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Tour Company & Travel Agency Reviews

109,373 reviews on 1,363 tour operators and travel companies including budget and luxury travel agencies, adventure travel outfitters, African safaris, expedition cruises, river cruises, and tailor made trip planning experts. Read Stride’s editor reviews, see top rated trips by category, and explore what other travelers have to say. When reading reviews for tour operators, it’s important to keep a few key things in mind. Firstly, consider the global reach. Larger tour operators often have more reviews than smaller independent and local operators, solely due to their product count and... Read more

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1,363 Travel Providers meet your criteria (Providers 1 to 20 shown)

Trafalgar Premier

Trafalgar

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4.5 • Great
Total Trips 851 Trips
Average Price $ 265 per day
Size Global Operator
Tour Length 2 – 32 days
Trip Prices $ 555 – $ 11,946
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise

A1

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.
5.0 • Shelly

Best of China 2019

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.
5.0 • Travel 2019
Details
Value4.0
Guide5.0
Activities4.0
Lodging2.0
Transportation5.0
Meals4.0

Perfect choice when seeking local expertise

Trafalgar is the perfect chose for when seeking local expertise and knowledge. They offer wonderful itineraries and incredible value.
5.0 • LB
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 journeys for over 70 years. What Makes Trafalgar Stand Out? Budget friendly without cutting activities Comfortable, not physically demanding tours Largely focused on cultural immersion  Strong reputation    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 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) Low to mid range budget travelers Those who enjoy slow-paced itineraries and little physical activity Those who favor historic sightseeing & cultural immersion over active 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. Or maybe you’re traveling with a family 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. 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 throughout the year. Trafalgar is a British brand, so many of the attendees on your tour will be from the UK.   Top Destinations 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 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. 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. Wherever you go, you can expect high quality guides and 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” meaning getting 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 destinations.   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? 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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Butterfield & Robinson Premier

Butterfield & Robinson

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4.9 • Excellent
Total Trips 23 Trips
Average Price $ 984 per day
Size Global Operator
Tour Length 4 – 9 days
Trip Prices $ 4,995 – $ 9,495
Service Level Luxury
Operator Type Custom/Private Tour Operator

The trip was a perfect

We just returned from our first family trip with B&R though Normandy. Our guides, Thilo & Sigrid, were incredible. The trip was a perfect balance of cycling, history, food (and wine, of course). The kids loved hiking across the bay to Mont Saint-Michel and the go-karting was a huge hit (as was pizza night)! Really can't say enough great things about this trip. We enjoyed every minute and are looking forward to planning our next adventure!
5.0 • Alexis

Grand adventure

I just completed my 9th biking trip with Butterfield & Robinson! We loved every minute of biking in Tuscany with our guides, Alex, Stephano and Edo. Stunning scenery, challenging biking, a great group of fellow travelers, and, of course, delicious food and wine! Private access to illuminated Medieval manuscripts was a highlight for us because we are college professors and book lovers. Thank you so much for a grand adventure.
5.0 • Susan
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0

Incredible this trip

Just got back from an amazing trip with B&R from Vienna to Prague. This was my first trip with B&R and I was so impressed by every detail!!! Our guide was so thoughtful and made sure every moment was perfect!! We really enjoyed getting to know him and felt completely spoiled by all the great treatment. The accommodations were fabulous, food and wine was delicious and plentiful, and the bike rides were all so much fun with new adventures and beautiful scenery around every turn! Even the walking tours in each place were top notch with very interesting and knowledgeable tour guides that we enjoyed getting to know. I cannot even believe how incredible this trip was, I highly recommend B&R and am already planning my next trip!!!
5.0 • Renee
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Provence Luberon Biking
Provence Luberon Biking Trip Type: Small Group Tour
Newfoundland Walking
Newfoundland Walking Trip Type: Small Group Tour
Portugal Biking
Portugal Biking Trip Type: Small Group Tour
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. 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.
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Topdeck Preferred

Topdeck

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4.7 • Excellent
Total Trips 280 Trips
Average Price $ 168 per day
Size Global Operator
Tour Length 3 – 58 days
Trip Prices $ 249 – $ 7,269
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Group Tour Operator

Extremely knowledgeable

Amazing staff who are very friendly and also extremely knowledgeable. My trip was amazing and I enjoyed every minute of it. I did the Spirit of Europe last year and couldn’t recommend Topdeck enough.
5.0 • Sally

Overall amazing value. Food, particularly by Topdeck staff, excellent. Spontaneous/flexible; be prepared to pay for lots of extra excursions, on and off your itinerary, in cash.

