WJ made our travels effortless
We travelled last year to Madagascar and then to Botswana. At all times WJ made our travels effortless, with no trouble being spared when we lost all our documentation at the Airport at Madagascar on arrival! Not a good start but WJ were fantastic and our trip was in no way spoiled. The Botswana experience was epic, with twice-daily game drives, a local driver and a tracker on our own vehicle, and amazing close up encounters with every animal we wanted to see. Their local guides and companies were friendly and professional, with nothing too much effort, good English skills and a vast amount of local knowledge. I would say our Botswana trip was the trip of a lifetime!
Christine and Will
World Journeys made our honeymoon unforgettable
This is our second time using World Journeys for our exciting travel adventures! I couldn't rate these guys high enough! We had our honeymoon in South Africa and it blew our minds!! We experienced Cape Town, Franschhoek, Grootbos (In National Geographic's Unique Lodges of the World book!), Ngala Lodge in Kruger National park and Victoria Falls. World Journeys made our honeymoon unforgettable, thanks to Angela Pirie. Ange listened to what we wanted, used her vast years of South African travel experience to show us the best time and chose hotels that were magnificent and in locations with views to die for! Ngala Lodge in Kruger national park would have to be our biggest highlight, doing a safari to see the African animals in their own home is something everyone must experience at least once in their lifetime! Thanks so much!!!
Jen & Mike
Wonderful trip so far
We are just completing our stay at Brunton Boatyard in Cochin. We were upgraded to a suite and as this is a lovely relaxing place to stay that was certainly an extra benefit. Our driver Kuma is great and as he keeps telling us, is with us for 41 days so feels invested in our holiday happiness. We have already experienced several different environments and it is back up into the hills today for a little cool again, each place has a new element that adds to our whole experience of India. Our Safari's at Orange County resort resulted is seeing an abundance of wildlife including a tiger, and when we were at Bandipur we discovered this was because the animals migrate there for the water. So although much less to see at Bandipur we did see a bear. We have many more exciting experiences to look forward to and we will let you know how we get on!
Heather and Graham
Loved every minute
Africa was AMAZING!!!!! Loved every minuted of it! All your careful planning went like clockwork (THANK YOU) I have the best photos you can imagine (probably just like yours!). We saw the BIG 5 and the migration.....so lucky! The pick up at airports...transfers etc was top notch! Accommodation FABULOUS! Can't fault it. Ange.... thanks for all your expert help.
Well done and thank you
Thanks for a job very well done. The selection of Hotels and suites was superb, the Metropole in Hanoi Vietnam , was one of the best hotels we have been in for standards and service. The suite was sensational and the manager recognised our 50th wedding anniversary with a huge spray of red roses and a beautiful box of chocolates. The Eastern Grand hotel in Saigon was not up to the standard of the rest of the accommodation . Cambodia was Raffles and brilliant. The guides, cars and drivers throughout with Trails of Indochina were excellent and of a very very high standard and we recognised this with our gratuities. The cruise vessels on Halong Bay and the Mekong were also excellent felt as if we were back in the 1950â€™s. Meals food service and tours were all of a very high standard. Once again well done and thank you.
Lorraine & Stuart
Favourite would have to be Oberoi Amarvilas hotel in Agra it was amazing. It must be more than 5 star, the service was unbelievable. The whole trip by car instead of the coach tour was brilliant. Compared to our friends experience on the coach (which was fine) this was way better and the flexibility we had was great. No looking which bus to get on, the guide just phoned our driver and he arrived in minutes. I would recommend anyone to go this way! The accommodation was stunning compared to my friend's holiday doing the same with a coach tour, ours was much better hotels and service.
David & Sue
Oh my god it was absolutely epic! Everything you planned was completely perfect! The timing, the locations, the hotels, and so incredibly helpful to have a condor person hold our hands every step of the way. Massively took the pressure off. It was wonderful to not have to think. I wasn't well when I arrived so it was fabulous having those few days to rest and climatise. The Inka trail was beyond amazing. Hard but so so worth it. All of our guides were amazing and went the extra mile. Olmer (our Cusco/Inka Trail guide) even went as far as getting the cook to bake a cake with perfectly set jelly and piped cream happy birthday in Spanish for Andrew at the highest point nearly 4000ft/m whatever it was high! "It was the best birthday he's ever had" he was so surprised! It was brilliant! The Amazon was out of this world. I've never seen so many giant creatures in one place that want to kill you. It was absolutely fascinating! Our guide in the Amazon was a Peruvian version of David Attenborough and Steve Irwin. A fountain of knowledge. It was absolutely mind blowing. The view on the pier was majestic in Lima it was so nice to chill out there after such an epic adventure and watch the waves roll in and spot giant crabs. We weren't able to get into that restaurant as there was a 6 month waiting list, but that's ok, Thank you so much for trying.... But we did however find an open top restaurant called Mangos recommended by our Lima guide. It was a warm still night, no wind, with an incredible view. Perfect for our last night together/anniversary. The whole trip was magic. An epic adventure. It was perfect!!!!
Mandii & Andrew
Game drives out of this world!
Can't thank you enough for recommending &Beyond - we have had the most memorable week of our lives in Botswana. Sent you an email as we ate lunch at Xudum watching lions eat their kill but the email did not send so trying again now minus the lions. The 3 camps we went to were so fantastic, the guides and staff awesome, the food wonderful, the game drives out of this world. Chobe was packed full of animals, the other two not so much but beautiful in other ways. It was hot, hot, hot but thank goodness for the plunge pool at Xudum. Thanks so much again
John and Anne
The Un-cruise cruise from Seattle to Alaska was amazing - it was everything we had hoped for and more. The ship and the crew were fantastic. Our cabin was excellent, others on the Cruise said they thought we had the best location on the boat, thank you for booking that cabin for us. We had beautiful weather all the way and even got treated to a spectacular show of the Northern Lights. We saw lots of wildlife whales, orca, seals, bears, dear, porcupines, eagles, lots of different seabirds. We had the most amazing weather for the whole of our time in Alaska, what a trip!
