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 1950'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 - 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 that's ok, things happen - next time I hope to know more Spanish - 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 - I cannot say enough about this place - 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 fitness... 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 - 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 Journeys 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 were not 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 don'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 isn'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 wouldn'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 didn'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. In a word, 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 - 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 suitable... 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.
An Amazing Adventure
We did have an absolutely wonderful time on our Grand Tour of South America. It was an amazing adventure and we loved every minute of it. We have had many people ask us what we considered a highlight but we have not been able to single out anything as everything we experienced was so special in its own way. The one thing we both agree on that was particularly wonderful was the great organisation and care that World Journeys took of us. From contacting Elly at the beginning and booking the trip, the notes and preparation details we received before we left and the impeccable care Chris took of us while we travelled with him. Also Chris's informative notes on the history of each country while we were on the road were another bonus and very much appreciated. We also enjoyed the company, the wisdom and knowledge of the local guides and drivers who looked after us so well and showed such passion for their special part of the world from its history to its people and customs. They were delightful and we definitely learned so much from them. We definitely found it a very busy and quite physical trip, it certainly is not a resort style holiday but we love adventure style holidays so that was not a problem for us. We just needed a lot of rest when we got home!!
Geraldine and Graeme
Every day was a highlight simply because every day was a new adventure!
The travel documents were excellent...probably the best we have ever received. Every day was a highlight simply because every day was a new adventure. If I really, really had to choose a favourite, it would probably be the salt ponds which we visited unexpectedly. There we were high up in The Andes, and we came upon these beautiful pink and white ponds glistening in the sunshine ...filled by a tiny spring that has been delivering warm salt water from the centre of The Andes for thousands of years...the sense of timelessness took my breath away. All of the harvesting is done by hand, in the same manner that it has always been done. When I almost closed my eyes and looked out over the ponds, it was as if time had stood still...magic! I kept thinking of the pink and white terraces that were destroyed when Mt Tarawera erupted. I imagine visitors to those terraces must have had a similar reaction when they saw them for the first time. I cannot think of anything that needs improvement. Because it was a very busy trip, often with early starts, I chose to think of it as an expedition rather than a holiday, and took each day as it came. Chris was fantastic...he took care of everything and I didn't even have to think...simply the best! This was the first journey I have ever been on where I have completely absolved myself of any responsibility for time and place...to the point I often didn't know what we were doing from day to day until Chris told us...perfect! The local guides were great...Chris knew and had a warm, friendly relationship with many of them which meant they went the extra mile for us. Some of the hotels were great and others were superb...no complaints at all. The Galapagos Islands were so unexpectedly different from what we anticipated that simply being there was astonishing. The boat was great and so were the crew.
Amazing Trip and New Friends Made
What an amazing trip. Would highly recommend. Wonderful group of fellow travellers who all got on so well. Out hostess Julie Salt was just amazing. And Kylie too. Managed to get our voting papers sorted for elections. Not that easy. Thank you so much Julie for all your help and always available for everyone. Just loved our 4 days at Santa Margherita Ligure. A great base for our trips to Cinque Terre and Portofino. The cruise was awesome. The Sirena was wonderful. With great food and such friendly helpful staff. Would travel with Oceania again. Excursions great. Loved Montenegro with it's narrow hill roads. Great bus driver. Felt safe at all times. New friendships made
What an amazing tour we all did!
