Topdeck vs Wilderness Travel - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

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

Amazing experiences

5.0 December 2018
K
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I just completed the 28 day London to Athens tour and it was one of the most amazing experiences. Lloyd was an amazing driver and a really fun person to be around which really added to the trip. Nicole was an incredible group leader and knew so much about everywhere we were going. You could tell they were both so passionate about their job which just made the trip that much better. Would definitely recommend topdeck tours to my friends back home.
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Tour Topdeck Company Reviews

So grateful that they we’re our trip leaders

5.0 December 2018
N
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Just finished my first time ever in Europe with an amazing Topdeck tour! Alex and Flozza were a great team and I’m so grateful that they we’re our trip leaders. Can’t wait to start planning my next trip!
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Tour Topdeck Company Reviews

Comfortable and like we were a little family

5.0 July 2018
E
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I’d just like to give a special mention to Nick our tour leader on the Meridijan Croatia sail. I’ve never met someone so organised, supportive and enthusiastic. He not only went out of his way to make sure we all had the best trip but he made us feel comfortable and like we were a little family. He was professional by being able to lead definitely the rowdiest bunch of people I’ve ever come across and at the same time have fun with us. I’ve been travelling all through Europe and that week was definitely the highlight thanks to him.
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Tour Topdeck Company 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

Tours 459 Trips 19 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 132 $ 617
Operator Type Group Tour Operator Mixed Land & Cruise
Size Global Operator Global Operator
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Group Tours
  • Private Guided Trips
  • 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
  • Rivers & Seas
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
  • Antarctica & the Arctic
Known For
  • 18 - 35
  • Safari
  • Trekking & Camping
  • Adventure
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Eco Travel
  • Safari
  • Trekking & Camping
  • Adventure
Headquarters Chiswick, London, UK Berkeley, California, USA
Year Established 1973 1978
Solo Friendly Good for singles, No single supplement N/A
Tour Languages English N/A
Top Trips
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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 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.

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