Abercrombie & Kent vs Discover Corps - Tour Companies Compared
Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.
Overall — 4.5
Value — 4.1
Guide — 4.3
Activities — 4.3
Lodging — 4.4
Transportation — 4.3
Meals — 4.1
Overall — 4.5
Value — 4.5
Guide — 4.5
Activities — 4.5
Lodging — 4.5
Transportation — 4.5
Meals — 4.5
1.0 January 2019
Does Not Recommend
We have used Tauck and other high end family travel organizations. We decided to give Abercrombie & Kent a try for our Australia holiday. It was a disappointment beginning to end. First, you never get the day to day times and "full" itinerary until you land. We stood in the airport calling for the A&K driver in the line. Finally, a man stepped forward and said: "Sorry, Miss I was just talking to my mates and the tour director is running late."The four season is nice anywhere in the world but we could have booked that on our own. The things that families want to do in Sydney are NOT included in your tour and must be booked by you and paid for in addition to the A&K costs. For example: Climbing the harbor bridge and Sydney opera house. We did get to go to Bondi Beach for a surf lesson. What they don't tell you is they are locking the door to the shop so no going back for a camera, to change out of wetsuit etc for the next three hours- just sit on the beach and burn?The Rolex Hobart Yacht Race was leaving the harbor as we were leaving the beach. We were sitting in traffic anyway so I asked to for a quick stop so we could get photos. There were several side streets along the road. The director said NO we will be late for the jet boat ride. Well, the jet boat is easy to take and runs every 30 minutes-a no brainer to do later or on your own at minimal cost. However, seeing all the yachts from above the harbor is a once in a lifetime view...opportunities missed- but this is a daily occurrence with A&K. Next was the zoo- I told the director before we caught the ferry that the one thing we wanted to do was the photos with the koalas. We came to the koalas and the booth was open. I said can I go and get our tickets? The response was no- stay with the group. The Koala pics were only US $25~ A&K should have had tickets for the 5 families on the tour. This was a low cost opportunity to make the trip special for everyone. By the time our tour finished, we were #32 in line with the ferry leaving in 1 hour. Geez! We then fly to the outback. Miserable experience- Fly economy squeezed in like sardines. I asked for a coke- they said: are you with the Disney tour? no.. then you have to pay for your own drink... ? The outback tours were long, super hot and boring. To see Ayers Rock and the Olgas once from an air-conditioned bus is ok but to do it for two days in 45 C is crazy! The afternoon activity for kids was aboriginal dot painting. But, it was scheduled at 1:00 pm (blazing sun) and they wanted them to walk to the city center and do it outdoors. No one attended. I went to the tour director and told her- the guy playing the didgeridoo had better come to the hotel and play indoors. It was planned for all of us to be outside with no kid interaction. She did adjust and have us in the gathering room so we had air conditioning but only at my request. Then we were suppose to be there for a "food" experience which was a girl walking around with some berries etc on a plate you could taste if you wanted. Then all fed fish for lunch. Finally we arrived at the airport to fly to Cairns and everything was shutting down because we were the last flight out. Disney had left the day before because nothing to do there but take a pic and be scorching hot. A&K just held us over wasting time/a day.Read more
The snorkel dive in Cairns was a problem because we had all paid for what we thought was a small group tour only to find A&K was combining several groups to lower their overhead costs; hence, the schedule was for 87 people to be on one boat! It didn't matter because it was raining and the trip was cancelled. We arrived in Cairns ONLY TO BE BUSSED to Port Douglas for 1.5 hours. No one had eaten since 11:00 am when we arrived at the Pullman hotel at 7:30 pm. They unloaded our luggage outdoors so it was soaking wet. We had to wait turns in the lobby for a golf cart to take each family to their rooms. We had no internet the first night, the shower head was broken and the knob fell off the whirly tub. To improvise, A&K set a tour at the wildlife habitat for koala pictures (better late than never) Only 2 families attended- by this time everyone was done. We booked our own incredible experience for behind the scenes. We got to go in the nursery and hold the babies etc- Brilliant! The itinerary was to hold us for NY Eve, but we jumped ship and flew to Sydney (all costly last minute) but we were trying to salvage our holiday and glad we did- the fireworks were amazing and a relaxing time flying home the next morning instead of a 2 am wakeup and transport! Basically, A&K did not want to pay for the NY eve rooms so held everyone in Port Douglas until the next morning- then flew everyone back to Sydney. Overall, Horrible experience with A&K- so sad to have wasted so much money and my husbands coveted family time off work. All the good experiences were booked and paid for out of pocket + in addition to our high priced A&K family tour package. Don't Do It!
