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Grand Circle Cruise Line Reviews The Leader in Small Ship and River Cruising Worldwide
Grand Circle Travel Reviews Worldwide Discovery at Extraordinary Value Since 1958
Grand Circle Travel
Grand Circle Travel
Grand Circle Travel is proud of the discovery-rich and value-packed vacations we’ve been offering travelers for more than 55 years. We believe there’s no better way to learn about our trips than by reading what travelers like you have to say about their experiences in unedited and unbiased Grand Circle Travel reviews, such as those displayed below. In them, learn about the gems of Old World Europe on one of Grand Circle Cruise Line’s award-winning River Cruise or Small Ships, during which you’ll enjoy intimate, unique experiences; or witness the breathtaking beauty of Italy’s rolling hills on an enriching Grand Circle Travel Land Tour. Whether enjoying up-close-and-personal discoveries led by our expert, resident Program Directors; connecting with local culture during exclusive Discovery Series events like Home-Hosted visits; or making memories independently during your leisure time, our vacations are the right combination of pacing and discovery for American travelers 50 and older.

Grand Circle Travel Reviews

Average Rating
4.7   4.7 | 647 reviews
590 out of 647 (91%) reviewers would recommend Grand Circle Travel or Grand Circle Cruise Line
Rating Breakdown
5 ★   517
4 ★   75
3 ★   29
2 ★   16
1 ★   10
Rating Summary
Accomodations   4
Food   4
Itinery   5
Trip Leader   5
Value   5
Recent Grand Circle Travel Reviews

Old World Prague & the Blue Danube

The good, the bad and the best

5   1 year ago
This was our 12th GCT experience, and our third river cruise on GCCL. A comprehensive, detailed and multi-faceted trip into the past, especially for those of us like me, born in Europe between 1938 and 1945. Our PD, Lukas, a Czech whose pride in his country was evident, did justice to it and to the other East European countries that we visited: Hungary (Budapest), Slovakia (Bratislava), Austria (Vienna, Salzburg, Durnstein, Melk) and Czech Republic (Cesky Krumlov and Prague). He was definitely one of the very best PD's we've ever had. Knowledgeable, professional, funny, resourceful, kind and always cool. For travelers with walking difficulties (I have osteoarthritis and walk with a cane), beware that every tour off the ship is a WALKING one -- except when we went to Salzburg, and to Prague from Linz, when we took a coach. However, for those same passengers, the ship was equipped with an electric chair rail to reach the upper deck, which the inside elevator didn't. It was a true blessing, because we had fantastic weather for 90% of the cruise, and spending time on the deck was a real treat. The food was very good for the most part. Especially the soups and the desserts. But beware of the "free wine" now available in 2015 at lunches and dinners. You don't have to be a wine expert to instantly wonder why on earth GCT served such lousy wine -- red or white alike. I wound up buying my own directly at the bar (you can buy it by the bottle, and they'll keep your bottle in the fridge with your cabin number on it). The crew were, as usual, wonderfully friendly, helpful and courteous, ready to go out of their way any time to make you happy. Although I must admit that I am not comfortable with crew members calling me by my first name right off the bat. I would suggest they are trained with asking the passengers, from the first moment, whether they want to be called "Jane", or "Ms. Doe". Possibly could have used a little more free time, or a slower pace. And I don't really care for the Whispers, which, while they serve their purpose, allow the guide or PD to move along at their own pace, without giving much thought to the gaggle of us who are trying to catch up while at the same time handling their cameras. And when you hear the guide or PD say "Here" or "There", you don't necessarily know what he/she is talking about, since you might be 200 yards behind! Our favorite spots were Budapest at night from our upper deck, the village of Cesky Kremlov (a little jewel), the concert in Vienna, and the old Town Square in Prague. But every site, every venue, every square, was way too crowded already. It makes you wonder what places are left in the world to explore and enjoy without feeling submerged in a mob scene. Finally, I, as well as my husband and the people who were traveling with, had the uncomfortable feeling throughout of being herded like cattle. There were three colored groups, yes, but they always were and went together all the time and everywhere. So the final effect was that of a group of 120 passengers. I don't know how it can be remedied, but that's the way most of us felt.
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
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Spouse/Partner

