CIE Tours vs Signature Collection by Gate 1 - Tour Companies Compared
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Overall — 5
Value — 4.6
Guide — 4.7
Activities — 4.7
Lodging — 4.7
Transportation — 4.7
Meals — 4.7
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outstanding5.0 May 2019
Tour Guide was Tom Clancy and he was the best guide and entertaining commentator throughout our 2 weeks. Saw a comment about early departures from hotels. That happens to accommodate the breadth of sites you will see which were outstanding. Highly recommend CIE tours- not a glitch for our two week tour and THANK YOU JOE CLANCY!Read more
Tour CIE Tours Company Reviews
beautiful countries5.0 April 2019
In August of 2018, my daughter and I had the absolute pleasure of doing the "Taste of Scotland and Ireland" tour. We had the best guides and driver... Starting in Scotland, we got to see (included in the tour cost) an amazingly well done "Spirit of Scotland" live show in Edinburgh and the "Tattoo" at Edinburgh Castle. Highly recommend both! Our drive up through the highlands and along Loch Lomand and the tour of Loch Ness was so beautiful! All of the countryside was amazing and so many highlights, too many to mention. We left our tour guide in Scotland and our driver, Nigel, took over the tour for the Ireland leg of the journey. He was an amazing wealth of information and fun!!! He sang to us, told jokes, could answer pretty much any question we asked, and was an incredibly safe driver, making us all feel at ease and able to relax and watch the wonderful scenery unfold before us. The Ring of Kerry was my favourite leg of the journey... amazing vistas and the shades of green!! Oh, the green!! What a beautiful country. The hotels and food often left more to be desired but, overall, this did not have a negative effect on how much we enjoyed visiting these beautiful countries. I more than fulfilled my number one item on my bucket list and can't wait to go do it all again!! CIE Tours was the best and we highly recommend them to anyone!Read more
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Fantastic!5.0 April 2019
The tour was amazing and our driver and guide, Joe Lyons, was absolutely awesome!! He went over and above to make the tour so interesting. We would definitely recommend CIE.
Tour CIE Tours Company Reviews
|Tours||21 Trips||1 Trip|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 200||$ 0|
|Operator Type||Group Tour Operator||Group Tour Operator|
|Size||Regional Expert||Global Operator|
|Headquarters||Dublin, Ireland||Fort Washington, Pennsylvania|
New Jersey-based CIE Tours, in business since 1932, is one of the largest operators of escorted coach tours through the British Isles, Eastern Europe, Italy, and Ireland.
Founded in 1932
Travel Style: Large Coaches, not handicap accessible
Single supplement required for those traveling solo
Group Size: Average 35, maximum 48
Typical Age Range: Older travelers 50+. Children are welcome, minimum of 8 years old, so families are common as well.
Average Tour Price: $2,233
Accommodation Style: 3, 4, and 5 star hotels, depending on the itinerary. 4 stars are the most popular, combining a decent price with comfortability.
What Makes CIE Tours Stand Out?
- Specialize in Ireland tours
- All-inclusive and great value
- Discount Offers
CIE is a long-established company with extensive regional knowledge in Ireland. They offers especially good value, with all-inclusive pricing. Also look for early-booking discounts as well as seasonal discounts for solo travelers.
As part of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) and the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), CIE ensures that their company goes above and beyond when it comes to their client’s safety. They also offer a wide-range of itineraries depending on the client’s budget, interest, and schedule.
Who Will Enjoy Traveling with CIE Tours?
- Ages 50+
- History buffs
- Mid to high budget travelers
- Those who want all parts of the itinerary planned out
Travelers seeking all-inclusive group tours of England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland, as well as a few destinations in Continental Europe. Customers tend to be aged 50-plus and have an interest in history and wish to stay in nice hotels (ranging from three to five stars) with a choice of budgets.
The kind of traveler who enjoys a completely hassle free experience, with all activities, meals, and sightseeing planned out. Coach tours are generally enjoyed by travelers who like driving - daydream and gaze out large windows at the world passing by in comfort on your way to the next wonderful stop.
If you love learning about history, culture, with your days full of ancient cities, churches, and historical information their guide style would be a good fit. And with the occasional spa day at your hotel thrown in these all-encompassing journeys take care of the mind and the body.
CIE Tours are especially known for tours in and around Ireland, and this is their primarily focus. They also travel to Scotland and Britain, with a small number of coach tours offered in Italy, Eastern Europe, and the Balkan Peninsula. Occasionally, river cruises on the Rhine and Danube are also available.
CIE Tours Travel Style
Most of their tours are on large, roomy, comfortable coaches, in the premium - luxury range. Amenities on board are basic, and coaches make frequent stops to avoid the need for using the restroom on the bus.
Group size is a max of 48, though 35 people is the average on the CIE Tours. Virtually all aspects of the trip – with no optional extras -- are included in the initial rate, which will not go up after booking, and departures are guaranteed. Itineraries range from 5 to 24 days, though the majority sit in the 8-10 day range.
