smarTours is a leading provider of direct-to-consumer, affordable travel experiences to exotic global destinations. The Company offers travelers curated, pre-packaged itineraries to over 40 destinations across the globe. By offering tours directly to consumers, the Company provides premium-quality experiences at value prices, and as a result, has cultivated a highly passionate and loyal community of repeat travelers. More than 200,000 travelers have taken a smarTours trip since the founding of the Company in 1996. smarTours is… the smarter way to see the world.
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"Our trip to Italy was sensational! The sights, the food, the hotels and our group was fantastic! Our tour guide Ambra was the most intelligent, kind and caring woman! She went above and beyond and we are hoping that she will be our guide on our next Smartour! We have made friends on this trip that will last a life time!!! Thank you!!!"
"Have traveled with Smartours in the past and this was the worst experience. Trip was not presented as advertised. Entire city visits removed.. course was changed .. riverboat cabins were small and cramped.. we spent a total of 3 hours in Amsterdam for touring. I do not recommend this tour and will not be traveling with Smartours in the future.."
"Tour director was not organized, unable to communicate and control of the tour in general. I would not recommend Smart Tours to anyone do to the fact it was very poorly organized from the air ports, the daily programs and the un ability of the tour director to communicate to us in a precise manner. Mass confusion daily."
"Egypt tour. Just returned on the 28th. First off on the plane no vegetarian meal ordered as I had requested the man who booked my tour. I went 10 hours with no food but a couple pieces of bread. First day in Egypt-I let my tour guide know I was vegetarian-what did they serve me that very night at the 'welcome dinner'? A meal of meat. Once again I went hungry. What is so hard to understand about a common meal request?
I saw many wonderful sights in Egypt which was why I went. But the total filth, flies, and constant harrassment from the locals for money basically ruined the trip. And why no bathroom on the bus? We were at the site of the 3 large pyramids and there was only a small row of port-a-potty things, gaurded over by a local who would not let anyone use them without paying him first!! Really?!!! Horrible bathroom situations everywhere we went except in the hotels. Always with someone there with their handout for 'tips'.
Mistreatment of animals there. Several of us complained to the tour guide who explained, 'we beat our animals and children here, it does not mean we don't like them, its how we discipline them'. Its a wonder I did not end up in an Egyptian jail.
First trip with SmarTours-now my last. This was not worth the money or level of harrassment we endured. Will not recommend this company to anyone.
"I have been trying to help a repeat client to book on this company, his friend had recommend him to book on. The booking system did not send through a confirmation and he has been charged twice.
I have been dealing with Nora and she has been very unhelpful. The amounts that had been charged are different, she will not put in contact with the accounts team and told me I need to speak to my bank to recall the money - even though we have proof the transactions have been charged.
Can someone please contact us and help get back the over charges !!!"
"We want to RELAX on our vacations.
The tour guide Fernando is a MASTER OF EXPERTISE. The rest of the tour guides are o.k.....very friendly of course.
I found that to often the people of S America were out to cheat us.....short change us...etc......of course not your team.
We`re going to stick to cruises.
Now the Columbia trip was less stressful....and had more stuff to shop for so that was a bit better.
"Hello - This would have been a great tour but for the experience at the outset. My husband and I are in the group of 8 travelers who due to a delay out of JFK, missed the connection to Saigon and lost a day of the tour. We were met in Shanghai by a China Eastern representative who handed us a slip of computer paper with our names on it, nothing much else. She did not speak English but we were able to figure out that the airline would provide a hotel for the night and that we should show up at the airport the next day for the flight to Saigon (they only have one flight a day in late evening). We were pointed toward immigration and had to figure out on our own that we had to apply for one-day visas to stay in Shanghai. After the ordeal with immigration, we assembled with all of the others who missed connections and put on buses to the hotel (absolutely no communications from anyone except that we should board the bus). My husband and I sent to a different hotel from the other 6 members of our SmarTours group (at this point, I did not know who the other members were). Turns out that we were put up in a hotel housing mostly Chinese visitors so I think that we were put there because of our ethnicity. At the free-for-all check-in, the hotel handed out boxes of Chinese take out food for dinner. We were probably lucky that they ran out before we checked in. I don't speak Chinese so we had a tough time there. It was also a dingy hotel located way out of city center. We tried to make use of the day and looked into possibly going into Shanghai but when we finally found someone who understood a little English, she told us that this was a bad idea because we were so far out of the city. Instead, we sat in the hotel room watching Chinese TV (no CNN or other English channels!) until check out and proceeded to the airport at around 2 pm because there was nothing to do near the hotel and the airport would be less depressing than the hotel for the next 8+ hours before our flight. When we got to the airport, I inquired at the China Eastern desk about something another delayed traveler told us about the night before. He said that the members of his group were each given a sum of yuan (close to $100) for the delayed flight. The China Eastern representative did not speak or understand much English but he said that he would look into it. After about an hour or so, we were told to follow another person who I thought was taking us to an office where the other traveler told us that the yuan was being dispersed. When we started to exit the airport, I stopped the person to ask where we were going. Mostly through hand gestures, he was able to communicate that he was taking us back to the hotel to get dinner. We were exasperated at this point so we got into the hotel shuttle bus to go back to the hotel. When we arrived he disappeared. We waited in the lobby and he returned a short time later with a bag of take-out food. He pointed us to the breakfast room and gave us the bag of food. He later came back with a room key where we were allowed to stay until the shuttle bus back to the airport. Relating this experience is funnier than when it was all happening but we lived through it. When we finally got to Saigon we learned that SmartTours arranged for us to get the guided city tour that we missed but the fact is that we missed going to the Mekong Delta which was one of the reasons why my husband and I picked this trip. Instead, we got to spend a day in a cheap hotel in Shanghai, a city I once loved but now can't bear the thought of visiting again. It was very disappointing that SmartTours did not set up communications with the eight of us who were in this situation so that we could at least communicate with each other and not feel so isolated and abandoned. We felt further deprived when our fellow travelers told us about how great the Mekong Delta trip was and showed us their pictures. The intrepid 8 all feel that at the very least, we should be reimbursed for the loss of one day of the tour. I hope that you will give this due consideration. Thank you."
