Road Scholar vs St Hilda Sea Adventures - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 5
Value — 4.6
Guide — 4.7
Activities — 4.6
Lodging — 4.5
Transportation — 4.5
Meals — 4.5
Overall — 5
Value — 5.0
Guide — 5.0
Activities — 5.0
Lodging — 5.0
Transportation — 5.0
Meals — 5.0
Recent Reviews

The amazing places we saw

5.0 July 2019
G
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I liked everything about my RS tour of the Oregon Coast - the amazing places we saw; our well-informed and caring tour director Kathleen Fitzgerald; the capable and quietly efficient bus driver Tim; the vastly knowledgeable Earth Science specialist John Ford; the excellent local guides Audrey and Mike; the variety of group meals and eating locations; the convenient accommodations; and the wonderful tour co-participants. Also, before the tour, helpful Road Scholar staff and volunteers checked on all my health and nutrition needs. In all - an exquisite experience, which made me rush and book another Road Scholar tour for September. :-) Georgiana
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Tour Road Scholar Company Reviews

It was fun to be able to spend time alone with our grandson

5.0 May 2019
S
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We did a grandparent/grandchild trip with Road Scholar and it was a wonderful experience!
It was fun to be able to spend time alone with our grandson, and it was fun for him and us to meet new people.
We plan to do another trip next year with our other grandson!
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Tour Road Scholar Company Reviews

Its a stop on your life's adventure

5.0 May 2019
B
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Its not a trip, its a stop on your life's adventure and learning. My trip to the gardens of England and the Chelsea flower show with Jenny Smale as our tour guide and Kevin Tooher as our botanical guide was beyond my expectations for a tour of the gardens of England. We stayed in top hotels, rode in a comfortable bus, ate great meals and visited private sites that would have been impossible except for their assistance. Our group bonded and will continue to stay in touch.
I took hundreds of photos and packaged them into a Powerpoint presentation that I gave to my local garden club. Hope to encourage others to try this tour.
Can't wait for my next Road Scholar visit.
I am checking off my bucket list with the family that I never knew I had.

I have added another Road Scholar trip for 2019. I will be sharing 9 days with a fried in Churchill Ca while we travel on tundra buggies to see Polar Bears. I had been researching this trip for years and then looked over the Road Scholar description. Not only was it thousands cheaper, but also more side adventures and time watching bears than similar trips. I look forward to adding great photos to my review.
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Tour Road Scholar 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 856 Trips 9 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 244 $ 219
Operator Type Group Tour Operator Small Ship & Expedition Cruise Line
Size Global Operator Local Specialist
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • River Cruises
  • Private Guided Trips
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • Custom Itineraries
Service Level Standard Standard
Regions
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Rivers & Seas
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
  • Antarctica & the Arctic
  • Rivers & Seas
  • Europe
Known For
  • 50+
  • Photography
  • Adventure
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Eco Travel
  • Adventure
  • Sailing
Headquarters Boston, Massachusetts, United States Oban, Scotland
Year Established 1975 N/A
Solo Friendly N/A Good for singles
Tour Languages English N/A
Top Trips
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    About Road Scholar

    Founded in 1975 as Elderhostel, Road Scholar took its new name in 2010. The name change was meant to better reflect the non-profit educational travel organization’s mission, which is to offer lifelong learning opportunities to adults.

    Besides it’s a clever play on words (the takeoff on Rhodes Scholar), “Road” stands for the journeys the group offers, while “Scholar” indicates the deep devotion to learning that participants possess.

    What Makes Road Scholar Stand Out?

    Tours specifically designed for older travelers and with a heavy focus on gaining deeper knowledge through educational activities, led by guides who are experts in a variety of fields.

    Instructors accompanying Road Scholar trips are experts in their fields, delivering lectures and leading field trips. Trip themes may range from history and culture, language study, and music appreciation to birding, bicycling, and baseball (proving that learning can be light-hearted, too).

    Traveling with Road Scholar is like a study abroad experience, with classes and instructors, with a group of people the same age who have a similarly extensive hindsight on life - and love to learn.

    Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Road Scholar?

    The first thing to note is that Road Scholar trips are specifically intended for travelers 50 and above (often 65+).

    Open minded, active, and worldly life-long learners who have a sense of adventure and willingness to try new things, will love the cadence of a Road Scholar trip. Road Scholar is often the first guided trip experience for older travelers.

    Perhaps in your younger days you loved going it alone, planning out your itinerary, and loved the spontaneity of traveling off the beaten path. Now you’re ready to have that same spirit, but with a few more ducks in a row and maybe hit some of the classic sites you missed or didn’t truly appreciate before.

    Road Scholar has recently added special grandparent-grandchild trips and programs for three generations traveling together. Keep in mind that the focus remains on education, distinguishing Road Scholar trips from most commercial tours.

    Group sizes with Road Scholar vary, but many small group study tours are limited to 10-24 participants. They are also very friendly to solo travelers - offering many tours for solos and singles where you can meet new friends, and romantic interests!

    Road Scholar allows for particular good compatibility between you and your tour mates as each journey is designed around specific themes from an educational perspective.

    Top Destinations

    With a special Road Scholar operates tours in 150 countries, as well as every state in the U.S. Aside from the educational days, many trips include activities in nature, with hiking, kayaking, and other outdoors experiences.

    Road Scholar Travel Style

    Road Scholar creates their itineraries to encourage learning - both in a scholarly way, from knowledgeable guides, and experts in various fields, and also in a holistic way - from the accommodations, meals, and transportation. Your entire journey with Road Scholar is designed as an educational experience.

    Tours are referred to as “programs”, guides, tour directors, and leaders are “faculty” and they even have an online “campus store”. Programs are designed to be immersive and very different from a canned experience.

    Walking trips, train treks, small ship cruises, and riverboat voyages are among the options for trip style. Prices typically stay in the budget/value range consistent with the company’s roots.

    Road Scholar offers may ways to save on their trips. These include scholarships, friend referrals, and various specials and deals throughout the year.

    Why Choose a Tour With Road Scholar?

    On a Road Scholar tour you can expect a lot of unique cultural, artistic, historic, and local insights. Meet artisans, learn local crafts, and feel the camaraderie of being around other travelers who enjoy the educational aspect of travel.

    The original Elderhostel grew out of the vision of the late Marty Knowlton, who spent four years backpacking around Europe while staying in youth hostels -- and wanted American adults to have access to similar cultural experiences.

    If you consider yourself a lifelong learner and want to spend your vacation amongst others who share your passion for travel and education, Road Scholar is the place for you.

    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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