Classic Journeys vs St Hilda Sea Adventures - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 5
Value — 4.9
Guide — 4.9
Activities — 4.9
Lodging — 4.9
Transportation — 4.9
Meals — 4.9
Overall — 5
Value — 4.9
Guide — 4.9
Activities — 4.9
Lodging — 4.9
Transportation — 4.9
Meals — 4.9
Recent Reviews

Classic Journeys tour of Montana -- a Rip-Off

2.0 September 2018
D
Does Not Recommend
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 2.0
  • Activities 3.0
  • Lodging 2.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 3.0
These comments apply to the Classic Journeys “Culture and Walking” tour: “Montana Glacier National Park Vacation” which we took from August 19 to August 24, 2018.
This tour should have been canceled due to fires in the park. According to National Park Service readings, the air quality over the five days ranged from UNHEALTHY in the early morning to VERY UNHEALTHY from about noon to the end of the day. My wife had breathing problems from the first day. We initially attributed it to altitude. But we stayed at about the same altitude almost all week, and yet her breathing became more labored each day. By the third day, she was forced to stop hiking several times to catch her breath. It continued to worsen until the end of the tour.
The cancellation of two tour members from the original 10 reduced our group size by 20%. Classic Journeys then used only one guide instead of two guides we expected for this "LUXURY" tour. Thus Classic Journeys loss of 20% of revenue resulted in our tour group’s loss of 50% of guidance and support. On the last morning of the tour, we finally had an extra guide. The difference in guidance and support was enormous, and showed just how much we had lost for the first four and one half days.
The stay at the Belton was a disaster. The room was so tiny, we had no place to unpack our suitcases. There was no AC, no TV (though there was an outlet), no phone (again, there was an outlet), and not even a bar of soap. Motel 6 has bigger rooms with far more amenities. This was a LUXURY accommodation??

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Tour Classic Journeys Company Reviews

Classic Journeys Norway Trip

5.0 September 2016
J
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We went on a Classic Journeys trip to Norway and, as usual, it was fabulous. This was our 3rd tour with them and from soup to nuts it was terrific! Our guide, Vibeke, was really knowledgeable and extremely passionate about her country. We started in Oslo and ended in Bergen, one of the lovliest cities anywhere. It is a walking tour but the things we saw were terrific-a 1,000 year old Viking church, walking the glacier, kayaking on the fjord. The places that we stayed at were charming and the food was fabulous-even the reindeer meat!
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Tour Classic Journeys Company Reviews

One of the best trips you can take

5.0 January 2015
W
Recommends
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Having done both the Loire Valley and Provence with Classic Journeys, I can say unequivocably that these are as fine a walking tours as you can find (and I've tried other companies). The pace is such that you can really appreciate the countryside and environment rather than feeling you're always being hurried off someplace. And the guides have been great, really know their stuff.
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Tour Classic Journeys 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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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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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 10 Trips 8 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 635 $ 166
Operator Type Group Tour Operator 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 Luxury Standard
Regions
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Europe
  • Rivers & Seas
  • Europe
Known For
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Adventure
  • Luxury
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Eco Travel
  • Adventure
  • Sailing
Headquarters La Jolla, California, USA Oban, Scotland
Year Established 1996 N/A
Solo Friendly No single supplement Good for singles
Tour Languages N/A N/A
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    About Classic Journeys

    Classic Journeys began in 1995 and has since carved out a unique niche in the luxury travel market, providing high end travel with an adventurous twist, all over the world.

    What Makes Them Stand Out

    They describe themselves as having “sophisticated gusto” an apt way to get an idea of their travel style. It’s luxury travel but not the stuffy sort. In France, you might find yourself in the chateaux-lined Loire Valley or the lavender fields of Provence. In Italy, you might walk the Amalfi Coast or through Sardinia. In Southeast Asia, you can meet the locals while walking through Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. In North America, you might explore Nova Scotia's coast or the streets of Savannah and Charleston. In Latin America, Cuba, Costa Rica, Belize and Chile are all possibilities. As Classic Journeys puts it: "We meet and mingle…in markets, vineyards, piazzas and homes." And always at a relaxed pace.

    Who Travels With Them

    Many of their customers are independent minded travelers who are fed up with planning the logistics. As such they focus on keeping an element of spontaneity in their trips. You’ll enjoy their itineraries if you enjoy unique local experiences combined with the luxury that comes with having everything expertly taken care of. Group size ranges between 10 and 18 on their walking, culinary, and family tours, and they can also arrange private custom itineraries.

    Where Do They Operate

    They arrange trips all over the globe, from South America to New Zealand. A majority of trips are in France, Italy, Canada, and the United States.

    Why Travel With Them

    They emphasise keeping the feeling of spontaneous, authentic local travel in their approach to guided travel. You can choose from between specialized itineraries in four main “buckets”: Cultural Walking Adventures, Culinary Tours, Family Multi-Sport, and Private Journeys. Local guides will provide a deeper perspective as you experience each destination from all sides, through unique and immersive cultural activities, never losing the element of luxury travel.

    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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