"A summary statement would be this trip was anything but enjoyable. It was overcrowded (38 people on a bus, we were always waiting for someone), long lines every where we went, zero leisure time between daily events and hotels.
Arrive Athens after 13+hrs travel time, we don't go to hotel as claimed because rooms aren't available until late afternoon, 1700 we arrive. Next day we board ship after 4+hrs waiting in line. Now our group has expanded to some 1800+ and lines are proportionate along with poor food quality. Finally off ship and in bus after another 4+ hr. wait. Then bus on to hotel again arriving late afternoon, which will be the format for next several days, 0600 wakeup, bags in hall 0700, depart 0800. return late.
Finally Athens a partial day free then the next day breakfast (a box at 0300) depart 0330 for 16+hrs"
"I would not recommend SmarTours to anyone. Their communication is horrible. You don't find out your exact itinerary until 10 days before you leave. And of course it is an itinerary from hell with 2 am wake up calls for 5 am flights. We would arrive at our destination for the day too tired to really process anything. When we complained to our tour manager, she said "you can sleep when you are home."
The whole trip was mismanage. We would wake up early to get somewhere and then sit on the bus for 40 minutes in the parking lot while she lectured us about what we were going to see, and only give us an hour to see it!
Everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) on our trip also got sick. Which means we were taken to places to eat that were not good for american bellies.
I'm a very seasoned traveler. I've been to over 50 countries and usually do 3 international trips a year. So trust me when I say, save your money and go with another tour group. I would give smarTours no stars if that was an option."
"Egypt was great, Smartours ruiened it. After flying to Egypt they allowed us only 3 hours of sleep in 72 hours as they required a 12:00 AM wake up call for the next day. Several people got sick and could not attend planned activities. There was also no reliable schedule they could be used to plan our free time. We also had two days that without any activiites or reliable agenda in Luxor.
This was a very experienced group of travelers. Several people had traveled numerous times with SmarTours. They all agreed that SmarTours quality had deteriorated and would not use them again."
"The “Best of Spain” was the worst. Tour date October 6,2018. The group had 39 people. Too large for our inept guide. In Seville our guide left the microphone for our whisperers on the bus that was not used. Most of the morning guided tour was therefore not guided. These were important sites with no information. She scolded the group each morning about being on time even if we were all there on time. She could not keep track of who decided not to join the group for individual activities. This caused further frustration. The trip promised the Lion Courtyard during our visit to the Alhambra. That did not happen. Very disappointing. The trip intinerary said our guide would give us recommendations for restaurants. When asked she told us she would not make any recommendations because she did not know what we would like. This added to our frustrations the group never jelled. We are seasoned travelers. We know what to expect and this wasn’t it. Shame on you SmarTours. I would like a call from someone in management to discuss this further."
"This was a very poorly planned and poorly organized tour. We were given an unnecessarily large amount of free time with virtually no guidance on how to navigate on our own or suggestions of local museums, restaurants, affordable shopping areas, bus routes, etc. Particularly in Rome: SmarTours should have known that the first Sunday of the month was a no-fee day for Rome's major tourist attractions. Instead, we were left to flounder around on our own the entire Sunday, and four major sites were crammed into Monday, our last day in Rome. Rome was crowded with tourists, which made the tour even more unpleasant. I chose October assuming the major tourist season was past. I would have appreciated a warning from SmarTours. Because we were left on own a lot, I ended up walking a lot more than I anticipated that the regular tourist season has been expanded for some cities in Europe. I would have made another choice. I came home deeply exhausted and disappointed in my experience of Italy. I no longer have confidence in SmarTours. If you can do so badly in familiar places, I wonder how you will manage in less traveled areas. I will not sign up for another SmarTours tour, and I will not recommend your company to others."
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