Trafalgar vs CIE Tours - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 4.5
Value — 4.5
Guide — 4.5
Activities — 4.5
Lodging — 4.5
Transportation — 4.5
Meals — 4.5
Overall — 4.5
Value — 4.5
Guide — 4.6
Activities — 4.6
Lodging — 4.6
Transportation — 4.6
Meals — 4.6
Recent Reviews

A1

0.0 August 2019
S
Recommends
This was the first time we had taken a group road tour and I would have to say that it exceeded my expectations. Our guide Danilo was great, it is a difficult job managing people on this type of trip. Everything from the excursion to the dinners where completely organized and well done. We look forward to another trip with Trafalgar in the future. I would without a doubt definitely recommend this trip, it is a little fast pace but Danilo, made sure that we had options if there were needed.
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Best of China 2019

0.0 April 2019
T2
Recommends
The tour guide Hubert was wonderful, very detailed oriented and organized. And had such an extensive knowledge of all the cities and locations we went to. Truly excellent!

Personalized care and helpfulness was definitely offered throughout, very nice touch to the trip.

Overall a great trip, but some considerations below:

The hotel in Beijing – Novotel Peace and the hotel in Chengdu – Crowne Plaza were way below standard – maybe a rating of 2 stars. They were dirty, dark, stained and hot without air circulating in the rooms. After extensive days with waking up early and returning late, you just want to rest in a clean environment with cool air. I would never stay hotels like these.

This trip is not for people who cannot handle extensive walking and climbing. Trafalgar lists this as from 5 to 99 years old. Not possible. There were days we did 10 miles of walking, just a caution for anyone considering. We had someone in our tour that was 82 years old and we all took turns taking care of him.

Some aspects of the itinerary could be different, but think that is all based on personal preference; however my fellow travelers did feel the same way. The cruise down the Yangtze River was just ‘ok’, time could have been spent better elsewhere. Like Xian, truly amazing city but too short a time.

NOTE: Some were charged single supplement, others were not ... I paid for the single supplement and was none too happy about that!

Also note that you need to budget for the optional tours that are not included.
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Perfect choice when seeking local expertise

0.0 March 2019
L
Recommends
Trafalgar is the perfect chose for when seeking local expertise and knowledge. They offer wonderful itineraries and incredible value.

Tour Trafalgar Company Reviews

Truly a trip of a lifetime.

0.0 August 2019
C
Recommends
Amazing vacation ... our guide Mark was absolutely wonderful. Everything from the scenic drives, beautiful hotels, delicious food, historic sites, lively pubs, spectacular entertainment and stories from Mark. Truly a trip of a lifetime.
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Tour CIE Tours Company Reviews

Awesome experience!

0.0 August 2019
M
Recommends
Tom was a great tour guide. Very knowledgeable and personable. We loved all the events CIE had planned for us! Would definitely reccomend taking one of their tours, especially if it's your first trip to Ireland/the UK.
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Tour CIE Tours Company Reviews

Great Tour

0.0 August 2019
JA
Recommends
We had a great time on our CIE tour. It was a large group with 40 passengers but our guide Mert did a great job of keeping everyone on schedule. He also paid extra attention to someone with us that had some mobility issues. Overall the hotels were beautiful. The pace of the trip is necessarily fast but you see a lot and the right amount of time seems to be allocated to each stop. Mert was funny and knowledgeable. I would definitely recommend CIE.
Read more

Tour CIE Tours Company Reviews

Tours 1,041 Trips 127 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 337 $ 216
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise Group Tour Operator
Size Global Operator Regional Expert
Trip Styles
  • Group Tours
  • River Cruises
  • Group Tours
  • Independent / Self-Guided Packages
Service Level Standard Standard
Regions
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Rivers & Seas
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
  • Europe
Known For
  • 50+
  • 50+
  • Solo & Singles Travel
Headquarters London, UK Dublin, Ireland
Year Established 1947 1932
Solo Friendly N/A N/A
Tour Languages English English
Top Trips
Similar Companies
    Countries
    About Trafalgar

    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 
     

    Winery in Europe tour with Trafalgar

    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.

    Hiking in Mount Cook New Zealand trafalgar tour

    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

    Italy iconic cultural sites tour with Trafalgar

    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.

    Croatia Dubrovnik tour with Trafalgar

    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.

    Iceland Reykjavik city tour Trafalgar

    "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

    France castle tour with Trafalgar

    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.

    About CIE Tours

    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
    a screenshot of a youtube video for CIE Tours

    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.

    Irish coastline walk CIE Coach Tours

    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

    Beautiful England castle on lake

    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.

    Traditional pub in Ireland CIE Tours

    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.

    Castle on banks of Ireland

    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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