G Adventures vs Kensington Tours - Tour Companies Compared
Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.
Overall — 5
Value — 4.8
Guide — 4.8
Activities — 4.8
Lodging — 4.8
Transportation — 4.8
Meals — 4.8
Overall — 0
Value — 0.0
Guide — 0.0
Activities — 0.0
Lodging — 0.0
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5.0 December 2018
This tour is for those who can deal with a fast pace, early morning starts and staying in a different place each night (except for the 2 nights in Cuenca at the end). A very well thought out - and packed! - itinerary that went off without a hitch, thanks to our very competent, knowledgeable and friendly guide, Franklin, who was also indispensable in organizing side trips/excursions and negotiating a reasonable price for them. Highlights for us were the included morning trip to just below base camp in the Cotopaxi National Park, and the optional excursion to Cajas National Park. The two travel segments by public bus (Quito-Otavalo 2.5 hours; Alausi-Cuenca 4 hours), while interesting, would have been much more enjoyable and comfortable by private transportation. Accommodation was always clean, functional and friendly, but variable in quality from one stop to the next - the highlight being the quaint and comfortable Hacienda El Porvenir at over 3600 metres in a pastoral landscape near the treeline. The high altitude of parts of this tour (Cotopaxi stop at over 4600m and optional Cajas hike 4200m, and even the start-end point of Quito (2800m) is something that prospective travellers should be aware of and plan for (altitude sickness pills, lots of water, good sunscreen)so as to fully enjoy every moment of this memorable trip. As for food, only breakfasts were included, but in most places there were very good food choices in the restaurants and interesting local dishes to try.Read more
Tour Highlands of Ecuador
5.0 December 2018
A stunning and unforgettable experience in landscapes and amidst wildlife every bit as wondrous as we had anticipated! This itinerary packed in numerous landings/hikes and snorkeling opportunities and enabled close-up observation of some of the birds and iguanas for which the islands are famous. The Yolita is considered to be one of the best boats used by G Adventures: the cabins were comfortable and the common areas spacious and pleasant. The 8-person crew was outstandingly efficient, helpful and good-humoured as well as being safety-conscious. They were perfectly trained to help with the sometimes wavy and choppy transfers between boat and panga (dinghy) or boat and rocky shore! They also cooked up very good meals every day. Our guide, Alberto, was very well-organized and knowledgeable, though it took him a while to become willing to engage with questions from the guests. G Adventures has many itineraries in the Galapagos on 4 different boats, though the details of daily shore excursions can change according to the Park authorities' micromanagement to ensure that places are not crowded. If prospective travellers have the money and time to take one of the longest cruises as to visit the geologically newer western and northern islands as well, which we could not do, then you should go for it as you will see different birds and animals than in the South and East. Wildlife viewing also varies with the seasons (warm & wetter versus cool & dry. We would have appreciated having the option to extend our trip by one more night, on land (Santa Cruz) so as to have had a chance to see giant tortoises in the wild instead of having to fly back to Quito mid-morning after an interesting but rushed visit to the Darwin research station. We wish that G Adventures had offered this as an option.Read more
Footnote: G Adventures begins and ends all its Galapagos trips at the Hilton Colon hotel, which we liked very much - very friendly for a big hotel, heated outdoor pool and an amazing buffet breakfast if you have time to enjoy it - our tour left for Galapagos at 4:30AM...
5.0 November 2018
Discover Patagonia Fan
This was our first G Adventures trip and it was a comfort (vs classic) tour. Overall we loved the tour and all it had to offer. The glaciers, National Parks, hikes, scenery, local travel options including ferry/boats all exceeded our expectations. We chose to participate in all the included activities and many optional ones including a boat ride to Perito Moreno Glacier, Teatro Colon Tour, Osorno Volcano Day hike, Tierra del Fuego NP visit, and a helicopter landing on the Andes in Ushuaia. We enjoyed all the included adventures including the Penguin experience, tango lesson, travel via catamaran, Torres del Paine NP, Glacier NP, and the lecture by the glacier expert.Read more
We had a diverse group with ages ranging from 25-88. Everyone was very respectful of each other and we all got along well. Our CEO (tour guide) Gino did an exceptional job of tending to everyone's needs and ensuring each of us was included in as much as we wished. He made it all seem easy and always had a great temperament. He was very skilled at keeping us moving and ensuring we all had fun. When unexpected things occurred such as illness, baggage issues, special needs he handled them well.
