Hapag-Lloyd Cruises vs Discover Corps - Tour Companies Compared
Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.
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Overall — 4.5
Value — 4.6
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Meaningful beyond words!5.0 April 2019
Trip of a lifetime
We experimented Tanzania through Discover Corps! Our trip included service and safari. We adored working with the children, being with the people and seeing animals on Safari. This trip was one of the best things we’ve ever done for ourselves!!!Read more
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Fun in Japan5.0 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
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Excellent5.0 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
|Tours||2 Trips||28 Trips|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 0||$ 399|
|Operator Type||Small Ship & Expedition Cruise Line||Group Tour Operator|
|Size||Global Operator||Global Operator|
|Headquarters||Anckelmannsplatz, Hamburg, Germany||San Diego, California|
|Solo Friendly||N/A||No single supplement|
German-based Hapag-Lloyd has only four ships in its fleet, but they are all considered among the finest at sea. Its two expedition-style ships, the 175-passenger MS Hanseatic (the world’s only five-star expedition ship) and the 155-passenger MS Bremen (four-stars-plus), spend much of their time in the Antarctic and Arctic regions. H-L’s two regular cruise ships, the 400-passenger Europa and 500-passenger Europa 2, are anything but “regular,” having recently been named the two top cruise ships in the world by the authoritative Berlitz Guide to Cruising.
What Makes Them Stand Out?
Everything about these ships is first class. The service is impeccable, the cuisine is bountiful and first rate, the cabins are roomy and well equipped, and the public rooms are comfortable and inviting. Itineraries will take you well off the beaten cruising routes. They also have excellent safety records.
Who Travels With Them?
The clientele is largely German, but you’ll also find other Europeans and some Americans on board; Hapag-Lloyd is currently making a push to woo more U.S. and Canadian passengers. Announcements and tours are given in both German and English, and English is widely spoken by the staff. Most passengers are affluent since prices are high. While not really family-oriented, Hapag-Lloyd ships do welcome children. Expedition-style cruises require passengers to submit medical forms from their doctors attesting to their physical ability to board Zodiacs and keep up with the group.
Where Do They Operate?
Along with destinations as far-ranging as Papua New Guinea and Madagascar, the expedition-style cruises visit Antarctica and surrounding areas, as well as the Arctic regions. The latter include Spitsbergen (Svalbard), Iceland, Greenland, northern Canada, and the North Pole. The Europa and Europa 2 cruise the rest of the world, with some forays to the far north as well in summer.
How Does It Work?
The hardest thing you’ll have to do on a Hapag-Lloyd cruise is get off and on the ship, and – with the possible exception of boarding Zodiacs in the Polar regions – that’s pretty easy. Top-flight service ensures everything runs smoothly on board, while amenities sparkle. The expedition-style Hanseatic, for instance, comes equipped with an enclosed swimming pool and fitness area that offers panoramic views.
Why Travel With Them?
If you can afford it, you can’t find nicer ships than those of Hapag-Lloyd. Dress is mostly casual on board, and itineraries will take you to the farthest points on the globe. On the expedition-style ships, don’t look for typical cruise-ship-style entertainments such as stage shows and casinos; instead, you’ll find lectures and fellow passengers interested in nature and wildlife viewing. If that describes you, check your bank account and consider signing up.
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.