My birthday at Exeter was very special!
We had the most amazing trip it was perfect. Cape Town was fantastic â€“ I loved the hotel and the full day tour we did was excellent. It was the first time I had eaten at the Two Oceans restaurant and that was very good. It was the first time I have done the cruise to the seal island out of Hout Bay and that was interesting. Thank you for the chocolates and the lovely card. Le Quartier was just so good - gosh I love that place it is clearly my favourite and the restaurant there is something out of this world. Lunch was another highlight. Exeter was brilliant and we had amazing game viewing. They have just opened the new dining/lounge area and the rooms have been newly painted. Three nights there was just right. Victoria Falls again brilliant and the sightseeing tour of the falls and sunset cruise very good. Sauvte Under Canvas - loved it although I believe 2 nights is perfect. Some Americans were staying there 5 nights and I thought they would be struggling with the lack of running water, power for that length of time. Game viewing was not fantastic but we had got all of that out of our system with our stay at Exeter so we were just happy to see what we could see. Sandibe - I was blown away. What an amazing new camp. Fantastic, everything was perfect and the building has to be seen to be believed. The service, food was outstanding. I know it has been newly rebuilt and hope they keep up the good work. I would put it on the same level as Mombo although it doesn't have the same amount of game but I am told that & Beyond have relocated rhino into the area with the view of more to arrive. The itinerary was perfect Ange. Thank you it was more than what I could have wished for and my birthday at Exeter was very special.
As good as it gets
I think the overall trip was just about as good as it gets - well organised, very stress-free, the best of accommodation, wonderful people, fantastic food, a very comprehensive view of Africa, and lots of animals. Got some amazing photos and videos of animals - elephants, buffalo, lion, rhino, leopard, plus the migration in Serengeti, wild dogs in Savute, lots at Okavango Delta, lots at Ngorongoro Crater. We did not see cheetahs and only saw 15 flamingos about 300 metres way on the lake at Ngorongoro Crater. On the plus side, we saw the big five, five times. Camps and Lodges - They were all top-flight places - outstanding places to stay and beautifully presented. And, all different. All places had great people. At all we were met by a welcoming committee comprising most, if not all, the management and staff. Then we were allocated a personal driver, a personal butler, a personal housekeeper and others to assist. We felt mildly embarrassed, but enjoyed the attention and the high level of service. Food - What can I say? It was fantastic wherever we went. Excellent quality and lots of it. Do you have a good diet for returned travellers? Zara's Birthday was a highlight. Bateleur had heard of the birthday coming up and sang and gave her a cake even though it wasn't yet her birthday. Then, on her birthday, Ngorongoro were fantastic. They sang at 6.00 am as we departed for an early game drive, they gave her beautiful beads when we returned at 3.00 pm and they sang and had a cake at dinner. They both deserve credit. In addition to the animals we saw more of Africa than expected and that was a highlight. From travelling by road from Joburg to Kruger (a partly scary urban area, smog and ugly countryside for 2 hours, then attractive rural areas for 2 hours, then bush and scenic attractions for 2 hours), to driving between lodges and airports (densely populated rural areas with poor living conditions, people walking from nowhere to nowhere, and small towns with roadside traders), to flying in small planes low over intervening spaces (our road trips seen from the air, but with greater depth), to visiting a Masai Village (traditional values and norms that are hard to comprehend and some hard to accept) to a tour of Soweto (how the other half lives) to a visit to the Apartheid Museum (such injustices), we learnt a lot. This tour was was practically seamless, as we were always met by someone, transferred to our destination, picked up and delivered back. Much of this was undertaken by & Beyond. This company performed faultlessly. I don't think we have ever been able to say that before. They need to be commended. To illustrate the point. At Nairobi we were met on the tarmac, ushered to a private minivan, taken to a side entrance, helped to fill in our visa applications and to proceed through customs, then taken to the street where another van picked us up to take us to the second airport to catch an onward flight. This exceeded our wildest expectations. An outstanding tour. Once again, thank you for organising this trip!
Mark and Del
The trip to Japan was a fantastic experience. We all enjoyed it. The Hotel Andaz is a luxury Hyatt and is one of the best Hotels we have ever stayed at. While it might be expensive , it delivered excellence. We were very happy there. The company organising our travel within Japan were also excellent. The guide for the trip to Mt Fuji was very good and spoke excellent English. She was also 100% flexible - the day we went was very wet, so we abbreviated the trip to Mt Fuji and had a look at the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo. She also took us to the things we were interested in at Mt Fuji (flower garden and a specialty restaurant). She did not make us go an on a long boat trip in the rain. The transfers from the airport and to the train station also went flawlessly. The train tickets and instruction were very clear. We went to Miyajima Island and the A Bomb peace park - both highlights of the trip. Generally Japan is a hard place to travel for a westerner. Taxis, instructions to taxi drivers, and train stations are all difficult. We are pleased we had transfers organised. Takes all the stress out of travelling.
Ephesus is amazing!
Just a few highlights (as so many ) Ephesus, is amazing , the pure size of the structures, theatres are awesome, & there are so many to be seen. Kemmel our tour guide, is so full of history, & his timing to keep us out of the main crowds & best views was noticed. The little villages, we got to wander around & taste local fruit wines & foods. There was still spaces to have your own experiences.
