Poseidon Expeditions vs Discover Corps - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 5
Value — 4.8
Guide — 4.8
Activities — 4.8
Lodging — 4.8
Transportation — 4.8
Meals — 4.8
Overall — 4.5
Value — 4.5
Guide — 4.5
Activities — 4.5
Lodging — 4.5
Transportation — 4.5
Meals — 4.5
Recent Reviews

Fabulous Trip on a Great Ship

5.0 January 2017
A
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 4.0
I hadn't heard of Poseidon when I found the company while searching for trips to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands. However, I was reassured by reviews I found online and I am very glad that I trusted what I read. The pre-cruise administration from Natalia was efficient and helpful. The pre-cruise hotel was beautiful with great views. Our cabin was the best we have had on any of our small boat cruises. It was, however, the expedition staff and crew who made the whole trip so wonderful.

Forward planning meant that we were able to avoid storms around Falklands and South Georgia by reversing the itinerary to visit Antarctica first. This was an inspired decision as we had a calm crossing of the Drake Passage, reasonable weather at the start to excellent weather from day three. Every evening there was a recap meeting where we were fully apprised of the itinerary for the next day. Weather, winds and swell were all detailed and the decisions for the next day's landings fully explained. The captain was involved in the decisions and his extensive experience in the region helped our wonderful expedition leader, Jonathan Zaccaria, to make great decisions as to where to land. So good was the planning that we were able to make all but one landing throughout the 19 days, including every important stop planned from the wildlife point of view. This included seeing the fantastic king penguins at St Andrews Bay on South Georgia, where, only the previous week, one person we had spoken to said her cruise was unable to land anyone because of the wind and swell.

The ship's staff in every area could not do enough for us. This included our cabin man, the bar and kitchen staff, and the expedition staff, who managed the numerous zodiacs so brilliantly on the landings.

I could go on and on but suffice it to say that I would recommend Poseidon to anyone on this performance and we are looking at going again on another of their cruises.
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18 days of some of the most amazing sites, experiences, and wild life I never thought I would get to see

5.0 July 2016
LMA
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Everything about this trip was beyond amazing. I wasn't originally supposed to go with Poseidon but my first two tries to go on an Antarctic expedition cruise were cancelled...but I am glad they were now because it led me to this longer and I think better cruise company. Everything from the food to the staff to the lectures and to the landings absolutely was beyond expectations. We had Anja as our expedition leader and she was fantastic! She made everyone feel right at home! I achieved a lifetime milestone on this cruise as well, and that was stepping foot onto the Antarctic mainland, knocking off my 7th and final continent! The expedition crew made sure this happened as it was an important feet that a lot of people wanted to do at least once. The landings were all phenomenal. Our first stops were the Falkland Islands (2 days) where we saw tons of beautiful albatros and learned lots of history. Next was South Georgia (where we spent 4 days) and saw so many penguins...100's of thousands of penguins in their breeding colonies. Salisbury Plain, St. Andrew's Bay, and Gold Harbour were my favorites among the landings in South Georgia. And the last stops were on the Antarctic Peninsula/South Shetland Islands..and this was all beautiful. The icebergs completely blew my mind. We did some whale watching down here too and had humpbacks within 15 feet of us a couple of times. Absolutely mind blowing! The at sea days we spent learning about the places we were going/had just been in the lectures conducted by the expedition team and I attended just about every one of these. They were VERY informative. They showed movie clips, full movies, and Power Point slide shows, all ranging from stuff to learn to the actual experience and stories from the staff them selves. We had 3 full meals a day, usually a buffet breakfast, buffet lunch, and then a full 3 course dinner every night. The food was all amazing...each and every day and it amazed me how EVERY meal was different..on this 18 day cruise. You would think it would repeat on this long of a cruise..but it never did! The ship itself, the m/v Sea Spirit is a smaller ship and we had just 90 people or so on our cruise...and there were about 70 crewman on board too...which is almost a 1:1 crew/passenger ratio! The waiters all knew us by name in the restaurant as well very early on in the cruise as well! The expedition crew did everything they could to make sure we got out on as many landings as possible. Some days we couldn't do landings due to weather, others we did 3 in a day. If the weather was good and opportunity was there, we were out on those zodiacs. Some were after dinner ones too and we were out to 11pm one night. Keep in mind it is 24 hour daylight down here during the Antarctic tourist season (November to January) so darkness is not an issue! I believe overall, we had 18 total outings, 13 of them were landings. The other 5 were zodiac cruises where you go out on the zodiacs and cruise around, but not actually land anywhere. I would do this whole experience over again in a heart beat.
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7th continent

4.0 June 2016
S
Recommends
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 4.0
The trip was excellent. Food was great. Travel agent connected with the Poseidon Expeditions was outstanding. However final payment was to be made by cashiers check was inconvinient and cost extra money. There was problem with the gratuity where crew was claiming they do not get all the money and company keeps the money which is not ethical.
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Tour Poseidon Expeditions 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 3 Trips 28 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 461 $ 399
Operator Type Small Ship & Expedition Cruise Line Group Tour Operator
Size Regional Expert Global Operator
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • Group Tours
  • Private Guided Trips
Service Level Luxury Standard
Regions
  • Antarctica & the Arctic
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
Known For
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Photography
  • Adventure
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Eco Travel
  • Volunteering
Headquarters United States San Diego, California
Year Established 1999 2004
Solo Friendly N/A No single supplement
Tour Languages N/A English
Top Trips
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    About Poseidon Expeditions

    Since 1999, Poseidon Expeditions has been leading adventures to the world’s Polar Regions.

    What Makes Them Stand Out?

    An innovator in polar exploration, Poseidon takes you on a breathtaking journey through icy waters and snow. They offer such activities as camping in Antarctica, penguin viewing (of course!) and adventure sea kayaking through their own kayaking club. 

    Who Travels With Them?

    The great thing about a cruise is even the most cautious traveler can visit adventurous destinations. They do require a single supplement if you are traveling solo, so unless you’re ok paying a bit extra, their trips are ideally suited to families or couples. The average age of travelers is between 45 and 65 and they recommend that travelers be physically fit.

    Where Do They Operate?

    Poseidon Expeditions specializes in the polar regions of the world, meaning Antarctica and the Arctic. You will visit the enchanting lands of Greenland, and experience the thrill of dodging ice in a zodiac in Antarctica; cruise through Iceland, and visit the North Pole. Due to their specialized focus, they have extensive expertise in these regions, giving you an in depth look at their tremendous beauty and history.

    Why Travel With Them?

    For an adventurous travel experience including fun shore excursions such as hiking and a lot of on-ship activities such as whale watching. Knowledgeable expedition guides provide expert insight on local wildlife, and the science behind the incredible landscapes you’ll explore.

    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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