CIE will also set up self-drive trips and homestay and B&B vacations for you if you want to travel on your own, or arrange customized tours for groups of 10 or more people.
Why Choose a Tour With CIE?
With more than eight decades of experience, CIE Tours offers dependable service and regional know-how. The company estimates that the average traveler will save $550 per week by not having to pay for optional extras during the trip. Their all-inclusive tours alleviate the stress of planning a vacation by providing daily guided tours, hotels, meals, and airport transfers.
CIE Tour guides are experts in Ireland and the other regions they travel through, so if you’re looking for comfort, inclusivity of price, plus a high caliber of knowledge and experience, this is a good place to start.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the CIE Travel Protection Plan?
Travel insurance is required on all CIE Tours. The Travel Protection Plan is an easy, convenient way to purchase insurance at the time of your booking, covering cancellation. See other travel insurance options
2. Are there restrooms on the coaches?
Yes, most CIE coaches have restrooms for emergencies. Safety protocol means they are not to be used while the coach is in motion. CIE Tours make regular stops for travelers to stretch their legs and use the facilities.
3. Are CIE Tours handicap accessible?
No. Unfortunately the coaches are not equip to handle large wheelchairs or scooters. Walkers or foldable wheelchairs can be accommodated. Sightseeing tours require some walking over short distances, and some difficult stairs, such as when exploring castles. Uneven surfaces are common especially when exploring old sites and ruins.
4. What should I pack?
One large piece of luggage is permitted, which will fit under the coach. Layers are advisable for the weather in Ireland, which can be chilly. You may also bring a small backpack or purse. On “Supreme” tours, men will require a dinner jacket, but on all other tours this is not necessary. Comfortable walking shoes are a must.
5. Are tips included?
No, tips for your driver, porter, guides, and tour director are not included in the price. They are not required, but are a customary show of gratitude, especially if you enjoyed the trip!
6. What about airport transfer?
If you choose to purchase airfare through CIE, complimentary airport transfer is provided for flights arriving before noon. You can choose to purchase airport transfer if you elect to buy your airfare separately.
A unique collection of luxury trips designed by Gate 1 travel.
What Makes Gate 1 Signature Collection Stand Out?
These are luxury minded trips with a local focus. Guides are all local experts, from and living in the destination you’re visiting. Each itinerary features exclusive experiences. Groups are small and each day is full of activity but well balanced.
They focus on offering only a select group of trips in this special collection - allowing them the freedom to create truly spectacular itineraries - which include more inclusions in the price than their other collections.
The tagline is “More Luxury for Less”. These tours may not be in same luxury travel class if you’re used to Abercrombie & Kent, however where comfort and extravagance meets fun and busy travel days of sightseeing and tours, you’ll find Gate 1 Signature Collection.
Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Gate 1 Signature Collection?
Those travelers who are willing to spend a little bit more for a 4-5 star experience, will probably find a sweet spot with Gate 1 Signature tours. These trips tend to be attended by older travelers, in the 50+ range.
Don’t expect too much strenuous activity. You can expect easy paced walks, guided tours and lectures, and stops to explore interesting cultural sites and historical attractions.
While some of these cultural experiences, included in their “Signature Experiences”, are truly unique, be wary that many of these inclusions are fairly standard offerings - such as a hot air balloon ride over the African savannah. So the luxury experience of exclusivity you may be expecting is to be taken with a grain of salt. These tours offer wonderful experiences - but the destinations or activities are not always particularly uncommon or rare.
They currently don’t offer an overly extensive list of countries, but tours do go all over the world. This includes Central Europe, Spain, and the UK, Israel, Jordan and Morocco, Peru, Southeast Asia, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.
Gate 1 Signature Collection Travel Style
Signature Collection tours with Gate 1 aim for comfort, ease, and unique cultural experiences. Like their other brands, Gate 1’s Signature Collection is about making sure your sightseeing is maximized, and the price is right for the experience.
Most sightseeing, meals, wifi, tips, and their “Signature Experiences” are included in the itinerary price - unlike Gate 1’s main brand which offers less inclusions. This type of itinerary more helpful to budget travelers wishing to pick and choose which activities they would like to pay for. Gate 1 Signature Tours, however, are best suited to those who want more inclusions and less hassle to have to decide on how to spend their travel time.
Why Choose a Tour with Gate 1 Signature Collection?
If you’re an older traveler looking for a boutique, comfortable, and well paced tour, the Signature tours may suit you very well. Travelers love the customer service, attention to detail, and depth of knowledge the guides bring to each day on the tour. There is also a good balance of free time and optional additional sightseeing opportunities.
All tours feature included “Signature Experiences” which are the main highlights that make the Signature Collection tours stand out from the other Gate 1 brands. These are unique excursions, usually with a strong cultural focus - such as an evening of Irish music in Galway, or a traditional dinner in the deserts of Morocco. They also often include lectures that explore a destinations history or a specific facet of the culture.