportation is in large motorcoaches, equipped with wifi and large viewing windows. Sit back and enjoy the ride. Why Choose a Tour with Globus? Older active travelers not interested in slowing down just yet will appreciate the Globas approach. Globus makes amazing travel experiences reachable - for multiple budgets and styles. Super adventurous and independent minded travelers may be curious to explore other options before deciding on Globus. These kinds of fully escorted tours aren’t for everyone. You will have some free time, but most meals, excursions, and activities are inclusions in the price - leaving you somewhat out of luck if you don’t want to participate in a certain itinerary item. If you’re curious about group travel, other group tours provide more flexibility that could provide a more positive introduction to this style of travel. Globus offers many great perks for larger groups planning to travel. If you’re a group of eight people traveling together, you are eligible for special deals and discounts; and if you’re a group of 20 people, Globus will arrange a tailor-made itinerary for you. If you are a traveler looking for value tours and prefer a specific travel theme, then globus has trips and tours that are designed accordingly.
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Avalon Waterways

Avalon Waterways

#34 Pick of 85 Galapagos Islands Tour Companies

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4.8 • Excellent
Total Trips 660 Trips
Average Price $ 378 per day
Size Global Operator
Tour Length 8 – 20 days
Trip Prices $ 5,129 – $ 10,549
Service Level Luxury
Operator Type River Cruise Line
Trips in Galapagos Islands 4 Tours in Galapagos Islands

Great customer service!

I really wanted to take the Magnificent Europe River cruise, so registered for, and put a downpayment on a trip that was scheduled for August 2020. Of course Covid intervened. Avalon Waterways graciously gave me a cabin upgrade, and a $ bonus to move my reservation to July of 2021. And again Covid stopped that plan. By now, I'm older and don't trust my health, so I called about cancelling my reservation. I have to say that "Susan" my account rep was so kind and understanding, and in the end Avalon is going to reimburse me for the total I put down on the trip. I can't say enough about the personal service I received all along the way. If I'm able in a year, I'll try again for that trip. I'm very impressed with this organization!
5.0 • Betty Groesbeck
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0

Best to try another company Avalon only…

Best to try another company Avalon only cares about money not customer service worst customer care ever
1.0 • Ms JILL BRAMMER
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Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
Part of the Globus family of travel brands since 2003, Avalon Waterways has proven to be one of the more innovative of the many river cruise companies now in operation. Its newest “Suite” ships feature “open-air balconies” with floor-to-ceiling windows that open up to serve as indoor-outdoor seating areas, which don’t cut into cabin space as do normal balconies -- meaning you have more room to move around. Bathrooms are also roomy. What Makes Avalon Waterways Stand Out? While global in scale, Avalon Waterways is best known for offering high-end cruises on brand new ships on European rivers. The oldest of the 15 Europe-based ships dates from just 2008, which makes it the youngest fleet of any size on European rivers. Newer ships generally mean that staterooms are larger and amenities are enhanced. Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Avalon Waterways? While the majority of river cruise travelers are in the 50-plus range, more and more middle aged couples have been enjoying river cruises as well. Avalon is a good place to start, particularly for the more exotic destinations like the Mekong in Asia or the Amazon in South America. Travelers seeking a luxury minded cruise experience, without an overly pomp and circumstance feel, will love cruising the world’s rivers with Avalon. If you’re wary of river cruising as an extension of the “floating hotel”, Avalon makes sure that a focus on the region itself is felt onboard as well as through the port excursions. Local ingredients are used to make traditional dishes, and beer, wine, and spirits of the area are also showcased. Casual and comfortable, combining a relaxed atmosphere with a fine dining calibur food and wine, Avalon presents a quiet elegance without being stuffy. Travelers who like choice will appreciate Avalon’s numerous options when it comes to port excursion activities. Starting in 2019 and unlike many cruises, a majority of these excursions will be included in the price.   Top Destinations Avalon is well known for their Europe cruises, but they travel all over the world as well.  They have five ships in Asia (sailing the Yangtze, Mekong and Irrawaddy rivers), and one ship each in the United States (the American Queen, which sails the Mississippi) and South America (the Aria, which plies the Amazon). Avalon runs small-ship cruises through the Galapagos Islands as well. Avalon Waterways Travel Style The comfort of their passengers is top of mind for Avalon. Whether this means the spacious viewing deck or numerous excursions available to satisfy different interests. There is a sense of casual elegance that Avalon portrays. The culture on board is professional while still friendly, and the furnishings are not overly opulent. Another thing that makes Avalon stand out is their attention to staying active and healthy. They have been a frontrunner in river cruises providing bikes and other ways to be active in each port stop. Why Choose a Cruise with Avalon Waterways? Avalon Cruises are comfortable, fun, and active. This is the perfect choice of cruise company for older affluent travelers seeking top notch river cruise experiences around the world. Considering the spaciousness and innovativeness of its cabins, the fact that shore excursions and multiple dining options are included in the rates, and a chance to take advantage of some attractive early-booking discounts, Avalon can offer excellent value.
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Tauck

Tauck

#31 Pick of 85 Galapagos Islands Tour Companies

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4.9 • Excellent
Total Trips 508 Trips
Average Price $ 578 per day
Size Global Operator
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise
Trips in Galapagos Islands 1 Tours in Galapagos Islands

Nice trip but not if you are a loyal Tauck Customer like myself

This was my 16th Tauck Tour. I was assigned a room with a "mountain" view only to be obstructed by lawn chairs, pool covers, large plants and buildings. It was a 1st floor room. I complained to tour director who said everyone got the same (NOT TRUE). I called Tauck 800 number on Sept 3 to request a call back from Customer Service. It took them until September 8 for a call back. The person on the phone was rude, non caring and (I'm paraphrasing) and told me just because you have taken 16 tours doesn't mean you deserve a better view that a first time customer. He went on to imply Tauck doesn't respect loyalty and wants to impress first time travelers. I ended the call and wrote an email to a good person at Tauck who was very helpful in the and requested this go to the top. I included pictures of my view and one dead fly because there were flies in the room and I guess Tauck thinks that makes the room special? I'm not done with them yet. Consider my treatment by this Customer Care agent before spending the big bucks to travel with Tauck.
2.0 • Customer Service a one star for Tauck

Still Spellbound by the Grandeur of Alaska

Focused on the amazing wildness of Alaska without worrying about the mundane details. Expert, low-key tour director made everything look easy. Excursions enhanced appreciation for the history, terrain, wildlife, peoples, boom and bust cycles that make Alaska so unique. Clear view of Denali, great weather, days 'at sea' with binoculars in hand! Most Memorable Moment: Flightseeing, Tundra Wilderness tour (clear Denali, rare wolf sighting and grizzlies in distance), crossing Prince William Sound (sea-otters, orcas, stellar sea-lions, and more), Hubbard Glacier calving, Glacier Bay entire day, Whale Watching out of Juneau, and bald eagles everywhere!
5.0 • Ischeibl
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0

