Amtrak Vacations vs Lost World Adventures - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 3.5
Value — 3.4
Guide — 4.0
Activities — 3.6
Lodging — 4.0
Transportation — 3.4
Meals — 4.0
Overall — 5
Value — 4.9
Guide — 4.9
Activities — 4.9
Lodging — 4.9
Transportation — 4.9
Meals — 4.9
Recent Reviews

Avoid Amtrak Vacations

3.0 September 2018
W
Does Not Recommend
  • Value 2.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 2.0
  • Meals 5.0
  • Activities 3.0
Avoid Amtrak VacationsAmtrak Vacations, Inc. let me tell you what a deplorable vacation we had on Amtrak. We scheduled a National Park Amtrak vacation June 2017 to travel July 2018. We were very excited to take this trip. Everyone knows that when you travel with Amtrak there will be delays because Amtrak does not own the tracks. The first part of the trip from Chicago to Salt Lake and the visit to Yellowstone were wonderful. From Salt Lake to Emeryville, CA they ran out of food and we only had a choice of hamburger or hot dog. Certainly not a deal breaker but at least poor planning on Amtrak's part. When we arrived in San Francisco and tried to check into our hotel we were told our reservation had been cancelled by Amtrak Vacations. The next day I was able to correct this after spending almost an hour on the phone with Amtrak Vacations. We waited for the bus to pick us up for our Yosemite tour and were told that the tour bus had already left even though we were where Amtrak Vacations told us where to pick up the bus and we were at this correct spot 35 minutes early. No trip to Yosemite for us. When we left Glacier National Park we had a two hour delay. The conductor made an announcement that several passingers needed to be put up in a hotel in Milwaukee because of the delay . These passengers were traveling on the same connecting train that we were. We questioned the conductor as to why were we not included with those passengers since we're were on the same connecting train. He assured us that we would make our connection. . . . ? How is that possible, of course it was not possible. We received no help from the customer service agent in Chicago. That particular day Chicago had two concerts,the Alzeheimers Conference, 50 years of Special Olympics and a Cubs vs. Card ball game. Needless to say there were no rental cars at either airport and the least expensive hotel cost $378 plus cab fare. We paid $799 for travel interruption insurance and were told today they would pay us $214 for the claim that we filed for $640. What a scam. Moral of the story AVOID Amtrak Vacations.
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worst ever

1.0 March 2018
B
Does Not Recommend
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
I'm not the kind of person who sits around and writes negative reviews. But after the multiple horrendous experiences I've had with Amtrak Vacations, I actually googled around until I could find somewhere to write about how badly run this business is. The customer service reps are all very nice. But it is the most poorly managed company I've ever encountered. (I received a $300 Amtrak Vacations gift card, so the reason I've continued booking with them for a few trips was in order to use up the amount on the card.) Prepare for a long phone call when you book--my longest was 53 minutes. They will put you on hold while they speak to people from accounting to check the amount on your card. (Why do I get the feeling that nobody there is sitting in front of a computer?) They will transfer you back and forth from "reservations" to "guest services". You may or may not get the emails they say they'll send with your ticket information. (I find I receive about 50% of the ones promised to me.) They will make errors refunding money to your card. And never ever call on a Saturday. The last straw that led to me writing this review was the 25 minutes I just spent, waiting to talk to a rep. She said that the business only has 3 employees on the phones Saturday to handle all the calls that come in. In short, don't use this company. Book online with regular Amtrak and save yourself the hassle.
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Tour Amtrak Vacations Company Reviews

The Only Way To Go

5.0 August 2015
GO
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
This is the only way to go-no driving-just sit back and enjoy

Tour Amtrak Vacations Company Reviews

Their service was outstanding.

5.0 July 2017
C
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
"This Peru travel agency planned and booked a custom trip for me and my wife to Peru in October 2015. The trip included a short stay in Lima, and almost a week in the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Cusco. Their service was outstanding. The planning for the trip was perfect, and we relied entirely on them as we had not been to Peru before. They also went beyond the call of duty by getting a reservation at a good hotel in Lima even though there was a huge convention of the world bank in town at the time. They persisted until they found a cancellation. they even booked two good restaurants for us in Lima. The guides they provided were also excellent, including one who was truly outstanding.