I just wanted to let you know that we were delighted with the trips we took part in with Uncruise in Alaska recently. The land tour into Denali was excellent. Wade was a very experienced and helpful guide. On the whole the time was well planned. We were lucky enough to have 3 days of fine weather and saw the mountain right to the top on those days, which we realise is something that many visitors do not see. We also felt that the UnCruise on the Safari Endeavour was also excellent in all aspects. There was plenty of wet weather gear available, including boots. The staff were very obliging, the meals were delicious and Uncruise's arrangement in having a hospitality room available in Juneau, very close to the pier, during embarkation and disembarkation day was an excellent idea. Thank you for being willing to talk to me before we left New Zealand. I found our conversation was reassuring. We also thought the wire bound booklet from World Journeys, personalised to our journey, as well as the black zipped folder which was a good size to easily hold tickets and important papers were both great. I wasn't aware that any other of our fellow travellers who were provided with anything so good from other companies.
Alan & Barbara
Can certainly recommend!
Thank you for all your hard work in getting my trip organised. I can certainly recommend World Journeys for Cuba. Yaniel the tour guide was so knowledgeable, Luis the busdriver was wonderful and the World Journeys host was just lovely. I loved the Bay of Pigs and visiting where Che's bones are. I was extremely moved. Just loved, loved, loved Cuba.
Kenya stole my heart
We had the most amazing trip !!! Kenya stole my heart, or rather the Kenyan people did. The Malewa Lodge we stayed at was just magic, wonderful accommodation , best food we had in Kenya, and we could walk among the wild life... as there were no lions. Got a bit of a scare from water buffaloes though.
Very pleased with the arrangements
I am pleased to say that we have been extremely happy with every aspect of the experience. The agents and hotel staff could not have looked after us any better. Every aspect of our travel was organised and it all flowed so effortlessly. The tour of Athens totally exceeded our expectations. The tour consisted of our personal guide, Katherine and a driver. Katherine was extremely capable in her role and had a wonderful personality that made the morning so interesting and informative on Greek history and the current economic crisis. We couldn't be more pleased with the experiences we have enjoyed.
Alan and Anne
Thank you for arranging a fabulous trip. If I tried to pick out the highlights, I'd just about list the entire itinerary! Apart from seeing the south western part of the country, we were specifically interested in our ancestors former homes and tea plantations and we were very successful in finding those. All the hotels were great. The only slight negative was the location of Amaara Sky Hotel in Kandy (which was our choice) as it is well outside walking distance to the city. The planned activities were excellent and in particular the guides - Juliet Coombe in Galle, and the boatman on the Kapu Ela River. The driver/guide on our three game drives at Udawalawe was amazing - his knowledge and what he could spot was incredible. Sri Sivalingam in Colombo was so interesting and informative. However, the absolute gem on our trip was our driver/guide Udaya! He is exceptional - pleasant, courteous, a superb driver (I get horribly nervous on winding mountain roads, but at all times felt fully confident of his driving). Nothing was ever a problem or difficult for him, especially when we were trying to find remote plantations. He was informative but never intrusive, always bright and cheerful - we couldn't have had better - he was wonderful! So many thanks to everyone who had a hand in the organisation of our trip - we both thoroughly enjoyed it.
Guides were superb!
Our trip was amazing. We had the very best experiences with the hotel accommodation and the travel guides were superb. Everywhere we went the guides were punctual, very informative and extremely keen to fit in with whatever we wanted. The Jahan so exceeded our expectations. Our suite that you managed to secure for us - one of only two, was out of this world and the envy of the other passengers who weren't so lucky although all accommodation was very nice. We would highly recommend every aspect of our trip to anyone and would certainly recommend you.The Ovolo Hotel in Hong Kong worked out perfectly as an excellent value for money stay where one wanted to be in the centre of everything and wasn't planning of spending heaps of time in ones room. Thank you so much again for everything.
Would recommend UnCruise!
We had a fantastic time with UnCruise and would recommend them to our friends, which we indicated on the survey. There were only 17 of us on the boat from Seattle to Ketchikan and as there was more of the crew than us for that first week we were spoilt rotten!!The food and service was outstanding. What a fantastic bunch they are. We were extremely impressed with their knowledge and their sense of passion and fun and they worked hard! We enjoyed them as friends as we felt we had got to know them quite well over the 12 days on board. We were the only Kiwis on the cruise and have invited them all to visit NZ and of course stay with us! Thank you for all your assistance with organizing the cruise and hotel accommodation for us it certainly helped heaps.
Pam and David
Nothing to fault!
I would like to say again that our recent trip to Mexico organized by World Journeys was extremely successful. There was nothing I could fault. The travel arrangements were excellent. The pick-ups from our hotels were always on time; we were never made to wait. The drivers and guides were helpful, well informed and friendly. We felt they were genuinely interested in us too. This is not often the case with guides who obviously get jaded and tired of going over the same ground day after day. The hotels were clean and comfortable and were taken to see all of the archaeological sites that we asked to visit. Visits usually lasted up to 3 or 4 hours so that we felt we had really seen the place in some depth. Thank you again Chris. We look forward to your planning another trip for us in the future.
Our trip to China was absolutely fantastic. Thank you for all the organising you did - and also for helping us when we were over there, when we discovered a change to the time of our train to Xi'an. We had the most brilliant time and the guides we had in Beijing and Xi'an were really good. We would definitely recommend these tour companies to others. Wanting to see lots in such a short amount of time meant the guides were essential. If we'd had more time, we could probably have figured out some of the things ourselves, but it was definitely a good move to have the guides - plus being driven around in an air-conditioned vehicle was GREAT! The Great Wall in Beijing and the Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an are quite a way out of the city, so I don't think we could have got there so easily if we weren't with the tour company. The hotels were very good too. The buffet breakfasts were AMAZING. Thank you for all you did for us. It was a brilliant trip away.
Just to let you know we had a brilliant time in China - exhausting! Your operator was faultless - on time, wonderful guides and drivers - everything like clockwork, which was a huge relief. We had lots of fun! Thanks for organising this for me.
My Grand Tour of South America was everything I had dreamed it would be and more. The stay in the Amazon was magical. The only place in the world where I have been able to see more stars at night than in New Zealand.