Pay for a 4 star trip and get 2 star food

My husband and I took the Treasures of the Mediterranean tour two weeks ago. The food off the ship was very good. The food on the ship was subpar (2 stars out of 4 stars). We ended up ordering French Fries at the beginning of each meal so we would at least have something to eat. I called Tauck and voiced my concerns. They offered us a $250 voucher each for another trip. I hardly think the food portion on the yacht was $250. Why would I go on another Tauck trip when my first one, which was our retirement celebration due to the poor food. The majority of the people on the trip were dissatisfied with the food and their reviews reflected it.
2.0 • KBone
Details
Value1.0
Guide5.0
Activities4.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals1.0
Founded in 1925 by Arthur Tauck, the company has blossomed from a New England motor coach tour agency to offering trips throughout the world -- by land (including rail), sea, and sometimes by air (private air charters, helicopters). But it remains a Tauck family-run business, now in its fourth generation. Quick Facts Founded in 1925 Luxury travel with a friendly touch Small groups, large groups, river cruises Solo friendly Average tour price is around $6,000 p/p Unique partnerships: BBC Earth, offering science themed nature tours, Ken Burns journeys in the US What Makes Tauck Stand Out Long legacy Classic destinations Several types of itinerary, from cruises to family trips All inclusive pricing Themed trips “No grouches or pessimists” was the plea in a 1920s newspaper ad for a small tour group. From that small automobile taking curious, adventurous New Yorkers along dusty roads through beautiful New England, Tauck has come a long way, now offering guided tours throughout the world. They look upon their legacy with immense pride, as well they should. Arthur Tauck was an immigrant who pulled himself up by bootstraps and engenuity, and his name represents a supreme, classic and classy tour experience.   Tauck is a long-established high-quality tour operator with a strong reputation as one of the top companies offering upper-mid-range to luxury group travel and river cruises for the 50+ crowd. While its staple has been European and North American land tours, Tauck has been increasingly expanding into special family trips, exotic locations, and recent award-winning European river cruising. Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Tauck? Families 50+ River cruisers History buffs Pricing is virtually all-inclusive -- no additional options that can run up costs are offered during the trips, yet this is not a place for the true budget traveler. Though they offer several different types of tours, from family vacations to river cruising, attracting and serving a diverse customer group, the legacy of tradition and comfortability appeals largely to older and middle aged travelers. Solo travelers are very welcome on Tauck trips, and pay a low single supplement. Numerous specifically solo friendly tours are offered. You’ll meet romantic singles, or simply independent minded travelers, of all ages. Large family or friend groups could find a great fit at Tauck. Particularly because if your group is 11 people, the 11th travels for free! Because of Tauck’s impressively wide reaching themes and styles for families, having several different ages will be easier to entertain than they might be with other companies. They even have dedicated “family river cruises”. So if you’re considering a multi-gen family reunion or have a large group of friends with various ages, Tauck could be a good choice. Top Destinations Tauck destinations include all seven continents -- so whether you're trying to plan an Iceland vacation or looking to take a trip to Canada, consider Tauck! Special themes may include food and wine, North American national parks, fall foliage, solo travel, African safaris, “Culturious” travel (for culturally curious baby boomers), “Bridges” (for families), and “Events,” which are considered once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences. These may feature a trip to the Kentucky Derby or journeys based around themes of Ken Burns films, with a chance to meet Burns himself. Tauck Travel Style Tauck’s travel style is all about seeing destinations in comfort, yet with a strong sense of adventure and desire to see different sides of the destination - from local life to culturally immersive activities. Land tours are where they began, and they offer hundreds of different tours of various lengths around the world. Typically accommodations are in comfortable 3, 4, and occasionally 5 star hotels. Tauck has an award winning river cruise line, covering a variety of European rivers. They strive to create an intimate setting, where customer service is not compromised. Small ship cruises use 40- to 264-passenger-size yachts and expeditionary vessels that can visit small islands and other locations that big ships cannot. The staff is known for its attentiveness and individualized service. Among Tauck’s unique partnerships is a special connection with the BBC Earth, through which they offer what they call “Earth Journeys”. These explore the natural world with emphasis on being outdoors learning the fascinating earth science behind stunning nature and wildlife. Tauck is a luxury minded brand, and their prices do tend to sit in the upper budget range. Think an average price between $5,000 and $7,000 per person. That said, they strive to reflect a friendliness and openness, and steer away from any kind of “stuffy” feeling. Their trips are comprehensive and full of enriching cultural activities, while also appreciating the value behind enjoying a cocktail hour before heading into dinner. Why Choose a Tour or River Cruise With Tauck? Tauck has an impressive array of travel styles and tours, suitable to numerous types of travelers. They are especially popular with large family groups and corporate groups, as well as very friendly to solo / single travelers. A renowned, award winning, and well established company, they seamlessly marry innovation with legacy - sticking to their roots while continuing to create unique offerings. Some of its biggest growth has come on water, where Tauck operates a fleet of seven European river boats and a number of small ship cruises. Their customer service, attentive and knowledgeable guides are definitely a key component to their popularity. Tauck offers something for just about everyone. Covid-19 Updates Tauck has an internal "Global Response Team" that is poised and ready for responding to the unexpected, from extreme weather events to outbreaks.  They have implemented stringent safety requirements for their trips going forward, training guides on enhanced protocols and health screening practices. Guests will be required to wear face coverings on all outings.
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Cosmos

Cosmos

#36 Pick of 85 Galapagos Islands Tour Companies

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4.3 • Great
Total Trips 440 Trips
Average Price $ 175 per day
Size Global Operator
Tour Length 17 – 30 days
Trip Prices $ 4,589 – $ 8,279
Service Level Budget
Operator Type Group Tour Operator
Trips in Galapagos Islands 5 Tours in Galapagos Islands

Excellent Experience and Excellent Guide

I would highly recommend this company and some trips to Scandinavia and Baltic. The countries are amazing, the service and our guide Ausra Paukste was really the best ever. If you wish to visit this region consider Cosmos company.
5.0 • Happy Traveler from US

Awesome & The Best!

We had a most wonderful trip! Our tour guide & driver were excellent! Our tour guide was very knowledgeable about France, & told us a little history, about every town we visited! Hotels great!
5.0 • Rebecca G
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0

Terrible

Expectations were fairly high and they were still exceeded. We considered this the best trip we have ever taken and my wife and I have zero complaints.
1.0 • Angelo D
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
Ultimate South America with Galapagos Cruise
Ultimate South America with Galapagos Cruise Trip Type: Small Group Tour
Cosmos promises to “turn your travel dreams into reality” by offering affordable tours in several parts of the world. Part of the Globus group of travel brands, Cosmos has been running escorted tours for five decades since the 1960s. It touts its clout with hotels and other travel providers as a way of keeping down costs, with savings passed on to their customers. Most expenses are included in the tours, though you may be on your own for some meals and optional excursions. Cosmos started out offering value-priced European coach tours for budget-minded travelers, and now has added North American, South American, and some Middle East and North African destinations as well. Religious-themed tours of southern Europe and Israel as well as holiday season tours are all part of the mix. The company emphasizes that when you tour Europe, for example, you’ll stay like Europeans do, eat like Europeans do, and “share the European view of Europe.” That generally means comfortable but not luxury hotels, well-chosen neighborhood restaurants, varied means of transportation, and guided sightseeing of all the “must-see” sites, with extended stays in key cities. Cosmos also offers plenty of free time to explore on your own, a way of personalizing your group tour a bit.        
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Lindblad Expeditions

Lindblad Expeditions

#41 Pick of 85 Galapagos Islands Tour Companies

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4.8 • Excellent
Total Trips 86 Trips
Average Price $ 827 per day
Size Global Operator
Service Level Luxury
Operator Type Small Ship & Expedition Cruise Line
Trips in Galapagos Islands 1 Tours in Galapagos Islands

UnCruise is an amazing dream!!

UnCruise is an amazing dream!! The crew, the sales team, the office team, all go out of their way to make sure your experience is unforgettable. We were on the August 1, 2020 cruise. Even tho things didn’t go quite the way we planned, UnCruise was unbelievable. We will be back. UnCruise was my first ever cruise. They will be the only company we ever cruise with.
5.0 • Teresa

That money wasn't meant for them

They could improve by RETURNING the $6.6 million in CARES ACT money they took, that was SUPPOSED to go to SMALL business so they could keep folks on the payroll during the 'rona shut down. They are a publicly traded company with a Market value of $264 million. That money wasn't meant for them. They are scum.
1.0 • Brendan
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0

UnCruise is an amazing dream!!