I never would have located this company except through Zicasso. Two years ago we made a trip to Brazil and we looked and looked for a travel agency of this kind and never did find one. I would highly recommend using Zicasso to find the appropriate agency if you are traveling somewhere that you have not previously been to, or if you do not have an agency you are satisfied with."
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Our trip to Peru was planned perfectly, thanks to our travel agent! 

5.0 July 2017
K
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Our trip to Peru was planned perfectly, thanks to our travel agent! He was quick to respond to all of my needs & was very flexible. The hotels and the guides he arranged were great! We couldn't have asked for or imagined a better experience in this magical country!
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Our travel designers did a fantastic job keeping our herd together and entertained - all of the accommodations were excellent, guides were great, tours were interesting.

5.0 December 2016
P
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Hiking the Inca Trail (and learning that it is "an" Inca Trail, not "the" Inca Trail)
Tours 2 Trips 55 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 304 $ 444
Operator Type Group Tour Operator Custom/Private Tour Operator
Size Local Specialist Global Operator
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Independent / Self-Guided Packages
  • Private Guided Trips
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • Custom Itineraries
Service Level Standard Luxury
Regions
  • North America
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Africa
  • Antarctica & the Arctic
Known For
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Adventure
  • Train & Rail
  • Trekking & Camping
  • Luxury
Headquarters Beverly, Massachusetts, United States Decatur, Georgia
Year Established 1972 1987
Solo Friendly N/A N/A
Tour Languages English N/A
Top Trips
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    About Amtrak Vacations

    Since 1971, Amtrak has operated railway services throughout the contiguous United States, with more than 300 trains traveling on 21,300 miles of track each day. 

    What Makes Amtrak Vacations Stand Out?

    There’s something about a rail journey that connects one to the past, while feeling distinctly futuristic.

    As you explore the United States and Canada with Amtrak, the expansiveness of the landscape will awe and inspire. Especially as you relax into the pace of rail, which let’s face it, is much slower when compared to grabbing a flight. But that’s part of the fun.

    Amtrak Vacations aims to show people North America, and creating lasting memories through journeys that incorporate scenic landscape views, excellent service, and inclusive packages.

    They offer a lot of variety when it comes to duration, price, and destination. Whether you’re looking for a quick getaway or a longer more leisurely vacation, you can be sure to have an amazing journey.

    Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Amtrak Vacations?

    train track through national park

    Rail journeys are appealing to a wide range of travelers. The ease and comfortability makes this mode of travel very popular among families, older groups, and those with limited mobility. A large part of taking a rail journey is the opportunity to sit back and relax, watching stunning scenery go by. So these trips are ideal for travelers wanting something scenic and easy, with a few options here and there to get out and explore the landscape on foot.

    Amtrak specializes in easy, inclusive travel packages - including accommodations, meals, and of course your transportation. This is a great option for travelers seeking some flexibility in each destination when it comes to sightseeing and activities, but want the stability of having some key logistics taken care of.

    These journeys cover North America, and more specifically United States and Canada. Those who travel with Amtrak are largely US and Canadian Citizens on cross country trips. That said, it can also be an attractive way to cover a lot of ground for international travelers. However note that some of the time off the train will be to your own devices, without a guide, so if language barrier is an issue be sure to keep this mind.

    Top Destinations

    Glacier national park with Amtrak

    Amtrak Vacations are available in North America on Amtrak railways, and through connections to boats, ferries, and motorways.

    You can travel in many different directions and there is a large variety of durations available. Some of the most popular Amtrak Vacations are through national parks. Currently they offer rail journeys through Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Crater Lake National Park, Glacier National Park, the Grand Canyon, Grand Tetons, Rocky Mountains, Yellowstone, and Yosemite.

    In addition, Amtrak covers all major geographical regions of the United States and Canada, including most major cities.

    Travel Style

    A journey with Amtrak Vacations can be done on a budget, or more luxury. With several dining options, and accommodation options on board, such as deluxe sleeper cars, there’s something to be found for everyone. They provide excellent customer service and a knowledgeable staff available for any and all questions throughout your trip.

    Amtrak offers a few different types of rail vacation packages:

    Rail Getaways - These quick jaunts are great for a weekend getaway, solo or with a few friends or family members. Get to know a specific region and enjoy taking some time off the train to explore.