I wasn't sure what to expect, especially as your company had said to keep an open mind. The travel documents were impressive, expensive. The booklet on the tour was very good, and I'm sure I will find a good use for the writing case. Highlights - where to start...seeing lemurs in the wild was impressive, but seeing them up very close, on the Lemur island, was special too. Andasibe. Swimming in that beautiful oasis pool at Isalo National Park, on the desert walk. Ifaty, the lodge on the beach, beach walks, sailing in a pirogue, the huge boabab tree. Seeing the turtles swimming at Nosy Be. Nitpicking a bit but, when the book said butterfly house, I thought we were going to see butterflies. It hadn't occurred to me it was the wrong time of year, probably because they were out here. Seeing all the chameleons up close, and being able to handle some of them, was really very interesting. I think perhaps if you put Butterfly (seasonal) and Chameleon house it would cover you, and add a dimension to the visit. Well worth doing. Our host Paul was ok, always on hand for tips, made all our check ins at hotels lodges and airports run smoothly, let us know in advance what was going on, was helpful if we needed it and had a great sense of humour. Our driver was excellent. He looked after his vehicle, and therefore us. And I think he was telling Mike the best places for us to visit, a little embroidery factory and zebu horn factory in Antsirabe, all very interesting. The local guides along the way were all excellent. How some of them found tiny mouse lemurs and chameleons in the dark is amazing. Hotels and lodges all the way were very good. All clean, and a pleasure to stay in. Very good food. A 3 course lunch and dinner seemed excessive but we tried our best to do it justice every day! It was an amazing tour, with great people. Very exclusive. I'd happily go with your company again. Thank you, and Zoe, who deserves a mention for all her hard work sorting my flights out. I left it until the last minute as my Mother wasn't very fit at the time, then Zoe had to try and get my flights match with everybody else. She was lovely, and very efficient.
Buhoma Lodge and Bwindi is some distance over very rough dirt roads from even small towns but was a very interesting encounter with the local villagers. The school children put on a dance performance for us and then dragged us in. The gorilla encounter was even better than we anticipated. Particularly Judy's concern was that sometimes it can take several hours of really hard bush whacking to find the gorilla family. Our party of about 7 or 8 was taken on a fairly lengthy drive to a distant forest entry point where we engaged a porter each and set of into the 'Impenetrable Jungle'. To our huge surprise, we encountered our gorilla family after little more than half an hour. We spent an hour in very close contact with this family group no more than a metre or two away, and at times they came right up to us but this was discouraged by our guide. An amazing and unforgettable experience... Nothing could match this.
Off to Namibia and the first of our &Beyond Lodges. We had our smallest plane on our flight to the Sossusvlei Lodge - a 6 seat Cessna. And what a revelation with this lodge! It was absolutely outstanding in every detail. Food, service, location, friendly staff, everything. This was a magic place. Very happy to lie out on the lounger outside our chalet and just admire the views. We said to ourselves, if this is the &Beyond level, then bring it on!
Cherry trees were exceptional
Just to let you know I had a wonderful time on my trip. The cherry trees were exceptional this year and everywhere we went they were in bloom. World Journeys organization was great, the tour leader and his wife were a lovely friendly and fun couple and the Japanese tour lass was a delight.
Great mixture of cultural experiences
The itinerary was fabulous. It was a great mixture of cultural experiences, the joys of nature (especially the cherry blossoms), insights into Japanese food (making sushi, wasabi farm, sake factory), Japanese crafts and art (paper-making and kimonos). We particularly appreciated the chance to visit Hiroshima. The talk by the Survivor was really interesting and moving. It was nice that it included some more international things like the fabulous sculpture park.
Paul & Sheila
World Journeys are a class on their own, their organisational skills are second to none and very little is left to chance. Meticulous planning benefits all of their guests. The highlights of the journey: where do I start, obviously the profusion of Cherry Blossoms, the outstanding beauty of the scenery, the snow monkeys, Mt Fuji, The Bullet trains, The Ryokan,The Japanese traditional Hotel, the Onsen, the Japanese baths and of course the amazing food. It was like a degustation tour. The Japanese people were also very welcoming. Our own group of fellow travellers were also great.
Exceeded our expectations
We arrived back in Singapore yesterday and will leave for home tomorrow after a wonderful holiday in Cambodia. It exceeded our expectations. Our guides and drivers from were faultless. Our guide, Sarom and driver, San for the first 7 days up until they dropped us off in Phnom Penh were expectional. We formed a very good relationship with them and shared many meals. Our guide in Phnom Penh was a very pleasant man with many personal stories of tragedy during the Khmer Rouge period of reign. Thank you Sue and World Journeys for arranging a memorable holiday.