China & the Yangtze River

Wonderful Trip

5   11 months ago
I had no great expectations, however, the itinerary looked interesting. My husband really wanted to go so I agreed. It was the most wonderful and interesting trip. I am so glad we went. We covered a lot of ground and we had a 5 star+ program director. My favorite highlights were The Great Wall, The Yangtze River cruise, the Pandas at the zoo, and the Terra Cotta Soldiers. Many great side trips as well. You should go!
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
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Antarctica's White Wilderness

Don't Make Antarctica Last on Your Bucket List

5   8 months ago
Like most travelers on this trip, Antarctica was my last continent to visit. Many people asked why I would want to go to Antarctica. Had I known what I would experience, I would have taken this trip long ago. Antarctica is inexplicable unless experienced. The size and shape of the mountains and glaciers, colors of the ice and variety of wildlife definitely make this a unique experience. At times, it felt as if we were on some planet other than earth! We had smooth sailing on the Drake Passage on December 31; what a way to ring in the new year! I highly recommend going in January as the penguins are just hatching. Watching them on their nests feeding their young is fantastic! I also recommend bringing hiking poles. While we were generally given free rein to roam as little or far as we wanted on designated routes on land, the hiking poles were extremely helpful in melting snow or occasional slick spots. I also recommend getting the "patch" or some form of medication for motion sickness. Boots and coats provided by GC worked well. Do layer clothing but remember that it's summer in Antarctica, not as cold as I anticipated. We had 28 F one day; the remaining time it was in the 30s, warmer than home for me. The cabins on the Corinthian are large for a ship. My single room had a couch, desk, chairs, etc. and all the amenities of a hotel room in the USA. The expedition team lead by Claudia Roedel was incredible. They provided so much information before, during and even sent a day-by-day log, photos and videos AFTER the trip. There was always something to do even on the two days over and back on the Drake passage: bird watching, penguins floating by on icebergs, whales, seals, incredible scenery, not to mention the informative talks and slides provided by the expedition team and entertainment lead by our trip leaders. A huge staff is on the ship to cover all necessary duties, about 2/3 as many staff as there were tourists. The food was fantastic with a variety of choices at every meal including (my favorite) two large lobster tails as an option for one dinner and steak, fish, chicken or vegetarian meals offered each night in addition to the two featured main courses. Each time we left the ship there was something different to see, whether on land or in the zodiacs. The entire staff was very kind and helpful getting us on and off the zodiacs and providing information and assistance wherever we went. On the return trip, we had the Drake Shake experience with almost gale force winds and 40 foot waves. I felt we were in capable hands, were well cared for and I have some of the most outstanding videos I've ever taken and great stories to bring home. Not to shortchange the Argentinian portion of the trip, the hotel location in Buenos Aires couldn't have been better...right around the corner from the main square with the Presidential palace with "Evita porch" made famous by Madonna and Cathedral, previous home to Pope Francis, not to mention Florida street for all the shopping anyone could want. Ushuia and the National Park at Tierra del Fuego were also good experiences. I wouldn't have changed one thing about this trip.
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
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Review   1


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Myself

Tuscany & the Amalfi Coast

An outstanding tour!

5   1 year ago
The Tuscany and Amalfi Coast tour was my 3rd tour in Italy. Grand Circle Travel outdid all previous tours in itinerary, tour guide and value. The tour Guide, Giorgia, was excellent: friendly, knowledgable, fleible and had strong skills in English.
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
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Review   1


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NEW! Bordeaux: Vineyards, Vintages & Chateaux

Paris + Wine Country! What could be better?

