Insight Tour Reviews

Insight Vacations
4.5 out of 5
438 Reviews

The reviews listed below are from past clients of Global Journeys that have travelled with Insight Vacations. Every review has been verified.

     
“Not for independent travelers”
- NSW, Australia Sep 2018 3 Helpful Votes

We traveled with Insight on a 9 day tour of Europe. We chose them as I had traveled with them before, albeit a long time ago. I had thought the hotels would be central, as claimed, but found they weren't as close to the city centres as expected. Quality of hotel dipped in a couple places, but that may have been the best option at that location.

Insight don't seem to make any use of technology, and continue to post paper notices of activity on hotel notice boards instead of using an app - or at least a daily email - to set out the plans. This results in the tour director having to shout out directions at times, and leads to some confusion. This is the 21st century and the technology is there to make group travelling a lot smoother. For those who may not be very fit or mobile, I would not recommend this tour, as the pace was very fast and can be exhausting if you try to do all of the options. I was surprised how many things I would consider should be included were optional, eg visit to Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna. Next time we will travel independently!

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“Grand Scandinavian Insight”
- NSW, Australia Aug 2018 4 Helpful Votes

Far too little time in Copenhagen, Stockholm and Helsinki. 2 and 1/2 days of wasted time driving with little stops coming south along western Norway coast. Best experiences above Arctic Circle. Too many optional excursions when some of these should have been included in the tour price.

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“Grand Scandinavia 2018 20 Day Tour”
- NSW, Australia Jun 2018 1 Helpful Vote

This tour covers Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. The brochure paints an exciting tour with really enjoyable optional experiences. So we were a little let down with what actually occurred. There is a lot of time spent on travelling to places. On a number of days you left at eight o'clock and did not arrive at the next place until after five. This was due to the 70-80km speed limit, driver rest periods and the winding roads. When arrived at our destination we wanted to unwind over drinks but the cost was exorbitant (AUD$18 for a small beer). The quality of the hotels varied a great deal depending on what town you staying at. Meals were generally buffet style with ample selection of dishes.

The optional experiences were costly for what actually occurred. The railway journey from Sweden sounded good but all you did was catch a normal passenger train from a nearby station and travel back down the hillside. We opted out of doing the traditional dinners after the Danish dinner as we found the quality of the food was not great. The overnight cruise from Stockholm to Helsinki was okay, The cruise is actually on a car ferry and the cabins were just adequate.The scenery was excellent and you saw many many fjords.

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“Country Roads of France”
- VIC, Australia Jun 2018 6 Helpful Votes

Other travellers were very pleasant. Tour was good. Tour guide spent most of her time talking up the optional excursions so people would buy them - obviously wanting her commission. This was a turn off as most were overpriced.

Reply from Insight Vacations:
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the Country Roads of France tour with Insight Vacations. Whilst we are happy to hear that your overall experience on the road with us was an enjoyable one, we truly regret to learn that certain aspects of your trip, notably the Optional Experiences did not quite meet your expectations. As such, your concerns will be shared with our internal team for further review to see where possible improvements could be made going forward. That being said, we sincerely hope to have the opportunity to restore your full faith in our guided holidays in the near future.

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“Treasures of Spain, Portugal & Morocco (Nov-Apr)”
- VIC, Australia Mar 2018 2 Helpful Votes View Photo

From day 1 the tour seemed rushed and poorly organised. In real terms we saw nothing of Madrid other than sitting in a bus and having sites pointed out. On one occasion we went for a short walk around the palace area. Visiting Prado Museum was great but it too was rushed. Basically we should have had two nights with free time to explore the city at leisure.

While some hotels were very good, many in Morocco were in state of disrepair. I.e. rain flooded the floor due to windows leaking. The fix was to close the shutters and put the room in darkness. One hotel, the evening meal was what was served at breakfast Or was it the breakfast meal they served in the evening.

As for the belly dancing night out, I could have done better myself. Not a patch on what Insight provided in Turkey. It was the pits. One excursion was cancelled, not enough people, what a joke And for whatever the reason in Morocco, we travelled the day along one highway just to return along the same highway to get to our next destination.. Let me say however Jorge our tour director worked his butt off.

Given it was Insight it was a disappointing tour.

