Best Homestays & Local Immersion Tour Companies

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40 Travel Providers meet your criteria (Providers 1 to 20 shown)

Eros and Psyche Travel Preferred

Eros and Psyche Travel

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5.0 • Excellent
Total Trips 19 Trips
Size Local Specialist
Service Level Luxury
Operator Type Custom/Private Tour Operator

Magical

Our honeymoon was better than anything I could have imagined! My husband and I had been through the hardest year of our life losing our son the year before and then I had gotten diagnosed with cancer right after. When we finally were able to plan our honeymoon we wanted to go big and also as stress free as possible and let me tell you, Eros&Psyche did not disappoint! Every part of it was magical and took our breath away! From the history, food, beautiful scenery and excursions, everything was tailor made to perfection! Thank you for making this so special for us. I would 100% recommend to anyone traveling to Greece!
5.0 • Brittany Woodrom

A Beautiful Greek Island Honeymoon!

We had an incredible time on our honeymoon thanks to Eros+Psyche Travel! Our trip was overall 2 weeks and included time in Athens, Santorini, and Crete, and we didn’t have to worry about a thing! The hotels they booked for us were perfect in each place, and the drivers were waiting at the appropriate time and place for every transfer to and from the airports, hotels, tours, and everything set up by Eros+Psyche. Our tour guides were all friendly and knowledgeable, and we couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Since it was all a part of the booking, we never had to worry about any of it while we were there, and our free time was stress free, and spent exploring however we wished without worrying about what was next. Altogether a wonderful time and well worth it!
5.0 • Andrew Denman
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0

Wonderful trip ... well planned and fun!

Fantastic trip ... we started with a basic idea and we customized the trip in full to add food, fun and some exploration. Nikos (was our main point of contact) was always extremely helpful and willing to accommodate any need! We visit Meteora on a day trip from Athens that we definitely recommend! If you are having your honeymoon in Greece, this is the Company to go with!
5.0 • Chiara Martellucci
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Cuban Adventures Preferred

Cuban Adventures

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5.0 • Excellent
Total Trips 14 Trips
Size Local Specialist
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Group Tour Operator

I enjoyed the tour very much

I enjoyed the tour very much, the response was very quick and efficient when I signed up for the tour. Everything was so well organised. David was a great host, he took care of all our needs and were familiar with all culture and history. He was a sincere host who wanted to show us the best visiting places and eating places of Cuba. All his recommendations were so wonderful. Could not ask for more!
5.0 • Joanna

The tour were very organized

I did the Cuban Adventures 8 day tours in 2018 with the guide Tatiana, she was amazing, fun, knowledgeable... the tour were very organized. I highly recommend Cuban Adventures company.
5.0 • Vanuzia
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0

A fantastic 8 day tour

Have just returned home after a fantastic 8 day tour with Cuban Adventures. Our guide, Omar made the tour both fun and informative and was particularly helpful to the group members’ individual needs. I would recommend the tour as a convenient, cost effective way to see the fascinating island and to meet other interesting people from around the world.
5.0 • Jenny
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Brendan Vacations Premier

Brendan Vacations

#110 Pick of 278 Homestays & Local Immersion Tour Companies

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4.2 • Great
Total Trips 53 Trips
Average Price $ 244 per day
Size Regional Expert
Tour Length 7 – 14 days
Trip Prices $ 1,425 – $ 4,650
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Group Tour Operator
Trips in Homestays & Local Immersion 120 Tours in Homestays & Local Immersion

Find someone else

After waiting for 3 years we were finally scheduled to go to Ireland but 8 days before our trip we were informed that they had changed their vaccination policy and we couldn’t go. They refunded our money which they had for three years but although we requested a check, they refunded to a charge account that had been paid off so we only got a credit on a card we no longer use. Not to mention loss of airfares and hotel charges. We are so disappointed with their cavalier attitude and unprofessionalism.
1.0 • Mark

had a wonderful time

We just went on Iconic Ireland and Ashford Castle and had a wonderful time. This was our first bus tour and we didn't know quite what to expect, however, we couldn't have had a more perfect time. Ireland is a beautiful country and we were stunned and thrilled with all the beauty we were able to see. The hotels were great - some definitely better than others but all were comfortable. My only complaint was that our last hotel had no ac and Ireland was experiencing a heat wave so the fan didn't help very much. That wasn't anyone's fault and I just went with the flow. Barbara (our guide) and Marina (our driver) were great and genuinely seemed to be concerned with everyone's comfort. The grande finale of Ashford Castle was incredible. Such a beautiful place and to be able to stay a night there was incredible. I ended up doing the Hawk Walk and horseback riding and I would recommend both - especially the hawk walk to anyone - I think people who are good riders would probably get to do more than we did but it was still great. I would recommend Brendan and this trip to anyone. Perfect amount of down time and activity. Loved it!
5.0 • Barbara
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0

it was fabulous!

My husband and I recently went to Ireland on a Brendan Vacations tour...first tour we've even been on...and it was fabulous! From start to finish everything about the trip was perfect. Frances O'Doherty our Tour Director and Hugo our driver made this trip exceptional and unforgettable. Hugo's driving skills are phenomenal!! Frances is the sweetest, warmest, friendliest and most organized individual you'll ever meet. She is so knowledgeable about all things Irish and has a way of imparting that knowledge in a memorable and special way. I was a little nervous about staying in a different hotel every night and being on the go every minute but it was glorious. Our luggage was always handled for us, hotel check-ins were done in advance so we never had to go through check-in ourselves, meal vouchers and exhibit tickets were all prepared in advance, etc. It was totally seamless for everyone on the tour. It was a large group but we all became the best of friends by the end of the trip. We will definitely use Brendan Vacations in the future and highly recommend them to anyone interested in tour travel!!!
5.0 • Jo LaFalce
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Best of Scotland Summer 2024
Best of Scotland Summer 2024 Trip Style: Group tour
Best of Scotland Winter 2023/2024
Best of Scotland Winter 2023/2024 Trip Style: Group tour
Part of the TTC group, they offer traditional travel throughout Scotland and Ireland, and have a long legacy of excellence in the travel industry. What Makes Brendan Vacations Stand Out? With over 30 years in the guided tour industry, they know exactly what their travelers want and they deliver. Itineraries are designed to have a personal touch, making sure that you get the experience that you most want on your trip. Their focus in on Scotland and Ireland - and with such a focus, they are able to dedicate all their resources on crafting and designing unique luxury travel in these two countries year after year. Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Brendan Vacations? Brendan Vacations are great for anyone who loves traveling in the UK, are eager to explore the area in comfort, and expect a certain degree of comfort and personalized service. These tours are easy, slow paced, and mildly active. Older travelers in the 50+ range, who have cultural curiosity and seek it in the realm of in depth guided history tours and chatting with locals in the village pub. Maybe catching a spontaneous evening of live music. If you are the kind of person who loves meeting new people, their group tours have an average of 40 people, so you’ll be sure to meet plenty of new friends who love traveling in the UK. Because of their niche focus, you can easily customize your days to what you want to see, do, and experience, so travelers who enjoy having input and planning travel excursions will enjoy the openness of their Brendan guided experience.   The private chauffeured options are especially popular for older travelers and families. Younger travelers may also find experiences they enjoy, especially in their self guided options. Golf enthusiasts especially will love tours with Brendan Vacations, where they will have many opportunities to visit famous courses. Top Destinations They focus exclusively on Scotland and Ireland. Trips visit castles, coastlines, stay with local families, and travel by rail. Brendan Vacations Travel Style The Brendan Vacations travel style is all about comfort and ease, whether you choose a guided group tour experience, or a fully chauffeured private tour. Transportation is via large comfortable coaches, with high seats and big windows, offering wonderful wide vantage points of the countryside. Coaches are fully equipped with wifi and restrooms. In addition to ample free time available during the trip to explore on your own, Brendan Vacations also offers numerous optional excursions throughout the itinerary. These do cost extra on top of the overall tour price. Itineraries with Brendan Vacations use a few different words to describe the kinds of stops to be made - this can help you determine if the trips pace and activities will be well suited to you: “Visit” - This means you’ll have a lot of time at the stop, learning from local experts and taking guided walks. “View” - A quick stop for photos and to stretch your legs “See” - No stops. Passing through via coach or rail “Sightseeing Trip” - Experience the destination through the eyes of local city guides “Orientation Trip” - Enjoy a self guided wander, stopping at points of interest for as long or as little as you wish Why Choose a Tour With Brendan Vacations? If you’re planning to visit Scotland and / or Ireland and are looking for a well designed, comfortable, and expertly guided tour experience, this is a good place to start. Their tours are great for older travelers who want the benefit of their experience and country knowledge.
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Intrepid Travel Preferred

Intrepid Travel

#1 Pick of 278 Homestays & Local Immersion Tour Companies

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4.6 • Excellent
Total Trips 949 Trips
Average Price $ 203 per day
Size Global Operator
Tour Length 5 – 47 days
Trip Prices $ 758 – $ 10,765
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise
Trips in Homestays & Local Immersion 384 Tours in Homestays & Local Immersion

I had a really fun time travelling to…

I had a really fun time travelling to Thailand last December. Intrepid made the entire trip easier because of the preparations they made beforehand. I'm definitely going to recommend Intrepid to my friends. Ciao!
4.0 • Lucille Miller

Viewing wildlife in a natural setting

Viewing wildlife in a natural setting with an experienced naturalist is outstanding
5.0 • Scott
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0

Great trip made better by the guide.

Great trip made better by the guide.
5.0 • Nikki
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Rome to Southern Italy
Rome to Southern Italy Trip Style: Small group tour
Rome to Amalfi
Rome to Amalfi Trip Style: Small group tour
Spain, Portugal & Morocco
Spain, Portugal & Morocco Trip Style: Small group tour
  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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Trafalgar Premier

Trafalgar

#14 Pick of 278 Homestays & Local Immersion Tour Companies

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4.5 • Great
Total Trips 706 Trips
Average Price $ 329 per day
Size Global Operator
Tour Length 4 – 24 days
Trip Prices $ 1,150 – $ 8,095
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise
Trips in Homestays & Local Immersion 2481 Tours in Homestays & Local Immersion

Our guide, Patrick, was one of the most thoughtful, knowledgeable, and articulate people we had ever met!