Food was excellent. Accomodations were better than expected: hostels, but usually with in-suite bathrooms and always only with other members of your tour of the same gender. Don't try to overplan; trip is quite spontaneous and flexible and you won't know much about the schedule/optionals for each city more than a day or so in advance. Optionals will be plentiful and paid in cash. Only do those that are right for you, even if your trip leader really encourages them and most other people are going. These trips are great for solo travelers, but make sure you find people interested in the same things as you...it will probably be easy to find groups to go to bars and clubs with in the evenings, but harder to find people who prefer other evening plans. Driver was excellent and bus was very comfortable and clean, but be prepared to spend a lot of time on it as there is no driving at night. Trip leader extremely knowledgeable, experienced, and helpful. Overall, excellent value and a trip with plenty of time to see the bucket list highlights in each city.
5.0 • K
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0

Fast-Paced Tour of Western Europe that highlighted most Bucket List Sights. Awesome Company. Great Food and Tour Leader

I jumped on this tour with very little notice and planning, and I was thoroughly impressed. Our Topdeck trip leader was very knowledgeable, fun, and adjusted the trip to the group (34 people). The meals provided were delicious, and they worked hard to cater to dietary needs. Accommodations were good, typically with 2-6 people in a hostel room. Keep in mind they are hostels, not hotels (bring your own towel). I loved the itinerary, as it highlighted the must-see places and had variety (ex. Paris, Rome vs. Switzerland). The optionals in each city were all wonderful. However, many were not presented in the Topdeck literature online and were not introduced on the trip more than a day in advance. All are paid for in cash (Euros). Because of how the optionals were presented, it was a bit harder to budget. I would recommend inquiring more about the optionals when booking and at the beginning of your tour via your trip leader. Don't feel pressured to do all of them and remember to keep your own interests in mind. The solo travelers easily found others with similar interests to explore with. For many on this trip, drinking and going out to bars/clubs was a major component (as alcohol is often cheaper than water). Because of the shortness of this tour along with all the destinations, prepare for lots of driving and to make the most of the time you have in each city. This trip provided am amazing sampling of Western Europe and opened my eyes to cultures and history I was unfamiliar with. Overall, I would highly recommend this itinerary and touring company, as it provided a good balance between budget and experiences. P.S. Stay flexible with plans, but some of the popular sights need more pre-planning than expected, like the Eiffel Tower and the Anne Frank House (Amsterdam).
5.0 • B
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Japan Winter
Japan Winter Trip Type: Group Tour
Thailand Express
Thailand Express Trip Type: Group Tour
Portugal Summer
Portugal Summer Trip Type: Group Tour
Founded in 1973, Topdeck has been providing fun, adventurous trips around the world for 18-39 for over 40 years. What Makes Topdeck Travel Stand Out? Topdeck tour focuses on providing friendly and authentic guided group tours where like-minded 18-39 year old travelers can have amazing group experiences. There are several trip types to choose from, from camping, to immersive, to multi destination, to sailing. Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Topdeck? Sociable, adventurous, budget conscious 18-39 year olds are the kinds of traveler who will gravitate to Topdeck. Though they offer a few different distinct travel styles, there is definitely a sense of an ongoing party, with travel as the conduit and underlying shared interest. If the idea of being around a group of similarly aged people - many of whom may be exploring internationally for the first or second time - being spontaneous, and meeting locals (often in the environment of bars or clubs) is unappealing, then Topdeck may not be your cup of tea. Introverted travelers, or those for whom an extensively planned itinerary including many museums and historical sites is ideal, may want to hunt around before choosing a Topdeck tour. That is not to dissuade the more observational traveler - who may very well find a group they gel with perfectly on a Topdeck tour. Only to caution that you will be surrounded by several extroverted personalities. The bottom line is if you are game for anything, are traveling on a budget, and don’t mind fairly basic but comfortable accommodations and inexpensive meals - sometimes on the go - then you will enjoy the Topdeck tour experience. Top Destinations Topdeck has tours throughout the world, in Europe, Australia & New Zealand, North America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Topdeck Travel Style The Topdeck travel style is tied quite specifically to their audience. These tours are great for youthful and energetic 18-39 year olds looking for a good time and to make new friends. In the interest of keeping their tours affordable, travelers with Topdeck will need to make a few allowances. For example, hostels and hotels may be situated quite far away from the city centers. You can also expect some long travel days. The more of a good sense of humor and adventure you have, the more you’ll enjoy the experience. Why Choose a Tour With Topdeck Feeling the urge to connect with travelers in your age group, have fun, and make lasting friendships? Topdeck has over 40 years of experience in adventure travel, which has helped them create epic low cost trips for 18-30 somethings. These tours are certainly not for those who prefer to take things slow. You will be running around, moving between a lot of places - which in some cases means very long bus rides - going out a lot, meeting new people, and staying active throughout your tour. If your ideal travel experience is more methodical and planned out in nature, Topdeck may not be for you. But if you are an adventurous and social travelers eager to absorb a new culture and make new friends, then hop on board!
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Rothschild Safaris Preferred

