Escorted Holidays

In the summer of 1863, 130 intrepid travellers, led by pioneering travel agent Thomas Cook gingerly made the voyage across the English Channel to embark upon his company’s new-fangled escorted tour to the Swiss Alps.
For the next fortnight, this bunch of hardy souls – who had all forked out the princely sum of £10 for the experience – rode mules over Alpine ravines and ladies lumbered up glaciers in asphyxiating crinoline dresses.
As antiquated as it may seem, those two weeks were the beginning of the escorted tour as we know it. Of course, escorted tours have changed beyond all recognition since then. Today, itineraries don’t take weeks to complete (Cook later launched a ‘222-day trip to Egypt’), it’s quicker to get around on trains rather than mules while toilets are invariably more hygienic too.
There’s also more diversity, with escorted tours available to suit seemingly every interest, from horse-riding to history.

Still, many misconceptions remain around escorted tours. Many believe them to be whirlwinds of 5am wake-up-calls, hours stuck on stuffy coaches and being shoved around ancient sites by aggressive tour guides. Escorted tours are launching a comeback, fuelled by increasingly busy lifestyles (large chunks of your life can be spent attempting to book on complex train websites) and a growing interest in previously ‘difficult’ destinations.

An escorted tour allows you to sample the best of a country or region without fretting over hotel bookings or missing travel connections. They work particularly well for large countries, such as Australia, enabling you to visit such far-apart destinations as Sydney, Alice Springs, the Great Barrier Reef and Perth – often within a matter of a fortnight.
They also throw in experiences such as whale-watching or wine-tasting, often a logistical nightmare for holidaymakers to organise.

  • Escorted rail tour

    One of the best ways to view dramatic scenery is from the comfort of a luxury train carriage. Saga has escorted rail journeys through the Rocky Mountains, the jungles of Malaysia, the Australian Outback and one epic journey traversing five African countries – Ethiopia, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Kenya.

  • Escorted cruise

    Whether it’s sailing the Norwegian fjords or drifting down the river Nile, escorted cruises are an excellent way to view changing scenery and landscapes. Spitfire Travel also offer escorted ‘Cruise and Stay’ options, which combine stays on water and land, giving you more time to explore a city or relax on a beach.

  • Special interest escorted tours

    There is a plethora of escorted tours to suit most interests with an expert guide usually on hand to provide insight into the places you’re visiting. Into country music, blues or jazz? Why not try a deep south tour of the USA? Or perhaps a walking tour? That’s not all – there are escorted tours for equine enthusiasts, bird-watchers and painters – all allowing customers to indulge their favourite hobby.

  • Adventure tours

    It’s not just the usual haunts you can experience on an escorted tour. Holiday companies are starting to venture to lesser travelled lands, including the Central Asian countries, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
    These fascinating destinations give travellers an insight into the historic Silk Road and learn about the history of the countries. A far cry away from the beach resorts that have previously symbolised a holiday.

Why Escorted Holidays?

They’re easy, perhaps the biggest allure of the escorted tour is that somebody else has organised everything for you. There’s no staying up into the small hours navigating complicated foreign train websites, no kicking the computer with frustration at flight baggage fees and no arguments over where to eat. Instead, escorted tours allow you to relax and enjoy the experience.

They’re perfect for emerging or less well-trodden countries. Escorted tours work well in those countries where tourism infrastructure isn’t so well-developed. Take Iran for example. With the lifting of travel restrictions and new air routes, tour operators have flooded in to offer guided tours (travellers can only visit the country on organised trips) to the state’s many attractions such as the mosques of Isfahan or the ruins of Persepolis. See undiscovered-destinations.com, secretcompass.com, wildfrontierstravel.com for more.
They help ease travel anxieties. Travelers wary about navigating the Cyrillic signs of the Moscow metro would find comfort in an escorted tour. Likewise, travellers who might find the challenges of travelling around a developing nation such as India, would also find an escorted tour around the country a godsend.

Escorted tours can overcome loneliness for some single travellers. Many single travellers would appreciate the companionship that escorted tours can provide. Some tour operators cater well towards this market, offering single rooms and cabins at no extra cost.
We can also Tailor-make your own personal escorted tour.

Want to know more about our escorted holidays ? Call our team on 01462 850489