We had a wonderful time from the first day to the last day. Our tour leader was amazing and without her we would never have had such an amazing experience!
Ken and Marg
Life changing experience
I had a superlative journey being treated like a queen by guides Russell, Yaniel and driver 'Diamond'. For me my Cuban trip was a life changing experience.
We had a great holiday
Egypt was wonderful, felt safe and all your local people were lovely. We so enjoyed Mena House all the history and The Marriott. And especially the Nile Cruise. Greek Isles lovely too. Probably Mykonos and Paros our favourites. Santorini whilst spectacular is busier and more commercial. All arrangements went according to plan and flights fine in fact not that full. So thank you for organising it was great.
Chris and Vicki
Our guide Oscar is fantastic . Cuba is fantastic. This is the best holiday I have ever had. It is beyond expectations. Seriously I am very impressed with Oscar. Smart as a button, thirsty for knowledge, empathetic and warm. I intend to adopt him as my Cuban son. (Unofficially).
We had an absolutely AMAZING time in Cuba - our only regret is that we didn't have longer there! We absolutely loved the Casa and its owners/staff and their rooftop dining/bar area made us feel like locals. It was a perfect location in the old area and we would stay there over a hotel anytime. It was quite basic but a beautiful old building none the less and we really loved the character. Rodney and everyone made us feel so welcome - and they make the best Mojito's - we know this because we tasted quite a few in Havana. The Parc Central was ok..... we were in the newer building so no character after the Casa - the main restaurant in the Old part of the hotel had delicious food and service (wouldn't recommend the Italian Restaurant in the new building). Our guide, Yaniet was beautiful and her knowledge is solid - she is now our Cuban adopted daughter. We would love to go back and see more of the country, by far the highlight of our overall holiday. Thank you again for organising everything, it ran smoothly, we didn't have to do a thing except for on our own time which was also great. (the driver dropped us at the wrong terminal on our departure as there are two buildings so we had to get a cab to the other one but thatâ€™s ok, things happen - next time I hope to know more Spanish â€“ a bit hairy, we were hoping he understood us, but we got there.
I have been back now from Africa for a month and have been meaning to email to thank you re the amazing time we had in Victoria Falls and Muchenje Lodge in Botswana. Illala Lodge in Vic Falls was amazing - staff were awesome and so was the family of warthogs that were on the front lawn in the first hour we were there!! The Lookout Cafe was amazing and glad we booked a table as we had the best views on the deck Muchenje Lodge â€“ I cannot say enough about this place â€“ the staff were amazing, the accommodation and views were awesome and game drives awesome. All of the group loved the trip (and glad I stuck to my guns and paid a bit more to be at Muchenje).
Best holiday ever!
Just wanted to say best holiday ever, couldn't have wished for more. The safari lodges were amazing and rangers, staff, accommodation and "fine dining" all fantastic. Saw so many animals and absolutely blown away as how close you can get to them - big five all spotted plus zebras, hyenas, kuru, cheetah - all unbelievable. First ranger said our truck had probably seen more than most people. The houseboat was way beyond expectations for comfort and food, plus seeing more wild life and birds, absolutely delightful. Can't thank World Journeys enough for organising such a well run trip. All pick ups, transfers have been run like clockwork with all staff everywhere so helpful and friendly.
Deirdre and Terry
Very keen to go back!
We had an amazing time in Africa! Very keen to go back and see more now! &Beyond were just amazing - the food, the people, the guides - all just fantastic! The lodges were just beautiful - our fav for the rooms was Bateleur Camp - loved the feel that you were partly in a tent!! Met a Warthog on the path one morning, so we stood eyeballing each other for a few seconds, then we slowly backed back, and he took off into the bushes - but still watched as we went past him!! We saw all the big five on our first day in the Maasi Mara - very unheard of apparently. They kept telling us how lucky we were! We thought it can't get any better the next day, but it did! We saw three elusive black rhino as well! Kleins is an amazing location, and having their own area to drive around is fantastic. We got very close to a leopard over the 3 days, several times, and also within a few metres of both big males, females and lion cubs. Just memories to treasure forever! The Crater accom is pretty unique - looks like it has been designed by a mad architect, and could actually star in a Hobbit Movie!! It was very nice in its own way. We all felt that after being so close to all the other animals in the other camps, this was disappointing for animal viewing (we had been very spoilt), but had we done the trip in reverse, we would have loved it I am sure. In saying that the fact that you are down inside a huge crater is very cool though.
The Indian trip was wonderful!
The Indian trip was wonderful! Truly amazing! It was very professionally run - the hotels were excellent..all the guides very good.. everything just great! I felt that it was good value for the money. Lani was just the best 'tour host' and with Steve helping her the trip had to be a success. I have never been so well looked after! I couldn't speak highly enough of their input. There were some lovely people in the group and I'm sure that I have made some life-long friends. It was all fantastic!! Thanks for your part in it all. I really appreciate all the juggling you had to do and with such good humour!
We had a wonderful time
The trip went extremely well and we were looked after very well the whole trip. Absolutely nothing went wrong - which is amazing given the amount of travelling we did. We loved every minute - met some great people and really enjoyed our time. Ecuador was a great country to travel in and not too expensive. Villa Colonna was excellent and Rudi and Rico very kind. Rudi said that they were looking at selling and moving to Sacramento Ca. next year at one point, but didn't mention it the next time we went back so may be he has changed his mind. Both the Galapagos and the Andes were wonderful. Peru was fascinating - though a bit dearer. Macchu Pichu was astounding as were many of the other ruins we saw. Bolivia was surprisingly good - some day would like to take more of a look there. So all in all it was fantastic - and we are very grateful to you for your choices and organisational efforts - it was utterly stress free.... and given how exhausted I was when we left that was wonderful. Many thanks from us to you and your team.
