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Overall — 4
Value — 4.2
Guide — 4.2
Activities — 4.4
Lodging — 4.3
Transportation — 4.4
Meals — 4.2
Overall — 5
Value — 4.9
Guide — 4.9
Activities — 4.9
Lodging — 4.9
Transportation — 4.9
Meals — 4.9
5.0 June 2018
The trip to vietnam was fantastic the tours we signed up for all of them and was busy everyday. The tour guide Buffalo was excellent. The trip was just above and beyond my expectations. Every aspect of the trip was simply great from the start to finish. Will travel with Gate 1 again.Read more
5.0 April 2018
I purchased a Living Social coupon to Iceland that only consisted of flight and hotel. I called Gate1 Travel to redeem my coupon and had no issues. I was a bit worried at first that Gate1 Travel couldn't provide me with a hotel confirmation number. And when I called the hotel directly, they wouldn't locate my reservation without a confirmation number. A few reviewers from TripAdvisor assured me that is just how Gate1 Travel operates and I shouldn't have any issues checking into my hotel. I checked into the hotel with no issues and got a room 2 hours prior to the actual check-in time of 2pm. Prior to traveling to Iceland, I had contacted Gate1 Travel to change my double bed to two twin size beds. Gate1 Travel did what they were asked and I was given to two twin size beds at the hotel.Read more
Tour Gate 1 Travel Company Reviews
5.0 March 2018
My wife and I just got back from the 12 day Classic Vietnam tour with Gate 1 travel. It was our first "escorted" tour experience with any company and I was really curious how that was going to work out. We were both totally happy with our experience. In our group there were approximately 15 couples and three individual travelers, my wife and I were the only ones who this was our first trip with Gate 1. This was the third for the next lowest and some had been upwards of ten tours and one couple already has three additional tours booked with them. That told us a lot. We really enjoyed getting to know our fellow travelers who were a very interesting and eclectic group with lots of travel experiences.Read more
I am a very serious photographer and went primarily for photo opportunities, particularly of the people living their lives. Gate 1 tours are not especially designed for "photographers" but this one, at least, and I presume all of them, are just natural opportunities for lots of great photos.
Some of the HIGHLIGHTS:
Our tour guide, whose name is Tu, was amazing! There were very few if any questions that stumped him and believe me there were a lot of very interesting and detailed questions on every subject imaginable for a tour. His personal story was about as interesting as it gets as he was raised in a tiny village of rice farmers Northwest of Hanoi, and is the first person in his entire family ever to leave the farm and get an education.
Everywhere we went he passed around local treats for us to sample and gave us ideas of what we might want to do "just for the experience". He did not try to push any particular viewpoints, but explained very well all kinds of information about their political and religious practices, policies and beliefs. He kept us informed of any possible risks in specific areas and bent over backwards to take care of every need. When we flew from Ho Chi Minh City to Danang I left my wife's cane on the airplane, but didn't discover it until later that evening when were at the hotel in Hoi An. (She only uses it occasionally as needed). We told Tu about it hoping he would have some suggestions of where we might be able to buy a replacement. The next morning at breakfast he brought us the cane. How he got it I'll never know because he wouldn't tell us, but we were amazed!!!
We signed up for all the optional tours. I had to sign up for the Cu Chi Tunnels tour as I was stationed in Cu Chi with the U.S. Army 25th Inf. Div. in 1967 and 1968. I was there for the Tet offensive of 1968 and just barely missed Tet (Vietnamese new year) of 2018, 50 years difference. It was quite the experience to actually enter one of the tunnels that we heard so much about when I was there 50 years ago.
My other favorite optional tours were the ones which took us on the rivers where we saw authentic Vietnamese fishermen and the way many families live both on and around the water.
Speaking of water, Halong Bay is an experience that will never be forgotten. It is easy to see why it is a UNESCO world heritage site.
Our hotels were first class all the way. They were clean, modern and provided excellent breakfast buffets, catering to all of the various appetites from around the world.
Some of the LOWLIGHTS:
There really weren't any that I could put on Gate 1's fault. For me, again as a photographer, I would have loved to spend more time at Halong and would have gladly traded some of the time in Hue and/or Hanoi for that and the mattress we had in the Hotel in Hue was almost like sleeping on a Vietnamese farmer's bed (Vietnamese farmers apparently sleep on the floor or at best a solid flat piece of wood with no padding whatsoever). No one else was unhappy with their mattress there, so I don't know if we just got a particularly hard one, or others preferred a super firm one. The Hotel did try to help with an additional mattress cover, but it wasn't that effective.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Will we book another tour with Gate 1? Absolutely! We are already looking at future destinations. We have also told several friends and family members of our wonderful experience with Gate 1 and recommended they join us. We will soon be among those that can tell of having been with more than one Gate 1 tour, like the rest of our group.
