SmarTours vs St Hilda Sea Adventures - Tour Companies Compared
Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.
Overall — 5
Value — 4.9
Guide — 4.9
Activities — 4.9
Lodging — 4.9
Transportation — 4.9
Meals — 4.9
Overall — 5
Value — 5.0
Guide — 5.0
Activities — 5.0
Lodging — 5.0
Transportation — 5.0
Meals — 5.0
Exceeded my Expectations!5.0 July 2019
For someone who usually plans every detail of my travels...going on a group tour was not something I relished. Plus, I knew that Smartours was considered a “budget” travel company, so my expectations weren’t that high. However, other than a few minor inconveniences, this trip exceeded my expectations. The magical African landscapes and its kind, welcoming people made this adventure one of the best vacations I’ve been on. Pros: Well-paced itinerary that gave us the opportunity for some free time to plan our own activities, smallish group (25) of lovely, considerate, fellow travelers (we were in the minority of “younger” folks and we are in our 50s), excellent included tours, mostly lovely hotels/lodges, amazing breakfasts/dinners, included porter services at all stops, Smartours CEO personally responded quickly to our inquiry regarding booking cost concern, and our delightful and attentive guide Jonathan. Cons: 6 hour scheduled layover, most uncomfortable 14+ hour flight ever via South African Airways, trip extension Vic Falls guide was very personable, but not very attentive, Smartours sends trip info only 2 weeks prior to departure (would love to have had this info sooner), several of the optional tours were mediocre. But honestly...if you’re a frequent traveler...these concerns are pretty minor. I will definitely be recommending the South Africa Tour to friends for value/quality and hope that ST keeps its word about limiting group sizes to under 25. I will definitely use them again in the future!Read more
Wonderful experience, well-deigned by SmarTours5.0 May 2019
The Treasures of Portugal trip focuses on the highlights of the cultural and artistic heritage of this fascinating country. The chosen destinations and sites rarely disappointed, and there was always something awe-inspiring at each stop. The tour provides a great balance between programmed and free time, allowing you to see what you want or find time to explore on your own. The fact that few dinners and no lunches were provided afford you the opportunity to discover the places and tastes that intrigue you as you discover the variety of offerings available in each location.Read more
The destinations chosen are smart and live up to the promise that these are the country's treasures. Our guide was brilliant - she knew well the backstory of the locations and the significance of the art and architecture. Each part of the tour was a lesson in history, presented with excitement and passion. Her adoration of the history and culture of her countrymen was palpable and infectious, and gave the touring experience much added value.
Well planned, organized, balanced, affordable, and utterly enjoyable. Very highly recommended.
Well worth the time and money, saw all the sights5.0 April 2019
My husband and I enjoyed this trip a lot. The weather was perfect, the other travelers (33 including us) were companionable, and the sights were iconic. My only complaint was that our nice guide, Hanna, was too casual about instructions, times to meet, counting our group as we left a site, etc. She even left one traveler behind at night at the Luxor Temple! This has never happened on our many other escorted tours. And Smartours gave us three different boat names for the trip on the Nile and we almost got lost when they switched it again and we lost the group going to the ship! We also did not like that our group spent more time at buying opportunities(!) like papyrus work, rugs, marble statues, jewelry, etc. than we did at the sites! Prices were high so the guide could get a kickback. Other than that, all went well. Hotels and meals were great and in general, the value for money for the trip, with pleasant nonstop flights from New York to Cairo, was excellent.Read more
Tour Splendors of Egypt
Fabulous trip and company enough!5.0 August 2019
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!Read more
Tour St Hilda Sea Adventures Company Reviews
Excellent crew5.0 June 2019
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.Read more
Tour St Hilda Sea Adventures Company Reviews
Wonderful, memorable cruise5.0 June 2019
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.Read more
Tour St Hilda Sea Adventures Company Reviews
|Tours||55 Trips||7 Trips|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 259||$ 172|
|Operator Type||Mixed Land & Cruise||Small Ship & Expedition Cruise Line|
|Size||Global Operator||Local Specialist|
|Headquarters||New York City, New York, USA||Oban, Scotland|
|Solo Friendly||N/A||Good for singles|
Founded in 1996, smarTours promises its customers the “Best Travel Bargains” by offering mostly all-inclusive guided tours throughout much of the world.
What Makes SmarTours Stand Out?
SmarTours offers affordable tours along with great itineraries. Included in the price of all their tours is international airfare from the U.S., first-class hotels, sightseeing excursions, and English-speaking local guides. SmarTours draws a large repeat business, taking travelers to such far-flung destinations as Thailand, Morocco, Japan, Peru, Patagonia, India, and Australia.
Who Will Enjoy Traveling with SmarTours?
Travelers who love traveling and care about experiencing the destination above all else - tourist sites, history, and culture - will love the feel of a SmarTours trip. These tours are definitely for the budget minded - SmarTours offers numerous deals and specials throughout the year, and provides many other ways you can save money as well, including referring your friends and being a repeat SmarTours traveler. Trips are comfortable and well guided, if not luxury or especially “unique” in tone. Airfare is included, which is a major selling point for SmarTours travelers.
SmarTours is perfect for the traveler who wants to get the most out of their travel experience, in terms of inclusions and time spent exploring the sites, both with a guide and with free time. If you are looking for a more cultivated, personalized experience, the SmarTours focus on keeping costs low doesn’t always allow for this. That said, this is budget travel that strives to appeal to a wider range.
SmarTours caters to all ages that are looking for good prices. They are largely popular amongst 50+ travelers and families.
SmarTours travels all over the world, including Africa, Asia, South America and Cuba, Western and Eastern Europe, and the Mediterranean. Diverse itineraries are available in each destination.
SmarTours Travel Style
Except for its cruise offerings -- primarily river cruises as well as Greek Island and Galapagos cruises -- transportation is generally by bus. Group sizes may reach 40 and beyond, but may also be smaller depending on the popularity of the trip. SmarTours will design custom trips for groups with at least 25-30 travelers.
Accommodations are between value and premium, comfortable with a step above basic amenities. You won’t spend much time in your hotel, as SmarTours makes the focus about the travel experiences on the ground. They care about ensuring that you have as much time as possible to explore with the guide and on your own.
Why Choose a Tour With SmarTours?
SmarTours is a complete bargain package for budget minded travelers. If you are looking for an unbeatable value, don’t mind a large group and want tours focused on exotic destinations, then SmarTours is a perfect choice for you.
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.