UnCruise is an amazing dream!! The crew, the sales team, the office team, all go out of their way to make sure your experience is unforgettable. We were on the August 1, 2020 cruise. Even tho things didn’t go quite the way we planned, UnCruise was unbelievable. We will be back. UnCruise was my first ever cruise. They will be the only company we ever cruise with.
5.0 • Teresa
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
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Lindblad Expeditions is an expedition cruise specialist with almost 50 years experience. The company was founded by Antarctic explorer, Lars-Eric Lindblad in 1969, who pioneered leisure travel expedition cruises to places like Antarctica and the Galapagos. What Makes Them Stand Out? Lindblad is one of the most well-known adventure travel brands in the world, with a rich history of exploring the far corners of the earth. All of their trips have an element of education, such as lectures from naturalists and photographers. In fact, Lindblad has long partnered with National Geographic to provide this enriching, educational aspect to their tours. Although you are on board with a large group, sometimes 100+ people, this is not your typical group tour. Travelers have flexibility and can choose their daily activities based on personal interest. In places like Antarctica, smaller groups form to make landings via a zodiac boat. Who Travels With Them? Lindblad attracts a curious, well-educated traveler - someone who wants to truly immerse themselves in nature and their surroundings, versus a more passive traveler. Lindblad travelers have diverse backgrounds such as professional photographers, artists, teachers, and scientists. You can expect your expedition group to be of all ages, although many passengers are 40+. Where Do They Operate? Lindblad offers a wide range of tours to classic expedition cruise destinations like the Galapagos, Alaska, and Antarctica as well as non-traditional places like Costa Rica, Panama, and the British Isles. Their fleet of ships numbers 10 in total. Why Travel With Them? If you’ve always wanted to explore distant places like Antarctica or tough-to-reach lands like the Galapagos, then Lindblad could be your best bet. They have many years experience fine tuning their hands-on, but comfortable, expeditions to provide a fun, educational experience. This certainly isn’t your classic cruise experience.
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Abercrombie & Kent Premier

Abercrombie & Kent

#44 Pick of 85 Galapagos Islands Tour Companies

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4.3 • Great
Total Trips 32 Trips
Average Price $ 704 per day
Size Global Operator
Tour Length 10 – 10 days
Trip Prices $ 8,245 – $ 9,195
Service Level Luxury
Operator Type Group Tour Operator
Trips in Galapagos Islands 3 Tours in Galapagos Islands

We are just returning from our African safari and it was amazing!

We are just returning from our African safari and it was amazing! It exceeded our every expectation. The best part was spending time with our excellent A&K guides Ngochi and Ngige. We learned so much from them and they were excellent spotters. I loved seeing their excitement when we spotted something new. It is obvious they love what they do even after 20 years in the business. This trip should be on everyone’s bucket list and I would highly recommend A&K and encourage you to request Ngochi and Ngige. Covid threw us a few curves (mandatory Covid tests, masks, etc) but it is a great time to travel. We felt completely safe and were on our own private safari!
5.0 • Dannelle Ward

I had a great time

Just completed the A&K Southeast Asia and Angkor Wat Tour. I had a great time with Angkor Wat being the pearl of the trip. Our guide Truong was wonderful. He was the best guide I have ever had on any tour by far.
5.0 • Preston
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WARNING. DO NOT USE ABERCROMBIE AND KENT

We booked our bucket list trip to Southeast Asia, we were scheduled to depart on March 4th. That’s when the Corona Pandemic was becoming rampant worldwide. We were reaching out to them constantly during the weeks beforehand, looking to reschedule or cancel our trip due to the travel hazards. We were shocked to find out there was NO understanding nor negotiating options with them or upper management. We have heard from several other friends who had trips scheduled around this same timeframe and their companies reached out to them directly and offered refunds or scheduling changes due to the Corona Pandemic. We will NEVER RECOMMEND OR USE THEM AGAIN. TRAVELERS BEWARE.
1.0 • NEVER USE ABERCROMBIE AND KENT
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Galápagos Wildlife Adventure
Galápagos Wildlife Adventure Trip Type: Small Ship Cruise
Family Galapagos
Family Galapagos Trip Type: Small Ship Cruise
Co-founded by current CEO Geoffrey Kent in 1962, Abercrombie & Kent started out in modest fashion as an African safari operator, but quickly grew into one of the world's premiere luxury travel brands. Today they cover the globe, with 50 offices worldwide. What Makes Abercrombie & Kent Stand Out? Award-winning luxury tour operator Insider-access opportunities Focus on culture, wildlife, and history  Abercrombie & Kent is one of the world’s leading luxury travel companies. The emphasis is very much on luxury here -- whether it’s small-group travel (limit of 18 per group), tailor-made journeys, expedition cruises, train travel, African safaris, European barge cruises, or any of its many other offerings, just about everything A&K arranges is top of the line. They are specific in their travel style, promising superior and attentive service, comfort, and cultural exploration. While this may seem exclusionary - and the prices are quite a barrier to entry. Luxury travel might have a reputation for being swanky and even perhaps a bit dull, particularly for those who travel for adventure, the image being a glass of champagne all day long, moving from meal to meal, sitting on the private deck of a cruise ship. This perspective is a misnomer however, as there is quite a bit of action available on tours with Abercrombie & Kent. Enjoy invigorating walks, hikes, get outdoors to remote locations, meeting local people and learning about their cultures; experience the thrill of getting up close to waterfalls, and poise your camera for the perfect shot on a safari. Then retire to your room for a cocktail before dinner. Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Abercrombie & Kent? Ages 65-75 Luxury travelers Abercrombie & Kent travelers embody an adventurous spirit, but enjoy the finer things as well. “Elegant exploration” is one way to put it. These travelers appreciate a slow pace and personalized attentive service. The age range tends to be older - baby boomers and seniors looking for a relaxing experience, with many cultural touch-points, but not overly “immersive” as their children and grandchildren might prefer. This is upper crest travel at its finest - though Abercrombie & Kent makes a concerted effort to be worldly and inviting, your experience is definitely a luxury version of any given destination. This is a travel company that offers Private Jet trips, some of which offering the chance to meet an Abercrombie & Kent family member. Think private after hours tours, exclusive outings with artisans, chefs, and winemakers; spectacular meals and accommodations that go a touch beyond comfortable. Imagine the civilized world of cocktail hour and dressing for dinner, but in the context of exploration. Perhaps you’re sipping your negroni on the deck of your private suite in Kenya, gazing out across the savannah with elephants silhouetted in the distance, against the dusty yellow sunlight of dusk. This is the wonderful travel world waiting for you with Abercrombie & Kent. The majority of A&K’s guests come from North America or Britain. A&K trips are definitely not for the budget traveler, but they offer deluxe lodgings and transport and exceptionally attentive service, which their customers value highly. Top Destinations Abercrombie & Kent made its name offering luxury small group and private safaris in Africa. Today they go around the world, but with the same luxurious approach. Luxury doesn’t mean same-old, same-old or unadventurous though. Groups head off on Antarctic expeditions or Uganda gorilla safaris, visit Tibet or Machu Picchu, join a European or Nile river cruise, or travel to India’s Pushkar Fair. You can ride deluxe trains or fly across Africa by private jet with Abercrombie & Kent. Or you can outline your own tailor-made journey under the guidance of an A&K consultant, then be accompanied by their guides throughout. Abercrombie & Kent Travel Style There could be a tendency to view Abercrombie & Kent as old fashioned when it comes to travel style. However there is a difference between old fashioned and appreciating a traditional travel style. Those who travel with Abercrombie & Kent do expect a certain kind of experience. From luggage handling to having the salad fork in the correct order, from short or non-existent lines to special assistance when needed. These expectations have become the blueprint for an Abercrombie & Kent travel experience. Transportation on an Abercrombie & Kent tour is almost always private and chartered. Exceptions would of course be rail journeys, but here you would have a private car and access to first class dining and viewing. Your journey may involve anything from helicopters, private jets, luxury coaches, and yachts. Walking is a common part of most guided tours, but you can expect simple and easy distances during your A&K itinerary. (Unless of course you are on a Gorilla Trek!). Accommodation follows a similar pattern. Luxury hotels, safari lodges, villas, you name it and it’s probably available. Why Choose a Tour With Abercrombie & Kent? Abercrombie & Kent promises to deliver an authentic, “insider” travel experience, such as seeing Machu Picchu under the guidance of its former resident archaeologist. You can even ride an elegant train to get there. In Tanzania, A&K runs its own luxury safari camps. From the time they first meet you at the airport until trip end, Abercrombie & Kent promises that your trip will go as smoothly as possible -- and that their entire global organization will be dedicated toward that goal. It may strike some as contradictory to see certain parts of the world in luxury. Some countries have luxury homes, but they are only available to tourists and travelers because the locals simply occupy a different social sphere. There is a unique dependency on tourism in much of the world. Abercrombie & Kent takes this seriously, doing their philanthropic part wherever possible, giving back to the local communities.
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Overseas Adventure Travel (O.A.T. Tours)

