Wilderness Travel 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

Consistently Excellent

5.0 February 2019
D
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I love traveling with Wilderness Travel! My husband and I look forward to their catalog every year to see what new adventures they have cooked up and our bucket list continues to grow.

We started out doing their "Greece Private Journey" since we had never done group travel before, but eventually we joined the Borneo Expedition group trip and I was really pleasantly surprised with our travel companions. Lots of interesting folks from all walks of life. I am really glad we tried it out and have since joined several other groups.

One of the reasons we choose Wilderness Travel over some other companies is the quality, experience, and enthusiasm of their guides. When we traveled with a different company, we ended up on a trip led by a recent college grad referencing a Lonely Planet guide and let's just say I was less than impressed. It makes a huge difference being lead by someone with deep roots in the area and the professionalism and skill that can only come from experience.
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Tour Wilderness Travel Company Reviews

Surpassed all expectations!

5.0 December 2018
C
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I can not speak any higher of Wilderness Travel, their creative itineraries, and most importantly their BRILLIANT guides. I've been on 5 trips with them to 4 different continents now and every time I come home thinking that experience couldn't possibly be topped.

My most recent trip with them was this year to the Cortina Dolomites and everything about it blew away my already high expectations. The alpine huts felt like they were straight out of a magazine, the guides had fascinating stories about the history of the mountain range and the role it played in WWI and WWII, and the dinners were some of the best meals I've ever had (the complimentary wine is always a nice touch as well).

I recommend them to my friends and family on a regular basis.
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Tour Wilderness Travel 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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Tour St Hilda Sea Adventures Company Reviews

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

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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Tour St Hilda Sea Adventures Company Reviews

Tours 19 Trips 7 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 617 $ 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
  • River Cruises
  • Private Guided Trips
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • Custom Itineraries
Service Level Luxury 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
  • Eco Travel
  • Safari
  • Trekking & Camping
  • Adventure
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Eco Travel
  • Adventure
  • Sailing
Headquarters Berkeley, California, USA Oban, Scotland
Year Established 1978 N/A
Solo Friendly N/A Good for singles
Tour Languages N/A N/A
Top Trips
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    About Wilderness Travel

    Wilderness Travel, based in Berkeley, California, has been in business since 1978 and takes travelers around the world. But don't let the name "Wilderness" mislead you. While you'll be able to take a strenuous trek in the Himalayas or Andes with the company's stable of experienced guides, you can also book an easy trip to Europe complete with stays at comfortable hotels and picnics served with wine. Even the Himalayan journeys come with "cozy" mountaineering tents and warm sleeping bags, and the African safari camps and lodgings are luxurious.

    What Makes Wilderness Travel Stand Out?

    They’ve received countless awards for their outstanding itineraries, destinations, activities, accommodations, food, and value. Since they cap their small group tours at 16 max, you get to feel more connected with everyone. 

    Their itineraries are also organized to make the most out of your limited time. Expect to beat the crowds and see more than other tour groups that have the same itinerary.

    Tour guides are specially chosen people that have deep knowledge about the place. These people are charismatic, genuine, and passionate about what they have to share with you - all while providing first-class customer service! If having an exceptional tour guide that goes above and beyond is important to you, consider a trip with Wilderness Travel.

    Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Wilderness Travel?

    If you’re willing to spend the extra penny to experience the best of the best, then you’ll surely enjoy Wilderness Travel tours. Tours are at the luxury and premium level, which attracts a higher clientele of friendly, well-traveled, educated, and open-minded travelers.

    man in a suit adjusting his tie

    Wilderness Travel ranks its trips from one to seven in order of difficulty, so you have plenty of choice. If you want to take it slow and explore Kyoto’s majestic castles and teahouses, there’s a tour in Japan for that. Like a good challenge? Get your sweat on and hike the coast of Crete.

    They cover a wide range of tour themes such as archaeology, culinary, hiking/trekking, journeying by rail, safari, river cruise, snorkeling, yacht cruising, and whale watching just to name a few. Whatever your interest may be, there’s a tour for it!

    a yacht sailing in the ocean at sunset

    Tours are most suitable for active people in their 30-50s, but if you are a senior in good shape these tours could also be right for you.

    Top Destinations

    Wilderness Travel offers trips in seven continents and remote locations featured in their special expeditions, from tropical Papua New Guinea to Spitsbergen in the Arctic. Small ship cruising to exotic locations is a specialty, and WT will also put together family trips.

    Experience classic destinations but with new routes and destinations along the way that put a spin on the experience. Sail through the Galapagos Islands on a yacht,  Some trips are also focused on taking you off the beaten path.

    Wilderness Travel’s Travel Style

    Wilderness Travel believes in bringing you the very best that every destination has to offer. Their lavish and luxurious travel style brings you experiences that are beyond your wildest imagination. They’re all about HOW you travel, so you’ll want to pull out your camera just to take a snap of the bedroom decor. Imagine drifting asleep to the sounds of the African night in a safari camping tent or staying overnight in a Japanese mountaintop temple.  

    champagne glasses overlooking the sea

    From the minute you book, you’re assigned an Area Specialist that’s there to guide you through every bit of planning and preparing. They’ll help you with every trip detail from travel visas to what you should wear. Also it’s best to reserve tours well in advanced since space is limited.

    Their activity level system ranks the trips according to the activity and general travel rigors. A plus sign (+) also indicates the trip is a bit more strenuous than other trips of the same level. It’s important to check the itinerary details for the more specific activities, altitudes, hiking, and travel conditions.

    1 - Easiest: Non camping journeys, optional walks, minimal elevation changes.

    2 - Easy to Moderate: Hotels and/or safari camping, hikes on some days, optional sea kayaking.

    3 - Moderate: Half to full day hikes (3-6 hours) in the countryside, occasional steep trails. Hotel-based walking tours and snorkeling adventures are usually in this category.

    4 - Moderate to strenuous: Full day hikes (4-6 hours) on mountainous terrains, significant elevation gains and losses (as much as 3,000 feet) on many hikes.

    5 - Strenuous: Full day hikes (4-8 hours), mountainous, very steep, with altitudes of 10,000-12,000 ft.

    6 - Very Strenuous: Full day hikes (5-8 hours), just as mountainous and steep as level 5, with altitudes as high as 18,000 ft.

    7 - Most Strenuous: Full day hikes in mountainous terrain, camping, and hiking at extreme altitudes.

    Why Choose a Tour With Wilderness Travel?

    Wilderness Travel tours is all about creating unrivaled experiences in destinations all around the world. They’ve continued to be an award-winning tour company as a result of their top-notch travel guides and well thought out itineraries. Even if you don’t enjoy group tours, this is the tour operator that’ll change your mind. With such a wide array of activities and destinations, they’re ready to tick off all your travel bucket list items.

    At the same time, their travel style makes for experiences that more refined than authentic. If you prefer to travel without the added comforts and luxuries, and celebrating with champagne at the end of an African safari isn’t your style, you might want to consider looking elsewhere.

    Wilderness Travel is also committed to the highest standards of sustainable travel. They gives back to the communities around the world, making sure that your travel dollars go into the local economy. They support numerous cultural and conservation organizations - some that were started by Wilderness Travel trip leaders.

    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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