Home > Compare Tour & Adventure Operators > CIE Tours vs Insight Vacations

CIE Tours vs Insight Vacations

Compare the travel styles, pricing, destinations and popularity of CIE Tours and Insight Vacations.

The Low Down

CIE Tours CIE Tours are specialists in guided coach tours through Britain and Ireland. With over 80 years of history the team at CIE certainly have the local ties and experience to deliver you a top notch touring experience through Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England. They have recently dipped their toes into new regions within Europe (like Iceland and Italy) but for now Global Journeys only sell their trips on the mainland of the UK.

CIE are relatively unknown in the Australasian market but are very popular in the rest of the world, so you're fellow travellers are likely to be from all around the world, but perhaps with more American's onboard than Antipodeans. With itineraries designed to be fully inclusive, putting your hand in your pocket for optional day trips and activities is not something you need to worry about.

Accommodation on each trips sits at the 3 to 3 1/2 star level, with breakfasts (along with many lunches and dinners) also included. There's a maximum group size of 44, but look out for selected departures on selected trips that are designed for small groups. Also keep a lookout for CIE's Tour of the Week Deal which runs year round and offers savings of up to 15% off the normal retail price.

Insight Vacations Upmarket coach touring, with 4.5+ star accommodation, maximum group sizes of 40 on a full size coach and more leisurely paced touring itineraries. The pricing of Insight's trips tends to attract travellers in their 60's and 70's. If you're tall, then you should seriously consider Insight, as their coaches been reconfigured to allow up to twice as much legroom as on a standard coach. Insight have recently launched trips through South America, and expanded their range of Gold Luxury Vacations, where you can expect the ultimate in luxury and refinement.

We find that the feedback we get back from past clients is sometimes a little critical, and we feel this is because of the very high standard some of our clients are expecting due to Insight's positioning in the market. On every multi-day journey, there will always be little annoyances, but as a whole package the team here definitely recommend Insight worthy of your consideration. If you've travelled with any of its sister brands like AAT Kings, Trafalgar or Uniworld further savings are available.


No. of Trips
No. of Departures
Avg. Trip Length
9 Days
Avg. Price Per Day
3.5 - 4 Star
Trip Styles Coach Tours
Regions Explored UK & Ireland
No. of Trips
No. of Departures
Avg. Trip Length
12 Days
Avg. Price Per Day
4 - 4.5 Star

In Their Own Words We asked the travel companies themselves why you should travel with them

CIE Tours
When you travel with CIE Tours, you will get the warmest of welcomes and all the benefits of our 87 years of experience. The itineraries are locally crafted - we set our own high standards for delivering excellent holidays with state-of-the-art luxury coaches; the best hotels; carefully chosen authentic experiences and entertainment.

Our outstanding local tour directors are ready to share their knowledge, stories, passion for their home places - they are our greatest assets. Many of our tours spend 2 nights in each location, and our flexible itineraries include a great balance of escorted and free time. We include full breakfasts, most dinners and some evening entertainment. No one has to worry about paying for optional extras on the trip. It’s all included, no hidden extras.

We know how much these trips mean to you and we want to ensure that this is a trip you will treasure forever.
Insight Vacations
At Insight Vacations we have been creating magical travel experiences for over 40 years, showcasing the most outstanding destinations and curated experiences in Europe and North America.

Why are we different to any other operator? It’s our unique Insight experiences. It’s our authentic and varied dining options, it’s travelling in smaller groups on customised coaches with twice the legroom, it’s staying in the right hotels in the right location, all brought together seamlessly by our exceptional travel directors. In essence: All the sights, and the insights….up close and personal…in comfort and style.

Travel is such a joy and a personal passion for myself and every member of our team. We’re so proud of the quality, service and value we provide and invite you to try it for yourself. Talk to Global Journeys to find out more about travelling in style and booking your next holiday with Insight Vacations.

Recent Reviews

Irish Odyssey   0 , NSW, Australia, Mar 2024
CIE are a great tourist organisation. All costs were in the price quoted , no added extras like some tourist organisations. The tour covered big and small venues, cities and towns whilst the places used for accommodation were of great value. I would recommend CIE.
Taste of Scotland and Ireland   1 , NSW, Australia, Sep 2023
Loved every minute of the trip. Sam our driver was amazing. Jaquie our guide was fabulous. Couldn't recommend them any more. Would do it again in a heartbeat. A must do trip to add to your bucket list.
Stunning scenery in the wilds of Scotland, with some logistical challenges.   2 , VIC, Australia, Aug 2023
This was an excellent itinerary to see the stunning landscapes that Scotland offers. Isle of Skye, Glencoe and Orkney were standout locations, The trip also had a liberal dose of castles and stately homes, both functioning and derelict. The tour guide provided an immense amount of history and perspective, to bring locations alive with their significance. ...read more Overall a very worthwhile experience.