Alison and Howard
Fantastic introduction to Vietnam
We are about to depart Vietnam after experiencing a wonderful week, and wanted to thank you for looking after us so well. The Vespa tours in both Hanoi and Hoi An were highlights of our tour and all of the guides in general were extremely helpful. We would like to particularly recommend our guide Duc in Hanoi, who gave us a fantastic introduction to Vietnam. Not only was his English excellent, but he had outstanding knowledge across a very wide range of subjects, including history, geography, anthropology, biology and the social aspects of life in Vietnam today. He was very welcoming and friendly, as well as punctual and reliable and we would highly recommend him to any English speaking visitors.
Paul & Jane
The best five weeks of our journey
Our Zimbabwe highlights - The history of the falls and experiencing the spray coming back up from the bottom. Because so much rain has fallen in the last 3 months the power of this water spraying back up meant parts of the view points were closed as you couldn't see anything through the mist, which fell back down as heavy rain. Our Botswana highlights - Chobe National Park: Our first day in a National Park and first look at so many animals on the drive through to our tented campsite - the animals were all there, you didn't need to search for them. Instead of a morning land game drive on the 2nd day we had a half day trip down the Chobe river in a boat where we were all provided with a high powered camera each on a stand that rotated 360 degrees to take as many photos as possible. At the end of the tour the memory stick was given to us loaded with all the photos we had taken - so many elephants spotted at the river with plenty of hippos. &Beyond Tented Campsite was a great way to start our African safari. Sandibe Safari Lodge: The afternoon our lunch was interrupted by a juvenile elephant that decided to enter the outdoor restaurant and destroy some of the furniture and joined his family that prevented us from accessing our room for over 1 hour. Xudum Delta Lodge: Following 4 female lions and 6 cubs on a hunt for food, eventually catching a warthog and demolishing it before our eyes - gruesomely exciting - one of the advantages of being able to travel off the beaten tracks to view this unlike the National Parks where you had to stay on the roads or tracks. Our whole time in Botswana was one of our favourite times and the organisation, service, food options and presentation, staff friendliness by the &Beyond company would rate as the best over the 5 weeks - the extras like coming to a open space on the afternoon game drives where we could watch the sunset with a bar set up to enjoy the daily sun downer.
Paul & Carolyn
Kenya - An eye opener travelling between the parks and seeing how the Kenyan people in the various towns live. Tanzania, Serengeti National Park - Experiencing the migration of zebras and wildebeest as they were just arriving into the park and watching the leaders carefully scope out whether it was safe to cross the swamps and streams before the stampede of those following. Ngorongoro Crater - Just the feeling of being inside the crater and seeing so many of the animals in one place.
Paul & Carolyn
Offering tours that people wouldn't be able to do on their own is very valuable - money can't buy that experience
We had a small private group of 10 people and Joe was an amazing guide for our group. He was attentive, he took the time to get to know everybody including their interests and specifically topics that he knew they would like to learn about. His knowledge was outstanding including world history not just Cuban and political but everybody found him so interesting, it was very refreshing having someone who could hold the interest among all of the varying ages of the group. All of the group appreciated everything he did for us and went out of his way to make sure everybody enjoyed their time in Cuba, we were really impressed and Cuba has left a lasting impression for us all! All of the restaurants and dining experiences we had on the trip were amazing it was fantastic to visit locally run off the beaten track restaurants that we otherwise wouldn't have known about. Our first lunch on our city tour was the private dining on the roof top and that was outstanding, the food amazing but dining outside in the shade with a breeze was awesome we were all really impressed and it started our week of perfectly. Along the rest of our journey all of our meals were amazing. Our tour content was perfect for the time we had. We had a mix of personalities and interests in the group so matching it to everybody isn't easy but everybody enjoyed their time and loved the activities.