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

#45 Pick of 85 Galapagos Islands Tour Companies

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4.9 • Excellent
Total Trips 19 Trips
Average Price $ 290 per day
Size Global Operator
Tour Length 16 – 16 days
Trip Prices $ 5,095 – $ 5,095
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise
Trips in Galapagos Islands 1 Tours in Galapagos Islands

My favorite OAT adventure

I went to this adventure with my sister-in-law and we had the absolute best time! Our guide were all amazing and our trip leader Martin was exceptional! My sister-i-law had a fall the day we were to meet our group and Martin helped us navigate the urgent care, got her stitched up and stayed by our side until she was tucked into our room. What a waRead more about review stating My favorite OAT adventurey to meet your trip leader but also we knew we were set up with a caring and kind man from the start! This was a truly unique adventure with large cities and also the most serene scenery on earth! I write this in the mist of the recent pandemic and hope that as soon as this all settles down we can take another trip with OAT. It will be hard to match this trip but we will try!
5.0 • Sharon F.

Refund not given after cancelation dur to COVID 19

Wife's trip to Japan was scheduled and paid for in April, 2019. Everything on track until her trip was canceled due to COVID19. She has had three calls with OAT including two with supervisors. In each case, she was told that she could travel anytime until 2022 and that her money would not be refunded. During the latest conversation, she was told no refund due to "Force Majeure". My wife has been laid off and OAT has $8,000 of our money that they are refusing to refund. There is no way to plan a trip in 2021 or 2022 and we need the money for our monthly bills. This is unconscionable behavior. I have filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Attorney General's office and the BBB. Using Force Majeure is particularly troubling since this is not a question of them being protected for canceling our trip (which they did), but about getting our money back. Force Majeure clearly protects them from canceling due to acts of God but has nothing to due with giving them the right to keep our money. Check around: many, many reviews are being written with similar issues. This is clearly taking advantage of seniors during a global pandemic. DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THESE PEOPLE.
1.0 • Refuse to Refund After Cancelation
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We visited Panama on this trip with OAT

We visited Panama on this trip with OAT including walking through El Chorrillo neighborhood and listening to the stories of the survivors of the US invasion. We would recommend the movie "The Panama Deception," a documentary of the US invasion. It tells a different story that the US government and media reported at the time. Certainly more informaRead more about review stating Additional movie recommendation for Panama visitorstive that "The Tinker of Panama." You can find the movie online at https://www.c-span.org/video/?467566-1/the-panama-deception
5.0 • ROBERT J
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
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Machu Picchu & the Galápagos
Machu Picchu & the Galápagos Trip Type: Small Ship Cruise
Founded in 1978, Overseas Adventure Travel specializes in small group and small ship adventure tours. Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT) is now part of the Boston-based Grand Circle Corporation, which also includes Grand Circle Travel and Grand Circle Cruise Line. Quick Facts Founded in 1978 Very welcome to solo travelers - Free or low single supplement Average Tour Price - $4,538 Average Tour Duration - 15 Days Small Groups - between 10 and 16 travelers, max of 24 on small ship cruises Travel Style - Culturally immersive and local experiences. Walking between 3-6 miles a day Age Range - Primarily 50+ What Makes Overseas Adventure Travel Stand Out? Solo traveler friendly Cultural immersion Grand Circle Foundation Overseas Adventure Travel is solo traveler friendly. They offer free or low single supplements. OAT understands that solo travelers desire to follow their own schedule, desires and needs. They help handle all the details to make sure your trip is affordable, easy and enjoyable. A major focus of OAT is cultural immersion. Travelers can expect to visit local schools, churches, and homes (where you might be treated to a home-cooked meal). Experienced guides -- all fluent in English -- lead groups off the beaten path when possible. OAT strives to give back to the world they send travelers around.  A portion of all proceeds goes to the Grand Circle Foundation, which supports cultural and educational programs in the countries visited. Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Overseas Adventure Travel? Ages 50+ Solo travelers Cultural enthusiasts  OAT specializes in small group tours around the world serving Americans aged 50 and older. They appeal to the old fashioned - the fact that they still offer a physical catalogue is testament - and their travel style reflects an appreciation of the classics coupled with an adventurous spirit to explore each destination deeper and from a local perspective.  Overall, prices fall into the moderate range, and are especially a bargain for solo travelers, who can save substantially by not having to pay for single supplements. Accommodations are designed to be both comfortable as well as unique and in keeping with the local spirit of the destination. If your hostelling days are over but you feel too adventurous for a standard hotel, OAT will be a great company to travel with.  OAT travelers are those with a passion for culture. They don’t just want to see a destination, they want to experience it. For these travelers, spending a day in a Maasai village in Kenya, eating dinner with a local family in Chile's oasis town and interacting with local musicians at the bustling Libertad Plaza in San Salvador, Belize is a welcomed adventure. Top Destinations OAT operates tours all over the world, specializing in remote, off the beaten path destinations. African safaris are an especially popular offering, though you can also travel to Japan, India, Peru, Iceland, Vietnam, Albania, or Morocco, to name just a few of its far-flung destinations. OAT also runs small-ship cruises through the Galapagos, on the Amazon, and along the Turkish coast. OAT Travel Style With Overseas Adventure Travel you’ll find a combination of transportation and accommodation styles, but all with an element of comfort. Groups are small, with a max of 16 (24 on small ship cruises).  Accommodations vary, but generally favor being local and non-traditional over a basic centrally located hotel. Their exact words are “emphasis on authenticity, rather than amenities”. Their style is all about unique and meaningful cultural interaction. While you’ll learn the history and see the famous sights, their true focus is about people and connections. This means you’ll enjoy meals with local families, like you’re just a friend over for dinner; visit schools and see the amazing work being done in small communities. The visceral understanding and perspective that comes from learning to cook traditional meals and make traditional crafts is what you’ll find on an OAT tour. Why Choose a Tour with OAT? OAT offers a unique up close and personal experience, guaranteeing that its groups will never exceed more than 10-16 travelers. A spirit of spontaneity is part of what makes traveling with OAT special, as they strive to take advantage of every interesting opportunity during a trip.  Traveling with Overseas Adventure Travel allows for an in depth cultural travel experience in comfort. Many opportunities exist for travelers to find deals, and it’s a great way to meet new friends in a similar age range. If you traveled extensively in your youth and are not ready to slow down, but perhaps are looking for a few more logistical ducks to be taken care of for you, OAT could be the perfect fit. They offer a variety of options for more independent minded travelers, as well as ample free time to explore and plan your own adventure during cruise port stops and on their group tours. Alternatively, if this is your first travel experience, OAT will be a great starting point. You’ll gain cultural insights, meet locals, as well as hit on all the best tourist sites that provide cultural and historical context to your destination. Overseas Adventure Travel Covid Safety Precautions Through December 31st 2020, Overseas Adventure Travel is offering Risk Free booking. You can transfer your departure with all change fees waived.   Some countries are beginning to reopen to international visitors with entry restrictions while others have remained closed. Stay up to date and see a full list of which countries are open » 
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Gate 1 Travel

Gate 1 Travel

#28 Pick of 85 Galapagos Islands Tour Companies

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4.3 • Great
Total Trips 4 Trips
Size Global Operator
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Group Tour Operator
Trips in Galapagos Islands 1 Tours in Galapagos Islands

We booked a trip to Greece about 3…

We booked a trip to Greece about 3 years ago. We booked 13 days Turkey Treasure last year and because of Covid-19 we booked in September 2021. The hotels were changed at the last minute. Most of the hotels were of poor quality The air conditioning were not delivering cold air. This is the last time I will use Gate1.
2.0 • Caesar Alarcon

