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Best tour companies for fully escorted tours?

Chicago, Illinois
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55 posts
5 reviews
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Best tour companies for fully escorted tours?

I was just wondering which tour companies any of you would recommend for fully escorted, multi-city trips to Australia? So far I've checked out Australia Pacific Tours, which seem a bit pricey and they appear to leave you on your own for big chunks of time. Qantas Vacations appears decent, although they don't have that big of a selection of tours. There are also a whole bunch I found on vacationstogo.com, although they appear to be a bit interchangeable.

Has anyone traveled with or heard about any other companies that are especially good? I'm interested in tours with nice accommodations, but not necessarily luxury (unless it's at a REALLY good price). I'd also prefer a trip that would last at least approximately three weeks, since traveling from the U.S. to Australia probably isn't something I'd do too often and I would want to see as much in one vacation as possible.

Thanks for any and all suggestions!

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney
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1. Re: Best tour companies for fully escorted tours?

a few thoughts......

* just had a quick look at some tour comparies and you're right, they are pricey.

* i guess that most visitors do heaps of research (using this forum to fine tune their itineraries) and then book their own hotels/tours/etc. it is time consuming but you will save quite a bit.

* do read up on the trip reports that have been posted here. type in 'trip report' in the box above your post and you should get many hits.

keep coming back here with your questions and there will always be people ready to help you.

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790 posts
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2. Re: Best tour companies for fully escorted tours?

In three weeks we will be taking a three week trip with Australian Pacific Tours. You are right - it is kinda pricey - but we liked the centrally located hotels - which for the most part got good recommendations here on TA. I really researched this fairly carefully, and the tours that have more attractive pricing frequently have hotels that are at a distance from where you want to be, and/or have other problems like noise or cleanliness issues. I liked that APT seems to specialize in the South Pacific, and for us being on our own for a large chunk of time is a plus.

It seemed to me that APT will do a good job of getting us to see as much of Australia and New Zealand in a relatively short amount of time. Of course, we haven't taking the trip yet! I will try to post an evaluation after we get back in March.

You may also want to take a look at ATS tours and Collette Vacations.

Fremantle, Australia
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658 posts
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3. Re: Best tour companies for fully escorted tours?

Yes as a past international tour escort, I find it's rather staggering that maybe with the odd exception , we don't seem to have many of the "Trafalgar' "insight" "Globus" types of operations that prevail in Europe and North America set up to provide all-inclusive fully escorted tours of Australia. I guess it's probably more to do with our relatively small total population base intermixed with high priced intra-oz airfares and relatively small yearly quota of international tourists. Sometimes these types of companys can really put some power into promoting a destination rather than leaving it all to a government's tourism dept to go sell itself.

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60 posts
275 reviews
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4. Re: Best tour companies for fully escorted tours?

My husband and I have traveled with Globus tours the past two summers to Europe and loved them! We are taking a 3 week New Zealand & Australia Globus Tour this summer (their winter). After having such great experiences with Globus, we are not sure about traveling with any other company.

5. Re: Best tour companies for fully escorted tours?

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