Breathtaking and Inspiring
We have just returned from our South American journey. Firstly, I wanted to say how amazing our host Julie Salt was. We were very relaxed travelling with Julie taking the lead, which obviously we don't have when we journey away on our own. She dealt extremely well with all sorts of situations, people and personalities, yet keeping the group running smoothly without drama. She was always smiling, engaging with everyone and there to help whenever anyone needed it. I bow to her strength and fun personality, she made the journey run so smoothly. We have travelled a great deal with World Journeys arranging our tours and we have always found that we have had the best service. Top guides, great drivers, excellent accommodation and itineraries. This was our first small group hosted tour, which with only 10 people was perfect in size for us. Once we got to know the others we became good friends and had some fun and lots of laughs. We still made sure we did things on our own at times as well, which was a good thing and was very easy to do. The Galapagos cruise was fantastic, well organized and run. Our suite was a very good size, with a comfortable bed and good-sized bathroom. The service was exceptional, and the guides were very knowledgeable, fun and went out of their way to make our tour interesting. Our accommodation throughout South America was good, our favourites were in Machu Picchu, Urubamba, Iguazu, Buenos Aires and obviously Sacha Lodge. Our highlights were the Galapagos, Piranha fishing in the Amazon, La Paz (great city) along with meeting Mario and visiting his studio and home, Chopper flight in Rio, Iguazu Falls and Chopper flight there, plus our first glimpse of Machu Picchu. To sum up, both Murray and I really enjoyed our tour, we enjoyed every country we visited and the people we met. We felt extremely lucky to have visited places like the Galapagos, Machu Picchu and Iguazu Falls. Seeing the photos of these places doesn't do them justice, they are breathtaking and inspiring and need to be seen to be truly believed. Having a fantastic host, like Julie taking care of all the details when you're travelling to so many places in a relatively short time was essential in making the journey run smoothly and we felt very relaxed.
Amazing experiences, marvelous organisation
We are well rested. Have had amazing experiences in every place we went to. Our guides have been excellent and all have worked very hard for us ensuring we were met and picked up as arranged. We even fitted in a football match at the large Rio Maracana. This was a marvelous game and we enjoyed the colour and excitement of the crowd, Flamengo v Belo Horizonte. Our guide in Rio was an exceptional character full of tales and stories of Rio and Brazil. We are off now to fit in the National Gallery of Fine Art. We get picked up at 3pm from our hotel for the flights home. Lido our guide is truly remarkable. Sensitive to our needs, he has looked after us well. Marvelous organisation from your end.
Absolutely incredible vacation
We cannot speak highly enough of the experience we had at the hands of World Journeys and their agents. All guides were of a very high to excellent calibre. All pickups were on time, even though for many of the small flights we were often early arriving. Every driver or guide transfer was fully handed over to the next phase. For example if we were getting on a plane at the rural airstrips, we noticed that the guides/drivers would stay until the plane actually took off. With the one exception, all accommodation was excellent and the experiences absolutely incredible. The all-inclusive package was really great. Wine at all venues was very free-flowing, and it was good not to be paying for items as we went. With the exception of tipping/visas we did not spend any other money whilst on the safari legs. The itinerary was put together by others and we wouldn't have changed it. All 5 safari park experiences were different, and well exceeded our expectations. Travel went without a hitch, and at all times we felt very safe in Africa. We travelled in the low season and it was a terrific time to go. The rainy season hadn't started so it was beautiful weather the whole time. But the best thing was the babies... everywhere was baby animals - so cute! As well the camps were only 1/3rd to half full. For 3.5 of the 5 safari experiences we had a guide all to ourselves. The parks were not crowded and we felt hard done by when there might be 5 or 6 vehicles around the same cheetah or lion pride. Many times it was just us or 1 other jeep. Apparently in the high season the vehicles can number up to 30 in one spot - so we were actually very spoilt. So many fantastic memories - an absolutely incredible vacation. Thank you for everything.
Lynne and Daniel
Exceeded our expectations!
Please let World Journey's know that the whole itinerary was organised with precision. The drivers and guides were fantastic. They know all the tricks on getting to places early, where the best bathrooms are etc. The cruise was great, though reinforced with Mark and I that we had done the right thing using private guides for the majority of the trip. All rooms were excellent. Our favourites were Chendu and I think Shanghai was the best. The guide had been to the hotel to arrange the room before we arrived - I think she must have pulled some strings because it was incredible. The food was fantastic for the whole trip. All hotels had excellent continental breakfast's - we couldnâ€™t face more as the meals included in the package were substantial and there seemed to be more included that we had calculated.