On the downside, the tour company, CIE, chose to deliver our 'welcome pack' to the first hotel, rather than to our home. This appears to be their practice for Australians. This was in the least inconvenient as it meant we would not have the benefit of the provided backpacks for our outward journey. All other participants, who were from the USA, had their packs delivered to their homes. The impact was exacerbated by the packs not being there when we arrived, so we were without backpacks, name-tags, maps etc for the whole trip. It was only after pestering our guide that we finally received our packs on the very last day of the trip.

Our other concern was that the the quality of some of the hotels was below our expectations, with cramped rooms and bathrooms lacking power outlets etc, This is understandable in small remote towns, but the worst examples were actually in Glasgow and Inverness. We shared those hotels with other tour companies, such as Trafalgar, so we were not alone in the experience. The multiple tour groups also made meals, especially breakfast, a bit of a bunfight and far exceeded lift capabilities. We chose to walk up 5 flights at one stage, Would we do it again? Probably not with CIE. Their offices are in Ireland and USA and they appear to be not well geared for Australian participation.
Excellent trip. With CIE Tours   0 , NSW, Australia, May 2023
Very organised. tour. Excellent hotels. Would book with Global Journeys again. My travel advisor Jemma Rosen was excellent answering concerns I had.
Beautiful Scottish Highlands and Isles   0 , WA, Australia, May 2023
Amazing journey through Scottish Highlands and Isles, getting to see parts of Scotland that I would normally not have considered going to. Went in May and weather was fantastic. The accommodations (with the exception for the Balmacara Hotel) were very ordinary and well below expectations. Whilst I would recommend this trip, I would hope that the tour ...read more operators review the accommodation options and provide better options in the future.
CIE Tours. Good value.   1 , NSW, Australia, May 2023
My experience with Global Journeys was excellent along with my travel consultant Jemma Rosen. Very helpful in answering all my questions and I would definitely book with Global Journeys again in the future. Enjoyed my trip with CIE which I thought was good value.
Best First Trip to Germany   0 , VIC, Australia, Jun 2024
The tour leader and the driver are great. I'm having a great time. Enjoying the sites seeing for the first time. I really recommend if you want to visit Germany for short period of time.
Would highly recommend this tour, everything ran smoothly.   1 , VIC, Australia, May 2024
Would highly recommend this tour, as everything was organised. The tour director and coach driver delivered a high standard of customer service.
Great itinerary with a broad span of experiences     0 , VIC, Australia, May 2024
We loved the variety of experiences on this trip. From the busy sights of Rome, Florence, Pisa and Venice to the charm of Lake Maggiore, Cinque Terre and the grandeur of the Dolomites, we saw Italy at its best. The pace was just right and tour guide excellent. The only downside was rather repetitive fixed menus for dinner in the early stages of the ...read more trip, which improved as we moved away from the busiest centres. Organisation by Global Journeys was great and everything clicked into place.
Country Roads of Southern Italy & Sicily   0 , VIC, Australia, May 2024
Thanks to Hannah from Global Journeys for organising the tour for us. You made it easy for us. This is the third trip with Insight and everything was well organised and comfortable with a good Tour Director and Driver in a new spacious coach. This tour showed other parts of Italy/Sicily we have not seen on other Italy tours. Highlights were getting ...read more to see the history going back to Greece invasion in BC times and Arib influences. Mt Etna is amazing. Would recommend this tour with Insight and Global Journeys for all their help.
Fabulous tour of Scandinavia   0 , QLD, Australia, May 2024
We had 29 on our tour and we all got along. Quite often we would pair up with other couple to sit with at breakfast or dinner. We had a lot of fun with the other guests and everyone had a good sense of humour including our tour guide, Maja and the driver Laszlo. We had unseasonal warm weather in Copenhagen, Stockholm and most of Finland until we got ...read more to the Arctic Circle. We saw some amazing things and the scenery was breathtaking. Well worth it.
Nice towns and villages   0 , NSW, Australia, Apr 2024
We enjoyed the scenery and lovely towns and villages. Too many long coach days though. Would have loved a more enthusiastic , passionate tour guide with some French music on the coach on the long travel days. Too many optional excursions that should be included like orientation walk of Nice and Aix en Provence.

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