Intrepid Travel vs AMA Waterways - Tour Companies Compared
Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.
Overall — 5
Value — 4.7
Guide — 4.7
Activities — 4.7
Lodging — 4.7
Transportation — 4.7
Meals — 4.7
Overall — 4.5
Value — 4.5
Guide — 4.5
Activities — 4.5
Lodging — 4.5
Transportation — 4.5
Meals — 4.5
Perfect Itinerary, Guide spoiled a lot of the trip4.0 July 2019
The perfect itinerary allowed us to efficiently visited all the top sites with great lodgings. Unfortunately, the guide cut short stops at the Bahai Gardens, Acco, Tel Aviv, and Jerrico on days when we got to our hotel room in the early afternoon--all group members were upset by this. This Palestinian Christian guide emphasized unimpressive churches and minimized all sights that were secular, Muslim, Jewish, ancient, or other faiths. He made bizarre strident political comments about how great Mao Zedong was, praised Putin, said Palestinian people "had never done anything wrong in their history," talked about the Jews killing Jesus--all with a lot of anger. He knew a lot of about Christinaity, not much about anything else. He did a lot to make what could have been the perfect trip, mediocre.Read more
(I would recommend the trip, but only if I knew it was a different guide.)
Good experience - highly overpriced.4.0 April 2019
I just came back from a 12 day tour toRead more
1) extremly very well organized
2) excellent customer service
3) lots of information on the site
4) very knowledgable and personable guide with excellent English
5) people on the trip were great
1) HIGHLY OVERPRICED - one accomodation was ok, the other ones were very cheap, shabby ans dirty.
2) Our guide was no different to guides in less reputable companies. Before I travel, I asked and was told by Intrepid this trip had no "kitty". However, the guide asked on day one for it (a total of $576.09 USD which is a fortune in Egypt), took the group to "Intrepid pre-approved venders", etc.
3) Options of things to do outside the itinerary could have been better explained.
The trip is a good choice if you like to take it easy during your vacation: visit the main sites but also have time at the pool, have drinks with friends and have lots of free time to chill out. And very important: you must like to shop. Keep in mind in Alexandria you spend 3 hours at the shopping mall instead of visiting a Museum, the only activity on day 11 was a visit to the Bazaar and, as I said, you will stop at shops endorsed by Intrepid (according to the guide).
If you, like me, prefer to be on the go when you are on a trip so far from home, this might not be the trip for you. Unless, like I did, you are comfortable with doing your own thing and leaving the group to explore on your own since you will have plenty of time to do so.
Personally, I won't travel with them again. The bad points override the good ones. But again, depends on what you are looking for... and how much you are willing to pay for it.
Tour Intrepid Company Reviews
It was so much fun!5.0 April 2019
I have just finished The Real Cambodia tour, the 18-29 youth tour. It was so much fun! Our guide Channy was fantastic - he always had good places to take us, advice on everything, lots of local knowledge. The accommodation was generally good, the travel was good, and we did a lot of fun activities. This is my first time travelling with intrepid and I definitely recommend it. I’m already thinking of where I’d like to travel with them again!Read more
Tour Intrepid Company Reviews
Very professional river cruise5.0 June 2019
AMAWaterways is a very professional river cruise company. We have sailed twice on two of their ships, the AMASerena and the AMADante. From the moment you book, you can see the professionalism of this company. From the quality of the documents you receive to the website which holds a wealth of information when you check in online, everything is five star. When you board the staff are waiting for you, and they cannot do enough to make your stay on their ships amazing. Our room was always so clean and made up thanks to our housekeeper, Vladimir. The meals on the AMA ships are fantastic. Always great choices and the Chef's recommendations were always top notch. We loved our sailing days on the Rhine and Main rivers. We were on the AMADante doing the first trip called Medieval Treasures. We loved the choices of excursions in the ports of call. The addition of the new Sip and Sail feature had everyone mingling with each other before dinner each night. Highly recommend AMA and we will be sailing with you again before we know it.Read more
Tour Ama Waterways Company Reviews
It was a magical trip5.0 September 2018
