Signature Collection by Gate 1 vs Encounters Travel - Tour Companies Compared
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Knowledgeable and entertaining5.0 March 2018
I just got back from the Discover Egypt tour and I don't have enough good things to say. Our guide, Mohamed El Zawahry is an Egyptologist and is incredibly knowledgeable and entertaining. I took my 2 kids, ages 12 and 16, and he did such an amazing job with them (and everyone else). Honestly as a blond haired, green eyed westerner I was a bit nervous about safety issues, but couldn't have felt better than I did (and I'm not a novice traveler). We saw so many things, learned so much, I only wish I would have added the Jordan trip on the front end of this tour! I had a medical complication in the middle of the trip and Mohammad and Walid went out of their way to help accommodate me. They made this trip so much more than it could have been! I highly recommend all of the 'extra' tours- Abu Simble, hot air balloon, Philae Temple- all incredible. Thanks for everything! My kids are still in awe!Read more
Tour Encounters Travel Company Reviews
Amazing bespoke trip round North India.5.0 February 2018
I just came home from an amazing bespoke trip round North India.Read more
Encounters Travel were amazing. Hotels were beautiful, our driver and local guides I couldn’t praise more. The trip was well planned and ran like clockwork.
I saw some amazing places, learned about the history, architecture and people. I would recommend anyone to go to India and to go with Encounters
Tour Encounters Travel Company Reviews
Amazing trip to Egypt!5.0 February 2018
I just got back from my amazing trip to Egypt!Read more
My tour was Discover Egypt from January 13 to January 21, 2018... What can I say?! I grew up with a fascination for Egypt and I feel so blessed I was able to go, with so many dates as an option, once I saw the date of my birthday, that was it! What better way to spend my birthday than in a country that has always been on the top of my bucket list !
I was lucky to meet an amazing group of people that shared my desire to see this amazing place and every single person involved in this tour was absolutely amazing! My tour guy Big Mo was the best! I felt very safe and well taken care of from the moment I landed in Egypt to the day I left. I really appreciated the birthday celebration as well!
I miss every single moment I lived during those days.
I went with a fascination and left loving Egypt, it’s culture and it’s beautiful people.
I will treasure this experience forever.
|Tours||1 Trip||145 Trips|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 0||$ 202|
|Operator Type||Group Tour Operator||Group Tour Operator|
|Size||Global Operator||Global Operator|
|Headquarters||Fort Washington, Pennsylvania||West Yorkshire, United Kingdom|
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.
Encounters Travel is a UK based travel company specializing in adventurous cultural tours. With over 50 years of experience, they have unbeatable knowledge and guarantee the best customer service. They offer a wide selection of tours that’ll take you around the world, catering to people of all ages, interests, and budgets.
What Makes Encounters Travel Stand Out?
They offer small group tours around the world, with an adventure twist. Their tours are about having an active and adventurous time, balanced with cultural activities. Encounters Travel creates innovative small group itineraries, as well as offering custom private tours. They focus on providing amazing experiences within a reasonable budget range.
Who Will Enjoy Travelling with Encounters Travel?
Travelers seeking adventure tours tied in with nature, wildlife, history, and culture will most enjoy their tours. Since they cater to people of all nationalities, it’s great chance to meet travelers from all over the globe.
Their tours offer great value for money, as they are focused on activities and authentic experiences. So whether you’re a budget traveller that’s trying to stretch their dollar, willing to pay premium for luxury, or something in between - there’s an adventure made for you.
Their tours are primarily enjoyed by active travelers, in the 20-40 range. However, they do have tours made for families with children to enjoy as well.
They operate tours around the world, with a majority of tours in Europe and Africa. From a hike up the physically challenging trails in South America to discovering Egypt’s Pyramids of Gyza, they cover all your bucket list destinations.
Tours with set itineraries will take you along the classic routes, where you will experience the highlights of the area. However their escorted and tailor-made tours are there for those seeking a more specialised trip.
Encounters Travel Style
Those who travel with Encounters will expect an adventure of their lifetime without cutting corners to save money or time. It’s all about getting to interact with travelers and locals, being immersed, and learning about cultures in an authentic and responsible way.
Accommodations are simple, but comfortable. Expect hotels in the 3-4 star range (for local standards), homestays, and camping. The places are always safe, clean, and comfortable, but will not be luxurious by any means. Transportation varies depending on what tour style you choose. For shoestring budget tours, you’ll be using more public transportation. Standard level tours will make use of private transportation. Majority of their tours are moderately physically challenging and will require you to walk, bike, or trek.
Groups are small - the max is 20 but more typically you’ll travel with between 12-15 people. Custom designed itineraries are also an option for more independent minded travelers.
They have six different ways of traveling...
Small Group Adventure Tours: These tours are made for those traveling solo, with some friends or a couple, and enjoy being in a group setting. Small Group Adventure Tours are great for those that don’t mind meeting new faces and socializing throughout the journey. Build friendships with people of all different nationalities while going on an adventure of your lifetime. They’ll take you to exotic and exciting destinations - some you may have never even considered visiting!
Shoestring Budget Adventure Tours: Maybe you’re trying to watch your spendings without sacrificing adventure. Or you’re a long-term traveler who would rather see more and can deal with discomfort. Encounters Travel is transparent and honest about how their budget tours will call for larger groups, use of public transit, and staying at 3-star hotels.
Overland Tours & Safari Adventures: Made for young adults and seniors alike, Overland Tours and Safari Adventures are made for those looking for a cultural, scenic, and wildlife experience. See the key attractions in Africa, while exploring places off the beaten path too. Mid-ranged hotels and lodges are arranged for you. Or if you want to ramp up the adventure level, you can choose their camping option. Also you can decide if you want to do the whole trip, or only partake in one particular section.
Family Adventure Tours: If you want some family vacation ideas that also cater to the adults, look no further! These itineraries are created to be enjoyed by everyone and make for a memorable family holiday. Trips can be tailored to suit your family’s particular requirements. Want child-friendly guides? To meet other families traveling with kids? More flexibility to move on when your kids are bored? They’ve got you covered.
Escorted Group Adventure Tours: Reputable and specially selected experts will guide you throughout your entire journey, giving you in depth explanations and an educational tour experience. Depending on your destination, they’ll either lead the entire tour by themselves, or work with a local guide. This is the best way to go if you want a specialised itinerary, more talks, and workshops in your trip. Go home feeling like an expert yourself.
Tailor-Made and Adventure Tours: These are made for people who want to have private tours and fully customized itineraries. Want to know the best part? These can made for both budget and luxury travelers! Focused on allowing you explore, learn, and appreciate the cultural heritage of your chosen country, itineraries are made for you to make the most out of your limited time. Have more free time to chat with locals, choose how much public transportation you want to use, and modify the suggested itineraries.
Why Choose a Tour with Encounters?
They strive to strike a balance and keep their tours focused on a good combination of fun and culture, regardless of the country. So if visiting important cultural icons and attractions is important to you, but you grow weary of non-stop sightseeing, Encounters Travel would be the perfect tour company for you.
Reviewers have mentioned in the past that accommodations aren’t what you’d expect from a 4-star hotel in western countries. Be aware that local standards are different and may not be what you expect, but they use the best hotels at the level stated. Hotel breakfasts are also a hit-or-miss, and customers say they’ve had repeat meals. If an authentic culinary experience is important to you, you might want to take that into consideration.
Overall, Encounters Travel is a great option for those looking for adventure around the world. A trip to Egypt, Morocco, or Greece is just around the corner. Just choose your destination and budget range, and let them take care of the rest.