The one area I felt was lacking was in the accommodations and in particular in Puerto Varras. The original hotel utilized Radison Park Inn was considerily below our expectations and making the situation worse was that they had a party right next to our assigned rooms until 3:00 a.m. on the second night of our stay. We were able to arrange an upgrade to a sister property that was much nicer and quieter for our second night. The Radison Park Inn was an alternative hotel due to lack of space at the primary hotel but it quality does not match the description of a comfort tour and in my opinion should not be utilized even as a back up option.
Tour Discover Patagonia
5.0 June 2016
My wife and I have gone on a number of previous African safari trips, but this is the first time I used Kensington Tours because we wanted to go to countries and into the depth of the bush we had not traveled before. Plus friends of ours had never been to Africa and I wanted to be sure they enjoyed the experience. Working with American Express who facilitated our selection of Joline at Kensington far exceeded our expectations. We traveled to Sabi Sands in South Africa, Victoria Falls in Zambia, and to Botswana to experience a true bush safari.Read more
What was so special about Kensington was their logistic planning. We were met at airports to escort us through customs and baggage, and we never had to worry about transportation connections. A perfect example was leaving Zambia to go to Botswana. We were picked up at the Zambia lodge and driven to the border where we were escorted through customs. Then another driver took over and drove us to the port at the river we had to cross. Then a boat met us and took us across the river where we were met by another driver who took us to the airport where we caught a small plane to our lodge in the Okavango Delta. When we landed we were picked up and taken to the lodge. It moved like clockwork. We never had to wait at any transfer point. Imagine trying to arrange that on your own.
Jolene at Kensington selected lodges that blew us away. Each was small with a limited number of rooms/cabins usually averaging around 7-8 cabins per lodge for couples, and each having a high ratio of staff to guests. Each place was superb, starting with Lion Sands River Lodge in Sabi Sands where we saw the big 5 in the first 24 hours. Great Guide/Naturalist and Tracker assigned to us for the morning and evening safari's. Next we went to Zambia and stayed at the Islands of Siankaba Lodge in Livingstone, which was on an island, with the beautiful cabins on stilts facing the river. Our bed looked over the river with screens around us and with a deck out over the river. An exceptional experience and then finally we flew to Botswana and stayed at &Beyond Xudum Okavango Delta Lodge. You can only get there flying in on small planes, and your individual cabin/house was right in the bush, with its own individual swimming pool and viewing deck on the top of the house. Elephants traveled through the lodge grounds as did other wildlife. An exhilarating experience. You knew you were in Africa. I will definitely consider using Kensington Tours on future trips. And the best part is that it was a custom trip with a lot of value because the trip cost was comparable to A&K and National Geographic which were more fixed tours and usually had a minimum in the group of around 16 versus our 4 people going where we wanted in the order we wanted.
Tour Kensington Tours Company Reviews
5.0 June 2016
Gareth was our tour representative and made this a wonderful trip. We had not used Kensington before and could not find reviews of the company online. However, we were extremely satisfied with our tour experience. Although he was not with us on the tour, it seemed that the company had everything set up and was with us every step of the way from our itinerary to each transfer and lodge.Read more
The Victoria and Alfred Hotel was OK, but was in a great location. We did not know that the hotel was going to be under construction when we were there. It was only a minor inconvenience. Staying at the Waterfront was the best. We were near everything and took advantage of the wonderful restaurants and shopping. A must is Chocolates by Tomes.
Our tour to Table Mountain was magnificent. There was a fog that hung over the mountain which created the most spectacular scenes.
Our tour to Cape Point was great. We had a magnificent guide who was a bushman and shared with us so much of his knowledge. I could have stayed in the van all day just to listen to him. Sorry, but I cannot recall his name.
Our tour to the wine country was OK. We visited three wineries--we could have just done two. We did a wine and cheese are Fairview which was beautiful. We did a wine and chocolate. Both the wine and chocolate here was excellent. The last winery hosted a wine and olives which was really a wine and olive oil tasting. This one could be have been omitted for more time in some of the towns or local gardens.
