Abercrombie & Kent vs St Hilda Sea Adventures - Tour Companies Compared
Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.
Overall — 4.5
Value — 4.1
Guide — 4.3
Activities — 4.3
Lodging — 4.4
Transportation — 4.3
Meals — 4.1
Overall — 5
Value — 4.9
Guide — 4.9
Activities — 4.9
Lodging — 4.9
Transportation — 4.9
Meals — 4.9
1.0 January 2019
Does Not Recommend
We have used Tauck and other high end family travel organizations. We decided to give Abercrombie & Kent a try for our Australia holiday. It was a disappointment beginning to end. First, you never get the day to day times and "full" itinerary until you land. We stood in the airport calling for the A&K driver in the line. Finally, a man stepped forward and said: "Sorry, Miss I was just talking to my mates and the tour director is running late."The four season is nice anywhere in the world but we could have booked that on our own. The things that families want to do in Sydney are NOT included in your tour and must be booked by you and paid for in addition to the A&K costs. For example: Climbing the harbor bridge and Sydney opera house. We did get to go to Bondi Beach for a surf lesson. What they don't tell you is they are locking the door to the shop so no going back for a camera, to change out of wetsuit etc for the next three hours- just sit on the beach and burn?The Rolex Hobart Yacht Race was leaving the harbor as we were leaving the beach. We were sitting in traffic anyway so I asked to for a quick stop so we could get photos. There were several side streets along the road. The director said NO we will be late for the jet boat ride. Well, the jet boat is easy to take and runs every 30 minutes-a no brainer to do later or on your own at minimal cost. However, seeing all the yachts from above the harbor is a once in a lifetime view...opportunities missed- but this is a daily occurrence with A&K. Next was the zoo- I told the director before we caught the ferry that the one thing we wanted to do was the photos with the koalas. We came to the koalas and the booth was open. I said can I go and get our tickets? The response was no- stay with the group. The Koala pics were only US $25~ A&K should have had tickets for the 5 families on the tour. This was a low cost opportunity to make the trip special for everyone. By the time our tour finished, we were #32 in line with the ferry leaving in 1 hour. Geez! We then fly to the outback. Miserable experience- Fly economy squeezed in like sardines. I asked for a coke- they said: are you with the Disney tour? no.. then you have to pay for your own drink... ? The outback tours were long, super hot and boring. To see Ayers Rock and the Olgas once from an air-conditioned bus is ok but to do it for two days in 45 C is crazy! The afternoon activity for kids was aboriginal dot painting. But, it was scheduled at 1:00 pm (blazing sun) and they wanted them to walk to the city center and do it outdoors. No one attended. I went to the tour director and told her- the guy playing the didgeridoo had better come to the hotel and play indoors. It was planned for all of us to be outside with no kid interaction. She did adjust and have us in the gathering room so we had air conditioning but only at my request. Then we were suppose to be there for a "food" experience which was a girl walking around with some berries etc on a plate you could taste if you wanted. Then all fed fish for lunch. Finally we arrived at the airport to fly to Cairns and everything was shutting down because we were the last flight out. Disney had left the day before because nothing to do there but take a pic and be scorching hot. A&K just held us over wasting time/a day.Read more
The snorkel dive in Cairns was a problem because we had all paid for what we thought was a small group tour only to find A&K was combining several groups to lower their overhead costs; hence, the schedule was for 87 people to be on one boat! It didn't matter because it was raining and the trip was cancelled. We arrived in Cairns ONLY TO BE BUSSED to Port Douglas for 1.5 hours. No one had eaten since 11:00 am when we arrived at the Pullman hotel at 7:30 pm. They unloaded our luggage outdoors so it was soaking wet. We had to wait turns in the lobby for a golf cart to take each family to their rooms. We had no internet the first night, the shower head was broken and the knob fell off the whirly tub. To improvise, A&K set a tour at the wildlife habitat for koala pictures (better late than never) Only 2 families attended- by this time everyone was done. We booked our own incredible experience for behind the scenes. We got to go in the nursery and hold the babies etc- Brilliant! The itinerary was to hold us for NY Eve, but we jumped ship and flew to Sydney (all costly last minute) but we were trying to salvage our holiday and glad we did- the fireworks were amazing and a relaxing time flying home the next morning instead of a 2 am wakeup and transport! Basically, A&K did not want to pay for the NY eve rooms so held everyone in Port Douglas until the next morning- then flew everyone back to Sydney. Overall, Horrible experience with A&K- so sad to have wasted so much money and my husbands coveted family time off work. All the good experiences were booked and paid for out of pocket + in addition to our high priced A&K family tour package. Don't Do It!