5   12 months ago
My husband and I debated which French river trip to take for months. When we finally called for reservations, we still had questions. The helpful agent listened patiently and then recommended we consider this river trip as my husband is not a City Person! She was "right-on" with her advice. I had visited Paris previously so I insisted that we start with the pre-trip. We made a list of all the places we wanted to see, and we actually were able to see a third of them. We ate lovely meals in the neighborhood restaurants near our convenient hotel, Les Jardins du Marais. We recommend both the little restaurant next door, Les Petites Canailles, and the one down the street a few blocks, Centenaire Bistrot. The highlight of our Paris stay was the evening Vivaldi concert we attended at St. Chapelle. I got tickets on line before we left home. We opted for the "cheap seats" in the back to better enjoy the sunset's light pouring through the amazing windows. My husband loved the small towns we visited. La Rochelle was our favorite. We visited the open-air market, the fabulous aquarium, walked the narrow streets, and dined at sidewalk cafes in this small town. Stops in the other ports along the rivers were also pleasant. The lovely wine town of St. Emilion was a favorite, too. The ship was comfortable, the staff congenial, and the food fabulous. Our guide Edward was marvelous! I think that some of the negative points made by other reviewers have arisen because they did not read the description carefully enough. We found the trip to be as "advertised!"
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
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Review   1


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Crossroads of Turkey

Incredible Adventure!

5   9 months ago
Turkey is a country of historical and religious importance beyond what we had imagined! From Troy to Pergamon to Ephesus, to Aphrodisias; Turkey is a land of archaeological splendor. Our Program Director, Rana, led us on the tour of a lifetime. Rana is extremely knowledgeable about Turkey's antiquities and has a gift for making the details come alive through her passion for her subject. This trip will leave you breathless from all the exploring and learning included within the itinerary. Each day is well paced to include guided touring as well as time for independent exploration. The optional tours are all well worth the time and cost involved. Crossroads of Turkey is indeed one of the best of our 21 trips with Grand Circle Travel!
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
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Review   1


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Spouse/Partner

Discover Sicily: Heart of the Mediterranean

Getting home is not "half the fun".

5   1 year ago
The tour of Sicily was excellent. Our guide, Gabriella, was unfailingly helpful, incredibly knowledgeable and always patient even with silly and repetitive questions. The food and accommodations were good to excellent and the special lectures and included tours were informative and enjoyable. Sicily is beautiful and the attractions interesting. A few comments: First, do not plan on changing US dollars to Euros. The exchange requires a trip to a bank, standing in line and interminable paperwork. Use ATMs which are readily available and worth the small fee charged. Secondly, if you can avoid Alitalia airline, do so. Our trip home was a nightmare, took 48 hours with 4 hours sleep, diversion to Toronto instead of our destination, Chicago, hours sitting in the Rome and Toronto airports and left us exhausted. The Alitalia staff are dishonest, uncaring and just want to get you out of their face. They will tell you whatever they need to say to get rid of you. None of it is likely to be true. If there is an alternative airline, take it. If you do have to travel on Alitalia, confirm the flight time close to your departure, arrive at the airport at least 3, and preferably 4, hours early and double check everything you are told. Most of it is likely to be wrong. The travel nightmare did not alter our opinion of the Sicily tour or of Gabriella. Both were superb and memorable. Third, the trip was relatively rigorous. There are hills to climb. lots of steps and some long walks. Some of the people on the trip were unable to do all of the activities. One should be in good shape to take this trip.
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
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Review   1


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NEW! Bordeaux: Vineyards, Vintages & Chateaux

A good trip for wine lovers

4   1 year ago
This was a good trip, although my wife and I don't drink. We didn't realize (maybe we should have) that there would be such a strong emphasis on wine and wine tasting. It was difficult to be enthusiastic visiting the umpteenth vineyard when everyone is tasting wine while we stand there like lumps. However, the scenery was good, the weather was good, the accommodations were good, and Thomas, our guide, was very hard-working and conscientious. A good trip but not a great trip (for us, anyway).
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
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Review   1

Cruising the Adriatic: Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Cruising the Adriatic

4   1 year ago
This off season trip was great, full of information about the area. The tour directors and staff were wonderful, in tune with our needs. Being in the off season, we didn't have to contend with crowds. However, if you want souvenirs, shopping, local dining you may want to consider a different season. As with most cruise tours, not a lot of time is spent in each port, but the tour directors made each stop informative.
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
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Review   1


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Cruising Burgundy & Provence to the Cote d'Azur

If looking for a river cruise to see the sites .NO

4   1 year ago
Not one of their best trips, room for improvement,
✘ No, I do not recommend this trip.
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Review   1


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