Gate 1 is a SCAM. Never Travel Gate 1

I booked a flight for Dubai on Aug 2nd, 2021. When i arrived at the airport, the flight was cancelled. Its a SCAM COMPANY. Never travel Gate 1. On contacting, they said, your ticket is lost as the airline marked me as No Show. Its a TERRIBLE company.
1.0 • BILAL QURESHI
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We are based in Melbourne

We are based in Melbourne, Australia and have been on several tours which were booked through the Gate 1 Australian office based in Melbourne We had booked 2 back to back European tours for earlier this year however covid19 put a stop to those and any travel outside Australia. The team at the Melbourne office were outstanding and went out of their way to ensure a smooth booking process and credits when the tours were cancelled. We can’t begin to tell you how very disappointed we and many others are with the decision to close the Australian office permanently. Dealing with the Gate 1 office in the USA is impossible
5.0 • Steve
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
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Founded in 1981 with three employees and based in suburban Philadelphia, Gate 1 now employs more than 200 people worldwide with offices in 20 countries, ranging from Hungary to Cambodia, Argentina to Israel. What Makes Gate 1 Stand Out? Escorted tours & river cruises Good value  High quality guides Gate 1 offers a variety of tour packages and river cruises around the world, promising to provide exceptional value for the price. They focus on North American travelers who seek “high quality, yet affordable” guided trips, with accommodations ranging from superior tourist to moderate deluxe class. They have a lot of different choices when it comes to destinations, durations, and inclusions. Most tours have additional offerings for meals, activities, and excursions available for additional fees. Traveler reviews for Gate 1 oscillate between 5 star and 1 star experiences. Those that have had an excellent time cite the tour pacing, guides, and extensive sightseeing opportunities as positives. Those for whom these same factors contributed to a negative experience may have had higher expectations than is available or offered for the competitive budget prices that Gate 1 is known for. Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Gate 1?  All ages  Low to mid budget travelers Those open to simple accommodation and meal plans Gate 1 is the perfect travel choice for families, couples, and friend groups seeking a cost efficient journey. As Gate 1 is a strictly budget minded brand, it’s important to be fully aware of the trade-off when you choose to travel with them. You will see a lot, and be out and about visiting several sites - however keeping costs low is one of their main priorities. This means hotels will be basic, meals won’t be 5 star, and your coach will have fewer amenities. In addition tours with Gate 1 feature several optional add ons and sightseeing tours, not included in the base price. Average tour price is around $2,000, often less. If you’re flexible, open minded, and are interested in maximizing your sightseeing above all else, Gate 1 could be for you. Knowing what to expect is key for enjoying the trip to the fullest. Top Destinations Gate 1 trips cover much of the world, including destinations in North, Central, and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Itineraries focus on the top sights, historical attractions, and national parks. Gate 1 Travel Style In a nutshell, the Gate 1 travel style is “see a lot for a little”. Hotels and accommodations are usually 3 star hotels. Expect basic comforts, with fewer amenities available. However if you’re the kind of traveler for whom a bed and some coffee in the morning is a fine trade-off for busy days outside and tons of sightseeing, the trade-off will be worth it.   You will be met on the ground with a dedicated tour leader, available to assist throughout your travel experience. Escorted group bus tours are a big part of their business - between 24-42 people. These coaches are again, more utility focused than amenity focused, but you will be comfortable. And in general bus tours take frequent stops to allow for stretching legs and using of facilities.   Gate 1 also offers small group tours (with a maximum of 22 people), river cruises on two continents, independent city stays and fly and drive packages, rail packages, customized vacations, and combination bus/cruise tours -- something for almost everyone interested in a budget vacation. Why Choose a Tour With Gate 1? For the budget traveler, Gate 1 is a fantastic choice. They offer several types of trip package to choose from, including rail, river cruise, and small group tours, at competitive rates. Their escorted tours are extremely popular, and customers repeat trips with them regularly. While Gate 1 is the primary brand, and they are all about giving a positive and packed international travel experience on a budget, other brands associated with Gate 1 are more premium focused. These include the Signature collection, offering luxury tour options and smaller groups.
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SmarTours Preferred

SmarTours

#43 Pick of 85 Galapagos Islands Tour Companies

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4.9 • Excellent
Total Trips 60 Trips
Average Price $ 259 per day
Size Global Operator
Tour Length 9 – 15 days
Trip Prices $ 4,299 – $ 5,699
Service Level Budget
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise
Trips in Galapagos Islands 4 Tours in Galapagos Islands

As this was our first organized/group tour I didn’t know what to expect

As this was our first organized/group tour I didn’t know what to expect. We booked our airfare independently as wanted to visit Dubai prior to the start of the tour. Upon arrival in Cairo at the Marriott Cairo a day before the tour started, our room was assigned already and the check in process was seamless. We had a welcome dinner the next day and met up with our group of 16 people and our exceptional Egyptologist & tour guide, Mrs. Enas Hassan. I cannot say enough about the knowledge, courtesy, patience and professionalism of Enas. This tour would have not been the same without her. I believe this in-depth tour was a fantastic way to visit Egypt. We were a bit apprehensive about travel to Egypt but now freshly back in the states, I have absolutely no qualms that we made this trip of a lifetime. After researching several aspects of travel to this region, I discovered that crime in a Egypt is less than half of a percent compared to crime in the USA which is 12%. Everyone we encountered was genuinely friendly and accommodating. Vendors at the markets & bazaars will approach you for a sale but not at all intimidating or threatening. Be ready to bargain with them as you would expect. Such a great feeling to get a good deal on souvenirs and priceless goods. The itinerary was comprehensive and learned so much further than that from lessons learned earlier in life. There was an equal amount of discovery and education compared to some needed downtime. As a gay married couple, we were a bit apprehensive about this tour as uncertain about visiting the a Middle East but the apprehension quickly subsided once we met our fellow travelers within our group and our trustworthy guide, Enas. We are ages 47 and 53 and we were the youngest within our group with the exception of a 24 year old daughter of other group attendees that happen to also be from Central Florida. I think our only negative feedback would be that we would have liked additional “free time” at each location but as the ages of our fellow travelers were greater than our own, they did not have the stamina to do more which is understandable, I suppose. We also had a couple that did not seem to be satisfied with accommodations, food, activity, etc. This was somewhat discerning as everyone else in the group was having a fantastic time and their energy was unnerving. When visiting a foreign country, you cannot expect things to be the same as in the USA. You need to have an open mind and experience a culture that is different than your own. I have gained so much valuable insight into the culture, history, incredible & unbelievable sights we were afforded to see on this amazing adventure. This trip, again, would not have been the same without the exceptional guidance of Enas Hassan, please request her for a truly Egyptian experience that you will never forget.
5.0 • Matthew

It was excellent

It was excellent. Our Tour Director & Egyptologist Mohamed Atef was one of the best that I have seen in my 40 years of worldwide travels. He was very knowledgeable and an excellent communicator. What set him apart was that he and his team took personal interest in the needs and welfare of every tour member. The hotels accommodations, Nile river boat Movenpick MS Royal Lily, local tour Buses and the meals were all wonderful. Their logistics management, baggage handling, room check-ins, meals and transfers to and from the airport were impeccable. Each and every historical site and the museums that we visited was beyond fabulous. The sites, statues are magnificent and the colors inside the Tombs are still vibrant after 4700 plus years. The Egyptian people are are quite friendly and very welcoming. One does run into vendors trying to sell you the local papyrus, books and clothing artifacts at these sites. But we recognized that this is their livelihood and were not bothered by it. We were very fortunate to have such a nice and fun group. Everyone had become friendly during the tour. The farewell dinner ended on a festive note with birthday celebrations for a couple of people in the group. I highly recommend this tour.
5.0 • Lee
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I had a trip booked to china Feb of…