Rothschild Safaris

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5.0 • Excellent
Total Trips 12 Trips
Average Price $ 779 per day
Size Regional Expert
Tour Length 7 – 14 days
Trip Prices $ 4,723 – $ 14,140
Service Level Luxury
Operator Type Custom/Private Tour Operator

Absolutely amazing

We just returned from Kenya and Rwanda and thanks to Pam at Rothschild Safaris we had a trip that far exceeded our wildest dreams. Pam was a pleasure to work with. Knowing nothing about Africa, I told her that within our two weeks we wanted the maximum number of safaris, a hot air balloon ride, and a gorilla trek. I gave her a budget that she respected and she planned an absolutely amazing adventure. Not only was each of the places we stayed in different from one another but each had its own specific charm. This was glamping with fine dining. At each place the managers and staff were warm, friendly, and kind. The food was excellent and the service was great. From the moment we got off the plane in Nairobi and were met on the tarmac by our first contact, we were handed over from person to person and never left alone to fend for ourselves. Our driver Andrew in Nairobi and Sadee in Kigali were friendly and knowledgeable. Our guides Julius in Elephant Bedroom Camp, Milton in Ngenche, and Wilson in Encounter were fantastic. The hot air ballon ride was amazing and the gorilla trek was an experience that can’t be described. Considering that our trip included 6 places to stay, 3 shared shuttle flights, and a commercial flight from Nairobi to Kigali,, it all went off without a glitch. Once again, thank you Pam and thank you Meggan for answering my many questions and emails and for being friendly and patient with multiple phone calls. This whole adventure from beginning to end has been a trip of a lifetime thanks to you.
5.0 • Marion

OUTSTANDING!

In one word- OUTSTANDING! 5 star service. Would never consider anyone else to coordinate our travel needs. Thank you so much!!!
5.0 • Renee
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0