Mark & Margaret
Fantastic in every way!
It was fantastic in every way! Up there with our fabulous trip to Africa. Just the right amount of time in each place, fabulous accommodation, and probably what made it even better was our guide Sunny, well informed, would do slightly different things with us, like visiting the large Sikh temple in Delhi and going behind the scenes to the kitchens, would order food for us to try, pushing our boundaries a little and even invited us to his home in Jaipur to meet his family, which was absolute gold!! We would recommend him highly as a guide with a difference, very passionate about his India, and what he wants to show you. Thank you so much for all the fabulous organisation, it was truly a trip of a lifetime and no Delhi belly either!!
...we wanted to let you know how thrilled we were with it.
We recently booked a World Journeys trip... and we wanted to let you know how thrilled we were with it. First, we were impressed with World Journeys booklet and presentation of the trip. The information was accurate and relevant. Every one of your employees in Buenos Aires, Peru, Cuba was outstanding. The ones meeting us at the airports were punctual, friendly and accommodating. There were no hitches or oversights. Our highest praise goes to our amazing guide through Cuba - Javier Alejandro. He was professional, very experienced and knowledgeable. He listened to our interests, summed us up and tailored our tour accordingly. Javier is highly intelligent with a great sense of humour and an understanding of his country. He is also so easy to get along with, very relaxed and answered our many questions. His local knowledge is outstanding and makes a huge difference. Everything was so well organised with no delays or glitches. We never felt unsafe or stressed the whole trip. We really felt we met local people, ate local food and experienced Cuban life as well as the tourist side of Cuba. We stayed in range of beautiful and spotlessly clean casa particulars. They all had comfortable beds, a safe, an ensuite, air conditioning and a beautiful breakfast was provided. We ate fabulous food in a range of places, authentic Italian, a Cuban sandwich, goat at a roadside restaurant and of course the tarte caramel! We swam in the Caribbean, saw hummingbirds and flamingos, tobacco growing and went caving. We enjoyed the art and music, the people and the architecture that makes Cuba the amazing place it is.
We met our safari driver and guide and away we went... to Ashnil Samburu Camp Buffalo Springs Game Reserve. Very good communication along the way! On arrival at the Park, we went immediately into our game drive - spotting animals and birds became the focus. Nature treated us well and we arrived at about 5.30, checked in and were ushered to our fixed tented accommodation, very nice. Open air under cover silver service with, oh my word, every choice available, we were walked to bed and were serenaded to sleep by the hippos! A 6.30 am start and a full day game drive. Once again nature treated us well. Highlights being Cheetah mum and 18 month old cub and a leopard resting out along a limb, along with mum elephant and a suckling calf, WOW! Next morning off to Samburu National Reserve! Luckily on the way 2 lionesses with a cub treated us. On the way we met the Samburu people at their village. So friendly, the children were amazing and recited the alphabet and counted to 10 for us. Travelling to Serena Mountain Lodge we criss crossed the equator many times, no bump as we went over it! On the road again to Serena Mountain Lodge and night viewing. Mt Kenya was behind us and we were 2134 metres above sea level. It's marvellous seeing the people as we're driving, village life, massive greenhouses growing roses and carnations for export. On cloud 9, truly didn't expect to see so many animals. Lake Nakuru is a salt water lake 45 square kilometres. Lunched at Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge, sumptuous and choices galore! The birdsong was deafening and bird life amazing. To see so many animals roaming together with the flamingo in the background, breathtaking! Just a short drive to Enashipai, we have had amazing accommodation to date, this blew us away! Another fantastic silver service meal with a great sleep to follow. On the road again to the Masai Mara, within seconds of entering the park animals and birds abound. We stayed at Basecamp Masai Mara, another fixed tented accommodation. When President Obama was a Senator, his family stayed there and planted a tree each. If we needed to go out at night we shone our torch and a Maasai Warrior came and escorted us. An absolute cacophony of animal sounds for our night and day break chorus. If your guests are able to, pay for and enjoy the hot air balloon ride over the Mara, breathtakingly peaceful just floating along, and a champagne silver service breakfast to boot! Fantastic. We walked down to