VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations vs Signature Collection by Gate 1 - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 5
Value — 5.0
Guide — 5.0
Activities — 5.0
Lodging — 5.0
Transportation — 5.0
Meals — 5.0
Overall — 0
Value — 0.0
Guide — 0.0
Activities — 0.0
Lodging — 0.0
Transportation — 0.0
Meals — 0.0
Recent Reviews

Wonderful tour!

5.0 January 2017
J
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
What a wonderful experience! We were sad to finish our Montargis to Paris bike and barge trip. Anxious to go on another one

Tour VBT Walking and Bicycling Vacations Company Reviews

Very pleased!

5.0 January 2017
M
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Brian and I are in the middle of a pedal bike trip covering Charleston and Beaufort, SC and Savannah, GA with VBT - we couldn't be more pleased with the experience! Our guides Van and Sarah are just the best. We feel as if we are discovering the USA - I have never been in this part of our world and we are both looking forward to coming back some day - great scenery, food and people!
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Tour VBT Walking and Bicycling Vacations Company Reviews

Bikes as always great

5.0 December 2016
D
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We , Leslie Gault and Don Lucas went on the Galway & Connemara Coast ride.
I would like to give our review for the trip,
We have to say Steve and Brian were the best guides we have had out of the three VBT trips we have taken. The went above and beyond the call of duty, total pros. They both have great knowledge, ability, and the best of the Irish personality. We also loved Shane's wit and knowledge on the Burren. The rains did come at times but for the most part they are not that bad, the roads do not puddle much, so riding is still a lot of fun. The guides marked the turns with flour on the streets, wonderful, previously not done, and works even with rain, the greatest thing for carefree riding. Bikes as always great. The hotels are wonderful as always, lots great staff and perfect feel and style.We would like to thank Brian and Steven again for their hard work and caring personality.
Leslie Gault and Don Lucas
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Tour VBT Walking and Bicycling Vacations Company Reviews

Tours 4 Trips 1 Trip
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 350 $ 0
Operator Type Group Tour Operator Group Tour Operator
Size Global Operator Global Operator
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Private Guided Trips
  • Group Tours
Service Level Standard Standard
Regions
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Africa
  • Europe
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
Known For
  • Cycling
  • 50+
  • Budget
Headquarters Bristol, Vermont, USA Fort Washington, Pennsylvania
Year Established 1971 N/A
Solo Friendly N/A N/A
Tour Languages N/A N/A
Top Trips
    Similar Companies
      Countries
      About VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations

      VBT Bicycling and Walking offers cycling and walking vacations around the world. The company was established over 40 years ago, so has lots of experience serving active travelers. It is based in Vermont, USA. It also promises lower prices than other cycling tour companies without sacrificing quality. Most everything is included in the price, except for a few meals -- and that includes use of a customized bike on cycling tours or walking poles on walking tours, and special packages including international airfare.

      What Makes Them Stand Out?

      VBT is all about value. They offer many standard inclusions that some other tour operators do not, such as meals, airport transfers, and a special 5% ‘credit’ to use on a future VBT tour. They are also cycling and walking specialists, with tons of experience leading groups all over the world.

      Who Travels With Them?

      VBT attracts active travelers of all ages, but tend to focus on the adult 50+ market. As they are located in the US, groups are frequently comprised of American travelers. Focusing on value means you will likely travel with a group of like-minded companions who are more concerned with seeing the sights and breaking a bit of a sweat, than dining at the fanciest restaurants.

      Where Do They Operate?

      VBT sells tours that explore six continents. Some of their most well-known and sought after destinations include Italy, New Zealand, and France. More exotic cycling and walking tours can be found in Peru and Vietnam.

      Why Travel with Them?

      Both cyclists and walkers travel at their own pace during the day, but local trip leaders and support vans are always available, and some guided sightseeing is included. Trips are rated easy to moderate -- nothing too strenuous -- and walking or biking is usually limited to two to six hours a day. Routes and custom maps are all planned out. Another great feature on some trips is the use of e-bikes - bikes with an electronic assist to help you power up any hills you might encounter on the route. Overall, VBT has been doing these types of tours for more than 40 years, and they seem to have it down to a science.

      About Signature Collection by Gate 1

      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.  

      Top Destinations

      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.

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