I did the Christmas markets with two pre nights in Prague. This was 2016. It was a magical trip. I am a solo traveller. I met so many great people and shared many great experiences. Sitting alone on deck silently drifting down emerald waters with mysterious shadows from the hills...old ruins standing tall...hot coffee in hand...frosted hills...Just so much wonder. And knowing it just got more exciting each day. History is deep and the food is great. There are so many wonderful reviews from other AMA trips..but the magic of Christmas on the Danube is deep...and I'll do much more. Top of the line company.Read more
Tour Ama Waterways Company Reviews
Beautiful5.0 August 2018
We've just returned from a river Cruise along the Mekong through Cambodia and Vietnam. We can't put into words how much we enjoyed this trip of a lifetime. The ship was beautiful, tastefully decorated and spotlessly clean. The crew were so friendly and attentive and they couldn't have done any more to ensure our comfort and enjoyment. The cruise manager was fantastic organising such interesting and fun excursions as well as onboard entertainment. The food was incredible, plenty of choice and beautifully presented. The flights and transfers were seamless. We just can't fault our holiday in anyway at all. Thank you AmaWaterways for making it so special for us.Read more
Tour Ama Waterways Company Reviews
|Tours||1,185 Trips||26 Trips|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 193||$ 429|
|Operator Type||Mixed Land & Cruise||River Cruise Line|
|Size||Global Operator||Global Operator|
|Headquarters||Melbourne, Australia||Calabasas, California, United States|
|Solo Friendly||No single supplement||N/A|
Intrepid Travel is all about ‘real life experiences.’ Founded back in 1989 following an “intrepid” African adventure trip, Intrepid lives up to its name by offering up some pretty big adventures -- such as an 11-day hike through Papua New Guinea -- but is broad-based enough to also lead group trips to Hawaii, complete with sipping sunset Mai Tais on Waikiki Beach.
Intrepid Travel - Quick Facts
Founded in 1989
No Single Supplement (rare exceptions)
Small Groups - max 16 on most trips
Typical Age Range - 18 - 45
Travel Style - Cultural immersion, adventure, overland
Accommodation Style - Camping, Hostels, 3 /4 star hotels
Average Tour Price - $2,377
Top Regions - Asia, Africa, Europe, South America
Other Brands: Peregrine, Geckos
What Makes Intrepid Travel Stand Out?
- Small group sizes
- Travelers from all walks of life
- Well-balanced itineraries (group and free time allotted)
- Guides are travel experts or friendly locals
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 average just 10 travelers each, with a 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 (seniors included)
- Adventure seekers and culture 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 which offer more included activities and more hotels, while “Comfort” trips offer the highest level of included activities and standards of accommodation, as well as roomier vehicles.
The kind of traveler who gravitates to Intrepid Travel is one who has 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 or daring, ahem, encouraging each other to try strange new foods.
- South America
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.
Intrepid Travel Style
Intrepid enjoys using local, unique forms of transportation. You might find yourself traveling by felucca in Egypt, on a camel in Morocco, or in a tuk-tuk on the best Thailand tour of your life. 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 end, more discerning, 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 choice 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.
Known especially for its top-notch onboard regional cuisine, Ama is the only river cruise line to join La Chaine des Rotisseurs, a prestigious gastronomic society. Passengers tend to be affluent, over age 50, and interested in a mostly casual, all-inclusive experience with minimal hassle; cruise directors make sure everything runs smoothly. Good service is prized.
Ama has won awards for its spacious, stylish cabin designs, and passengers can expect lots of complimentary perks: shore excursions, wine and beer at lunch and dinner, Internet access in every cabin (in Europe), and bicycles for use in port are all included in the price. Many cabins in its newer ships have both French and outdoor balconies.
Originally called Amadeus Waterways when it was founded in 2002, California-based AmaWaterways later changed its name but hasn’t changed its prime customers: mostly North Americans, British, Australians, and English-speaking Europeans (English is the official language onboard).
Ama has undergone rapid expansion and now cruises on three continents. Europe tops the roster, with fifteen ships sailing the Danube, Rhine, Main, Moselle, Douro, Seine, and Rhone rivers. Three ships ply the Mekong and Irrawaddy rivers in Southeast Asia, while Russia (on the Volga-Baltic Waterway between Moscow and St. Petersburg) and Africa (on the Chobe River in Botswana) each sport one ship.