Intrepid Travel vs European Waterways - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 5
Value — 4.7
Guide — 4.7
Activities — 4.7
Lodging — 4.7
Transportation — 4.7
Meals — 4.7
Overall — 5
Value — 5.0
Guide — 5.0
Activities — 5.0
Lodging — 5.0
Transportation — 5.0
Meals — 5.0
Recent Reviews

Only excellent value for money and memories to last a lifetime.

5.0 August 2019
K
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Faultless service and incredible trips, at a really good price. Plus they are all really nice peeps, by email or phone, and we need more of that in the world.

So far, and still counting, I've used them for:

Alaska
Tanzania
Kenya
Uganda
Northern India
Lombok
Bali
Russia
Mongolia
China
Nepal

Never had a bad experience, only excellent value for money and memories to last a lifetime.
Read more

It was an incredible experience!

5.0 August 2019
J
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We just wrapped up a Tanzania family safari. It was an incredible experience!

Even the cook made sure my picky teenager would like his breakfast by fixing him his scrambled eggs the way he likes them.

I’ve been dreaming of this trip with my son for a long time and I’m glad I booked it with you guys! We’ll cherish the memories we made for ever

If you’re looking for a real adventure kinda trip then go with Intrepid!

Thank you Thank you Thank you
Johan & Maxime
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Perfect Itinerary, Guide spoiled a lot of the trip

4.0 July 2019
S
Recommends
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 2.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 4.0
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.

(I would recommend the trip, but only if I knew it was a different guide.)
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We had a wonderful time on the Panache with an awesome crew

5.0 August 2017
H
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We had a wonderful time on the Panache with an awesome crew who anticipates every wish you may ever have. Thank you so much, Paul, Andy, Holly (your food was delicious!), André, Perrine and Agata. We will never forget the trip with you!
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Tour European Waterways Company Reviews

The boat was beautiful and the crew was fantastic!

5.0 August 2016
M
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We had a family vacation of a lifetime on La Belle Epoque. The boat was beautiful and the crew was fantastic! The meals, wine and cheese were delicious. The crew exceeded our family group of 10's (17 years to 80) expectations!
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Tour European Waterways Company Reviews

Fantastic trip along the Great Glen in Scotland.

5.0 July 2016
S
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Fantastic trip along the Great Glen in Scotland. Admittedly you pay a lot, but you're buying the most incredible customer service imaginable (and oh my goodness, the meals!!). Absolutely perfect for my 85-year-old uncle, still healthy but needing a good support crew.
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Tour European Waterways Company Reviews

Tours 1,185 Trips 1 Trip
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 193 $ 0
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise River Cruise Line
Size Global Operator Regional Expert
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • River Cruises
Service Level Standard Luxury
Regions
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Rivers & Seas
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
  • Antarctica & the Arctic
  • Europe
Known For
  • 18 - 35
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Safari
  • Trekking & Camping
  • Adventure
  • Sailing
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Solo & Singles Travel
Headquarters Melbourne, Australia Datchet Berkshire, United Kingdom
Year Established 1989 1974
Solo Friendly No single supplement N/A
Tour Languages English N/A
Top Trips
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    Countries
    About Intrepid Travel

    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

    Commonly compared with G Adventures »

    Morocco homestay with Intrepid Travel

    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.

    Top Destinations

    • Asia
    • South America
    • Africa
    • Europe

    Monk mediating in Myanmar on tour with Intrepid Travel

    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?

    Sample of many spices in Middle Eastern market

    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.

    About European Waterways

    European Waterways specializes in offering hotel-quality barge cruises in eight European countries, with a particular emphasis on France. The barges travel slowly along peaceful inland canals that wind through scenic countryside, offering a relaxing and luxurious experience.

    What Makes Them Stand Out?

    European Waterways is a pioneer in European barge cruising and has the largest fleet of barges (17) operating there today. They also can arrange a wide variety of specialty and theme barge cruises, ranging from culinary to cycling, families with children to flower shows, opera to tennis, golf to art and antiques, walking to wine. And they offer daily escorted excursions to off the beaten path destinations such as wineries, castles, and markets.

    Who Travels With Them?

    Barge trips are expensive, so affluent couples interested in the cuisine, culture, scenery, and history of the destinations are the primary clientele.

    Where Do They Operate?

    Eight countries: France (Burgundy, Canal du Midi, Alsace and Lorraine, Gascony, Bordeaux, Champagne, Paris, Picardy) Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Holland, Italy, the UK (including Scotland) and Ireland.

    How Does It Work?

    You can either charter an entire barge for you, your family and/or friends, or take a cabin on a barge with other travelers. The17 barges in the fleet range in capacity from six to 20 passengers. All barges come with fully staffed crews (captain, chef, housekeeper, tour guide), and have been refurbished using hardwoods and solid brass. One barge is wheelchair accessible. Most have spa-pools on the sun deck and air conditioning below, and come with central heating and bicycles as well. Cruises are six nights and are all-inclusive (including regional wines and open bar).

    Why Travel With Them?

    Barge travel is the ultimate luxury in European waterway travel, which not only makes the name European Waterways highly appropriate, it offers a way to see Europe that few travelers ever get a chance to experience.

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