The destinations on this tour were great and Niagara Falls were amazing, but I have to say the stress of finding out 14hours prior to departure that the tour you’ve booked through the Viator website does not actually correspond with what Empire Vacations offers was a big let down and costly. We booked and paid for all our holidays accommodation based around this one tours stops i.e Washington as final stopover, imagine our shock at finding out that our final stopover was Niagara Falls. All our follow on accommodation we had personally booked was in Washington DC as per the tour we’d booked on Viator. This wasn’t Empire Vacations fault, they did their utmost to try and find a solution to our situation, even as we started traveling on the tour. Suffice it to say this deviation was an expensive exercise.
Our tour guide for the first two days through Philadelphia & Washington DC was Jutta and she was fantastic. She gave everyone a really positive experience with lots of information, great organization & care for all passengers. On top of this she couldn’t do enough to help us in our predicament.
The second half of the tour was not nearly as enjoyable and most of this was due to the new tour guide. An ex school teacher that appeared to think we were his pupils rather paying passengers, and felt a strong need to share his political view any chance he got. Let’s not get started on the fact that I didn’t get to sit with my husband on this leg of the trip, and when i brought this up with our tour guide towards the end of the first day hoping to have something quietly done to change the situation because it was upsetting to me, he promptly made a public announcement about it on the bus topping it off with a joke about whether or not my husband would actually want to sit together. The highlight for these 2 days of the tour was Niagara Falls which are spectacular to see whether it’s up close on the maid of the mist or with fireworks exploding over top of them at night.
All these places are really worth seeing when you travel to the United States but for me I’m not convinced this was the best way.