Next, we flew off to Pondoro Game Lodge. The flight went off without a problem. Pondoro is in the northern area of the country. The staff was very accommodating to my dietary needs. The Chef was a gourmet chef with every dish prepared with taste and presentation at heart. The hotel was in a hilly area and all aspects of the hotel were connected by wooden walkways. These were quite challenging to navigate and I would not recommend this lodge in the rainy season. The game drives were fantastic and we were glad to have gone to South Africa in their winter.
Our last stop was Sabi Sabi Selati Camp. This was a 3 hour drive from Pondoro. It was a long drive, but we were very happy with this lodge. The food was not a good as at Pondoro, but the staff treated us like kings and queens. The terrain went from rocky at Pondoro to sandy at Sabi Sabi. Our Ranger, Kyle, was fantastic. Ask for him. He is so knowledgeable about the animals, the birds, and plants. He has a great sense of humor and we felt honored to spend time with him. He walked us to our cabin at night, arranged a special dinner for our anniversary, and ate dinner one evening with us.
This was truly a life experience and I want to thank Gareth for all his hard work in putting this tour together for us.
Tour Kensington Tours Company Reviews
2.0 June 2016
I booked a tour of Poland in Oct 2014 (just reviewing now because I was trying to give the company the opportunity to reach back out to me). I talked to the sales consultant about my concerns about being a person of color in Poland because I had been warned by several friends. I mentioned to my sales consultant that I can go to another place in the region if she thinks it will be a be problem. My sales consultant said none of her guests have ever had a problem and I will be just fine in Poland. Upon my return, this is the email message I sent to Kensington Tours...Read more
"I hope you are well. I want to give you some feedback now that I am back in the U.S.
My guide was very knowledgeable. However, she did make several biased statements about Roma people (also known as gypsies) and Jewish people that were a cause for concern. She stated that the Roma people did not work or go to school and only relied on state welfare (she did try to clean up her statement after I said if this is indicative of ALL Roma people). Clearly this is not the case for an entire group of people, and her views were biased and stereotypical. She also stated that Jewish people had big noses and gestured and looked differently than Polish people. She also stated that Jewish people don't live in Krakow because there isn't much finance work there and that is what Jewish people like. These were clearly biased statements and made me uncomfortable, especially given the history of Krakow.
We talked initially about my concern coming to Poland because of racism. You said that no other clients have had issues. Despite your assurances, I have to let you know that throughout my stay I was stared at, received funny looks and/or was ignored or dismissed, all of which made me very uncomfortable. I am sure it is because I am not White. I felt overall that the Polish culture may not be as outwardly friendly or welcoming as other places that I've traveled. I definitely felt I was targeted and treated negatively because I am not White. I asked my tour guide about racial groups and she said that there aren't really other racial groups in Poland. I think the lack of diversity in Poland definitely makes it a more hostile/uncomfortable place for people of color to travel.
It is very unlikely I will go back to Poland given the biased statements made by my tour guide (even though she was extremely knowledgeable) and how I was treated by Polish people. If you have other racial/ethnic minority clients I hope you share this information with them.
I hope this feedback is helpful."
My sales consultant said that she or someone from customer service would get in touch with me. Well, more than a year has passed with no follow-up. People looking at me funny because I am not White is not something Kensington Tours can control. However, it is a major problem when their tour guides make biased statements. I will never spend another dime on Kensington tours given their lack of follow-up on this feedback. I am glad I was traveling alone and not with family. I would hate for children to hear the statements made and taint their truly unbiased view of all people.
Tour Kensington Tours Company Reviews
|Tours||412 Trips||4 Trips|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 195||$ 439|
|Operator Type||Group Tour Operator||Custom/Private Tour Operator|
|Size||Global Operator||Global Operator|
|Headquarters||Toronto, Canada||Wilmington, Delaware, USA|
|Solo Friendly||No single supplement||N/A|
Specializing in small-group, multi-day adventure tours and expeditions, Toronto-based G Adventures has been a pioneer in the field since 1990.
Founded by entrepreneur Bruce Poon Tip after a backpacking trip to Asia, the company fosters sustainable and environmentally sound tourism practices -- giving back to the communities they visit -- and considers its business “changig people’s lives,” not just offering a vacation.
