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Viator Tours

I am taking the new RS Switzerland tour next May and will be going over a few days early. I have seen that Viator has a tour to Mt. Pilates. Has anyone had any experiences with this company, or any other that does these tours? I know that I can do them on my own, but want to have someone else do the planning, ticket buying etc. on this one.

Thanks
Barbara

Posted by
4171 posts

I've never used them, but I understand that Viator is a tour aggregator. They don't do tours themselves. I did a quick Google search for "mount pilatus tour" and several tour providers showed up. You should be able to get to those results here: https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=mount%20pilatus%20tour. If not, just Google like I did. In either case, look for the tours that start in Luzern (Lucerne), assuming that's where you mean you will be just before the RS tour starts.

Posted by
11507 posts

Barbara as Lo says.. Viatour is not a tour company.. they simply resell other companies tours.. its usually better to just book directly with the tour company.. because if there is any issue.. Viatour will not help you . and neither will tour company ( because technically you did not buy the tour from them.. they "sold" the tour to Viatour , who resold it to you).

I would just google Mt Pilatus tours .. or do it yourself.. I have been up there.. not sure why you would need a tour to see it?

I understand you don't want to do planning.. but buying a ticket from a tour company is not much planning.. its usually just click and print..

Viatour is a well known tour resell company... so its not sketchy.. but as I said.. its just always better to book directly.. however.. if you wish to use Viatour go for it.. they may add a few more dollars to the prices.. but its they won't "steal" your money.

Posted by
4543 posts

Read Rick's description of what's involved and see if you can handle it. The answer likely is yes.

Otherwise, you could wait until you're on the ground and either have your hotel help you or a TI office.

Or, if you're that way, figure out who Viator is using and go to them directly to see if you can save anything.

Posted by
11294 posts

If you have Rick's book, it has all the details you need for the Mt. Pilatus trip. Remember that Switzerland 1) prides itself on its efficiency and 2) has been hosting tourists for a very long time, so they make popular trips like Mt. Pilatus as easy as possible for visitors. I wouldn't pay any extra for a tour in this case, as there's no added value.

Posted by
368 posts

Thank you for your responses. I am not too worried about using Viatour as they seem to have a good reputation. When you buy your tour they provide the name and contact information for the company who is providing the tour so that is reassuring.

While I do know that this is something that I could do on my own, either by using the internet or Rick's book, to me the added value to me is that I do not have to. While a great many of the people who use this website are do-it-yourself travelers I, like some others, am not. This is why I am taking my 9th RS tour next year. I am more than happy to leave the details such as hotels and transportation to someone else so that I can concentrate on what I want to do when I get where I am going. I do not enjoy finding hotels and planning transportation. So to say a tour does not add any value may be true for you but is not for me. After trips that I have planned myself, Japan and Greece, I have learned that I like to make it as easy as possible on me this often means tours and (GASP!!, say it ain't so :-) ) a service picking me up at the Paris airport and taking me to my hotel.

Posted by
4171 posts

If you planned trips to Japan and Greece yourself, I can understand why you'd be ready to turn over the reins to someone else.

I've never been to Japan, but I did plan our trip to Greece last fall. Even though I had been to Greece on my own before, it was the most complicated trip I've planned. We did the RS Istanbul week tour before. I was more than happy to let them do all that planning for me.

I do enjoy having a knowledgeable person take me around on a day tour, have done that many times in the past and will do it more in the future. No matter how much I've prepared for and learned about what is covered, I always learn something new.

I hope that's how things work out for you in this case.

Posted by
4543 posts

Actually Japan is not that much tougher than a tricky European trip, esp. if you've been to more than a few places. Signage is usually in English, many people in the tourist trade speak English and they are always so darn glad to see you. If you're anywhere out in the country, you can expect to have groups of schoolkids stare, giggle and point.

Posted by
1 posts

Viator, basically are agents, who subcontract the job to local operators. We had a very bad experience with them very recently, when we were informed at the last moment that the tickets to Alhambra (Greece) have been sold out for the scheduled date and they they can arrange on other days. And the other dates given by them in the last moment were reserved for other attractions and reservations made by us. This change in date is despite our booking the tour from Malaga to Alhambra three months back, paying Viator USD 204 upfront and getting confirmation (booking ref: BR - 559422993) from them. Our much cherished visit to Alhambra thus remains a dream - may be forever - thanks to due to the very unprofessional way of handling the tours and casual attitude of Viator towards tourists. The company thinks by refunding the amount, they are doing the let-down tourists a great favour. My sincere advise is to avoid this operator, if you are serious about visiting an attraction much in demand. Viator may sell your tickets to other tourists at a premium - only refund is guaranteed to you.

Ramesh.

Posted by
4543 posts

Stephanie Rosenbloom recently had this to say in the NY Times:

Owned by the travel review behemoth TripAdvisor, Viator offers reasonably priced sightseeing tours and activities from a variety of people and companies almost everywhere on the map. Guides have been reviewed by travelers who have already taken the tour, and you may contact your guide before you book. Many will customize their tours to accommodate your interests.

Private tours include eight-hours in Bali with stops at Ubud; a spice and coffee plantation; Kintamani, an active volcano, and the Tanah Lot temple ($60), as well as a five-hour tour in Mexico City focused on the homes and work of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, with stops at places such as Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera in San Ángel, the Anahuacalli building designed by Rivera and the Museo Dolores Olmedo in Xochimilco ($175 for up to four people). Professionally licensed guides have green tags, and if you like you can filter your searches to find them. I’ve used Viator for a couple of small group tours, but keep in mind that the company does not screen or conduct background checks on private guides. For more information: Tourguides.viator.com.

Posted by
8996 posts

Viator does not provide the guides or have anything what so ever to do with your tour. All they do is re-sell tours from other companies.

As an example, if you look at their offer for Frankfurt, every single one of their tours on offer is a bus tour provided by a company called ETS, though there are many other tour companies operating in Frankfurt. If you peruse Trip Advisor it very easy to find the tours that Viator is offering, whether it is Berlin, Munich, Paris, or Rome.
Yes, you can get lucky and have a good tour but the many complaints that have posted about them on this forum or on TA should be taken as a warning.

Posted by
33125 posts

Remember that this question was asked way back in October last year.

It has just recently come back to life.

Posted by
8996 posts

Yes, and by a one post reader. Makes ya wonder, huh?

Posted by
504 posts

I did try to set up a tour from Brussels to Bastonge from the Viator site when we went on our trip last September, but the tours weren't offered on the days that would work for us. Some of the reviews I read at the time did make me a bit nervous.

Posted by
4543 posts

As they say in Animal House, knowledge is good. From now on people wondering about Viator can find this post.

Posted by
19149 posts

" and by a one post reader. Makes ya wonder, huh?"

And posted more than 4 months after the last previous posting. Someone obviously just wanted to post to promote the business (a violation of guideline #10) and did some research to find a question to respond to.

I'm always suspicious when someone answers the question no one asked.