Monday, February 06, 2012

Low-priced smarTours

Last year my friend Marilyn talked about having taken a safari to Kenya, and this year she is planning a Russian river cruise. Both are with a company based in New York called smarTours,
She said they were a good deal, so I decided to check out their Web site and I tend to agree. While I am not generally a fan of tours because I believe they insulate you too much from the real experience of travel, in some circumstances they are advisable, even preferable. For example, I imagine it would be a lot of hassle, very expensive (and possibly dangerous) to visit the African wildlife parks on one's own. Some people do it, but for most of us a tour is the best way to go. I certainly enjoyed the photo safari tour I took.
Smartours has a 12 day trip visiting some of the top game parks in Kenya, and the price starts at $3859 including air fare from New York and taxes. The river cruise Marilyn is taking from St. Petersburg to Moscow along the Volga lasts 12 days and prices start at $2789 including most meals and a lot of sightseeing. A similar cruise along the Dnieper River and Black Sea in Ukraine has a base price of $2669. Single supplements are generally reasonable.
One trip that intrigued me was for 14 days to Turkey, including Cappadocia, Ankara and Antalya, starting at just $1899. This works out to about $130 per day, a very low rate for everything that is included.
If you like tours, this company may be worth checking out.

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