Butterfield & Robinson vs National Geographic Expeditions - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 5
Value — 4.9
Guide — 5.0
Activities — 4.9
Lodging — 5.0
Transportation — 5.0
Meals — 4.9
Overall — 3.5
Value — 3.5
Guide — 3.9
Activities — 4.0
Lodging — 3.8
Transportation — 3.6
Meals — 3.6
Recent Reviews

perfect trip

0.0 May 2019
P
Recommends
Wow I do not miss ng have loved it my while life and I am 70 my perfect trip would be yellowstone

Tour National Geographic Expeditions Company Reviews

Great sites, poorly managed

0.0 November 2018
D
Does Not Recommend
I grew up with National Geographic so when I signed up for a NG trip I was quite excited. I spent a lot of time on a crowded bus. Some of the accommodations were two star, peeling paint, smelly rooms, poorly catered. This was an expensive trip all my girl friend and we spent 17,000 dollars for the two of us. Some of the guides were actually wrong about what they were saying about the history of Sicily, and you did not have to be an expert to realize this. There were a number of representations that tour operators made that turned out to be less than accurate. The tour group one night was having dinner in Sorento, and I asked about the wine they were serving, that is the grape and vintage, the only explanation I got was "its red". In another circumstance, the tour operator lost guests at Pompeii, and then threatened to leave them. It was a mess. I could go on, but I would cross this trip off the list.
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Aamazing experience

0.0 March 2018
C
Recommends
We just returned from an amazing experience exploring the Galapagos Islands then following up with another awesome week in Peru -- highlighted by touring the ruins of Machu Picchu. The naturalists, local guides and expedition leaders were outstanding! We'll be talking about this trip for years. This was our first experience with National Geographic Expeditions and loved it so much we've already made reservations for our next trip!
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Tour National Geographic Expeditions Company Reviews

Tours 26 Trips 63 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 0 $ 703
Operator Type Custom/Private Tour Operator Mixed Land & Cruise
Size Global Operator Global Operator
Trip Styles
  • Group Tours
  • Private Guided Trips
  • Custom Itineraries
  • Group Tours
  • Private Guided Trips
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
Service Level Luxury Standard
Regions
  • North America
  • South America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Rivers & Seas
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
  • Antarctica & the Arctic
Known For
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Cycling
  • Adventure
  • Luxury
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Safari
  • Trekking & Camping
  • Photography
  • Adventure
  • Train & Rail
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario, Canada Northwest, Washington, D.C, United States
Year Established 1966 1999
Solo Friendly N/A N/A
Tour Languages English English
Top Trips
    Similar Companies
    Countries
    About Butterfield & Robinson

    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?

    Butterfield & Robinson bike tours

    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.

    Top Destinations

    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.

    About National Geographic Expeditions

    In 1999, National Geographic launched their own tour company component: National Geographic Expeditions. Since then they have expanded to offer trips on all 7 continents in over 60 destinations. Recently they partnered with G Adventures to provide even more variety to their devoted customers.

    What Makes National Geographic Expeditions Stand Out?

    • Multiple modes of travel
    • Expert guides and photographers
    • After hours and special access to sites

    India mosque with National Geographic expeditions

    With National Geographic, you can travel by small, expedition-style ships; classic train journeys; land tours; active adventures; photo tours; family-oriented trips; or private, independent expeditions based on your desires and budget.

    Wherever you go with National Geographic, which has been in the tour business for 15 years, you can expect doors to open: entry to research sites, archaeological digs, private homes or special events.

    Many expeditions are accompanied by a National Geographic expert or expert team who share their knowledge and passion for a region and help make each experience enriching and unforgettable.

    Who Will Enjoy Traveling With National Geographic Expeditions?

    • Photography enthusiasts
    • All ages
    • Adventurous minded
    • Nature lovers
    • History buffs
    • Life long learners

    National Geographic is one of those special brands that has managed to successfully straddle the line between “your grandfather loves them” and “your eighteen year old sister loves them”. They cover a wide range of topics, themes, and travel styles, with the educational aspect always prevalent yet not overbearing.

    Older couple looking at iceberg on National Geographic Expeditions cruise

    If you love feeling like an explorer and an adventurer when you travel, and love learning about the world from experts in a variety of fields, National Geographic is the perfect place for you. This is a company for those who want to dig deeper, like getting the inside story from multiple perspectives - historical, cultural, political, economic, scientific and more.

    National Geographic trips are great for families, and you can choose a private tour or a family friendly group, where hands on activities will widen your children’s worldview in innumerable special ways.

    photographer in Iceland with National Geographic Expeditions

    National Geographic trips are also extremely popular with photographers - novice photographers will enjoy their photography-centric tours, while many dedicated hobbyists can be found on their other trip styles as well.

    If you’re the kind of traveler who sacrifices the space for a pair of shoes in your suitcase for another lens or photography accessory...you’ll be right at home on a trip with National Geographic Expeditions.

    In the same way that National Geographic magazine has always inspired and furthered conversation and discourse, so too do their trips. The spirit of learning about the world is intertwined in every itinerary, so if you consider yourself a lifelong student, you should definitely consider traveling with National Geographic Expeditions.

