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Most amazing trip of my life

Trip: Winter Expedition This would have to be the best 28 day holiday I have taken! The quality Topdeck operates from their coaches, crew, included activities and accommodation is simply amazing. I had plenty of free time on my trip and was such a great taste of Europe.

I would recommend this to anyone willing to take the leap and get a good chunk of Europe bucket list ticked off.

Highlights would have to be:
Paris 'City Lights' Tour
Gondola ride in Venice
Gell?rt Baths Budapest
Dutch cheese & clogs demonstration
Bicycle tour of Amsterdam
Canal dinner cruise in Amsterdam
Lace demonstration in Venice

See you again next year Topdeck!
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Horrible experience + horrible customer service

Trip: Mexico Unplugged My holiday was completely ruined by the fact that my luggage was lost the first day of the trip. Note: it was lost not by the airline, but by the guide and the driver that did not lock properly my luggage. On top of this, Intrepid refused to give any compensation on this.
This shocks me because I do not see why you should pay so much for an organized tour. If everything goes well, you can go on your own and it is much cheaper. If you go with a tour operator, you pay more, and you expect that they are accountable for travelers and luggage... Their behavior in this occasion tells me a lot on which kind of tour operator: just want your money and then they do not care.
I can share all documents and give more details if needed... don't hesitate to contact me!

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Just WOW

Trip: Great African Expedition - 57 days Had the best time of my life! So close to not booking because of the price.. but changed my mind the last minute. I've never been to Africa, so had no idea what to expect honestly. Our guide was awesome, so helpful. I got a flu while we were in Malawi, but our guide was really helpful and considering, showed me to a local pharmacy to get some meds.

I especially liked the trek in one of the national parks in Uganda (Can't remember the name :( ) I even got to see a gorilla! Such a lovely creature, yet terrifying.

I was a bit weary about the accomodation though.. camping for the whole time? But it turned out ok, not sure if I liked it more that regular hostel travel.

Only negative about this tour I would say is that it's a bit too long to be honest.. really difficult to get off from work for that long.. But I managed!

Definitely recommend!
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Essentials of China

Trip: Essential China I was very disappointed in this trip. I have been travelling for a number of years and this has been the worst experience I have had with respect to transportation and accommodation.
The three 17 hour overnight train rides were dirty, noisey and provided only a hole in the floor(tolilet?) for over 100 passengers. The sheets, mattresses and pillows were stained and not changed between
passengers. The public bus which we travelled on for over seven hours with
out air conditioning in 34C left me feeling nauseated. We hauled our heavy luggage for hours in crowded hot metro stations to get to our accommodation. The
hotels with the exception of Beijing were rundown with leaky showers and filthy carpets. On a brighter note I thouroughly enjoyed the sites we saw on this tour and our guide Jakkie was a ray of sunshine in this country. I have experienced home stays and public transportation around the world on other tours however by comparison gadventures was not considering client safety and comfort in the Essentials of China Tour. There are better means of accommodation and travel in China which would have given this trip a much higher rating. Clearly
gadventure should provide them to met
the standards of
customers service they purport.


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Bog-standard, Nothing special

Trip: Enjoy a fantastic US road trip with Topdeck The guide's motivation for the people on the trip was quite shocking, She did not really seem committed to doing her job properly, Each time she spoke on the microphone to inform us about stuff she said it in a angry tone and I also saw her roll her eyes a few times. I did not really get along with her at all. The motels/hotels were a mix of both good and bad, The one in Cocoa Beach, Miami was quite scary, My roommate and I were kept awake all night because we had men loitering right in front of our door. A couple of the venues we stayed at were quite questionable, There was rubbish on the ground in some rooms upon our arrival. Some towns were not worth visiting such as Durango which had absolutely nothing tourist wise and was more of a drunk's paradise atmosphere with the only thing to do was get intoxicated, One thing I learnt about Topdeck it is somewhat party focused with some stopovers was to get wasted. Transportation was definitely top-notch, Very comfortable and the bus driver was fantastic, His driving was very safe and he did not make a fuss at all when it came to loading and unloading luggage on the bus. Included activities was also quite questionable some were quite boring such as the Tabasco factory tour nobody really seemed to have anything good to say about it and it was rather quite quick, The most awesome was the Jeep tour with the Navajo tribe, It went throughout the day and a good learning experience. The trip overall was bog-standard, Going with a bus from coast to coast takes the worry out of finding your own transportation. Will I go with Topdeck again, Highly unlikely unless they fix up their set up of the trip and employ people who actually want to do their job. You found this review helpful.

Started well finished sour

Trip: London to Istanbul by Rail This tour was a wonderful experience until leaving Budapest. This tour was meant to be a rail tour and from Romania we were switched predominately onto buses which kind of defeats the purpose of the tour. It wasn't just the point of being placed onto buses, it's also the fact that GAdventures didn't advise that this would possibly be the case and didn't even say anything until the night before that we'd be shoved onto bus. There was no toilet stops and the whole tour seemed to turn into some big rush to get to the destinations. They passed it off as saying the trains can be running late up to 6 hours or so and that was their reason. Upon doing some research I discovered the train hasn't run from Plovdiv in Bulgaria to Istanbul since approx. 2006. I find this to be misleading and am very dissatisfied with the way this whole tour panned out with secrets and misleading tour itinerary. I was looking forward to doing some more tours with GAdventures until I experienced this misleading tactic and the fact they seem to think that going by bus was the better option. If I wanted to travel by bus, I would book a bus tour. You found this review helpful.

Disappointing Experience

Trip: Ultimate Turkey We have just returned from our Ultimate Turkey Tour we booked with G Adventures feeling very disappointed and sad about the whole experience.

We have done quite a lot of round trips with different travel companies over the last year but have never experienced such a low quality before. First of all we were extremely disappointed by the poor quality of the hotels on this tour. We didn't expect any luxury or comfort at all although we have got much better hotels for a similar price before and Turkey is not really an expensive country. Since we booked the classic tour we expected at least clean rooms with accessible bathrooms and functioning Internet, all things which were not guaranteed in some of the hotels we stayed at. When we talked to our guide about these points he just mentioned the G Adventures style of travelling which focuses on family-run, central hotels. This is in fact a good idea but it was simply not true for most of the hotels. Some were not that central (the one in Cappadocia) or far away from the optional activities we could do (beach and museum in Antalya). So what's the point of staying in a shabby, noisy 'central' hotel when you still have to take public tranport to get to any of the places of interest?

Furthermore we were disappointed by the lack of structure the whole tour had. Honestly speaking, everyone with a good guide book could have organised a better trip. Yes, the tour included some of the classic highlights Turkey has to offer, but it also left out a lot. We were surprised about the huge amount of free time we had, especially in places where there was not much to do and see (like Selcuk or Canakkale). Oddly enough we did only have two hours for places like Pamukkale and Hierapolis, which would have needed much more time. When we asked our guide why we left out for example the ancient ruins of Pergamon, which would have been exactly on our way but stayed instead in a crowded, uninteresting place like Ayvalik, he explained that after visiting Ephesos people wanted to spend another day at a beach. I agree that expectations are different, but the beach there was not even nice and public transport was required to get there! So again, what is the point of skipping popular attractions of a region whithout offering any attractive alternative programme? It seemed to us that places had been chosen more because of cheap hotel rates rather than interesting sights.

We could have tolerated the above issues as being part of a different `style?of travelling which we have not experienced so far.
But what made us really angry and led to our cancellation of our last week of the tour was how G Adventures reacted to the incident of a terrorist attack in a town in the southeastern part of Turkey which happened during the beginning of the second week of our trip. After we had read about this incident we checked the travel advice pages of several foreign offices. All of them adviced travellers against all but essential travel to the regions which the Eastern Turkey tour would have partly covered. We felt very concerned about this and asked our guide about advice. He didn't seem to be concerned at all and told us that there was no need to worry and that there had never been any incidents before (does that make you feel more secure after a bomb attack???).
Honestly speaking, we did not have the impression that our concerns were taken seriously. When writing to a G Adventures representative about this we got the answer that their team had advised that we would still be far enough away from the dangerous regions (are 50 km really a far distance?) and that there would be a 100% cancellation fee for us in case we cancelled the tour.
We decided to follow our foreign office's advice and cancelled our last week in Turkey.
Reading about further violent incindents in the southeast regions of Turkey and the declaration of war of Turkey's president against the terrorist organisations we are happy to be safe back at home.

Nevertheless we are still disappointed about G Adventures? handling of this situation. It seems to us the company is not really interested in customer satisfaction and places profit even above the safety of their travellers.

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I want our money back :( Topdeck Pure adrenaline Wellington to Christchurch

Trip: Try adventure activities in New Zealand on this Topdeck South Island tour! This tour seemed unorganised from the very beginning starting with our travel agent being incapable of making the correct bookings. A few times i had to call and change the number of passengers for the tour and flights (just the 2 of us), the dates of the tour were booked incorrectly, and then the flight dates didn't match up, our ages were wrong, and she didn't book our two extra nights of accommodation for before and after the tour.

Wellington to Nelson: The TopDeck Pure adrenaline tour promised a lot and didn't come through. we were told the check in time for the tour was 6;30 with departure at 7. when we arrived we sat around for an hour until we noticed a small sign around the corner that said we wouldn't be meeting our tour guides until 9am. We made the most of the cold morning and explored but the lack of communication was just inconsiderate. Our tour guide was unenthusiastic, bored and fake right from the beginning, and the "short" ferry ride (an "activity" included in the "pure adrenaline tour") to the south island we discovered was 3 hours long. Those of us who get sea sick were not impressed by the lack of information. The visit to the winery (also included) lasted for less than half an hour. No actual sight seeing of the winery was included.

Nelson: "explore Dense forest, snow capped mountains and acres of pinot noir grapes. Throw clay or wield a paintbrush in the creative artist hub. Skydive, kayak or take a hike through the mountains, forests and waters of Abel Tasman National Park. Or go treasure hunting in Nelson's galleries" A lot of the optional activities were cancelled, but some of us did get to do something fun. Quad biking was great but what made it better was the guides who actually seemed like they wanted to be there, instead of more concerned of when they'd get to the next town to catch up with their best friends.

Nelson To Christchurch: Another non event. The way the days were planned out almost made it seem like the "included activities" were never going to go ahead anyway regardless of the weather. After boasting the previous day that NZ liked to claim one of the largest populations of dolphins this time of year we were informed an hour before that activity was to start that... They couldn't find the dolphins. The activity was cancelled as well as the whale watching cruises which i suppose was just as well because if they had gone ahead we wouldn't have made it to the hostel at the prearranged time anyway. Ill admit the baby seals we saw in the waterfall were very cute, but considering we didn't get to whale watch or swim with dolphins, you'd think we'd have a little more time to see them and take more pictures, even walk a little around the forrest path.... We were ushered out of there within a half hour.
Kaikoura, a small beach side town however, where there were no fun, blood pounding, pulse racing activities we were free to wander around grab some groceries and just wander some more in the dreary weather. Also they "cater" for different dietary need this was apparent when we all got back onto the bus and everyone received ice-creams (plural) most everyone had 2 and a few had 3. I am lactose intolerant and was just told "oh yeah you cant have one" by the tour guide. duh. But thanks for the consideration.

Christchurch to Fox Glacier: This was the first time we saw the snow in New Zealand and it was beautiful, some people were seeing it for the first time ever. We were told we'd get to stretch our legs and enjoy the scenery and were under the impression of stopping long enough to have some lunch. However our tour guide never stepped out of the bus and we were all rounded up again within 15 or so minutes. What the itinerary doesn't elaborate on is just how long you stay on the bus for and how many days on the fun adventure tour are just sitting on the bus watching Dumb and Dumber 2. From memory i think that day was around 5-6 hours on the bus.

Fox Glacier: Notably one of the biggest let downs of the whole tour. Somehow at this point so many things had been cancelled yet you'd be surprised how much money everyone had spent with the meals not included. Me and my sister decided not to waste money on this and instead decided to save some money for the adventure capital Queenstown. 3 people on the tour including us thought the same while the rest wanted to Heli-hike! Everyone was told that if they sign up for the Heli-Hike and it doesnt go ahead due to the weather they would be *guaranteed* a spot on the regular hike to the glacier. However when everyone arrived they were told that the chances of their scheduled Heli-hike actually going was very, very slim due to the weather and that if they committed to the Heli-Hike and it didn't go they would NOT have a place on the regular hike and miss out completely. Understandably with those odds all but 3 people decided to to the basic walk. But the unlikely to go ahead Heli-Hike happened! so 3 people had the most amazing experience while everyone else came back extremely disappointed that 1. they didn't get to do the Heli-hike and 2. that the regular hike was unremarkable, and got just close enough to see the glacier in the distance and 3. the misleading information that if they couldn't do one they could do the other. Needless to say the tour group wasn't that happy leaving FoxGlacier.

Queenstown: Unfortunately or fortunately (Im not entirely sure, yet) my sister became really ill and the disappointment so far of the trip wasn't worth staying, so we had to leave on the second day at Queenstown. So with a day and a half left i decided that i would do the one thing ive always wanted to do and refused to go home without skydiving. But the bad luck rolled on and it took three tries before my skydiving wasn't cancelled and i finally jumped out of a plane. We went home that afternoon.

After we went home i stayed in contact with friends on the tour and the last two activities that were "included" were...CANCELLED. Milford Sound and a bike ride, yep a bike ride, were cancelled. 3 days later the tour ended.

The included breakfasts were less than average and no lactose free or soy milk was available.

This tour was a huge disappointment from start to finish and greatly misleading. The weather understandably played a role but what we couldn't understand was, yes its cloudy and it sprinkled a little in the morning, but how could so many things be cancelled due to that, and how come it never seemed like the itinerary would have worked if we had done all the inclusions? And the misleading information? Why is a "Stay in Fox Glacier" listed as a bucket list inclusion, when a stay in Wellington or a stay in Christchurch not listed? all those nights in Hostels were included. Having Fox Glacier listed as an Inclusion made it seem like there was something there that was actually included in the large amount of money we spent on this tour. It was not.

By my count at least 3 of these days was almost entirely driving. Real action packed, especially with our reluctant tour guide who ended up leaving the tour 4 days early due to family issues.

This tour had potential but the so called inclusions did not exist, were not worth a cent or were cancelled. It would have been much cheaper to do this without a "tour". Perhaps this tour at a different time of the year or with a different guide could have been better but from my point of view this was an incredibly badly organised, misleading, expensive and lacking in the "pure adrenaline" department.
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Highs and Lows

Trip: Amazon Riverboat Adventure aboard the Amatista

My girlfriend and I just returned from the 9 day tour aboard the Amatista touring the Amazon River.

We arrived in Lima from a few days in Miami. The G Adventures rep met us at the airport and we were transported to the Dazzler Hotel. Fantastic hotel, great service and food. We met our G Adventure rep Gladys. An amazing girl!!! I can't say enough good things about her! She really cares about people. We flew to Iquitos to board the Amatista. The common areas are quite nice but I have a few complaints. The air conditioning in the staterooms was minimal and leaked water from the duct work onto the floor. The room and ductwork was full of black mold...you could smell it and I believe was the reason some passengers got sick. The food was quite good but be prepared to pay $8.00 for a mixed drink (a 26 ounce bottle of Bacardi sells for less than $8.00 in Lima. The staff aboard the Amatista were excellent especially Edgar. The tours were great although geared to an older crowd. I have completely different views of the Naturalist guides. Hulber was excellent, knowledgeable, friendly with a great sense of humour. He really did his best to make the trip a fantastic experience. Robinson on the other hand was knowledgeable but very arrogant and very much full of Robinson. He was always pushing us to donate MORE money! The story about how he spent 1000 Sols on celebrating his family members birthdays and how he was rewarded with making 5000 Sols for his generosity was too much! He talked for over 30 minutes after dinner about how our generosity would be rewarded by us making more money if we gave more money! In conclusion it was not a bad trip but I don't think I would recommend this. It was an upgraded Comfort Level trip. Hotel yes. Amatista common areas yes. Rooms horrible if you are allergic to mold.

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An Incredible Trip

Trip: Peru Tour

My wife and I decided to take the Peru tour package from G Adventures. We were initially pleased with the amount of amenities that were included in the package, but didn?t feel at the time that the trip could possibly live up to the promises that were made. Boy, were we wrong! The trip was incredible starting with the incredible scenery and mountainous splendor that is Peru. The countryside alone was more than worth the price of the trip, but we go so much more instead.

The hotels were first class and quite accommodating, helping us to feel at home even though we were in a country unlike any other we have visited. Our travels took us to the many different villages in the valley regions which was a unique cultural experience to say the least. We were so impressed with the people who live in this remarkable area of Peru and had little difficulty ingratiating ourselves with the villagers who have been keeping the traditions of their past for hundreds of years.

Our guide was superb in telling us about the history and the sights of the region that we were visiting, pointing out what was going on as well as informing us about past events in the area. We could not have asked for a better guide for our trip. Finally, talk about the perfect group for the tour, we were among people in different age groups that really made for a wonderful experience. I cannot recommend the G Adventures tour package enough!

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Wow! Jewels of Sri Lanka Delivers

Trip: Jewels of Sri Lanka

I was so impressive with Tucan Travel, providing everything I could ever expect in my travel package and more. While the package itself seemed at first like it was promising more than it could deliver, much to my pleasant surprise I was blown away by everything that was included.

My family and I decided to take the Jewels of Sri Lanka tour and it was spectacular. I?ve always wanted to visit Sri Lanka and the package offered by Tucan Travel was most impressive to say the least. A great price combined with seeing just about everything that is beautiful in this island nation makes the trip a real bargain. In fact, the cultural diversity along with the incredible scenery made this an experience that we will always remember.

I was especially impressed with the accommodations as they exceeded our expectations, but I?ll have to admit that one of the real treasures of this trip package was seeing things that I simply did not expect. Sri Lanka is a wonderful country that is loaded with many different things to see and do. It really helped that the staff was quite accommodating and answered all of our questions along the way. When you combine a great staff with an excellent experience, then you wind up with a trip package that cannot be beat. I heartily recommend the Jewels of Sri Lanka tour as me and my family was quite pleased with the trip, an experience that we as a family will never forget.

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Unorganized b4 getting us on board

Trip: The Realm of the Polar Bear

Realm of the Polar Bears with G Adventure - they were so unorganized before getting us on board.



On the FlyBuss Voucher (a transportation voucher from Longyearbyen Airport to Radisson Blu Polar Hotel Spitsbergen), it's written "Please present this voucher to the G Adventure Representative on arrival". Well, no G Adventure Representative ever showed up!?!?! We were not the only two that were waiting for this representative. A group of over 20 American tourists, one couple, a lady tourist were also waiting. When everyone else at this small airport picked up their luggages & boarded the only bus to town, we all had no choice but hopped on. Instead of giving the voucher to a G adventure Representative, we gave it to the bus driver.



Upon arrival to Radisson Blu Polar Hotel Spitsbergen, we presented our hotel voucher to the receptionist. Then we were told we were not booked to stay at this hotel but at another hotel up the hill, 20 mins walk from the town centre (but the voucher clearly stated Radisson Blu Polar Hotel Spitsbergen!). We tried to locate the G Adventure Representative but we were told that she was on the Expedition Ship & couldn't be reached. After so many hours of travelling (from Hong Kong to Longyearbyen, more than 20 hours!!!), we were so stressed by this terrible situation. The receptionist suggested that we took a taxi because it would be too hard to walk up the hill with heavy luggages. And again we had no choice but to get into the taxi, it costed us 89 Nor for a 5 mins taxi ride.



At almost 10pm that evening, we received a letter from G Adventure notifying us about the change of hotel due to occupancy availability at the Radisson Blu Polar Hotel. In short, they bumped us off and notified us 8 hours later without a word of apology!!!! Only if there was a representative at the airport (as arranged), picking us up and letting us know the change of hotel, everything would be fine and no stress for us. Although they reimbursed the two way taxi fares to us, this was a big hiccup before the trip.



We went through a Hong Kong travel agent called Country Holidays Limited ( www.countryholidays.com.hk ) to book this trip and of course we held them responsible too.



Luckily, everything went smoothly once we were on board the ship. The Expedition Leaders were very pleasant & professional and so were the rest of the staff onboard. Lectures & presentations were well planned & informative



Response from G Adventures


Thank you for passing this on. It concerns me greatly that these difficulties occurred at the beginning of a trip of a lifetime. On behalf of over one thousand people who work so hard to make this company great every day, I apologize. The difficulties encountered should never have occurred - however they did.



We have used the Flybus service for some time in Spitsbergen without incident. However this episode has shone a light on the fact that the wording on our voucher is indeed lacking in this area. Subsequent to this event, we have included several sentences on the documentation that clearly explains the service and how to use the voucher.



In regard to the hotel change, I can see in our reservation system we did communicate the hotel change to the travel agency on 3rd of April. I can only assume this e-mail did not make it to your attention and resulted in the disappointment and frustration expressed. We refunded the cost of the taxi between the two hotels onboard.



In the interests of doing the right thing here, I have processed a refund for the first nights accommodation in Spitsbergen (USD$345). It is my hope this will draw a line under this matter, and address all the pre cruise issues experienced.



I was thrilled they enjoyed their time onboard the MS Expedition, and these initial hiccups were not a constant theme.



If there is anything more I can do to be of assistance, please do not hesitate to let me know.


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Breathtaking, well organised, trip of a lifetime!

Trip: Antarctica Classic

16 Feb - 26 Feb 2014


I booked my trip through an agent so didn't deal with G until I arrived in Ushuaia the day before we embarked.


Pre-boarding organisation was great, despite the hotel lobby being quite hectic. Sebastian is a gem - so helpful, full of energy and definitely not short of a smile!


Upon boarding I found myself in a quad share room, despite my confirmation travel voucher from G stating I was in twin share. I had booked the quad but was pretty excited about receiving an upgrade, so that was a bit disappointing when it didn't eventuate. The other 3 girls in my room had also had an upgrade to twin confirmed and we were unable to get any information from anyone on the ship about why it had been changed back. You shouldn't give an upgrade and then take it away with no explanation!


