Signature Collection by Gate 1 vs Young Pioneer Tours - Tour Companies Compared
Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.
5 | Excellent
Not yet rated
Overall — 0
Value — 0.0
Guide — 0.0
Activities — 0.0
Lodging — 0.0
Transportation — 0.0
Meals — 0.0
Overall — 5
Value — 5.0
Guide — 5.0
Activities — 5.0
Lodging — 5.0
Transportation — 5.0
Meals — 5.0
Enjoyed my time in the DPRK with these guys5.0 September 2018
Enjoyed my time in the DPRK with these guys, the guides are excellent and really know their stuff, would use again for sure
Tour Young Pioneer Tours Company Reviews
Had a very special time5.0 February 2014
Had a very special time in the DPRK! Will cherish the memories...It was a roller coaster of emotions and activities.Read more
Some of the things I will never forget: bowing to statues, playing with hundreds of kids, dancing with hundreds of students at a mass dance, visiting a lot of museums and monuments, eating dog..., splashing around in the water park with the locals, getting stared at :-) and having a lot of fun with the group!!!
All thanks to the North-Korean people, our YPT guide and the local guides.
YPT makes sure they have very good relations with the guides, which translates into them being more relaxed toward us than I expected and us getting to see and do a lot of cool stuff. So thanx for everything guys ;-)
Tour Young Pioneer Tours Company Reviews
|Tours||1 Trip||4 Trips|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 0||$ 177|
|Operator Type||Group Tour Operator||Group Tour Operator|
|Size||Global Operator||Global Operator|
|Headquarters||Fort Washington, Pennsylvania||Xi'an, China|
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.
Founded in 2008 by Gareth Johnson, Young Pioneer Tours was created after his years of living as an expat in China. He realized there weren’t enough tour companies catering to the young adventurers, nor at a budget rate. With his friends - who also have a love for being on the road - they’ve created an opportunity for young people to see just how much fun you can have in outlandish and exotic parts of the world.
What Makes Young Pioneer Tours Stand Out?
- Tours to unique (and often controversial) destinations
- Budget tours
Young Pioneer Tours strive to challenge the media’s perception of controversial destinations. Their travel theme is to bring you to places that are considered “dark tourism” - destinations associated with unsettling politics, saddening history, eccentric celebrations, and the like. Visiting a “Dictator’s Playground” or camping beside a fiery crater in the Middle East are not uncommon parts of the itinerary for Young Pioneers tours.
Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Young Pioneer Tours?
- All ages
- Budget travelers
- Social and open-minded travelers
They also aim to keep all tours at a low budget rate, making it possible for more people to join their tours. Those on a shoestring budget who don’t mind staying in a hostel will fit in perfectly. Think of it like a backpacking trip - without having to organize the activities yourself.
Most Young Pioneer tours require you to walk approximately 1-3 hours per day on mostly flat terrain. Unless you’re booking one of their ski trips, your days will be spent walking through museums, cities, and markets, so it generally isn’t too strenuous. Just be sure not to wear flip flops!
- North Korea
- Middle East
- Soviet Europe
- Central Asia
Young Pioneer Tours refers to their chosen destinations as “countries your mother would rather you stay away from”. As they continue to expand, they’ve also added tours to some of the least traveled countries in the world (that you’ve probably never heard of). Many of these countries are difficult to get into due to the visa process, but Young Pioneer Tours make it possible!
While they do cover some of the main attractions in some of these destinations, don’t expect your day to consist of photo-taking at tourist spots. Their itineraries are generally a blend of sightseeing and dark tourism. An afternoon of exploring the grand city of Ashgabat might be followed by wandering around a completely deserted beach resort. Or a visit to Persepolis, a UNESCO heritage site, after posing with an AK47 in the sacred town Lalesh.
Young Pioneer Tours Travel Style
These are “group tours for people who hate group tours.” With a large focus on having fun, they cater to those who find tours to generally be too dry or educational. Their definition of fun ranges widely from exploring natural landscapes, brewery visits, and historical monuments, to cultural immersion, photography, and high adventure. Whatever it is, you’re guaranteed to have an incredibly unique and wacky adventure to tell your friends back home.
Since many of their travelers come alone, the tours tend to create a social atmosphere, where you’ll soon find yourself amongst friends. Groups are a max of 24 people, but they mention that they like to keep it at 10 people on average.
Expect accommodations to be at hostels, 3 star hotels, and homestays with local communities. This means very basic amenities, no elevators, and a simple mattress. You’ll be driven around in jeeps and vans. If you’re a simple guy or gal that isn’t too picky, and don’t require luxury for getting from point A to B, then you’ll fit it just fine.
Why Choose a Tour With Young Pioneer Tour?
If you want to be at the forefront of all the action in lesser known destinations, you’ll love traveling with Young Pioneer Tours. As they continue to expand, they remain true to their travel style in the search for all the weird and wonderful things to exist around the world.
You get to first-hand experience what these places and people are really about. With Young Pioneer Tours, you gain a better understanding and appreciation for places before writing it off as a danger zone.
You may have heard of Young Pioneer’s incident with an American citizen while traveling in North Korea, where a young man was detained for stealing a propaganda poster. It is true that unforeseen circumstances do occur, and the fun can get out of hand when alcohol is involved.
Be sure to do your own research ahead of time, and understand that these destinations do come with risks. If you decide to travel with Young Pioneers, you are responsible for respecting the do’s and don'ts that your tour guide tells you to follow. Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum, be aware of your surroundings, and don’t abandon the group during your trip.