I have booked an Egyptian tour with OAT for 2024. Recently, I have been reading terrible reviews about this company. What have your experiences been? Should I cancel?
I have been on 2 tours with OAT and have a 3rd booked. I have found them to be a very good tour company. The have a maximum of 16 travelers per tour (except cruises), have very good guides and good itineraries. Similar to RS tours your have some afternoons, lunches and dinners on your own. The only draw back is that they still do the tour guide tipping thing. All other tips are included.
Like you, I check for reviews before booking, but I like to read several of them before I make my decision.
I have never taken a tour with OAT, but know others that have been happy with their tours.
OAT has reasonable prices and should be considered before booking a tour.
Also, consider Gate 1 Travel. We have done two tours with them in the past year and love the high quality for low prices.
Both OAT and Gate 1 has some negative (still a minority) reviews, but I notices that some were complaining about tour cancellations.
That is a bit complicated of a subject, since COVID. Still, I would suggest considering OAT and Gate 1 prior to making a decision.
We compared Gate 1 to others for our Egypt 14 day tour and found it was almost half the price of a similar tour from Viking.
Hi, I recently booked an Egypt tour with Jordan extension on OAT for January of 2025. Before I booked it, I researched it throughly and have found many good reviews about it. In fact, if you do a search on this forum, you will find reviews from members who say their guides are the best they've ever had.
As Bob pointed out, they have very small groups, which was important to me (mine is maxed at 16), no single supplement, and I love that the Egypt tour uses the smaller Dahabeah boats on the Nile, rather than the bigger cruise ships. I found this article on Fodors that rated some of the top tour companies, and found their article reassuring. https://www.fodors.com/world/africa-and-middle-east/egypt/experiences/news/photos/11-tour-companies-to-make-your-trip-to-egypt-more-successful
I've not toured with OAT BUT I'd wonder what kind of negative things you are seeing and are they for the Egypt tour or OAT in general?
I also post on the Senior Forum on Trip Advisor. I went back and looked and the majority of the complaints I see are from early in the Pandemic when OAT would only issue vouchers not refunds for trips they cancelled. I've seen where people have also been unhappy with OAT insurance. I don't usually use company sponsored insurance but will insure on my own so I can pick and choose what coverage I want. Road Scholar is a company that sells trip insurance and when I've taken their trips I've gone with another company.
BTW, there were the same complaints about Gate 1 during the pandemic who also refused to refund payments for cancelled trips.
Thanks, all. I booked with OAT after reading glowing reviews about it on the travel forum. As one person has pointed out, the negative reviews...and there are a lot of them...really are centered around people who had to cancel their trips and needed a refund.
I have quite a few friends who travel with OAT a ton and are very happy with them. I've had reports of at least 7 OAT trips with those friends - all since COVID - and all reviews were glowing. None of the trips was an Egypt trip, though.
I'm trying them out next week for a Baltics trip. I'll come back here and report at some point. The itinerary looks great, hotels have good reviews. We are a group of 14 total for the departure, which is a nice size group.
"As one person has pointed out, the negative reviews...and there are a lot of them...really are centered around people who had to cancel their trips and needed a refund."
Thanks so much for adding more information to this. Hopefully we'll not have another pandemic which will cause mass tour cancellations but you may be able to mitigate any possible issues by being cautious about your choice in trip insurance providers. There are also others who cancel for various reasons and in some cases it was apparent they did not read the cancellation policies fully before booking. I think you have probably been more cautious than that especially since you asked the question here!
Valerie! Can't wait for your TR! Bon voyage!!
Thanks so much! I appreciate the feedback!
Sorry for the late response but I've been traveling. I took the OAT Egypt (with 5 days on the Nile by private Yacht) including the pre trip to Jordan trip during March, 2023 and it was excellent! It was our 8th and one of our most favorite of all our OAT trips. Our guides (one for Egypt and a different one for Jordan) were nothing short of excellent. We felt like we got our Phd in the history and culture of both countries. We were safely exposed to all aspects of these amazing countries in a fun and engaging way. I'm a vegetarian and my dietary needs were well attended to effortlessly We had a great group of travel companions---a small group of 16 travelers. Don't hesitate to private message me for details/questions. You will love the experience.
I went to Egypt with OAT in 2021 and it was really good, as have been my other two trips with them since to other places. And if (as reported by others) the primary complaint about a tour company is that they aren't great about refunds for cancelled trips, then logically, the worst thing you could do is cancel your trip with them because of those complaints, thus voluntarily putting yourself in exactly that situation.
pollocktoni, this review of an OAT tour to the Baltics was recently posted on this forum by Valerie, a long time member (actually, she posted something upthread earlier). You might find it helpfull. https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/report-review-of-my-first-trip-with-overseas-adventure-travel-the-baltics
No personal experience but my dear friend who is in her mid 70's has been on three tours with OAT and can not stop saying good things about them as a tour company. In February she did a trip with them to Sicily, Her only negative statement was that they didn't eat enough pasta.
I just got home from an OAT South Africa trip, my first with them. I would recommend them and will certainly travel with them again. We had 15 people, accommodations were all very good, included meals were tasty and the tour guide knowledgeable and fun. Price point was excellent and getting a single room for free is amazing.
Thanks all. I’m surprised this
Post has resurfaced. Unfortunately, given the situation in the Middle East, we have cancelled this trip.