Friendly Planet vs St Hilda Sea Adventures - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 4.5
Value — 4.5
Guide — 4.5
Activities — 4.5
Lodging — 4.5
Transportation — 4.4
Meals — 4.4
Overall — 5
Value — 5.0
Guide — 5.0
Activities — 5.0
Lodging — 5.0
Transportation — 5.0
Meals — 5.0
Recent Reviews

amazing memories!!!!

5.0 May 2019
K
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I just returned from spending 8 phenomenal days in Greece and Turkey. Our guide Yannis couldn't have been more knowledgeable, efficient, fun, funny and FRIENDLY!! There was 12 of us traveling together and he never lost his patience although some days he may have felt like he was herding cats... The hotel, ship, tours and local guides left us wanting nothing! Thank you for providing us the framework for such amazing memories!!!! Efxaristo!!!!!!
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Tour Friendly Planet Travel Company Reviews

a wonderful experience

5.0 October 2018
C
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Just returned from a Friendly Planet trip to Egypt, was a wonderful experience. Our guide, Ahmad, was the best guide ever, very knowledgeable and really took care of us. We saw a lot in 10 days. It was great.
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Tour Friendly Planet Travel Company Reviews

outstanding

5.0 November 2017
S
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We just returned from Peru. Well done Friendly Planet. Hotels and meals were outstanding. Our main guide, Jaime, was one of the best I've ever had...and, we travel a lot! Jaime was an inspiration for some
of us who needed extra support to get to the top of Machu Picchu. Our Lake Titicaca guide could use more experience. But, still a good time!
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Tour Friendly Planet Travel Company Reviews

Fabulous trip and company enough!

5.0 August 2019
M
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Just got back from our Mull Odyssey cruise. An amazing, truly special holiday. So many highlights to pick from but the amazing columnar basalt rock formations on Staffa; Lochbuie Standing Stone Circle; dolphins bow riding; huge jellyfish; 'helping' crew the ship; Tobermory; sunsets & rainbows; Iona and the fabulous scenery are a good start. Special thanks to Christophe and Amy for going above and beyond being the crew. I cannot recommend this fabulous trip and company enough!
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Tour St Hilda Sea Adventures Company Reviews

Excellent crew

5.0 June 2019
L
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
St Hilda - a little gem of a sailboat - great holiday. Excellent crew - thanks to skipper Christophe and cook Kerry . Arnamurchan distillery - fascinating tour - a real find. Loved the island of Egg - hike to Kildonan followed by fresh mussels and chips at the pub in the sun - bliss! And then she sped, bonnie boat, over the sea to Skye.
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Tour St Hilda Sea Adventures Company Reviews

Wonderful, memorable cruise

5.0 June 2019
D
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Wonderful, memorable cruise of the Inner Hebrides. The staff was far above any expectations I may have had. Great communication and assistance with the office prior to the trip. The crew on board took wonderful care of us, and were always responsive to our needs and preferences. Seamanship was clearly superior. Food was outstanding!! The ship is small enough that you really get a sense of being on the water and in the islands. It is also large enough to have resources and comforts. I am happy to recommend it.
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Tour St Hilda Sea Adventures Company Reviews

Tours 2 Trips 9 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 376 $ 219
Operator Type Group Tour Operator Small Ship & Expedition Cruise Line
Size Global Operator Local Specialist
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Private Guided Trips
  • Custom Itineraries
  • Independent / Self-Guided Packages
  • Private Guided Trips
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • Custom Itineraries
Service Level Budget Standard
Regions
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
  • Rivers & Seas
  • Europe
Known For
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Budget
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Eco Travel
  • Adventure
  • Sailing
Headquarters Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, USA Oban, Scotland
Year Established 1981 N/A
Solo Friendly N/A Good for singles
Tour Languages N/A N/A
Top Trips
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    About Friendly Planet

    Founded over 30 years ago, Friendly Planet is a small, family owned tour operator based in the United States. While they might be a small operation, they offer a wide range of affordable journeys to six continents. Their trips span across three categories: small group tours, value vacations, and independent packages.  

    What Makes Friendly Planet Stand Out?

    Friendly Planet was one of the first tour operators to offer online bookings. While their trips will immerse you in local culture, they don't do so at the expense of comfort. On top of that, their tour price basically includes everything -- flight as well on most trips! It’s rare to find an operator that does so, meaning that’s one less thing for you to worry about.

    They also have 24/7 customer service support, which gives peace of mind while traveling to far-flung destinations. If something isn’t up to standards while on your trip, they’ll get in contact with the guide and fix it promptly.

    Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Friendly Planet?

    Friendly Planet is ideal for active travelers, interested in culture, history, food, and nature. Their small group trips attract a wide age range, while their value vacations tends to draw a younger, more budget-minded crowd.

    Whether you’re a couple, small friend group, or solo traveler, you’ll find these trips to create the perfect setting for meeting new people. Groups sit between 11-24 people, striking the perfect balance between too many names to remember and “I have no one to talk to”.

    Trips can vary from everything between daily casual strolls to strenuous hikes up snow-capped mountains. If you’re looking for a trip where you can put your physical limits to the test, Friendly Planet does have tours for trekking, mountain biking, and/or kayaking.