Tour Abercrombie & Kent Company Reviews
3.0 October 2018
Does Not Recommend
Tour Abercrombie & Kent Company Reviews
5.0 January 2017
This is a luxury small group safari. 12 people, two land rovers. We spent the arrival night in a hotel in Arusha, two of the nights during the safari in hotels, and the rest of the nights in the luxury camp. The hotels were all good. The food was good, not great. The luxury camp is a two room canvas tent containing a queen size bed or two doubles. then there is a dressing area leading to the "bathroom" which is a toilet seat on a box over a hole in the ground. There is a shower stall in which they fill a canvas bag with hot water from the fire. They will not begrudge you a refill if you want to take your time. The day starts early in the dining tent with breakfast. then it is off to the land rovers to begin the safari. The guides from all the different safari's communicate to share where the most sought after animals are to be found. You will absolutely be up close and personal with lions, elephants, giraffes, monkeys, wildebeest, ostrich, zebra, hyrax, and the bird life. You will also see Water buffallo and hippos, but is best not to get close to them. and you will see plenty of Cheetah and some Rhinos, but usually from afar.Read more
Lunch is usually conducted picnic style in the park. Our A&K picnics were the envy of every other group. Then it is touring until sunset.
When you get back to camp there is a camp fire going and the head guide will present a lecture, while everyone enjoys some much needed libations, of which there is great variety and unlimited quantity. Then dinner in the dining tent, and after dinner back to the campfire for more libations, and usually to review everyone's pictures from that day.
The guides are extremely knowledgeable and friendly. You will actually miss them on your last day. I had a great time and heartily recommend this safari and A&K.
The best part is being inside the game park all day and night. You really dont want to be going back to a hotel, but to stay out in nature.
Some tips: There is a generator in the camp so you may recharge your electrical items every day. They can also launder your clothes. Things to bring: plenty of strong repellent to deter the horse flies, do not skimp on memory cards for your camera, be sure to have a telescopic lens for your camera, a good pair of binoculars with good magnification, a flashlight, a device to view your photos on, a device to copy your photos onto. Dont forget a sweater, its cold at Ngorongoro Crater. For your digestive happiness, I had good results taking probiotic and charcoal capsules every day. You can see my pictures at https://flic.kr/s/aHsiUJWDur
5.0 November 2018
Japan Cultural Odyssey
We really enjoyed our Discover Corps tour and can't wait to return to Japan. My wife and I took the Discover Corps cultural trip to Japan (Started in Tokyo-then a bullet train to Kyoto & more local trains to Osaka). The transportation system works well and no cars were ever needed. We were completely taken care of from booking and then thru the process. Adrienne did a great job of informing us of all the details-no planning required. Our guides in Japan, Aki and Miwa, were very knowledgeable local people & made sure we were having a unforgettable time! The cultural experience in Japan was terrific. Great mix of excitement; watching Sumo and participating in Kendo. The food was wonderful plus we were able to participate in sushi making!Read more
Tour Discover Corps Company Reviews
5.0 July 2018
We lived in the African bush for 10 days. Accommodations were wonderful - tents with nice furniture and attached bathrooms. Plenty of hot water! Food was delicious and quite sophisticated. But the best were the wildlife experiences led by an extremely knowledgeable and personable guide. All the staff were kind and professional.Read more
5.0 July 2017
This trip was really superb, starting with the folks like Alex in the San Diego office to our tour guide in Havana, Orelvis (a perfect gentleman if there ever was one--and he seemed to know absolutely EVERYTHING about Havana), and our driver, Boris (who was an extremely safe driver, and the SUV that was our transportation was a practically new Honda), and our friendly hostess at the casa particular (B&B).Read more
But at breakfast at the casa particular, keep in mind the CDC guidelines for healthy travel: cook it, boil it, peel it (yourself) or FORGET IT. So the bowl of fruit and the fruit juices? Pass them up in favor of coffee and toast. I know that sounds boring, but after I got home, I ended up in the hospital emergency room for dehydration due to e-coli--my fault for not following the CDC guidelines.
Also, to get up to my room at the casa particular, I had to climb a narrow, curved marble staircase--I took extra care not to fall either on the way up or on the way down.
The activities and attractions were first rate (but you must keep in mind that you're on "Cuban time," and not everything runs like a Swiss train). From the Hemingway house to the canon ceremony (which I loved even though it was a substitution for another event that was unexpectedly closed) to the jazz club (again, we went to one jazz club that for some reason didn't work out, but no problem--Orelvis took us to another jazz club recommended by his supervisor in Havana) to the art museum to the Malecon to the outdoor terrace at the Hotel Nacional and more, it was amazing how much we saw of Havana in about 72 hours.