Our guide, Patrick, was one of the most thoughtful, knowledgeable, and articulate people we had ever met! He made sure there was something for everyone, shouted out personal details for everyone, and created a familial atmosphere to help everyone relax and learn together. The local knowledge he and his local counterparts provided added layers of context and history to every beautiful site was saw. He advocated extensively for those with allergies to get real food and not miss out on delicacies, which is a level of compassion I rarely see in the service industry. He made everything memorable and the trip would not have had the level of magic that we will forever remember without him.
5.0 • Siobhan Raisbeck

hotels was good, coach was good, experiences was good, tour guide and bus driver was great.

hotels was good, coach was good, experiences was good, tour guide and bus driver was great.
5.0 • Nickael Singh
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0

Best of Italy was excellent course.

Tour ****** Shasa was excellent reading group. Kind and nice organized. I guess everybody was happy.
5.0 • Sun Son
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Trafalgar is a name many seasoned travelers will recognize. A branch of the Travel Corporation, whose brands all enjoy stellar reputations, Trafalgar has been offering classic and affordable tours for over 70 years. Trafalagar Tours - Quick Facts Founded: in 1947 Group size: Large Groups, between 40-45 people Mode of transportation: Primarily large comfortable coaches Accommodation style: Unique 3 & 4 star hotels and guest houses Typical age range: 50+ Single travelers welcome (single supplements are required, but often discounted) Average tour price: $3,796 Top Regions: Europe, USA, Canada Related TTC Brands: Insight Vacations, Uniworld, Brendan Vacations Commonly compared with: Insight Vacations & Globus What Makes Trafalgar Tours Stand Out? Budget friendly without cutting activities Comfortable, not physically demanding tours Largely focused on cultural immersion  Destination specific accommodation styles Strong reputation  Dedicated to responsible tourism - Founding member of TreadRight Foundation Good balance of free time and inclusions   Trafalgar is a budget friendly group tour operator with premium tastes. Their motto is “See the world from the inside,” - this is the place to come for culturally rich and immersive travel experiences that don’t break the bank or the back. Tours with Trafalgar are comfortable, not too physically demanding, and offer the opportunity to meet, talk, eat and drink with locals. You’ll get to know chefs, artisans, craftsmen, historians, and farmers as you explore what makes each destination truly special. Trafalgar has a strong reputation, having been around since 1947 - putting them right at the pinnacle of when many premier guided tour companies were established. You’ll meet groups of like minded travelers, enjoy cultural experiences, expertly crafted itineraries with local touches and experiences guides, while traveling in comfort and ease. Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Trafalgar? Older travelers (but all ages are welcome) Families Mid to high range budget travelers Those who enjoy slow-paced itineraries and easy physical activity Those who favor historic sightseeing & cultural immersion over hard core adventure    If you are an active traveler, perhaps recently retired, eager to explore the world in comfort, visiting a nice combination of unique local spots and classic sites, then Trafalgar could be a great choice. Possibly you are new to group tours and packages, having been used to creating your own travel experiences at a younger age - Trafalgar provides the perfect introduction to group tours. You'll have plenty of free time to explore on your own, for shopping, sightseeing, and meals away from the group. Optional excursions are available throughout the itinerary for when you want a bit more structure. Families will also get a lot out of the Trafalgar travel experience. If you're seeking a family vacation and interested in introducing a new generation of travelers to your favorite country - but don’t really have the time or patience to worry about planning out all the logistics - Trafalgar could be a great choice. While they offer many trip styles, suitable for travelers of all ages, their classic touch is popular among older travelers. Classic doesn’t mean old fashioned or tired - simply a bit less on the active adventure and more on the historic sights and cultural experiences. They have a number of family focused tours, as well as tailored trips for special interests. Trafalgar trips are budget friendly, with most trips in middle to low range, including a “Cost Saver” feature that allows you to see more inexpensive trips broken down by ratings and cost clearly. They offer several deals on trips throughout the year. Trafalgar is a British brand, so many of the attendees on your tour will be from the UK.   Top Destinations Europe & the UK USA and Canada Australia & New Zealand Asia South America With Trafalgar, you can find trips to Europe, USA & Canada, South America, Asia, Australia & New Zealand. While the destinations are widespread, Trafalgar trips explore the culture and their highly trained local guides take you to hidden local spots without venturing too far outside the comfort zone. Tours in Europe and the UK are among the most popular itineraries, utlizing guest houses and even castles for accommodation!  Their USA & Canada tours are extremely popular for outdoorsy travelers. National Parks are a common itinerary item, as are trips along the Rocky Mountaineer railroad. In South America, Trafalgar travels to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Peru. In Africa, they go to Egypt, Morocco, and South Africa. In Asia, it’s Cambodia, China, Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. And in the Pacific, Trafalgar visits Australia and New Zealand - some trips in this region are more basic when it comes to accommodation so be sure to read the itinerary carefully! Wherever you go, you can expect high quality guides, unique destination-specific accommodations, and smooth travels. They also have a number of religious themed tours, including trips that include excursions to Oberammergau, Bavaria. Once a decade this small town presents a Passion Play, and Trafalgar has had special access since 1970. The next time to experience this unique event is 2020. Trafalgar Travel Style The Trafalgar travel style is all about getting to know the culture through activities and connecting with locals. Their main tagline is “Discover the Good Life”. On Trafalgar tours, you get to experience the real thing in a safe, escorted environment with knowledgeable guides there to help with the language and provide historical and cultural context. "Discovering the Good Life" encompasses perks like skipping lines and private access to classic sites; and unique experiences that bring you to places and among people you’d never have the chance to meet traveling on your own. This kind of travel is local immersion, but not in the same way a 25 year old might interpret that idea. Rather than bunking at hostels, going out late at night, and enjoying potentially questionable street food, you’ll stay in premium, centrally located and culturally significant accommodations - everything from bed and breakfasts in Ireland to hotels right on the banks of Norwegian fjords.   Learn cooking techniques in Italy, enjoy private winery tours at French chateaus, and touring a small olive farm in Spain are just a few examples of the kind of unique travel experiences you can expect with Trafalgar. Groups are large, typically between 40-45 travelers, a max of 52 on trips in the USA and Canada. Primary transportation during the tour is in large coaches, equipped with WiFi (with the exception of Alaska) and featuring large viewing windows - ideal for taking in the scenery as you head to your next spot on the itinerary.   Most meals during Trafalgar tours are included. Trips often include free time during which you can explore on your own, with suggestions from your expert guides. Why Choose a Tour with Trafalgar? Well known company Culturally rich experiences in comfort Many activities included, plus some optional choices All guides are expertly trained Large groups of international travelers Trafalgar has a solid reputation, and they stick to what they’ve done well for over 50 years. They focus on the classics, providing a culturally rich perspective as you meet locals along the way. Their experience has allowed them to cultivate relationships around the world with local businesses - quality control you can trust for every stop along the trip. Niche tours based on specialized interests are also something they are proud to offer. Trafalgar is where you go to have the essentials and logistics take care of seamlessly while you sit back and enjoy. Do note that these tours can be quite large - 40 people traveling together in a tour group can be stifling for some. While they appeal to an older crowd due to their history and recognizable name, Trafalgar has an impressively well integrated social media presence. Trips on their site are accompanied by instagram posts from real travelers who have been on the same tour, using the hashtag #SimplyTrafalgar. Old or young(ish), couple or single, traveling Simply Trafalgar inspires confidence, comfort, and enjoyment.
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Insight Vacations Premier

Insight Vacations

#59 Pick of 278 Homestays & Local Immersion Tour Companies

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4.9 • Excellent
Total Trips 653 Trips
Average Price $ 313 per day
Size Global Operator
Tour Length 7 – 11 days
Trip Prices $ 2,050 – $ 4,275
Service Level Luxury
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise
Trips in Homestays & Local Immersion 105 Tours in Homestays & Local Immersion

Great. No hassle experience. Plenty of information sent. Host was also professional and knowledgeable.

Great. No hassle experience. Plenty of information sent. Host was also professional and knowledgeable.
5.0 • Carolyn Johnston

I enjoyed the tour greatly it was very full and I saw lots of Markets and different attractions.

I enjoyed the tour greatly it was very full and I saw lots of Markets and different attractions.
5.0 • Susan Nelson
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0

Wonderful venues to visit, guides were great, facilities top notch.

