O.A.R.S 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

Awesome Experience!

5.0 January 2017
T
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Our tour guide Yeti was amazing! He was very knowledgeable and made our adventure such an awesome experience! I recommend anyone doing a rafting adventure out of Vernal, UT for Dinosaur National Monument to request him as a guide because he will make it a trip you won't forget. We did the Green River- Split Mountain Canyon adventure and the scenery was so breathtaking. Next time we will be booking the 4 day trip to soak it all in. O.A.R.S. you all are rockstars! From the booking process to the actual trip, I'd recommend you guys 100 times over to anyone! Thank you for the great memory!
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Tour O.A.R.S. Company Reviews

Amazing river rafting experience!

5.0 January 2017
A
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I had several adventure tours with OARS and every time is was unforgettable experience! Guides are very knowledgeable, trips are well thought through, food is delicious and you have as much adrenaline rush as you wish. My river rafting was on Sept 2015 Middle Fork American River. Jimbo and Jim were river guides and they were terrific!!! Thank you guys!!!!
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Tour O.A.R.S. Company Reviews

Unforgettable experience!

5.0 January 2017
NHB
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Just returned from Cataract Canyon 4 day rafting trip with Christian, Dasia, Ben and Garth - and our experience was unforgettable and full of fun - as well as education. When I stepped off the raft for the last time I knew I had gained some much needed perspective about our beautiful country, the value of our natural resources and also had shed some of my day-to-day "uptightness" and replaced it with a sense of adventure and fun. The guides made us feel safe, they were always upbeat and pleasant, we were fed extremely well, and they had the process down to a relaxed science.
Extra big shout out to Garth who kept his cool and made a tricky drop where he and I got a little caught up just a great story to retell instead of a less pleasant one. Would definitely go again!
Pro Tip: don't over pack. Trust me. You will wear the same stuff for 4 days pretty much. Just be cool with that. Quick dry washable sportswear- a couple long sleeve shirts and a couple pairs of shorts - and a couple swim suits and or cotton sari, big brimmed hat, quick dry camping towels, wipes, Camp Suds/Dr. Bronners biodegradable wash, plastic zip locks (so much sand!) warm layers for evening, a great big water bottle, more sunscreen and Chapstick than you think you will need and some quality flow through water shoes, and your "just in case" waterproof outer gear. And maybe waterproof camera/binoculars. It all gets moved to their bags before you take off. No need to bring a big backpack rig. A portable telescope would have been my only luxury addition if I could do it over again, as Christian was incredible knowledgeable about the night skies and we had some spectacular star gazing.
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Tour O.A.R.S. 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 2 Trips 8 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 479 $ 166
Operator Type Group Tour Operator Small Ship & Expedition Cruise Line
Size Global Operator Local Specialist
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Private Guided Trips
  • Private Guided Trips
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • Custom Itineraries
Service Level Standard Standard
Regions
  • North America
  • South America
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Europe
  • Rivers & Seas
  • Europe
Known For
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Photography
  • Adventure
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Eco Travel
  • Adventure
  • Sailing
Headquarters Angels Camp, California, United States Oban, Scotland
Year Established 1969 N/A
Solo Friendly N/A Good for singles
Tour Languages N/A
Top Trips
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      About O.A.R.S

      Founded in 1969, O.A.R.S. was the first exclusively oar-powered rafting company permitted to operate trips on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Now California-based O.A.R.S. has expanded its operations to include locations around the western U.S. and the world, and has ventured beyond rafting to include sea kayaking and hiking trips as well. Still family-owned, O.A.R.S. has as company president the same man who founded it, George Wendt, who makes sure everything runs smoothly. 

      What Makes Them Stand Out?

      Start with its guides, which are the keys to any successful rafting or adventure trip. O.A.R.S. trains all its guides for its U.S. trips – including  training in CPR , first aid, water rescue, wilderness first responder techniques, and Leave No Trace Principles -- and works with top local operators on its international trips. Next, O.A.R.S. provides many comforts on most of its camping-based trips that other outfitters don’t – including three-person tents (for two people), camp chairs, sleeping bags with sheets and pillows, and thick ground pads to go under the sleeping bags. Third, O.A.R.S. tries to accommodate as wide a range of people as possible on its adventure trips, from young children to seniors and the physically disabled, conditions permitting.

      Who Travels With Them?

      People who love the outdoors and enjoy getting wet and camping out, without having to do the heavy lifting on the trip, should like O.A.R.S. About 70 percent of their customers are repeats or referrals from past customers. O.A.R.S. accepts children as young as four years, seniors up into their 80s, and all ages in between. In short, you don’t have to be young and highly athletic -- but rafting and other adventure activities do require some level of physical fitness to provide a rewarding experience. Weight restrictions may apply for rafters, for instance, and pregnant women and anyone with certain medical conditions need a physician’s approval. 

      Where Do They Operate?

      O.A.R.S. runs rafting trips throughout the western U.S., in Colorado, Utah, California, Idaho, Wyoming, Arizona, Alaska, and Oregon. A number of domestic trips are offered in U.S. national parks such as Yosemite, Yellowstone, Arches and the Grand Canyon. Their international trips range from Bhutan to Fiji, Chile to Croatia, India to Zambia. 

      How Does It Work?

      On rafting trips, O.A.R.S. provides all the needed equipment, including rafts, life jackets, dry bags, roomy tents, sleeping bags, camp chairs, portable toilet facilities, and more; offers up three hearty meals each full day of a multi-day trip; highly experienced guides; and more. You bring only clothing, cameras, and other items of a personal nature. Rafting trips range from placid Class II floats to exciting Class IV and V whitewater, but much of each day is spent off the water, walking, hiking, viewing wildlife, birding, or relaxing. Some U.S. trips and most international trips feature lodge stays with camping mixed in. Hiking or sea kayaking are the central focus of some trips. 

      Why Travel With Them?  

      With more than four decades’ experience, O.A.R.S. knows how to run a successful and safe rafting trip. Guides are trained professionals and there’s an emphasis on comfort and flexibility that you may not find with some other rafting and adventure travel companies. 

      About St Hilda Sea Adventures

      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.

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