There were only four people on the trip, and that was both a good thing and a bad thing--good because each of us received a great deal of attention from Orelvis and bad because two of the four didn't want to follow the itinerary and often went off on their own and then kept the rest of us waiting for them to return (highly frustrating--finally Boris said, "the schedule is the schedule," and we stopped catering to them). One of them spoke fluent Spanish--good for her--but I did wish that Orelvis had curtailed the lengthy conversations that she initiated with him, which the rest of us could not understand.
Two of my favorite activities were ones that I arranged myself: attending the world-class ballet at the gorgeously restored el Gran Teatro and then taking a yellow 1950 Chevrolet convertible with an Italian driver, who was an absolute hoot, back to the casa particular.
And the food at the private restaurants known as paladars was first rate. We even had lunch at one that Anthony Bourdain recently featured on his CNN travel show "Parts Unknown."
Just a small word of caution: sometimes there wasn't enough bottled water in the SUV in which we were riding, especially when we were dropped off at the casa particular at night. Make sure that you have plenty of bottled water with you at all times. (The CDC even recommends that you brush your teeth with bottled water.)
I also wish I had brought another pair of shoes with me because with all of the walking in the heat of the Cuban sun, my feet swelled. Fortunately, I had brought some Band-Aids with me, which helped cushion the sore spots.
I highly recommend this trip--to my way of thinking, it's much better than taking a cruise ship that only docks in Havana for one or two nights--and the "Havana Weekend Getaway" is the most popular trip to Cuba that is offered by Discover Corps, as I learned from Orelvis.
|Tours||28 Trips||28 Trips|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 704||$ 399|
|Operator Type||Group Tour Operator||Group Tour Operator|
|Size||Global Operator||Global Operator|
|Headquarters||Suite Downers Grove, IL, United States||San Diego, California|
|Solo Friendly||N/A||No single supplement|
Co-founded by current CEO Geoffrey Kent in 1962, Abercrombie & Kent started out in modest fashion as an African safari operator, but quickly grew into one of the world's premiere luxury travel brands. Today they cover the globe, with 50 offices worldwide.
What Makes Abercrombie & Kent Stand Out?
Abercrombie & Kent is one of the world’s leading luxury travel companies. The emphasis is very much on luxury here -- whether it’s small-group travel (limit of 18 per group), tailor-made journeys, expedition cruises, train travel, African safaris, European barge cruises, or any of its many other offerings, just about everything A&K arranges is top of the line.
They are specific in their travel style, promising superior and attentive service, comfort, and cultural exploration. While this may seem exclusionary - and the prices are quite a barrier to entry
Luxury travel might have a reputation for being swanky and even perhaps a bit dull, particularly for those who travel for adventure, the image being a glass of champagne all day long, moving from meal to meal, sitting on the private deck of a cruise ship. This perspective is a misnomer however, as there is quite a bit of action available on tours with Abercrombie & Kent.
Enjoy invigorating walks, hikes, get outdoors to remote locations, meeting local people and learning about their cultures; experience the thrill of getting up close to waterfalls, and poise your camera for the perfect shot on a safari. Then retire to your room for a cocktail before dinner.
Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Abercrombie & Kent?
Abercrombie & Kent travelers embody an adventurous spirit, but enjoy the finer things as well. “Elegant exploration” is one way to put it. These travelers appreciate a slow pace and personalized attentive service. The age range tends to be older - baby boomers and seniors looking for a relaxing experience, with many cultural touch-points, but not overly “immersive” as their children and grandchildren might prefer.
This is upper crest travel at its finest - though Abercrombie & Kent makes a concerted effort to be worldly and inviting, your experience is definitely a luxury version of any given destination. This is a travel company that offers Private Jet trips, some of which offering the chance to meet an Abercrombie & Kent family member.
Think private after hours tours, exclusive outings with artisans, chefs, and winemakers; spectacular meals and accommodations that go a touch beyond comfortable. Imagine the civilized world of cocktail hour and dressing for dinner, but in the context of exploration. Perhaps you’re sipping your negroni on the deck of your private suite in Kenya, gazing out across the savannah with elephants silhouetted in the distance, against the dusty yellow sunlight of dusk. This is the wonderful travel world waiting for you with Abercrombie & Kent.
The majority of A&K’s guests come from North America or Britain. A&K trips are definitely not for the budget traveler, but they offer deluxe lodgings and transport and exceptionally attentive service, which their customers value highly.
Abercrombie & Kent made its name offering luxury small group and private safaris in Africa. Today they go around the world, but with the same luxurious approach.