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“Not so much touring in style...!”
- VIC, Australia Oct 2017 16 Helpful Votes

Not sure what the slogan 'the art of touring in style' and VIP tags attached to our luggage meant. The tour was just average and like any other tours. No hotel staff greeted us with welcome drinks as VIP and, we had to queue in line to enter the museums, churches, etc.. like any other groups. As we had paid more (than the price offered by its competitor), we expected the hotels to be better than those provided by its competitor, whom we usually travel with. Yet, we found the hotels, except for Dom Pedro in Lisbon, are of lower standard and located too far away from city centres.

While the horse riding could be part of the optional dinner, I believe visiting Plata de Espana in Seville should have been part of the city tour inclusion as this world heritage site is admission free, and only 10 minutes drive from the hotel. The inclusive dinners, except the one served at Vincci Albayzín, were average and rather disappointing, Conclusion; Not so happy or keen to recommend the tour or Insight to our friends and families. Beware of the optional tours and dinners! They could cost you an extra Euro 550 on top the already pricey tour.

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“Capital Cities, long journeys.”
- NSW, Australia Sep 2017 4 Helpful Votes

Northern Capitals is an apt description. Unfortunately, journeys between are lengthy and some capitals could be missed! Some are fabulous and more time in Berlin St Petersburg and Russia would be better. Always read the itinerary.

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“Good Program compromised by hotels”
- WA, Australia Jun 2017 5 Helpful Votes

Based on this we would be reluctant to travel with Insight again. The hotel in St Petersburg was remote from the main sites and substandard. In Moscow the hotel was even more remote. Guide was very good.

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“Land of waterfalls, glaciers and geysers”
- NSW, Australia Jun 2017 2 Helpful Votes View Photo

We thought mid-summer was a good time of year to visit Iceland but unfortunately it was unseasonably cold and the problem is the beauty of Iceland is much diminished when it is cloudy and raining. The itinerary was good although there were a couple of long driving days with nothing special to see. The accommodation was on the whole good although a couple of hotels were below standard - very small room and badly equipped room.

The food included in the tour was excellent, especially the evening meals which comprised a varied selection of fish and seafoods. The breakfasts were also very good. Finding our mid-day lunch posed a problem as most places provided a limited selection of food which was extremely expensive. It was a nice surprise to find the Blue Lagoon had been included in the itinerary and it was a good way to finish the trip.

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“Pleasant ' Insight' Trip but expensive with poorer quality hotels”
- ACT, Australia May 2017 4 Helpful Votes

Although it was summer (June) in Scandinavia it was still very cold and it snowed or sleeted several times. Don't bother heading to the Artic Circle or North Cape until much later in summer as you can't see much in the bad weather. The Insight coach and driver were great and the tour guide was good, but definitely a sales person when it came to optional extras - just do your own itinerary in the free time and you will get more out of the stops.

The standard of the hotels were disappointing when the tour was sold as providing a min 4 star, but most were 3 star with one or two even less. Be prepared for very basic cabins on the ferry to Helsinki. Stockholm was the highlight - very pretty city with lovely old town and easy to walk around. The Hilton Hotel in Stockholm was by far the best. If you are looking for a gastronomical experience on vacation, Scandinavia will somewhat disappoint - reindeer is worth trying and the salmon was also good, but the other white fish were bland. The other main stay of pork was nothing special. Potatoe is the main vegetable served so I really missed my greens. Norway is the most expensive of the Scandinavian countries so be prepared for the cost of food, wine and clothing to be double what you pay in Australia. Worth seeing Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway, but I wouldn't bother going back.

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“Great fun ... just do it!”
- WA, Australia May 2017 5 Helpful Votes

This was a fabulous itinerary, we travelled through some important and incredible cities. Our guide Emma was wonderful. The driver was adequate, no personality but I guess he didn't need to have one, we just like a driver with a bit of a spark. Included tours were wonderful, extras where underwhelming and expensive and rushed. I would just go with the inclusions and use the free nights and afternoons (not many) to catch your breath or perhaps explore a city for yourself. Overall, the accommodation was awesome, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Costa Del Sol is a bit of a yawn, but you can use this time to relax.

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“Great taste of Europe”
- WA, Australia Apr 2017 8 Helpful Votes

For a first timer in Europe, this was a great tour to pick. Traditional in the sense of road traveled, it ticked off lots of locations that I wanted to experience, and a few ones that I wouldn't have considered! The pace is still quite busy, despite the two nights in some locations - and you will not see nearly as much as you'd probably want to in some cities (eg. Budapest, Vienna, Rome), but as long as you have that clearly in your mind, you won't be super disappointed.