Wonderful venues to visit, guides were great, facilities top notch.
5.0 • Carla Bridges
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Located in London, and part of the sweeping family-owned Travel Corporation, Insight Vacations provides signature itineraries according to 7 specific trip styles. What Makes Insight Vacations Stand Out? Insight does not skimp -- hotels tend to be centrally located, if more expensive, so that guests can experience a destination at night and have more free time at their disposal. “Signature” experiences dot every itinerary: these may be interesting historic hotels, special activities (such as a private opera or orchestra performance),or authentic local restaurants. Most everything is included in the base rates. You can choose from numerous different trip styles with Insight Vacations: Discovery Journeys: Recommended for first time visits, these are classic tours designed to introduce travelers to the country or region. Most top tourist sites will be included in these itineraries. These are often multi-country and city trips. Regional Journeys: Forget the country hopping fast paced tour style - these trips are for exploring one region at a slower pace. Great for travelers who want to experience all sides of one destination and are not concerned with country counting.  Country Roads: If you're feeling "been there done that" about most destinations but don't quite know how to explore beyond the tourist track without missing anything, this is the style for you. Discover the local side of the destination with insights from the experts. Recommended for well traveled people visiting for a second or third time. Easy Pace: For the independent traveler unsure if a guided tour is the best fit, Insight offers "Easy Pace" tours. These provide ample free time to explore on your own and plenty of flexibility to the itinerary. You'll spend 3+ days in each stop which is a great way to slow down and enjoy the journey. Special Interest: Have a particular hobby or interest you'd like to dive deeper into? Insight's Special Interest tours could be a great fit. Think a tour of Europe centered around flower shows or a trip to discover Europe's artistic legacy. Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Insight Vacations? Affluent travelers 50+ Social travelers Foodies Insight’s typical customers are upscale English-speaking baby boomers in their 50s and 60s. The kind of traveler who appreciates the finer things, loves the idea of a day out in the fresh air followed by a private dining experience with high caliber food and wine, will love the exceptional service that comes with an Insight Vacations tour. If you enjoy meeting new people in a small group setting, the group travel experience with Insight is all about creating the intimacy and opportunity to meet new friends and make lasting connections. And they provide a few different ways to make this possible, from groups of around 32 people, to special interest trips. However if you prefer the idea of traveling in a private setting, Insight will customize the travel experience to what you and your friend group or family group want to see. Foodies will definitely enjoy traveling with Insight Vacations as well! They make food and dining a focal point of interest on their itineraries, in a way that really stands out. Top Destinations Insight Vacations offers premium motor coach tours throughout Europe, the UK, and North America. In recent years, they've added more Asian and North African destinations. Insight Vacations Travel Style Insight seeks to fill a “premium” niche that falls above first class and a notch below luxury. Customer comfort on the road is a priority. If visions of cramped bus tours come to mind, note that Insight coaches have been stripped down to 40 seats, compared to 49 to 53 for normal tour buses. This allows for double the leg room, and a truly upscale coach travel experience. Meanwhile, tour directors and local guides keep passengers entertained by delivering “insights” (in English) into local culture, history and politics. They also take your dining experience into account. Insight offers several different ways to make food a highlight during your trip. These include fine dining options at innovative local restaurants, unique farm to table meals, cooking demonstrations, and even learning to make local dishes yourself. Similar attention is paid to selecting the hotels and accommodations you will enjoy throughout your Insight Vacations tour. Lodgings are chosen for their central locations as well as significance to and representation of the destination. Why Choose a Tour with Insight Vacations? Comfortable and upscale Local insights Group size 35-40 Numerous travel themes The Insight Vacations tagline is “the art of traveling in style”. They take this idea seriously both pre trip and while you’re on the ground. If you’re looking for luxury beyond the silk sheet stereotype, consider Insight Vacations. Everything is planned out to the letter, groups are small, and you experience personalized service and passionate travel guides every step of the way.
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Contiki Premier

Contiki

#5 Pick of 278 Homestays & Local Immersion Tour Companies

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4.7 • Excellent
Total Trips 565 Trips
Average Price $ 192 per day
Size Global Operator
Tour Length 5 – 36 days
Trip Prices $ 636 – $ 7,699
Service Level Budget
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise
Trips in Homestays & Local Immersion 1786 Tours in Homestays & Local Immersion

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

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

Stunning Scenic South

Apart from going above and beyond they gave us an amazing tour of the south island of New Zealand! The weather gods were in our favour for October giving us alot of sunshine, barely any rain and alot of incredible views to take in! The adrenalin activities are far and wide for Queenstown and of course you enjoy many nights out! Overal a great little getaway! Worth noting there is a bit of driving through the south on the bus but worth it!
5.0 • Anastasia
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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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DesertBrise Travel

DesertBrise Travel

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5.0 • Excellent
Total Trips 18 Trips
Size Local Specialist
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Custom/Private Tour Operator

The amazing life in the desert

Thanks, my friend !!! I Will never forget this experience. You and your brother are really professional!! I learned many things about your culture and your country. Thanks for helping me to discover The amazing life in the desert
5.0 • Alejandro

Incredible retreat in the desert

Incredible retreat in the desert. So many thanks to the wonderful organization that gave us the opportunity to visit the desert in such confidence. Savoury meals, the Beauty of the nature, and experienced teachers. A special thank you to Morad and his team, to have made all this possible.
5.0 • Lilo
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0

A chance to experience what local families eat too

My friends and I went for a tour from marrakech to the desert with our driver/guide Ibrahim. Our guide knew the ins and outs of the land very well and was always able to help recommend places to eat that served great local fare at cheap (local) prices. He was also a very welcoming host and even invited us over for lunch with his family in the desert giving us a chance to experience what local families eat too. The accommodation arranged by the company for this tour was also very comfortable and very worthwhile for the price we paid for the tour package!
5.0 • Della
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Peregrine Adventures Preferred

Peregrine Adventures

#62 Pick of 278 Homestays & Local Immersion Tour Companies

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4.7 • Excellent
Total Trips 13 Trips
Average Price $ 396 per day
Size Global Operator
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Group Tour Operator
Trips in Homestays & Local Immersion 6 Tours in Homestays & Local Immersion

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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CIE Tours

CIE Tours

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4.6 • Excellent
Total Trips 127 Trips
Average Price $ 200 per day
Size Regional Expert
Tour Length 8 – 8 days
Trip Prices $ 1,560 – $ 1,975
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Group Tour Operator
Trips in Homestays & Local Immersion 2 Tours in Homestays & Local Immersion

DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME/MONEY WITH CIE!

I gave this return 1 star only because that’s the lowest possible option, otherwise they would receive 0 stars!!! I had a trip planned for September of 2021 to Iceland. 12 days before the trip, my husband got Covid. Even though it was 12 days before the travel date, they still would not allow me to reschedule the trip. My husband has Alzheimer’s and this would likely have been his last trip out of the country, had I been able to reschedule. I was told I could put in a claim to get a partial refund. Since September 5, I have been battling with CIE to get said refund. Countless emails and phone calls claiming my check would be in the mail by “next week.” I eventually contacted Trip Mate to see if I could get any answers and they informed me that the check couldn’t be sent out because CIE hadn’t released the money. I tried countless times to reach the customer service manager, Mary Larkin, but every time I called she was “on another call” or “at a meeting.” Eventually I was told I could only email her to get in contact with her. I did exactly that about my refund I have been waiting months to receive and she finally called me back. She said it was inexcusable that the refund had taken this long and assured me she would have the money released and have Trip Mate expedite sending the check to me “by next week.” This conversation took place on April 7 and no money has been received at this time. Better Business Bureau has been contacted to handle the matter from here. These people are thieves, do NOT under any circumstances book with them!!!
1.0 • Pam H

Both unfair and unacceptable

Like many others here, we have clients booked with CIE Tours, and their tours have been canceled, in one case twice. CIE only offers a future travel credit, without option for a refund. They say that their policy is like other tour operators, however, Globus Family of Brands and others that we work with are offering the option for a full refund in the case that they cancel the tour. Clients are upset and CIE's policy is both unfair and unacceptable.
1.0 • Lucille
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0

Loved our experience

Loved our experience with our tour guide Mert our CIE tour in July/August of 2015 we have many pictures that we wanted to share with our group — I believe maybe however, the person in charge of creating a group page for our group — couldn’t read my handwriting when we had past the clipboard around to put our email addresses on as myself, husband and daughter never received any notification of the group page — kelli_landaverde@icloud.com or Kelli_landaverde@yahoo.com ; a.ponce219@gmail.com ; aponcelandaverde@gmail.com —- would still love to keep in touch with the group — that’s what’s so sad being together side by side for two weeks getting to know someone and then to never hear from one another ever again
5.0 • Kelli
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Scottish Dream
Scottish Dream Trip Style: Small ship cruise
New Jersey-based CIE Tours, in business since 1932, is one of the largest operators of escorted coach tours through the British Isles, Eastern Europe, Italy, and Ireland. Quick facts Founded in 1932 Travel Style: Large Coaches, not handicap accessible Single supplement required for those traveling solo Group Size: Average 35, maximum 48 Typical Age Range: Older travelers 50+. Children are welcome, minimum of 8 years old, so families are common as well. Average Tour Price: $2,233 Accommodation Style: 3, 4, and 5 star hotels, depending on the itinerary. 4 stars are the most popular, combining a decent price with comfortability.   What Makes CIE Tours Stand Out? Specialize in Ireland tours All-inclusive and great value Discount Offers CIE is a long-established company with extensive regional knowledge in Ireland. They offers especially good value, with all-inclusive pricing. Also look for early-booking discounts as well as seasonal discounts for solo travelers. As part of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) and the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), CIE ensures that their company goes above and beyond when it comes to their client’s safety. They also offer a wide-range of itineraries depending on the client’s budget, interest, and schedule. Who Will Enjoy Traveling with CIE Tours? Ages 50+ History buffs Mid to high budget travelers Those who want all parts of the itinerary planned out Travelers seeking all-inclusive group tours of England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland, as well as a few destinations in Continental Europe. Customers tend to be aged 50-plus and have an interest in history and wish to stay in nice hotels (ranging from three to five stars) with a choice of budgets. The kind of traveler who enjoys a completely hassle free experience, with all activities, meals, and sightseeing planned out. Coach tours are generally enjoyed by travelers who like driving - daydream and gaze out large windows at the world passing by in comfort on your way to the next wonderful stop. If you love learning about history, culture, with your days full of ancient cities, churches, and historical information their guide style would be a good fit. And with the occasional spa day at your hotel thrown in these all-encompassing journeys take care of the mind and the body. Top Destinations Ireland Europe CIE Tours are especially known for tours in and around Ireland, and this is their primarily focus. They also travel to Scotland and Britain, with a small number of coach tours offered in Italy, Eastern Europe, and the Balkan Peninsula. Occasionally, river cruises on the Rhine and Danube are also available. CIE Tours Travel Style Most of their tours are on large, roomy, comfortable coaches, in the premium - luxury range. Amenities on board are basic, and coaches make frequent stops to avoid the need for using the restroom on the bus. Group size is a max of 48, though 35 people is the average on the CIE Tours. Virtually all aspects of the trip – with no optional extras -- are included in the initial rate, which will not go up after booking, and departures are guaranteed. Itineraries range from 5 to 24 days, though the majority sit in the 8-10 day range. CIE will also set up self-drive trips and homestay and B&B vacations for you if you want to travel on your own, or arrange customized tours for groups of 10 or more people. Why Choose a Tour With CIE? With more than eight decades of experience, CIE Tours offers dependable service and regional know-how. The company estimates that the average traveler will save $550 per week by not having to pay for optional extras during the trip. Their all-inclusive tours alleviate the stress of planning a vacation by providing daily guided tours, hotels, meals, and airport transfers. CIE Tour guides are experts in Ireland and the other regions they travel through, so if you’re looking for comfort, inclusivity of price, plus a high caliber of knowledge and experience, this is a good place to start. Frequently Asked Questions 1. What is the CIE Travel Protection Plan? Travel insurance is required on all CIE Tours. The Travel Protection Plan is an easy, convenient way to purchase insurance at the time of your booking, covering cancellation. See other travel insurance options   2. Are there restrooms on the coaches? Yes, most CIE coaches have restrooms for emergencies. Safety protocol means they are not to be used while the coach is in motion. CIE Tours make regular stops for travelers to stretch their legs and use the facilities. 3. Are CIE Tours handicap accessible? No. Unfortunately the coaches are not equip to handle large wheelchairs or scooters. Walkers or foldable wheelchairs can be accommodated. Sightseeing tours require some walking over short distances, and some difficult stairs, such as when exploring castles. Uneven surfaces are common especially when exploring old sites and ruins. 4. What should I pack? One large piece of luggage is permitted, which will fit under the coach. Layers are advisable for the weather in Ireland, which can be chilly. You may also bring a small backpack or purse. On “Supreme” tours, men will require a dinner jacket, but on all other tours this is not necessary. Comfortable walking shoes are a must. 5. Are tips included? No, tips for your driver, porter, guides, and tour director are not included in the price. They are not required, but are a customary show of gratitude, especially if you enjoyed the trip! 6. What about airport transfer? If you choose to purchase airfare through CIE, complimentary airport transfer is provided for flights arriving before noon. You can choose to purchase airport transfer if you elect to buy your airfare separately.
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Gate 1 Travel