Despite that, the trip was amazing. The ships Filo crew were absolutely faultless. The G CEOs were very knowledgable and for the most part very social and friendly (there were a few who seemed to struggle with even an easy "hi", but no big deal really).


The ship itself (MS Expedition) was very comfortable (apart from the pillows) and clean (kudos to the crew). It's not a big ship so it's easy to find your way around. Being a seasickness sufferer I found the Discovery Lounge pretty claustrophobic during the lectures and whole ship meetings (curtains all kept closed so it was dark and you couldn't see the horizon), but sitting towards the back for a quick exit helped.


The jackets you get to keep are great... Although they were a lot smaller than the original size chart/measurements that were provided. It wasn't an issue though, as you were able to try on different sizes and get one that fit properly.


The food was amazing. The kitchen and wait staff were amazing. It was my birthday while on the ship so I got bubbly, a cake and was serenaded with guitar and singing. Win!


Antarctica itself... There really aren't any words to accurately describe how breathtakingly amazing that place is. I'm so glad I stopped dreaming about going and just went! Zodiac trips were very safe and well managed.



We had perfect weather. And by perfect, I mean perfect. Going down we had the Drake Lake which rated a 0 on a scale of 1 to 10. We got to do every single one of our planned landings PLUS an extra one because we made such good time getting down there. DO NOT expect this. The G team told us that they couldn't remember the last time they had weather so good on one of their trips.



I did the camping while I was there. Huge thumbs up to CEO Dave. Everything went very smoothly. It wasn't the most comfortable (is camping ever? Haha) but I was more than warm enough and doing it has made me the envy of my family and friends!



I highly recommend doing this trip with G. Everything went super smoothly, the ship was comfy and warm and the photos I have as memories are stunning (I can hardly believe I took them!).



Being a well travelled solo explorer, "group" trips aren't my thing, but this was a trip I would do again without hesitation. I also wouldn't hesitate to go on another G trip... To the point where I have just booked to go to Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe with G in September this year!

Never Again

Trip: Moreno

Never again would l travel with Tucan. The good, the bus driver was flawless in his driving ability, maintenance of the bus and his service to the group often taking on duties that should have been undertaken by the so called tour leader. The rest: food provided on tour was bland, repetitive even for this type of tour, lunch boxes consisted of rotten bruised fruit that could not be eaten, rolls that were so stale and hard you couldn't get your teeth through them and consisted of a slice of what was called ham, nothing else not even margarine, needless to say these were just thrown in the bin by the whole tour and eventually not even taken. If u take this tour tell them you cannot eat ham otherwise you will get it for breakfast lunch and dinner and it's not ham as we know it. The content of the tour is hit and miss, many days are spent sitting on a bus with nothing to see to arrive at a designation for the tour leader to spend about 5 mins of her time talking at the front of the bus to the younger travellers about where things are located in the town, the older travellers we're ignored for three quarters of the trip until another traveller enlightened her that the people at the back of the bus also paid for trip. If you made enquiries about some major tour sights, her reply was never heard of it. If you want to see the sights be prepared to do your own leg work with no assistance or knowledge from the Tucan Rep. Do not expect any consideration or assistance if you are not well, expect that if you have young fit males who will race ahead on the eight hour hikes that you will be left to fend for yourself if you can't keep up with them. Only one tour guide per hike even though National Park rules say no one should be on the trail by themself, the group was so spread out that several of our group were walking hours by themself, Our tour leader announced she was going to the top of some mountain and the group never saw her after about the first 15 mins on the track. On this walk a lady from a second Tucan tour was actually blown off the mountain and had to be stretchered down. If this had of happened to our group no one would have know because our Tour Leader was to busy having her own holiday and the Tour guide had left most of us behind. Camping, don't bother renting sleeping bag unless you want to freeze for three nights, tents, did keep out the rain but are outdated, u will only be able to crawl in and out,nowhere up to the standard of previous tour companies l have used, hot water never worked except for about 2 mins then everyone else left with cold water. While the service at the camp ground dinning area was very good, it was only after other people on the tour complained that they didn't have enough food was the standard and quality lifted to a reasonable level. Our Tucan group was running parallel with another Tucan trip while they were up and gone early in the morning and utilising all the optional tours our leader would decide we would leave later in the morning so we never had the available time to take these up, some of which were the main reasons for some for booking this trip. At one point their was a revolt on the bus because the group were told the could only do one activity when almost everyone wanted to do two. Again the leader booked people onto a tour without confirming they wanted to do it and then told they had to pay for it whether they did it or not, another riot. A majority of this trip turned out to be traveling from town to town walking the street to find a supermarket to organise food for the night or days when meals were not provided or a never ending extremely poor tourist shops with high prices and very short on quality,and not much exploring the sights in the area or culture. The highlights of course were amazing but far and few between and l would say you would be better flying and you would be able to see just as much in half the time . Our trip consisted of half over fifty and half under, the return trip which was staying at the hotel we were would have been three quarters over fifty years old. Of all trips l have taken this would be the poorest value for money, poor communication starting with trying to get a detailed itinerary of what each day would entail, to the Tucan tour leader that is clearly not mature or knowledgable enough to be an ambassador for these countries. There is a lot to said to getting a local to be a Tour guide rather than someone is just trying to see the country for free. Finally l would also recommend that the Tour Leader refrains from bagging the company she works for saying she basically gets no payment from them and relies on tips to live. Firstly the group decided to give the bus driver the majority of the tips for the above reasons, and secondary this seemed like a very poor effort to try and get us to tip her more. Just for the record l only tipped the bus driver.

Sorry Tucan l could never consider another trip with you, l worked very hard to save to have this holiday, your company let me and many others down.

Response from Tucan Travel

Thank you for your feedback. It is disappointing to hear we have not surpassed your expectations, especially on a tour such as this one which generally receives glowing feedback. We would like the opportunity to discuss the
points you have raised in detail and ask that you submit your feedback to us directly at feedback@tucantravel.com.

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Great tour, administrative incompetency

Trip: Antarctica Classic

The rating should really be 5 stars for the tour itself and 1 for the actual booking of the tour.



Tour itself: excellent program, the ship is clean and comfortable. There are sufficient CEOs for the number of passengers. The expedition leader planned things well and everyone was pleasant and friendly. Can't say enough about the tour itself. Food was great and the hotel and wait staff were great. Met all expectations and made me wish I was going on another trip on the MS Expedition.



Admin side: we were NOT informed that a SeaCourses program had booked the majority of the ship. We arrived at the first day's briefing and the assumption by all was that everyone was informed of this beforehand and was fine with the fact that a good chunk of time the main social lounge would be off limits as it is used for the SeaCourses program. And we were told in no uncertain terms that we were not welcome in the lounge during those times. (Although we were allowed to fetch a tea or coffee, as long as we left immediately and drank it elsewhere.) Rather inconvenient especially since the lounge was also the entrance to the bow of the ship.



Had other issues as well with jacket sizing. It appears that G offers a parka to all passengers, but moved away from the nice Canada Goose jackets. No one was able to tell me who the new company is. (We were asked for measurements before the trip so our parkas could be ordered. Great in theory but the measurements I took made no sense. Tried to ask what company is making the jackets so I could go to a retail store to determine correct sizing but G customer service reps refused to say. Guess I should have known then they wouldn't be Canada Goose this year.) Suspect it's a cost cutting move and the jackets may be made in an unspecified garment factory somewhere, but main issue is that the jacket sizes everyone ordered didn't fit. It was a widespread problem, enough so that everyone just tried on a jacket and took whatever worked best.



In addition nobody could tell me what toiletries would be offered on board the MS Expedition, which was just bizarre. Not exactly the first time they are doing this tour. Was the shampoo expected to run out at some point and nobody wants to be held accountable? I was finally told, after asking at least 3 times, to bring everything I thought I would need, "just in case". This isn't a big deal if you are coming from home directly but many people going to Antarctica are coming in from elsewhere and may have been travelling for awhile, and travelling light. As an example I flew 41 hours (not including layovers) from Hong Kong to get to Ushuaia. Having to bring every toiletry I would need, including a towel (because no one would tell me if even the ship had towels) was a major inconvenience in terms of baggage. This is on top of having to pack bulky winter gear. For future reference, there were plenty of toiletries on the ship and it was a very comfortable room.



In general the administrative side was useless. I am giving one star on the admin side purely for the fact that I was booked successfully.



*** this point below does not relate to Antarctica tour but is relevant to G as a company.



As a follow up, because the Antarctica tour itself was so fantastic, I am currently trying to book a safari in Kenya and Tanzania with G. Have called their sales line 3 times so far and was asked to call back again. The reason: the tour I am looking for is being held by a group of people. It's been on hold by them for more than 48 hours already (each time I called, the hold is supposed to expire the next day at 5pm Toronto EST). Apparently G gives preferential treatment to groups (see Peru review from 2012 by someone else for an even worse example.) I was told that because it's a group, they ignore the 48 hour holding period policy as well as the fact that there are people on the waiting list. I've been told to call again tomorrow to see if the group has made a decision. I'm definitely feeling like a second class customer right now.



Response From G Adventures


G Adventures is disappointed the experience onboard the MS Expedition was let down by the issues and concerns around other parts of your experience. We would like to take a moment and address these by reply.



SeaCourses Program
We apologize for any intrusion or awkwardness having this group onboard may have caused. We certainly understand how having them in the lounge would impede the ability to get to the bow of the ship, and we again apologize for this. For background information, the group did not start out the sized it ended up being. As time went on, more and more people were added to the group. The size of the group got to a point where we felt the right thing to do was notify other travellers to their presence onboard on 4th September, 2013. However, the oversight on our part was to not advise travellers who booked after sending this notification. This was exactly the case here, and we apologize once more.


Jackets
In the 2012/13 Antarctic season, G Adventures provided complimentary Canada Goose Jackets to travellers booked in a Category 5 Suite (the highest category) only. In 2013/14 we have replaced this with a G Adventures private label Explorer Jacket for all travellers.?G Adventures is committed to partnering with factories and contractors that observe safe and ethical business practices. We believe that strong partnerships are the best way to drive improvements, and that supporting businesses that believe what we believe will convince others to adopt acceptable standards.
It is a noted consistent comment from travellers that jacket sizes are a little on the small size this season. We have taken this onboard, and are making the sizes a little larger for next Antarctic Season. This will be accompanied by improvements to the website with more clear instructions for measurements to pre order the correct sized jacket online. As a means of accommodating the correct size jackets for all travellers this season, we invite all guests to try on jackets once they are onboard. Traveller comfort and satisfaction is always our goal.?


Toiletries
Again, we apologize for the confusion around our messaging here. There are definitely some ares we can get better at. We have already taken steps to better inform our Sales team, as well as update the information available on our website. Thanks for helping us get better at what we do.


Kenya Booking
I can see that you and your travel companion are now confirmed on your tour to Kenya with us in July. I apologize for the confusion around the booking process. Again, this is something we can learn from, and get better at. I have passed this concern onto the right people within G Adventures.


We apologize for the issues surrounding your time onboard. However, we are delighted the experience as a whole was largely positive and rewarding.?

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Thumbs up

Trip: Classic Vietnam

Thumbs up for this tour. Our guide was a local, and was so proud of his homeland, which made the trip a winner. The food was fantastic, and the itinerary was great for me (a first timer to Vietnam). The crowds can be hard to get used to in Vietnam, so it was nice that this tour visited some smaller regions as well as the big crowded cities. Our tour had some really lovely people booked on it, which was also a reason I had such a good time. Good company can make a big difference when you are travelling with strangers. My impression was that most people who choose to book with Intrepid have a laid-back and adventurous nature.

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A bit disappointed even before I start the tour

Trip: Califonia chilling

I have enrolled in the California Chilling 7 days tour in March. Even before I start I feel a bit disappointed. On the last days of final payment (6 weeks prior to the journey, i.e. before 19/01/14), I tried to call them many times but each time I was kept holding the line for more than 10 minutes. And still no one answered the phone. I then emailed them whether I could send my payment details through email or fax. They told me I could do so and sent me a payment form. I could scan or fax the form back according to them. I preferred fax as it is a safer method than email. But even the fax line kept busy. I then had to scan it to them. No one acknowledged the receipt. I then managed to call them a few days later. They said they didn?t receive the emailed copy. So I did the payment over the phone. It was finally done. Then they said they would sent me the final invoice together with the pre-departure information. But it ended up that only the invoice was sent. I then called them again and they said they would email pre-departure information to me. I still didn?t receive it. Finally I talked to an agent Emma via live chat. She was able to email it to me.

Upon checking the hotel information, most hotels were 2 star or 3 star at best. On trip advisor, most only get an average review. The one in Las Vegas particularly concerns me as some guest reviews say they have bedbugs. I just hope I am lucky enough not to be bitten.

Anyway I have made all the payment and I just have to pray things will work out in a good way. I somehow feel I cannot expect too much from them. I hope they will pleasantly surprise me.

Unforgettable

Trip: Mt Kilimanjaro Climb

We had a great time hiking Mt Kilimanjaro on our Peregrine tour. The guides and porters were second to none and really made the trip. We hiked the Rongai trail which is one of the easier routes, but we still trained and physically prepared ourselves months before the climb, and we were glad we did. The lodge stay was such a great end to the trip, and a nice way to wind down. The only thing I would probably recommend would be to research other companies that might be a little cheaper. I thought Peregrine was a little on the pricier side, but I booked with them because of their reputation. They did not disappoint, but if you wanted to skip the nice cozy lodge before and after the hike, you could probably save some money. However, if you want to splurge on accommodation in Africa, this would be the place to do it as you will be grateful for a lovely hot shower and a nice warm bed after all is said and done.

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Would do it all again

Trip: West Coast You Are Wonderful

Such a fantastic itinerary, which I highly recommend to anyone who has the time. While sometimes being on tour for this long can be tiring, it keeps you motivated to stay alert and make the most of all of the sights you visit along the way. Gecko's did a great job with the itinerary and the inclusions. The information provided by the guides was great. Every local guide we had was outstanding, happy and willing to answer my 101 questions! I loved so many places we visited, it is hard to list the ones I liked best, but the Inca Trail was definitely a highlight. The only thing I would have liked to change would have been a few accommodation upgrades along the way, since this is a long trip, and it would have been nice to indulge maybe once or twice.

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Unique Experience

Trip: Cuba Libre

I am glad I chose to travel to Cuba with G Adventures. They ran a very slick tour which was very informative and helpful. I don't think I could have had such a nice experience without the tour. The homestay and the beaches were the highlights of the trip. The only thing I really wasn't impressed with was the food, but I think food in Cuba in general is pretty lame.

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Excellent Route, Average Accomm, Poor Food & Guide

Trip: Coast to Coast - NY - LA

So I took this tour a few months ago after getting a pretty deep discount on it by a stroke of luck. My trip was quite vast and this Topdeck tour served as the "middle" in a 7 week long trip across North America which consisted of travel with friends, group travel and travelling alone. I started in Montreal, spent 10 days in NYC with friends, did this tour, then went back up to Canada, then Seattle before going back to LA and heading back home. I'd never taken a group tour before this one so was a bit nervous about the dynamics involved and how I would deal with it as I had never traveled with more then a few people at a time before. Below is my general re-count of it for those that might be considering taking it.



Bus: Outstanding. Brand new, comfortable, power in most seat backs. Excellent journey considering the sheer amount of driving time this 3 week tour takes. Plenty of space for luggage, unless the group is very large the luggage suggestion by Topdeck is on the low side, there were people on the bus with 2 or 3 full bags of luggage with no issues. A



On the Road: The driving itself was fine, however the rest breaks (mandated?) were extremely long and very tedious. We stopped at Walmart over 10 times over the course of the trip for Lunch, other times stops were strip malls with fast food joints only. Rest breaks were almost always an hour to an hour and a half. Absolute worst was having to spend an hour each at tourist trap souvenir stops twice within a few days. This is definitely a big problem, and as much as I appreciate their is a lot of driving and the driver does need to take a break, surely they could plan these a lot better. In many cases the excessive rest breaks caused us to arrive late to our destination. D



Guide & Driver:These guys, as is the operations of the tour are outsourced to another company under contract from Topdeck (PEAK). The driver was top notch, however knew more about the general trip than the guide, which was of concern. Drove very well however. The guide was below average, though was very easygoing and great to deal with. I'm going to take a guess he was working seasonally as he was actively looking for jobs on the bus as we were travelling. Played music on the bus during times where the majority either wanted quiet, or played music that nobody wanted to listen to. Knew some information about the route but not much.



Bar and restaurant suggestions outside of the included meals were hit and miss and clearly received kickbacks for recommending certain restaurants. Towards the end of the trip the guide tended to hang out with only a few members of the group which would have made some people perhaps a bit alienated. While he was a nice guy I wouldn't rate him very well on the job he did. Also be aware that this guide and driver also "suggested" that you tip them at the end of the tour between US$2-3/day, despite this been in contrary with information given from Topdeck that this practice generally didn't occur. Driver A Guide C-



Group: The group that I traveled with consisted of quite a variety of different people. One flaw with the setup that Topdeck use is that 3 tours are combined onto the one route... i.e the Coast to Coast does the whole route, then you have the Southeast States group for the first week and the Southwest States group for the last two weeks. The way this is set up, while clearly done to make the tours viable for Topdeck does mean that the group dynamic isn't quite as fluid as tours may be with competitors that have the same group on the whole time. Average age was quite high, I was close to the youngest and I myself am 22, I'd say the average age would have been Early 30s. Their was one instance even of people above the age limit on the tour, which while it didn't bother me personally may have bothered others. Group was about 90/10 Australian to everyone else (NZ, Britain). Almost everyone was single, there was no couples after the first week. Unfortunately the age gaps and some of the other dynamics did make things a bit cliquish, and in my opinion the group didn't really meld together that well. There was to some extent pressure to drink, and drink a lot and if you abstained from this you didn't have many options. DO NOT do this tour if you are under 21 as you will find it very difficult to blend with most groups unless its a daytime activity, even if you get a group that doesn't drink as much thanks to the archaic laws the US has on drinking age.
You can't really control the group you get and of course its going to vary from tour to tour. By all means the majority of the people on the tour were fantastic to be around and there was no real negatives apart from the cliques formed by few. Your Mileage May Vary.



Route: The route taken is actually generally very good, despite some complaints from other travelers in the group. The accommodation in DC is actually in Maryland, on the outskirts of the DC metro area in College Park. The amount of time in DC is very sparse considering the sheer amount of museums and things to see and do in the capitol and the travel time back to the accommodation made things a little restrictive. Be aware that the "Appalachian Mountains" day is literally a driving only day - you get to see the mountains as you drive past in the bus, but you stop at a tiny town for the night. Many in the group suggested that Nashville be increased to a second day but in my opinion this would be completely unnecessary unless you really, really like country music. The route is designed quite well to appeal to those who like to do daytime activities, as well as see the nightlife. Be wary that the tours tend to be timed that you come into major cities during Mon-Wed most of the time (I'm guessing to avoid peak accommodation pricing on weekends), so don't expect the nightlife to be lively everywhere. I'd recommend making sure you have some form of 3G internet connection with you so you can plan stuff on the fly or research towns and cities prior as Topdeck gives out AWFUL reference material. The guide generally indicated the maps were incorrect, and the information was generally vague and in some cases wrong. Overall the route for this tour is something they have right - despite the large amounts of driving it's set out to make the most of the areas traveled. B+



Activities: Included and optional activities were all excellent and worth the money. I'd recommend doing as many as you can afford, as many of them are things that you wouldn't be able to do on your own or without being in a larger group, or without it being logistically difficult with transportation and such. Topdeck does not overcharge for activities as the major competitor is generally said to do, what you pay is what it would cost if you did it yourself. Ensure that if it's something you don't have experience in or are not sure about, ASK! Their were people on my tour who couldn't swim who then proceeded to go out into the water... oops... A



Accommodation: Accommodation was quite puzzling as it varies so much. I was quite surprised considering the endless amount of Motel Chains in the US with locations everywhere that they don't arrange with one company as to provide some consistency. Varied from 2 Star to 4 Star. The worst ones, while old and musty were still clean and without issue. Amenities varied heavily. I think Topdeck should focus on providing some consistency in this area, as much as I appreciate them trying to keep costs down having such disparity between accommodation reflects poorly. B-



Included Meals: Everywhere from awesome to down right disgusting. For those looking for a more nutritional focus, or with special dietary requirements it will be a struggle. I easily gained 5kg on this trip in a matter of a few weeks, and that was being somewhat conscious of what I was eating! People could easily put on 10kg+. Chain restaurants shouldn't be permitted (i.e Applebees, Golden Corral), neither should cheap and questionable buffets which made up half the included dinners (in which one made me ill for a week or two after the trip). Other places were awesome and very well chosen (i.e Salt Lick BBQ in Austin). Be advised that the included breakfast is whatever the hotel happens to have in it's lobby - this is extremely hit and miss and I chose to not bother most of the time. The budget used for the allocated meals seemed to be very inconsistent. This is an area that definitely needs some work. C-



Ups:


* Washington DC - Awesome, though you must plan the day out well to see as much as you can.
* Memphis - Nightlife was great, attractions very interesting even if you have just a general interest in music. City however is very run down, but this does give you an insight into how many places in America are Post-GFC.
* New Orleans - awesome city, lots of things to do day and night. Be wary of Bourbon St as much of it is a Giant Tourist Trap.
* Austin - Very cool, hipster city. Very cheap drinks, great nightlife. Not many daytime attractions.
* Carlsbad - A surprise as I'd never heard of these underground caves before. While the night stop is at a small town, the tour through the Caverns is something that's quite unforgettable.
* Grand Canyon - While this stop is logistically difficult (You stay in Williams, about 100km from the Canyon), there is a lot to see and do during the day. Try and make the most of the scenery, the optional helicopter trip is well worth it too if you can afford it.
* Vegas - The accommodation chosen is very good considering the type of tour, right on the strip. Be wary this is where the group divide is probably shown the most due to alcohol being everywhere and definitely not a good stop if you're under 21 as you practically can't do anything. Over 21? Possibilities are endless. Do your research on what you want to do while you're here if you aren't the party type.
* Activities - as mentioned. Almost all the activities were worth the time. Don't change your mind on them, as you won't get your money back from the guide once things are booked.
* Bus - excellent fitout, very comfortable. Stayed cool despite 40+c temps throughout a lot of the journey, plenty of space.
* Accommodation - Though the standards varied, it was generally clean and tidy. Probably worthwhile to pay the extra if you can afford it to get your own room however as while I didn't have an issue, many people on the tour had issues with their roommates doing things they perhaps shouldn't have been doing in a twin room situation.


