Brendan Vacations vs Signature Collection by Gate 1 - Tour Companies Compared
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Overall — 5
Value — 5.0
Guide — 5.0
Activities — 5.0
Lodging — 5.0
Transportation — 5.0
Meals — 5.0
Overall — 0
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had a wonderful time5.0 July 2018
Does Not Recommend
We just went on Iconic Ireland and Ashford Castle and had a wonderful time. This was our first bus tour and we didn't know quite what to expect, however, we couldn't have had a more perfect time. Ireland is a beautiful country and we were stunned and thrilled with all the beauty we were able to see. The hotels were great - some definitely better than others but all were comfortable. My only complaint was that our last hotel had no ac and Ireland was experiencing a heat wave so the fan didn't help very much. That wasn't anyone's fault and I just went with the flow. Barbara (our guide) and Marina (our driver) were great and genuinely seemed to be concerned with everyone's comfort. The grande finale of Ashford Castle was incredible. Such a beautiful place and to be able to stay a night there was incredible. I ended up doing the Hawk Walk and horseback riding and I would recommend both - especially the hawk walk to anyone - I think people who are good riders would probably get to do more than we did but it was still great. I would recommend Brendan and this trip to anyone. Perfect amount of down time and activity. Loved it!Read more
Tour Brendan Vacations Company Reviews
it was fabulous!5.0 July 2018
My husband and I recently went to Ireland on a Brendan Vacations tour...first tour we've even been on...and it was fabulous! From start to finish everything about the trip was perfect. Frances O'Doherty our Tour Director and Hugo our driver made this trip exceptional and unforgettable. Hugo's driving skills are phenomenal!! Frances is the sweetest, warmest, friendliest and most organized individual you'll ever meet. She is so knowledgeable about all things Irish and has a way of imparting that knowledge in a memorable and special way. I was a little nervous about staying in a different hotel every night and being on the go every minute but it was glorious. Our luggage was always handled for us, hotel check-ins were done in advance so we never had to go through check-in ourselves, meal vouchers and exhibit tickets were all prepared in advance, etc. It was totally seamless for everyone on the tour. It was a large group but we all became the best of friends by the end of the trip. We will definitely use Brendan Vacations in the future and highly recommend them to anyone interested in tour travel!!!Read more
Tour Brendan Vacations Company Reviews
my cruise planners was wonderful5.0 October 2017
Just wanted to say that the trip me my 23 year old son my mom and my nephew and niece who booked our trip through Valerie and Debbie from my cruise planners was wonderful. Valerie and Debbie took care of everything from beginning to the end. The bed and breakfast that we stayed at Lough Kiern hosts Ellie and Kevin were wonderful. They took care of everything and were very informative and helpful. I would definitely recommend staying there to anyoneRead more
Tour Brendan Vacations Company Reviews
|Tours||78 Trips||1 Trip|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 248||$ 0|
|Operator Type||Group Tour Operator||Group Tour Operator|
|Size||Regional Expert||Global Operator|
|Headquarters||Anaheim, California, United States||Fort Washington, Pennsylvania|
Part of the TTC group, they offer traditional travel throughout Scotland and Ireland, and have a long legacy of excellence in the travel industry.
What Makes Brendan Vacations Stand Out?
With over 30 years in the guided tour industry, they know exactly what their travelers want and they deliver. Itineraries are designed to have a personal touch, making sure that you get the experience that you most want on your trip. Their focus in on Scotland and Ireland - and with such a focus, they are able to dedicate all their resources on crafting and designing unique luxury travel in these two countries year after year.
Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Brendan Vacations?
Brendan Vacations are great for anyone who loves traveling in the UK, are eager to explore the area in comfort, and expect a certain degree of comfort and personalized service. These tours are easy, slow paced, and mildly active.
Older travelers in the 50+ range, who have cultural curiosity and seek it in the realm of in depth guided history tours and chatting with locals in the village pub. Maybe catching a spontaneous evening of live music. If you are the kind of person who loves meeting new people, their group tours have an average of 40 people, so you’ll be sure to meet plenty of new friends who love traveling in the UK.
Because of their niche focus, you can easily customize your days to what you want to see, do, and experience, so travelers who enjoy having input and planning travel excursions will enjoy the openness of their Brendan guided experience.