Gate 1 Travel

#89 Pick of 278 Homestays & Local Immersion Tour Companies

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3.9 • Great
Total Trips 779 Trips
Size Global Operator
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Group Tour Operator
Trips in Homestays & Local Immersion 3 Tours in Homestays & Local Immersion

GATE1 customer service is TERRIBLE.

GATE1 customer service is TERRIBLE. Everyone should be aware that if you buy travel insurance on Gate1 site, they do not charge you for the coverage immediately, but place it as a charge on your final bill. So, for a while you are NOT insured, and if something goes wrong before your final charge, you lose your money.
1.0 • Rimma Kopyt

Rude and Unprofessional Customer Service

I have experienced the worst and rudest customer service by Holly. I inquired about possible flight options for booking with my tour and after less than 1 min she started yelling at me when I dared asked about a different airline. Contrary to the options on their website, she kept raising her voice at me that there are no others but United, and that Gate1 is not a flight booking agency. I could not say a word because after her tirade she hung up on me...
1.0 • Melina
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0

Great experience and value

I loved my trip to Spain and my experience with Gate1 was about as great as you can ask for. Particularly because of our tour guide, Carmen. She was phenomenal and I probably learned more from her in a week than if I studied there for a year. Carmen had plenty of entertaining stories and went above and beyond to ensure everyone was enjoying themselves. Give this woman a raise. The trip involved going to about five cities across Spain and the traveling was seamless. The driver picked us up and dropped us off right where we needed to be without ever having to wait. I saw a ton of cool things and had world class meals. The hotels we stayed at were very nice and well located. I feel like we got a great deal as well. Gate1 is a quality company with even better employees. Give them a chance and I’m sure you’ll keep coming back.
5.0 • Henry Franks
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
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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Tauck
4.3 • Great
Total Trips 756 Trips
Average Price $ 578 per day
Size Global Operator
Tour Length 12 – 12 days
Trip Prices $ 8,990 – $ 8,990
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise
Trips in Homestays & Local Immersion 1 Tours in Homestays & Local Immersion

Skip this cruise - not worth it

My husband and I went on the Treasures of the Mediterranean Isles Trip jn October 2022. This was our third Tauck cruise with Ponnant but our first post covid and the level of food and serive on Ponnant ships has dropped alot. The food was, at best, cafeteria food at a bad high school. My husband ate salad and cheese and crackers For dinner every night because the entrees were terrible. You could be the first person at breakfast and everything on the buffet was cold, nothing was hot. there warming trays had tea light candles underneath them. Wine served at dinner was low quality whicj says something since it was French wine. Tours were poorly Planned, guides were ok at best. There is no time to shop or eat on land 9 times out 10. We were in Sicily but never got a chance to eat Sicilian food. So disappointed in this ver expensive cruise. The land portions in Malta and Marseiile were better but the tours in Malta were short, limited and subpar. This was our 8th Tauck trip and we have since cancelled our next three. We are not paying Tauck prices for mediocre experiences.
2.0 • Cougess

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

Tauck/Aon terrible travel insurance

Tauck partners with Aon for travel insurance. We bought this insurance through Tauck specifically to cover us in case of a positive for test for Covid and could not go on the cruise. Three days before the trip, one of us tested positive with very mild symptoms. We contacted Tauck and they agreed to refund 1/2 of the tour cost and the insurance would pay for the other half. When we called the insurance they said they required a PCF test. The test was taken and came back positive. Two months later they denied the claim because we didn’t go to a doctor. That was not necessary or practical. We had proof of Covid. Tauck is not willing to help. This was the insurance they recommended and sold to customers. We have now read many reviews of terrible service from Aon. Why is Tauck a partner to this company and not willing to help their clients? BEWARE. Terrible customer service.
1.0 • Harry
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Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
Treasures of the Mediterranean Isles
Treasures of the Mediterranean Isles Trip Style: Small ship cruise
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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Great Value Vacations Preferred

Great Value Vacations

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4.1 • Great
Total Trips 722 Trips
Size Global Operator
Tour Length 4 – 14 days
Trip Prices $ 563 – $ 7,253
Service Level Budget
Operator Type Group Tour Operator
Trips in Homestays & Local Immersion 228 Tours in Homestays & Local Immersion

Most organized and easy to use site!

Honestly this is one of the first times I ever buy a package deal like this one and I was very impressed with how professional and well timed everything was. They had all of our paperwork and tickets ready, I can’t even think of one time where anything went wrong or was wrong, very nice people I will definitely buy another trip soon!
5.0 • Pablo Sandoval

Good value and ligit package.

Good value and ligit package.
5.0 • Chan Quach
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0

WARNING!

