National Geographic Expeditions vs St Hilda Sea Adventures - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 4
Value — 4.0
Guide — 4.0
Activities — 5.0
Lodging — 4.5
Transportation — 5.0
Meals — 4.5
Overall — 5
Value — 4.9
Guide — 4.9
Activities — 4.9
Lodging — 4.9
Transportation — 4.9
Meals — 4.9
Recent Reviews

great sights. Great local guides. Impatient unpleasant photographer leader

3.0 November 2017
V
Recommends
  • Value 3.0
  • Guide 3.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 4.0
The local guide went above and beyond. The sights were amazing. The accommodations and meals much better than expected. Lots of driving but in good cars with good drivers. The trip is advertised as being for all levels of photographers but you need to check carefully if this is true for each particular photographer. This trip for me was spoilt by attitude and behavior of photographer and being told by the photographer that if I did not know what I was doing he could not help me. I have reasonable photography experience and I thought these trip were to help all levels learn. Photographer spent most of his time with the most experienced photographers and was dismissive of those less experienced .
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Photographic tour of Turkey featuring Istanbul, Capadoccia and the coast

5.0 January 2016
H
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Turkey was a destination I had dreamed of visiting, and going there with a group of photographers was a dream come true. in 2014 I travelled with a National Geographic Expedition to Turkey which allowed us access to many locations and sight we would perhaps not had the opportunity to see with another group or travelling individually. The cost of the tour was a little expensive but the accommodation and tour generally was 5star.

Our tour was for only 10 days so we stayed in 3 main destinations for 2-3 nights, and we took an internal flight to keep our exploration time on the ground to a maximum. We were lead by 3 tour leaders being a cultural guide, photographic guide and general organiser. Our cultural guide was an expert on the history of the country and he passionately shared this with us on our journey. We visited many other highlights and our photographic guide was available for questions and help throughout the whole tour. Our tour was designed to take advantage of photographic opportunities wherever possible. The opportunity to do your own thing was also possible with the extended stays in each location.

We started off in Istanbul where we stayed for 3 nights, then flew to Capadoccia where we stayed a further 2 nights. My friend and I took advantage of a balloon ride over the amazing landscape there and I am so glad we did. We also experienced a whirling dervishes and were allowed to take photos of their spiritual dance which was a thrill and privilege. We then headed towards the coast where we visited the ruins at Ephesus and by bus to Bodrum which was our final destination. We visited the Museum of Underwater Archeology, and had a behind the scenes tour of the complex and watched the process of reconstruction and recovery of ancient shipwrecks in the area. There were many other sights and locations we visited throughout the trip, and each day we experienced local food and hospitality which really enhanced the experience.

My friend and I decided to book a further couple of nights in Bodrum to extend the length of the holiday as we didn't want to leave the magical coast of Turkey. The locals were very friendly throughout our tour and we were made welcome by everyone we met.

National Geographic Expeditions were a high standard of tour and I would be happy to recommend them as a tour provider for a photographic experience.
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Tour National Geographic Expeditions 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 59 Trips 8 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 714 $ 166
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise Small Ship & Expedition Cruise Line
Size Global Operator Local Specialist
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Private Guided Trips
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • Private Guided Trips
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • Custom Itineraries
Service Level Standard Standard
Regions
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Rivers & Seas
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
  • Antarctica & the Arctic
  • Rivers & Seas
  • Europe
Known For
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Safari
  • Trekking & Camping
  • Photography
  • Adventure
  • Train & Rail
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Eco Travel
  • Adventure
  • Sailing
Headquarters Northwest, Washington, D.C, United States Oban, Scotland
Year Established 1999 N/A
Solo Friendly N/A Good for singles
Tour Languages English N/A
Top Trips
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    About National Geographic Expeditions

    In 1999, National Geographic launched their own tour company component: National Geographic Expeditions. Since then they have expanded to offer trips on all 7 continents in over 60 destinations. Recently they partnered with G Adventures to provide even more variety to their devoted customers.

    What Makes National Geographic Expeditions Stand Out?

    With National Geographic, you can travel by small, expedition-style ships; classic train journeys; land tours; active adventures; photo tours; family-oriented trips; or private, independent expeditions based on your desires and budget.

    Wherever you go with National Geographic, which has been in the tour business for 15 years, you can expect doors to open: entry to research sites, archeological digs, private homes or special events. Many expeditions are accompanied by a National Geographic expert or expert team who share their knowledge and passion for a region and help make each experience enriching and unforgettable.

    Who Will Enjoy Traveling With National Geographic Expeditions?

    National Geographic is one of those special brands that has managed to successfully straddle the line between “your grandfather loves them” and “your eighteen year old sister loves them”. They cover a wide range of topics, themes, and travel styles, with the educational aspect always prevalent yet not overbearing.

    Older couple looking at iceberg on National Geographic Expeditions cruise

    If you love feeling like an explorer and an adventurer when you travel, and love learning about the world from experts in a variety of fields, National Geographic is the perfect place for you. This is a company for those who want to dig deeper, like getting the inside story from multiple perspectives - historical, cultural, political, economic, scientific and more.

    These trips are great for families, and you can choose a private tour or a family friendly group, where hands on activities will widen your children’s worldview in innumerable special ways.

    photographer in Iceland with National Geographic Expeditions

    National Geographic trips are also extremely popular with photographers - novice photographers will enjoy their photography-centric tours, while many dedicated hobbyists can be found on their other trip styles as well. If you’re the kind of traveler who sacrifices the space for a pair of shoes in your suitcase for another lens or photography accessory...you’ll be right at home on a trip with National Geographic Expeditions.