Downs:


* Nashville - Boring unless you love your country music. One day of it and I'd had enough. City is rather derelict and very little to do during the day.
* Santa Fe - This could have been an up however Topdeck do not schedule this stop well, you get in very late afternoon and then leave early the next morning so you can't really do or see anything. Tour guide was cagey on going out here despite research showing there was plenty of places to go.
* San Antonio - Not much to do during the stay apart from the Alamo visit, city is very run down. Timing is also a problem here as there is maybe an hour or two at best to look around the place after going around The Alamo. Tour guides nightlife suggestions were awful here so this may be a plus if you know where to go.
* Guide - This obviously varies from trip to trip, but the guide on mine was sub-par.
* Topdeck Information - The information given out for many cities was awful, inaccurate and in some cases completely wrong (maps). I'd highly recommend you get a SIM card/smartphone to help you out on the tour as you go around the country.
* Many Meals - American chain restaurants are awful and a poor representation of the cuisine in the country. So many other local places that could have been utilised. Be prepared to gain weight even with all the walking, etc.
* Rest Breaks - SOMEWHERE OTHER THEN WALMART PLEASE! This was very tedious and after the first week or so everyone had had enough. Surely their is a better way to manage rest stops/lunch breaks than stopping at Walmart for an hour to an hour and a half. Its just lazy.
* Tipping Suggestion for Driver/Guide - Topdeck must communicate with PEAK in the US to not allow this. We all know about tipping service staff in the US however their shouldn't be a suggestion to tip the driver and/or the guide for their services considering the amount already paid for the tour.




Overall:
The trip itself was well worth the money I paid at the discount I got. At full price, I'd perhaps be questioning it. The experience will vary heavily on who your guide and driver are, and the type of people that you have as fellow travellers on the bus. The route itself is superb, as are the activities available. Be savvy and research cities and towns, and don't expect the guide to recommend places that are very good, nor there to be many good suggestions. Be very wary of the included food, it might almost be worth saying you have a dietary requirement even if you don't to see if you're able to get better options. In conclusion, Topdeck have done some things well but still have a very long way to go before they perfect this particular tour. I don't see myself using Topdeck again however for many of the reasons I've stated. B-

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Mayan Adventure and More

Trip: Mexico City to Antigua

This 22-day trip from Mexico City to Chiapas, through the Yucatan,around Belize and into Guatemala has well-designed itinerary. I was able to see and do most everything I hoped to do. My fellow travelers with Toucan has a considerable age range but were bonded well, had lots of enthusiasm which guarantee a fun time! Some of my fellow travelers continued their adventure on to Costa Rica and then to Panama with the same tour leader, Becky. She is a great gal, originally from New Zealand but more of an Aussie now, but has just purchased a home in Antigua, so she's making Guatemala her home.



My days in Mexico City at the start of the trip went well. Of course, one could spend months there, exploring the city and its environs. But I saw a great deal and the Majestic Zocalo was right on the Zocalo for the end of the Independence Day celebration and the arrival of the President of Mexico for the National Earthquake Preparedness Day on Oct. 19, the anniversary of the devastating Mexico City earthquake from 20 years ago. My hotel window had the best view of the Zocalo all the time. Visiting Teotihuacan twice was fine, as I was able to see different parts of the site each time, and climb the Pyramid of the Sun twice with two different groups.



The accommodations with Tucan along the way were adequate--and a few fairly good. Fortunately we had A/C in most tropical locations in the rooms at night. The chicken buses in Belize were an experience but worth it. I enjoyed the itinerary, although I would have preferred an additional day in Oaxaca and also in Merida but perhaps one less day in San Cristobal. While at Merida, I did the optional trip to Uxmal--definitely worth it but had to skip the cenotes trip. However while in Playa del Carmen, I was able to visit Tulum in the morning and found a place nearby with cenotes that I did on my own in the afternoon. The most challenging thing for me was probably the caving near San Ignacio, Belize, but I managed just fine. One unplanned event that we all got to experience was in San Cristob?l, where the bar owner of a place that Becky knows invited our group to his daughter's quincea?era--a huge event that kept the tequilla flowing all night! Plenty of drinking and dancing.



I should have added a few days in Antigua should have been longer. Hikes up to the Pacaya Volcano have been limited to the first ridge right now so it is a shorter trip. The trip to Chichicastenego is very touristic and a bit over-rated, as the Mayan villages near San Cristob?l are more interesting and authentic. Besides, the Mayan folk art marketed in Chichicastenego is overpriced for tourists and the same items can be purchased in the better shops in Antigua. I should have had time to visit Lake Atit?n--but perhaps on another visit.



I will probably kick myself for not continuing on with my group to San Jose, Costa Rica. But I needed to get back to L.A. Toucan offers a repeat customer discount plus a late booking discount, so I could have easily afforded the added two weeks.



As an adventure tour, this itinerary was a great choice and I really appreciate all you did in setting it up and planning the extras through Kamino Tours--including the airport transfer from Antigua to Guatemala City, which I would never have figured out on my own.



I was healthy for the entire trip--fortunately. And all the medicine I brought was not really needed--so I gave most of it to others for their on-going adventures in Central America. I was the oldest person of the group, except for two ladies from Australia who are in their 50s but did not do some of the more active things that some of us chose to do.



Thanks, Becky, for making this a most enjoyable experience!

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Good value for a family

Trip: Altiplano

Travelling as a family of five adults on a 45 day tour was always going to be risky but as it turned out it was a wonderful way for us to all travel together. There was enough room for us to spread out in 'Peggy' and in some respects this tour allowed us to travel as 5 individuals when the need arose. My only criticisms would be the food as people were often left hungry as the food frequently ran out especially at dinner time. As our tour guide was often not very observant, or in fact present during these meals, she seemed completely unaware that people were often left very hungry. In addition everyone was aware, as other reviewers have written, that Tucan makes a huge profit on their add-on/side trips so if money is an issue you really should organise these yourself. Apart from these we travelled with a large very mixed group (ages ranged from 20 to 67 years) and all-in-all got along very well with eight of these new friends attending our daughters 21st which took place in Melbourne a month after the end of the trip and 11 of us attending one of the couple's engagement party in Sydney in May. We even have our own Facebook group from the tour. In summary participants prominent memories are about the wonderful places we saw and people we met and not about being frequently hungry and being over-charged for add-ons.

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Topdeck; Never Again!

Trip: Europe Uncovered

22 days of regretting traveling with Top deck unfortunately. Seriously people they were hopeless. I always felt like I was not getting value for money. I found that the accommodation was always in a location far away from the main sights of each city. Most hotels were standard at best and a few were small and filthy. The tour guide didn't give us the time of day and it was more or less a case of 'here is the city guys, see ya later!' That was disappointing as I expected an actual tour guide to be 'guiding' us through the city. Don't get me started on the included dinners and breakfasts on this tour. Me and a few on tour literally skipped a few dinners and went to other restaurants when we found out where our 'free' meals were they were so bad. Overall experience was MISERABLE!!!



Response from Topdeck Travel



Dear SB2013,



We are sorry to hear about your disappointment with Topdeck. We don?t have a record of your complaint or from a 22 day Europe Uncovered trip. We do take all complaints seriously and so please send us full details of the trip you were on so we can investigate and give a full response.



We are committed to delivering for our customers and are proud of our 97% customer satisfaction rate. These ratings are taken from post trip questionnaires that are moderated by an external company and so if you can get in touch with us on marketing@topdecktravel.co.uk we can isolate your trip and investigate fully.

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Wonderful

Trip: Mega European

This is the longest Topdeck tour in Europe (49 days), so it can be testing at times being on tour for this long, but I give major credit to our tour leader and driver who where nothing but professional and up-beat the entire trip. On a trip this long the staff can make or break the experience, and in my case they made it amazing. I was also really happy with the accommodation, prices and activities on offer. My favorite leg of the tour was through Eastern Europe (cheaper and full of intrigue), and our time in Greece and Istanbul were nice relaxing breaks from the hustle of this tour in general (there is a lot of early mornings and late nights), but it was all worth it given everything I was fortunate to experience, and Topdeck was a great choice. I would travel with them again.

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Exceeded my expecations

Trip: Amazon to the Andes

I only have great things to say about G Adventures. The guides we had on this tour were top notch, and I was very impressed with the porters and the comfort they provided while hiking the Inca Trail. The G Lodge experience was well worth it, and also exceeded my expectations. I will definitely be traveling we G Adventures again in the future.

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Great to see the \'other side\' of Thailand

Trip: Highlights of Thailand

On my first trip to Thailand I spend the entire time at the beach with my buddies drinking and relaxing. While it was a great time, I wanted to actually experience the true Thai culture this time around. Finding this tour was the best thing that happened to me. I love the places we visited and the activities Intrepid had organized for us. This tour is all about getting in touch with the local culture, food and people. The group was fantastic, the accommodation a thumbs up.

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Glad we went

Trip: Felucca Odyssey

With all of the unrest in Egypt over the past year, we were seriously considering cancelling the Egypt portion of our trip, but we are so glad we didn't. Travel Talk was wonderful, and I highly recommend the Felucca travel. The food was amazing, and while overnighting on a Felucca is quite rustic, it is also a very unique Egyptian experience. The hotels were also of a great standard considering the incredibly low price of the tour, and most importantly, we felt safe and trusted our guide.

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best morocco experience

Trip: with www.moroccandeserttrips.com

I've traveled all over the world and had gone on a lot of tours but there's only a few guides that stands out in my memory and one of them is Hakim. He went above and beyond his call of duties to give us an amazing time and surprised my sister for her birthday. He can catch on small details and incorporate it to your trip. We dont remember mentioning about my sister's birthday but he planned things for it. It started with a birthday gift (moroccan slippers). The big thing was he surprised her with a birthday cake at camp. Who knew you can have a cake in the Saharra dessert? Played happy birthday song in 4 languages.
He was truly genuine about giving his guests a great service and not one who would take you places to buy stuff to get commission (to me that's very important). He even helped haggle with some vendors to get lower prices. (How do I know? Because my sister could speak and understand their language). He made sure you have a customized trip by stopping wherever you want whenever but at the same time having enough time to see the major attractions you specified. I'm amazed with his language skills which he spoke very good English and speaks 3 other languages and had a good sense of humor. He even sang some English love songs at my request to distract me from my fear of being on a camel (I have fear of heights). He plays drums too for entertainment!
The facilities and sites he took us were clean, safe, beautiful and very hospitable. It was beyond what I expected. Thought we were going to "rough" it for this trip and I was wrong. He's very efficient and responds to email and calls right away. He's on time and always had a great attitude. He kept us safe which I'm thankful for especially for two young women traveling in a foreign place.
(high atlas mountains, dades gorge, ouarzazate, erfoud, tinghir, todra gorges, merzouga, rissani, black village, 2nd oldest sook in Morocco)

Thanks all team of our friendly team www.moroccandeserttrips.com

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Fantastic

Trip: Colours of Rajasthan

When we were searching for a tour to India, this one was more on the pricier side compared to the G Adventures and Intrepid trips we were considering, but I wanted to travel in comfort, and I am so glad I spent the extra few hundred dollars to travel with Peregrine. Everything about the tour was above and beyond. The information provided by the staff, the accommodation, the itinerary, the organization, and the transport were all wonderful, and made for a comfortable and enjoyable trip. We will definitely book with Peregrine next time we travel.

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Amazing Guide!

Trip: Moroccan Explorer

Went on this tour in August 2012, and was blessed with an incredible group (mostly aussies and kiwis) and an exqually amazing guide.

Sure, a lot of sitting on a bus, but what do you expect?

The days that we weren't travelling were packed full of activities, and our guide was mindful of finding us food we all wanted, having enough toilet and photo stops, and explaining the more sensitive parts of Islamic and Berber culture to us!

Amazing to see Morocco in Ramadan, totally recommend it! My only complaint about this tour would have to be that some of the hotel accommodation in bigger cities (esp. Marrakech) was really below par. Pretty dirty, unreliable staff, stale bread at brekkie and no wifi although they advertised it.

I would say our guide Abdou really made the trip amazing for us, but we have remained friends, and he now works for Intrepid! What is that saying?



Either way, good itinerary and reliable tour provider!

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Great Tour

Trip: Lands of Silver and Gold

I was really impressed with the level of service that Gecko's provided. All of the guides and leaders were very informative and friendly. The nights spent on an overnight coach are not the most comfortable nights sleep, but it is a great way to maximize the time spent in each destination, and a much better option than spending all day on a coach. My only regret is wishing I booked a longer tour. But if you are looking to get from Buenos Aires to Rio De Janeiro by seeing the sights along the way, this tour is perfect for that.

Topdeck was very disappointing

Trip: Discover Europe

I booked a tour around Europe for 28 days in 2012 and totally regretted travelling with this company.? The accommodation was sub-par, the itinerary was lacking, the meals were often terrible and the tour guide couldn?t care less about the tour group.



Expectations and disappointment:



For me the whole point of paying a tour company is that they take the fuss out of travel.
I expected that you would be given updates everyday about weather conditions and what should be worn (i.e if it was forecast to snow or rain). I expected to be told what the itinerary was for the day or given guidance and information on the ?free days? to make the most of the time spent without a tour guide.
Instead of the expected service, the tour was pretty much left up to yourself. Every day I had to do my own research of the sights in each city because we were rarely given quality information about the city and its sights. We all had to plan the logistics of what to do on free days because the company does nothing for you on these days. Every day you would have to look up what the weather would be and constantly ask the tour guide what the following day would consist of.
In a major city like Rome, we weren't even given maps. There were also no maps given on any of the short stopovers where you had a few hours to explore a city/area. Every day it felt like I was missing out on something as our tour group was given minimal information at every stage of the tour.
Overall Topdeck was terrible with their service. Even when they book you in to begin with they couldn?t even attempt to understand who was booking the tour. Unfortunately for me I landed on a tour of 90% couples. Do you think that would have been something a solo traveller would have liked to know Topdeck? The answer is yes. If they had have informed me of this I would have just asked to be put on a tour with more solo travellers.



The itinerary:



Roughly 7 out of the 28 days were spent on the bus from about 8am to 6pm. Most of the time the only stopovers were highway rest areas. If you were lucky enough to get a stopover in a city, the bus would drop you off and the information you would get from the tour guide would basically be ?Here's the drop off point. Do whatever for a few hours and make sure you?re be back here on the bus at this time'. Little to no information would be given on things to do, no city tour?.this meant no clue at each stop.
This company also stated in their itinerary there were 2 night stopovers in many cities. This actually meant arriving at the new destination around 6pm with the next day usually being a ?free? day. You have to get to the sights yourself from the poorly positioned accommodation (meaning public transport or cab) and then fork out even more money for lunches and dinner. Don?t expect any info on good eats or the best sights either as it?s something Topdeck just doesn?t do for you.



The accommodation:



Accommodation varied with Topdeck. Sometimes it was good, sometimes not so good. The disappointing thing with this company is that they specifically stated in their itinerary things like in Krk Island, Croatia we would be staying in a beautiful resort. Reality was it was an old Villa type building from the 70s that was nothing like a resort. They talked it up like it was a 5 star resort however it was just a run down building with nothing you?d expect from a resort. No pool, no luxury rooms, no spas, no beach. In Nice, France the room size was comparable to a large walk in wardrobe. Accommodation was usually so far away from the city centre so you would spend a fair amount of time on public transport getting to where you wanted to go. In Switzerland we had to walk through the snow for quite a distance to even reach cabins we were staying in.



The meals:



Meals were good at times but more often than not they were terrible. In Bordeaux, France we were served a dish of a small portion of white rice and what appeared to be a fillet of chicken with disgusting custard Tiramisu that felt like rubber. That was the meal...I kid you not. I?d rather have just paid for my own dinner? I?d even rather a greasy Big Mac over that meal.



The tour guide Justin:



The tour guide was inattentive, he had a very poor work ethic and he just didn?t care.
Every so often we would be given a vague itinerary of what we were doing over the next 2-3 days. Most days he didn?t even give us a rundown on what we were doing that day. He hated people asking him questions and would answer direct questions with a vague response i.e Q: 'Do you recommend any restaurants in this area as you said you have been here many times?'...A: ?All the restaurants are good, just choose any of them.' Q: What?s the best thing to do in this city? A: I can?t answer that. Everyone is different.? Q: ?What sights are a must?? A: ?All the sights are good; it just depends on what you like.? This guy was so incredibly frustrating to talk to. I know that everyone is different and we all like different things but when you ask for an opinion or want a recommendation from someone who has been to these cities before you expect to be given an answer. All we were ever given was a run-around.



Wrapping it up:



I have travelled all over the world and each time I travel I usually have the time of my life and I try to enjoy every second. I wish I could say that I had the time of my life with Topdeck but I just can?t. They were a terrible company to travel with.



Response from Topdeck Travel



Dear CoolCat,



We are sorry to hear about your disappointment with Topdeck. We don?t have a record of your complaint or from any other trips that had departed in October 2012. I know it has been some 9-10 months since you travelled with us but we do take all complaints seriously and so please send us full details of the trip you were on so we can investigate and give a full response.



We are committed to delivering for our customers and are proud of our 97% customer satisfaction rate. These ratings are taken from post trip questionnaires that are moderated by an external company and so if you can get in touch with us on marketing@topdecktravel.co.uk we can isolate your trip and trip leader and take action.

Not Recommended

Trip: bangkok to singapore

Booked the tour from bangkok to singapore. This company is simply a middle man. You book the tour with Intrepid, and then they outsource your tour to another company. The local guides often can't speak good English, so it's difficult to understand what is going on (and confusing). They claim to be a tour for travelers, but it's really a tour for tourists. Also there are a lot of rules such as no guests in the rooms. You may get placed with people of any ages and cultures, which could be a good or bad thing depending on your view. If they want to cancel the tour on you, that is their right. If you wish to cancel your tour, then you will not be getting a refund.



Response from Intrepid Travel


Thanks for providing feedback. We love to hear how we can improve our trips and will take your feedback onboard. We would like to clarify a few of your points to ensure there isn?t any confusion.



Intrepid, unlike many other travel companies, owns the vast majority of our on-the-ground operations companies. These are the companies that organise the logistics of our trips, employ local leaders and manage the responsible tourism aspects of our operations. The very first operations company we set-up was in Thailand and they are responsible for running this trip and ensuring it gets an average rating of 4.69 out of 5 from our travellers. It is true that there may be activities or elements of the trip that we can?t operate and we will source local suppliers to manage these part of a trip. If you can send us any specific feedback about activities that you have been unhappy with we will absolutely look into how they can be improved. Please email customerservice@intrepidtravel.com.



We do use local leaders as we believe that they can provide more of an immersive experience and give our traveller?s insight into a country that they wouldn?t otherwise get. It is also a major factor in ensuring that in 2012 $60m was contributed to local economies from the operations of our trips.



Finally, over 98% of our trips depart as scheduled. We don?t think it is fair to say that 100% of our trips will depart when there are situations such as the Chinese Government closing the Tibet border that are beyond our control but we do promise to make every effort to make sure our other trips depart.

Excellent Tour

Trip: Adventurous Angkor

My tour of Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand with Tucan Travel was an amazing trip and well worth every penny. The tour leader Brian Mcdonald was excellent as was all the accommodation from start to finish. Brian was engaging, thorough, knowledgeable and made sure we got the most out of the trip. I had my wallet stolen in Saigon and he accompanied me to the police station where he waited with me for two hours bearing in mind he had the evening's meal for the rest of the group to organize. One day I broke my earphones and he personally went to a market and got some new ones for a good price.I shared a room with him as well and so I could see the trouble and effort he went to to make sure the trip ran as smoothly as possible which it did. Also he regularly gave us opinions on the excursions and ways of making the travel better which always came good. He was a great laugh in the evening's as well, showing us the best sights and sounds of each city. I loved every minute of this trip and I was devastated I had to leave and couldn't go on to Laos. I would definitely use Tucan Travel again (Central America 2014) and recommend Brian Mcdonald as tour leader.

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Disappointing

Trip: Best of Egypt

G Adventures provided very Poor Hotels. The last hotel had leaking air-conditioning, and was in the noisiest corner of the town. It also had plenty of ants, so you can?t leave any food in your room. At one point there was a power outage without emergency lighting, and we had to walk up/down multiple floors in darkness. The hotels were three stars on paper but in reality I would give them zero stars. Old, not safe, no free drinking water or wifi etc in any of the hotels. One hotel had a safe in reception that was about it.



Only half of the temples and sight seeing locations are covered with this tour. You need to pay extra for tips which is paid as a lump sump to the tour guide (CEO) on day first day. There are many sight?seeing activities you need to pay for almost on a daily basis.?I paid 240 Pounds for one visit to two temples in Luxor, and the entrance only fee are :Luxor Temple 50 Pounds +Karnak Temple 65 Pounds= 115 Pounds. So you will be charged almost double by G Adventures. You need to take into consideration doubling the initial price of the tour to estimate your total travel cost.



On the last day the tour includes a flight from Luxor to Cairo, where you are left at the airport to meet your own flight arrangements after the tour. This flight was not worth it, as there is an international airport in Luxor so you do not need to fly to Cairo to make your own flight arrangements out of Egypt. You may waste a lot of time waiting in the Cairo airport since we reached Cairo airport at 8:15 am and the tour itinerary advised we would arrive sometime before 12pm. So we all had flights later in the afternoon and spent almost an entire day at the Cairo airport. I felt this was a deceptive and low quality tour in general.



Response from G Adventures:


Thank you for your additional thoughts on your time in Egypt with us. We were in contact with this traveller during, and after, the tour experience.



