Classic Journeys vs Discover Corps - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 5
Value — 4.9
Guide — 5.0
Activities — 5.0
Lodging — 4.9
Transportation — 4.9
Meals — 5.0
Overall — 4.5
Value — 4.5
Guide — 4.5
Activities — 4.5
Lodging — 4.5
Transportation — 4.5
Meals — 4.5
Recent Reviews

Classic Journeys tour of Montana -- a Rip-Off

2.0 September 2018
D
Does Not Recommend
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 2.0
  • Activities 3.0
  • Lodging 2.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 3.0
These comments apply to the Classic Journeys “Culture and Walking” tour: “Montana Glacier National Park Vacation” which we took from August 19 to August 24, 2018.
This tour should have been canceled due to fires in the park. According to National Park Service readings, the air quality over the five days ranged from UNHEALTHY in the early morning to VERY UNHEALTHY from about noon to the end of the day. My wife had breathing problems from the first day. We initially attributed it to altitude. But we stayed at about the same altitude almost all week, and yet her breathing became more labored each day. By the third day, she was forced to stop hiking several times to catch her breath. It continued to worsen until the end of the tour.
The cancellation of two tour members from the original 10 reduced our group size by 20%. Classic Journeys then used only one guide instead of two guides we expected for this "LUXURY" tour. Thus Classic Journeys loss of 20% of revenue resulted in our tour group’s loss of 50% of guidance and support. On the last morning of the tour, we finally had an extra guide. The difference in guidance and support was enormous, and showed just how much we had lost for the first four and one half days.
The stay at the Belton was a disaster. The room was so tiny, we had no place to unpack our suitcases. There was no AC, no TV (though there was an outlet), no phone (again, there was an outlet), and not even a bar of soap. Motel 6 has bigger rooms with far more amenities. This was a LUXURY accommodation??

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Tour Classic Journeys Company Reviews

Classic Journeys Norway Trip

5.0 September 2016
J
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We went on a Classic Journeys trip to Norway and, as usual, it was fabulous. This was our 3rd tour with them and from soup to nuts it was terrific! Our guide, Vibeke, was really knowledgeable and extremely passionate about her country. We started in Oslo and ended in Bergen, one of the lovliest cities anywhere. It is a walking tour but the things we saw were terrific-a 1,000 year old Viking church, walking the glacier, kayaking on the fjord. The places that we stayed at were charming and the food was fabulous-even the reindeer meat!
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Tour Classic Journeys Company Reviews

One of the best trips you can take

5.0 January 2015
W
Recommends
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Having done both the Loire Valley and Provence with Classic Journeys, I can say unequivocably that these are as fine a walking tours as you can find (and I've tried other companies). The pace is such that you can really appreciate the countryside and environment rather than feeling you're always being hurried off someplace. And the guides have been great, really know their stuff.
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Tour Classic Journeys Company Reviews

Fun in Japan

5.0 November 2018
JCO
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
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!
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Tour Discover Corps Company Reviews

Excellent

5.0 July 2018
B
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
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.
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Really superb trip--highly recommended!

5.0 July 2017
TT
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
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).

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.
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Tours 10 Trips 28 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 635 $ 399
Operator Type Group Tour Operator Group Tour Operator
Size Global Operator Global Operator
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Private Guided Trips
  • Custom Itineraries
  • Group Tours
  • Private Guided Trips
Service Level Luxury Standard
Regions
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Europe
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
Known For
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Adventure
  • Luxury
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Eco Travel
  • Volunteering
Headquarters La Jolla, California, USA San Diego, California
Year Established 1996 2004
Solo Friendly No single supplement No single supplement
Tour Languages N/A English
Top Trips
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Countries
About Classic Journeys

Classic Journeys began in 1995 and has since carved out a unique niche in the luxury travel market, providing high end travel with an adventurous twist, all over the world.

What Makes Them Stand Out

They describe themselves as having “sophisticated gusto” an apt way to get an idea of their travel style. It’s luxury travel but not the stuffy sort. In France, you might find yourself in the chateaux-lined Loire Valley or the lavender fields of Provence. In Italy, you might walk the Amalfi Coast or through Sardinia. In Southeast Asia, you can meet the locals while walking through Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. In North America, you might explore Nova Scotia's coast or the streets of Savannah and Charleston. In Latin America, Cuba, Costa Rica, Belize and Chile are all possibilities. As Classic Journeys puts it: "We meet and mingle…in markets, vineyards, piazzas and homes." And always at a relaxed pace.

Who Travels With Them

Many of their customers are independent minded travelers who are fed up with planning the logistics. As such they focus on keeping an element of spontaneity in their trips. You’ll enjoy their itineraries if you enjoy unique local experiences combined with the luxury that comes with having everything expertly taken care of. Group size ranges between 10 and 18 on their walking, culinary, and family tours, and they can also arrange private custom itineraries.

Where Do They Operate

They arrange trips all over the globe, from South America to New Zealand. A majority of trips are in France, Italy, Canada, and the United States.

Why Travel With Them

They emphasise keeping the feeling of spontaneous, authentic local travel in their approach to guided travel. You can choose from between specialized itineraries in four main “buckets”: Cultural Walking Adventures, Culinary Tours, Family Multi-Sport, and Private Journeys. Local guides will provide a deeper perspective as you experience each destination from all sides, through unique and immersive cultural activities, never losing the element of luxury travel.

About Discover Corps

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.

Top Destinations

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.

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