We've travelled a lot and think overall, that this is possibly the best holiday we've ever had. You may recall that the Croatia experience that your company organised for us was after a conference that we had in Rome. It worked out perfectly. The time of year was fantastic - before the really crazy busy time in Croatia. The weather was amazing every day. The boat was beautiful and our lower cabin was really good. We checked out the upper ones and we think that ours was more roomy and better laid out. The small crew were very professional, friendly and helpful. We had a great bunch of fellow travellers. Food and wine was excellent and of course plentiful, and there was a lovely balance of relaxing time on board, and activities on shore. It was perfect after the busy time we'd had at the conference in Rome.The arrangements with our rental car worked well. At pick up in Split the agent was very helpful in getting the GPS set to find our village. And at the other end in Zagreb the agent could not have been more helpful, dropping us to our hotel in the inner city after we dropped the car back.The land tour was equally fantastic. Much busier than on the boat, but just perfect. Our bus driver was also the guide and was such a great guy. He was interesting to listen to, and drove that big bus round those little windy coastal roads with such consideration to all the passengers. Again a nice mix of fellow travellers. There was a bit of physical exertion required some days which was great to balance the amazing wine and food. A few of the American guests on the trip were not prepared for this, but Zoran the guide kept the group going and gave options for those who could not keep up. I thought this was good as we've been on other trips where the group have had to fall back to the lowest common denominator when it comes to fitnessâ€¦ and this can be frustrating for everyone else. Croatia is stunning and I would go back in a heartbeat, and would use the Katarina line again. I can't recommend them highly enough, from start to finish. The internal flights you booked were also good â€“ Croatia airlines in particular were great, and even better that they are part of Star Alliance.
Once in a lifetime!
I am a 42 year old woman and was travelling with my 46 year old husband as well as our 77 year old dear friend. Being independent travellers, we had never been on a tour, but thought it would be a compromise, with our elderly friend, not to have to worry about travel, accommodation, or even water during the day. Our driver Ahmed was precise, careful and kind. He went out of his way to accommodate us, supplying us with battery packs for our mobile phones and getting orange fizzy drinks for my friend. Our Turkish guide Kemal was such a gem, keeping us in front of all of the tour groups and standing in line for us while we were busy looking at other things. He had a lovely outlook on life, was passionate about Turkish history and made our trip knowledgeable, enjoyable and fun. I loved every moment I spent with him and will never forget his gorgeous smile. But my biggest thank you is for giving us Christie. A down to earth kiwi chick who rocked the Turkish language and related to everybody. Christie has a beautiful knack of balancing professionalism with compassion and fun which created a safety net around our whole group. I genuinely admire Christie. She held a group with ages ranging from 20-81 and everyone felt heard, and safe, and cared for. She spoke on our behalf, stayed up late, woke up early, ran errands, wrote emails, made phone calls, suggested new foods, taught us new words, haggled in the markets on our behalf. Christie made little comments to each of us that let us know she cared for us individually, Every question I had was answered, every item on my wish list was ticked. All three of these people worked well together and made for a wonderful trip away. This once in a lifetime experience for me was so much more than I expected, and I have come home a better person because of the journey. Please pass on my thanks to your guides and driver. They nailed it. And whoever organised the tour. The accommodation was perfect, food was perfect, even the weather!
Thanks for your email, we had a fantastic time, itinerary worked well and no real disappointments. The food was just to die for and in particular we were really surprised at the quality and experience of the food in Cambodia. The guides we had throughout without exception were friendly, very helpful and quite frankly a delight to have with us. We provided Trails of Indochina with very favorable reports regarding their guides.
The World Journeyâ€™s host was just amazing. So much fun, extremely kind and helpful, using her initiative to make things easier and better for us. Local Guide: We only had the one guide for the whole time, which was great. Yaniel was wonderful. So good to have someone willing to talk about the reality of Cuban life. His English was prefect which made life easy and he has a good understanding of how Kiwis tick. Yaniel knew his stuff about history etc but never overloaded us with dates etc. Like Karen, he worked hard to keep things going smoothly but still had the time and inclination to socialise with us. An amazing variety of hotels, but all functioned well. Disadvantages and advantages of each one (eg: Nacional rooms allow smoking) but no real problems. The B&B we stayed at in Trinidad (Hostel VP) was super clean and nice. The main thing was that the air conditioning worked fine in them all, thank heavens! Some other comments: The main driver the company provided for our tour (Asiel) was absolutely amazing. His maneuvering skills were exceptional, but even better we soon learned we could trust him with our lives on the dodgy roads. We had no idea that the resort we would be staying at would be so fabulous! Our expectations werenâ€™t particularly high, as Cuba does things a bit differently, but nothing prepared us for how good the facilities were. And the beach was exquisite! A lot of Canadians just come for the resorts (which is a shame, but never mind) but perhaps World Journeys could consider using some photos from there as part of the tour promotion? I donâ€™t think many Kiwis would know about the Paradise location in Cuba. The information we were given before we even left NZ was very helpful. Cuba isnâ€™t the sort of place you can fudge it so it was great we were so well informed. One thing was particularly helpful and that was that ATMS and credit cards wouldnâ€™t necessarily work, and how much cash to take to convert to CUC. Spot on!
Shirley and Dave
A truly memorable stay.
Thank you Ange and World Journeys! Our recent trip of four weeks to Africa was outstanding and made more so, with the arrangements that were in place and so perfectly executed. We were met at every airport (and there were many) by a smiling guide/driver and transferred to our next accommodation. All our four safaris were outstanding with very good rooms and outstanding guides who were knowledgeable, compassionate about animals and very environmentally aware. The recommendations and planning for our tour were all excellent.
Christine and Keith
Trip went very well.