Incredible

We had the most incredible time on our safari trip. Rothschild Safaris did such an amazing job choosing locations, camps, and guides for us. Our trip to Tanzania has been our best trip yet! We are looking forward to booking a future trip with Rothschild. You have found customers for life. Would like to give special recognition to our Arusha safari guide, Mohammad. He did an excellent job of educating us on Tanzanian culture as well as all of the animals we had encountered. All of the guides were great, but Mohammad really stood out and became a fast friend of ours. We feel so fortunate to have been able to experience such a beautiful country. We are so grateful to everyone at Rothschild to putting together such an amazing trip!
5.0 • Andre
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Classic Botswana Explorer
Classic Botswana Explorer Trip Type: Private Guided
Classic South Africa
Classic South Africa Trip Type: Private Guided
Essence of Tanzania
Essence of Tanzania Trip Type: Private Guided
Based in Colorado, Rothschild Safaris is an award winning boutique Safari travel company. They expertly match travelers to trips based on interests and budget, often creating fully customized itineraries that suit the customer’s interests and budget. What Makes Rothschild Safaris Stand Out? Rothschild has made a name for themselves, over the 30+ years that they’ve been around, providing boutique luxury African safaris. The travel experts that work with them are Africa and safari specialists. And one of the primary differentiating factors of Rothschild is their ability to craft personalized and custom safari tours. They also offer a slew of family friendly tours that are specifically designed to be unforgettable for all ages. While they are known mostly for African safaris, Rothschild also travels to the Asia Pacific region and South America. Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Rothschild? Affluent travelers who are interested in working with a travel specialist to create a customized tour - and particularly if you are looking for a safari. Rothschild specializes in crafting unforgettable and personalized experiences in the luxury travel space. If you are seeking to explore the wildness and wilderness with a glass of champagne in one hand and your camera in the other, Rothschild could be for you. Top Destinations Rothschild safari has been offering customizable luxury safari trips in Africa for over 15 years. In the year 2015, they expanded to offer safaris in the Asia Pacific region, Australia, Central America, South America, the Caribbean, and Antarctica. All trips have a strong focus on local wildlife. Rothschild Safaris Travel Style Rothschild Safaris offers customizable itineraries and luxurious accommodations. With Rothschild, after a tiring game drive, you will find yourself relaxing in a luxury camp opening to private verandas. All trips are planned and paced out according to your needs and wants. Why Choose a Safari with Rothschild? Their intimate knowledge of safaris and Africa travel make them some of the most qualified to craft your next customized African safari. Selecting Rothschild means you are also selecting the experience of working with an expert travel planner to help with making your entire trip to your specifications. Rothschild Safaris provides private luxury, guided, and customized safari trips. They  work with you to customize a trip according to your budget and the desired level of comfort seeked. While the main focus is luxury, there are several more budget friendly options available through Rothschild as well.
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SmarTours Preferred

SmarTours

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4.9 • Excellent
Total Trips 55 Trips
Average Price $ 229 per day
Size Global Operator
Tour Length 7 – 21 days
Trip Prices $ 1,499 – $ 8,799
Service Level Budget
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise

Beauiful Croatia

This was our first Bus Tour. While we did enjopy the spots we visited, we felt that there were too many towns and not enough time in each, necessitating more time on the bus. Nevertheless the value of the tour is undeniable. The Tour director Jon, was extremely professional and he was a huge positive on the trip. The topography of Croatia was spectacular, the Sea and mountain views were gorgeous. Lake Bled, the Postojna Caves, Opatija/Plitvice Lakes, Debrovnik, the Roman Ruins, Zagreb were wonderful. The hotels were all clean and rooms were comfortable. Unfortunately my partner Barbara fell and injured her face and broke her glasses on the way to Debrovnik. Jon was extremely concerned offered to find a doctor ()which Barbara declined) but Jon took the broken glasses to an occulist who temporarliy repaired the frames. Two of our fellow travelors who were Nurses took care of Barbara after the accident.
5.0 • Menorah101

Wonderful experience, well-deigned by SmarTours

The Treasures of Portugal trip focuses on the highlights of the cultural and artistic heritage of this fascinating country. The chosen destinations and sites rarely disappointed, and there was always something awe-inspiring at each stop. The tour provides a great balance between programmed and free time, allowing you to see what you want or find time to explore on your own. The fact that few dinners and no lunches were provided afford you the opportunity to discover the places and tastes that intrigue you as you discover the variety of offerings available in each location. The destinations chosen are smart and live up to the promise that these are the country's treasures. Our guide was brilliant - she knew well the backstory of the locations and the significance of the art and architecture. Each part of the tour was a lesson in history, presented with excitement and passion. Her adoration of the history and culture of her countrymen was palpable and infectious, and gave the touring experience much added value. Well planned, organized, balanced, affordable, and utterly enjoyable. Very highly recommended.
5.0 • Rico
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities4.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0

Exceeded my Expectations!