Tour Abercrombie & Kent Company Reviews
3.0 October 2018
Does Not Recommend
Tour Abercrombie & Kent Company Reviews
5.0 January 2017
This is a luxury small group safari. 12 people, two land rovers. We spent the arrival night in a hotel in Arusha, two of the nights during the safari in hotels, and the rest of the nights in the luxury camp. The hotels were all good. The food was good, not great. The luxury camp is a two room canvas tent containing a queen size bed or two doubles. then there is a dressing area leading to the "bathroom" which is a toilet seat on a box over a hole in the ground. There is a shower stall in which they fill a canvas bag with hot water from the fire. They will not begrudge you a refill if you want to take your time. The day starts early in the dining tent with breakfast. then it is off to the land rovers to begin the safari. The guides from all the different safari's communicate to share where the most sought after animals are to be found. You will absolutely be up close and personal with lions, elephants, giraffes, monkeys, wildebeest, ostrich, zebra, hyrax, and the bird life. You will also see Water buffallo and hippos, but is best not to get close to them. and you will see plenty of Cheetah and some Rhinos, but usually from afar.Read more
Lunch is usually conducted picnic style in the park. Our A&K picnics were the envy of every other group. Then it is touring until sunset.
When you get back to camp there is a camp fire going and the head guide will present a lecture, while everyone enjoys some much needed libations, of which there is great variety and unlimited quantity. Then dinner in the dining tent, and after dinner back to the campfire for more libations, and usually to review everyone's pictures from that day.
The guides are extremely knowledgeable and friendly. You will actually miss them on your last day. I had a great time and heartily recommend this safari and A&K.
The best part is being inside the game park all day and night. You really dont want to be going back to a hotel, but to stay out in nature.
Some tips: There is a generator in the camp so you may recharge your electrical items every day. They can also launder your clothes. Things to bring: plenty of strong repellent to deter the horse flies, do not skimp on memory cards for your camera, be sure to have a telescopic lens for your camera, a good pair of binoculars with good magnification, a flashlight, a device to view your photos on, a device to copy your photos onto. Dont forget a sweater, its cold at Ngorongoro Crater. For your digestive happiness, I had good results taking probiotic and charcoal capsules every day. You can see my pictures at https://flic.kr/s/aHsiUJWDur
5.0 October 2017
This is a holiday gave me a chance to slow down, and take the time to feel part of the natural world: the sun, to notice the hook-beaked oyster catchers and families of rare seals, to enjoy the wonderful food, the sunshine, scudding clouds, waves lapping and the feeling of being held safely by the St Hilda whilst being at the mercy of winds, tides and waves. It was fun to share tasks with fellow passengers and to laugh. I haven't laughed so much for years. And I loved seeing beautiful coastal parts of Scotland for the first time from the sea, gaining the chance to wonder at the histories and cultures that have flourished, been lost and yet live on in the remote, unusual places where we moored. I discovered my sea-legs, but I found much more - the pleasure of a little bit of distance from land, the new perspectives it gives and sheer joy of experiencing the sea, and its role in revealing new dreams and uncovering old ones. All this was in the company of knowledgeable crew - sea-farers who made the whole cruise delightful from start to finish and easy-peasy for a land-lubber like myself.Read more
Tour St Hilda Sea Adventures Company Reviews
5.0 October 2017
This was a fantastic holiday - there is something magical about being in a ship, relying on wind and waves, seeing beautiful scenery, eating lovely food, helping sail the ship and enjoying the experience with a group of witty, friendly, knowledgeable people.Read more
Tour St Hilda Sea Adventures Company Reviews
5.0 October 2017