The Santa Cruz ship at the Galapagos was well organised, good food, excellent snorkelling gear and generally ran a very professional operation. I don't have anything to compare to with other boats but you can safely recommend the Santa Cruz. The hotel accommodation in all places was an excellent standard. It is definitely an advantage to stay in the old part of town which is where we were. We were met at each airport as planned and we thought Condor Travel in Peru provided well experienced guides for our tours. The train from Cusco to Puno was a treat in luxury and fine dining and I would recommend this to people just for the experience. La Paz is an interesting city. Once again we had an excellent guide who showed us around the city including a ride on the new cable car system. Overall, we thought the trip went very well and suited Diane and I because we have not been to South America before.
Absolutely fantastic time!
Everything went very smoothly, we didnâ€™t have any hiccups. Andrea (collected us and dropped us to airports) and Julio (Iguazu Falls guide) were both excellent.The hotels were lovely although the Sheraton was a bit run down, it was still better to be there in the national park, we particularly liked Legado Mitico in Salta. The estancia stay was absolutely worth it so thanks for encouraging us to do that rather than stay in town. Thanks for all the organisation as it meant we could fit in a lot and still be stress free.
I have had catch up emails with all 3 couples â€“ in a word â€“ FANTASTIC was how the tour was described. They all really enjoyed it. Had a great tour guide who was fun and informative, good places to stay and they really got out and about and mixed with the locals. They ate and drank with the locals, danced in the streets with the locals â€“ all said this is a destination that everyone should visit. They loved the history and the culture, the food and the people. Everything they booked with us went well with no problems experienced at all. They are all keen to go back again in a couple of years to see how it has changed.
We have just 2 days to go of our China trip and I wanted to let you know what an amazing experience it has been on many levels. The accommodation, guides, drivers and transport arrangements have all been excellent and reliable. Travelling with guides and drivers is quite common for those people who are not in a tour group. We have been very well looked after everywhere. The weather has been very kind as we have had no rain until this evening as the typhoon approaches Taiwan and affects Shanghai. Temperatures have been in the high 20s and low 30s throughout our journey which hasn't been too bad. We have seen everything we wanted to and of course more. China blows your mind and Bill feels he is on another planet. The whole country is a construction site of new cities, highways, tunnels, train stations, airports, bullet trains, shopping malls, industry. Your customers who travel here next year will have a different experience to us as they will travel on new routes and transport modes, see larger cities and greater development everywhere. Highlights have been the Great Wall at Mutiyanu where crowds are manageable, the Terracotta Warriors, the Pandas as Chengdu, the three Gorges of the Yangste River, Zhangjiajie National Park, Li River and Longji Rice Terraces of Guilin, the parks and memorials in Nanjing and now Shanghai-the show piece city of China.
We were picked up by Santiago, a lovely young man who was our driver for the four days in Segovia and Toledo. The hotels were excellent, the guides were excellent. No complaints. We enjoyed every moment.
As for Phinda, wow!
I am very pleased that I left the Phinda side trip to last. As for Phinda itself, wow, you were correct in what you said. I am really pleased I was at Forest Lodge and if money was no object I would definitely return. I had a great ranger/driver for the duration and although there are no guarantees for animal sightings the region did not disappoint. He even said that I had quite an exceptional time of viewings - maybe they say that to all but I think he was genuine. Easier to say what I didn't see - sadly no Black Rhino and only a Leopard Cub in the darkness of the night, so although they thought that was special (and it was) I would have loved to have seen an adult Leopard. There are no African Wild Dogs on Phinda specifically, although they can be seen from time to time if they breach the fence but I didn't see any this trip, not even in Kruger. Apart from the 'luxury' of Phinda - as in the wonderful accommodation, food and service - Phinda delivered a more "authentic African wildlife experience" for me and that is what I was really hoping for. It was really quite perfect in that regard, so from my perspective you could book it for clients with confidence.
Highlights - really don't know what to say!
The chance to see so many lemurs, chameleons, and explore an African country that has evolved without large mammals. Beautiful coastal areas, stunning geological vistas. Then there are the people - crowds of, walking, carrying, pushing, pulling, riding, smiling, babies, toddlers, children carrying babies. People making bricks, rum, charcoal, gardening, hoeing, tending livestock etc. I could go on and on about the amazing people. Everyone working, everyone smiling. Sure they have cellphones, but everything was hand labour, with an impressive amount of recycling. Amazing. So was it the wildlife or the humanity that enthralled me most? I think a combination, which leaves me grateful to have visited that special island. And our host, young Paul, what can I say. Just the best. Truly.
What an interesting place!
Yes we are back from our adventure in Madagascar....what an interesting place, a glittering gem in the Indian Ocean...so diverse, and I might add there was no shortage of lemurs. A great time and a totally worthwhile experience - I loved it all. Highlights - well to my mind every day was a highlight - there was something different to see and experience each day, although, being a person who loves the sea, those last lazy days in Nosey Be were hard to beat - that beautiful beach and sunsets. The whole itinerary was well organised, and covered so much in the time we were there.
Many thanks for a great trip!
Highlights of our journey included the Cinque Terre: "We loved staying at Santa Margherita Liguria, very central. Really enjoyed doing the Cinque Terre by train, walking and boat. We were glad we didn't stay in one of the villages and felt that was the best way for us to see the Cinque Terre. We were glad we had four nights there. Loved Portofino and the fantastic lunch we had there". Venice: "We enjoyed our stay in Venice. Travelling with such a fantastic group of people, we were so lucky. The lunch we had in Portofino was outstanding as was our guide". We both thought Julie Salt was absolutely fantastic and that she is a real asset to the World Journeys Company. She was inclusive , caring , extremely well organized and delightful company. Everybody thought she was fabulous. Overall, we felt the local guides were excellent. The outstanding ones were the guide we had in Venice who took us on our 3 hour walking tour (she was amazing) the guide who took us by train to the Cinque Terre (he was fantastic), and the young woman who met us in Portofino and took us to our delicious lunch. Oceania was fantastic to cruise with. The food and services were superb. This is the fifth cruise we have done with them and we cannot fault them. The Sirena appeared to be a very happy ship, all credit to the Captain and his crew. Emirates were very good to travel with.