Luxury doesn’t mean same-old, same-old or unadventurous though. Groups head off on Antarctic expeditions or Uganda gorilla safaris, visit Tibet or Machu Picchu, join a European or Nile river cruise, or travel to India’s Pushkar Fair.
You can ride deluxe trains or fly across Africa by private jet with Abercrombie & Kent. Or you can outline your own tailor-made journey under the guidance of an A&K consultant, then be accompanied by their guides throughout.
Abercrombie & Kent Travel Style
There could be a tendency to view Abercrombie & Kent as old fashioned when it comes to travel style. However there is a difference between old fashioned and appreciating a traditional travel style. Those who travel with Abercrombie & Kent do expect a certain kind of experience. From luggage handling to having the salad fork in the correct order, from short or non-existent lines to special assistance when needed. These expectations have become the blueprint for an Abercrombie & Kent travel experience.
Transportation on an Abercrombie & Kent tour is almost always private and chartered. Exceptions would of course be rail journeys, but here you would have a private car and access to first class dining and viewing. Your journey may involve anything from helicopters, private jets, luxury coaches, and yachts. Walking is a common part of most guided tours, but you can expect simple and easy distances during your A&K itinerary. (Unless of course you are on a Gorilla Trek!).
Accommodation follows a similar pattern. Luxury hotels, safari lodges, villas, you name it and it’s probably available.
Why Choose a Tour With Abercrombie & Kent?
Abercrombie & Kent promises to deliver an authentic, “insider” travel experience, such as seeing Machu Picchu under the guidance of its former resident archaeologist. You can even ride an elegant train to get there. In Tanzania, A&K runs its own luxury safari camps.
From the time they first meet you at the airport until trip end, Abercrombie & Kent promises that your trip will go as smoothly as possible -- and that their entire global organization will be dedicated toward that goal.
It may strike some as contradictory to see certain parts of the world in luxury. Some countries have luxury homes, but they are only available to tourists and travelers because the locals simply occupy a different social sphere. There is a unique dependency on tourism in much of the world. Abercrombie & Kent takes this seriously, doing their philanthropic part wherever possible, giving back to the local communities.
San Diego based tour company Discover Corps is a leader in the rapidly growing field of volunteer vacations. Operating since 2004, Discovery Corps trips average one to two weeks and focus on volunteering either with children and schools or with animals and wildlife conservation.
What Makes Discover Corps Stand Out?
They are focused on providing travel experiences with a wider humanitarian purpose - and help you put your tourism dollars to good use on the ground. The world of “voluntourism” is a sticky area, and has been met with some criticism over the years, so traveling with a reputable and transparent company has become super important.
With Discover Corps, volunteering, responsible tourism, and giving back to local communities is their entire brand - not just a buzzword on the “about us” page. So for those travelers who truly want to make their vacation about volunteering first and tourism second, Discover Corps is a great choice.
Discover Corps trips are all inclusive, and while volunteering is the primary focus, sightseeing and cultural activities are also included. Their trips are very popular among families, friend groups, and solo travelers.
Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Discover Corps?
These tours are best suited to travelers who want to have a humanitarian focus on their next trip. And if this idea is new to you, but you are interested in getting involved, Discover Corp is a great way to start.
The average age on a Discover Corps trip is 45-65 except in summer, when families with children as young as 10 are welcome on “family friendly” trips.
Wildlife lovers as well will love the opportunities available on Discover Corps Nature & Wildlife conservation tours. You’ll have a chance to get up close to some amazing species, learn about their habitats, and get to participate in various initiatives designed to protect these habitats.
Discover Corp travels around the world, in rural villages, beach locations, and rainforests. Popular destinations are primarily in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Discover Corps Travel Style
Their all-inclusive trips combine light volunteer projects with sightseeing and cultural immersion. They also offer support while you’re on site – from building classrooms to improving water systems to creating eco-friendly homes. The ideas come from the local communities themselves, and local staff plan everything in advance.
Why Choose a Tour With Discover Corps?
If you’re the kind of person who likes being actionable and getting involved with protecting threatened cultures, wildlife, and contributing to growing communities in need of schools and homes, then Discover Corps would be a great choice.
Volunteer vacations are one of the best ways to get to know the local people on a different level than many tour companies provide. Rather than simply enjoying a meal at a local restaurant, you’re out in the neighborhoods meeting everyday people.
“Traveling with a purpose” might seem like a thrown around phrase these days, but it is the entire philosophy around every Discovery Corps trips. So when you join one of their tours, you’ll be surrounded by guides and other travelers for whom this isn’t a buzzword - it’s an important and meaningful mission.