Topdeck vs Grand Circle Travel - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 4.5
Value — 4.3
Guide — 4.3
Activities — 4.3
Lodging — 4.2
Transportation — 4.2
Meals — 4.2
Overall — 5
Value — 5.0
Guide — 5.0
Activities — 5.0
Lodging — 5.0
Transportation — 5.0
Meals — 5.0
Recent Reviews

FUNNEST GAP TOUR EVER!

5.0 July 2018
A
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
This Topdeck was so much fun, with it being the leaders last trip the chefs first trip and everyone else on the bus being 18 on a GAP year it was one to remember!
Unfortunately we missed out on Nice as we were in Paris heading to Nice on Bastille day, the day of the drive through attack. Topdeck took a good step forward and moved us to Switzerland earlier and we had an extra day there and in Florence instead! They had the best facts and took us to the best places. Our leader Amanda would tell us the most important facts of the trip show us where to party and where to stay safe and let us do our own thing at night!
Would highly recommend!
Check out my Topdeck here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tB_uiN6dOOc&lc=z221j1nhwkfwfjgeaacdp4302urkdwx33xmfi0u45j1w03c010c
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Amazing Europe Trip

5.0 February 2017
S
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
There are so many great things to say about my European trip of a lifetime. The people that made it was my fellow topdeckers and of course the Fab Tour guide Matt Stewart. This is a trip that I will never forget, so many lovely memories I will cherish forever. We was very lucky with Matt because he really took time to talk to us and make us all feel relaxed with each other and asked us what we wanted to do. He was so knowledgable about all the places we went to, I remember thinking to myself this guy is pretty cool the fact he knows so well about the history and culture of each place especially the amount of cities we travelled to. Matt made the trip fun, interesting, exciting and I hope that if I was to ever do a top deck again one day he would be the tour guide or I think I would be disappointed. Have recommended top deck to so many people, memories I will have for a lifetime.

Georgina staines
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TopDeck Tours was awesome

5.0 January 2017
IAS
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Topdeck Tours was awesome, at the time back in 2005 I was traveling for 12 months, and wanted to see a huge chunk of Europe on a budget, so I found this company and it was exactly what I was looking for, the guides were very friendly, our cook was making really great meals on the side of the road, and the driver was very funny, and the accommodation was all good and I and all the other people had such and awesome time, and lots of us still keep in touch and will always remember our Topdeck experience.
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Tour Topdeck Company Reviews

Great knowledgeable tour guides, wonderful food, & good accommodations!

5.0 May 2018
H
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We have been on 6 Grand Circle tours from Costa Rica to Egypt to Europe to the great national parks in America. We we're delighted with every trip.

Tour Grand Circle Travel Company Reviews

We had an amazing time!

5.0 January 2017
J
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
My entire family just wrapped up a 12 day trip, "Christmas Markets on the Rhine", and we had an amazing time! My grandparents are Inner Circle members, but this was the first time for the other 7 of us. The ship - MS River Rhapsody - was clean and very comfortable to stay on, the crew was absolutely phenomenal, and the program directors were very friendly and knowledgeable about the places we were visiting. The morning walking tours were something I really enjoyed, since they gave us a personal introduction to each city. I have zero complaints and will look into taking another trip with Grand Circle in the future :)
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Tour Grand Circle Travel Company Reviews

River cruises are fantastic

5.0 November 2016
C
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We have taken 23 tours with OAT and GCT and would not travel with anyone else. Several singles travel with us and a lot of them have not had to pay the supplement. River cruises are fantastic, there are no bad rooms and the meals are fantastic. Our air travel is booked by the company as soon as possible; if there are problems, GCT gives you the airline number and it is up to you to change to your liking. All guides speak English and we're all family by the end of the tours. I don't understand the bad reviews unless these people are expecting 6 Star trips for 3 Star prices.
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Tour Grand Circle Travel Company Reviews

Tours 351 Trips 13 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 149 $ 220
Operator Type Group Tour Operator Mixed Land & Cruise
Size Global Operator Global Operator
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Group Tours
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • River Cruises
Service Level Standard Luxury
Regions
  • North America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Europe
Known For
  • 18 - 35
  • Safari
  • Trekking & Camping
  • Adventure
  • 50+
  • Adventure
Headquarters Chiswick, London, UK Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Year Established 1973 1958
Solo Friendly Good for singles, No single supplement N/A
Tour Languages English English
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    About Topdeck

    Founded in 1973, Topdeck has been providing fun, adventurous trips around the world for 18-39 for over 40 years.

    What Makes Topdeck Travel Stand Out?

    Topdeck tour focuses on providing friendly and authentic guided group tours where like-minded 18-39 year old travelers can have amazing group experiences. There are several trip types to choose from, from camping, to immersive, to multi destination, to sailing.

    Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Topdeck?

