We just loved Helsinki and the Lille Roberts Hotel which was located in easy walking distance to the town centre and markets. The local Helsinki dining experiences were good especially Emo. A brief introduction to Helsinki and local knowledge shared by our guide was reasonable. Unfortunately, the Lapland component of our tour was misrepresented which did not take into account seasonal variations to the advertised brochure. The tour was lack lustre and had too much individual time. There easily could have been more touring and places of interest included. At no time was our guide at fault; she went beyond the call of duty to make at least one day memorable for our group. Fault with this tour lands in the lap of Collette who sold an expensive tour which did not deliver.
Reply from Collette: Thank you for your feedback on our Northern Lights of Finland tour. We are glad you had a great time in Helsinki and the tour guide looked after you. We are very sorry to hear that you did not enjoy Lapland. Season and weather can change a tour’s original plans to ensure the safety and comfort of our guests. As a result of your comments, we will look in to how we can improve the Lapland component of this tour for future groups.
We would recommend this tour to anyone wishing to see what Iceland has to offer. We saw some amazing scenery and were fortunate to see the lights even though it rained every day. Our guide was a bit too laid back, disorganised and even bought her granddaughter to our meet and greet meal which we thought was a bit unprofessional. The accommodation in Vik is 7 minutes out of town and set up like a summer camp with dormitory style bedrooms away from the reception and restaurant area. Meals were served buffet style and offered a large variety of tasty options. Be warned that everything in Iceland is very expensive to buy.
We have visited most European countries and although all of them are special in their own right, Slovenia and Croatia take first prize for the variety and incredible beauty they offer. This was our first tour with Collette and would use them again. Being met at the airport with a glass of wine was a new and welcome added extra. Kotor, Plitvice Lakes (featured in our photo) and Dubrovnik were the highlights. The tour was well organised, with a Croatian guide and excellent driver, who skilfully navigated the scenic, but high roads. This was a truly memorable trip. Thanks again to Georgie for arranging the trip.
Overall the tour was OK. Hotels and locations of the hotels were good. However some of the coach journeys were long, especially from Budapest to Krakow and Krakow to Warsaw. Could have cut out going to Donaly in Slovakia as we only stopped for lunch there. Seemed a bit of a waste of time as we were then caught up in road works all the way to Warsaw which made the journey very slow. The coach driver and Tour Manager would have been aware of the road works and the day could have been better planned.
We’ve just returned from an amazing tour through Scandinavia, culminating in a few days in the gorgeous city of Bergen, in Norway. Denmark and Norway exceeded our expectations in terms of their beauty. The city of Copenhagen is magical and with stunning sights to see and unique experiences, like the Tivoli Gardens, there is something for everyone. Similarly, Bergen in Norway was like being in a fairytale, with troll folklore and Viking history underpinning the story and beauty of Bergen, we were enthralled.
Our guide was a little new at this part of the world, but our local bus driver, Harald, kept her up to date with information. Accommodation was great, especially in Flam and Oslo. One thing we were not aware of is that Collette is an American company, and as such, we were the token Australians on the tour. We love Americans but we also love the homogenous nature of sharing a tour with people from multiple backgrounds, so if you are not American, be prepared for this.
This was our first experience travelling with Collette and their administration was efficient. We requested for early release of documents and they did it in good time. The documents were complete and thorough. They even provided a list of emergency contacts including the addresses and phone numbers of all the hotels for us.
The Tour Manager contacted us 2 weeks before departure preparing us with tips and advice. She happened to be a historian who is well informed, entertaining and a great storyteller. We were greeted on the first day with a warm welcome. She was organised and managed the group very well.
The itinerary was well paced with 2 nights stay at each town except for 2 places with a 1 night stay. Hotels were clean and well located. The beds were comfortable. Daily breakfast and most dinners were included, and they were very good. Activities included a visit to Isle of Skye and Orkney Island, bagpipe playing lesson, cookery class. Overall this has been an enjoyable trip and we would consider doing another trip with Collette.
We travelled north to Edinburgh via York, then back south via Gretna Green, staying in a 12th Century Welsh Castle (allegedly haunted), then onto Stratford-upon-Avon where we headed off to fabulous Stonehenge and returned via beautiful Cotswold Cottages.