    In the same way that National Geographic magazine has always inspired and furthered conversation and discourse, so too do their trips. The spirit of learning about the world is intertwined in every itinerary, so if you consider yourself a lifelong student, you should definitely consider traveling with National Geographic Expeditions.

    Top Destinations

    Ruins in Cambodia

    National Geographic Expeditions go all around the world, and cover almost every travel style imaginable. One might think they have a favoring of the more “exotic” locations but an impressive number of United States and Europe tours are offered as well as farther reaching destinations.

    Regardless of where you travel, you will be sure to get off the beaten path and discover unique cultural landmarks, meet interesting people, and enjoy a sense of adventure.

    National Park tour with National geographic expeditions

    Small-ship expeditions, done in conjunction with Lindblad Expeditions, can take you to Antarctica, the Galapagos and points beyond. Classic train journeys include the Trans-Siberian and trains through India, Spain, and Switzerland. Active adventures might take you hiking in Bhutan or meeting Berbers in Morocco. Land tours could take you to Tanzania, Peru or the Grand Canyon.

    National Geographic Expeditions Travel Style

    The travel style with National Geographic Expeditions has an aura of old fashioned exploration with a modern twist.

    National Geographic Expeditions is a family friendly outfit, offering a wide range of prices and trip styles. Trips vary from mid range budget to higher. Physical level is usually light to moderate.

    By virtue of their longstanding presence in the world, National Geographic has a wide reaching global network to lean on for incredibly unique and authentic lodging options, knowledgeable guides, and VIP access to historical and archaeological sites.

    Arabia tour with national geographic expeditions

    They have several broad travel styles you can choose from:

    Land Trips - National Geographic Land Trips are immersive explorations, often covering nature and wilderness points of interest such as national parks. They also dive into ancient cities and cultures, with trips exploring everything from monks in Burmese mountainside temples to the lives of nomadic Mongolian peoples. Most trips are around 11 days and physical level is between light and moderate, with some trips featuring moderately challenging hikes in various altitudes.

    River Cruises - a relatively new addition, Nat Geo now offers around 7 river cruises in Europe covering the Danube, Rhine, and Douro. Currently they also have 1 river cruise in Asia, along the Irrawaddy. These trips are typically between 7 - 11 days and feature wine tasting, history tours, and very light physical activity.

    Douro river cruise national geographic trips

    Private Expeditions - If you and your family, significant other, or a few close friends are looking for a more intimate travel experience than a group of strangers, Private Expeditions are a great way to travel. These trips are customizable, and can be crafted to perfectly suit your interests and dates.

    Photography Trips - National Geographic has consistently featured award winning travel photography. They run regular contests for those inspired by the thousands of groundbreaking and historic photographs taken by journalists and travel photographers around the world. On National Geographic photography trips you can actually learn tricks of the trade from real-world photographers and improve your skills.

    Galapagos tortoise photography tour National Geographic

    Train Trips - Travel was revolutionized with the implementation of the railroad, allowing people to travel in what was then a rapid pace from destination to destination. Today this ideal has been flipped on its head, and train travel is a leisurely paced excursion allowing time to relax and appreciate the slower meandering through beautiful countrysides. National Geographic train trips cover the classics, such as the Trans-Siberian railway and the Rocky Mountain railroad. Accommodations are comfortable, around a premium level, with options to upgrade.

    Active Expeditions - For those who enjoy a bit more of an adrenaline pumping and active travel experience, National Geographic also has trips for you. These trips feature multiple active outings, such as kayaking, hiking, and caving. Expect to explore the outdoors covering unique natural phenomena and gaining insight into how and why the landscape has been shaped the way it has. These trips also feature cultural insights, just to a lesser extent.

    Diver with underwater camera on national geographic expeditions tour

    Family Expeditions - National Geographic is the perfect company to travel with when you have curious and adventurous youngsters eager to see the world. They will learn about other cultures, people, food, nature and wildlife from experts with “cool jobs” that might even inspire lifelong interests and perhaps influence a career. These trips are specifically designed to be hands on, allowing everyone to get involved and learn about how things work.

    Private Jet Trips - For a luxurious and more lengthy travel experience, nothing beats a Private Jet tour. A dedicated team will be with you, and you’ll experience all the best that National Geographic has to offer from local guides to premiere accommodation. These trips are in a very high budget range, but if it’s in your wheelhouse - it’s a superb way to travel and cover a lot of ground.

    Journeys - Part of a partnership with G Adventures, these trips are adventurous and immersive small group excursions imbued with the spirit of National Geographic. The best of two top travel worlds!

    Why Choose a Tour  With National Geographic Expeditions?

    Woman in Sri Lanka on immersive tour with National Geographic expeditions

    When you travel with National Geographic you are participating in and contributing to a spectacular legacy. Over the years National Geographic has cultivated a reputation for being about cultural exploration, scientific advancement, and broadening perspectives. Their travel experiences are perfect for anyone wishing to get back to the roots of what adventurous, experiential travel really means and enjoy discovering the world from multiple angles.

    Really one of the best parts about traveling on a tour with National Geographic Expeditions is the sheer breadth of knowledge, personal and professional experience their guides bring to the table. They help provide richly detailed context, historical information, and dive into the details of local life, by showing and doing as well as explaining. You the traveler will have the true experience of getting to know a place from the inside out.

    If that wasn’t enough of a reason, proceeds from your trip price go towards supporting National Geographic’s ongoing nonprofit work in conservation, exploration, education, and cultural preservation.

    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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