For someone who usually plans every detail of my travels...going on a group tour was not something I relished. Plus, I knew that Smartours was considered a “budget” travel company, so my expectations weren’t that high. However, other than a few minor inconveniences, this trip exceeded my expectations. The magical African landscapes and its kind, welcoming people made this adventure one of the best vacations I’ve been on. Pros: Well-paced itinerary that gave us the opportunity for some free time to plan our own activities, smallish group (25) of lovely, considerate, fellow travelers (we were in the minority of “younger” folks and we are in our 50s), excellent included tours, mostly lovely hotels/lodges, amazing breakfasts/dinners, included porter services at all stops, Smartours CEO personally responded quickly to our inquiry regarding booking cost concern, and our delightful and attentive guide Jonathan. Cons: 6 hour scheduled layover, most uncomfortable 14+ hour flight ever via South African Airways, trip extension Vic Falls guide was very personable, but not very attentive, Smartours sends trip info only 2 weeks prior to departure (would love to have had this info sooner), several of the optional tours were mediocre. But honestly...if you’re a frequent traveler...these concerns are pretty minor. I will definitely be recommending the South Africa Tour to friends for value/quality and hope that ST keeps its word about limiting group sizes to under 25. I will definitely use them again in the future!
5.0 • KC
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals5.0
The Best of China
The Best of China Trip Type: Group Tour
Bali & Java Adventure
Bali & Java Adventure Trip Type: Group Tour
Founded in 1996, smarTours promises its customers the “Best Travel Bargains” by offering mostly all-inclusive guided tours throughout much of the world. What Makes SmarTours Stand Out? SmarTours offers affordable tours along with great itineraries. Included in the price of all their tours is international airfare from the U.S., first-class hotels, sightseeing excursions, and English-speaking local guides. SmarTours draws a large repeat business, taking travelers to such far-flung destinations as Thailand, Morocco, Japan, Peru, Patagonia, India, and Australia. Who Will Enjoy Traveling with SmarTours? Travelers who love traveling and care about experiencing the destination above all else - tourist sites, history, and culture - will love the feel of a SmarTours trip. These tours are definitely for the budget minded - SmarTours offers numerous deals and specials throughout the year, and provides many other ways you can save money as well, including referring your friends and being a repeat SmarTours traveler. Trips are comfortable and well guided, if not luxury or especially “unique” in tone. Airfare is included, which is a major selling point for SmarTours travelers. SmarTours is perfect for the traveler who wants to get the most out of their travel experience, in terms of inclusions and time spent exploring the sites, both with a guide and with free time. If you are looking for a more cultivated, personalized experience, the SmarTours focus on keeping costs low doesn’t always allow for this. That said, this is budget travel that strives to appeal to a wider range. SmarTours caters to all ages that are looking for good prices. They are largely popular amongst 50+ travelers and families. Top Destinations SmarTours travels all over the world, including Africa, Asia, South America and Cuba, Western and Eastern Europe, and the Mediterranean. Diverse itineraries are available in each destination. SmarTours Travel Style Except for its cruise offerings -- primarily river cruises as well as Greek Island and Galapagos cruises -- transportation is generally by bus. Group sizes may reach 40 and beyond, but may also be smaller depending on the popularity of the trip. SmarTours will design custom trips for groups with at least 25-30 travelers. Accommodations are between value and premium, comfortable with a step above basic amenities. You won’t spend much time in your hotel, as SmarTours makes the focus about the travel experiences on the ground. They care about ensuring that you have as much time as possible to explore with the guide and on your own. Why Choose a Tour With SmarTours? SmarTours is a complete bargain package for budget minded travelers. If you are looking for an unbeatable value, don’t mind a large group and want tours focused on exotic destinations, then SmarTours is a perfect choice for you.
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World Expeditions Preferred

World Expeditions

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4.9 • Excellent
Total Trips 132 Trips
Average Price $ 353 per day
Size Global Operator
Tour Length 6 – 34 days
Trip Prices $ 1,095 – $ 8,899
Service Level Budget
Operator Type Group Tour Operator

Mustapha was excellent

Would specifically recommend him to anyone planning to go to Morocco.
5.0 • A. Wise

Fantastic information provided at the start of our tour when picked up from the airport

Being so well informed gave us great comfort in all aspects of our tour.
5.0 • C. Yeo
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0