WARNING! This company seems like the right choice based on price. BEWARE! DO NOT USE! They are not helpful prior to trip. They mislead you when you speak with customer service. We took a trip to Ireland and were told by customer service that the hotel was in Sligo and Cork after asking prior to our trip. When we arrived, the hotels were both over one hour out in very small towns. This is one hour to the city we were told we were going to by customer service and one hour back. The rental car we got prior to trip with our package, we paid to upgrade to a larger car. Then we paid extra to have an automatic car. When we arrived, we were told that we could have paid much less by just doing it onsite at Dublin airport. The car rental was in shock for how much Great Value charged us for the car rental. You can save a lot of money if you book this Ireland trip on your own. And save many headaches. The kicker to all of this is when I got home and tried to speak with customer service. The lady told me she could not do anything to help me. I must instead email a supervisor. I did have email communication with GVV and they were quite snappy and rude. They refused to help me in any way. I asked them to change their wording so that the next customer would not be misled like we were. I would NEVER recommend nor use this company. There are too many reputable tour groups out there. Please don't waste your money on a company that does not care about you. **Edited** In response to the reply that GVV gave to my negative review. It is pleasing to see how quickly you can reply to a negative review. If only you were so quick to respond to my queries prior to my trip. To begin, my review is public. However, it is NOT OK to include my name when replying to a review when the name was not included by me in my review of you. Next, when responding to my review you must be truthful. For you to say: "We are not surprised to receive this review as we did not agree to your request for a cash refund in exchange for you not posting a negative review." is false. In my initial phone call to customer service I was told to tell you what I wanted. Since you never asked, in my email communication toy I stated "I will be happy to complete your survey with my negative concerns and complete multiple reviews on your company if you choose to not correct this grand misleading mistake. I do not want to receive a discount for a future trip. I believe some money back to me is fair due to the amount of gas money and time I lost for travel due to the poor locations of the hotels." I did not say I was disappointed with the hotels in Cork and Sligo. I said I was angered that I was misled by customer service prior to my trip when they did not inform me the distance to the cities on the tour. I asked if they were centrally located and was told that they were. Again, when I arrived, I discovered that they were over two hours round trip, without traffic. My initial communication to you was to inform that this was misleading. Your company seemed to be defensive of my comments from the start. I called customer service before the trip because you switched my hotel in Dublin. My original hotel was one 45 minutes away from the city. You switched me to a hotel that was in Dublin after finding the original hotel was unable to host us. The new hotel in the city was centrally located. Great news. But the closest parking garage was 3/4 mile away. Perhaps you could suggest a hotel in the future that has closer parking so that when your flight is at 7am one does not need to walk the streets of Dublin at 5am. My complaint to you is the absolute disdain and lack of concern that you have for customers after the trip. Even after my trip was booked I was unsuccessful at receiving any positive support. I do not want this communication to continue. You are trying to prove your point as I am mine. But keep in mind, you should not use the name of the consumer if they did not disclose first themselves. Please check in house legal for affirmation. Also, please be accurate and truthful when disclosing your side. Just as you had to get the last word to our email thread by sarcastically stating "dully noted". Your lack of professionalism speaks volumes. Perhaps this is why you get so many complaints and low stars on your reviews.
1.0 • Bait and Switch
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
Oslo Explorer
Oslo Explorer Trip Style: Self-guided tour
Copenhagen Explorer
Copenhagen Explorer Trip Style: Self-guided tour
Helsinki Explorer
Helsinki Explorer Trip Style: Self-guided tour
Great Value Vacations provides pre-packaged, competitively priced vacation itineraries suitable to all traveler types. They are owned by DH Enterprise and Associates, Inc. What Makes Great Value Vacations Stand Out? Professionally planned itineraries Flight & car rental available Local insights Budget minded Unlike traditional guided tours, Great Value Vacations provides professionally planned packages for independent travelers booking a vacation. Everything from flights to car rental is available through the Great Value Vacations booking process. Itineraries are designed by locals, so you can get a true sense of local authentic living while on your vacation. Their packages are competitively priced, and designed by an extensive network of travel experts. You can choose from among several types of trip and their reviews speak for themselves in customer satisfaction. Accommodations and activities are hand selected by their local experts or the “feet on the street” as they call it. They choose only the highest quality places to send you and your travel companions. Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Great Value Vacations? Independent planners Budget travelers All ages Travelers who want a fully vetted itinerary and the peace of mind that comes with having all components taken care of will love the experience of a Great Value Vacations package. Because of the great variety they have available, families, older travelers, and young professionals can all find something suitable on Great Value Vacations. It’s important to note that these trips are not a traditional group tour or private tour, with a guide. If you are looking for a different kind of packaged pre-set itinerary with a fellow group of travelers, we recommend checking out a few different group tour companies first. These packages are great for independent minded travelers who still like the idea of a professionally planned itinerary, with unique experiences and activities, but plenty of free time. Great Value Vacations is also great for having all services in one place - including visa information, flight booking, hotel booking, and car rental. Great Value Vacations is also a great options for budget travelers. They partner with various deals sites like Groupon to provide ongoing deals and specials (although the voucher system might be a bit complicated). Top Destinations Great Value Vacations operates tours in Africa, Asia, Europe, and The Caribbean. Travel styles include everything from all inclusive resort experiences, to quaint Bed & Breakfasts, to fully escorted tours, to rail journeys. Great Value Vacations Ireland trips are quite popular, particularly now as Ireland has remained open to travelers during the Coronavirus pandemic. You can find several different affordable independent and self drive Ireland packages through Great Value Vacations.  Similarly, many American travelers are considering domestic travel for the next vacation. Great Value Vacations United States trips are a great choice for keeping the budget low and finding fun unique ways to explore your own backyard.  Great Value Vacations Travel Style Adventurous Local culture Active Flexible Driving The Great Value Vacations travel style is about convenience coupled with confidence - for an unforgettable adventure. Most of their packages involve driving, and their rental car availability is comprehensive as well as a big part of the value when using a Great Value Vacations package. Itineraries include detailed directions, all your hotel information, and other important documents are available within 30 days of your booking. You are required to print all necessary documents provided to you via their Traveler Portal. Most packages include a few guided day tours and several activities ranging from cultural to active.   There are several vacation types and themes to choose from that are available through Great Value Vacations. These include everything from Luxury to Self Drive Vacations (which is one of their most popular).   Why Choose a Tour with Great Value Vacations? For the ease of booking a package all in one place, Great Value Vacations is a top choice. Their packages have the propensity to be a bit standard, however given that they are created by local experts - all itineraries bring a little something special to the itinerary. You’ll definitely see the important sites, as well as get some locally immersive hidden gems. They bring all facets of planning travel into one place, at a competitive price, taking care of all the factors that can make planning travel stressful. They have an easy to use online booking system, eliminating the need for you to take any extra steps. It's important to note that some travelers may find the Great Value Vacations booking model a bit convaluted. They are very much geared toward budget travelers which means you can may see them listed on sites like Groupon or other deals aggregators.  Great Value Vacations Covid-19 Travel Update In response to the uncertainty surrounding Covid-19, Great Value Vacations is currently postponing all bookings, based on the travel date, current news, and country travel policies. This precaution is in place at least until November 2020 and will likely be extended beyond that. At this time any current bookings with Great Value Vacations remain non-refundable.
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Alexander + Roberts

Alexander + Roberts

#74 Pick of 278 Homestays & Local Immersion Tour Companies

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4.8 • Excellent
Total Trips 302 Trips
Average Price $ 391 per day
Size Global Operator
Tour Length 12 – 14 days
Trip Prices $ 6,099 – $ 6,099
Service Level Luxury
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise
Trips in Homestays & Local Immersion 3 Tours in Homestays & Local Immersion

past cultures was outstanding.

The attention of our guide to our needs and assurance of our visiting all sites - his knowledge of the areas and history and insight into the present and past cultures was outstanding.
5.0 • Lynda & John

Paid In Full to Go Nowhere

I chose the small group China Sampler and paid in full in December 2018 for the April 2020 departure to get the $300 discount. After that it was just waiting and waiting and waiting. I was looking to start making airline flight plans to and return from China in April 2019. But when my travel agent contacted A&R she discovered that I was the only one signed up for the small group tour. This continued through the remainder of 2019. I actually called A&R direct one day to find out what was going on. I was then told about the 90 day out policy before they would cancel the trip. I asked a couple of times through my travel agent if A&R could just go ahead and cancel out the tour and refund my money, but was told there might be some last minute people to sign up for a trip to China. So basically A&R had my $5,000 plus fully paid fee to invest and use as they chose for over a year. January 10 or 20 was the 90 day before date I was told when a decision would be made to cancel. On January 9th I checked the website of A&R and saw by the small group tour for April 9-19 the words "Sold Out". So I'm thinking "Oh, maybe they did get enough last minute people to go?" So I sent my travel agent info on what airline flights I would like to take to China and back. The next day I was sent an email from my agent letting me know that A&R had cancelled the April small group trip to China for the dates I had selected. So the "Sold Out" descriptor apparently was an attempt to save face by not admitting they could not fill the small group trip with enough people to make the trip happen. Not a very "transparent" policy. About a month before A&R did offer to have me join the May China Sampler trip, but those dates did not meet my travel plans. I never received an apology directly from A&R. No offer for a discount on a future tour, nothing. Last time I will ever consider A&R for any type of tour.
1.0 • Small Group Tour to China Cancelled
Details
Value3.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0

Superb in both Seba Camp

The Tour Guides were superb in both Seba Camp (Joseph) and Little Makalolo Camp (Paul). We saw virtually every animal possible in closer proximity than we imagined possible. Accommodations great and food exceptional.
5.0 • Marc
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Bangkok, Angkor Wat and The Charms of Myanmar
Bangkok, Angkor Wat and The Charms of Myanmar Trip Style: Small ship cruise
Thailand to Myanmar
Thailand to Myanmar Trip Style: Small group tour
Founded in 1947, Alexander + Roberts holds the distinction of being one of the oldest guided tour companies around, and a founding member of USTOA. Unlike many tour companies, they focus equally on small group, private group, and customized travel.   What Makes Alexander + Roberts Stand Out Historical legacy Authentic experiences Exotic and classic destinations Local guides Unique itineraries Alexander + Roberts has over 70 years of tour experience. In fact, the company was the first to provide guided tours of the former Soviet Union during the Cold War era. Since then, A + R have been pioneers, traveling to new far-flung locations like Burma and Cuba before many other operators. There can be a tendency for old and established guided travel companies to seem out of touch and stuffy, while also getting unwieldy if they try too hard to adapt to the modern traveler. Alexander + Roberts has managed to remain firm to their classic yet innovative roots - an old fashioned charm comes across. You’ll find a blend of classic itineraries as well as more unique experiences and themes.  Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Alexander + Roberts? Affluent travelers 50+ and Seniors Couples Active travelers Alexander + Roberts is a US-based tour operator for the affluent traveler wanting to venture beyond the ordinary in a comfortable manner. A + R is best for those travelers looking for a small-group experience with an added element of luxury. They also offer private journeys, custom itineraries, and fully supported independent travel options.  This is not budget travel by any means. Unlike most tour companies today that don’t require a single supplement, they do (for most tours) at “only $700”. Many activities and meals are included on Alexander + Roberts small group tours. So if you have more of an independent streak and would like some flexibility but aren’t interested in a private or tailor made trip, you may want to explore other tour companies that provide more free time during the itinerary. If you’re looking for a professionally planned trip with expertise, luxury, and attention to detail baked into the price then Alexander + Roberts is a good place to start. Top Destinations A + R offers hundreds of trips on six continents, including Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America. They also offer small-ship cruising in the Americas, Antarctica, Asia, and Europe. Alexander + Roberts Travel Style Small groups (16 max) Private travel Tailor made travel Most meals and activities included Alexander + Roberts purposefully keeps their tour group sizes small - maximum 16, for added flexibility and authenticity. Hotels are a mix of unique local and boutique properties, all with a touch of luxury. Most meals are included on their standard group departures and guides are local, with the in-depth knowledge that comes with it.  Why Choose a Tour with Alexander + Roberts? If you’re looking for a refined experience that still gets you under the surface of a destination, then Alexander & Roberts could be for you. Their trips are not cheap, but do provide good value with many inclusions and years of experience in the industry.
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Abercrombie & Kent Preferred

Abercrombie & Kent

#80 Pick of 278 Homestays & Local Immersion Tour Companies

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4.2 • Great
Total Trips 32 Trips
Average Price $ 704 per day
Size Global Operator
Tour Length 10 – 13 days
Trip Prices $ 8,195 – $ 8,495
Service Level Luxury
Operator Type Group Tour Operator
Trips in Homestays & Local Immersion 2 Tours in Homestays & Local Immersion

Overpriced, too much crammed into each day, and important aspects of the trip dropped....with no advance notice