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
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
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||779 Trips||8 Trips|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 202||$ 166|
|Operator Type||Group Tour Operator||Small Ship & Expedition Cruise Line|
|Size||Global Operator||Local Specialist|
|Headquarters||Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, United States||Oban, Scotland|
|Solo Friendly||N/A||Good for singles|
Founded in 1981 with three employees and based in suburban Philadelphia, Gate 1 now employs more than 200 people worldwide with offices in 20 countries, ranging from Hungary to Cambodia, Argentina to Israel.
Gate 1 offers a variety of tour packages and river cruises around the world, promising to provide exceptional value for the price. They focus on North American travelers who seek “high quality, yet affordable” guided trips, with accommodations ranging from superior tourist to moderate deluxe class.
They have a lot of different choices when it comes to destinations, durations, and inclusions. Most tours have additional offerings for meals, activities, and excursions available for additional fees.
Traveler reviews for Gate 1 oscillate between 5 star and 1 star experiences. Those that have had an excellent time cite the tour pacing, guides, and extensive sightseeing opportunities as positives.
Those for whom these same factors contributed to a negative experience may have had higher expectations than is available or offered for the competitive budget prices that Gate 1 is known for.
Gate 1 is the perfect travel choice for families, couples, and friend groups seeking a cost efficient journey. As Gate 1 is a strictly budget minded brand, it’s important to be fully aware of the trade-off when you choose to travel with them.
You will see a lot, and be out and about visiting several sites - however keeping costs low is one of their main priorities. This means hotels will be basic, meals won’t be 5 star, and your coach will have fewer amenities. In addition tours with Gate 1 feature several optional add ons and sightseeing tours, not included in the base price. Average tour price is around $2,000, often less.
If you’re flexible, open minded, and are interested in maximizing your sightseeing above all else, Gate 1 could be for you. Knowing what to expect is key for enjoying the trip to the fullest.
Gate 1 trips cover much of the world, including destinations in North, Central, and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Itineraries focus on the top sights, historical attractions, and national parks.
In a nutshell, the Gate 1 travel style is “see a lot for a little”. Hotels and accommodations are usually 3 star hotels. Expect basic comforts, with fewer amenities available. However if you’re the kind of traveler for whom a bed and some coffee in the morning is a fine trade-off for busy days outside and tons of sightseeing, the trade-off will be worth it.
You will be met on the ground with a dedicated tour leader, available to assist throughout your travel experience.
Escorted group bus tours are a big part of their business - between 24-42 people. These coaches are again, more utility focused than amenity focused, but you will be comfortable. And in general bus tours take frequent stops to allow for stretching legs and using of facilities.
Gate 1 also offers small group tours (with a maximum of 22 people), river cruises on two continents, independent city stays and fly and drive packages, rail packages, customized vacations, and combination bus/cruise tours -- something for almost everyone interested in a budget vacation.
For the budget traveler, Gate 1 is a fantastic choice. They offer several types of trip package to choose from, including rail, river cruise, and small group tours, at competitive rates. Their escorted tours are extremely popular, and customers repeat trips with them regularly.
While Gate 1 is the primary brand, and they are all about giving a positive and packed international travel experience on a budget, other brands associated with Gate 1 are more premium focused. These include the Signature collection, offering luxury tour options and smaller groups.
St. Hilda provides the unique experience to see Scotland by sail. They offer many activities and private excursions - a perfect travel experience for families, older travelers, and small multi-gen groups.
What Makes Them Stand Out?
Taking only up to 6 guests, their tours are incredibly unique, as you sail aboard a classic ex-tall ship that looks straight out of the past. Activities include sailing, swimming, fishing, rock pooling, and lobster potting. Or you can choose to just relax and watch the spectacular wildlife and scenery float by. If you bring your equipment you can canoe, kitesurf, and windsurf as well.
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 sailer.
Where Do They Operate?
The West Coast of Scotland is where they specialize, the Outer and Inner Hebrides and Argyll 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?
These cruises give you the opportunity to see extraordinary wildlife, sail aboard an ex-tall ship with skipper and chef, with a small group. 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.