It’s since grown to become the world’s largest independent adventure travel company, with more than 1,350 employees, many of them professionally trained guides.
What Makes G Adventures Stand Out?
Trips with G Adventures are all encompassing, adventurous, exciting, and fulfilling. Since the beginning, G Adventures has maintained a strong message of engaging with local cultures, being a responsible traveler, and contributing back to communities. Their trips are designed to be life changing.
G Adventures strives to create unique experiences for its travelers that start even before the trip itself. The company provides trip inspiration through their Looptail blog and you can connect with fellow travelers via the ‘Departure Lounge’, which is part of G’s ‘Watering Hole’ travel forum.
Once on your trip, you will meet your ‘CEO’ or ‘Chief Experience Officer’ who is “responsible for enriching your journey, offering local insight, and pursuing great experiences as they happen.” Most groups average around 12 travelers, with a maximum of 16 on most trips.
G Adventures has made a concerted effort to expand their offering beyond youth focused adventures, though this remains a core theme. Your Danube River Cruise will be imbued with the same culturally immersive and adventurous touch as your trekking journey through the Himalayas.
Who Will Enjoy Traveling With G Adventures?
If you are the kind of traveler who packs running shoes before dress shoes, hiking attire before dinner attire, and a sense of adventure before playing it safe, then G Adventures is the perfect fit for you. You love engaging with locals, meeting new people, and being spontaneous. You also favor experiences over luxury accomodations.
Most G Adventures tours have an active focus - expect to be on the move, packing a lot in. That said they do allot generous free time to explore on your own. There’s a chance you may not see every major tourist attraction in the interest of a more “real” experience. But the nice thing is if a particular site is not on the itinerary, you can use your free time to visit.
If you are interested in a tour that plans every part of the itinerary down to the minute, G Adventures will probably not be the best fit for you.
While its target market has traditionally been younger travelers in the 18-39 range, G Adventures has expanded significantly, now offering a broad range of trips that appeal to adventurous-minded, culturally curious people of any age.
Groups are geographically diverse, with a higher proportion of North Americans than some other operators. G Adventures also does not charge a single supplement, so solo travelers are very welcome on their trips.
They offer numerous travel styles, some at a higher budget range, like their National Geographic Journeys. Most G Adventures trips are accessible to low to mid budgets and are ideal for travelers who like experiential small group active travel.
You can find G Adventures trips in most parts of the globe, including 32 countries in Europe, 25 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, 21 countries in Asia, 10 countries in South America, 12 countries in Central America and the Caribbean, five countries in North Africa and the Mideast, plus the U.S., and Canada.
A number of destinations are well off the beaten track, from Sao Tome and Principe in West Africa to Borneo in east Asia to the Maldives in the Indian Ocean and both polar regions.
Itineraries often focus on more off the beaten path locations; small towns, remote and rural villages, less touristy districts and sites.
G Adventures Travel Style
Pricing is competitive (cheaper), largely by using “grassroots” approaches: local transport and a mix of privately-owned accommodations, perhaps including homestays and camping. Efforts are made to focus on authenticity with both culinary choices (locally-owned restaurants) as well as transportation methods.
G Adventures truly offers something for everyone. Trip styles include Classic, Active, Rail, YOLO (You Only Live Once - for 18-39’s), National Geographic Journeys, Marine, Family, Local Living, and Private Groups.
Classic - Classic trips with G Adventures are designed for independent minded travelers who don’t want to miss anything. This is the perfect choice if you want a balanced mix of classic tourist sights and local cultural experiences.
Active - Throwing it back to one of the things G Adventures does best. Kayak, walk, hike, trek; experience your destination through the outdoors. These multi-sport trips are great if you hate standing still and enjoy being out in nature. G Adventures Active tours are ideal for those who are relatively physically fit and like a challenge.
Rail - A rail journey is a great way to dial it back. Take it slow and really savor the feeling of the journey. Take iconic routes and enjoy the ride.
YOLO - “You only live once” is the acronym, and while G Adventures provides adventurous experiences for all, these trips are specifically designed for 18-39 year olds. Get cheeky, get wild, experience life unfettered, as you explore the culture and the local nightlife. If you have the stamina, these trips are once in a lifetime. Kind of like the age range.