This holiday was like no other: it was stepping into another world where the wind, sun and sea mattered because our lives were held by the ship and these big elemental forces. It was a realm of sea faring lore, laughter and fun, where the elements - water, wind and tides - mattered and shaped and influenced our journey. It's easy to laugh on a ship because you are sharing the camaraderie of crew and ocean and somehow the sea is lighter than the land. Instead you have the myths and stories of sea and mysteries of the deep - Moby Dick, Jonah, Noah's Ark and Ring of Bright Water! It's fascinating to be on a slow journey with time to reflect and to be looking at the strange, populated and then depopulated, fought over Scottish coastal landscape from a new perspectives. It's fun to work with the charming, witty, friendly skippers and fellow crew hauling anchors and sails. But, most of all, it's a joy to be on, and in, and feeling the elemental ocean. I felt safe and found my sea-legs, but I also stumbled into a new world, one that enriches and ignites dreams.Read more
Tour St Hilda Sea Adventures Company Reviews
|Tours||28 Trips||7 Trips|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 704||$ 166|
|Operator Type||Group Tour Operator||Small Ship & Expedition Cruise Line|
|Size||Global Operator||Local Specialist|
|Headquarters||Suite Downers Grove, IL, United States||Oban, Scotland|
|Solo Friendly||N/A||Good for singles|
Co-founded by current CEO Geoffrey Kent in 1962, Abercrombie & Kent started out in modest fashion as an African safari operator, but quickly grew into one of the world's premiere luxury travel brands. Today they cover the globe, with 50 offices worldwide.
What Makes Abercrombie & Kent Stand Out?
Abercrombie & Kent is one of the world’s leading luxury travel companies. The emphasis is very much on luxury here -- whether it’s small-group travel (limit of 18 per group), tailor-made journeys, expedition cruises, train travel, African safaris, European barge cruises, or any of its many other offerings, just about everything A&K arranges is top of the line.
They are specific in their travel style, promising superior and attentive service, comfort, and cultural exploration. While this may seem exclusionary - and the prices are quite a barrier to entry
Luxury travel might have a reputation for being swanky and even perhaps a bit dull, particularly for those who travel for adventure, the image being a glass of champagne all day long, moving from meal to meal, sitting on the private deck of a cruise ship. This perspective is a misnomer however, as there is quite a bit of action available on tours with Abercrombie & Kent.
Enjoy invigorating walks, hikes, get outdoors to remote locations, meeting local people and learning about their cultures; experience the thrill of getting up close to waterfalls, and poise your camera for the perfect shot on a safari. Then retire to your room for a cocktail before dinner.
Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Abercrombie & Kent?
Abercrombie & Kent travelers embody an adventurous spirit, but enjoy the finer things as well. “Elegant exploration” is one way to put it. These travelers appreciate a slow pace and personalized attentive service. The age range tends to be older - baby boomers and seniors looking for a relaxing experience, with many cultural touch-points, but not overly “immersive” as their children and grandchildren might prefer.
This is upper crest travel at its finest - though Abercrombie & Kent makes a concerted effort to be worldly and inviting, your experience is definitely a luxury version of any given destination. This is a travel company that offers Private Jet trips, some of which offering the chance to meet an Abercrombie & Kent family member.
Think private after hours tours, exclusive outings with artisans, chefs, and winemakers; spectacular meals and accommodations that go a touch beyond comfortable. Imagine the civilized world of cocktail hour and dressing for dinner, but in the context of exploration. Perhaps you’re sipping your negroni on the deck of your private suite in Kenya, gazing out across the savannah with elephants silhouetted in the distance, against the dusty yellow sunlight of dusk. This is the wonderful travel world waiting for you with Abercrombie & Kent.
