Intrepid Travel vs Island Windjammers - Tour Companies Compared
Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.
Overall — 5
Value — 4.7
Guide — 4.7
Activities — 4.7
Lodging — 4.7
Transportation — 4.7
Meals — 4.7
Overall — 3
Value — 3.0
Guide — 5.0
Activities — 4.0
Lodging — 4.0
Transportation — 4.0
Meals — 4.0
5.0 June 2018
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.
5.0 December 2017
Amazing Thailand Family Trip
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.Read more
5.0 October 2017
the guide was very knowledgeable - friendly - great sense of humour - looking out for the safety of the tour members - organised - thoroughly nice guy
Tour Delhi to Kathmandu
1.0 November 2018
Does Not Recommend
I booked two back to back cruises to different areas, it wasn't until I was on the second trip that I was told the itinerary had changed and we were going back to do the same itinerary in which I had just finished, no one from the company had warned me otherwise I would have chosen something different or cancelled one of them. When I contacted the head office they apologised and offered me a free 6 day cruise to which I asked for the cost equiverlent instead as I wasn't going to be in the Caribbean again plus the wasted 6 days repeating everything again.Read more
They didn't want to do that and their response was a letter reminding me about their Small Print that says they have the right to substitute any scheduled sailings and itineraries without notice, a great cop out and an extremely bad way to treat customers.
After talking to some of the other guests about it I found out I wasn't the only one unhappy with their customer service treatment from head office and they wouldn't be travelling with them again.
I have travelled exstensively for many year to over 90 countries and work in tourism as a Guide and also spent 10 selling trips just like this and never had I had or heard of such bad service.
Air con didn't work for a while in some of the rooms so 2 of us had to sleep in the hallway.
average food , horrible coffee and undrinkable wine.
There are lots of other companies out there to choose from.
The ship staff were fantastic
Tour Island Windjammers Company Reviews
5.0 June 2015
After taking an Island Windjammers cruise, it would be hard to return to big-ship cruising in the Caribbean. We were able to drop anchor off small, secluded coves on tiny islands in the French West Indies. There were no loudspeaker announcements, no cruise director trying to convince you to play silly games, no long lines to stand in, no need to dress up beyond shorts and T-shirts, no pressure of any kind. You do need to be able to entertain yourself, though, since there are no organized shows or performers (one passenger did play a few songs with his guitar). I would estimate that half the passengers on ship (just 24 in all) were in bed or their cabins by 9:30 p.m. while the other half partied until midnight or later – alcohol is included in the fare and there was plenty of imbibing, but it didn’t get overly noisy or obnoxious at night. Everyone seemed to have a good time and I heard few if any complaints about the food or service the entire voyage. It was the perfect relaxing vacation.Read more
Tour Island Windjammers Company Reviews
|Tours||1,123 Trips||0 Trip|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 202||$ 0|
|Operator Type||Mixed Land & Cruise||Small Ship & Expedition Cruise Line|
|Headquarters||Melbourne, Australia||Acworth, Georgia|
|Solo Friendly||No single supplement||N/A|
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
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.
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?
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.
Born in 2009 after the demise of Windjammer Barefoot Cruises, Island Windjammers was started by former Barefoot passengers who wanted to revive a similar type of casual, relaxed Caribbean cruising. Emphasis is on fun and spending your time onboard as you please.
Island Windjammers cruises are best suited for relatively affluent adults in their 30s to 60s, who prefer small ship cruising and uncrowded ports to big ships that offer multiple activities, restaurants and entertainments. They’re also for people who are most comfortable in T-shirts, shorts, and either sandals or bare feet onboard.
Beyond offering a few optional organized tours, Island Windjammers leaves your activities largely up to you. No one will look askance if you spend the entire day sunning or reading on the ship, stay up late or go to bed early, party hearty or find a quiet chair on deck to watch the world go by.
Island Windjammers cruises exclusively in the Caribbean, offering four possible itineraries: the Windward Islands, the Leeward Islands, the British Virgin Islands, and the French West Indies, which together cover much of the eastern and southern Caribbean. Home ports include Grenada, St. Lucia, Tortola and St. Maarten.
Two motor sailing ships – the 12-passenger Diamant and the 24-passenger Sagitta – make up the current fleet. A third tall ship, the 30-passenger Vela, will be introduced in early 2016. Itineraries are relaxed, visiting islands for a day or two at a time, allowing plenty of time for touring, swimming, and snorkeling. Cabins are cozy but comfortable and most have their own bathrooms and portholes.
Island Windjammers cruises are for those who want to relax and have a good time in the company of relatively few fellow passengers – who you will probably all get to know (the captain may well join you for lunch or dinner in his bare feet). Wine, beer, and rum punches are complimentary and the cuisine is excellent. If you’re looking for a traditional big cruise ship experience, look elsewhere. Narrow stairs leading down to the cabins can cause problems for people with disabilities -- there are no elevators -- and choppy seas on occasion may cause problems if you’re prone to seasickness.