National Geographic Journeys - A more premium travel experience, these G Adventures trips, as part of a partnership with National Geographic Expeditions, involve the same culturally immersive approach and knowledgeable guides with an elevated level of accommodations and service.
Marine - Love to be out on the water? Let G Adventures cruises take you to the far reaches of the globe via river and ocean. Experience incredible sights above and below the surface. Unpack once and enjoy the escape of being a part of the crew and passengers.
Family - Adventure tours aren’t always especially friendly to younger travelers. G Adventures Family Friendly tours make adventure activities accessible for you and your youngsters! Trips often have an educational element, and are designed with multiple ages in mind.
Local Living - Get to the heart of it with a homestay. These tours are designed to make you really feel at home and appreciate the feel and rhythm of living like a local.
Private Groups - If you and your family, or a group of friends want the fun all to yourself, G Adventures can plan a private group trip just for you.
Note: part of the culturally immersive experience when traveling with G Adventures is the use of public transportation. This means carrying your own luggage on buses, trains, etc - sometimes during commute hours! So pack light for your own comfort and the comfort of those around you.
Why Choose a Tour With G Adventures?
For those travelers seeking an exciting, professionally guided, and culturally immersive travel experience G Adventures is the perfect tour company to consider. Their trips are designed to be as authentic as possible - and they place much emphasis on giving back to local communities - so you’ll know your tourism dollars are going toward meaningful causes.
Trips with G Adventures are not luxury by any means. But if unique experiences and active days appeal to you over a fluffy pillow then you’re in the right place.
Departures are guaranteed once you’ve paid (barring significant weather or safety issues). And they don’t charge single supplements. In short, G Adventures wants you out there with them.
You can find something for everyone at G Adventures; whether that’s sailing down the Danube with a glass of wine in hand, or traipsing through the rainforests of Costa Rica.
1. What kind of luggage should I bring?
On many G Adventures trips it’s important to keep in mind that local public transportation is used frequently. Sometimes during commute hours! For your comfort and the comfort of those around you, it’s a good idea to pack light. Some areas will be very crowded, so take pickpocket precautions.
2. Do I need travel insurance?
Yes! Travel insurance is required for all travelers on G Adventures trips. If you don’t have your own insurance already, you can purchase a plan for the time you’ll be traveling when you book your G Adventures tour. This is an easy and budget friendly option. If you’re interested in browsing more plans, check out the top travel insurance options »
3. Is airfare included?
Unfortunately no. While G Adventures does not include international airfare in their trip prices, they can help you book flights.
4. Is there a single supplement?
No. G Adventures does not charge a single supplement for their tours. Single travelers are very welcome. You will share with a same-sex roommate during the tour. If you wish to have a single room, there is usually an option to pay an additional fee for your own room.
5. Is there an age cap?
While G Adventures trips tend to appeal largely to younger adventure travelers, all ages are welcome on the majority of trips. The exceptions include on their 18-39 tours, which are specifically designed for only travelers within that range. On most other G Adventures trips, children under 18 must be accompanied by a guardian, and are open to kids 12 and up. Some family friendly trips are open to younger kids.
6. What size are the groups?
G Adventures group tours are kept small and intimate. The max is 15, with the average hovering more around 10.
Kensington Tours is an award winning travel company offering in depth tours with experienced guides, unique activities and premium to luxury accommodations.
What Makes Kensington Tours Stand Out?
Kensington Tours is, in their own words “not in the business of booking tours.” Rather they highlight the individuality aspect of each traveler - and their dedication to designing personalized experiences.
Specialized travel experiences created by knowledgeable experts in destinations and experiences. Their local guides add a personal touch as they provide true insider knowledge and make the trip that much more memorable. You can take multiple types of tours from safari to river cruise, active adventure to honeymoon. They also have a unique Explorer in Residence program where you can take a tour guided by explorers such as travel photographers and storm chasers.
They have highly trained, experienced, and knowledgeable destination experts who contribute to the experience by providing local insight, spontaneity, and breadth - so you don’t feel that you miss anything while exploring your destinations.
Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Kensington Tours?
Kensington is a luxury operator; their travelers are well-to-do and value dedicated high class customer service, premier accommodations, and excellent cuisine.
Travelers on a tour with Kensington seek to explore the world in comfort, are adventurous with an appreciation for the finer things. If you’re the kind of person who makes room for hiking boots alongside a few dressy items in your suitcase, Kensington Tours could be a good fit for you.