The standards of the hotels were without doubt below where they should have been on a couple of occasions. The pool being closed in Luxor was a blow for the group who were anticipating a refreshing dip. Most people commented on that on their tour evaluations. That said, the feedback from the group (apart from this traveller) was overall overwhelmingly positive, and they rated their overall experience as 9 or 10 out of 10.



The tour outlines what is included in terms of activities, and what activities are optional. We will look into seeing if the costs we have listed for optional activities are accurate - thanks you for helping us to get better at what we do.



This tour does indeed include a flight from Luxor to Cairo. Most of our travellers fly into and out of Cairo, and so there is a need to return there. Yes, Luxor does have an International airport, but this is unlikely to work for the majority of our travellers.

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Huge Disappointment

Trip: Vietnam Discovered

My experience with Toucan Tours was awful. Even using that word does not being to cover how poor of an experience I had. The tour guide was rude, self-centered and did not put an ounce of effort into making sure our group enjoyed your experience. The accommodations were not worth the value I paid for the trip. Despite all of this the tour was also poorly designed. What tour is called Vietnam discovered yet fails to include Ha Long Bay? I ended up leaving the tour early because for a cheap price I could stay in nice places and actually discover the Vietnamese culture.



Response from Tucan Travel:



Thank you for your feedback. Your comments regarding the tour leader are currently being followed up by our regional manager in Bangkok. Appropriate action will be taken depending on the experiences of other tour participants.


Vietnam Discovered is a Budget Expeditions tour and is designed to be cost effective for young travellers. The accommodation that we use on Budget Expeditions tours is basic, but should be clean, safe and well-located. If you feel we did not achieve this, please email feedback@tucantravel.com with specific details and we will investigate further. The tour itinerary is clearly advertised as not including Ha Long Bay. Instead we offer a 2-day?Ha Long Bay Add-on which can be booked after your tour ends in Hanoi.


We are sorry if you feel this tour did not give you a proper insight into Vietnamese culture. It is sometimes difficult to properly get across the intricate and intriguing details of a country in a 9-day tour, but we always aspire to offer our travellers an authentic experience. I hope you enjoyed the places you did see while you were on tour with us and had a great time during your onward travel.



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China adventure tour- G adventures

Trip: China adventure

This is a relatively new tour, hence there are not many reviews for it yet. The overall experience in the tour was very positive and the main guide Charles Yang was very professional and knew his job very well. The tour has a lot of optional extras which will add to the cost as will the food which is mainly not included, this is clearly said in the itinery. Some of the accommodation is very basic but most is OK. The exception being a hotel in Yangshuo which ran a scam on 4 members of the tour group to falsely retain deposits. The hotel name was the 'Explorer' guesthouse and if you are interested in this trip it is worth seeing if G adventures still uses this place. If they are you should be careful! All things considered I would recommend this trip. The highlights were the trekking on the Great wall and also the trekking at the Longji rice terraces and cycling trip at Yangshuo. It is a good way to introduce China so long as you have a decent level of fitness to make the most of it.

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Exceeded expectations.

Trip: Inca Discovery Plus

From the time we landed in Lima until the morning we left Peru, G Adventures representatives took great care of us. Every rep we met went out of his way to provide extra and enthusiastic service - setting up a city tour of Lima, getting us to the airport on time for our flight to Cusco despite a collapsed bridge and a three hour traffic jam, translating for us in an internet caf?. In Cusco and on the Inca Trail, our guides were enthusiastic, knowledgeable, entertaining, encouraging and always there. They made sure the slowest members of our group were never left behind without delaying the fastest members. They were full of information about the history as well as the flora and fauna along the trail. The porters were amazing and I never knew camp food could taste so good. I cannot say enough positive things about this trip - it exceeded my friends and my expectations.

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Felt Ripped Off

Trip: Greek Islands Walking Tour

This is my experience with Intrepid Travel's Greek Islands Walking Tour from May 19 - 26, 2013:



Since I am in US they 'outsourced' me to their UK partner Exodus Tours which is fine but the communication was very poor. My only contact was Intrepid's US liaison. I was never given the name, email or phone#

of the Exodus' trip leader. Intrepid's original trip description included a half day tour of Athens on the first day. Only after I arrived in Athens did I find out that there was no half day tour. So what was supposed to be a 7 days/8 nights tour was reduced to a 6 days/8 nights without notice, apology or compensation. I am not sure whether this was bait and switch or just poor communications and organization.



To add insult to injury I booked two extra days of hotel stay prior to the Tour at the same hotel in Athens where the tour began. Later on by checking the hotel's web site I discovered Intrepid had charged me 40-45% more than if I had booked the room directly. Upon protesting to Intrepid's US representative, his response was "The biggest reason is that Intrepid has a set rate contracted with the hotel for a full year... We contract with the hotels to hold a substantial number of rooms throughout the year. This is as a service to our passengers for their pre and post trip needs. For these hotels to be able to set aside such a large amount of inventory for our groups on regular basis, they do need to be sure that this will be financially sustainable." As if I the customer actually benefitted from being fleeced!!! And all along they tried to convince their customers that they would get the 'wholesale' rate when booking trip extras through them.



It was my first trip with Intrepid Travel and I can guarantee it will be my last.



Response from Intrepid Travel



Hi Usdude999,



Thank you for your comments, we are sorry to hear you did not fully enjoy the experiences on your trip. The hotel booked for you in Athens was at our Intrepid rate, which depending on the season and occupancy can be higher or lower than what you would find if you were to seek out your own booking. Essentially we partner with local hotels and agree on a set rate in order to guarantee availability on our trip departures. This ensures that even when we run trip in the heart of the tourist season, regardless of the destination, we know these hotels will have rooms blocked off for our travellers. As you may be aware, hotels often lower the cost of rooms at the last minute in order to fill rooms. This does not impact the rates Intrepid receives. We do, however, openly list the starting and ending point hotels in our trip notes so travellers are free to book these directly should they wish to secure a lower rate.



We understand your frustration that you did not receive contact details for your leader in advance of the trip, however this is company policy for both Intrepid and Exodus. We do list an emergency number in the trip notes should any assistance be required when you arrive at your starting destination. With regards to the half-day tour on day one of the trip, we have looked at both the itineraries listed by Intrepid and Exodus and cannot find reference to this in either. We do apologise if you were under the impression this was included in the itinerary. If you can provide more detail on where you saw this mentioned, we would be happy to look into this further. You can reach us directly at usmarketing@intrepidtravel.com.



Kind regards, Intrepid Travel

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Very poor experience and a loss of a lot of money

Trip: Lares Trek

Our Lares Trek was confirmed by our agent at STA Travel as an alternative to the Inca Trail that we had initially requested. Our agent informed us that the Lares Trek was very similar to the Inca Trail, just quieter and more beautiful. G Adventures also sent us a confirmation email, which included a link to the wrong 'trip details' for the Inca Trail. When questioned our STA agent said, "literally all details in those trip notes are the same for you, the only difference is that you are doing the Lares Trek instead of the Inca Trail day 3 and onwards." The email from G-Adventures also noted that our "final documentation will be sent by email 2 weeks before our departure." The fact that we were sent no such documentation did not bode well for the foreseeable trek.



On the 13th May we turned up at the stipulated meeting point, for our briefing. At this meeting the administrative incompitancies of STA Travel and G-Adventures continued to be highlighted. With little information, we found ourselves embarrassed and humiliated as everyone who was at the meeting had booklets of information. We were told important information about the Lares Trek for the first time, such as details of the itinerary, the packing list and the obligatory extra costs that the Lares Trek entailed. Having payed a considerable amount in advance for this trip, the last thing we were expecting was to have to take from our limited travel budget. We left unprepared and stressed, which started our "trip of a lifetime" on a bad note.



We would like to highlight the following as a significantly financial and emotional burden. On the 17th May we woke up in our campsite to very distressing news; a mule had died over night and another was in a critical state, both of which had been carrying our belongings and equipment for the previous 2 days. The clear sadness and panic of the horsemen impacted severely on our group; being witnesses to this emotional situation put us in a very difficult position, feeling collectively accountable for these terrible events. Our guide stressed the importance of these animals on their owners livelihoods and the disproportionately high price to buy another. Feeling responsible and guilt ridden, a fund was put together by all the group members of around $250. We would dread to think how we would feel if it was a horseman and not his mule who had died.



We are shocked by the lack of insurance that these contracted horsemen suffered, which we did not expect when booking through a globally established company like G-Adventures. If insurance had been correctly in place we would not have witnessed such an event or felt the brunt of its consequence.



We were obliged to carry our bags and were then taken past a field where the dead mule was exposed. As you could imagine this was a very upsetting scene. To avoid another uncomfortable situation we decided that it was only humane to cancel lunch to allow the horsemen to resolve the situation, again leading to further expenditure.



Throughout this emotionally straining day our guide was clearly very upset, unfriendly and distant. We were left mostly by ourselves to deal with the situation.



As a final point and "the cherry on the cake", we would like to make a disappointing note about the amount of trekking done, which was significantly less than stated. The reality is that we walked a total of 10 and a half hours, which is not remotely close to the 17 hours quoted on the G-Adventures site. To be honest we feel cheated out of a lot of money and lied to by our STA agent; we have been left saddened and disappointed with our experience.



Response from G Adventures:



Thank you for your well thought out review of your Lares Trek experience with us. We do take this feedback very seriously and we are sorry that this tour did not live up to your expectations. We are looking into your concerns regarding the documentation and will be in contact with you again soon about this. I also want to apologize for the unfortunate situation with the mules on this trek and I understand that this must have been distressing for all concerned. We have been in contact with our local operations office and have opened an investigation into this incident. I can assure you that all staff and guides are covered by insurance but we do need to investigate further to determine the cause of the incident and to see what better action could have been taken to minimize the impact to our clients and staff. Once again we will be in contact with you directly to discuss these issues.


Sincerely,
G Adventures

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Impressive

Trip: Rio de Janeiro - Lima

The tour was impressive. Each of our guides were friendly, helpful, and their knowledge was far beyond anything I was expecting. Machu Piccu was phenomenal and it was my favorite part of the tour. Pre-booking this was nerve racking, as there are limited permits for hiking the Inca Trail, and I didn?t want to miss out and have to take an alternative route. G Adventures had a good reservations team who helped out with my many questions and phone calls about the permit!



51 days is a long time to be on tour, and I would probably suggest to others to consider splitting it up by doing two separate tours, and take a week for some downtime (maybe in Buenos Aires), then doing the other half. I appreciated the amount of sights and activities packed into the tour, but the early mornings and long days can ware you out after a while. I recommend G Adventures to any of my friends or family of any age with an adventurous spirit (over 18 of course).

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Short Days

Trip: Discover Winter

This tour is good for someone who has never been to Europe. It goes to so many places, and we pretty much didn't have to do any pre-planning before we got on the tour (good for us since we booked pretty late).



The people we traveled with were fun, and the bus wasn't completely full, so it was nice to have extra room on long driving days. I also thought that the hotels we stayed in were decent, mostly because of the location. I wasn't a huge fan the cold weather and the fact that the days were so short (not Topdeck's fault I know), but this trip would be much better in summer or spring. The scenery was really amazing with all of the snow, and given I had never seen snow before it was a pretty big novelty.



Prague was my favorite city, there was lots to see, and the pubs and restaurants were really cozy and perfect for winter. I recommend traveling with a friend since all of the accommodation is shared with one other person, and it is better to share with someone you know than someone you don't.

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Christmas in Panama

Trip: Panama Panorama

The itinerary on this trip was fantastic for a short one week tour through Panama. There was a good mix of beaches, activities and culture.The accommodation and transport were much better than I had expected on a budget style tour.
I did this trip over Christmas so expected that some things would be closed and some optional excursions unavailable at least on Christmas Day.
Our tour leader Neil let us know that this was the case at our orientation meeting. He had contacted all the companies in Boquete where we would be on Chrissy Day and they advised that they wouldnt be operating. To compensate for this Neil had booked an amazing restaurant well in advance as he knew this would book out as well. We had the most spectacular Christmas Eve dinner complete with Turkey,an open fire, mulled wine and all the trimmings perfect for those of us missing family and christmas feasts at home!
A few people had mentioned during the day that they were disappointed they couldnt go rock climbing and because Neil had such good relationships with the local guides he managed to get everyone on the Christmas Day excursion of their choice.
Whilst we were out he personally prepared a 6 course christmas feast for the entire group.
It was a fantastic week made perfect by a knowledgable, fun and enthusiatic tour leader who did his best to make sure that all the people on the trip went back home loving Central America as much as he obviously does!
The Panama Canal was as amazing as I had expected as well!!

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Perfect for someone who loves the outdoors

Trip: Costa Rica

Costa Rica is beautiful, and if you love the outdoors you should go! I was very impressed with G, they ran a great trip. This is a 9 day trip, but it is really only 7 days of actual travel and sightseeing since the first day you simply check-in, and the last day the trip ends in the morning. I originally thought we wouldn't see much because we had so little time, but G packed in so much stuff, I was truly satisfied that I had a well-rounded experience in Costa Rica in only one week. We were always outdoors doing interesting and adventurous activities (I don't recommend if you aren't fit or adventurous), and everyone we met was so friendly and helpful. The accommodation was nice but simple, and our CEO was probably one of the best tour guides I have ever encountered.
I would recommend this trip to any one with little time, but who likes the outdoors and is looking for a trip that packs in lots of activities.

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Tour Leader Respone to previous feedback

Trip: Panama Panorama

I was also on this trip, after doing a previous tour with this leader I booked this trip specifically because I knew how fabulous it would be with him, particularly at Christmas.

I agree with the accommodation issues but am genuinely shocked about the comments made about the leader. He advised us early in the trip that, as it would be Christmas day in Boquete most of the optional excursions would not be available. He even had emails from the relevant companies explaining that they would not be open for business.

To compensate for this he had booked a fabulous restaurant well in advance for Christmas Eve Dinner complete with turkey open fire and mulled wine perfect for the homesick and those missing family amongst us.

After a few people mentioned they really wanted to go rock climbing he called someone he knew and managed to get everyone the activity they had chosen.

Whilst they were out he personally prepared a 6 course christmas feast for the entire group.

I cannot believe that anyone would think that this guide would not help guests out unless there was money in it for him. He is one of those people that genuniely loves Central America and works hard to make sure all his pax! have a fabulous experience and go back to their home countries loving CA as much as he does. I am sure that he would have preferred not to receive a tip if someone felt this away about his professionalism and committment to a job he loves.

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Safe and comfortable option for travel to Egypt

Trip: Egypt in Depth

I have been meaning to write this review for a while, we travelled in August 2012. We were fortunate to go at this time because there were so few tourists at all of the popular destinations.

Overall the accommodation at each destination was very impressive. We?ve gone on tours in Europe for a similar amount of money with a much lower standard of accommodation. All of the hotels were 4 star quality at least. Naturally the hotels had fantastic breakfasts to start us off. Overall, the food was above average, but definitely not anything special. We were on our own for many of the dinners. We relied on our guide for recommendations when we could, but it was pretty hit or miss when we were on our own.

The first couple days in Cairo were definitely the highlight of the trip. We started the tour in Cairo at the Egyptian Museum, which is the most comprehensive museum I?ve ever been to. It seemed like every Egyptian artifact was crammed into this massive building. King Tut?s famous tomb is here and was a sight in and of itself. We later saw the pyramids and spent some time in the amazing markets shopping for Egyptian cotton and other handmade goods. Having a comprehensive guide with us in the museum and at the pyramids was priceless.

Egypt definitely didn?t feel like a country that had just gone through a revolution. All of the people were friendly to tourists and it seemed like they were just happy that tourists weren?t scared to come see their beautiful country.

The tour was a lot more comfortable and luxurious than I expected which was a nice surprise. The only problem was that it was over 40 degrees Celsius every day. I?d definitely recommend this trip in the summer as it is less expensive and less crowded (as long as you can stand the extreme heat!)

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For a seasoned hiker

Trip: Inca Trail

The reason we went with Intrepid was because they guaranteed their trail permit. We read some stories about some tours not being able to get a permit for all of their guests and decided it would be best to make sure we got one.

As for the trip, make sure you do some training if you are thinking about hopping on this trip. I?d recommend this trip for a seasoned hiker. We hiked pretty much every day with the big day being the hike to Macchu Picchu. We walked close to 10 miles a day and this was on a hiking trail which made it much more difficult. Apparently there is the option to take buses so if you aren?t feeling totally fit, you may want to look into this route. Some of the hikes started as early as 4 AM and there were occasional breaks for lessons on Incan culture. I wished these were longer because for the most part the group was pretty burned out and tired on the trip.

The highlight of the trip was definitely the food. The porters who?ve done this trip so many times would run ahead and set up camp and cook the meals so the food would be ready when we arrived. Most of the meals were restaurant quality and it was hard to believe that this food was made in a camping setting.

Overall, this was a great trip, but I would caution anyone who does not feel ?in shape? since I was exhausted by the end of the trip.

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tour leader con

Trip: Panama Panorama

The itinerary was great for a very short trip, hitting some highlights of Panama - starting San Jose Costa Rica, then travelling to Bocas del Toro, Boquete, and Panama City.
The accommodation was fine for a budget tour, basic but clean, with the exception of a place in Bouquete where we were staying for Christmas Eve and Christmas night. The door didn't close unless locked, the bathroom floor was wet after a shower no matter what you did, one thin towel is all that was supplied, toilet paper was see-through. I've been on a lot of tours like this and have stayed in some dodgy accommodations but this was probably the worst.
The tour was good value for the money, it was on special so was a great value. The tour leader seemed to be knowledgeable about the places visited, however was not at all helpful in booking extra activities in Boquete, in hindsight I believe because all agencies had prices advertised, so there would be no money in it for him. I contacted the company about my issues with the tour leader skimming at the end of the trip, and was told that wasn't against their rules. Would have been nice to know, I would not have tipped him!



Response from Tucan Travel



We are delighted that you enjoyed the itinerary and that your tour leader was knowledgeable on Panama. We are also very pleased to hear that you found the tour good value for money as this is one of the key areas in which hope to deliver in all our tours.

It is disappointing to hear of your experience when booking optional excursions. To help, we provide a list of recommended optional excursions on our website. These are excursions that have been reviewed and risk assessed with prices in either local currency or USD. It is our policy and included in our crew manual that tour leaders do not increase the price of excursions when booking on the behalf of clients. If you asked a tour leader to book an excursion that is not included in our list of approved optional excursions offered while on tour, it is very difficult for us to verify the true price and whether any discrepancy was a result of the tour leader, hotel or the operator.

We will look into your comments regarding the hotel in Boquete and revise our hotel choice based on the results of our findings. We very much appreciate you taking the time to make us aware of these issues as it allows us to continuously improve our tours for future travellers. Should you have further comments, please feel free to contact us at feedback@tucantravel.com.

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Great Trip - Not so great organisation

Trip: Everest Base Camp

Firstly I have used Gecko's for two other trips in South America. Both of which were great. But that's mostly down to the tour operator in those countries.

For this trip I was very frustrated to find a group of 6 people, with age ranging from 27 (me) to 60. Sadly no one else was under the age of 40. Geckos is meant to be about youth travel but it seems this trip was sold worldwide to anyone and everyone.

The trip itself was an awesome experience, but that's more down to the trip itself than Gecko's. A more like minded group would have made the experience even better.

The other issue was the trip notes were horrible and gave you no idea that there would be 5-6 hours per day of sitting around a tea house with nothing to do. Better planning would have made down time much more enjoyable.

I really don't know if I would book with Gecko's again as there is no way of knowing what to expect from their trips.

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Great day trip from Florence

Trip: The Grape Escape

So glad I stumbled across this company while in Florence. They run so many great little day trips in Tuscany, I wish I had more time in Florence to do them all! We only had one day spare, and chose their wine tour, because the wine region of Tuscany is a must-see when in Italy, and this trip is perfect if you only have one day spare to see it. Irene was a great guide and very knowledgable and friendly. The Italian?s don?t skimp on the amount of wine they pour for a tasting, and the oils were great too. We had homemade pasta for lunch, which was authentic and delicious. The views at lunch set the tone of exactly how I expected the Tuscan hills to be - beautiful. Overall, I wonderful day with lots of wine, and lots of fun.

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New Zealand is Beautiful

Trip: Pure Adrenalin

The Pure Adrenaline trip introduced me to the true beauty of New Zealand?s South Island. Our tour guide Tara took great care of us and was able to share with us a ton of history of New Zealand. She had family from New Zealand and the bus driver was also from New Zealand so it was great to get the insight of real Kiwis.



The highlight of the trip by far was Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world. I went Bungy Jumping, which was far and away the scariest moment of my life. Queenstoqn also had a killer nightlife with lots of bars and pub crawls going on. Make sure that you get a Fergburger when you are in Queenstown. It has been voted best burger in New Zealand numerous times. It would have been nice to stay longer but the other stops on the trip were worth it.



I enjoyed the trip to the Fox Glacier which is one of largest glaciers in the country. It was incredible and strange at the same time to see the glacier turning into a river in real-time. We also went on an incredible overnight cruise in Doubtful Sound. The group was able to jump on kayaks and see the waterfalls and rare birds only found in this part of the world. We were able to get up close and personal with penguins.



Overall, the trip definitely exceeded my expectations and provided me with some phenomenal pictures and memories that will last for a long time. I?d definitely recommend this trip, and wish I went on a longer trip that went up through the North Island.

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Lots of hiking

Trip: Best of Borneo

Gecko's did a really great job of organising a great tour. The accommodation was good, especially the homestays, as the locals are so friendly and take really great care of you. It is also a really great opportunity to get to know the local people and pick their brains about their culture. They speak really good english for the most part. I chose this trip specifically for the Orangutans, and seeing them at the rehabilitation centre was worth the trip alone. You also get the chance to see lots of other wildlife, and it is a very outdoorsy trip. The hike up Mount Kinabalu is tough, and some people on our tour struggled. I don't think you could get the same experience in Borneo without a guide, and our guides were really good. The only downside is that the tour is a little pricey.