Rob & Ali
Costa Rica, what an amazing place!
Then Costa Rica, what an amazing place! Loved the first two nights in Tuertoguero. Very quaint, with is Gaudi aspect, and the baby turtles running into the ocean in the evening. Guanas walking on the paths, and the fact that there are no roads in, just waterways. The next two nights were also very interesting at Arenal. We did the lava walk around the mountain. And of course the evening to the springs was amazing. Can I suggest that personally we would have liked to have been there a little earlier in the afternoon, as it got dark quite quickly, and we would have even enjoyed it better with a bit more daylight to meander around all the pools. But what a great choice! Then our next stop was Monteverde, the road to Monteverde from Lake Arenal, is absolutely disgusting, 2 hours of dodging potholes and ruts on a dirt road was not too much fun!!! Monteverde and the hotel in Monteverde were disappointing, maybe we didn't strike the weather very well. The rooms we stayed in were permanently in the clouds while we were there, and the fact that the place is that large, we had to be picked up from our room, every time you want to make a move, is not that pleasant. But having seen the town of Monteverde, maybe there is no other hotel suitableâ€¦But our tour to the coffee, sugar and cocoa plantation was excellent. And your representatives in Costa Rica were just wonderful, every time again they turned up on time!! Some of their drivers though were a bit hairy, especially on the sealed country roads, their main aim seemed to be crossing the yellow centre line as many time times as they could on the windy roads, but hey we are here to tell the tale!! In contrast the drivers on the dirt roads were slow and careful drivers, but probably only because that was all they could do!! But thank you World Journeys for another great experience.
Overall we loved the total experience
The highlights were Taormina, Santa Margherita, Portofino, and the Cinque Terre. Julie and (Kylie) were both outstanding with handling any problems with efficiency and good humour. The guide in Rome was excellent, but we felt guide on excursion ZAD-006 over-emphasized her view on religion. All others had varying degrees of English. The total cruise ship experience was wonderful - the ship, the crew and shore excursions were unable to be faulted by us. Improvements? Travelling from Milan to Santa Margherita at end of a long trip, then back past Milan to Como, then back past Milan on way to Venice seemed to be back-tracking, the meal in Venice was not up to standard, and Lake Como's Grand Victoria was booked for a society type wedding so our rooms were not up to World Journeys standard. All other hotels were fine. Conclusion - overall we loved the total experience with a great group of people who got on very well together and this was only enhanced by Julie's efforts.
What an amazing trip!
We have just returned from your Cuba trip just thought I'd let you know what an amazing trip it was . It was so interesting and Yaniel our guide was really great taking us all to special little restaurants on free nights - he really added a special touch to the trip. It's going to be a hard trip to beat and we are already recommending it to everyone we meet!
We had the most amazing trip and the arrangements made by you were flawless. The Singita Boulders Lodge was fabulous and a great way to begin our African experience. The game viewing was excellent there. Our time on Benguerra Island was lovely despite almost melting in the 40 degree heat. Thank you for the Moet! Amelia loved our time at Elephant Camp in Zimbabwe as they have a resident rescue cheetah called Sylvester and we were able to walk with him for an hour. Our time in the Samburu region of Kenya was an absolute highlight due to the rich cultural experience of meeting the local villagers and enjoying the fantastic hospitality of Nicki and Scott at Sasaab Camp. I would highly recommend this place to anyone and would return here for a repeat visit in preference to the Masai Mara. In Tanzania the andBeyond Under Canvas Camp was great. Unfortunately our balloon safari was cancelled on the morning due to high winds and we were told to get you to apply for a refund on our behalf. The Ngorongoro Crater Lodge was stunning with amazing food. The highlight of Tanzania would have to be Sand Rivers in Selous though, which is brilliantly run by Natasha and Evan. What an interesting area and so different to any other part of the trip. In Zanzibar we did enjoy the Stone Town visit but found that the Baraza Resort was just lacking in atmosphere, maybe a little 'sterile'. They also had a very limited range of water sports available and we had to visit a neighbouring resort for these. Our night at Giraffe Manor was truly amazing. It is no wonder that this place is so popular. Amelia was in her element! Finishing off the trip in Mauritius was perfect and Le Touessrok resort was the best beach resort that we have stayed in. Great restaurants and plenty of water activities. I could have stayed there another week! Thank you for organising such a fabulous trip for us. We certainly have some incredible memories.
Mary & Malcolm
Yaniel was the most personable, well organized young man who was very willing to provide information on his country that we would otherwise not have been aware of. He was not biased with the information, providing an overall broad based picture. I cannot speak highly enough of his care, sincerity and passion for the task at hand. There is not just one thing that I would say was the highlight - the ride in the convertible classic cars was fantastic, total fun and a great experience; the salsa dancing lessons were great; the architecture and history of the country is very impressive. And I cannot overlook the Che Guevara memorial - stunning.
The phrase "trip of a lifetime" is often used but this really was such a trip.