Hotels are decent - and locations are fantastic perhaps with the exception of Pullman Montparnasse in Paris (relatively far out from the central area). The Florence hotel is not one that I'm eager to go back to (they tried to be modern, but it just was weirdly tacky) and the Grand Corinthia in Budapest was truly delightful.

The included food was a bit hit and miss - some meals were lovely, others were left on the plate! (Wurzburg I'm looking at you! Yikes). A tip - if you are doing optionals that include meals - do not each much during the day. You are usually in for a 3 course meal with drinks with large portions. I found eating a decent breakfast was enough to get me through.

A word on the optionals - yes, they are expensive - but some optionals truly made the trip for me - such as the Luzern Carriage & Farmhouse visit, the Viennese dinner & Orchestra, the Tuscan dinner, the Budapest river cruise & dinner. Some people I went on the tour with did not know about the optionals and had not known to budget for them - which did create some tension and grumbling. Request the Optional price list from your agent here so you can budget the cost. Insight originally did not send the list to me in the pack and I had to request them from my travel agent here (Thanks Hannah!)

Also, the notion of tipping - we Australians aren't that great at it - but in Europe...it's all about the tips! You generally are expected to tip local tour guides and your Insight guide and driver. Another cost to factor in your budget.

Would I do Insight again? Probably. You are herded a bit like you would on any tour, but the group is smaller than some of the really big groups like Trafalgar, Globus etc. And there is something really nice about having everything organised for you, right down to luggage delivered to your room. Thanks for the smooth booking Global Journeys - I would most definitely book through you again!

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“Spain and Portugal trip”
- VIC, Australia Apr 2017 3 Helpful Votes

Rotating seating system on coach is good, however, we are (most in the tour) not tall people, all commended that the extra leg room at the left side of the coach is not comfortable. Seats at the right side are excellent and comfortable. Some hotels are not up to the standard and located too far away from city centres. Could have spent extra night in Porto or Granada and 1 less night in Costo del sol ! Toni our tour director was very thoughtful and looked after us well. All the local tour guides were very professional and did a great job. Thoroughly enjoyed all the guided tours.

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“Alpine Christmas market wonderland”
- QLD, Australia Dec 2016 3 Helpful Votes View Photo

Booking through Georgie and Global Journeys is so easy and professional. Thanks! Insight offered a good Christmas market tour, accommodation was comfortable and warm! Starting in Munich I would recommend tours guaranteed to start from Hilton City Munich as it is a great location to access the city on foot. The Alps region is lovely for a European winter experience. The optional tour to Lindau Palace and Oberammergau was very good. We saw a light dusting of snow in Innsbruck and through the Austrian Alps. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and helpful. Strasbourg and Colmar in France were lovely, and not to be missed, but a lot of driving from the location of Lake Titisee. Probably could have been a couple of days longer to allow for more time to relax and enjoy the wintry experience of the towns. Included dinners were a great experience.

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“Wonderful Way to see Spain, Portugal and Morocco”
- SA, Australia Sep 2016 4 Helpful Votes

Insight Vacations certainly made it easier to see these three countries. The itinerary is pretty good with stops at most places I wanted to see in Spain and Morocco, albeit lacking in Portugal. I would have liked to have seen Barcelona in Spain as part of the itinerary, and more places in Portugal. The tour guide for this trip was excellent; he was organised, knowledgeable, gentle in dealings with difficult people, respectful at all times to everyone, yet still friendly and approachable. In addition, I liked the optional excursions, the comfortable seating on the coach, the frequent "comfort room" stops, and the decent accommodation and meals included.

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“Spain and Lisbon”
- Vic, Australia Aug 2016 1 Helpful Vote

This was a long trip (18 days) and a lot of time was spent travelling in the coach. For the money we paid I would have thought that many of the optionals should have been included. We do most and it cost us a further 1200€. This makes for a very expensive holiday. The position of the hotels is not convenient. Most times we were situated out of town centre and it made it difficult for us to do our own thing. Dinner highlights were on some occasions lowlights; here is the bus group, feed them and get them out of here. Thank heaven both bus drivers and Elena, our guide were accommodating. Elena is vivacious and enthusiastic. Our group was also a great group to travel with.

