Abercrombie & Kent vs Butterfield & Robinson - Tour Companies Compared
Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.
Overall — 4
Value — 4.1
Guide — 4.2
Activities — 4.2
Lodging — 4.3
Transportation — 4.2
Meals — 4.2
Overall — 5
Value — 4.9
Guide — 5.0
Activities — 4.9
Lodging — 5.0
Transportation — 5.0
Meals — 4.9
|Tours||372 Trips||26 Trips|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 1,301||$ 0|
|Operator Type||Group Tour Operator||Custom/Private Tour Operator|
|Size||Global Operator||Global Operator|
|Headquarters||Suite Downers Grove, IL, United States||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
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.
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.
Born in 1966, Butterfield and Robinson specializes in higher end guided and self-guided biking and walking tours to many of the world’s top destinations.
What Makes Butterfield & Robinson Stand Out?
The seamless combination of luxury minded travel and the active travel style of cycling are what have consistently made Butterfield a household name among affluent 50+ travelers.
You can choose your own activity level, whether it’s a ramble through the Burgundy countryside in France or a more strenuous hike along the Inca Trail in Peru. On cycling trips, bikes are customized to fit the riders, and they have a high staff and support vehicle ratio per guest -- making them a top choice for travelers seeking a high-service biking adventure.
They offer several tours around the world, small group is their primary offering, though private guided and customizable itineraries are also available.
Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Butterfield & Robinson?
They offer trips for all ages, but are definitely most popular among older active travelers with a taste for the finer things.
If a leisurely 25 mile bike ride through European vineyards, stopping for picnics, going at your own pace, and meeting up with your small group for a nice rustic dinner with a well deserved beer or glass of wine at the end of the day sounds like your perfect vacation, then Butterfield & Robinson is for you.
Activity levels vary with the terrain and there are several different activity categories that B&R offers for you to choose from. They’re open to people of all ages -- kids under 18 are eligible to go on special family trips -- and athletic abilities.
Ebikes make it easier for even the most basic physical fitness level to travel farther and in more comfort. Of course it’s not a complete ride with no effort - you must pedal, but it is possible to travel on a cycling trip with Butterfield & Robinson without feeling like you’ve entered the Tour de France.
Trips with Butterfield & Robinson are not budget by any means, though a range of price options are available in the mid to upper budget category.
Over the years, they’ve expanded to more than 100 biking and walking trips around the world, including Bhutan, the Baltics, Jordan and Colombia as well as favorites like Spain, France, and Italy. Wherever you are, you can expect to be showered with refreshments, route maps, and suggestions for interesting places to stop and explore.
Butterfield & Robinson Travel Style
Most tours with Butterfield & Robinson are easy to moderately paced. Cycling is the primary means of transportation from point a to point b on most trips, with a generous helping of stops to enjoy unique cultural experiences or explore a historical site.
Guided bike trips average about 25-30 miles a day (longer for expert level), while walkers average six to ten miles a day. Group sizes are kept small, to allow for travel along all kind of roads, and create the opportunity for a lot of space between riders, allowing you to find your own pace. On most trips you’ll be joined by more than one guide, allowing for very personalized and dedicated attention throughout your cycling experience.
Small group sizes also help Butterfield be able to arrange unique accommodations. On a B&R trip, it’s not unusual to find yourself in a renovated castle, chateau or other signature lodging.
They are known for cycling, however Butterfield also offers Walking Tours, Family Trips, Boat Trips & Cruises, Safaris, Food & Wine centric tours, and Corporate Holidays.
Why Choose a Tour With Butterfield & Robinson?
Even for avid hikers and cyclists who choose the more expert options, B&R sees to it that all you’ll have to cope with is that next hill. You never have to carry your own luggage or purchases that you might make along the way -- the support van, which you’re likely to encounter several times a day on your route -- takes care of that.
You also have plenty of flexibility in pacing your walk or ride; group members don’t have to stay together -- you can stop at cafes or museums along the way as you see fit. You can even take the afternoon off if you wish.
In short, Butterfield is the pinnacle when it comes to well planned, fun, expertly guided, cycling tours with a luxury travel touch.