As opposed to Abercrombie & Kent, which whom they are often compared, Kensington has a more youthful focus, less obviously geared toward older travelers. That said they are a recognizable name among the 55+ crowd and their primary traveler, simply by default of the budget range does tend to be older.
Kensington operates tours around the world, utilizing local accommodation, and diving into the local culture. Knowledgeable and passionate destination experts are on hand to help bring the destination to life.
They are well known for their Africa tours and safaris, which travel throughout the most popular safari destinations, as well as farther afield. In addition, Kensington tours also operate trips in Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Europe, and South America. They also have cruise departures to Antarctica!
Kensington Tours Travel Style
Kensington certainly ascribes to the notion that “luxury” does not mean “stiff” or require that you stick to 5 star resorts. Rather it’s a style of travel that allows you to see the world on a deeper, extremely personal level - in safety, comfort, with a guide who becomes like a friend helping reveal small nuances that bring each destination to life in a new way.
Think luxury eco lodges in the heart of Central America, a yacht down the Amazon, 5 star safari lodges where you can sip champagne looking out over the savannah. Transportation is in luxury coaches, comfortable safari jeeps, hot air balloons, river cruises etc.
The Kensington travel perspective is not to book a tour - but to craft an unforgettable experience.
They have many travel styles including Safaris, which they are especially known for, river cruises, and family trips.
Safaris with Kensington Tours - Enjoy the “fabled” African safari experience when you travel with Kensington Tours in Africa. Unforgettable wildlife encounters, luxury lodges, and exclusive private game drives, where expert guides reveal the best viewing opportunities and give excellent tips for spotting and photographing the animals.
And it’s not just about the wildlife. Your safari may include a visit to Mt. Kilimanjaro, an afternoon visiting with local tribes, enjoying their hospitality, food, and learning about their culture.
Active Adventures - True to their outlook on travel, Kensington combines the best of luxury with active adventure. This means whitewater rafting, hiking in Wales, or waterfall rappelling. A day full of activity followed by a well deserved cocktail in the sunset. Kensington adventure tours are offered in a variety of physical levels and are intended for beginners all the way up to hard core experienced adventure travelers.
Family tours with Kensington - Sometimes it can be hard traveling with young ones because not all activities are open to them, and age restrictions cause an unbalanced experience. So Kensington has several family tours designed for a variety of ages. Most feature a stay at one hotel or on a cruise, allowing you to unpack only once and relax into the travel experience.
Food & Wine - All Kensington tours feature spectacular food and wine, but sometimes you want to focus on this specifically - diving deeper into the culture surrounding a places culinary delights. These tours often feature private kitchen visits, winery tours with the winemaker themself, and classes where you can learn to make traditional dishes.
Honeymoon - Let Kensington Tours help you plan the perfect Honeymoon getaway. Work with an expert who will listen to what kind of travel experience you’re looking for and craft an itinerary that is uniquely you.
Festivals & Events - Year round there are spectacular festivals and events held around the world - with countless niches and meanings. You could take in the fun of Oktoberfest, or the brightly colored Carnival in Rio, or the Tulip Festival in Holland. These events are often crowded, very busy, and can be difficult to navigate. Visiting with a Private Guide, and having all the logistics planned out in advance is the best way to relax and be able to truly appreciate the meaning behind the festival and have more fun!
Other styles include “We to Me”, in which you participate in volunteering and conservation initiatives, giving back to local communities and helping keep wildlife areas protected. They also have an “Explorers Club” - tours that follow in the paths of scientists, and explorers both modern day and ancient. And for one of the best holiday traditions, you can book a special Christmas departure, which visits the lovely Christmas markets of Europe.
Why Choose a Tour With Kensington Tours?
If you’re looking for a luxury travel experience with a small, intimate group and private expert guides with you every step of the way, who promise to “transform a vacation into an experience of a lifetime,” then look no further.
The price is hefty (though some more mid budget options are available), but well worth it for a fully immersive, luxurious, comfortable, unforgettable travel experience. Don’t expect to only stick to the tourist sites; Kensington is about incorporating many off the beaten path unique experiences, as well as highlighting fascinating historical and cultural facts.