Wings over Mediterranean Sept 2022. Other than the intra-city flights which were first class private jet, the rest was......average. Tour buses with windows too small to see any passing points of interest. A 250 sq ft "luxury" hotel room---thought I was in a Motel 8. Museum tours led by local experts who over-talked so long that they cut into anything that was planned for the remainder of that day. Restaurants....3 in particular very small, crowded, and not even remotely above average. Written itinerary says "and then return to your host city and enjoy the rest of the afternoon at your leisure." No way...we usually got back to the hotel around 5:30 after already passing up at least one planned exhibit. We had no special tour group privileges...we were just part of the pack and were overrun by tourists at every stop. $40,000 per person....a big huge "ouch"
3.0 • Lou

COMPANY IS IN REAL FINACIAL TROUBLE

THIS COMPANY HELD ME FINACIALLY HOSTAGE FOR A AFRICAN MAY 2021 SAFARI. I HAD TO CANCELL THE SEPTEMBER 2021 TRIP BECAUSE THEY BASCIALLY STEALLING MONEY FROM ME. DO NOT BOOK WITH THEM.
1.0 • DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0

Exceptional Tour of Italy's Treasures

We took the A & K Small Group Tour to Rome, Florence & Venice. The experience exceeded expectations! Wonderful itinerary (with the ability to flex to the group's unique needs & requests!). Our guide (Emmanuela) was exceptional! Fun, extremely organized, considerate of all group members & always making sure that we had a 5-Star experience. Highly recommend this company (& this tour) - we will travel with A & K again!
5.0 • KMcJ
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Cuba: People to People
Cuba: People to People Trip Style: Small group tour
Cuba: Across the Island: People to People
Cuba: Across the Island: People to People Trip Style: Small group tour
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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AMA Waterways Preferred

AMA Waterways

#81 Pick of 278 Homestays & Local Immersion Tour Companies

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3.7 • Great
Total Trips 26 Trips
Average Price $ 429 per day
Size Global Operator
Tour Length 4 – 14 days
Trip Prices $ 598 – $ 3,158
Service Level Luxury
Operator Type River Cruise Line
Trips in Homestays & Local Immersion 4 Tours in Homestays & Local Immersion

I’ve sailed with AmaWaterways 4 times

I’ve sailed with AmaWaterways 4 times. They are the best! You become family. I can’t wait to sail with them again!
5.0 • Karen Schoppe Rublee

Cancel for any reason

AMA’s “Cancel for any reason” insurance is bogus. It should be called rebook for any reason.
1.0 • Roberta Millert
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0

There is no better society

Er is geen betere maatschappij!!!!!
5.0 • Nelly Rikken-Bekker
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Sail Turkey & Greece
Sail Turkey & Greece Trip Style: Group tour
Thailand & Laos & Cambodia Discovered
Thailand & Laos & Cambodia Discovered Trip Style: Group tour
Istanbul & Gallipoli Discovered
Istanbul & Gallipoli Discovered Trip Style: Group tour
Known especially for its top-notch onboard regional cuisine, Ama is the only river cruise line to join La Chaine des Rotisseurs, a prestigious gastronomic society. Passengers tend to be affluent, over age 50, and interested in a mostly casual, all-inclusive experience with minimal hassle; cruise directors make sure everything runs smoothly. Good service is prized. Ama has won awards for its spacious, stylish cabin designs, and passengers can expect lots of complimentary perks: shore excursions, wine and beer at lunch and dinner, Internet access in every cabin (in Europe), and bicycles for use in port are all included in the price. Many cabins in its newer ships have both French and outdoor balconies. Originally called Amadeus Waterways when it was founded in 2002, California-based AmaWaterways later changed its name but hasn’t changed its prime customers: mostly North Americans, British, Australians, and English-speaking Europeans (English is the official language onboard). Ama has undergone rapid expansion and now cruises on three continents. Europe tops the roster, with fifteen ships sailing the Danube, Rhine, Main, Moselle, Douro, Seine, and Rhone rivers. Three ships ply the Mekong and Irrawaddy rivers in Southeast Asia, while Russia (on the Volga-Baltic Waterway between Moscow and St. Petersburg) and Africa (on the Chobe River in Botswana) each sport one ship.   
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Viking River Cruises Preferred

Viking River Cruises

#78 Pick of 278 Homestays & Local Immersion Tour Companies

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4.8 • Excellent
Total Trips 19 Trips
Average Price $ 280 per day
Size Global Operator
Tour Length 7 – 7 days
Trip Prices $ 1,798 – $ 1,798
Service Level Luxury
Operator Type River Cruise Line
Trips in Homestays & Local Immersion 2 Tours in Homestays & Local Immersion

Good and no so goog

Recently returned from a Viking Rhine trip on 10/14. The good: Rhine water levels were good, no issues. Service on the vessel was A+, excluding one attendant with “attitude” at the front desk. Entertainment was low key but acceptable. Viking succeeds in creating a laid back atmosphere. Viking is like a clock - they run on time. Cabin was nice and shower was exceptional. Most (not all) tours were informative, guides ranged from good to excellent. Tour buses were top shelf with experienced drivers. The not so good: All 6 in our group were disappointed with the food (not service but food) all week excluding breakfast. All felt the food offerings got “old” real fast. Food appeared to be prepared in advance and then reheated. Plenty of TV movies, tv and internet reception poor all week. Most concerning Viking, customs, and airline never asked to see our proof of vaccination. While Viking did a excellent job in keeping the boat itself clean and sanitized we had an issue on one of the bus tours. A unmasked woman sitting directly behind my wife was sweating & coughing non-stop. Not a occasional sneeze or cough, it was obvious this woman was ill. At the first stop multiple riders relocated to seats as far away from this individual as possible. Regrettably, Viking said/did noting. Viking claims they are not the Covid police and if we felt compromised we should have put on a mask. Absolutely ridiculous that Viking felt we should have masked but took action to pull this woman aside, require her to mask with a suggestion to see a physician. Again - we’re not talking about normal coughing and sneezing- this woman was visibly ill. Viking was willing to put 30 travelers at risk rather then ask a visibly ill woman to mask up. It’s Vikings boat, tour, bus but they say and do nothing. Of course 2 of 6 in our group contracted Covid. Viking had a obligation to do everything within their control to protect us as best possible. In this instance they didn’t even try. Not trying to trash Viking, just being truthful.
3.0 • Charles

Misleading and often just plain dishonest.

We paid for a 3 week luxury river cruise but received a large group bus trip across Europe with many days of packing and unpacking. I called our Viking representative when we received an email message just 2 days prior to departure that mentioned a possibility of problems with low river levels. I was assured that everything was "normal" In reality, as we learned later from ship personnel, nothing has been normal for at least 3 months. About 2 weeks prior to departure, we received by mail, lovely personalized booklets describing all the details of our voyage on the Viking Lif, which we were to board in Russe, Romania. Instead, we boarded the Viking Aegir but not at Russe, because the Danube was too low. Instead we rode buses upstream to a port on the Romanian side directly opposite our first scheduled stop at Nikopol, Bulgaria. We had a beautiful cruise through the Iron gate gorge, but after three more scheduled stops in Bulgaria, Serbia, and Croatia, our voyage was terminated in Mohacs, Hungary, an unscheduled place two days short of reaching Budapest. So we were herded into buses for a 1.8 hour ride each way to our scheduled stop at Kalocsa. The next day we retraced the journey to Kalocsa and continued an extra 1.5 hours to reach Budapest. We lost the entire morning in Budapest and spent the night at the Marriott hotel. The next day we lost the entire afternoon in that city because we had to take a 4 hour bus ride to Vienna. Where we were put aboard the Viking Embla. Our voyage on that ship ended two steps later at Passau Germany. After a day in Passau we went upriver for a short distance and it seemed that we had entered the canal to take us to the Main river. But much to our surprise, it was a dead end channel for an industrial port. We spent two days there with our balcony room moored tightly against another Viking ship so there was nothing to look at but the scenery at that site was even worse than looking at someone else's window and the balcony was unusable anyway due to the unpleasant odors at that site. The pattern continued with a long round trip bus ride the next day to our scheduled stop at Regensburg and a 3 plus hour trip the following day to Nuremberg where we finally boarded the Viking Lif. A crew member told us that the Lif had not traveled east of Nuremberg for 3 months. We sailed from Nuremberg to scheduled stops in Bamberg, Wurzburg, and Werthiem and then our voyage terminated for good at an unscheduled port in Mainz. Once again we endured a long round trip journey to our next scheduled stop at Koblenz, followed by a 10 plus hour bus trip (with lunch and a walking tour in Cologne) to Amsterdam and a night in a hotel. Despite a promise that our bags would be in our rooms (they did take great care to provide us with tags so they could easily keep our bags organized) all the baggage was dumped in the hotel garage and it took a good 15 minutes of searching to find it and then take it to our rooms ourselves. There is much more, but it would only be more descriptive of the misery of this trip. We know Viking didn't cause the low river levels, but they did not need to lie to us and make us suffer because of it.
1.0 • Larry
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Value1.0
Guide3.0
Activities5.0
Lodging3.0
Transportation1.0
Meals3.0