I had a trip booked to china Feb of 2020. Of course it went away. I took my credits, which they told me I had, and signed up for a trip to Portugal in Sept of 2021. This change has never appeared in my account at Smartours. I have called three times. Every time except for today they have said, yes, you are booked, and fully paid. Today she said that It's booked but not paid for. There aren't any credits, and she needs more information. I will get a call back on Monday. Sure. They are playing hide the pea with my money. I have taken other trips with Smartours and am sorely disappointed with this experience. Where is the money? It's been a year and a half.
1.0 • Teresa Bishop
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Founded in 1996, smarTours promises its customers the “Best Travel Bargains” by offering mostly all-inclusive guided tours throughout much of the world. What Makes SmarTours Stand Out? Airfare included Affordable trips Numerous ways to save Local guides Destinations around the world SmarTours offers affordable tours along with great itineraries. Included in the price of all their tours is international airfare from the U.S., first-class hotels, sightseeing excursions, and English-speaking local guides. SmarTours draws a large repeat business, taking travelers to such far-flung destinations as Thailand, Morocco, Japan, Peru, Patagonia, India, and Australia. Who Will Enjoy Traveling with SmarTours? Budget travelers Social travelers History and culture lovers Travelers who love traveling and care about experiencing the destination above all else - tourist sites, history, and culture - will love the feel of a SmarTours trip. These tours are definitely for the budget minded - SmarTours offers numerous deals and specials throughout the year, and provides many other ways you can save money as well, including referring your friends and being a repeat SmarTours traveler. Trips are comfortable and well guided, if not luxury or especially unique in tone. Airfare is included, which is a major selling point for SmarTours travelers. SmarTours is perfect for the traveler who wants to get the most out of their travel experience, in terms of inclusions and time spent exploring the sites, both with a guide and with free time. If you are looking for a more cultivated, personalized experience, the SmarTours focus on keeping costs low doesn’t always allow for this. That said, this is budget travel that strives to appeal to a wider range. SmarTours caters to all ages that are looking for good prices. They are largely popular amongst middle aged, 50+ travelers, and families. Top Destinations SmarTours travels all over the world, including Africa, Asia, South America and Cuba, Western and Eastern Europe, and the Mediterranean. Diverse itineraries are available in each destination. SmarTours Travel Style Large coaches River and small ship cruises Except for its cruise offerings -- primarily river cruises as well as Greek Island and Galapagos cruises -- transportation is generally by bus. Group sizes can reach 40 and beyond, but may also be smaller depending on the popularity of the trip. SmarTours will design custom trips for groups with at least 25-30 travelers. Accommodations are between value and premium, comfortable with a step above basic amenities. You won’t spend much time in your hotel, as SmarTours makes the focus about the travel experiences on the ground. They care about ensuring that you have as much time as possible to explore with the guide and on your own. Why Choose a Tour With SmarTours? SmarTours is a complete bargain package for budget minded travelers. If you are looking for an unbeatable value, don’t mind a large group and want tours focused on exotic destinations, then SmarTours is a perfect choice for you.
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Go Ahead Tours

Go Ahead Tours

#63 Pick of 85 Galapagos Islands Tour Companies

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4.9 • Excellent
Total Trips 17 Trips
Size Global Operator
Tour Length 10 – 10 days
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Group Tour Operator
Trips in Galapagos Islands 1 Tours in Galapagos Islands

Stay Away - Class Action lawsuit for ripping off children

This greedy and unethical company is being sued for keeping money from school children and their parents after the company canceled trips due to Coronavirus. They have a pattern of canceling trips and keeping your money and you get nothing! They only care about money and not earning it.
1.0 • Greedy Unethical Company Keeps Your Money When They Cancel Trips

I took every additional tour and the tour guides were excellent!

Go Ahead Tours was selected for their attention to detail, and this tour did not disappoint! I must give credit to our wonderful tour director, Alessandra, who has over 25 years of experience, and we were the beneficiaries of her compassionate regard for our tour's wellbeing. She was attentive and even gave us souvenir momentos from each city we visited. I took every additional tour and the tour guides were excellent! I especially liked our guides for the Colosseum, in Rome, a mature woman who was Greek, and thus, she was very personable. Also, Katia, our tour guide for the Vatican and the Catacombs was very knowledgeable and entertaining. The last night was fun in our send off dinner consisted of a dinner theater billed as four tenors and featured an opera troup serenading us during our three-course meal. Great fun and the perfect meal to conclude our action packed 7-day tour of three Italian Cities boasting magnificent art and history!
5.0 • Benjamin
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0

Wouldn't Refund Full Payment of Tour They Cancelled

Our trip was to be in May 2020 and was cancelled by Go Ahead due to the Coronavirus after we had paid the full cost of the trip for two. When contacted about a refund, the only way we would NOT lose our deposit of $600 was if we allowed them to keep the entire amount paid until the trip was rescheduled or changed to another tour. We asked them to refund everything EXCEPT the deposit and carry the deposit until another trip could be scheduled. They refused to consider carrying our deposit. The only was to get our $6000 payment back was to lose our $600 deposit. After several wonderful tours, Go Ahead proved themselves to be unconcerned about our financial loss or hardships caused by their inflexibility.
1.0 • Lousy Customer Service
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
The Galápagos Islands & Ecuador
The Galápagos Islands & Ecuador Trip Type: Group Tour
Go Ahead Quick Facts Age Range: All ages Average Tour Price:  $2,000-$4,000 Average Tour Duration: 8-18 days Travel Style: Cultural immersion and education with active experiences. The world’s largest private education travel company, Go Ahead tours are designed for curious, adventurous travelers. Their itineraries balance planned activities and free time to quench your curiosity and specific interests. What Makes Go Ahead Stand Out? Dedicated tour directors Local guides Flexibility Go Ahead has dedicated tour directors that you can trust to help you have the best travel experience. They have years of experience and regional knowledge of culture and history that they are eager to share. These travel directors will be with you every step of the way, a friend to show you around one of their favorite destinations. Sit back and enjoy your trip, they’ll handle all the logistics. Local guides are also a big part of Go Ahead. These guides will join you and your tour director to provide an even deeper knowledge of the region. They will help immerse you in cities, rustic villages, countrysides and cultural hot spots. Go ahead wants the right people to help you learn and explore the world. Go Ahead tours are designed to be authentic, providing unique local experiences, and a certain amount of flexibility for travelers who like some independence during the tour. Typically, tours are run in small groups with a max of 38, which means your small group may not always be extemely intimate as 38 is still a lot of people. Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Go Ahead? Cultural enthusiasts Adventure travelers Wildlife lovers Go Ahead travelers love sightseeing but they greatly enjoy traveling off the beaten path. These travelers are curious about the world and are eager to learn about the local culture, cuisine and people. Go Ahead is perfect for the traveler who wants to really get to the heart of a destination. Adventure is a big part of curiosity. Go Ahead travelers aren’t afraid to venture off a typical tourist sightseeing plan. They enjoy the freedom to explore on their own as well as picking the brain of their local guides to learn incite into the cities, rustic villages and countrysides they are visiting. These travelers enjoy seeing the destination through cultural immersion and active experiences. Witnessing wildlife is a big part of Go Ahead tours. Travelers will get the opportunity to witness and learn about the luscious natural landscapes and the creatures that inhabit it. Seeing the Big Five and going on a safari through the plains of Africa is on the bucket lists of Go Ahead travelers. Top Destinations Go Ahead tours send travelers all over the world with trips going to Europe, US, Canada, Central America, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Middle East, Asia and Antarctica. Go Ahead Travel Style Go Ahead is greatly focused on personalization and small group experiences. Each traveler will get the opportunity to personalize their trips when their itineraries are being crafted. There are additional excursions, tour extensions and any number of days that travelers can add to their trip. Groups remain small, capped at 14 to 38 travelers. This small group experience allows travelers to really immerse themselves in the culture of a destination. Their experiences will be intimate both with their local guides and the local people. Hotels are selected based on your comfort desires and location. You can rest assured that you’ll be staying in a safe, comfortable accommodation as the Go Ahead team personally goes to each property on the ground.  Go Ahead, due to their relationship with EF network, are able to offer a wide range of flight options. Once in your destination, they will also handle all internal travel from motor coaches to additional flights. Go Ahead takes care of all the stressful logistics so you don’t have to. Why Go Ahead? If you are eager to explore and learn about the world through cultural immersion, wildlife watching and active experiences, Go Ahead is for you. No matter your luxury level whether it be high luxury or budget or what your interests are, Go Ahead can help personalize your experience to create the perfect trip for you.
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Adventures by Disney

Adventures by Disney

#64 Pick of 85 Galapagos Islands Tour Companies

View Profile
5.0 • Excellent
1 review 100%
Total Trips 14 Trips
Average Price $ 600 per day
Size Global Operator
Tour Length 12 – 12 days
Trip Prices $ 8,119 – $ 8,119
Service Level Luxury
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise
Trips in Galapagos Islands 1 Tours in Galapagos Islands

Great trip! Kudos to Adventures by Disney for a really well done trip!