    Independent Journeys - Multi city vacations ideal for those who are looking for an adventure, and a lot of independent choice when it comes to activities and sightseeing.

    Round Trip - Fairly self explanatory, these can be long or short trips. Different routes aren’t taken, so you will be seeing double. But for some travelers this is a great way to pass the same sites and maybe explore some in more depth than you did going the opposite direction.

    City stop in Chicago Amtrak vacation

    National Parks - As stated above, national park visits are one of the most popular Amtrak Vacation packages available. The incredible scenery envelopes you and there are many opportunities to disembark and explore. These journeys are especially memorable for the opportunity to stay at hotels within the park itself - and feel truly a part of the incredible nature.

    Rail and Sail - These trips are a unique way to make your journey to the cruise ship about more than just getting from point A to point B. Every component, land, sea, and rail becomes something special.

    Coast to Coast - Really get into the landscape and enjoy the rhythm of what it means to really embrace slow travel. Coast to coast trips with Amtrak typically last between 15 and 17 days, and are a great way to feel the true spirit of rail travel.  

    Family Adventures - These journeys are great for family bonding, and really take into consideration activities that kids will enjoy. This definitely includes a theme park visit or two! Learning and educational excursions also take center stage, as the incredibly expansive US or Canada comes to life.

    Why Choose a Trip With Amtrak Vacations?

    Rail travel is like taking a ride through history. The implementation of the railroad had such an enormous effect on exploration as well as making connection between the coasts easier that ever before.

    When you travel with Amtrak Vacations, the adventure begins the minute you step on board. And the train journey itself is a large part of the experience.

    Amtrak offers many ways to relax, including spacious cabins and seats, spectacular views, and a unique dining experience. Amtrak aims to transform travelers’ state of mind as they pass through the natural beauty outside.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. I have a local Amtrak station near me. Can I begin and/or end my tour there?

    Yes! Tours with Amtrak vacations can be started or finished at any one of the 300 Amtrak stations covering the USA and Canada. And most itineraries can be taken in reverse order, for your convenience.

    2. Do you include sightseeing in the itinerary?

    Yes, sightseeing excursions are included in all of the itineraries with Amtrak vacations. You do have the option to add on additional sightseeing activities. These are available for an upgrade fee.

    3. Do the sleeper cars have private facilities?

    Amtrak has two levels of sleeper car: “Roomettes” and “Bedrooms”.

    The Roomettes are ideal for one or two passengers, and are a good option for budget travelers - sinks and bathrooms are shared, though there are multiple to a car. They feature reclining seats that form a bed, on opposite sides of the large viewing windows.

    Bedroom setups are great for couples or those wanting a more exclusive travel experience. They feature a private sink, toilet, and shower.

    4. Are meals included?

    Yes, all meals are included in the inclusive packages offered by Amtrak. There are varying levels of dining available, from luxurious private service to a more cafeteria level experience.

    Amtrak is able to accommodate most dietary needs and restrictions if given proper notice. They recommend 72 hours notice at least.

    5. How much luggage can I bring?

    Amtrak requires that each passenger bring no more than 2 large pieces of luggage, not exceeding 50 lbs.

    6. When should I arrive at the train station?

    It is recommended to arrive at least 30 minutes before you train departs. If you require special assistance, Amtrak requests that you allow for more than 30 minutes to ensure you reach your departure.

    About Lost World Adventures

    Founded in 1987, Lost World Adventures offers private and customized trips to South and Central America and Antarctica.

    What Makes Them Stand Out?

    Your guide will get to know you before beginning to plan your customized experience. If you want to have a relaxing beach vacation, they can arrange that. Or if you’d rather hike up the adrenaline, they are able to offer that as well.

    Who Travels With Them?

    They accommodate anyone from honeymooners to large groups. Trips are generally in middle price range - you won’t find tremendously budget items here, but they do their best to craft a trip based on all factors, price included.

    Where Do They Operate?

    They are focused in South and Central America, with a variety of trips from beach vacations to Costa Rica, food tours in Argentina, or Machu Picchu adventures. They are also among the few small companies providing cruises to Antarctica.

    Why Travel With Them?

    For the variety of trip type and theme you can choose from. They have food and wine tours, adventure tours, beach getaways, and cruises - all of which are customizable to your likes and dislikes. If you’d prefer not to overly customize, they have pre-set itineraries as well.

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