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“A nice way to see Croatia”
- SA, Australia Aug 2016 3 Helpful Votes

This is a nice hassle free way to see Croatia. The pace was a bit faster than relaxed but still OK. My advice would be not to take this tour in August (the European holiday season) as we did as some places visited were very busy with tourists. In particular the visit to Plitvice Lakes was unpleasant due to the thousands of tourists there which made it impossible to enjoy the beauty of the place. Couple that with an overnight stay in the hotel there which even the tour director was apologising for before we got there and the overall experience was not good. The hotel room we had had no air conditioning other than open the door to the balcony. After the Lakes, the pace slows a bit and it becomes quite pleasant along the coastline. The tour bus was very comfortable and the tour director was excellent. Overall, a nice tour but do it outside the peak season.

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“20 Day European Classic ”
- WA, Australia Jun 2016 1 Helpful Vote View Photo

The holiday was good, but we weren't warned that we would be joining a coach load of existing travellers who had all been suffering from some sort of flu virus. Had we been warned we could have taken some precautions to protect ourselves, however, by Rome Ken was quite ill and we had to get the doctor in. This virus had developed into bronchitis meaning that he missed the entire 2 days and did not get to see or do anything in Rome. I had to manage the 2 days on my own which was not ideal. The places we visited were excellent and very interesting. We were rather pressured after Greece into paying upfront for all the optional extras for the rest of the trip in one go and the suggestion that we might need more time to think about it was not greeted favourably. With a bit more time to consider we may not have selected some of the options on offer.

The mix of passengers on the trip was quite friendly and luckily we struck up a friendship with another couple who joined the tour in Greece with us. We did feel that we were a bit on the outer with the existing passengers who considered us as "newbies" (their word not mine). The hotels were pretty good although a few of the rooms were a bit small. The food was good on the whole and there was plenty of it, although stopping at motorway service stations for lunch was not that great. The cruise boat was not good with terrible food and minisccule cabins but we enjoyed our trips to the Greek islands which were all very beautiful. The local guides throughout the whole trip were excellent and well informed and made every excursion very interesting. The coach driver, Antonio, was excellent and his driving in pressured conditions was very professional. He was a real gentleman and always said hello and greeted you with a smile even when he was off duty. The whole trip was action packed and we enjoyed it. We felt it was all a bit rushed so maybe we may look for something a bit more laid back if we decide to book again. (Ed: Review based on slightly different itinerary. Trip name and itinerary updated this season)

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“I had a good time”
- NSW, Australia Oct 2015 5 Helpful Votes

I had a good time, but was somewhat disappointed with a couple of the hotels. The Hotel Regina Elena Santa Margherita Ligure had a single bed & did not have the air conditioning operating & we were told to open the windows. My window was a sliding door that was shared with an adjoining room & opening that did not make me feel safe. At the Hotel Ancora Cortina I had a very small single bed that was quite high & made me feel as if I was going to fall out. After paying for a single supplement I think that I was entitled to have a room similar in size as to a shared room & this opinion was shared by others on the trip in similar circumstances. I may be a bit judgmental but after my trip last year with Trafalgar to the USA & Canada where the hotels were fantastic some of the accommodation made me feel a bit 2nd class. I do realise that this was Italy and not the USA & that hotels themselves make room allocation, but maybe they could be reminded that travelers do expect something for their single supplement payment. Otherwise the hotel in Rome & Venice were very nice & I very much enjoyed Italy especially the scenery in the Dolomite Mountains they are spectacular.

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“We enjoyed our trip to Switzerland”
- VIC, Australia Sep 2015 21 Helpful Votes

We enjoyed our trip to Switzerland, but were disappointed with the number and cost of the optional extras. If we had done all of them on offer, it would have cost us another $2500 on top of the cost of the trip. Such excursions as the Jungfrau we were told that "everyone does this", therefore why not just include it in the itinerary, and not as an optional extra? If one didn't partake in these extras, you were left with time on your hands while the others went off - often not in places that had a lot to offer. We also got thoroughly sick of the Insight propaganda - every day there was some sort of Insight leaflet or branded product left on the bus seat, or promotional dvd played as we drove along. And every day we were being told about why Insight was such a good company to travel with. Given that everyone on the tour had travelled with Insight before, it was unnecessary information. The hotels were on the most part very good, and well located - the main exception being in Luzerne. The only other thing I'd say is that some of our contingent found it difficult to cope with the cobblestones and many, many stairs, both in the towns, and stairs in the hotels. But mainly because of the optional extras (and cost of), and I know they're optional, we would think long and hard about another Insight tour, particularly now that there are so many tour companies that include all these costs, plus tipping.

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