Wilderness Travel vs Signature Collection by Gate 1 - Tour Companies Compared
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Overall — 5
Value — 5.0
Guide — 5.0
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Transportation — 5.0
Meals — 5.0
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Some of the most memorable experiences I've had5.0 February 2019
We’ve taken nearly a dozen trips with this outfit and they are first rate. Some of the most memorable experiences I’ve had. Their guides are exceptional (except one!) and really add to the trip. The clientele they attract is also exceptional and make the trips more enjoyable, as does the small group size. I recommend them to everyone I know who is traveling somewhere where logistics are an issue. We have several more trips planned with them already. Also important, the guides they contract with overseas like them. The company treats them well. That’s important because it allows them to attract the best talent out there.Read more
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Consistently Excellent5.0 February 2019
I love traveling with Wilderness Travel! My husband and I look forward to their catalog every year to see what new adventures they have cooked up and our bucket list continues to grow.Read more
We started out doing their "Greece Private Journey" since we had never done group travel before, but eventually we joined the Borneo Expedition group trip and I was really pleasantly surprised with our travel companions. Lots of interesting folks from all walks of life. I am really glad we tried it out and have since joined several other groups.
One of the reasons we choose Wilderness Travel over some other companies is the quality, experience, and enthusiasm of their guides. When we traveled with a different company, we ended up on a trip led by a recent college grad referencing a Lonely Planet guide and let's just say I was less than impressed. It makes a huge difference being lead by someone with deep roots in the area and the professionalism and skill that can only come from experience.
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WT has an incredible staff5.0 December 2018
Inca Trail Trip: One of the top experiences of my life. WT has an incredible staff that is knowledgable, fun and accommodating. Everything is scheduled perfectly so you can miss the crowds and experience the trial how it’s supposed to be and it would be a shame not to mention the amazing food on the trail. Highly recommend to anyone that is wanting to hike the Inca Trail.Read more
Tour Wilderness Travel Company Reviews
|Tours||19 Trips||1 Trip|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 617||$ 0|
|Operator Type||Mixed Land & Cruise||Group Tour Operator|
|Size||Global Operator||Global Operator|
|Headquarters||Berkeley, California, USA||Fort Washington, Pennsylvania|
Wilderness Travel, based in Berkeley, California, has been in business since 1978 and takes travelers around the world. But don't let the name "Wilderness" mislead you. While you'll be able to take a strenuous trek in the Himalayas or Andes with the company's stable of experienced guides, you can also book an easy trip to Europe complete with stays at comfortable hotels and picnics served with wine. Even the Himalayan journeys come with "cozy" mountaineering tents and warm sleeping bags, and the African safari camps and lodgings are luxurious.
What Makes Wilderness Travel Stand Out?
- Award-wnning tour operator
- Small group sizes
- Specially chosen tour guides
- Exceptional customer service
They’ve received countless awards for their outstanding itineraries, destinations, activities, accommodations, food, and value. Since they cap their small group tours at 16 max, you get to feel more connected with everyone.
Their itineraries are also organized to make the most out of your limited time. Expect to beat the crowds and see more than other tour groups that have the same itinerary.
Tour guides are specially chosen people that have deep knowledge about the place. These people are charismatic, genuine, and passionate about what they have to share with you - all while providing first-class customer service! If having an exceptional tour guide that goes above and beyond is important to you, consider a trip with Wilderness Travel.
Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Wilderness Travel?
- Moderately active travelers
- Ages 30-50
- High budget travelers
If you’re willing to spend the extra penny to experience the best of the best, then you’ll surely enjoy Wilderness Travel tours. Tours are at the luxury and premium level, which attracts a higher clientele of friendly, well-traveled, educated, and open-minded travelers.
Wilderness Travel ranks its trips from one to seven in order of difficulty, so you have plenty of choice. If you want to take it slow and explore Kyoto’s majestic castles and teahouses, there’s a tour in Japan for that. Like a good challenge? Get your sweat on and hike the coast of Crete.
They cover a wide range of tour themes such as archaeology, culinary, hiking/trekking, journeying by rail, safari, river cruise, snorkeling, yacht cruising, and whale watching just to name a few. Whatever your interest may be, there’s a tour for it!
Wilderness Travel offers trips in seven continents and remote locations featured in their special expeditions, from tropical Papua New Guinea to Spitsbergen in the Arctic. Small ship cruising to exotic locations is a specialty, and WT will also put together family trips.
Experience classic destinations but with new routes and destinations along the way that put a spin on the experience. Sail through the Galapagos Islands on a yacht, Some trips are also focused on taking you off the beaten path.
Wilderness Travel’s Travel Style
Wilderness Travel believes in bringing you the very best that every destination has to offer. Their lavish and luxurious travel style brings you experiences that are beyond your wildest imagination. They’re all about HOW you travel, so you’ll want to pull out your camera just to take a snap of the bedroom decor. Imagine drifting asleep to the sounds of the African night in a safari camping tent or staying overnight in a Japanese mountaintop temple.
From the minute you book, you’re assigned an Area Specialist that’s there to guide you through every bit of planning and preparing. They’ll help you with every trip detail from travel visas to what you should wear. Also it’s best to reserve tours well in advanced since space is limited.
Their activity level system ranks the trips according to the activity and general travel rigors. A plus sign (+) also indicates the trip is a bit more strenuous than other trips of the same level. It’s important to check the itinerary details for the more specific activities, altitudes, hiking, and travel conditions.
1 - Easiest: Non camping journeys, optional walks, minimal elevation changes.
2 - Easy to Moderate: Hotels and/or safari camping, hikes on some days, optional sea kayaking.
3 - Moderate: Half to full day hikes (3-6 hours) in the countryside, occasional steep trails. Hotel-based walking tours and snorkeling adventures are usually in this category.
4 - Moderate to strenuous: Full day hikes (4-6 hours) on mountainous terrains, significant elevation gains and losses (as much as 3,000 feet) on many hikes.
5 - Strenuous: Full day hikes (4-8 hours), mountainous, very steep, with altitudes of 10,000-12,000 ft.
6 - Very Strenuous: Full day hikes (5-8 hours), just as mountainous and steep as level 5, with altitudes as high as 18,000 ft.
7 - Most Strenuous: Full day hikes in mountainous terrain, camping, and hiking at extreme altitudes.
Why Choose a Tour With Wilderness Travel?
Wilderness Travel tours is all about creating unrivaled experiences in destinations all around the world. They’ve continued to be an award-winning tour company as a result of their top-notch travel guides and well thought out itineraries. Even if you don’t enjoy group tours, this is the tour operator that’ll change your mind. With such a wide array of activities and destinations, they’re ready to tick off all your travel bucket list items.
At the same time, their travel style makes for experiences that more refined than authentic. If you prefer to travel without the added comforts and luxuries, and celebrating with champagne at the end of an African safari isn’t your style, you might want to consider looking elsewhere.
Wilderness Travel is also committed to the highest standards of sustainable travel. They gives back to the communities around the world, making sure that your travel dollars go into the local economy. They support numerous cultural and conservation organizations - some that were started by Wilderness Travel trip leaders.
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.