Intrepid Travel vs Amtrak Vacations - Tour Companies Compared
Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.
Overall — 4.5
Value — 4.6
Guide — 4.6
Activities — 4.6
Lodging — 4.6
Transportation — 4.6
Meals — 4.6
Overall — 2
Value — 1.7
Guide — 1.7
Activities — 2.0
Lodging — 2.2
Transportation — 1.6
Meals — 1.8
Don’t do it!0.0 August 2019
Does Not Recommend
We went coast to coast (New York to San Francisco). It was miserable. The trains were seriously disgustingly dirty. We waited over an hour for every breakfast and lunch. We were 5 hours behind schedule when we were stopped by a mudslide in Utah. The train ran out of most food. There was very little information given but the train decided not to go to San Francisco but to dump all the passengers in Reno at about 5am. Then we got bussed to Sacramento, then another train and another bus...we got to SFO 18 hours late. Missed our (prepaid in the vacation price) night in a hotel in San Fran. When I called to try to reschedule the hotel stay for the night we actually arrived, the delightful (not) Amtrak non-service representative told me it was my fault for not calling the hotel directly (ummm we were in Utah with no signal, no wifi and no freaking information!). She basically shrugged her shoulders and told me to suck it up. No help, no compensation, no refund for the hotel that was part of their stinking vacation package. . Worst customer service ever. Never again.Read more
Tour Amtrak Vacations Company Reviews
Worst Customer Service Ever0.0 July 2019
Does Not Recommend
The sleepers are filthy, it smells inside, not good ventilation, the car attendants some are so-so others are down straight grumpy & lazy. I don’t know how Amtrak can sell this as a vacation. It is an absolute nightmare of vomit of how dirty it is. Car attendant was kicking us out of our sleeper to do the beds for the next patrons. I’ve never been kicked out of my hotel room to have the room cleaned for the next people??? Stupid!Read more
Tour Amtrak Vacations Company Reviews
Don’t waste your hard earned money0.0 July 2019
Does Not Recommend
From the first night this trip has been a nightmare. Barely on day 3 and it has been nothing but problems which I suspect are all due to crappy engines. Hard to believe I wasted close to $10k dollars on lousy service. And I have a feeling this will be the whole way thru.Read more
Tour Amtrak Vacations Company Reviews
|Tours||1,053 Trips||2 Trips|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 326||$ 304|
|Operator Type||Mixed Land & Cruise||Group Tour Operator|
|Size||Global Operator||Local Specialist|
|Headquarters||Melbourne, Australia||Beverly, Massachusetts, United States|
|Solo Friendly||No single supplement||N/A|
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
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 »
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
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 >>
Amtrak Quick Facts
Age Range: All ages
Average Tour Price: Under $2,000
Average Tour Duration: 3-10 days
Travel Style: Relaxing train experiences with options to explore different destinations on foot.
Amtrak offers train vacation packages across the United States and Canada. There are hundreds of itineraries to choose from but travelers can also create their own rail vacation. Amtrak is dedicated to flexible, hassle-free and breathtaking experiences.
What Makes Amtrak Vacations Stand Out?
If responsible travel is important to you, Amtrak is a great way to explore the United States. Amtrak offers unbeatable train experiences that leave little negative impact on the earth. Trains are the most eco-friendly way to travel because they emit around 66-75 percent less carbon.
Amtrak offers many pre-planned itineraries as well as fully customizable trips. They offer a lot of variety when it comes to duration, price, and destination. Whether you’re looking for a quick getaway or a longer more leisurely vacation, you can be sure to have an amazing journey.
As you explore the United States and Canada with Amtrak, the expansiveness of the landscape will awe and inspire. Especially as you relax into the pace of rail. These trips are meant to be hassle free and luxurious as you take in the breathtaking landscapes out your window.
Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Amtrak Vacations?
- Families and older travelers
- Those looking for a slow-paced and relaxing vacation
- Nature lovers
Rail journeys with Amtrak Vacations are appealing to a wide range of travelers. The ease and comfortability makes this mode of travel very popular among families, older groups, and those with limited mobility. A large part of taking a rail journey is the opportunity to sit back and relax, watching stunning scenery go by. So these trips are ideal for travelers wanting an easy experience full of stunning natural beauty.
When the train stops, travelers have a few chances here and there to get out and explore the beautiful landscapes on foot. Travelers will get to sightsee some iconic landmarks all throughout the United States including the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park and Zion National Park.
You can travel in many different directions and there is a large variety of durations available. Some of the most popular Amtrak Vacations are through national parks. Currently they offer rail journeys through Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Crater Lake National Park, Glacier National Park, the Grand Canyon, Grand Tetons, Rocky Mountains, Yellowstone, and Yosemite.
In addition, Amtrak covers all major geographical regions of the United States and Canada, including most major cities.
Amtrak Vacations Travel Style
Amtrak specializes in easy, inclusive travel packages - including accommodations, meals, and of course your transportation. This is a great option for travelers seeking some flexibility in each destination when it comes to sightseeing and activities, but want the stability of having some key logistics taken care of.
Budget travelers and luxury travelers alike can find the right train experience for them with Amtrak. With several dining options, and accommodation options on board, such as deluxe sleeper cars, there’s something to be found for everyone. They provide excellent customer service and a knowledgeable staff available for any and all questions throughout your trip.
Amtrak offers a few different types of rail vacation packages:
Rail Getaways - These quick jaunts are great for a weekend getaway, solo or with a few friends or family members. Get to know a specific region and enjoy taking some time off the train to explore.
Independent Journeys - Multi city vacations ideal for those who are looking for an adventure, and a lot of independent choice when it comes to activities and sightseeing.
Round Trip - Fairly self explanatory, these can be long or short trips. Different routes aren’t taken, so you will be seeing double. But for some travelers this is a great way to pass the same sites and maybe explore some in more depth than you did going the opposite direction.
National Parks - As stated above, national park visits are one of the most popular Amtrak Vacation packages available. The incredible scenery envelopes you and there are many opportunities to disembark and explore. These journeys are especially memorable for the opportunity to stay at hotels within the park itself - and feel truly a part of the incredible nature.
Rail and Sail - These trips are a unique way to make your journey to the cruise ship about more than just getting from point A to point B. Every component, land, sea, and rail becomes something special.
Coast to Coast - Really get into the landscape and enjoy the rhythm of what it means to really embrace slow travel. Coast to coast trips with Amtrak typically last between 15 and 17 days, and are a great way to feel the true spirit of rail travel.
Family Adventures - These journeys are great for family bonding, and really take into consideration activities that kids will enjoy. This definitely includes a theme park visit or two! Learning and educational excursions also take center stage, as the incredibly expansive US or Canada comes to life.
Why Amtrak Vacations?
Rail travel is like taking a ride through history. The implementation of the railroad had such an enormous effect on exploration as well as making connection between the coasts easier that ever before.
When you travel with Amtrak Vacations, the adventure begins the minute you step on board. And the train journey itself is a large part of the experience. If you’re looking for an experience that includes relaxation, stunning natural landscapes and opportunities for exploration, Amtrak is a great option for you.