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Well rounded tour

Trip: Gondolas Go North

If you want a good mix of relaxation and sight-seeing, this is a good itinerary. You spend 3 days on Corfu island in Greece, which is relaxing, and Eastern Europe was equally great (Slovenia is divine). The accommodation was clean and comfortable, but nothing I would rave about. Our guide was friendly and knew a lot about the history of most places, which I appreciated. The only big downfall of this trip is that it is half of a longer tour. You join a tour 'half way through'. Most of the people on the tour have traveled from London for about 2 weeks prior, so I felt like a total outsider for the first few days, which was pretty sucky. I made some really good friends in the end though.

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you will get what you paid for!!!

Trip: Northern Thailand Encounter

Pros:

1. You have a tour guide

2. Low prices

3. Nice stays at every stop (except for one -Sukhothai)

4.Take you to hot spots


Cons:

1. Lots of wasted time

2. It reads 10 days trip, but really it is 8 days and 2 of them are wasted by traveling.

3. Advertised for a swim under the water falls. Never happened.

4. Three of the nights you will stay far from anything (town or city market....etc.)

5. Although it is cheap but you can get better deal on your own in Thailand.



I don't recommend it, you can do much much better with other company or on your own

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Amazing

Trip: Classic Rajasthan

My 15 classic Delhi/Rajasthan trip in December 2012 with Intrepid tours was amazing, we had a group of 12 and it was one of the best groups. We all just had a fantastic time under the guidance of our tour guide Mr D J (Digvijay Singh Jodha). I have never seen such a person with so much of patience, tolerance, humor, friendly, good knowledge of places, he was always there when needed, suggested good restaurants, shopping places and places to visit when we had free time.
I would recommend Intrepid Tours to everyone, it was a life experience with an affordable price and we stayed at the best hotels and Forts and had a wonderful time and made good friends, something that I will always remember.
The only bad thing was that tour came to an end.

Aspi

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Unorganized

Trip: Golden Triangle, India

We have toured with Geckos throughout South America and it was great, but our golden triangle experience in India was poor! We had to make telephone calls for our tour guides to show up, hotels asked for vouchers we were never given and local representatives were asking us what was planned next when we expected them to tell us! Just bad organization but once the guides were there it was a fine experience!

I gained appreciation for world

Trip: India in Depth

This trip to Northern India was a truly unique trip since it was pretty much entirely within one state of India. The trip started in Delhi which seemed like the most chaotic place in the world. If you are a big fan of Gandhi you will appreciate a lot of the tributes to him all over the town. This trip gave me a whole new appreciation for Indian Architecture. Every town we visited seemed to have a color theme, there was both a pink city and a blue city we visited where almost all of the buildings were shades of blue and pink. No doubt the best part of the trip was the Taj Mahal because it is one of the most beautiful buildings on earth. Be advised that this is not much of a party trip but more of a historical trip. If you want to understand Indian culture and dive deep into their history, I highly recommend this trip.

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Truly Amazing

Trip: Reunification Express

The Reunification Express was an amazing experience. The immersion into Vietnamese culture was just what I was hoping for. The 11 days actually felt like more like 3 weeks with everything we did. My favorite part of the trip was the Cu Chi Tunnels. The stories about how these networks were used to engage in battles during the war were incredible and gave a whole new perspective on how the Vietnam War was fought. The markets were also fun because the Vietnamese are not as pushy of salesman like others in Southeast Asia. The experiences were incredible but the sleeper trains we took from Hanoi weren?t very comfortable, but it probably helped keep the trip more affordable so it didn?t ruin the trip. There were not many meals included in the trip, it was fun shopping around for street food and exceptionally cheap. We pretty much ate Pho for every meal which was very cheap but very delicious.

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Save your money

Trip: Bangkok to Singapore overland

Save your money and don?t go with Gecko. The trip was interesting and the countries were interesting, the problem was the value for money. Gecko is a master at overcharging and finding the lowest cost forms of transport and accommodation without taking into account the location or safety of the lodgings. In Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, they even managed to find rooms without windows, their savings $10 per room. In most cases, public transit was used and for one leg of the trip the guide suggested rather than take the chance of not getting a seat and standing for the duration of the trip each member of the group could pay an additional amount and we could rent a minibus and driver. The trip was booked through a third party who sold the trip for $1,400 and we were told to bring $300 US to the orientation meeting for ?local charges?. At the meeting we discovered that the $300 was for travel and accommodation, the true cost of our trip. If you enjoy being overcharged for mediocre to poor tour, by all means choose Gecko.



Response from Gecko's Adventures:



Hello bmcl2003,

Thank you for submitting your review to TravAddict and we are sorry to learn that your experience with Gecko?s Grassroots Adventures did not live up to your expectations in terms of value for money.
As you?re aware, we have been in contact with you directly and we hope that we have addressed your concerns and welcome you to contact us directly should you have any further questions or comments.

We sincerely wish you and your travelling companion all the very best with your future adventures.

 

Yours Sincerely,



The Gecko?s Team

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A great experience

Trip: Serengeti and Kilimanjaro

Hiking Mt Kilimanjaro has always been on my bucket list, but I had never been to Africa before so I also wanted to experience the 'big 5' while there. The hike was really difficult, I recommend training before you go, but it was incredible and an unforgettable experience. It was comforting to know that the hike was all organized well in advance. Intrepid ran a great tour, camping in the Ngorongoro Crater was a surprising highlight. The night in the hotel after the Kilimanjaro hike was the best, and a great way to wind down after the most challenging thing I have ever done.

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Beijing to Hong Kong Express

Trip: Beijing to Hong Kong Express

This was an excellent 'whistle stop' tour of China. I suppose the clue was in the name but from the moment we arrived to the time we said goodbye this was high speed express tour which took in so many key tourist attractions from the Great Wall and Terracotta Army to the river cruises in Yangshou and skyscrapers of Hong Kong. We had a fantastic group of fellow travellers and we were led by a superb leader (Howard) who couldn't have been more helpful - he was consciencious, informative, knowledgeable, funny, hugely enthusiastic and rightly proud to show us around his native country. His clear objective was to ensure we all got a good insight into Chinese history and culture, that we were always safe and most importantly we all enjoyed the holiday. I recommend this trip to anyone who is happy to move at a quick pace in order to see as much as possible in a short period of time. Most of us bolted on a few relaxing days in Hong Kong or Macau at the end of the trip just to relax and reflect on the brilliant experience we'd all had before flying back home.

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A bit disappointed

Trip: Delhi to Kathmandu & Thailand Hike, Bike, and Kayak

My wife and I regretted booking back to back G Adventures tours in India and Nepal and then Thailand. Many of our accommodations were grim, ranking at the bottom of Trip Advisor's lists. We joked in one particularly stained and wrecked Thai hotel that we shouldn't disturb anything because it looked like someone had been murdered in the room and the police might return for evidence. In one town our B side accommodations were ranked 71 of 82 hotels in the area on Trip Advisor (and deservedly so). We walked next door to a beautiful resort with fountains and pools and discovered the price was only $6USD more per night! Why did we pay G Adventures to book our accommodations when they do such a shoddy job of it? Beforehand we assumed G had local knowledge that helped them arrange the best lodging at a reasonable price, but in our experience anyone with an internet connection and a drop of common sense can fare better. The planned activities were good but not great. We assumed that G Adventures would have really good local guides for our destinations but they were wholly mediocre. If you asked a question that was off script, they stared blankly (Q: was there conflict between the Muslim rulers of the Mughal empire and the Hindus they ruled? A: oh no sir, they got along fine by paying taxes). We booked an"active adventure" in Thailand ranked as a 3 out of 5 on G's activity-meter with hiking, biking, and kayaking, but found that the activity level was exaggerated. Most people on the trip weren't particularly fit or active which meant that our athletic sojourns moved at a pace more reminiscent of middle school PE class than adult sport. We won't recommend G Adventures to our family or friends and feel regret that we sunk so much of our personal savings into these trips. I don't think G Adventures used our money well in arranging lodging, tours, and transportation. Asia is wonderful and my wife and I had an amazing trip, but we won't be booking with G in the future.


Response from G Adventures:


Thank you for your feedback regarding our Delhi to Kathmandu, and Thailand Hike, Bike & Kayak tours. We take this feedback very seriously, and apologize for your disappointment. We assure you that G Adventures strives to provide positive and rewarding experiences for our passengers at all times, and we will contact you directly to discuss the complaints described above.

Sincerely,

G Adventures

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Disappointing

Trip: European Wonder

Top Deck says you'll spend the night in the cities you are touring...this was really important to me because I wanted to experience the nightlife in Rome, Venice etc. However, many of the so-called hostels or cabins are actually just trailer parks located miles away from the city.After the tour bus had taken everyone back to the campsite for the day, it took a 45 Euro taxi ride to get back into the city at night. Since people didn't want to mess with taxis or public transportation, everyone just drank at the campsites. I'm not saying that can't be fun..but honestly I didn't go to Rome so I could party in a trailer park with no Italians in sight! Our guide wasn't particularly helpful either. She didn't seem very concerned when 2 girls got placed in a smoking room, when 75% of the tour came down with a nasty cough that turned into pneumonia for at least one of us, or when a girl asked her for help booking a train ticket. Guides are not suppose to be moms-i do get that.But since they had time to party every night, it would have been nice if they could've found the time to give some group members extra help. Also, the itinerary for the European Wonder tour just tried to cram too many places into too few days. We spent a large part of our trip on the bus-if you added up the hours spent driving, we literally spent days on the road.I don't blame top deck for that, I knew the itinerary before I signed up. But for anyone considering a tour, take into consideration the 6, 8, and even 10 hour bus rides. I think one of their explorer trips would have been better.


Response from Topdeck Travel:


Hi KitKat77,

We strive to provide our passengers with a great experience and are sorry to hear that you rated yours otherwise. Your feedback is important to us, so we'd like to address your points above.

Accommodation: you refer to the European Wonder staying outside the city at campsites in Rome and Venice on the 14 day itinerary. Getting accommodation in Venice could really hurt your wallet and logistically it is impossible for coaches to get in and out of Venice as it's a vehicle-free zone, so as all companies do, we stay on the mainland. Camping Roma is the closest campsite to the city centre of Rome, with good public transport links, en-suite twin share cabins and superb facilities which are far better than most hostels in Europe. It is a very well-equipped budget accommodation with a good reputation so we feel that 'trailer park' is not really an appropriate description.

Guide: we have passed your comments on to our crew department.

Itinerary: the European Wonder is a trip which appeals to travellers who want to see as much of Europe as possible within a limited amount of time. As you know, Europe is pretty big so long drive days are sometimes necessary. However the actual time spent on the coach is broken up regularly for comfort and lunch stops. We also aim to include interesting day stops where possible, such as your visit to Pisa on the way to Florence and the visit to the former concentration camp at Dachau upon leaving the Austrian Alps. We do understand that some days are unavoidably long, however the contrast between the destinations you visited in Europe is remarkable. For instance, we feel that given a magical city like Paris and the stunning village of Lauterbrunnen in the Swiss Alps are within a day's drive, it makes the journey more than worthwile.

We hope that our reply addressed your issues. Please feel free to contact us directly at marketing@topdecktravel.co.uk if you wish to discuss this matter further.


Best Regards, Team Topdeck

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Very Impressed

Trip: Discover Europe

This was a well-rounded tour, which I would do again. Our guide and driver were great, they had so much energy the entire trip I don't know how they were both headed back to London to do it all again after it was over. Our guide asked everyone what our favorite part of the tour was at the end (on the bus into the microphone), and pretty much everyone's answer was different. The itinerary was perfect for someone like me.? It was my first time to Europe, travelling with my boyfriend.? We had free time explore in each place, which I liked because I am always on the lookout for great food, but a lot of other people on our tour weren't really interested in spending a lot of money on food. Rome was by far my favorite place for food. I was also surprised with the restaurants we ate at with the group. They were mostly authentic to the area, and they were a lot better than what I was expecting. Breakfast isn't anything great, but that was expected.? If you like ham and cheese and bread, then you will be fine! At least the bread rolls at breakfast were always fresh.? Also if you are travelling with a partner you will get your own room. Only thing is that most of the time the rooms have two single beds. It didn't bother me and my boyfriend, but it did bother some other couples.

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Jordan is beautiful

Trip: Jordan Explorer

Jordan is an amazing country, and I had completely underestimated it's beauty. Peregrine could not have run a better tour. The hotels were wonderful, our guide was very informative and was genuinely concerned about our wellbeing, and every sight on the itinerary was worth our time. Thank you Peregrine, I can't wait to book my next tour.

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Impressed with the guide

Trip: A Taste of Rajasthan

I was very impressed with our guide. He was very kind and knew everything about anything we encountered. The train sleeper was surprisingly comfortable, and the rest of the accommodation was standard of what you would probably expect in India, not great, but not bad. I enjoyed the flexibility of the trip. We had plenty of time to explore in our own time, and our guide was always helpful with suggestions for where to go, where not to go (important in India), and always had a handful of different suggestions for dining.

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If you want to hike the Inca Trail, book this trip

Trip: Inca Trek

If you want to hike the Inca Trail, I recommend this trip. The guides were great, everything was well planned, and Tucan helped organize the Inca Trail permit which saved us a lot of pre-planning. The only thing I did not like was the 'toilets' on the trek. Make sure you take a lot of hand sanitizer! Really enjoyed the experience, and I am glad we decided to do the trek with Tucan. We booked flights in and out of Lima, and the rest was all taken care of.

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Golden Triangle India tour

Trip: Golden Triangle India Tour

My wife and I traveled on this 8 day g adventures tour to India 9/2012. We enjoyed the tour tremendously. The small group concept (9 on our tour) and flexibility is ideal. This allows flexibility for the group to spend more time at places of interest and you don't feel herded. Can't say enough about our CEO (Chief Experience Officer-IE tour guide) Jai. He is very flexible, enthusiastic, outgoing, cares about people and our experience in India. On his own time he arranged a trip to a small village which was a highlight of our tour. He also went on a 2 hour power walk with some group members and taught a short yoga class on the roof of one hotel we stayed at. We are looking forward to our next g adventures tour.

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Great Experience in History

Trip: Best of Turkey 2012 15 days

My friend and I joined this group on 03/09/2012 and joined 11 others to complete these 15 days. Our Tour Guide- Burak GULCAN,was such an interesting and helpful person. We travelled for the 15 days throughout Turkey using so many different types of transport and seeing so many interesting and historical sights. Burak's knowledge of his country and its history was an experience to all of us. He was helpful, understanding and a real friend to each of us on the trip, and we were not a young group. We had so much fun, and I wish to personally thank the other travellers in the group and mostly Burak for this wonderful, interesting, exhausting but truly great experience. Many thanks to all. I recommend Intrepid to everyone I can. Anne Anstee.

FIRST TRIP ABROAD

Trip: CULTURAL KENYA

My husband & I happened upon G Adventures by accident and are very happy that we did. Our Kenyan experience will forever be etched in our memories because of the well-planned and executed tour through western Kenya. Our guide, Daniel, was professional, knowledgeable and looked after us in every situation. It is basic as far as accomo, but that is what made the tour an experience to remember. Our drivers could not have been more helpful and fun! The group consisted of 8 of us from around the globe and we have created close bonds with all. The people of Kenya are wonderful and I would encourage everyone to visit this part of Africa. We never once felt threatened by either 2 or 4 legged critters. The wildlife is like a fairy tale...we saw all of the BIG 5 thanks to our CEO and drivers. Be sure to use some Swahili while there as it goes a long way with the local folks if you try. As far as money, don't bother with traveller's cks as we couldn't cash them...but VISA and Db worked great. And you will want some KES to have when you land. Also, get your VISA into Kenya before you go, as the lineup was huge & you may miss your connection to the hotel. Be sure to keep any essentials, like your malaria pills in your carry on in case your luggage doesn't make it.(one of our group had that happen..paid $180 to get it to our location). All in all, we would travel with G Adventures again. Very happy with our first trip abroad.

Don\'t do it! Book a hostel!

Trip: Oktoberfest CAMPING

We were searching for last minute cheapish accommodation for Oktoberfest Opening Weekend and decided to camp with Topdeck. Well. That was a mistake! Upon checking in I informed the staff that a friend of mine would be arriving late and could she be assigned my tent. No Dice. We were both placed with random girls. Even though prior to booking I had rung Topdeck and queried this and they said it would be fine, we would get a tent together. The weather was a large contribution to my misery. It rained for almost 24hours from friday night to saturday night. Our tent flooded, saturating all of our clothes. It was cold and wet and I was wishing I had spent the extra money for the Hostel tour. Topdeck provided a bus to and from the event. The first bus in the morning was at 8am. I was under the impression that over opening week you had to get there early to secure a spot! We arrived at Oktoberfest at 9am. By the time we fluffed around trying to decide which Hall to go into the lines were massive - most people had been there since 7am! Needless to say we missed out on a table inside. It was still raining, making the tables outside very undesirable. So because we got there so late we missed out on getting into a hall ALL DAY! Ended up heading to a nearby pub instead to drink away our sorrows! A cooked breakfast was supplied daily, but if you wanted to get to the Halls in time you had to skip it. I found the staff very unwilling to help. It was freezing camping and the line for the showers were just stupid. I know I sound like a moaning whiner but really... Spend the money and get a hostel or a house or a hotel - Anything! You'll enjoy your weekend so much more!


Response from Topdeck Travel:


We are sorry to hear that your weekend was not what you were expecting. The management and staff on site were aiming to provide the best service possible in order to not let the weather hinder our passengers' enjoyment. Let us address your points one by one:

As per your post, Oktoberfest opening weekend was stuck with heavy rain unfortunately, something I am sure you can appreciate is out of the control of our team. The team based at the campsite prepared the tents and camping area as best as possible to handle any heavy downpours, and were ready to respond to any problems with tents when reported, to handle the weather. We are very limited however in consistent days of heavy rain in an outdoor environment. Opening weekend is a demanding time to get entrance to the beer halls every year. As much of the outdoor seating was not in use this weekend, it increased the demand even more. We were unable to reserve spaces in tents for people who did not arrive together on this weekend due to volume of passengers we had checking in on one day.

We appreciate your feedback and if you wish to discuss this further, please contact us directly at marketing@topdecktravel.co.uk


Best regards,

Team Topdeck

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France & Italy

Trip: France & Italy

This tour was amazing. Our tour leader Francesco was a great leader very caring and nothing was too much trouble. The group we travelled with were great and we became firm friends. The accommodation was perfect. Intrepid takes you to all the main places to see. The trains were on time and very comfortable. Loads of walking but that was part of the adventure. Intrepids the way to do your travelling.

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Would do it again tomorrow

Trip: Europe Uncovered

We have just left our tour group earlier today but whilst I had some free time thought it would be fitting to reflect on the trip and share with others looking to travel Europe with a tour company. Call me lucky but I was very hesitant about the age of other tour members after being told tours are just massive piss up's where everyone sleeps with everyone... Not something you want to do for a honeymoon?. Well it was our honeymoon and it was a great trip.  We had an awesome group of people, average age would have been late 20's and mostly Aussie couples. We had a great tour leader Matt, he was nothing short of amazing with all of our group.  We were always on time he got us best seats, meals etc wherever he could and generally made it easy for us all to relax, enjoy and experience the trip. I would highly recommend the Hotel trip option to all as good value for money, a few less desirable rooms but on average across the trip not too bad. Meals they provide are above average in general and the optional activities are well spread and great value for money. I hope all others are as pleasantly surprised as I was and a big thanks to Matt, Rae and the Top Deck team for a great trip!

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Time of my life

Trip: European Pathway

Man, I had such a good time on this trip. Our trip leader Dan was so great. I am still trying to figure out how he had so much energy and enthusiasm the entire trip. He was always happy to answer questions, and always got excited about everywhere we went (even though he had probably been to all of them so many times before). Our bus driver, Damo, was also great, and always did his best to get us everywhere promptly and safely (but just so you know you do spend a lot of time on the bus). I made some amazing friends and would do it all over again if I could! I plan to book another trip with Topdeck again soon

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Seeing the Gorillas was the most amazing experience

Trip: Gorillas Safari and Zanzibar

Seeing the Gorillas in the wild was the best part of this trip, and worth it 100%. Gecko's as the tour company did a great job. I was very impressed with the kindness and the knowledge of the tour guide. Our cook was also wonderful and made amazing food (better than what I was expecting). While we seemed to spend a lot of time driving, our driver was skilled, and I always felt safe (this would be a concern of mine if I was booking another tour, because we encountered another tour group along the way who said their driver was horrible and not safe. I can't remember who they said their tour company was). We saw so many animals, and our guide was really good at spotting them and pointing them out to us at any chance he had. I got some amazing pictures that I am going to blow up and frame. I also liked that we went to Zanzibar near the end of the tour. It was so nice to wind down the trip by the beach.

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Wonderful

Trip: Tanzania Lodge Safari

This tour was simply wonderful. The lodges we stayed in were fantastic. We saw plenty of wildlife, and met plenty of locals. Intrepid was very good at creating an experience that made me feel like I did more than I could have ever imagined in 8 days. We purposely chose an Intrepid Comfort tour because I wanted to stay in nice places, but still make sure I didn't end up on a snooty glamorous tour with people who didn't want to get off the safari truck. My favorite part of this trip was visiting the Ngorongoro Crater. It was an unexpected highlight for me which was just incredible to see.

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never again

Trip: china getaway

The trip was extremely poorly run. Our tour guide assisted and enabled the locals tour guides in scamming the group and often reacted to our questions with a dismissive laugh or rolling her eyes. The trip is described as basic but this is an exaggeration. Many of the places we stayed the showers didnt work or would only run cold. Also a majority of the beds were either very dirty or best described as a plank of wood with a yoga mat on top. I would never go on a trip with this tour company again.

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Stay away from gecko tours!!!!

Trip: Greek island hopper

My friend and I booked the tour of the Greek Islands and I strongly reccommend you never go with Gecko's.? Our transfer (which we organized through Gecko's) never showed up (which we also paid extra for). We ended up paying ?40 for a taxi to the hotel.? The tour was pretty expensive compared to others, then when we arrived in Athens we were told we needed to pay a ?150 'local tax' which we were told covered things like buses and ferries.? The hotels were old, unclean, far from the centre of town and just not a nice place to stay.? Our tour guide did very little guiding and we saw nothing touristy (no museums, churches, monuments etc) she showed us places to eat and shop. After sending several emails to Gecko's to let them know how I felt, I got no reply from any email I sent. They obviously didn't care after they already had my money. Definitely do not recommend this tour group at all. Total waste of money.