The private chauffeured options are especially popular for older travelers and families. Younger travelers may also find experiences they enjoy, especially in their self guided options. Golf enthusiasts especially will love tours with Brendan Vacations, where they will have many opportunities to visit famous courses.
They focus exclusively on Scotland and Ireland. Trips visit castles, coastlines, stay with local families, and travel by rail.
Brendan Vacations Travel Style
The Brendan Vacations travel style is all about comfort and ease, whether you choose a guided group tour experience, or a fully chauffeured private tour.
Transportation is via large comfortable coaches, with high seats and big windows, offering wonderful wide vantage points of the countryside. Coaches are fully equipped with wifi and restrooms.
In addition to ample free time available during the trip to explore on your own, Brendan Vacations also offers numerous optional excursions throughout the itinerary. These do cost extra on top of the overall tour price.
Itineraries with Brendan Vacations use a few different words to describe the kinds of stops to be made - this can help you determine if the trips pace and activities will be well suited to you:
“Visit” - This means you’ll have a lot of time at the stop, learning from local experts and taking guided walks.
“View” - A quick stop for photos and to stretch your legs
“See” - No stops. Passing through via coach or rail
“Sightseeing Trip” - Experience the destination through the eyes of local city guides
“Orientation Trip” - Enjoy a self guided wander, stopping at points of interest for as long or as little as you wish
Why Choose a Tour With Brendan Vacations?
If you’re planning to visit Scotland and / or Ireland and are looking for a well designed, comfortable, and expertly guided tour experience, this is a good place to start. Their tours are great for older travelers who want the benefit of their experience and country knowledge.
A unique collection of luxury trips designed by Gate 1 travel.
What Makes Gate 1 Signature Collection Stand Out?
These are luxury minded trips with a local focus. Guides are all local experts, from and living in the destination you’re visiting. Each itinerary features exclusive experiences. Groups are small and each day is full of activity but well balanced.
They focus on offering only a select group of trips in this special collection - allowing them the freedom to create truly spectacular itineraries - which include more inclusions in the price than their other collections.
The tagline is “More Luxury for Less”. These tours may not be in same luxury travel class if you’re used to Abercrombie & Kent, however where comfort and extravagance meets fun and busy travel days of sightseeing and tours, you’ll find Gate 1 Signature Collection.
Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Gate 1 Signature Collection?
Those travelers who are willing to spend a little bit more for a 4-5 star experience, will probably find a sweet spot with Gate 1 Signature tours. These trips tend to be attended by older travelers, in the 50+ range.
Don’t expect too much strenuous activity. You can expect easy paced walks, guided tours and lectures, and stops to explore interesting cultural sites and historical attractions.
While some of these cultural experiences, included in their “Signature Experiences”, are truly unique, be wary that many of these inclusions are fairly standard offerings - such as a hot air balloon ride over the African savannah. So the luxury experience of exclusivity you may be expecting is to be taken with a grain of salt. These tours offer wonderful experiences - but the destinations or activities are not always particularly uncommon or rare.
They currently don’t offer an overly extensive list of countries, but tours do go all over the world. This includes Central Europe, Spain, and the UK, Israel, Jordan and Morocco, Peru, Southeast Asia, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.
Gate 1 Signature Collection Travel Style
Signature Collection tours with Gate 1 aim for comfort, ease, and unique cultural experiences. Like their other brands, Gate 1’s Signature Collection is about making sure your sightseeing is maximized, and the price is right for the experience.
Most sightseeing, meals, wifi, tips, and their “Signature Experiences” are included in the itinerary price - unlike Gate 1’s main brand which offers less inclusions. This type of itinerary more helpful to budget travelers wishing to pick and choose which activities they would like to pay for. Gate 1 Signature Tours, however, are best suited to those who want more inclusions and less hassle to have to decide on how to spend their travel time.
Why Choose a Tour with Gate 1 Signature Collection?
If you’re an older traveler looking for a boutique, comfortable, and well paced tour, the Signature tours may suit you very well. Travelers love the customer service, attention to detail, and depth of knowledge the guides bring to each day on the tour. There is also a good balance of free time and optional additional sightseeing opportunities.
All tours feature included “Signature Experiences” which are the main highlights that make the Signature Collection tours stand out from the other Gate 1 brands. These are unique excursions, usually with a strong cultural focus - such as an evening of Irish music in Galway, or a traditional dinner in the deserts of Morocco. They also often include lectures that explore a destinations history or a specific facet of the culture.