Intrepid Travel vs Imperial Tours - 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 — 5.0
Guide — 5.0
Activities — 5.0
Lodging — 5.0
Transportation — 5.0
Meals — 5.0
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

The BEST

5.0 November 2015
t
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We traveled to China for three weeks with Imperial. We wonder if there is another comparable tour company in the world...if so we have not found it. Our tour several years ago was with the best guides, the best hotels, the best personalized service, the best cuisine....on and on. Special experiences from surprise gourmet dinner on the Great Wall, private clubs, in home experiences, and much more is well worth the BEST description. In one case one tour member had a health snag, and the personalized care given to her was admirable. Just can't rave enough about this unmatched experience. The only downside is my benchmark set with imperial makes it hard for anyone else to match!
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Tour Imperial Tours Company Reviews

Best Tour Company I've Experienced

5.0 January 2015
N
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I have travel the world with a variety of tour operators, especially geared toward photography, since I am a Nature Photographer. That being said, I do enjoy cultural photography as well.
Imperial Tours not only put my tour together based upon my travel preferences regarding personalized tours, hotel arrangements, food, EVERYTHING; they even provided us with a personal concierge and the phone with which to call him, any time. That was invaluable when we made a couple of changes in our itinerary. Our particular trip was all over China, from Bejing to Dunhuang, Chengdu to see the pandas and have a one on one interaction with a baby panda, Lijiang, Tibet, Guilin, the rice terraces of Longshen, and then Shanghai. The airline connections were perfect, and the local guides that met us at each location were superb. I literally felt like a princess on the wonderful Imperial tour of China. This was our second trip with Imperial, and I would do it again. It is on the pricey side, but I didn't care because every penny was worth the quality of the 3 week trip.
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Tour Imperial Tours Company Reviews

Great experience

5.0 January 2015
l
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We did a 2 day tour with Imperial tours in Shanghai. This is a well organised company offering unique experiences. We started with a 3 hour Bund tour with Patrick Cranley and it one of the best things we have ever done. Patrick is an expert on Shanghai and offers a wonderful insight into many areas of the city, not only the architecture, life in shanghai and the old jewish ghetto area. i would thoroughly recommend his services. We then had a local guide John for the remainder half day and following day. The tour offered a driver until 10pm at night and did all our restaurant bookings and took very good care of us. For this you pay a premium and its nice to leave all the leg work to someone else. However it is very expensive, but worth it for the tour with Patrick.
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Tour Imperial Tours Company Reviews

Tours 1,071 Trips 0 Trip
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 187 $ 0
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise Custom/Private Tour Operator
Size Global Operator Local Specialist
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • 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
  • Asia
Known For
  • 18 - 35
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Safari
  • Trekking & Camping
  • Adventure
  • Sailing
    Headquarters Melbourne, Australia Beijing, China
    Year Established 1989 1999
    Solo Friendly No single supplement N/A
    Tour Languages English
    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 Imperial Tours
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