Note from TravAddict:


The Gecko's website clearly states that this tour has a ?150 local payment, payable on the first day of our tour in Greece.

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TOPDECK = AMAZING!!!

Trip: Spirt of Europe

I did the Topdeck Spirit of Europe tour in Septmeber/October 2011. It was honestly the best time I have ever had! Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and professional whilst also making the trip loads of fun. Whatever we needed he tried to help us out, we were never left not knowing where to go or how to get home and always felt safe. Whilst the trip was fast paced and you didnt spent a lot of time in each place, it was exactly as I thought it would be. I felt like i saw soooooooo many beautiful places in each city. With these kind of tours you can't expect to have all the time in the world to explore, you have to take every minute and use it wisely. AND if you do you will get the essence of each city and have the best trip.


Topdeck knows their food!!! I thought if there was going to be a problem on tour it would be what we eat. BUT i was wrong, the food we were given in the topdeck tents was seriously good food. Traditional to the areas, plenty of it and usually wine to go with it. Sure there were some strange breakfasts as we got further east, but hey its expected. Our driver was great! Very experienced, knew some local languages, always safe and always joined in our fun. All in all the whole Topdeck team we experienced was fantastic!! Overall the accommodation was great. Few funny showers and such, but nothing that couldn't be handled/laughed about and forgiven. If you want luxury, don't go on a whirlwind tour. Spirit of Europe was a great choice to see the highlights Europe has to offer. I have recommended both this tour and Topdeck in general to many people and will continue to do so. Thanks Topdeck!! Amazing company :) Amazing trip...cant wait to do it all again!

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I only book Intrepid

Trip: Tours to Asia

Intrepid are the best tour operator around. Worth every penny in my opinion. Recently returned from a tour in Vietnam, and loved it. I have also traveled with them to China, India and Thailand. Yes they are all tours to Asia, but that is what they are known for. If you are like me and can only ever travel for short periods of time and hate making all of the travel arrangements, Intrepid is the perfect solution. A lot of my friends have told me I should try other tour companys, but why mess with a good thing.

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Top Deck is a WASTE of money. Read before booking!!

Trip: European Odyssey

I attended a European tour this summer. I have broke down a detailed review based on my experiences. I know it kind of wordy, but the most important thing to know is that I was incredibly uncomfortable and found the company's laziness put the entire tour group in danger. BASICS First off, I was under the impression that the group size would be 30. We were nearly 40. This meant that we lost precious sightseeing time on our fast moving tour because there were more people to wait around for in the morning or at rest stops, check in times were extended at the hotel, dinners took longer, etc. It just wasn't ideal. ACCOMMODATIONS I read we'd be staying at 2-3 star hotels, but this generally wasn't the case. I was also subjected to being put into a triple share (despite the fact I paid for a twin share and made the tour leader aware at check in). If you have issues with any of the following, you may want look to into booking elsewhere: -No free wifi -No air conditioning -No blackout curtains -Bathtub only (no shower) -Broken shower heads -Mold (like a lot, and on the walls) -Dirty sheets with random hairs upon arrival -Walls cracking, paint chipping, mystery stains on the walls, bedspreads and towels -Location was typically 30-60 mins away via public transport from the actual city you are touring -Bugs on the food at the breakfast buffet It was so bad in Berlin, I actually booked a hotel room 3 blocks away that had a/c and only cost 1 euro more then the hotel they chose for us (which was a mere 55 cause they are so cheap!). On a side note, I passed by several hotels that had Contiki passengers and they were usually nicer and had a/c. BUS -I think it's important to know that the bus will stop every 2 hours and it is mandatory for you to get off. Breaks will last for 15 or 30 minutes. It's impossible to get any decent sleep because of this. -Our bus broke down at a rest stop in Italy. Luckily, we only had to spend 90 minutes in the sun before other arrangements had been made. There were no reparation for the inconvenience, but I think that just may be a European thing. In the states, they would have at least given us a bottle of water or something to make us more comfortable. TOUR TEAM Several members of the tour group had come to the conclusion that we may have drawn the short end of the stick when it came to leaders, so I don't know for sure if this would apply to them all. I do know I paid the same amount as someone departing on the same trip at a different time, so you should just be aware of what your money is getting you. Here are some of the major issues I encountered: -Day 1 a sheet containing all of our personal information (full name, passport info, emergency contact details) was left on display at the front desk of the pick up location for anyone to see. Then, it was left behind and we had to go back to retrieve it. That was the first sign of what was to come. -It seemed as though we were always missing or getting on the wrong public transport (ferries, trains, etc), it's like nobody was calling ahead to confirm departure information or directions. These weren't cases of "last minute changes" or "force majeure." It was simple laziness. -Crew members are not required to know any of the local languages. For the most part, they can help you no more than you can help yourself. -Communication was rubbish. For example, we had a group dinner in the evening. So, I would stop by the hotel at noon to check and see if the meeting time/location had been posted. It had not. How am I suppose to know when to return to from the city? I was forced to track down the leader to ask but simply got a vague response of "maybe 6, maybe 6:30." Ok, I will just put my vacation on hold until you figure it out. These kinds of things happened on a daily basis (of which there were 18). -We were forced to buy optional activities through our leader. Yet, somehow the details of the product would be unknown. If you sell me a ticket to a boat ride and drop me off in the city at 9:30am, shouldn't you be able to tell me when the first cruise leaves? But instead of just admitting they didn't know, it once again would be some vague information like "usually 10:30, or 11, but I cannot guarantee." Didn't I pay to have someone to help me figure out this stuff? I would expect for them to say they would make an attempt to find out. -The tour leader didn't know squat about history. If you ask them questions, most of the time the answers will be made up. Thanks google! -There was one particular safety issue that came up due to employees negligence. When arriving at a concentration camp, it was raining, so it was asked how much time we would be spending outside because it may be necessary to get supplies from under the bus. The tour leader responded that it wouldn't be too much time spent outdoors. At the conclusion of our tour we had to walk down what was know as the "death stairs." It was 200 stone steps without railing. Most of us were in flip flops in the pouring rain and there was no other option to get back to the coach. I slipped on the cobble stones leading up to the steps and came close to taking off my shoes all together. It is a miracle nobody died. For the record, my driver was amazing! He was way more knowledgeable and actually spoke most of the languages. If you wanted something done we all knew to go to him. OPTIONAL AND INCLUDED ACTIVITIES -Be aware that Top Deck sometimes marks up the optional prices. For example skydiving through them cost 125 euro's, but when you arrive at the facility they advertise it at 110. However, there were times when it did work out in our favor. In the end, I found most activities were worth the value. -Included activities were questionable. For example, I'd read in the itinerary that a visit to a museum was included, but upon arrival I was told that if I want to actually to go in I will have to pay. My only other option would be to wait on the bus for 2 hours. Really? INCLUDED MEALS -For the most part the dinners were good. They always took you somewhere that displayed dishes of the local culture. The tour leader never knew what we were having or if any drinks were included. Only once did they cover a cocktail. -Breakfast was bread, meat, cheese and boiled eggs... Everyday! Not great. Bottom line is that I think I could have done a better job on my own. I have also traveled with Intrepid, which was a WONDERFUL experience. I suggest you look into them, or anyone else really.


RESPONSE FROM TOPDECK TRAVEL:


Hi Rooz,


We take your feedback seriously and would like to investigate the matter further. Could you please e-mail us at marketing@topdecktravel.co.uk and advise your departure date? Please also let us know whether you have submitted a formal complaint.

Thank you & best regards,

Topdeck Travel

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Fast trip, but worth it

Trip: Cambodia or Wat

There is no denying that this tour is fast! In 8 days you go from Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh, but it is worth it if you don't have a lot of time. I went with my husband on his business trip to Thailand, and forced him to take this trip with me so that we could actually experience some culture while we were there. He was so hesitant about the 'cheap' tour that I booked, but I didn't want to travel with a bunch of oldies, and I REALLY wanted to go to Angkor Wat, and this trip went there. It wasn't a luxurious tour by any means, but I had a great time, and surprisingly so did my husband (who generally likes to travel in style). From the words of my husband 'I am glad we went on a tour. I saw a lot of things I would have never thought to go and see'. While we probably could have booked a similar tour that stayed in amazing hotels, I think the organization and the itinerary was probably just as good as any other tour.

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Cheap and worth it

Trip: Croatia Sailing

The first thing I have to acknowledge about this tour is the price. I paid around ?250 for an 8 day sailing tour to Croatia (?350 including flights). It sailed from Split to Dubrovnik in just over one week, and it included breakfast and lunch everyday. The tour was very organized, our leader was awesome (I want her job)! I was very impressed with the boat we sailed on. The cabins were nice, and the crew were friendly. Most of the people on our boat were in their 20's. I highly recommend this tour, I spent less money on my holiday than I would at home. This is the perfect relaxing getaway for young people living in London (or anywhere in Europe).? Also, check out their website, they have good pictures of what their boats are like, and it is what made me decide to book with them.

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Don\'t Choose Gecko\'s!!!

Trip: East Africa Safari

*PLEASE NOTE:? TravAddict has deleted parts of this review due to it's excessive length


My holiday, which was my wife's and my honeymoon, was great! The other guests on the tour (mainly from Australia) were amazing! They definitely made the trip much more fun! I think the time at each place was about right. There were a couple of times where I wish we didn't have to tear-down the tents as soon as we did but then we wouldn't have been able to see as many places as we did. I would say the tour was reasonably priced. However, the tour leader (Moses) was very difficult to understand.? The Tour Leader's local and country knowledge was one of the most frustrating parts of the tour. I remember driving from Arusha towards Nairobi wondering which of the beautiful peaks I was looking at was Mount Kilimanjaro. But Moses never said a word. I learned a lot more from Peter (the cook) about the local culture than I did from Moses. I was actually very impressed with the meals! Peter, our cook, was amazing! He did an excellent job finding good fresh food along the way and provided good variety for dinners. The last night Peter made a popular African meal that was delicious!? The driver Alfred did a great job getting us from point A to point B safely. We broke-down a couple of times and he had the expertise to be able to get the truck functional again within a reasonable time. However, he was not approachable or friendly at all. The safari truck was great! Although it was extremely bouncy/bumpy at times which was annoying for some of the guests.? I was happy with the activities but it would have been nice if the activities offered were consistent with what was listed in our itinerary.?? Two of the three hotels that we were offered intentionally screwed us! Especially the Lake Victoria hotel. The only reason I went with this tour is because it was the only safari I found that visited an orphanage and a school. We arrived at the school on January 6th, so the school should have been open according to the itinerary. Even if you go on the School of St. Jude website, they list the term dates for 2012 starting on January 3rd. Gecko's needs to sort this out because this was a huge reason people chose this tour. Moses called ahead to determine whether or not the school would be in session and so we knew ahead of time they were not. Regardless, our group was still anxious to visit the school. But Moses told us we weren't going to the school anymore since they were not in session. We had to beg him to at least drive by the school so we could take pictures. Moses reluctantly agreed to make a quick stop.? When we arrived at the school we were greeted by a woman that worked at the school. She asked us how long we had and Moses quickly said 'we have very limited time'. But our group quickly retorted 'we have all day!'? So Moses walked off pouting while the woman started playing a DVD about the school.? The only thing I expected from Gecko's was to ensure our safety and to look out for our well-being. These things were not satisfied, and largely in part to a poor choice in our tour guide.

And I can only blame Gecko's for this since they didn't do a better job finding a qualified tour guide. Additionally, Gecko's should have been more responsible in their hotel/campsite selections and not introduce us to places that blatantly took advantage of foreigners.


Response from Gecko's Adventures:


Hello rkhuber. As per our communication in February 2012, we thank you for having contacted us directly and allowing us the opportunity to investigate and subsequently address your concerns. As you're aware, your comprehensive feedback was very much appreciated as it assists us in ensuring we are able to provide excellent services and products to our customers who like us, are keen to explore the world. We were happy to learn that you were pleased with our reply and although there were certain elements of the tour which did not meet your expectations, we are pleased that you enjoyed your travels through East Africa. a truly fascinating part of the world. We wish you and your wife all the very best with your future travels!

I recommend this tour

Trip: Backroads of Rajisthan

1. The price of this tour was value for money

2. I was a solo traveller and I always felt safe

3. The best part of the tour was the overnight desert camping. I recommend booking  a tour that does this

4. The accommodation was the standard I was expecting

5. The guides were very good

6. I think they should have included entrance fees in the price and pre-organised our tickets. Everyone did the excursions, so why not include them in the price?

7. I recommend this tour, and I will travel with Geckos again.

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Did Not Even Make It

Trip: Peru, Amazon, G Lodge

Earlier this year my wife and I booked a 5 day stay at the G Lodge in Peru. This was supposed to be an amazing trip and all of the existing reviews we read were great. The reservation process was quick and easy, and they took our deposits. About 4 weeks after we booked they called to inform us they were canceling our reservation because they wanted to book a larger group in our reserved spots. As we did not have an option they told us they would refund our deposit. Instead of a refund they actually billed us our deposit value a second time. We did eventually get our full amount of money refunded, and were are now booked for the same sort of an adventure with a totally different organization. When we Investigated what happened to us a little further we were informed that 'Cancelling small groups to accommodate larger size tours is a standard practice for G Adventures' as per a G Adventures representative.


Response from G Adventures:


We apologize for being unable to accommodate you in our G Lodge. I can assure you we do not have a policy of accepting bigger groups at the expense of smaller ones. We do sometimes need to move reservations due to maintenance of the Lodge, however. If you would like to contact us to discuss, we would welcome that. I wish you safe and enjoyable travels to a wonderful part of the planet.

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Amazing

Trip: european wonder

Topdeck i had the most amazing time ever everyone had so much fun! The places we stayed at where beautiful and everything else was amazing. Will recommeded it to everyone. Had the time of our lives we had an awsome tour leader Brent and driver Brian they showed us loads of fun and learnt lots. Thank you for a great experience !!!!A+

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Fantastic

Trip: Joburg to Vic Falls

There's a lot of differing opinions out there.. Let me add mine. My wife and I just finished a G Adventures (formerly Gap Adventures) 9-day tour from Johannesburg, South Africa to Victoria Falls, Zambia. We couldn't have had a better time! A few thoughts: - So much depends on the tour guide. Our guide, Vladia Bajerovska, was fantastic. She was both a great organizer and a great cheerleader, making sure everybody was included and knew what was going on. She had a lot of knowledge, both natural (describing animals) and practical (navigating border crossings). She answered all of our questions, no matter how many times we asked. I can't say enough good things about her. Our driver, Stefan, was also fantastic. - A lot also depends on your group. We had 20 people, mixed group from US/UK/Canada/Australia, aged from mid-20s to mid-40s. By the end of the trip we were all great friends. Our tour involved a lot of "participatory camping", meaning everybody had to pitch in to load/unload the truck, chop veggies for dinner, etc. Everybody pitched in without even having to ask, which was great. Obviously this is one of those things where one bad apple can spoil the bunch. There was a little bit of drinking at the campsites (some had bars, others were BYOB), but everybody was pretty much in bed by 10. - We had the "basic" accommodation level, and believe me, it was BASIC. We spent nearly every night in tents, though there was an option to upgrade to a cabin at some sites. If you enjoy camping for multiple days, you'll be fine. But if you're the type to whine because there's no hot water in the shower, or there's a bug in your tent, or your sleeping bag smells funny after a week, you won't have fun. - There was a lot of driving, sometimes 4-5 hours per day. The overland truck was pretty sweet, though spartan. Personally, I didn't mind the long drives; I had a well-stocked Kindle, great scenery to look at, and a truck-full of people to get to know. But this might get tiresome for some people. Read the itinerary carefully. - A lot of the activities billed as "optional" were pretty much required, if you wanted to have fun. The focus of our tour was African game drives, and except for one, they were all "optional", and cost between US$30-50 dollars each. My wife and I had decided ahead of time to do all of the optionals (spent approximately $250 total for each of us) and I'm glad we did, but if you're a penny-pincher, I could see it getting annoying. Again, read the itinerary carefully. All in all, I feel that by taking G Adventures, we were able to see a lot more of southern Africa than if we had just gone on our own. I suppose it depends on your comfort level in the third world, but there were some situations (choosing safe markets to shop at, bribing corrupt SA police (really!), and navigating the crazy Botswana-Zambia border crossing) that I know I wouldn't have been able to do by myself, and least not without great stress. The lodging and travel is definitely not luxury, but I think it was more fun that way. All we had to do was spend a few nights roughing it and helping around the campsite, and we had the trip of a lifetime. -Evan

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Amazed and surprised

Trip: Taste of Sapa

I was very amazed and surprised to learn that there were only 2 of us on the tour. It felt like a private experience and we were delighted to find out that we had not only a driver, but tour guide as well. Delighted that Peregrine did not cancel for lack of participants.

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I love Australia

Trip: Sydney to Cairns

I had a wonderful time on this tour! I was surprised when I arrived on the first day because the tour was actually run by TOPDECK. I guess both companies are the same? None the less, 'Topdeck' and Adventure Tours ran a fantastic tour. I am from the USA, and I was blown away by how beautiful Australia was. It is one thing to see it in pictures and on TV, and another thing to see it for real. I was very impressed by the accommodation, and our guide was very animated and down to earth. Most of the people traveling on the tour were in their 20's and we all got along well. I am already planning a tour to New Zealand, and I will absolutely be booking my tour with Topdeck. I know this review is about Adventure Tour Australia (and I wrote the review about them because I booked with them), but Topdeck appear to be much easier to book from the USA, and they are essentially the same company.

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Amazing

Trip: Lima to Lima

I had an amazing time traveling in South American with Tucan (Peru). I am was a solo traveler so I wanted to join a tour. The Tucan trip was mostly solo travelers my age 23 (Budget Tour Overland) . Keeping in mind that it was a budget tour the accommodations were not 5 star but were always clean, with hot running water and in prime locations within the cities. The campsites were always safe and clean. The optional excursions seemed on the pricey side if I was to book without tucan but they were always delivered as described and always arrived on time. Our tour leader would be honest if an optional excursion was worth it or not. He was very knowledgeable of each destination of places to eat and see and what to avoid in each destination. Fellow travelers on my tour were there to see culture but also go out on the town on some nights. I had an excellent time on the tour and I would recommend it for someone who is traveling solo. You will meet new friends and have an excellent time.

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Wonderful

Trip: China Express

My work sent me to China for the first time, so I decided to extend my stay and do some traveling. I booked the China Express tour with Gecko's because it was highly recommended by my travel agent, and her recommendation did not disappoint. I had a great time. The tour was a great introduction to China, and I walked away with so many great memories. The tour itself was wonderful, I have no complaints, and I now always recommend Gecko's to all of my friends. I have recently booked another tour with them to South America (but Peregrine this time).

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Outstanding

Trip: 10 day Exotic Morocco Tour

I would like to comment on the outstanding experience my new husband and I had whilst on the Travel Talk Exotic Morocco tour over Christmas and New Year. After wanting to visit Morocco for many years, we decided that we would spend some of our honeymoon time on this tour. It was an excellent decision as we loved everywhere we went. Perhaps the most outstanding part of this was the services of the staff involved. Rudwane, our tour guide, did an exceptional job. He dealt with everybody on our tour in such a friendly and professional manner that we couldn't help but be extremely impressed with him. His knowledge of Morocco was outstanding (as a history teacher I notice things like that!) and his commitment to ensuring that all of the people on his tour had a great time. He really went above and beyond and we were incredibly impressed with him. He is such an outstanding guide, I would recommend this tour to anyone.

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Great

Trip: Nairobi to Vic Falls

This is a great tour. It was incredibly cheap, so I wasn't expecting much, but the tour was worth every penny. I read some of the below reviews, and it seems that there are some bad guides out there. This is a shame because our guides were amazing. They were very informative, approachable, and really cared about the well-being of the group. Maybe South America is different, but in Africa Tucan rocks. It would be a shame to think that the tour guides are the luck of the draw, because they pretty much can make or break a tour. But based on my experience I would give Tucan no less than 5 stars. I would probably only warn that it is a budget tour designed for shoestring travelers, so I wouldn't book this tour expecting the best of the best in regards to transportation and accommodation, but it was all reliable and comfortable, and good for the price I paid, and I liked the rugged feel of the tour. AND the food was fantastic.

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Essential India

Trip: Essential India

This has proved to be the best holiday that my wife and I have ever undertaken. The itineray was spot on and did all that it said. The CEO Abhishek Chhetri was absolutely outstanding. From start to finish he was there to look after us all. He was on time, very knowledgeable and made sure we were safe at all times. He interacted with all the group and gave us a keen sense of his pride and love for his country.His contribution made the whole experience so very enjoyable.

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Not recommended

Trip: Pacific to Atlantic (70 days)

Hi all, I too had a similar experience to "zchaxf8". Aside from the quality of service being unacceptable, I would like to add that Tucan rip you off on the optional excursions. Instead of receiving a 'group discount' Tucan mark up the price. Here are some examples. We went to the Bolivian salt flats. Tucan charged people $45 USD; by then we had cottoned on to the fact that they were ripping us off and sourced our own supplier through a company recommended in the lonely planet, we paid $23 USD. We managed to gather 10 others to join us. The Tucan tour guide was rather rude, and there were rumors to say that we would 'die' because the cars were dodgy, we'd get crap service etc because it was cheap. We had done our homework and this company was great, in the end we had the last laugh, as we got EXACTLY what the Tucan company got and we paid half the price. The same thing happened for the Lake Titicaca tour and various other excusions. For Death Road we wanted to use "Gavity Assisted" the company that Tucan recommend, so we contacted them directly and got a lower cost than Tucan quoted us directly (for the same company!!). We confronted Tucan and Tucan matched the price (after some uming and aring). I'm sorry but they are total con artists. Like "zchaxf8" we were also experienced travelers and don't mine slumming it but the service (drunk, drugs, attitude, poor service/ professionalism by the tour lead) was totally unacceptable. They forgot that we were paying customers. I would NOT recommend them (well at least the South American lot). A few people (1/3) on the tour left the tour part way through and did their own thing, until they joined up with us for carnival. We complained to head office (a few of us did) including complaints about driving under the influence of cannabis; the driving bringing on board his sister and her boyfriend for free so that we were more than over booked); poor hygiene practice that resulted in people getting sick....headoffice didn't give a rats and said that we should have complained during the trip (which a couple of people did). End result a token ?200 voucher for our next trip (as if we would use them again! we paid a good few thousand ?s for this trip!!!) Sorry for the ramble, South America was AMAZING and would have been better without using Tucan :) Check out Kamuka they are pretty cool. Our group actually had Kamuka tour leaders at the start and they were excellent, then we got Tucan tour leader and they were poor. I guess at the end of the day it's all down to the Tour Leader. but Tucan a) rips you off b) doesn't train their staff well enough c) does not care about you. :) please consider booking with a different operator :) it's so not worth the risk of ruining your holiday! (which it almost did, until I stopped caring) Happy travels :)!!!