A fantastic trip with an amazing tour director (Christine) who had so much knowledge about the UK, we were continually amazed (and entertained). Highly recommended tour.
This Collette tour was well structured with a very competent Leader, Johnathon. We enjoyed all aspects commencing from Cape Town and particularly the game drives in Entabeni and Chobe. The small group of 16 was a perfect size and mostly interacted well. The weather in mid/late April was ideal. We would recommend the tour unreservedly. Hannah from Global Journeys once again provided a professional service.
Jemma at Global Journeys provided another smooth booking and this was my first tour with Collette. I was glad to be on a tour in view of the language barrier and also to learn about day to day life and background info which I otherwise wouldn't have known.
Our tour guide Tomoe went beyond her call of duty to provide maps and info and suggestions when asked. The accommodation was excellent; rooms were larger than expected for a solo traveller and the hotels had great locations. Being vegetarian was challenging but this was expected. All in all, there was a great balance of free time and designated sights and a good group of 32. This tour gave a great overview of Japan.
Japan was certainly very busy so it was great to be staying in top quality accommodation and being escorted to various destinations. The tour went to all the iconic Japanese cultural and geographic spots. It was a good balance of organised activity and free time. Only issue was not enough time in Hiroshima visiting the Peace Museum.
The pace of this tour was good and not too tiring with no early morning checkouts. I also liked it because all breakfasts and dinners were included in the tour. There were no other optional tours that we had to decide on because everything was included. We were lucky, there were only about 30 of us in the group.
My main reason for taking this tour was to see the Northern Lights. Unfortunately we did not see the Northern Lights with our naked eyes, just some white cloud which the tour guide said was the Northern Lights. When we took photos with the cameras or mobile phones it does appear as green Northern Lights.
Great last minute trip through the Imperial cities with Collette. Our river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest had been cancelled due to low water levels so this trip with Collette was very last minute. Many thanks to Jemma from Global Journeys for organising everything for us with such short notice.
My main reason for selecting this tour was to go to Graceland and everything else was a bonus. However, everything was great to see and visit. We had a mix of Americans, Canadians and Australians (including me). The best highlights for me (other than Graceland) were RCA Studio B where Elvis recorded most of his songs as did many others and going to the Grand Ole Opry at Ryman Auditorium. The only problem with the tour timetable was that day 2 had half a day and the night as free time and day 1 was busy from morning to late evening. It would have been more comfortable if dinner on day 1 was on day 2 to break the days up a bit. I also think that for another $40 or $50 the visit to Graceland could have included all of the exhibits rather than some and then being asked to pay for other displays. Staying at the Gaylord Opryland Resort was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. It is fantastic.
It was the pilgrimage of a lifetime... I felt so blessed to have joined this group, there were a lot of wonderful people, there were 4 priests who joined us and the tour manager Pedro was just so wonderful and very knowledgeable. I would surely book with Colette and Global Journeys again.
Loved Japan, enjoyed the tour. The hotels were all of an excellent standard, the sites and experiences were memorable. The pace of the tour was great. Only criticism is that we would have liked longer in Tokyo, should have arrived there a few days earlier. Would definitely book with Global Journeys and Collette again.
First time travelers with Collette. Excellent value, very good accommodation and very knowledgeable tour director. The itinerary was thoughtfully selected as it gave a good balance of new and old Japan. Sufficient free time to cater for the shoppers. First time also with Global Journeys. Jemma was excellent, all went like clockwork.
The hotel we were based in was well-positioned but we would class it as ordinary. Cleaning of room was not the best and often bathroom items (esp. floor mat) were not replaced. We asked for a new room because the shower cubicle was very small. Breakfast was an adequate buffet.
Excursions were excellent with knowledgeable local guides but we were often left with too much free time - not enough to see major sites like the Uffizi Museum in Florence, and not enough information to visit smaller attractions. (We're not into shopping and don't buy souvenirs.)
The tour director, Sergio, was fantastic. He dealt with anything thrown at him with professionalism. He could also tell very funny stories. I think we will stick with Australian companies in the future.
The accommodation was very comfortable and well located. However, Lake Maggiore was the only one with aircon. Because of traffic noise or ground floor position it wasn't appropriate to leave the window open at night, so the rooms were hot which made sleeping difficult. Value wise, most travel is overpriced when you travel as a single. Cynthia was an amazingly knowledgeable and competent guide.