SmarTours 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

Great value!

5.0 January 2017
H
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I just came back from The Cape Town safari express tour, which was my first time visiting South Africa as well as traveling with SmarTours. The tour was extremely well organized and the guides, especially in Cape Town, were knowledgeable and helpful.
The excursions in Cape Town that they provided were extremely well priced and gave a comprehensive overview of the city. I would definitely recommend SmarTours to my friends and family and to those who are thinking about traveling with them in the future. This particular tour has great value due to the length of time and destination travelled.
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Tour SmarTours Company Reviews

We had a great time!

5.0 January 2017
M
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
My husband and I went to China using smarTours and I have to admit, I'm a bit mad at smarTours! How are we supposed to travel any other way now? We had such a great time and we realized that we are totally tour people! I loved the tours and hearing about the country from someone who lived there and could answer any of our questions. Plus we loved making new friends! You have ruined us forever smarTours! We will be traveling with you more in the future!
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Tour SmarTours Company Reviews

A great trip at a good price!

5.0 January 2017
JL
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
My family and I traveled through SmarTours on the China Sampler, and we had an amazing time! Everything was taken care of, our meals and accommodations were excellent, and our tour guide, Hao Jun, was the best guide we've ever had anywhere. Thanks, SmarTours, for a truly wonderful and memorable trip at a great price!
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Tour SmarTours 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 46 Trips 8 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 247 $ 166
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise Small Ship & Expedition Cruise Line
Size Global Operator Local Specialist
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • River Cruises
  • Custom Itineraries
  • Private Guided Trips
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • Custom Itineraries
Service Level Budget Standard
Regions
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
  • Rivers & Seas
  • Europe
Known For
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Adventure
  • Budget
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Eco Travel
  • Adventure
  • Sailing
Headquarters New York City, New York, USA Oban, Scotland
Year Established 1996 N/A
Solo Friendly N/A Good for singles
Tour Languages English N/A
Top Trips
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    About SmarTours

    Founded in 1996, smarTours promises its customers the “Best Travel Bargains” by offering mostly all-inclusive guided tours throughout much of the world.

    What Makes SmarTours Stand Out?

    SmarTours offers affordable tours along with great itineraries. Included in the price of all their tours is international airfare from the U.S., first-class hotels, sightseeing excursions, and English-speaking local guides. SmarTours draws a large repeat business, taking travelers to such far-flung destinations as Thailand, Morocco, Japan, Peru, Patagonia, India, and Australia.

    Who Will Enjoy Traveling with SmarTours?

    Travelers who love traveling and care about experiencing the destination above all else - tourist sites, history, and culture - will love the feel of a SmarTours trip. These tours are definitely for the budget minded - SmarTours offers numerous deals and specials throughout the year, and provides many other ways you can save money as well, including referring your friends and being a repeat SmarTours traveler. Trips are comfortable and well guided, if not luxury or especially “unique” in tone. Airfare is included, which is a major selling point for SmarTours travelers.

    SmarTours is perfect for the traveler who wants to get the most out of their travel experience, in terms of inclusions and time spent exploring the sites, both with a guide and with free time. If you are looking for a more cultivated, personalized experience, the SmarTours focus on keeping costs low doesn’t always allow for this. That said, this is budget travel that strives to appeal to a wider range.

    SmarTours caters to all ages that are looking for good prices. They are largely popular amongst 50+ travelers and families.

    Top Destinations

    SmarTours travels all over the world, including Africa, Asia, South America and Cuba, Western and Eastern Europe, and the Mediterranean. Diverse itineraries are available in each destination.

    SmarTours Travel Style

    Except for its cruise offerings -- primarily river cruises as well as Greek Island and Galapagos cruises -- transportation is generally by bus. Group sizes may reach 40 and beyond, but may also be smaller depending on the popularity of the trip. SmarTours will design custom trips for groups with at least 25-30 travelers.

    Accommodations are between value and premium, comfortable with a step above basic amenities. You won’t spend much time in your hotel, as SmarTours makes the focus about the travel experiences on the ground. They care about ensuring that you have as much time as possible to explore with the guide and on your own.

    Why Choose a Tour With SmarTours?

    SmarTours is a complete bargain package for budget minded travelers. If you are looking for an unbeatable value, don’t mind a large group and want tours focused on exotic destinations, then SmarTours is a perfect choice for you.

    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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