Our journey through Tibet with World Expeditions was awesome

A blend of overland travel and trekking took us from Lhasa to the foothills of Everest. Our guides Bir Singh and Tashi and our support crew were marvelous. They were attentive to our needs and knowledgeable about the local culture, natural history and geography of the region.
5.0 • D. Allen
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Maldives Dhoni Cruise
Maldives Dhoni Cruise Trip Type: Small Ship Cruise
Mount Kenya Ascent
Mount Kenya Ascent Trip Type: Small Group Tour
Morocco Adventure
Morocco Adventure Trip Type: Small Group Tour
Founded in 1975, World Expeditions offers unique adventure travel itineraries around the world. They have a strong commitment to responsible travel and helping local communities. What Makes World Expeditions Stand Out? They have a strong emphasis on, and commitment to, sustainable travel and responsible tourism. They have several ways they focus on maintaining as small a carbon footprint as possible, including contributing to local communities through their award winning “Community Project Travel Program.” Those wanting to participate in this program will spend four to five days of their tour helping make a difference by volunteering in various ways to improve the lives of those living in remote and poor communities. They also have a local employment policy, and high standards of training ensuring that employees and guides greet travelers with unparalleled enthusiasm and experience. Who Will Enjoy Traveling With World Expeditions? Those wanting to support a sustainable and responsible travel style will enjoy a trip with World Expeditions. The average age on a World Expeditions tour is between 40-65, primarily women, groups of friends, couples, and solo travelers. A large portion of their tours have an element of “roughing it”. If you’re looking for a luxurious experience this probably won’t be it, but the itineraries are creative and all inclusive, with high quality ground services - designed for adventurous travelers who have high expectations. If you are new to outdoor travel, or looking for something less hard core and more experiential - World Expeditions has many options to choose from covering a wide range of physical levels and activities. And if you’re an experienced trekker looking for a challenge, they offer this as well! Top Destinations They offer more than 500 adventure-focused itineraries around the world. For their community efforts they focus on remote areas and small local villages. World Expeditions offers more than 500 adventure-focused itineraries to all continents. They began as a Himalayan Trekking company and it is still their most popular destination, claiming the largest collection of itineraries in the Himalayas, exclusive campsites, and unmatched sustainable initiatives. In their own words “adventure travel is about pushing personal boundaries and taking on challenges. It’s constantly evolving. New trips, new destinations, new ways of experiencing destinations are all a part of what World Expeditions is all about.” World Expeditions Travel Style All of their group departures are fully supported with an expertly trained local group leader and a team of staff including a driver, cook, kitchen staff and porters to carry all the gear. Their commitment to responsible and community driven travel means plenty of local people are given meaningful employment. Private transportation is used on their trips, and quality accommodations are carefully chosen for their ambience, heritage, and location. The pace of itineraries varies greatly, and the World Expeditions team can help travelers choose the best option according to their needs. Why Choose a Tour with World Expeditions? From small group active adventures to expeditions to cycling and walking tours to cultural journeys, World Expeditions prove you can be a responsible traveler wherever you go. Trips with World Expeditions are all inclusive and represent exceptional value - with no hidden extras. They avoid having local payments and what they don’t include provides the flexibility to enjoy more of the local flavors. A ‘no single supplement’ policy is another example of their commitment to offering great value-for-money travel. One of their core values is to “attract people who have high expectations of their travel experiences.” Travelers with World Expeditions are treated to full meal service on their trekking adventures, as part of the trip price. This includes access to a full time cook and kitchen assistant who prepare creative menus and carefully manage the hygiene standard. Whether it’s an exploratory expedition with a world class guide or experiencing a destination differently, World Expeditions is always looking for innovative ways for our clients to experience a destination.
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Uniworld

Uniworld

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5.0 • Excellent
Total Trips 27 Trips
Average Price $ 410 per day
Size Regional Expert
Tour Length 8 – 16 days
Trip Prices $ 2,799 – $ 8,499
Service Level Standard
Operator Type River Cruise Line

