Intrepid Travel vs Classic Journeys - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 5
Value — 4.6
Guide — 4.6
Activities — 4.6
Lodging — 4.6
Transportation — 4.6
Meals — 4.6
Overall — 5
Value — 4.9
Guide — 4.9
Activities — 4.9
Lodging — 4.9
Transportation — 4.9
Meals — 4.9
Recent Reviews

Loved camping with Intrepid

5.0 June 2018
LR
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Loved this trip. Camping in very nice places - usually had hot water and nice showers. Great itinerary - LOVED Namibia and the variety of the tour from the desert to the delta to the parks.

Intrepid did an incredible job

5.0 December 2017
ATFT
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Thailand Cambodia Trip. Nov 2017. For my 60th birthday I decided I wanted to take my family of 6 to Thailand and Cambodia. After my initial conversation with the Intrepid office, they pulled together a perfect 24 day custom itinerary for us. My Intrepid coordinator really listened. We set up a incredibly diverse trip, ranging from ocean front resorts to a primitive hillside village trek. From the minute we landed in Bangkok, to the day we flew home, all transfers went off with out a hitch. What really made our trip memorable was our local guides. Every single one of them were warm, professional, humorous but most importantly, had a deep knowledge of the geography, the plant life, dining, the history and government. We felt by the end of the trip, these guides had become a part of our family. The entire trip was amazing and we will definitely use Intrepid for our next adventure travel. Thanks so much.
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great tour

5.0 October 2017
k
Recommends
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 3.0
the guide was very knowledgeable - friendly - great sense of humour - looking out for the safety of the tour members - organised - thoroughly nice guy

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

Tours 1,071 Trips 10 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 187 $ 635
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise Group Tour Operator
Size Global Operator Global Operator
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • Group Tours
  • Private Guided Trips
  • Custom Itineraries
Service Level Standard Luxury
Regions
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Rivers & Seas
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
  • Antarctica & the Arctic
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Europe
Known For
  • 18 - 35
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Safari
  • Trekking & Camping
  • Adventure
  • Sailing
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Adventure
  • Luxury
Headquarters Melbourne, Australia La Jolla, California, USA
Year Established 1989 1996
Solo Friendly No single supplement No single supplement
Tour Languages English N/A
Top Trips
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About Intrepid Travel

Intrepid Travel is all about ‘real life experiences.’ Founded back in 1989 following an “intrepid” African adventure trip, Intrepid lives up to its name by offering up some pretty big adventures -- such as an 11-day hike through Papua New Guinea -- but is broad-based enough to also lead group trips to Hawaii, complete with sipping sunset Mai Tais on Waikiki Beach.

Intrepid Travel - Quick Facts

Founded in 1989

No Single Supplement (rare exceptions)

Small Groups - max 16 on most trips

Typical Age Range - 18 - 45

Travel Style - Cultural immersion, adventure, overland

Accommodation Style - Camping, Hostels, 3 /4 star hotels

Average Tour Price - $2,377

Top Regions - Asia, Africa, Europe, South America

Other Brands: Peregrine, Geckos

Commonly compared with G Adventures »

Morocco homestay with Intrepid Travel

What Makes Intrepid Travel Stand Out?

Above all else, Intrepid strives to get its travelers off the beaten path and under the surface of the local culture. To accomplish this, group sizes average just 10 travelers each, with a maximum of 16 on most trips. This allows for more use of local transportation and lodging, along with fostering cultural immersion.

Intrepid also employs local English-speaking leaders who act more as a resource for local exploration than do typical ‘guides,’ shepherding groups from one place to another.

Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Intrepid Travel?

Intrepid is one of the early pioneers of the “adventure”-style guided trip. Despite its informal beginnings and emphasis on younger, highly adventurous travelers, Intrepid has expanded to a global company with a broad range of trips to fit all ages.

Intrepid divides its small-group trips into three separate styles of travel, all priced accordingly. “Basix,” for budget travelers, keep inclusions to a minimum and offer plenty of free time, “Original” journeys which offer more included activities and more hotels, while “Comfort” trips offer the highest level of included activities and standards of accommodation, as well as roomier vehicles.

The kind of traveler who gravitates to Intrepid Travel is one who has a real sense of adventure - whether this means hard adventure, or simply going deeper off the beaten path. Interacting with locals is an important factor when you travel, as is gaining a unique cultural perspective. A sense of fun is also essential, whether it means going out at night with your tour mates or daring, ahem, encouraging each other to try strange new foods.

Top Destinations

Monk mediating in Myanmar on tour with Intrepid Travel

Originally focused on small group adventure tours to Asia, Intrepid has expanded rapidly over the years, while maintaining its classic, adventurous, and immersive style. Today Intrepid Travel offers more than 1,000 different experiences in over 100 countries, on all seven continents. Regions with the most trips include Asia, South America, Africa, and Europe.

Intrepid Travel Style

Intrepid enjoys using local, unique forms of transportation. You might find yourself traveling by felucca in Egypt, on a camel in Morocco, or in a tuk-tuk on the best Thailand tour of your life. Accommodations, which could range from guesthouses to home stays, are also locally owned, allowing a more authentic taste of the region while contributing to the local economy.

There are a few broad travel styles to choose from when deciding on an Intrepid tour:

1. Basix - Budget travelers who don’t mind, and in fact prefer, simple accommodations - camping and homestays with basic amenities, and crave a lot of free time for exploring independently will love these tours. Public transportation is used exclusively so pack light! These trips often attract a younger crowd who love the idea of throwing a backpack on, keep plenty of room for the unexpected in their schedule, and allocate their travel funds towards spontaneous bus tickets and street food instead of museum tours and 5 star restaurants.

2. Original - These trips take the backpacker spirit of local immersion, incorporating all the benefits that come with going with a planned itinerary. This style is called “Original” because it’s the type of travel that put Intrepid on the map...pun intended. Accommodations are still simple and budget minded - often homestays are used to give you a true sense of place, personality, and culture. Mostly public transportation is used.

3. Comfort - Intrepid is known for the active adventure style of travel and these trips keep that mentality, with a few more creature comforts thrown into the mix. You can expect higher end, more discerning, accommodations that include a wider variety of included amenities, transportation is mostly private, though you can still expect to use some public transport, as is the Intrepid way. More meals are included in the trip price, and more group activities - which means a bit less free time to explore on your own.

Why Choose a Tour With Intrepid Travel?

Sample of many spices in Middle Eastern market

Intrepid is a good choice if you don’t mind foregoing some creature comforts for a truly authentic, local experience. If you enjoy meeting locals when traveling, sampling new and exciting foods, and traveling in mixed-aged groups of 10-16 people, Intrepid could be a good fit for you.

It’s important to note, sometimes “ample free time” can be a blessing and a curse. It sounds great on paper, but if you’re looking to maximize your dollar and your vacation time, be sure you understand the implications of having a lot of free time during your itinerary.

For some travelers this is an absolute requirement, but for others it can be tough to branch off and explore independently - you also need to make sure you allocate enough travel money for independent meals. The tour leaders are great resources of information for how to spend your free time, but if you like having a full day scheduled from breakfast to dinner, Intrepid may not be the best company for you.

Lastly, if sustainable and responsible travel is important to you, Intrepid has poured millions of dollars into local economies, and has a very strong emphasis on responsible travel. So you can feel good knowing that your money helps support some of the innkeepers, vendors, and communities that you’ll meet along the way.

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.

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