    Top Destinations

    They offer trips in various parts of Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Middle East, Mediterranean, Central America, and South America. Any trip you choose will have a mixture of classic sights and off-the-beaten path experiences.

    If you’re the type that enjoys sightseeing and scenic views as much as bread-making lessons and local village visits, they’ll you’ll surely enjoy the tours that Friendly Planet has to offer.

    While they do offer trips around the world, Asia, Europe, and Nepal tend to be popular with their customers. Their service, accommodations,organization, itinerary, and guides have the most quality consistency.

    Friendly Planet Travel Style

    Cultural immersion is a signature feature for Friendly Planet. On top of some sightseeing, they believe it’s about activities and meeting locals that elevate your trip. This could mean a visit to a local artisan village in India, or a walking tour through Old Havana on a tour to Cuba with Friendly Planet. Or a day of leisurely walking through the countryside - where you are surrounded by mountains, lakes, and a castle on a tour to Italy.

    You’re always greeted in the morning with a buffet breakfast - so no need to worry about what to order when you’re still half asleep. Accommodations are always centrally located hotels that sit in the 3 or 4-star range.

    While it may not always be the fanciest or upscale hotel, they’ll do for some relaxation time and a good night’s sleep. Expect to be using transportation such as private air-conditioned motor coaches, ferries, and coach buses.

    They have 4 travel programs:

    Small Group Tours: This is what is popular and what they’re most well-known for. With 11-24 people, you’ll get enough time to know everyone in your group and make new friendships. Small group tours are good for young travelers that want some days to be organized, and other days to be free and do as they please.

    Value Vacation: For those on an ultra low budget, value vacations offers you the same great experiences, but with a larger number of people. There’s never more than 37, and tours are operated by tour partners. Note that their tours may also be shared with other passengers that weren’t arranged with Friendly Planet.

    Independent Packages: If you’re the type that would rather not have a set itinerary, or would rather pick how much you want to do depending on your mood, then independent packages would be right for you. You have full flexibility, no schedule, and no tour guides - so you can make a pit stop at that hole-in-the-wall cafe you spotted while strolling through Santorini.

    Crown Collections: For those who want to indulge, have more intimate groups, or luxurious experiences, Crown Collections is for you. Groups are maxed at 6, meaning you don’t have to wait an extra 20 minutes for your fellow travelers to finish up breakfast everyday. You’ll travel using the most upscale local transportation - such as the high-end Rovos Rail Train to venture from Pretoria to Cape Town. Spend the night in boutique hotels, and dine in restaurants where regional wines pair with every dish.

    Custom Travel: Those wanting to book a trip exclusively with their friends, by themselves, a couple, or a large group - this is for you. Request a proposal and tell them what you want to do and where you want to go. It’s like having your own personal trip planner, so you can focus on spending quality time.

    Why Choose a Tour with Friendly Planet?

    If you thought you couldn’t go on tours because it’s cheaper to do it yourself - think again! Friendly Planet is the tour operator for those that are budget-focused, without sacrificing the experiences, good service, organization, and overall quality.

    Once you’re on your trip, you have a dedicated emergency line that connects you to their managers in America (no matter what time of day/night it is). Additionally, they give back to the community and actively contribute to projects that promote education, clean water, human rights, wildlife protection, and more.

    It should be noted however, that not everything is always guided by Friendly Planet tour guides because they outsource some of their trips. This means there are some potential issues that are out of their control. Depending on the destination, some partners are better organized than others. Not all of them are detail-oriented - they might miss small requests or change without notice.


    About St Hilda Sea Adventures

    St. Hilda Sea Adventures provide the unique experience to see Scotland from the sea. They offer many activities and private excursions - a perfect travel experience for families, older travellers, and small multi-gen groups.

    What Makes Them Stand Out?

    Taking only up to 11 guests (6 on St Hilda and 11 on Seahorse II), their tours are incredibly unique, as you cruise aboard a classic ex-tall ship (St Hilda) or a proper small ship (Seahorse II). Activities include sailing, swimming, sea kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, rock pooling, and lobster potting. Or, you can simply choose to just relax and watch the spectacular wildlife and scenery float by.

    Who Travels With Them?

    All ages and all types enjoy traveling with St. Hilda Sea Adventures. Families, couples, and solo passengers are all welcome. Passengers can choose to do as much or as little as they like. This is a great trip for young kids to enjoy as well, for the thrill of hoisting the sails like a true sailor.

    Where Do They Operate?

    The West Coast of Scotland is where they specialize, the Outer and Inner Hebrides specifically. Such a niche focus is a huge positive for those interested in getting a unique view of this part of the world.

    Why Travel With Them?

    Their Scottish cruises give you the opportunity to see extraordinary wildlife and to cruise aboard a small ship with skipper and chef and a small group of passengers. All food is included, and there are many opportunities for interesting excursions. Some excursions are included in the price however, you can also arrange excursions based on your interests. These are not included but allow for a wonderful amount of personalization to your travel experience with St. Hilda Sea Adventures.

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