    Sociable, adventurous, budget conscious 18-39 year olds are the kinds of traveler who will gravitate to Topdeck. Though they offer a few different distinct travel styles, there is definitely a sense of an ongoing party, with travel as the conduit and underlying shared interest.

    If the idea of being around a group of similarly aged people - many of whom may be exploring internationally for the first or second time - being spontaneous, and meeting locals (often in the environment of bars or clubs) is unappealing, then Topdeck may not be your cup of tea.

    Introverted travelers, or those for whom an extensively planned itinerary including many museums and historical sites is ideal, may want to hunt around before choosing a Topdeck tour.

    That is not to dissuade the more observational traveler - who may very well find a group they gel with perfectly on a Topdeck tour. Only to caution that you will be surrounded by several extroverted personalities.

    The bottom line is if you are game for anything, are traveling on a budget, and don’t mind fairly basic but comfortable accommodations and inexpensive meals - sometimes on the go - then you will enjoy the Topdeck tour experience.

    Top Destinations

    Topdeck has tours throughout the world, in Europe, Australia & New Zealand, North America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

    Topdeck Travel Style

    The Topdeck travel style is tied quite specifically to their audience. These tours are great for youthful and energetic 18-39 year olds looking for a good time and to make new friends.

    In the interest of keeping their tours affordable, travelers with Topdeck will need to make a few allowances. For example, hostels and hotels may be situated quite far away from the city centers. You can also expect some long travel days. The more of a good sense of humor and adventure you have, the more you’ll enjoy the experience.

    Why Choose a Tour With Topdeck

    Feeling the urge to connect with travelers in your age group, have fun, and make lasting friendships? Topdeck has over 40 years of experience in adventure travel, which has helped them create epic low cost trips for 18-30 somethings.

    These tours are certainly not for those who prefer to take things slow. You will be running around, moving between a lot of places - which in some cases means very long bus rides - going out a lot, meeting new people, and staying active throughout your tour.

    If your ideal travel experience is more methodical and planned out in nature, Topdeck may not be for you.

    But if you are an adventurous and social travelers eager to absorb a new culture and make new friends, then hop on board!

    About Grand Circle Travel

    The "older sibling" of Grand Circle Cruise Line, Grand Circle Travel specializes in land tours for Americans of baby boomer age and above (fifty-plus, but leaning toward the plus).

    What Makes Grand Circle Travel Stand Out?

    Grand Circle Travel was started by the founder of AARP, and as such know their demographic extremely well. Over the years they have established a solid reputation for tours and river cruises that offer good value to destinations around the world. They also foster a community of dedicated travelers, encouraging you to share your memories, images, and stories with them and the friends you meet along the way.

    Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Grand Circle Travel?

    If you like the idea of joining a tight knit travel community, with frequent cost cutting options, then Grand Circle could be for you.

    This is definitely a travel experience well suited to older travelers in the 60+ range, seeking a degree of comfort, in their travel experience, within a mid to high budget range. Younger couples or families may feel out of place among the crowd on a Grand Circle tour, as the activities, lectures, and pace are all designed for older travelers. If relaxing on the cruise with a book in hand for hours on end, gliding by quiet European shores is your idea of a grand old time then Grand Circle is for you!

    If you’d rather have a bit more action during your trip, this style of travel is probably not going to hit the right note.

    Trips are mostly all-inclusive, focusing on comfortable accommodations, informative and easy paced guided walking tours, cultural encounters, learning experiences, and special events that they call their Discovery Series.

    Solo travelers make up nearly a third of Grand Circle's customers, and they're made to feel more than welcome on group tours, including some price breaks on single supplements.

    Itineraries are designed for American travelers, with an aim towards immersive experiences such as visiting local homes, interesting walking tours, in-depth cultural interactions and culinary experiences.

    Top Destinations

    Grand Circle travels all over the world, with a strong focus in Europe, Aisa and Southeast Asia. They also have limited departures in Africa, South America, the Middle East, South Pacific, North America, Central America, and even Antarctica.

    Grand Circle Travel Style

    The Grand Circle Travel Style is comfortable, standard river cruises and motorcoaches. On motorcoach tours with Grand Circle you will make frequent stops to stretch your legs, and some longer stops for sightseeing. Groups are between 24-47 people, so expect some company! Because Grand Circle attracts a similar age range, you’re sure to meet new friends with like interests in no time.

    Hotels are comfortable and centrally located. Don’t expect extreme luxury or especially unique accommodations.

    You will probably do a fair amount of walking throughout the tour - Grand Circle suggests that travelers be relatively physically fit. Most trips with Grand Circle are, unfortunately, not wheelchair accessible.

    Why Choose a Tour with Grand Circle Travel?

    For the flexibility and comfort aspects, combined with unique experiences at every turn. You might find yourself sharing dinner at the home of a local family or visiting local schools. Plenty of free time is included in the itineraries, and there is a lot of choice among optional tours.

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