    Top Destinations

    Ruins in Cambodia

    National Geographic Expeditions go all around the world, and cover almost every travel style imaginable. One might think they have a favoring of the more “exotic” locations but an impressive number of United States and European tours are offered as well as farther reaching destinations. National Geographic Expeditions in the Galapagos are especially popular.

    Regardless of where you travel, you will be sure to get off the beaten path and discover unique cultural landmarks, meet interesting people, and enjoy a sense of adventure.

    National Park tour with National geographic expeditions

    Small-ship expeditions, done in conjunction with Lindblad Expeditions, can take you to Antarctica, the Galapagos and points beyond. Classic train journeys include the Trans-Siberian and trains through India, Spain, and Switzerland. Active adventures might take you hiking in Bhutan or meeting Berbers in Morocco. Land tours could take you to Tanzania, Peru or the Grand Canyon.

    National Geographic Expeditions Travel Style

    The travel style with National Geographic Expeditions has an aura of old fashioned exploration with a modern twist.

    National Geographic Expeditions is a family friendly outfit, offering a wide range of prices and trip styles. Trips vary from mid range budget to higher. Physical level is usually light to moderate.

    By virtue of their longstanding presence in the world, National Geographic has a wide reaching global network to lean on for incredibly unique and authentic lodging options, knowledgeable guides, and VIP access to historical and archaeological sites.

    Arabia tour with national geographic expeditions

    They have several broad travel styles you can choose from:

    Land Trips - National Geographic Land Trips are immersive explorations, often covering nature and wilderness points of interest such as national parks. They also dive into ancient cities and cultures, with trips exploring everything from monks in Burmese mountainside temples to the lives of nomadic Mongolian peoples. Most trips are around 11 days and physical level is between light and moderate, with some trips featuring moderately challenging hikes in various altitudes.

    River Cruises - a relatively new addition, Nat Geo now offers around 7 river cruises in Europe covering the Danube, Rhine, and Douro. Currently they also have 1 river cruise in Asia, along the Irrawaddy. These trips are typically between 7 - 11 days and feature wine tasting, history tours, and very light physical activity.

    Douro river cruise national geographic trips

    Private Expeditions - If you and your family, significant other, or a few close friends are looking for a more intimate travel experience than a group of strangers, Private Expeditions are a great way to travel. These trips are customizable, and can be crafted to perfectly suit your interests and dates.

    Photography Trips - National Geographic has consistently featured award winning travel photography. They run regular contests for those inspired by the thousands of groundbreaking and historic photographs taken by journalists and travel photographers around the world. On National Geographic photography trips you can actually learn tricks of the trade from real-world photographers and improve your skills.

    Galapagos tortoise photography tour National Geographic

    Train Trips - Travel was revolutionized with the implementation of the railroad, allowing people to travel in what was then a rapid pace from destination to destination. Today this ideal has been flipped on its head, and train travel is a leisurely paced excursion allowing time to relax and appreciate the slower meandering through beautiful countrysides. National Geographic train trips cover the classics, such as the Trans-Siberian railway and the Rocky Mountain railroad. Accommodations are comfortable, around a premium level, with options to upgrade.

    Active Expeditions - For those who enjoy a bit more of an adrenaline pumping and active travel experience, National Geographic also has trips for you. These trips feature multiple active outings, such as kayaking, hiking, and caving. Expect to explore the outdoors covering unique natural phenomena and gaining insight into how and why the landscape has been shaped the way it has. These trips also feature cultural insights, just to a lesser extent.

    Diver with underwater camera on national geographic expeditions tour

    Family Expeditions - National Geographic is the perfect company to travel with when you have curious and adventurous youngsters eager to see the world. They will learn about other cultures, people, food, nature and wildlife from experts with “cool jobs” that might even inspire lifelong interests and perhaps influence a career. These trips are specifically designed to be hands on, allowing everyone to get involved and learn about how things work.

    Private Jet Trips - For a luxurious and more lengthy travel experience, nothing beats a Private Jet tour. A dedicated team will be with you, and you’ll experience all the best that National Geographic has to offer from local guides to premiere accommodation. These trips are in a very high budget range, but if it’s in your wheelhouse - it’s a superb way to travel and cover a lot of ground.

    Journeys - Part of a partnership with G Adventures, these trips are adventurous and immersive small group excursions imbued with the spirit of National Geographic. The best of two top travel worlds!

    Why Choose a Tour  With National Geographic Expeditions?

    Woman in Sri Lanka on immersive tour with National Geographic expeditions

    When you travel with National Geographic you are participating in and contributing to a spectacular legacy. Over the years National Geographic has cultivated a reputation for being about cultural exploration, scientific advancement, and broadening perspectives.

    Their travel experiences are perfect for anyone wishing to get back to the roots of what adventurous, experiential travel really means and enjoy discovering the world from multiple angles.

    Really one of the best parts about traveling on a tour with National Geographic Expeditions is the sheer breadth of knowledge, personal and professional experience their guides bring to the table. They help provide richly detailed context, historical information, and dive into the details of local life, by showing and doing as well as explaining. You the traveler will have the true experience of getting to know a place from the inside out.

    If that wasn’t enough of a reason, proceeds from your trip price go towards supporting National Geographic’s ongoing nonprofit work in conservation, exploration, education, and cultural preservation.

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