Response from Tucan Travel:


As a client's experience on tour is our paramount concern as a company that provides a travel service, we take very seriously the issues that have been raised here. One of the best ways that we can monitor the standard of our tours is by relying on the feedback we receive from clients. This means that in areas where Tucan Travel has made mistakes, we can rectify them as soon as possible and make sure they do not happen again.

As the above comments are posted anonymously we are unable to reference this client's complaint against our records to establish exactly what measures were taken to resolve this issue. However, we can stipulate that any complaints we receive of a nature as mentioned above are taken very seriously and are fully investigated by the company, particularly where they refer to the conduct of an individual tour leader. If the person in question is not satisfied with the response they received from the company when they made an initial complaint, we encourage them to contact us again on uksales@tucantravel.com so we can look to further resolve this issue.


Sincere regards,


Tucan Travel

huge rip off, false advertising

Trip: European Pioneer

this trip was a bust. Stayed in unsafe sections of the cities we went to in accomadations that were 1 star or less. Came home with bed bug bites and many things stolen from my belongings. Most of our time was spent on a bus severly limiting any touring of the actual places visited. tour guides "clocked out" at 5 and you were on your own in places you have no knowledge of and have difficulty communicating due to language issues. the brochure is very misleading...BEWARE!


RESPONSE FROM TOPDECK TRAVEL:


We are sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your trip. Please note that we take your

feedback seriously and would like to investigate the matter further. Could you

please e-mail us at marketing@topdecktravel.co.uk and advise your departure date?

Please also advise if you have submitted a formal complaint.


Thank you & best regards,


Dennis Jack, Topdeck Travel

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Very well organised, but not for me

Trip: The Best of Vietnam

I usually always travel independaently, BUT I always travel with at least one friend, and this time no one was available to travel to Vietnam with me, which is why I decided to book a tour. I did my research as any smart traveler should do before leaving, and I chose G Adventures based on their level of professionalism. Their website is easy to navigate, user friendly, and offers detailed information about their tours. Also, when I called to talk to a representative, they were very helpful and informative. In regards to the actual tour, I think I was too used to doing my own thing to be on a tour . The tour was very well organized, and probably ideal for people who don't like to worry. But, I am not one of those people. I think I was way too free spirited for a 'tour'. I recommend traveling with G Adventures if you are new to traveling abroad, and want some guidance along the way. All in all, not a bad experience, but I would have preferred to do it on my own with a fellow seasoned backpacker. I wanted to give this review 3.5 stars, but that wasn't an option which is why I upped it to 4.

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awful awful awful!!

Trip: Patagonia

Hi, wanted to share my experience to warn people about this tour company. I would first like to point out that i have travelled extensively and have travelled independently and with over 15 tour groups including intrepid, geckos, trek america, gap, and unfortunately tucan. I am in my mid twenties and don't get me wrong, definitely don't take things too seriously when travelling. i It takes a lot for me to complain, and have never written any other bad reviews about any of my other tours, but i felt so strongly about this experience, that i decided to write a review. The tour leader was a waste of space, he spoke no spanish, had never been to a single place on the tour and was more interested in getting out of control drunk and doing drugs than leading anything or anyone- i got more information from my guide book than i did from him. He was frequently late/not showing up at times when we we supposed to meet. He had no mobile phone and had to use a travellers phone throughout the trip racking up big bills on their international call bill (which were reimbursed at the end of the trip after that traveller took the initiative to work out how much it was). We also had a bus accident whilst travelling on the toucan trucks (doris), it was at high speed on a motorway when one of the back wheels fell off, axial and everything- i took photos off this so am happy to post them to anyone interested. we skidded off the road and fortunately stopped without hitting everything. luckily no one was injured. We were given a replacement truck which had just been taken off the road for "repair" as it hadn't been deemed road worthy. I know for a fact that when it came to feedback time from the group that the tour leader was given very poor reviews from the vast majority of the group. I actually wrote a letter of complaint to the company, expressing my concern for the state of their trucks and the general state at which the tour was conducted. i got a reply which was dismissive and insinuating that essentially i was not a relaxed enough traveller and they gave me ?300 gift voucher if i booked again! well i won't be wasting my money booking again, i won't be recommending them to anyone, and have since had an amazing time camping for 2 months through africa with intrepid (where i had a truly fantastic and fun experience with people who knew what they were doing). hope people find this useful.

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Good but not great

Trip: Winter Wonder

Traveling with Topdeck was fun, but there was a lot about the tour that I didn't know about before I left. This is why I am writing this review. The tour is really fast. You are pretty much on the bus more than you are sightseeing. Sometimes we would get to our destination before the sun went down, and then we would leave again about half way through the next day, so we pretty much saw nothing. The Topdeck staff were friendly and the accommodation was fine, but I would not recommend this tour, because I did not see as much as I thought I was going to. I wish I did my research on the distance between each destination, and the time we actually had to sight see in each place, because the itinerary on paper is deceiving.

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Great time and

Trip: Cambodia and Laos

We've been almost everywhere both on our own and with at least 5 different companies. This "G" tour was really great; we ranged in age from 19 to 72, from six different countries, and had a CEO who couldn't have been better - she was Terrific. Price wise, it couldn't be beat; we saw and experienced the countries and the people. The weather was perfect, hotels more than adequate, and food in the countries - a vegetarians' delight. All in all, the only thing that could be improved upon --- should have been longer..

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This tour is great

Trip: China Adventure

This tour was great. I had never been on a tour before, nor done much travelling. I am in my 40's and was travelling with my cousin. I liked the ease being on a tour, and all of the great things I learned from our guide. There was a nice mix of different travellers in our group that were friendly and nice to travel with. We had a great time, and I recommend Intrepid to others.

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Short and sweet

Trip: European Wonder

I had a great time with Topdeck. A warning though to people thinking about booking the European Wonder tour, 14 days across Europe is not a lot, and I felt we were rushed pretty much everywhere we stopped. I was disappointed with stops like the Rhine Valley where you only got to see the place driving in and out. Topdeck in general was a great company to do a tour with. The tour guide and driver were organized, friendly and compassionate. They genuinely cared about our wellbeing, and were responsible. As a 20 year old traveling overseas on my own for the first time this was a good choice for me. But I recommend to others to take a longer tour if you can and spend more time in each place.

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Abandoned by Gecko\'s

Trip: Overland Indochina October 31

Geckos failed to notify us that they were discontinuing the Bangkok portion of the trip until 2 days before we were supposed to go to Bangkok. The letter we received on November 5 stated that they decided to cancel all Bangkok travel as of October 25th yet we didn't find out until almost 2 weeks later. They did not offer to reimburse us for the cost of overland travel from Siem Reap to Bangkok or the tour guide for 2 days. Nor did they offer to help us find a way to Bangkok which most of us were flying out of to return home. By the time they told us, most hotels were booked. I was not looking for this kind of stress on my vacation. It would have been nice if they had restructured the trip for more time in Vietnam or to see something else in Cambodia. Also, I found the Vietnamese tour guide to be a bit Anti-American and all of the tour guides to have very poor English.

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Good trip but not so good guide

Trip: Gaucho

The itinerary for this trip is great, but I was highly disappointed with our guide. He seemed more interested in partying than showing us around, and was often hungover with alcohol breath. I know to expect this from fellow travellers, but not from the guide. He also mentioned a few times how little he gets paid to do his job......um, excuse me you get to travel around South America and get paid for it, even if the pay is low. If you don't want to be here, someone else will willingly replace you! To be honest the guide is a gamble because I have spoken to others who said their guide was great. Tucan should monitor their guides and their behavior more closely. I loved South America though, and the prices with Tucan and better than what I found anywhere else.

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Thai-Indochina Loop review

Trip: Thai-Indochina loop

I just came back from a 33 day tour through Indochina with Gecko's and hated it. Honestly, I think all these so-called 'cheap' tour groups are about the same (when you add up food and extra trips not included, you will be surprised how much this actually costs). Nothing is included except very inferior places to stay, sometimes verging on extraordinarily gross (blood on sheets, rats, cockroaches, ripped sheets, human scum on bathroom walls and floors), and likewise, public transport with cockroaches and other peoples hair on used sheets as bed mates. I believe this is par for the course on these trips, but what is worse, is that you are herded daily, from one place to another, spending sometimes over 50% of your trip on the road. You need to look VERY carefully to see how much time you spend in important places. For example, the Gecko trip indicated we went to Thailand. We actually only had 2 days in Bangkok and because of train problems, 4 hours in Chiang Mai; that was it. Most of these trips, your companions are there for drinking and hanging out, not to see anything 'cultural' so they don't care that some of the places your stay are purely to get you to another place and there is absolutely nothing of any value whatsoever to see there (wasting a day of your time and money). It is VERY important that you read the 'trip notes' to the T. Nearly everything that is mentioned to do, is not included, and more than 75% of the time, there is not the available time to do them. Also, some places marked on their map with dots indicating that they are part of the trip, you are actually never stopping there...you see them for 5 minutes through the window of a bus as you drive by. A quarter of the tour leaders I've had through Gecko and Intrepid were clearly annoyed that they had to be working. Truly...it literally killed them to give me helpful information about, let's say, how to get the 'token' necessary to use the toilet at the train station; things as simple as that. The number of problems I've had with getting very simple help from as I said, about a quarter of their tour leaders, led to extraordinary frustration and a very bad taste in my mouth through the entire trip. Let me note, the other 3/4's of the tour leaders were very good, verging on exceptional. Point being, you are taking your chances with your time and money. If this is your thing and it IS a lot of people's thing, just not mine, then I would say, all these companies are about the same, (the places we stayed on the whole through Gecko were cleaner than Intrepid) and most of these companies have been bought out by one company which is just using their names to pull in old clients (note the same trips on many differently named sites). I believe you are better off doing one of two things. 1. planning this on your own and going with a friend. 2. going with a more expensive tour group for a shorter period of time and staying at better places, eating better food, and meeting more interesting people. Good luck!

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Can\'t beat the price

Trip: Tucan Explorer

65 days on tour in South America is a long time, but Tucan managed to meet my expectations every step of the way. I chose this trip because it was way cheaper than anything with Gap or Intrepid, and I was worried at first because I didn't know what to expect for such a low price compared to Gap or Intrepid (which I have traveled with before). I was incredibly surprised and impressed, and I had such a great time. Tucan was very professional and I would recommend them to anyone. I think 65 days is a long time to be on tour, and I would recommend booking two separate tours and give yourself a break somewhere half way.

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Hotels were disappointing

Trip: Essence of Peru

I chose this trip over many other Gap tours to Peru because it was a 'comfort' trip which meant that the accommodation was of a higher standard that many of their other trips. BUT the places we stayed were very disappointing. I know it is Peru, and the comfort of hotels there is typically different, but it was the lack of cleanliness and the amount of features that were promised that did not actually work i.e air conditioning, the phone and the hot water at times. I paid a premium for a comfort tour, and felt that I got nothing for it. I would hate to see their 'standard' accommodations, because if they are worse than the comfort level I wouldn't even consider it. The actual tour aside from the accommodation was good however. I would travel with Gap again provided they could provide me accommodation details before hand so that I could do some research before I made my decision to take the tour.

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I loved Turkey!

Trip: Turkey Unplugged

Turkey is a great country! I was so surprised as I did not know what to expect, but I loved it. On the Go was great to travel with. The only complaint I would have was our guide did not seem as enthusiastic compared to other tour guides I have traveled with before. Maybe they have been doing the tour guide thing for too long. But, the trip was well planned, the accommodation was good, and the other people I traveled with were loads of fun. I recommend this trip.

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A good time

Trip: Melbourne to Adelaide

I am an Australian so it probably sounds weird that I went on this tour, but I have always liked traveling with tour groups and I have always wanted to travel along the Great Ocean Road. I was highly impressed with the way the tour was run. The information from the staff was fabulous, the food was much better than I expected, and the accommodation was good. There were a lot of Europeans on the tour, so it was also nice for me to meet lots of people from other parts of the world, and they loved hanging out with me and asking me funny questions about Australians as a people. Good times.

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A wonderful time!

Trip: Topdeck Winter Getaway (Europe)

This 18 day trip was absolutely fantastic! And also relatively affordable since I did the one where we stayed at hostels and cheap hotels, which were really not bad at all. The trip did all the European highlights, making a point to stop at places like Pisa to take a picture of the tower, even though we weren't staying the night in Pisa (moved onto florence). My tour guide was so ridiculously knowledgeable about the countries and cities we went to. He would explain to us the low down as we entered each new country or drove to the next city, and would give us tips regarding currency and such so we never felt overwhelmed. He was completely helpful whenever we had questions. What I liked about this tour was that there were plenty of activities set up for us but we never had to do any if we didn't want to (most did since they all gave us a taste of wherever we were). And in addition to that, we had free days in each place where we could go off on our own and choose what we wanted to do. It never felt too structured to me, but just enough structure that it was organized and allowed us to really see a lot for such relatively little time. I felt like there was no need to go back to any of the cities (though I may choose to for the ones I really liked) because even though we had less than a couple days in each one, I really saw a lot-all the main stuff. That said, if you have the time and cash (I didn't), I would recommend a longer trip. Really, you have less than 2 days in each place because you don't arrive till afternoon and then you only have the next full day so keep that in mind. Also, I have to mention that the hostel locations weren't always great. They were sometimes far from the city center, and you had to take transportation to get in which was a pain especially when you have limited time. All in all though, a great trip!

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Very disappointed

Trip: Cambodian Adventures

My sister and I took this trip in May and were very disappointed. The guide was most inappropriate, really bad language, nightly (I mean all night) drinking at the bars and suffering for it the next day. This might be a good adventure for some but definitely not with the guide, Thea.

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I love Australia

Trip: Reef and Rainforest

My dream destination was always Australia, so I straight away I traveled there when I could. I travelled on my own. This is why I decided to travel on a tour. I liked this tour very much. I spent a lot of time swimming in the ocean, and I learnt how to surf well. The people from Top Deck were very friendly, and I saw all of the things I dreamed of seeing. I flew to Australia alone, but I never felt alone on this tour.

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Amazing Trip!

Trip: In Search of Iguassu

This is the second tour I have done with Gap, but it is the first time I have travelled on a Yolo tour. It is awesome that Gap now has tours that are only for people under the age of 40. The people on my tour were young, and loved to party:-) But the tour itself regardless of the partying was fantastic. I loved every place we visited, and of course Iguassu Falls is spectacular and a must see. The tour included our entrance to both sides of the falls, which made things very convenient. You can start this tour in Rio or in Buenos Aires. I finished in Rio which I recommend, because it is a great place to chill for a few days after the tour ends. I would recommend this tour to anyone who wants to see some amazing scenery in South America, and at the same time travel with young people that are likely to become your close friends.

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Recommended

Trip: Gaucho

Had a great time and would recommend it to anyone who wants to see highlights of South America. I thought the itinerary was great for what I wanted to see. I would have paid more money for upgraded accommodation, but the option was not available. The guide was great, and the food they provided was way better than I expected. Iguazu Falls was the highlight of the trip.

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I saw everything I wanted to see

Trip: Grand European

The itinerary is what sold me on booking this trip. It went to all of the places in Europe that I had on my 'must see list'.  I don't think I could have seen all of these places traveling via the Eurorail in only 4 weeks, but 4 weeks on a Topdeck bus is a long time.   I made some really awesome friends, but there were also times when people annoyed the hell out of me, and on Euroclub you sometimes have to share a room with people you might not necessarily like.  I also felt that this trip was too long for one tour guide.   Our guide would get tired and snappy sometimes, and I understood because we were all tired, but it is not necessarily professional to burn out someone to the point where they cant give 100%, especially everyone on the tour has paid a lot of money to be there.  You will see a lot, meet some great people (and probably some annoying ones too), and you will at the end of the day go home with some great memories of Europe.

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Good way to see South East Asia

Trip: Great Indochina Loop

This trip travels to a lot of places, and is really worth price, but I was pretty worn out by the beginning of week three. It was a little too long to be on tour for me. The best part of the tour was the tour guide, and the accommodation. It wasn't necessarily the quality of the accommodation that I liked, but the fact that there was a lot of places that we stayed that were not just a hotel or a hostel.  We didn't just check into a tourist hotel every night and lock ourselves away from what we came to experience. The trip was very well organised and very well planned, but if you don't like to spend too long on tour, I would recommend choosing something a little shorter (this trip is 30 days). Two weeks would be perfect, and I suggest doing the leg that goes through Cambodia and Vietnam the most.

Loved the uniqueness

Trip: Best of Central Europe

Just before doing this trip, I did a Contiki trip through Western Europe. What a difference. Intrepid stayed in the coolest hotels and used public transport the entire way instead of a coach. I felt so much more in touch with the places I went to and the people I met, and it was totally different to being on the party bus I had just come from. I highly recommend traveling with Intrepid in Europe.

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Good Times

Trip: Amazon Incas

I had a lot of fun on the trip. I met great people, and the guides were fantastic. What I didn't like was the itinerary. I felt that we flew around too much. I wish I had taken more time to plan it myself and book shorter tours in each area. I felt that adding the flights onto the tour didn't give me the extra time in some places that I could have had if I booked different tours along the way. But, if you only had 15 days it would probably be the best option to see everything in this itinerary. Gecko's is a highly professional company and they did a great job.

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A Once in a Lifetime Experience

Trip: Quest for the Antarctic Circle

This trip is hard to review as it is the most amazing experience I've ever had. Words can't describe the beauty of the sun setting upon iceburgs, the feeling you get when a penguin comes up to 'play' with you, how surreal it feels when you see seals lazing upon iceburgs while your cruising along in the zodiac. I was admittedly concerned about the large group of people (not really large for Antarctic standards though), however the area's in which you have to explore are large enough for you to go off on your own and feel like your the only person there. The guides were knowledgable and fun, and the food was awesome. Gap also have triple share rooms to bring that price down for you, so do yourself a massive favour and book it :)

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Great way to learn about Thai history

Trip: Amazing Thailand

I traveled to Thailand by myself on my way home from spending a year living and working in London.  I had originally planned to just lie on the beach for two weeks, but I booked a tour with Gap on a recommendation of a friend and I am SOOO glad I decided to go. Thailand is an amazing place, and this itinerary was perfect for me. If I had known how much I would have enjoyed it, I would have chosen a longer trip, but the itinerary was well planned for being only one week. It doesnt spend any time at a beach, but almost everyone on my tour was headed to the beach at the end of the tour to chill out. I think that is the best way to do it, because I would have been a clueless tourist lying on the beach for two weeks with not much appreciation or understanding of the Thai culture had I not done this tour first.


The only negative thing I would say is it was more expensive than other tours I had compared it to, but I decided on Gap because of my friends recommendation.  I have not been on any other tours in Asia, so I am not sure if you get the same quality.

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I had the best time

Trip: Summer Fun and Sailing

I chose this trip because the itinerary looked really cool. I liked the fact that it saw some historical parts of Europe, but also spent some time lazing in the sun. I made so many great friends on this trip, and I have since been to Australia and stayed with some of them! The tour guide was awesome and knew so much about all of the places we visited. The sailing in Greece was my favorite part of the trip, and Paris was my favorite city. All in all, I had an amazing time and would travel with Topdeck again for sure.

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Really great value

Trip: Annapurna Trek

This trip is not for the faint of heart, but I am sure you would be aware of that if you have already done some research on hiking in Nepal. What attracted me to this trip was initially the price, and I backpack on my own a lot so I was not really sure what to expect on a tour.   But, Tucan really blew me away. They were really well organised, I met some great people, and I loved the itinerary they put together. They were really accommodating while we were trekking. The food was great, the accommodation was great, and the guides were awesome. This tour made me realise that sometimes doing a tour can be much cheaper than doing it on your own, and it also eliminates a lot of hassle when you are attempting to travel to an area that is not as accommodating for tourists as others. Tucan converted me into a tour lover:-)

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Such a great time!

Trip: Galapagos Adventure

The number one place I wanted to visit while is South America was the Galapagos. I had a great time on this trip, and I am so glad I went with Gecko's. After comparing different tours, this one looked the best on paper, and I think it was. I loved the fact that pretty much everything was included. The only downfall was that the itinerary moved quite fast, but Gecko's was very clear about this in their pre-departure information and while on the tour. The boat conditions were great, and the place itself is beautiful. Even though you move quickly, I can't imagine spending more time in the area after all of the other sights I had to fit in while in South America. All in all, a great trip I would recommend to any backpacker.

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I made some great friends

Trip: Essential Europe

This tour is a very fast preview of Europe. I knew this trip was going to be fast, but I wanted to see as much as I could while I was in Europe. It is only a 12 day trip that goes to 8 countries! It sounds great on paper, but looking back I wish a chose a trip that only went to Italy and France, and go back to Europe again to see the rest. But Topdeck as a tour company were great. The guide and the driver were always doing their best to make sure everyone was happy. You spend A LOT of time traveling on the bus on this tour, but our guide did her best to entertain us and she always had interesting facts about all of the regions we drove through. The accommodations were nice for the most part. The hotel in Paris was disappointing. Our guide hyped up the positive of the location, but I would have preferred to stay further out of town and in a safe area. Two girls on our trip had their room broken into and all of their valuables stolen. Also the hotel in Amsterdam was pretty run down. But the rest of the accommodation was great for the value. I would travel with Topdeck again, but next time I would do a longer tour that doesn't spend as much time on the bus:-) 


All in all, the best part of the trip was that I made some really great friends that I still keep in touch with.