Tourico Vacations -Rhine River Cruise

Rhine Getaway Itinerary: We sailed from Basel, Switzerland up north on the Rhine River and ended at Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Viking also offers the same route in reverse, from Amsterdam to Basel so you can pick either. For a couple stops on the journey, boats running in opposite cities are docked together. We had a wonderful time and especially loved how organized the entire Viking journey was, from pre-departure to on-board, everything was seamless. Also unlike many other cruises or guided tours, almost everything was included, which made it feel like a truly relaxing vacation. Here’s a snapshot of our 7-day itinerary and what we got up to each day! Day 1: Arrive in Basel, Switzerland We arrived in the small, quaint town of Basel after our international flight. This was the general arrival / travel date so we expected to just check in and relax but discovered that Viking organized a guided walking tour of the town. That was a nice surprise! There’s also the option to arrive a couple days early and/or stay a couple days late. If you are thinking of this, here’s a quick guide to the best hotels in Basel to help with accommodation. Basel is an underrated tourist attraction and the third largest city in Switzerland. The town has a gorgeous Medieval center and plenty of world-class art museums. There’s a reason Art Basel is held here! We checked out the Romanesque cathedral, took endless pictures of the colorful medieval buildings and headed back to our ship to relax and meet everyone for cocktails and dinner. A great first day! Read more: An Afternoon in Basel, Switzerland’s Most Underrated City! Day 2: Germany’s Black Forest & Colmar, France On our second day, we sailed northward to dock at Breisach, Germany. In the morning, we learned how to make cuckoo-clocks, put together Black Forest cake and walked a bit throughout the Black Forest. The wooded mountain range is the site of many local legends and populated all over with black fir trees. If you like hiking, the mountains are wonderful! In the afternoon, we signed up for an optional tour to Colmar. Located in the Alsace Lorraine region, the town is part of France but throughout much of history, changed hands between Germany and France. You’ll find lots of German and French spoken as a result! I highly recommend visiting this quaint medieval town. Every street looks perfectly preserved and it’s quite colorful. We wandered mostly on our own, ducking into gelato shops and chocolate stores while enjoying the colorful, medieval feel. Read more: The Most Picturesque Alsatian Town of Colmar Day 3: Strasbourg, France If you skip the optional to Colmar, no worries! Strasbourg is its larger cousin and also located in Alsace, France. We had a wonderful guide for this day who guided us throughout the small canals, pointing out colorful streets and letting us know about Strasbourg’s tangled history in the hands of Germany and France. Strasbourg occupies a strategic position on the Rhine River and is the ninth largest city in France. It’s home to many European councils and organizations, like the European Court of Human Rights (a building built like a ship) and the Council of Europe. For the most part, we stuck to the Old Medieval Town but drove through the modern section. Highly recommend a visit to the Cathedral! Read more: 24 Hours in Strasbourg (coming soon) Day 4: Heidelberg, Germany Heidelberg is a university town with a energetic, small town feel. In the morning, we visited Heidelberg Castle, which perhaps should be called a ruined fortress, as much of it was destroyed by lightening, fires and war. The ruins and castle are built high above the city and the observation terrace is well worth a look! Meanwhile, the city was almost entirely spared from bomb attacks during World War II and it’s narrow streets and baroque charm remain largely intact. We explored Heidelberg’s Old Town (Altstadt) by walking along the main shopping street Hauptstrasse. This is actually the longest shopping street in Europe! For the most part, I spotted large chain stores & restaurants. I actually recommend skipping this street to explore the quaint alleyways and backstreets instead. Much more picturesque! Read more: The Best of Heidelberg Germany in 1 Day Day 5: Rhine River Castles & Koblenz, Germany By day 5, we had reached the middle Rhine and spent our morning above deck watching the gorgeous small German towns and castles along both sides of the Rhine River. Our Viking program director gave a guided tour along the way, pointing out castles left and right. Many of them are situated high above local towns and we saw lots of German camper vans parked at the base. I recommend bringing a pair of binoculars for this part, as some of the castles can be set a bit farther away and the detail through a zoom is incredible. By afternoon, we reached Koblenz, a city set at the mouth of two rivers. We explored Marksburg Castle and wandered a bit on our own after. This was another ruined fortress high above the river. Interesting history, but wear good shoes! The entire castle is unpaved, rocky and entirely uneven. A couple others from the cruise did the optional dinner excursion on this day and raved about it. Read more: A Photo Diary of Pretty Rhine Castles Day 6: Cologne, Germany During the Holy Roman Empire, Cologne was the largest medieval town in Europe. Naturally, it’s Gothic cathedral is the hallmark draw! The nice thing about this stop is the ship can dock right into town, so you can join the tour or explore on your own. We explored the Kölner Dom’s interior and were suitably awed. If you want a great view, Viking offers an optional tour that takes you all the way to the very top! I had already been to Cologne on a previous trip so instead, we opted for a palace excursion. We visited Augustusburg Castle, one of two gorgeous UNESCO World Heritage site classified as Bruhl Palaces. The castle was once home to the prince-archbishops of Cologne and is decked out in gold, marble and all-around extravagance. I particularly liked the massive entryway staircase which was gilded and made my mouth drop open when we turned the corner. Highly recommend this day trip if you love castles half as much as I do! The interiors were really unique and the guided tour was excellent. After the main palace, we did a quick tour of the hunting lodge as well, which was just as stunning. Read more: Exploring Cologne (coming soon) Day 7: Kinderdijk, The Netherlands Kinderdijk is home to the Netherlands’ famous windmills. I’ll admit I didn’t know too much about the country outside of Amsterdam and our guide was quite helpful to explain the history of the nation and the purpose of its many windmills. Much of the Netherlands would sink, were it not for windmills to pump away water. We even got to tour inside the home of a windmill keeper (see photos of a windmill interior here!). What I didn’t realize was that windmill caretakers actually lived inside them with their families! I thought the interiors were particularly interesting and our guide mentioned that some Dutch families managed to fit 13 children inside. They’re quite small so I noticed lots of hooks for hanging, curved bunk-bed type rooms and lots of stair ladders. The Dutch windmill keepers also had a number of really unique boats which I took too many pictures of! Fun fact: Kinderdijk is in the region of Holland in the nation of The Netherlands where the people speak Dutch. Read more: Visiting A Dutch Windmill Home (and other day trips from Amsterdam!) The Rhine Getaway Cruise One thing I liked about sailing with Viking is how leisurely the day to day pace is. There’s generally an opportunity to sight see in the morning and afternoon, with one included tour and one optional tour. We chose to do 2 optionals and on the other days, relaxed on board or went into town to explore on our own! It was a well-balanced pace and I truly felt “on vacation”. Here’s a recap of our daily itinerary with Viking: Day 1 Arrive in Basel, Switzerland Day 2 Morning: Sail to the Black Forest Afternoon: Explore Colmar, France Day 3 Explore Strasbourg, France Day 4 Morning: Explore Heidelberg’s Castle and Old Town. Evening: Stop in Rudesheim Day 5 Morning: See German castles along the Rhine River Afternoon: Visit Koblenz, Germany Day 6 Morning: Visit Cologne, Germany Afternoon: Day trip to Bruhl Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site Day 7 See dutch windmills at Kinderdijk. Arrive in Amsterdam in late evening. Watch video: Tourico Vacations Viking River Cruise
5.0 • Tourico Vacations
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Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Heart of Germany
Heart of Germany Trip Style: River cruise
Founded in 1997 as a line offering Russian river cruises to Europeans, Viking expanded to the North American market in 2000.  What Makes Them Stand Out? Since 2007, Viking River Cruises has zoomed from carrying one-fifth to one-half of all passengers in the fast-growing European river cruise market. Not only is Viking the world’s largest river cruise line with some 66 ships now in service around the globe, but the line is operating at near full capacity in Europe, with many itineraries sold out months in advance. Who Travels With Them? They cater primarily to “culturally curious” English-speaking Americans, Canadians, British, Australians, and New Zealanders aged 55-plus. (Think sophisticated viewers of PBS’ “Downton Abbey,” which its helps to sponsor.) Where Do They Operate? Besides European rivers such as the Rhine, Danube, Moselle, Seine, Duoro, and the waterways of Russia between Moscow and St. Petersburg, Viking now cruises three rivers in Southeast Asia -- the Yangtze, Mekong, and Irrawaddy -- and along the Nile in Egypt. Why Travel With Them? While they may not rank as the most luxurious river ships, many of Viking’s vessels are sleek, innovative, and freshly minted: the line has added 18 new ships in 2014 alone. Overall, Viking has established a reputation for offering an incredible value - high-quality service, food, and guided shore excursions at competitive prices, all adding up to strong repeat customer loyalty rates.
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Overseas Adventure Travel (O.A.T. Tours)

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

#83 Pick of 278 Homestays & Local Immersion Tour Companies

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4.9 • Excellent
Total Trips 19 Trips
Average Price $ 290 per day
Size Global Operator
Tour Length 10 – 33 days
Trip Prices $ 2,895 – $ 9,190
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise
Trips in Homestays & Local Immersion 17 Tours in Homestays & Local Immersion

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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Meals1.0

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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Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Real Affordable Peru
Real Affordable Peru Trip Style: Small group tour
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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Grand Circle Travel

Grand Circle Travel

#85 Pick of 278 Homestays & Local Immersion Tour Companies

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5.0 • Excellent
Total Trips 13 Trips
Average Price $ 220 per day
Size Global Operator
Tour Length 15 – 16 days
Trip Prices $ 2,995 – $ 3,995
Service Level Luxury
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise
Trips in Homestays & Local Immersion 3 Tours in Homestays & Local Immersion