the lakes edge where the hippos are grazing and we had a boat ride on the lake, another excellent day. Well to date we have been blown away with what we've seen and now how can we contain ourselves the magical Amboseli, with to me the magical Mt Kilimanjaro by us, out of this world. Game drives through the two swamps and the Amboseli Maasai Mara people and the children, how they smile (wish our kids would do the same. With the help of my family friends and clients we've donated 100 kilograms of stationery and clothes to these people). To see the children when we visited the school and their eyes alight singing to us, tears streaming down my face, gut wrenching, and to see their smiles with their eyes lighting up, wow so humbled. Nextâ€¦.wow, the elephants of Amboseli under Mt Kilimanjaro, magical! We leave Amboseli, Arusha here we come, the town clock is the centre of Africa, Cairo in the North, Cape Town in the South, Dar es Salaam in the East and Accra Ghana in the West! And yes more silver service and food mind blowing for choice, don't travel with World Journeys to lose weight! Off to Lake Manyara, we stayed in Karatu, Acacia Farm Lodge, fantastic sunset greeted us and of course luxury accommodation and silver service for our food! In the morning we drove to the Serengeti, game driving along the way and stopping to lookout at the Ngorongoro Crater all shrouded in mist. Along the route we saw amazing, infinite scenery again, the vastness unbelievable, and the Maasai people along with the young lads who had had their initiation into warrior hood. Made it to Kati Kati Tented Camp, awesome. All of our accommodation has been fantastic, tonight's at the Oldeani Mountain Lodge wow, wow, wow outstanding. Our fantastic Safari is over... so many memories.
My time at the Alto Atacama was absolutely great!! Arrangements for pick ups and transfers were faultless. The hotel staff are amazing - it is a fabulous place to stay. The excursions are as advertised and hotel staff are really helpful in advising (particularly in regard to altitude sickness) and accommodating excursion preferences. Their guides are seriously good. Accommodation, restaurant, etc is very good and any problems are attended to. As a single female traveller, I felt quite OK all of the time. I absolutely loved my time there - I think the 4 night/5 day option is just about perfect. Thanks so much Elly for your work in getting this into place and I would thoroughly recommend it for prospective travellers!
We would like to thank you for organising the most amazing trip. We absolutely loved Africa and would like to return. Everything went like clockwork, certainly took the stress from us having meet and greets and drivers already arranged. We enjoyed all safaris, (are now hooked). However the Masai Mara was the highlight. We were fortunate enough to see the end of the great migration! Outstanding. Mara Bushtops was a wonderful experience, with close encounters with the wildlife outside our room! Once again many thanks for a very enjoyable and memorable experience. Will definitely recommend World Journeys!
Chris and Karen
Just to give you some feedback on our trip. The absolute highlight without doubt was the trip into Churchill as we did see polar bears despite that fact that we were actually too early for the season. Even the local guides were pretty excited by one of our experiences. We went out on a boat to see beluga whales. While we were heading out word came through that there could be a female polar bear and cub on the shore of Hudson Bay so we set out to see if we could find them. We did and were watching them hoping for some activity as they were sleeping on the shore. While we were there a lot of beluga whales came to see what we were up to. They were all round us and we could hear their communication through a microphone which was put into the water. One beluga played with the microphone. But ... behind us a male polar bear appeared in the water swimming his way up Hudson Bay. The beluga whales took the opportunity to swim around and under him, hassling him as they apparently do when polar bears are in the water. It was hard to know where to look! In all we saw 8 bears in 5 sightings (probably the same two on two occasions): three mothers with cubs and two lone males. Just magical!! Our diversion to Rankin Inlet when Churchill airport was closed by cloud turned out to be an advantage. The tour company did magnificently. Rather than have us stuck at Rankin Inlet Airport (in a small room, without enough seats and nothing in the way of food) for 10 hours they managed to find two buses and two local guys to drive us so we got a look around the area and met local Inuit people, saw (and bought!) their handcrafts. They also managed to arrange for a very nice lunch and dinner for us. Hats off to them!!! We would certainly recommend them to others.
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!