I went on this trip with some misgivings, as my only other experience with this type of tour was a winter Tauck Family Bridges tour of Italy, that was not a good experience. Well, I am SO glad I went, as my daughter and I had a marvelous time. Disney did an amazing job of organizing this trip - I still can't believe how much they managed to fit into essentially 8 days. I also can't believe how much fun it all was! The guides were tremendous. First of all, unlike Tauck (where we traveled with one tour manager), here we had two guides with us the entire time - one a licensed guide in Greece (i.e., a native, very knowledgeable about the country and able to really take us through the historical and archaeological sites) and the other an American who has been guiding in Greece for years. The interaction between the guides was very warm, as was their way of relating to the guests. This was a complete contrast with Tauck. Here people really got to know each other, the young people had a great time with each other, and, of course, Greece itself is just magnificent. I will certainly travel with Disney again!
5.0 • MSNY
Family friendly and culturally immersive travel from the imaginative minds at Disney. What Makes Adventures by Disney Stand Out? A majority of tour companies cater to young adults and 50+ travelers. Very few are dedicated specifically to families, and those that are often have a minimum age of 12 - with rare exceptions. Adventures by Disney is a perfect option for parents with young children seeking exciting, educational, and culturally rich vacations, with an high level of comfort. These tours are not heavy on the Disney characters or films either, so if you’re dreading an all-Disney all-the-time experience, rest easy. These trips are active, often with an outdoor component, and introduce young minds to the world through interactive cultural presentations, up-close wildlife experiences, and other fun surprises. Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Adventures by Disney? It goes without saying that these trips are geared toward young families. You and your young ones will enjoy a trip with Adventures by Disney if learning through travel is a high priority, and a certain amount of physical activity is ok. Adventures by Disney trips are on the higher end when it comes to price per person. But it’s important to note that almost everything is included - freeing you up to enjoy the trip with no stress about where the next activity should be, or finding a restaurant that is suitable for your families needs. On most trips with Adventures by Disney the minimum age requirement is 4 years old. Top Destinations Adventures by Disney operates their specialized family friendly itineraries all around the world. Europe and North America offer the most extensive list of trips. Select Central America and South America tours are available as well as limited tour options in Australia, China, South Africa, and Japan. Adventures by Disney Travel Style There are many trip styles to choose from through Adventures by Disney, including river cruises and large ship cruises. The travel approach with Adventures by Disney is very hands on - perfect for young minds learning about the world! You and your children will also gain exclusive insider access to some of the most incredible sights around the world. Private tours and “backstage access” are a key part of the Adventures by Disney experience. Most Adventures by Disney tours feature varying degrees of physical activity. Some are more active than others, but you should expect to be outside, enjoying nature in some capacity during your trip. Whether this means a day of kayaking trip along the Gold Coast, a hike through a magical European forest, or cycling along rivers and lakes your trip will provide plenty of time in the fresh air. All admissions to exhibits, tours, and activities are included in your package. Adventures by Disney is very focused on making sure your trip is hassle free. All transportation and accommodation during the tour are also taken care of. Why Choose a Tour with Adventures by Disney? If you’ve been having a hard time finding a kid-friendly tour that provides a well rounded itinerary and plenty of support, Adventures by Disney is a great place to look. Don’t let the Disney name deter you from exploring these trips - it’s not all floating hotel cruises. In fact most itineraries with Adventures by Disney are private - just you and your family, allowing for ample time to explore and learn about the history and culture of each destination. Every Adventures by Disney trip is accompanied by two professional, and of course kid-friendly, adventure guides and specialists. They are there to enrich your journey as well as make sure everything goes smoothly.
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Air by Pleasant

Air by Pleasant

#81 Pick of 85 Galapagos Islands Tour Companies

View Profile
• N/A
Total Trips 0 Trip
Size Global Operator
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Group Tour Operator
1-18 of 18 Providers Shown 18 Provider(s)

Reviews Write a Review

After two years of being cooped and limited, and at a SENIOR status(...), I rediscovered the beautiful skies in the mountains, the waterfalls, the pleasure of kayaking on a scenic lake, and the pleasure of having excellent guides who know, not just all the details of the sites, their detours and special vistas, but take you to the best local feed places at the end of a long and hard day. DO IT! You owe it to yourself.

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
AO
Ami Oren
August 2021
After two years of being cooped and limited, and at a SENIOR status(...), I rediscovered the beautiful skies in the mountains, the waterfalls, the pleasure of kayaking on a scenic lake, and the pleasure of having excellent guides who know, not just all the details of the sites, their detours and special vistas, but take you to the best local feed places at the end of a long and hard day. DO IT! You owe it to yourself.
Read More

After two years of being cooped and limited, and at a SENIOR status(...), I rediscovered the beautiful skies in the mountains, the waterfalls, the pleasure of kayaking on a scenic lake, and the pleasure of having excellent guides who know, not just all the details of the sites, their detours and special vistas, but take you to the best local feed places at the end of a long and hard day. DO IT! You owe it to yourself.

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
AO
Ami Oren
August 2021
After two years of being cooped and limited, and at a SENIOR status(...), I rediscovered the beautiful skies in the mountains, the waterfalls, the pleasure of kayaking on a scenic lake, and the pleasure of having excellent guides who know, not just all the details of the sites, their detours and special vistas, but take you to the best local feed places at the end of a long and hard day. DO IT! You owe it to yourself.
Read More

Our group rode Alps to Ocean last week with Elle and Caleb. We had the most wonderful time with them. Very organised, easy to get on with, full of information and boy can they cook.
Thanks so much for a fun filled, positive week.