The majority of A&K’s guests come from North America or Britain. A&K trips are definitely not for the budget traveler, but they offer deluxe lodgings and transport and exceptionally attentive service, which their customers value highly.
Abercrombie & Kent made its name offering luxury small group and private safaris in Africa. Today they go around the world, but with the same luxurious approach.
Luxury doesn’t mean same-old, same-old or unadventurous though. Groups head off on Antarctic expeditions or Uganda gorilla safaris, visit Tibet or Machu Picchu, join a European or Nile river cruise, or travel to India’s Pushkar Fair.
You can ride deluxe trains or fly across Africa by private jet with Abercrombie & Kent. Or you can outline your own tailor-made journey under the guidance of an A&K consultant, then be accompanied by their guides throughout.
Abercrombie & Kent Travel Style
There could be a tendency to view Abercrombie & Kent as old fashioned when it comes to travel style. However there is a difference between old fashioned and appreciating a traditional travel style. Those who travel with Abercrombie & Kent do expect a certain kind of experience. From luggage handling to having the salad fork in the correct order, from short or non-existent lines to special assistance when needed. These expectations have become the blueprint for an Abercrombie & Kent travel experience.
Transportation on an Abercrombie & Kent tour is almost always private and chartered. Exceptions would of course be rail journeys, but here you would have a private car and access to first class dining and viewing. Your journey may involve anything from helicopters, private jets, luxury coaches, and yachts. Walking is a common part of most guided tours, but you can expect simple and easy distances during your A&K itinerary. (Unless of course you are on a Gorilla Trek!).
Accommodation follows a similar pattern. Luxury hotels, safari lodges, villas, you name it and it’s probably available.
Why Choose a Tour With Abercrombie & Kent?
Abercrombie & Kent promises to deliver an authentic, “insider” travel experience, such as seeing Machu Picchu under the guidance of its former resident archaeologist. You can even ride an elegant train to get there. In Tanzania, A&K runs its own luxury safari camps.
From the time they first meet you at the airport until trip end, Abercrombie & Kent promises that your trip will go as smoothly as possible -- and that their entire global organization will be dedicated toward that goal.
It may strike some as contradictory to see certain parts of the world in luxury. Some countries have luxury homes, but they are only available to tourists and travelers because the locals simply occupy a different social sphere. There is a unique dependency on tourism in much of the world. Abercrombie & Kent takes this seriously, doing their philanthropic part wherever possible, giving back to the local communities.
St. Hilda Sea Adventures provide the unique experience to see Scotland from the sea. They offer many activities and private excursions - a perfect travel experience for families, older travellers, and small multi-gen groups.
What Makes Them Stand Out?
Taking only up to 11 guests (6 on St Hilda and 11 on Seahorse II), their tours are incredibly unique, as you cruise aboard a classic ex-tall ship (St Hilda) or a proper small ship (Seahorse II). Activities include sailing, swimming, sea kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, rock pooling, and lobster potting. Or, you can simply choose to just relax and watch the spectacular wildlife and scenery float by.
Who Travels With Them?
All ages and all types enjoy traveling with St. Hilda Sea Adventures. Families, couples, and solo passengers are all welcome. Passengers can choose to do as much or as little as they like. This is a great trip for young kids to enjoy as well, for the thrill of hoisting the sails like a true sailor.
Where Do They Operate?
The West Coast of Scotland is where they specialize, the Outer and Inner Hebrides specifically. Such a niche focus is a huge positive for those interested in getting a unique view of this part of the world.
Why Travel With Them?
Their Scottish cruises give you the opportunity to see extraordinary wildlife and to cruise aboard a small ship with skipper and chef and a small group of passengers. All food is included, and there are many opportunities for interesting excursions. Some excursions are included in the price however, you can also arrange excursions based on your interests. These are not included but allow for a wonderful amount of personalization to your travel experience with St. Hilda Sea Adventures.