Backroads vs St Hilda Sea Adventures - 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 — 5
Value — 4.9
Guide — 4.9
Activities — 4.9
Lodging — 4.9
Transportation — 4.9
Meals — 4.9
Recent Reviews

Excellent vacation, biking in Holland and Belgium, 6 days

5.0 January 2017
D
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Excellent vacation biking around Holland & Belgium with Backroads. See my videos to get a flavor for the trip.
https://vimeo.com/97188922 Biking in Netherlands, May 2014

https://vimeo.com/97536546 Biking in Bruges, Belgium (May 2014)

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Met My Husband on my first cycling trip!

5.0 July 2016
EH
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
This was the Canadian Rockies Cycling trip in the year 2000. It was a while ago so i can only remember a few details, but it was a fabulous cycling trip where I not only learned so much more about biking (it was my first ever cycling trip and I just started training for it 2-3 months before), had wonderful and super fun guides, magnificent views, fun places to stay, great food, and I met my husband on that trip! I have a friend who I met on another trip and recommended this one to her. She went on he exact same Backroads trip a few years after us and met HER husband on it! Both of us still married!
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If I was to try a bike tour? I would try one hosted by Backroads

5.0 July 2016
PS
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I've never been on a tour but I want people to know how hard the team works and prepares behind the scenes. I'm in Victoria BC and Julien, Deb and Francis work really long hours prepping for these tours. They store the bikes and equipment in our facility. They are very respectful. I can only assume that all the prep work pays off on the tour. They are nice social people, who are always smiling. If I was to try a bike tour? I would try one hosted by Backroads.
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Tour Backroads Company Reviews

Life-changing and enjoyable!

5.0 October 2017
A
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
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.
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Tour St Hilda Sea Adventures Company Reviews

A Delight

5.0 October 2017
A
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
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.
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Tour St Hilda Sea Adventures Company Reviews

It's fascinating to be on a slow journey

5.0 October 2017
A
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
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.
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Tour St Hilda Sea Adventures Company Reviews

Tours 25 Trips 7 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 686 $ 166
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise Small Ship & Expedition Cruise Line
Size Global Operator Local Specialist
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Private Guided Trips
  • Custom Itineraries
  • Private Guided Trips
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • Custom Itineraries
Service Level Standard Standard
Regions
  • North America
  • South America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Europe
  • Rivers & Seas
  • Europe
Known For
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Cycling
  • Adventure
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Eco Travel
  • Adventure
  • Sailing
Headquarters Berkeley, California, US Oban, Scotland
Year Established 1979 N/A
Solo Friendly N/A Good for singles
Tour Languages N/A N/A
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    About Backroads

    Founded in 1979, Backroads has mushroomed from a small regional bike touring company in the western U.S. and Canada to an international powerhouse in the world of organized active travel. Now offering a mix of biking, walking and hiking, multisport and “insider” tours – including many suitable for families – Backroads leads active tours in more than 60 destinations on five continents, 45 countries and territories, four Canadian provinces, and 18 U.S. states.

     In 2015 alone, Backroads will offer more than 2,500 scheduled departures with more than 180 different itineraries. Destinations range from the California Wine Country to the Pampas of Patagonia and the hill country of Thailand. Nearly 400 different trip leaders are employed worldwide – with three leaders for each tour --  and trips are never subcontracted to other operators. Backroads also provides two support vans for their tours, so you don’t have to wait for just one van to show up.

     Another big plus from Backroads is that tours offer multiple daily options, allowing you to choose among several designed routes and to travel at your own pace. You can also help choose your own traveling companions – perhaps with adult travelers, or families with young kids or teenagers, or other solo travelers, or with your own private group. Lodging is high quality.

    Backroads is best known for its biking tours, appropriate since founder Tom Hale – who still runs the business – helped plan the company while on a 5,000-mile solo bike trip of his own throughout the West. Backroads now has 5,500 high-quality bikes available for its tours, including electric-assist bikes that give you a boost when you have to climb certain hills. 


    About St Hilda Sea Adventures

    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.

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