Grand Circle Travel always has great specials

Grand Circle Travel always has great specials and last minute specials if you can go on short notice. You can request a roommate if you travel solo to save on the single supplement but if they can't match you, you keep your room all to yourself with no single supplement fee. Always request a roommate and you might luck out either way. I went to Belgium and Holland on a 11 day cruise and saw all but three windmills in the country, actually walked inside one, went to a tulip farm and was allowed to pick tulips that the farm gave to us for free, went to a tulip auction where they auction every color, the stems, the leaves, and it all happens so quickly. After breakfast every morning there is a walking tour of the port city where we docked for the day. The tour brings you back for lunch and then you're free to explore on your own in the afternoon. Both Holland and Belgium were beautiful in the springtime with the flowers in full bloom. Bicycles are everywhere and is their main mode of transportation. You see them parked on the bridges over the canals, people riding them, families riding together, bike riders with groceries, and people walking them. The red light district was very interesting but you are not allowed to take pictures of the women. I waved to all of them as we were walking past their windows and some waved back. Plan your trip around the tulip blooming season and enjoy!
5.0 • J

value and service outstanding

I've traveled with this company 4 times and find the value and service outstanding. If you are on a slim budget try the " last minute" opportunities. We got an incredible deal on a river cruise two months out.
5.0 • Andrea
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Guide5.0
Activities5.0
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Meals5.0
Romantic Villages of Alpine Europe
Romantic Villages of Alpine Europe Trip Style: Group tour
England, Scotland & Wales
England, Scotland & Wales Trip Style: Group tour
The "older sibling" of Grand Circle Cruise Line, Grand Circle Travel specializes in land tours for Americans of baby boomer age and above (fifty-plus, but leaning toward the plus). What Makes Grand Circle Travel Stand Out? Unique local experiences Expert english-speaking guides International airfare included Relaxed tour pace Community feel Grand Circle Travel was started by the founder of AARP, and as such know their demographic extremely well. Over the years they have established a solid reputation for tours and river cruises that offer good value to destinations around the world. They also foster a community of dedicated travelers, encouraging you to share your memories, images, and stories with them and the friends you meet along the way. Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Grand Circle Travel? 60+ Budget minded American Culturally curious Grandparents & grandchildren (ages 13 and up are welcome to join) Social travelers If you like the idea of joining a tight knit travel community, with frequent cost cutting options, then Grand Circle could be for you. This is definitely a travel experience well suited to older American travelers in the 60+ range, seeking a degree of comfort, in their travel experience, within a mid to high budget range.  Younger couples or families will probably feel out of place among the crowd on a Grand Circle tour. The activities, lectures, and easy pace are all designed for older travelers. If relaxing on the cruise with a book in hand for hours on end, gliding by quiet European shores is your idea of a grand old time then Grand Circle is for you! If you’d rather have a bit more action, or are after a "see a lot, do a lot" city and country hopping pace, this style of travel is probably not going to hit the right note for you. Trips are mostly all-inclusive, focusing on comfortable accommodations, informative and easy paced guided walking tours, cultural encounters, learning experiences, and special events that they call their Discovery Series. Itineraries are designed to give you more time in each stop, allowing for a more balanced combination of included activities and independent time. Solo travelers make up nearly a third of Grand Circle's customers, and they're made to feel more than welcome on group tours, including some price breaks on single supplements. Itineraries are designed for American travelers, with an aim towards immersive experiences such as visiting local homes, interesting walking tours, in-depth cultural interactions and culinary experiences. Top Destinations Grand Circle travels all over the world, with a strong focus in Europe, Aisa and Southeast Asia. They also have limited departures in Africa, South America, the Middle East, South Pacific, North America, Central America, and even Antarctica. Grand Circle Travel Style The Grand Circle Travel Style is comfortable, standard river cruises and motorcoaches. On motorcoach tours with Grand Circle you will make frequent stops to stretch your legs, and some longer stops for sightseeing. Groups are between 24-47 people, so expect some company! Because Grand Circle attracts a similar age range, you’re sure to meet new friends with like interests in no time. Hotels are comfortable and centrally located. Don’t expect extreme luxury or especially unique accommodations however. You will probably do a fair amount of walking throughout the tour - Grand Circle suggests that travelers be relatively physically fit. Most trips with Grand Circle are, unfortunately, not wheelchair accessible. Their itineraries are designed with individuals in mind. While there are several included activities, you have many options for personalization through optional extensions and plenty of free time in each destination.  Why Choose a Tour with Grand Circle Travel? Leisurely pace Flexibility Unique cultural interactions Large groups of like minded travelers Budget friendly Airfare included For the flexibility and comfort aspects, combined with unique experiences at every turn. You might find yourself sharing dinner at the home of a local family or visiting local schools. Plenty of free time is included in the itineraries, and there is a lot of choice among optional tours.
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Zegrahm Expeditions

Zegrahm Expeditions

#90 Pick of 278 Homestays & Local Immersion Tour Companies

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5.0 • Excellent
Total Trips 3 Trips
Average Price $ 741 per day
Size Global Operator
Tour Length 16 – 16 days
Trip Prices $ 13,980 – $ 13,980
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Group Tour Operator
Trips in Homestays & Local Immersion 1 Tours in Homestays & Local Immersion

Highest Recommendation Possible

Zegrahm gets my highest recommendation. I recently returned from a 13-day Seychelles exploration and snorkel/dive adventure beginning in Zanzibar, visiting something like 9 Seychelles Atolls and islands for tons of daily snorkeling and diving, and finishing in Mahe where we departed from. This was absolutely the best cruise/group experience I have ever had on either land or sea. Zegrahm charters the boats and I was lucky enough to be on the Ponant ship, Le Bougainville, which is very posh, with a friendly and polite staff, an amazing french chef, good food, a nice spa, you name it. My bedroom was like a small luxury hotel and each room had a balcony so you could enjoy seaside and ocean views from your bed or balcony whenever you'd like. It was lovely. I especially appreciated coming back to such a haven after long days of sunshine, beach and snorkeling. Not only was the cruise ship and it's staff fantastic, but the Zegrahm staff were all wonderful. I sat and had dinner with many of them every day and they somehow remembered all our names (99 or so of us). They snorkeled and dove with us, pointing out fish and naming species, they went birding, they provided lectures in the mornings and evenings in their areas of expertise, because Zegrahm hires Marine Biologists, Anthropologists, and countless other individuals (with PhDs) to provide insight and lessons into the history and ecology of the places being visited and seen. At the conclusion of the trip - I didn't want it to end. I had made several like-minded friends for travel, was invited on future trips and exchanged information with almost everyone. We were a family by the end, both staff and customers. Hugs all around as we celebrated all we had seen together and promised to keep in touch. Zegrahm fosters that type of environment when you travel with them - and it was welcoming and especially enjoyable for a solo traveler like myself. These trips aren't cheap - but are worthwhile for all you see and do - most things you'd never be able to see on your own and certainly not with trained ecologists and marine science experts. I believe you get what you pay for. I was one of the youngest on board but there was a small group of about ten 30-40 year olds with the vast majority being probably 50-80. This isn't a sit on the boat all day-type thing. You are going to be waking up early, going out 2-3x a day and really seeing and doing things. You almost never have down time and you are always learning, seeing, talking and doing. It's expeditionary, not sedentary. It's fun and really enriching. The best way to know someone is doing a good job at this price point (think around $8-12k per person) is repeat customers and I met countless people who have done 6-12 of these expeditions with Zegrahm and knew the staff already. That's the absolute best recommendation you can get. I'll be booking with them again without any hesitation. Thank you to Brad, Murph, LJ, Merel, Steven, George, George K., Robin, Pepper, Lisa, Shirley, Gemma, Chris, Boli, Marcel, and anyone else who I forgot from this amazing trip. You all did a great job and made me feel like family!
5.0 • MizAli23456

Quality staff and good itineraries.

Quality staff and good itineraries. Also have many voyages with no single supplement. They actually welcome solo travelers - much more welcoming than many other companies. Getting a little expensive for me, though.
5.0 • Marian
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Meals5.0
Voyage to Madagascar
Voyage to Madagascar Trip Style: Group tour
Zegrahm specializes in land and small ship expeditions in all seven continents.
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Knowledgeable, friendly staff.
Great new group leaders
Fantastic tour director
Wonderful itinerary

5.0
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C
Catherine
January 2023
Knowledgeable, friendly staff.
Great new group leaders
Fantastic tour director
Wonderful itinerary
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Fun, exciting, educational tour, led by the most responsible, knowledgeable, and experienced tour directors.

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
TB
Todd Bodensteiner
January 2023
Fun, exciting, educational tour, led by the most responsible, knowledgeable, and experienced tour directors.
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Our enthusiastic guide Kaitlin explained it best, “EF Tour participants always come back with their eyes wide open.” All of EF’s Itineraries are designed to inspire people of all ages. Sponsoring an EF experience for your community is the best investment you could ever make for the Students and us chaperones as well.

John (2023)

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
JMS
John Mernick Sr
January 2023
Our enthusiastic guide Kaitlin explained it best, “EF Tour participants always come back with their eyes wide open.” All of EF’s Itineraries are designed to inspire people of all ages. Sponsoring an EF experience for your community is the best investment you could ever make for the Students and us chaperones as well.

John (2023)
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Completed a ten day tour of Spain with 50+ travelers at Easter.
Terrific in every way!
The airlines were fine, the food was delicious and local, and the Tour Directors were super kind and professional.
Additionally, the two hotels were very adequate--especially for a student tour.
The one in Barcelona was a dream.
I am planning another EF Tour for Greece and many of my participants are repeat travelers.
EF is an excellent company. Sometimes people don't read the fine print and then are disappointed, but NO ONE was disappointed on our Spanish Tour. OLE!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
SCCO
Sister Christine Cosgrove O.P
January 2023
Completed a ten day tour of Spain with 50+ travelers at Easter.
Terrific in every way!
The airlines were fine, the food was delicious and local, and the Tour Directors were super kind and professional.
Additionally, the two hotels were very adequate--especially for a student tour.
The one in Barcelona was a dream.
I am planning another EF Tour for Greece and many of my participants are repeat travelers.
EF is an excellent company. Sometimes people don't read the fine print and then are disappointed, but NO ONE was disappointed on our Spanish Tour. OLE!
Read More

My tour consultant has been wonderful! Sydney has been prompt at replying to emails and very helpful during Zoom meetings giving heads up of what to expect and how to build support for the upcoming trip.

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
KJ
Katie Johnson
December 2022
My tour consultant has been wonderful! Sydney has been prompt at replying to emails and very helpful during Zoom meetings giving heads up of what to expect and how to build support for the upcoming trip.
Read More

What has made this experience a 5 star one is how quickly the EF tour specialist helped me get my program started and then guided me every step of the way. I'm a very busy person, as we all are, and would not have the time to get a tour like this set up from start to finish. I have full confidence that this tour team is going to make this an amazing trip for me and for all those who have signed up to travel with me.

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
LP
Lisa Parrott
December 2022
What has made this experience a 5 star one is how quickly the EF tour specialist helped me get my program started and then guided me every step of the way. I'm a very busy person, as we all are, and would not have the time to get a tour like this set up from start to finish. I have full confidence that this tour team is going to make this an amazing trip for me and for all those who have signed up to travel with me.
Read More
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