Chris and I loved every minute of our trip to Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar. Firstly, thank you both for telling all the hotels that this was a special 25th anniversary trip. Each hotel did something special for us: the Mandarin Oriental gave us a prime view room, a bottle of wine and spa upgrade, anniversary cake and heart-shaped flower arrangement on the bed! La Residence in Siem Reap upgraded us to a suite. In Yangon we had a suite overlooking the gardens and pool. Not to be outdone, we had a gorgeous river - front suite and flower message on our bed from the resort in Bagan. We were also given VIP treatment at meal-times and they presented us with a specially decorated anniversary cake. We soon got used to being met and chauffeured at each location! We loved the oasis of the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok. We had the most fabulous guide in Siem Reap who took us to visit the temple ruins when the crowds were gone - it felt like we were the only visitors! We fell in love with Myanmar. We were rather apprehensive about our visit there, but the local people are very friendly and desperately want their freedoms to increase. They love having visitors and are so keen to please. Yangon has beautiful parks and wide boulevards (and lovely old derelict British mansions) but of course the crowning glory are the Buddhist temples. So much gold! Our hotel room in Bagan was so lovely and peaceful and the area had so many ancient Buddhist temples. Thousands of them! We managed to do a morning hot-air balloon flight to get a wonderful panoramic view. Our beautiful guide in Bagan even purchased a painting from an artist outside a temple to give to us as an anniversary remembrance! Please do encourage your clients to visit Myanmar - more tourism will hopefully help the freedom process and does help employ people. This trip was the first time that I had flown Singapore Airlines and they were great. Personally I would rather not take the 1am flight from Auckland again, not just because of the time but because it did not have the new business class flat beds. The return flight from Singapore had the new seat/beds and they were wonderful!! I would love to do the trip all over again - we most certainly would like to return to Myanmar in say, 5 years, to see how things have (hopefully) improved. Our sincerest thanks.
Lynn and Chris
Sensational 'Best of Southern Africa' journey
Pam and I got home from our sensational 'Best of Southern Africa' journey on Saturday morning. We can only applaud World Journeys on the itinerary and presentation of the Tour, and we feel rather 'hollow' on returning home, both commenting on how we wish we were still in Africa! Having been fortunate to have toured many and diverse countries in recent years, we rate our southern African experience up there with the very best - if not the best! I see that World Journeys has changed the 'Best of Southern Africa' Tour next year, and may I say the itinerary looks very good! Although it appears an expensive tour to begin with, in hindsight it includes almost everything and costs very little in the way of other essential spending once commenced - unlike many other tours where endless expenses keep mounting as the tour progresses. In fact, we're so impressed with our experience we may be looking at a 'Cherry Blossom Japan' Tour - if we can find the funds required!!
Malcolm and Pam
Just wanted to say on behalf of us all what a fabulous trip you had organised for us. As usual everything went like clockwork, with not a single hiccup during the entire three weeks. Namibia The Olive Grove was a fabulous start to the trip and a perfect place to reach after all those flights. Wilderness looked after us very well at Little Kulala and Ongava. We even had lions in the camp at Ongagva, everyone was on high alert. The waterhole there is wonderful to watch. We also had a lovely close up with a white rhino and her calf. The sands of the desert were beautiful, and Ange you were right in that Little Kulala was the best option there. Intercontinental at O.R.Airport was an outstanding hotel. We were very impressed with the hotel and the service of the staff there. The breakfast was outstanding and even beats the one at the WestIn in Sydney! The andBeyond man was at the airport to meet us and hand over the 'bags' for the next part of the journey. Rwanda Goes without saying what a wonderful experience the Gorilllas were. Ange, the Silverback Lodge, was the perfect choice. Very happy that we took your advice! Tanazania Once again and Beyond lifted the bar. Lake Manyara was a dream spot. We had an amazing game drive there and just loved the accommodation. Our guide was outstanding and we all fell in love with our butler. Even managed to see the Lions in the Trees. Ngorongoro Crater Lodge; what can we say. It is certainly an experience.The staff put on a beautiful 'rose petal' dinner and Masai show which was very special. Our butler there excelled himself in the performance and was a real character. Grumeti Under Canvas was a lovely way to finish with the tents. The staff there were very helpful and we had an excellent guide there as well. He took us on a full day drive to the central Serengeti so that we could catch up with the Great Migration and in the process we finally, on our 2nd to last day saw a leopard! Our guide was delighted that he had been able to fulfil that wish! Finally the Legendary Lodge in Arusha was legendary!! What a fabulous place. We could have settled in for several days and just missed our flight home! So once again, a huge thank you to both of you for all the work you have put into our trip. It was perfect.
Thank you for organising our fantastic trip
Thank you for organising our fantastic trip. We had an awesome time. The cycling was the absolute highlight. We loved our time in Hoi An. It felt like the honey moon we never had 24 years ago! All the travel went smoothly. The trails of Indochina people were great. The young man we had in Saigon was doing an English speaking exam that afternoon, so he spent the whole day with us, practicing his talking! He is applying to come to NZ with the company, and will come and spend some time with us if he gets on the trip. The whole trip was fantastic and we loved it. Thank you for all the planning. We are such novices but have learnt a lot on this trip. Hopefully we will be planning another one soon. I would love to take the kids back to do the cycling tour. It really was quite magical. Thanks for everything.
Annie and Gordon
Vietnam was everything that I had heard it to be and hoped it to be
We had a fantastic holiday - Vietnam was everything that I had heard it to be and hoped it to be. The hotels were all top notch - particularly The Metropole. The Boutique Hoi An was fantastic - a beautiful white sand beach, great pool area, and wonderful newly renovated rooms that were very big - and it was only a 5 minute shuttle to Hoi An itself. The Caravelle was really nice too - though the rooms a little dated. Wonderful breakfasts though. The guides we had were brilliant - it would be hard to do without them. The Ho Chi Minh city tour and Mekong Delta tour were great. The Hoi An walking tour was a bit of a waste of time - we kind of only got taken to places that people are pushing stuff on you to buy, but the farm tour (which I thought would not be great) was so much fun, and a great surprise as it included a cooking class. The tour of Hanoi was also great. The trip to Halong and the overnight cruise I loved - my two daughters and husband enjoyed it but felt there should have been wifi on the boat we were on!!! First world problem!! But I guess its something that is now really important. It appears they state on their website that wifi is available. Vietnam Air was great. Our only issue was on the Vietjet flight - we should have stuck with Vietnam Air - our flight from Hoi An to Hanoi was cancelled - no notification - and we had a rather long wait at the airport for the next one. But all in all a fab time was had by all of us. Thanks for your help with organising our trip!