Pros, cons and tips

This is a review of the Uniworld China + Tibet + Yangtze tour in June, 2019, taken by my wife (80) and me (77). Since knowledge of a reviewer helps readers to judge the applicability to themselves: we are both former academics, normally spry and immersed in cultural, political, and healthful life activities, but we sometimes found the trip daunting, as discussed below. We resist aging, but not always with full success. The tour had pluses and minuses. The biggest minuses: • My wife’s breathing difficulty in our 3-night stay in Lhasa, Tibet (she spent the whole time breathing oxygen and couldn't go on any outings) • The (inevitable) problem of touring a totalitarian country where citizens are intimidated from talking honestly about the full scope of their lives The biggest pluses: • Our guide, Kevin, who was outstandingly attentive, helpful, supportive and patient. He went out of his way to help in difficult situations (like my wife’s breathing problems in Lhasa). • We were also quite appreciative of Tiger’s brief stint with us. • With a few exceptions, our baggage was always handled by others. And the exceptions weren’t overwhelming. Apparently for a group, the weight of any individual bag just gets averaged in with all the other group bags being checked. (Some travelers handled their own carry-ons.) Most of the other people on the tour were quite amiable and unassuming—not always the case when you travel with people whose financial position has to be pretty good to afford this kind of trip (that financial position too often drives unwarranted expectations of privilege and reverence [if that’s not redundant…]). The accommodations and included breakfasts (and many other meals) were luxurious, though we ourselves didn’t need them to be THAT nice (in this we’re probably exceptions from other travelers—and in this case, a number of our co-tourists had taken multiple Uniworld tours, so they knew and liked what they'd be getting); indeed, we had to learn to stop tanking up at breakfast just because so many goodies were offered, buffet-style. Had we realized those luxuries were part of what we were paying for (and in retrospect we SHOULD have realized), we might have taken a different, cheaper tour. Ironically, what most drew us to the Uniworld trip were the chance to visit Tibet and the expectation that at such a high cost we’d always be getting outstanding, highly informed guides (which wasn’t always the case; as retired academics, we’re unusually demanding in the critical analysis of what we want to hear). GENERAL NOTES: We spent several days on our own before the tour (in Beijing) and at its end (in Shanghai). These were quite valuable to us. Perhaps because of time, the Uniworld tour took us to few museums. We are museum junkies, and visited several during our non-tour times. Among other things, Beijing has a terrific national museum, an interesting (partly because of its political subtext) museum about women and children, and an extensive arts district. Shanghai has its own major museum and a tour of the city’s past relationship with Judaism that gives you a more general sense of the troubling antithesis of glitzy life highlighted elsewhere. I’ve traveled to many parts of the world, and I’ve always been able to learn at least local alphabets and some minimal language skills. China is the first place I’ve gone where I could do none of the first and only a few words (probably wrongly intoned) of the latter. This was extremely frustrating, especially when we toured on our own. Few people outside the major international emporia (I never quite got used to how many upscale stores were in all places we visited) speak English (why should they?). The one ameliorating factor was that many people (especially store employees) had phone apps that did good to excellent translations between spoken English and spoken Chinese. You should have one for your own use. In major cities, signs quite often include English, so that you can at least know where to shop and what you're looking at. Prices (which you can often negotiate) are typically typed into a calculator. Perhaps even more than in the West, people are glued to smart phones. Pretty much everyone, it seems, uses an app that includes texts, phone use, and a payment facility, so that people seem to may carry little or no cash or credit cards. No one seems to care—or maybe everyone is just resigned to—that the government can monitor this app and know a ton of stuff about you. As a foreigner, however, you are unlikely to be able to use this app because you need to have a compatible bank account (probably meaning from a Chinese bank). No matter how you travel in China, you'll see the amazing efforts to accommodate the expansion cities, so that a “town” of which you've never heard might have a million or more people. On the tour, you'll see almost only architectural and shop glitz that the government and cities bask in. You might get very brief glimpses of poverty. While on the one hand the Chinese government talks a good game and takes some important steps vis-à-vis the climate crisis, on the other hand they still use an enormous amount of fossil fuel for electricity generation. I was also struck—dismayed—by the fact that from all appearances, people only drink bottled water (Westerners are warned against tap water, but I don’t know if local people build up an immuinity to its problems). Especially in warm weather, I can only guess at the billions of single-use plastic bottles that are used every day by the population of 1.4 billion (plus large numbers of visitors). On rare occasions, like at an airport, you might see a place to refill a water bottle (I assume that water is safe). Please note that in criticisms like the previous paragraph, I do not intend a holier-than-thou American attitude. I am even more critical of what our government does—or more importantly, doesn’t—do vis-à-vis the climate crisis. THE PEOPLE Almost everyone was pleasant and upbeat. We mostly moved among middle- (and presumably upper-)class people; we encountered many others, but they were kind of in the background (just as in capitalist countries), and while we made it a point to notice their existence, we had no meaningful interactions with them. The westernization of outward behavior was almost palpable. My wife had visited 10 years ago and regularly commented on the difference. My impression is that the young (teen-agers, young adults) are especially into western fashion and culture—and to what to me was a surprising extent, seemed to be able to afford indulging that taste. For what it’s worth, my observation was that people are quite materialistic, focus their lives on that, and increasingly able to afford to indulge themselves. Outwardly, at least, they have little concern with the strictures of their government. T