Intrepid is the best

Trip: Delhi to Kathmandu

Intrepid is my favorite tour company. I have done 4 tour with them, and I plan to do more! This trip in particular was my favorite. It hit all of the sights I wanted to see and more, and the organization of the tour, the guides, and the itinerary we perfect. I have traveled on about 12 different tours in my worldwide travels, and this one was my favorite. I highly recommend it, and I give Intrepid 5 stars for all of the trips I have done with them! If you like to travel on a budget and get your value for money, Intrepid is by far the best company to go with.

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Perfect trip

Trip: Essential China

I was really impressed traveling with Gap through China. I pretty much take a tour everytime I travel alone overseas, so I have done a lot of tours. This trip was really well organised, and a perfect itinerary for someone traveling to China for the first time. I loved this trip so much, I would seriously do it again.

5 stars

Trip: Annapurna & Chitwan

Nepal is somewhere I have always wanted to go, and this trip was the best way to see everything I wanted to see. The experience was amazing, I love the fact that the guide was a local, and introduced us to a lot of locals along the way. This tour is not for the light-hearted, you definitely want to be somewhat fit, but it was great, and I would happily do this trip again!

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Great Value, no local payment.

Trip: King Ramses

This was a fantastic tour. It is important to remember that On the Go do not require you to pay a local payment upon arrival. We compared so many other tour companies when we were booking that appeared cheaper, but most required you to pay more money in CASH on your arrival day. We did not have to do this with On the Go, which was great, as I was not comfortable with the idea of carrying large amounts of US dollars in CASH with me to Egypt, especially since I am from Australia and I was travelling for many weeks prior to this tour. I also like the fact that On the Go gave us the option to upgrade to a sleeper carriage on the train, when other tour companies did not have this option. The only problem I had was the fact that I am vegan, and even though I ate dairy while traveling, it was always a battle at the included meals to get something that suited my diet. But overall, the tour was very well run and the accommodation and guides were the best.

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Great trip!

Trip: Cairns to Sydney

I was sceptical about doing a tour in Australia, because so many people told me I could do it myself, but I was traveling alone, and I wanted to travel with other people. The guide was great, the accommodation was of a high standard for a budget trip, and I learnt a lot about Australia that I am sure I would not have learnt traveling by myself up the east coast in a van.....nor do I think that the one lane highway you have to travel on is safe for people who don't typically drive on the left side of the road. All in all a great trip. Good to see they have made booking easier through a website like travaddict.

See the real Cuba

Trip: Cuban Salsa

If you want to see the real Cuba, this is the perfect trip for you! Cuba is such an interesting country to visit, and Tucan Travel did a great job of showing us Cuba at it's best, allowing us to interact with the locals and learn a lot about the lifestyle of one of the only communist ruled countries in the world. Our guides were amazing, and really helpful. DO NOT go to Cuba and stay in a resort set up for Westerners, go with Tucan and see the real Cuba!!!!! One of the best tours I have ever done, and I have done a lot of tours

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Gap is the best!!

Trip: Classic Peru

This trip was so well organised, the tour leader and the local guides were so informative, patient and friendly. Hiking the Inca Trail is something I have always wanted to do, and this is a trip you cannot do without a tour group. There are plenty of companies to choose from that will hike the Inca Trail, but I decided to go with Gap because of their reputation. I made a good choice! They were so well-organised, and well-worth the value for money. It was not an easy trek, but our guides made it comfortable, and the added parts of Peru that we saw were well worth it also. I highly recommend this trip, and most importantly, I recommend Gap. They live up to their reputation!

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Not a pleasant experience

Trip: Oktoberfest

We decided to take this trip mostly for the price. We spoke to a TravAddict rep before we booked it who warned us about the camping and that it was not luxurious, but I thought I could put up with anything with a price as good as this! The TravAddict rep was great about explaining what we were in for....but it didn't seem like it would bother me until I actually lived it! We were meant to camp for 5 nights, but we only stayed for one of them. The night we camped with Topdeck was bad, but we figured out right away that it wasn't for us. We ended up going into the city and finding a hotel with availability. It didn't in anyway ruin our experience at Oktoberfest. We actually had the times of our lives at the festival and in Munich in general. To explain why we didn't like it. The campsite was a shitshow. People yelling and screaming and getting wasted all night. These guys were stepping into our tent, shining a flashlight in the tent, throwing up and pissing all over... we tried to booze up enough to where we'd pass out, but it was pretty uncomfortable. Topdeck said they had staff patrolling to help control loud people in the tent area, but there was no staff to be found. Yep, not something we wanted to deal with. I understand that some people could have a good time in this environment, but if you are over your 18-19 year old days of not caring about anyone else around you when you are drunk, it is best to stay away from this camping environment. I recommend paying the extra cash for a tour that stays in a hotel or a hostel.

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running a muck on the east coast

Trip: Sydney to Cairns

When i booked this tour I didn't know what to expect. I had heard lots about the east coast of Australia and different ways to do it, such as Greyhound, or a camper van. So I took a punt and chose Topdeck and paid the extra 200 bucks over Greyhound. This experience was unforgettable, I am going to try and make it brief but i don't know where to start. By choosing Topdeck I got a tour guide for the whole trip who built a story up the whole east coast. Knowing that every morning i hoped on the bus i would be in for an adventurous day of games, movies and stories and knowing that there was only going to be other backpackers like me on the bus was nice. After hearing nightmare stories about Greyhound leaving people behind, being stuck next to crying babies for 8 hours etc, I knew that I had make the right choice, not to mention most places we went to the driver took us to fun bars and hooked us up with so many free beers I think I drank 200 bucks worth just in beer. Kind of made me feel like a bit of a celebrity getting all this special treatment and by the end of the trip I had met soooo many people and had the time of my life. Definite must do's are the Whitsunday island sailing, Fraser Island, random times amongst the elements, skinny dipping drunk on goon, and sleeping with nothing but the southern hemisphere stars as a blanket in the Whitsundays. Too much else to even begin. To sum it up PERFECT.

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Time Of my life

Trip: Spirit Of Europe

I just did a spirit of Europe with 2 great crew. Had the time of my life. The first part of the trip was Western Europe and then we headed east!!!!!!!! Budapest, Krakow and prague and berlin.What a Blast! Loved it and would do it all again with Topdeck!!!!!!!!

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The best and most rewarding tour

Trip: King Tutankhamen

I've been on a lot of tours with different companies around the world and this one was by far the best and most rewarding one of them all. Our guide was so enthusiastic, helpful and extremely knowledgeable. He explained everything in fantastic detail and knew the answers to all our questions. He made the experience truly remarkable. The felucca also stood out, the chef cooked incredible food! I will be travelling with on the go from now on and recommending you around the world!

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We had a fabulous trip

Trip: Jewel of the Nile

We had a fabulous trip with On-the-Go! Egypt is such a beautiful place, we thoroughly enjoyed the sights and learning about the culture. Highlights for us were definitely the Nile cruise and Abu Simbel – loved it! The sleeper train was also quite an experience on its own!! A special thanks must go to our tour guide Alam, and our Cairo rep Tom. Alam and Tom were extremely accommodating and made our Egyptian experience even more memorable from the minute we landed in Egypt until we left (thanks Tom). Alam ensured that we visited and shopped at reputable places, and was readily available to advise us when we were in need. Thanks for this Alam, and also for making sure that our special meals were catered for and provided. We were really lucky to be a part of quite a diverse and fun-loving tour group. We made lots of new friends, who we will certainly be keeping in touch with! We would not hesitate to recommend this particular tour to friends and family, and we will surely make use of On-the-Go tours in the future!

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Free time to spend with the locals

Trip: Delhi to Kathmandu

This was a fantastic trip with great food and stunning architecture. I really enjoyed travelling with Intrepid. When we arrived in a town they would give us a tour of the highlights and the history of the area and then we were free to explore it for ourselves. I even got invited to a wedding in the small town of Orchaa, something they would have never invited a whole group to. It was the highlight of my trip and an experience I will never forget. I also appreciated Intrepids responsible travel policy. They provided us with hesion bags, as not to use plastic ones throughout the country, which I still use today. As a sole female traveller I found this trip style to be a perfect amount of free time with the comfort of being part of a group. Book it!

A Wildlife Experience Second to None

Trip: Galapagos at a Glance

This was one of the best trips I have ever done. The wildlife experience is second to none. You can literally swim with seals, and it came as quite a surprise, but with penguins aswell! Whilst this was a cheaper option for doing this region it didn't feel like it. We had a naturalist guide, Sergio, who was actually born in the Galapagos and made this tour so special with his passion and knowledge of the region. The boat was very comfortable and the food delicious. Highly recommended.

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Wildlife, Beaches and Volcanoes

Trip: Scenic Granada

This is an amazing trip that really explores the diversity of this beautiful region. We enjoyed the beach in Hondorus, veiwed wildlife in Costa Rica, climbed volcanoes in Nicaragua and had delicious food with the locals in Guatemala. Our tour guide, Celia, had great knowledge of the region and took us to some fantastic local restaurants. I highly recommend Tucan, and not only for the price. Book it, Book it now!

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Kakadu and Litchfield = must see

Trip: 3 Day Kakadu/Litchfield

Kakadu and Litchfield is a must see for any trip to Australia. This was my first tour and I was extremely impressed. Topdeck are extremely professional and lots of fun, their trip offered plentry of walks, lots of swimming and I learnt alot about Australian flora and fauna and Aboriginal culture. My favourite spots would be Florence falls because of its stunning waterfalls and Ubirr with all its aboriginal culture and views over the wetlands. My trip was in the wet season so I didn't get to see Twin and Jim Jim Falls (probably the most famous) but it really didn't matter instead we got to avoid peak tourist season and could get off the typical tourist track and in most places we got the falls to ourselves.

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Tassie is now one of my favourite places

Trip: Tasmania Unplugged

This trip was excellent! The tour was extremely well run, organised, informative, good food and accommodation and a lot of fun. Tassie is now one of my favourite places in Australia and if you only have a short time I highly recommend you make the trip here. The scenery is absolutely beautiful from the rainforests, mountains and waterfalls on the West Coast to the beaches and National Parks on the East Coast. I had so many highlights whilst on this trip. My favourite place was the Bay of Fires which is one of the most pristine beaches I have ever seen, blue water, white sand and red rocks and what made it even better was that it’s really secluded, so you’re not fighting for spots on the beach. We spent 2 hours here walking along the beach and climbing rocks before myself and a few of the girls settled on a rock with a 180 degree view of the ocean. We did lots of excellent walks on the trip and one of the best things about the tour was that we were given lots of options, so we could tailor our trip according to our individual fitness levels. The best of the walks was in Cradle Mountain National Park, especially around Dove Lake. Port Arthur was another of my favourite places and despite its horrible history it’s extremely beautiful. On the Ghost tour we got to walk around the site at night hearing vivid stories of strange sightings and occurrences documented from the convict era until the present day. Whilst it wasn’t scary, it was really cool to see Port Arthur at night and hear different stories or different versions of stories (all with a spooky angle) to what you hear on the day tours. During the day we did another tour of Port Arthur, learning more about the history and punishments, and also a boat cruise around the harbour. I will also never forget the night at Cradle Mountain when on my way back to my room a Tassie Devil walked in front of me. Even though we went to a Tassie Devil park on the last day, seeing one in the wild was pretty awesome. All up I highly recommend this trip!

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Fantastic!

Trip: Essential China

Fantastic! The trip was incredibly organized, informative, and fun! With the limited vacation time that I get from work there is no way I could have visited as much of China as i did had I went on my own. Being with a local tour guide made it easy to become immersed into the culture, try new things and go places I may not have gone on my own. This trip surpassed my expectations!

I will travel Gap again!!!

Trip: Peru Panorama

The tour leader Gladys will forever hold a dear place in my heart. A true sweetheart willing to give you the shirt on her back if you need it. The tour itself had zero low points, even waking up at 4 in the morning was great with our group. The mix in the group made for a fantastic time. we are all life long friends and are planning to get together for a reunion soon. I will recommde both Percy and Galdys to all my friends on their way to Peru. I am not used to touring the world with a group, but GAP certainly opended my eyes to the sheer fun and feeling of family that quickly forms when you are all going through the same awesome experience. I will travel GAP again!!!

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What an amazing trip

Trip: European Getaway

I did the European Getaway trip which is a 20 day action pack adventure of some of the most amazing places in Europe, we explored all places from Paris to Rome to Prague and many more. Topdeck provided one outstanding service the tour guide we had was full of knowledge while the driver got us there on time everytime, the cook we had was just a laugh a minute he was by far one of the highlights of my trip. I am a male who did this tour on my own and it was be far the best way to see Europe and meet new people all in one while have a blast doing it. The accomadation was really good everywhere we went too I have nothing but good things to say about Topdeck I have managed to get my brother and a few other friends to do one of Topdecks tour and they have all come back 100% satisfied. If your after a tour to meet new people have one hell of a party while seeing the most amazing places in Europe then book a Topdeck tour right now.

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It was everything we hoped it would be

Trip: London to Istanbul

Our Topdeck experience was everything we hoped it would be. Not only did our particular tour cover all the places we especially wanted to see, but it did it in style. Camping was never 'my thing' before our Europe camping trip, but Topdeck really shows you how to camp with all the creature comforts of home. What we loved most about Topdeck was that it gave you a tour of each new place as a group but then it gave you a day to explore on your own. During travel days we were amazed by our tour guide's comprehensive commentary on local history and culture. Finally, the other great thing about Topdeck tours is the range of options it provides; you never find yourself doing something you don't want to do. We really can't speak highly enough of our Topdeck experience.

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Tucan Rocks

Trip: South America Explorer

I'm currently on tour from Quito to Rio, and i'm just writing to let you know how fantastic the Tucan representatives, Heinz and Bela, have been. Their competence, professionalism and enthusiasm has been exemplary throughout. The tour has not been plain sailing: as we've come up against obstacles, (literally!) in the form of road blocks and various problems with the truck. However, Heinz and Bela have both gone into overdrive to ensure that these have caused minimum disruption to the tour. So in short, Bela and Heinz have been great; your choice of employees is exemplary; thanks!

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The organisation was great

Trip: Amalfi Coast 8 day self guided walk

This is the perfect way to see the Amalfi coast and be able to get away from the tourists for the day. The organisation was great, we never had any trouble with our bags arriving at our hotels. All of the accomodation we stayed at was beautiful. The coastline is spectacular but very steep and some of the walks were quite hard. I would definitely recommend you have a high level of fitness before you go. There were a lot more steps that I thought there would be and some of the trails are quite steep and rocky. The buses in this region are really good so if you need to skip a walk it is really easy to get to the next town via public transport. The trip notes were comprehensive and generally easy to follow. There are GPS points in the notes too. If you aren't good at following directions this would be very helpful. I was lucky, I just brought my husband! I thoroughly enjoyed myself on this trip and was blown away by the amazing view every single day.

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Loved the responsible travel style

Trip: Balkan Adventure

This was the first tour I have been on with Intrepid and for me it ticked every box for a great holiday. I loved the small group size, I felt it made the tour really interactive. I loved the responsible travel style. All the accomodation is locally owned and some of the places we stayed in were beautifully kept and the owners and staff were very friendly and accomodating. I liked travelling on public transport although some days the trips were quite long. The recommended guides were all excellent and this was balanced really well with a large amount of free time in each city we visited. I felt that the structure of the trip enabled me to experience the local culture and interact with the local people. One of the highlights of the trip for me was being able to talk to people that had experienced communism and the Balkan war. I learned so much in the 15 days of this holiday. The scenery is beauitful and made all the more special by the fact that most of the places aren't majorly overrun with tourists. My advice, if you want a tour without getting your hand held the whole time but with travel and accomodation sorted out go now! What are you waiting for!!

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Great way to travel

Trip: Essence of China

Intrepid travel in itself is a great way to travel as an independent traveler. Local guides, local transport, local accommodation and small group size. This is far from your traditional bus tour. The Essence of China trip is possibly one of their best itineraries. China from Hong Kong to Beijing right through the middle of the country. A small group adventure trip is really only as good as the small group that accompanies you but in my experience... the travelers that choose Intrepid are always good company. Some young, some old, some couples but all travelers that want get off the beaten path, meet people and have a good time.

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I cannot recommend it more!

Trip: Road to Angkor

If you ever get the chance to take this tour, I cannot recommend it more! This was my first experience in South East Asia and it was truly a live changing experience. Firstly, Intrepid is a responsible tourism company. The will take the utmost care of you while you travel with them, and if you let them, they will educate you on being a responsible tourist. They will give you all the free time that you want, so if you want to explore on your own – go for it! But because of the unique opportunities and experiences they can offer you, I highly recommend that you take advantage of them! Like eating lunch at The New Cambodian Children's Life Association and then going for a visit to orphans that the association raises. Or experience the amazing hospitality of a Cambodian family for dinner after visiting the English school that they run downstairs. This may not sound like a ‘tourist’ activity, but believe me the authentic Cambodian curry is worth it! Cambodia is both tragic and hopeful. You will be awed by the Temples in Siem Reap, horrified and saddened by the Killing Fields Memorial and absolutely smitten with the Cambodian people. The beer is cheap and a dollar goes a very long way. Intrepid uses clean and safe accommodations. The tour guides are experts in the area and are more than happy to recommend night clubs or bars, like the Heart of Darkness club in Phnom Penh or the Angkor What? Bar in Siem Reap. And they always know the best places for that yummy curry!

Perfect for a student with a short break

Trip: European Wonder

Topdeck's European Wonder is perfect for university students wanting a quick squiz at Europe in the short mid-year break. Topdeck offered so many activities that I loved, and the best part was I didnt even have to think, they took care of everything. I loved the stein challenge in Munich at the beer hall, and the skydiving in Austria. I had never been to Europe before, and to be able to squeeze this trip into my Uni winter break was perfect! To top it off, our tour guide was a repository of interesting and accurate historical facts and could always recommend a great place to eat.

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Never a dull moment

Trip: European Wonder

I really enjoyed absorbing the diversity of this tour as we toured through eleven different countries. I enjoyed getting a taste of the different European countries and seeing some of the worlds most famous place like the Eiffel tower and the Coloseum. There was never a dull moment and different activities and social events were always on offer.

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I would definitely recommend this trip

Trip: Angkor Trails

This trip was a really good introduction to south east Asia covering Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. We had an excellent tour guide named Hun who was Cambodian and not only was a great tour leader but gave us a really good insight into the people and culture of the areas we traveled through. Real highlights of this trip for me were our trip down the Mekong Delta which also involved crossing the border from Vietnam to Cambodia, and Phnom Pehn was also very memorable. A real benefit of this trip was having a Cambodian guide who, as we traveled through Cambodia in particular, was able to give an incredible and in some cases first hand insight into Cambodia's history. There were about 10 people in our group, all very easygoing. As i had never been to that part of the world before, it was really good to be part of a group of like-minded people as an introduction to travel in south east Asia. We mostly stayed in hotels which were surprisingly a lot nicer than i expected. Overall i would definitely recommend this trip for a first time traveller to the region or someone who doesn't want to travel alone.

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We were glad we did it

Trip: Ceasars Footsteps

For our first trip to Europe EVER, my friends and I had a very hard time settling on which tour group to go with or if we even wanted one. We decided on Top Deck and we are all glad we did. We didn't know what to expect with Top Deck so we went in with an open mind. For me personally, I wanted to tour Europe for its history and just to have a great experience for my first trip there. We had an awesome tour leader Candice. She was extremely knowledgeable of all the different locations we went to. Top Deck gave me what I wanted, the education and the great experience. I met great people that were apart of our tour group and locals as well. Because of the experience Top Deck provided me, I have a base knowledge of Europe and have the option to travel on my own if I wanted to or go with a tour group again. One thing I will say is that with a tour group of any kind, you are on schedule so if you do not have a problem with that then it's the way to go. Bottom line is, you will have fun, you will learn a lot, and you will have a great experience with Top Deck.

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I made friends for life on this trip

Trip: Mega European

I did a mega european (7 week camping) with Topdeck and I loved it. The trip gave me a taste of a lot of European countries so I could make some decisions on what I wanted to see more of. As a female travelling on my own it also gave me a chance to meet some people to do some further travelling with. It was comforting to know the crew were taking care of the border crossings for me, and speaking of the crew, they were amazing. They all got on so well and it really set the tone for the trip. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to handle so many weeks of camping but the trip flew by so quickly and the matresses provided are pretty comfortable. I made friends for life on this trip.

I highly recommend it!

Trip: Totally Thailand

What do you get if you take five Aussies, one Canadian, one Swede and a smiling Thai Gecko's guide? A good start. Then place them in the exotic land of Thailand for 2 weeks. Add some history, adventure, green nature and a kitchen of chili, lemongrass and coconut. Voilá, you just made a great holiday! Choosing to join a group tour instead of travelling around Thailand on my own (not that it was ever an option to go on my own) turned out to be a great idea! The two weeks showed me a bit of everything Thailand has to offer: temples, beaches, islands, rainforest, villages, cities.. We had a local guide, Mr Tee, who gave us a valuable insight into the Thai culture and life. He was also very helpful with special requests (such as help ordering vegetarian food at the small village restaurants). There were only 7 people in our group so after a few days, it felt like travelling around with a bunch of friends. It was a bit like backpacking, but in a group. Plenty of time to do your own things, if you want, and a flexible schedule to add extra adventures that the group wanted to do. We stayed in hotels and guesthouses on the way, and travelled around in a mixture of vehicles: local buses, mini buses, trains, songthaws, long tail boats.. This tour would probably not be your cup of tea if you are into spending days on the beach, and evenings in the nightclubs, but if you want to explore Thailand while meeting new friends, i would highly recommend it!

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