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
CM
CHRISTINE MCCAHILL
April 2021
Our group rode Alps to Ocean last week with Elle and Caleb. We had the most wonderful time with them. Very organised, easy to get on with, full of information and boy can they cook.
Thanks so much for a fun filled, positive week.
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It is simply impossible to write a review that would do justice to our guides, the places we saw, and the amazing animals, but I will do my best.
First of all, the guys from Galakiwi, Pablo and Paolo, were just beyond anything I expected. I thought we'd have a professional guide or two but both Pablo and Paolo were more like family by the end of the trip. Pablo was just astonishing in the completeness of his knowledge, the breadth and depth, and his passion for his beloved Galapagos, especially Isabela. I was spellbound every time he spoke. He knew I wanted to see the Galapagos penguins and the blue-footed boobies because he asked each of us what we most wanted to see at the beginning of our trip. He made sure to take us to places where we were most likely to see them and I did indeed get to see them. I was so touched by his love for the Galapagos. I was prepared to love it before our trip and now will be a lifelong advocate for its conservation. Pablo went way beyond the call of duty by helping my husband buy something he needed at the Farmacia and then going to buy more of it when my husband couldn't find it again. Paolo is a treasure. He schlepped our bags and fitted our gear and handled the logistics so that nobody had to think about any of it. He was joy to spend time with; my husband and I just admired his humor and joyous spirit, his sweetness, his love of his family, and his fun and irreverent facts about life in Ecuador. (They call it CumbaYORK!!! Hilarious and spot on!) My husband and I are very curious and love feeling like we've actually talked to a real person when we travel. I especially appreciated his kindness in helping stay on my feet when walking around Las Tuneles.
The properties were fantastic! We got to stay in the dome room at Casa Blanca on San Cristobal. Hotel Albemarle was lovely (especially after we figured out that the rooms DO have air conditioning. Whew!) and Juliette, who managed it, was helpful and went beyond the call of duty to make coffee at 5am for my husband and me. The Hotel Isla Sol was in a great location and it was actually nice to wrap up our stay in the middle of a developed town after the seclusion of Isabela.
The places we visited were beyond my wildest dreams and there was such a good balance between learning, sheer fun, beauty beyond comparison, fragility of the ecosystems, and immersion in the culture of Galapagos. Kicker Rock (or Leon Dormido) was amazing. The boat cruising all the way around it so we could see its beauty from every side was very nice. The boat captain was also alert for sea life while we were traveling to and from Kicker Rock so we got to see a bunch of dolphins. The San Cristobal Interpretation Center was very interesting and gave a very good history of the Galapagos. This was one of the reasons I felt like I had really learned something about the Islands and their history beyond what I knew about Darwin and his finches.
I think it was actually good that we couldn't go to Floreana. Not having that stop enabled us to go to both Sierra Negra Volcano and Las Tuneles. I can't imagine missing either one of those. Both were majestic. Our whole group was of the opinion that future tours should be just like ours and include the opportunity to go to both. Saving time by taking the plane to Isabela from San Cristobal was a great bonus. I loved the tortoise breeding center and the work they're doing. Kayaking on Isabela was perfect. I saw my beloved penguins and blue-footed boobies. On Santa Cruz, we got to go to the Charles Darwin Research Station and see the important work they are doing. I loved the lava tubes and seeing the giant tortoises in the wild in the Santa Cruz highlands.
Our trip was perfect. It could not have been better!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
CAS
Cynthia Ann Schick
April 2021
It is simply impossible to write a review that would do justice to our guides, the places we saw, and the amazing animals, but I will do my best.
First of all, the guys from Galakiwi, Pablo and Paolo, were just beyond anything I expected. I thought we'd have a professional guide or two but both Pablo and Paolo were more like family by the end of the trip. Pablo was just astonishing in the completeness of his knowledge, the breadth and depth, and his passion for his beloved Galapagos, especially Isabela. I was spellbound every time he spoke. He knew I wanted to see the Galapagos penguins and the blue-footed boobies because he asked each of us what we most wanted to see at the beginning of our trip. He made sure to take us to places where we were most likely to see them and I did indeed get to see them. I was so touched by his love for the Galapagos. I was prepared to love it before our trip and now will be a lifelong advocate for its conservation. Pablo went way beyond the call of duty by helping my husband buy something he needed at the Farmacia and then going to buy more of it when my husband couldn't find it again. Paolo is a treasure. He schlepped our bags and fitted our gear and handled the logistics so that nobody had to think about any of it. He was joy to spend time with; my husband and I just admired his humor and joyous spirit, his sweetness, his love of his family, and his fun and irreverent facts about life in Ecuador. (They call it CumbaYORK!!! Hilarious and spot on!) My husband and I are very curious and love feeling like we've actually talked to a real person when we travel. I especially appreciated his kindness in helping stay on my feet when walking around Las Tuneles.
The properties were fantastic! We got to stay in the dome room at Casa Blanca on San Cristobal. Hotel Albemarle was lovely (especially after we figured out that the rooms DO have air conditioning. Whew!) and Juliette, who managed it, was helpful and went beyond the call of duty to make coffee at 5am for my husband and me. The Hotel Isla Sol was in a great location and it was actually nice to wrap up our stay in the middle of a developed town after the seclusion of Isabela.
The places we visited were beyond my wildest dreams and there was such a good balance between learning, sheer fun, beauty beyond comparison, fragility of the ecosystems, and immersion in the culture of Galapagos. Kicker Rock (or Leon Dormido) was amazing. The boat cruising all the way around it so we could see its beauty from every side was very nice. The boat captain was also alert for sea life while we were traveling to and from Kicker Rock so we got to see a bunch of dolphins. The San Cristobal Interpretation Center was very interesting and gave a very good history of the Galapagos. This was one of the reasons I felt like I had really learned something about the Islands and their history beyond what I knew about Darwin and his finches.
I think it was actually good that we couldn't go to Floreana. Not having that stop enabled us to go to both Sierra Negra Volcano and Las Tuneles. I can't imagine missing either one of those. Both were majestic. Our whole group was of the opinion that future tours should be just like ours and include the opportunity to go to both. Saving time by taking the plane to Isabela from San Cristobal was a great bonus. I loved the tortoise breeding center and the work they're doing. Kayaking on Isabela was perfect. I saw my beloved penguins and blue-footed boobies. On Santa Cruz, we got to go to the Charles Darwin Research Station and see the important work they are doing. I loved the lava tubes and seeing the giant tortoises in the wild in the Santa Cruz highlands.
Our trip was perfect. It could not have been better!
Read More

I originally planned to take one of the trips to Patagonia but had to change plans due to COVID closures. The Tortuga was offered as an alternative that could still be done in the spring.I always wanted to go to the Galapagos but was put off by the fact that most trips are boat based and I wasn’t excited about living on a boat for a week or more. Once I found the trip was entirely land based I didn’t hesitate for a second. As on previous trips taken through Active, everything was meticulously organized and there was never a dull moment. I saw beautiful pristine landscapes, an incredible variety of wildlife, preservation and protection facilities, gorgeous beaches, and so much more. This trip, I said yes to everything which meant mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, scuba diving and lots of snorkeling - as well as educational visits to scientific facilities and an incredible inter island flight through mist and rainbows. Although I’ve been vaccinated and most in group had, I still appreciated the detailed safety protocols and also appreciated the concern for the safety and welfare of the local residents. Honestly, if I had been able to imagine this trip before I left, my imagination couldn’t have done this good a job. All the group members were fun people from lots of different backgrounds and we even had a couple of avid birders, which was appropriate for this trip. Our naturalist guide Pablo was a veritable encyclopedia of the geology, flora, fauna, and history of the island. His intense love for this place came through in everything he did and said. His main man Paolo, from Galakiwi, worked tirelessly in the background to make sure everything happened in the right place and time from gettIng our luggage to the airport to making sure we all had dessert at dinner. What a team! I cannot thank you enough for giving me this unexpected opportunity. Sometime the unexpected adventures turn out to be the best!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
BM
Barbara Murray
April 2021
I originally planned to take one of the trips to Patagonia but had to change plans due to COVID closures. The Tortuga was offered as an alternative that could still be done in the spring.I always wanted to go to the Galapagos but was put off by the fact that most trips are boat based and I wasn’t excited about living on a boat for a week or more. Once I found the trip was entirely land based I didn’t hesitate for a second. As on previous trips taken through Active, everything was meticulously organized and there was never a dull moment. I saw beautiful pristine landscapes, an incredible variety of wildlife, preservation and protection facilities, gorgeous beaches, and so much more. This trip, I said yes to everything which meant mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, scuba diving and lots of snorkeling - as well as educational visits to scientific facilities and an incredible inter island flight through mist and rainbows. Although I’ve been vaccinated and most in group had, I still appreciated the detailed safety protocols and also appreciated the concern for the safety and welfare of the local residents. Honestly, if I had been able to imagine this trip before I left, my imagination couldn’t have done this good a job. All the group members were fun people from lots of different backgrounds and we even had a couple of avid birders, which was appropriate for this trip. Our naturalist guide Pablo was a veritable encyclopedia of the geology, flora, fauna, and history of the island. His intense love for this place came through in everything he did and said. His main man Paolo, from Galakiwi, worked tirelessly in the background to make sure everything happened in the right place and time from gettIng our luggage to the airport to making sure we all had dessert at dinner. What a team! I cannot thank you enough for giving me this unexpected opportunity. Sometime the unexpected adventures turn out to be the best!
Read More

This was an awesome trip and a great way to spend the holidays.

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
KM
Kimberly M
December 2020
This was an awesome trip and a great way to spend the holidays.
Read More
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