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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

The Great Rivers of Europe

Grand Circle Does It Again For Us

5   2 years ago
The entire staff of the Concerto worked as a unit to make our journey and interactions extremely personal and utterly enjoyable...we were not just that couple in cabin 201 to the crew of the Concerto. Harold, leader of the Blue Group, was extremely knowledgeable and filled his commentary with historical tidbits, area legends and current day situations. More optional tours would have been nice but we had a great time as is.
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
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Value
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Trip Leader
Review   1


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Spouse/Partner

China & the Yangtze River

Inspirational

5   2 years ago
What a great life experience. I learned so much and will always remember this trip. Climbing up the great wall was a highlight as was touring the tribal customs in the Yangtzee river gorge. Learning the way of life of some Chinese people, comparing these customs to ours, gave me a sense of perspective on the pluses and minuses of our way of life. The food and the lodging could be tiresome at times but it was very clear to me that that was because of the difficulties inherent in a trip in that land.
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
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Trip Leader
Review   1


Travel Companions
Extended Family

Highlights of South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA - MY BEST TRIP EVER !

5   2 years ago
My "Big Five Safari" pre-trip was only the beginning of an amazing journey encompassing not only the sighting of hundreds of animals in the wild, but an inspiring insight into an absolutely stunningly beautiful country and it's people. Here are a few of MY Highlights of South Africa Johannesburg, brought us to the Apartheid Museum and a striking bigger- than- life photo ehibit to better understand South African history, as well as photos of Mandela's life and journey. A drive through Soweto provided a glimpse of what apartheid meant for the blacks at that time in history as they were forced to leave their former homes that infringed on the "whites". A trip into Swaziland, a monarchy, gave a glimpse into the Zulu experience, and later a visit to a GCT Foundation recipient - the Fontein Social Day Care Center for orphaned and vulnerable children where we provided lunch for 60 3-8 year-olds, and experienced a memorable time with those happy and charming children. From Port Elizabeth we traveled along the coastline of the Indian Ocean through spectacular mountains, waterfalls, forests, lakes, and pristine beaches which brought us to one of my favorite places, Knysna, "Pearl of the Garden Route". The nearby ostrich farm informed us on raising chicks, uses for ostrich (feathers, leather, eggs and meat), as two of our brave women opted to mount and ride the birds. Then came the touted "ostrich race." As Lionshead and Table mountain loomed over our Capetown Hotel our view of beach and waterfront was beautiful. Yes, we rode the cable car to the top of the mountain in order to catch a view of Capetown, and could just make out the well-known Wharf and the city below. The trip to Cape Point, where the Indian meets the Atlantic was absolutely stunning - and, of course - there were the fabled African Penguins. Our PA Colleen couldn't have been more informed about her country of birth, answering evry question with facts and good humor, as well as providing us the chance to have good times with new friends - even for "solo" travelers like me. My "most memorable moment" was the home-hosted dinner (as I will describe below)
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
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Trip Leader
Review   1


Travel Companions
Myself

China & the Yangtze River

China & the Yangtze River - June 2015

5   2 years ago
Just when you think you?ve had the best GCT tour director possible, along comes another one equally good or better if possible. Tomas Brabec in Eastern Europe in 2013 was excellent. Selcuk Yigatsoy in Turkey in 2014 was also excellent. George Zhang Ke of the June _China and the Yangtze River? trip maintained this same degree of excellence. George was competent, organized, humorous _ a great tour director. The China trip was physically challenging and intense, but filled with rewarding moments. The hotels were great, the food was good, and George was superb in arranging everything, including flights within China. The Yangtze River tour was relaxing and informative. My personal favorites were _ the terra cotta warriors, followed closely by the Great Wall. Many others. I enhanced my knowledge of China by listening to George and others who lived through the upheavals of the 60's and 70's, and then lived through the resurgence of modern China. One word for future travelers: - buy and install a good VPN (perfectly legal) on your devices if you wish to use Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other western services within China. Ray G
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
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Value
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Trip Leader
Review   1


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Friends

Eastern Europe to the Black Sea

Mostly good

4   2 years ago
We sailed on the River Aria which was the best small (or large) boat experience we have ever had. The service and food were amazing. Our cabin was great as well. The countries we visited were in general prettier and more prosperous looking than I had expected. We did see lots of Syrian refugees with children near the Budapest train station. The opinions on the refugee situation were quite varied depending on the country, some compassionate and some not at all. Our tour leader Ivan did a great job giving us a balanced perspective on all this as well as of the troubled history of the region. We had to depart our ship early because of low water on the Danube, which gave us two (additional) nights in the Bucharest Ramada. Suddenly we found ourself in a "big bus tour" environment, eating in a large noisy hotel room with 140+ people. The other disappointment was the size of the group (46 with one tour leader) on the Transylvania post-trip. There were times where we had an elbow-to-elbow touring experience there, not our scene. I was shocked since our previous experience with Grande Circle post-trip sizes was 11-18. My ratings of food, etc are misleading--food, accomodations, etc were 5 Star on the ship and 3-4 Star otherwise.
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
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Trip Leader
Review   1


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Spouse/Partner

China & the Yangtze River

We were apprehensive on going, but GCT fixed that!

5   2 years ago
Even though we booked this trip for many reasons the closer it got, the more we wondered why!!! For many reasons. Language, food anxieties, pit toilets. Now that we are home we look back at the full, learned days and realize that one can trust GCT to get you a trustworthy and enlightening trip. The historic views, the gained insights are causing us to keeping this trip on our list for the future...why? I bet we'd learned more the 2nd time around. And the flights were even more tolerable that we thought!!!
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
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Trip Leader
Review   1


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Spouse/Partner

NEW! Bordeaux: Vineyards, Vintages & Chateaux

A trip for all travelers

5   2 years ago
This trip is great for cruisers and non cruisers: for people who usually only travel by cruise, it offers a beautiful elegant ship (Chanson) with great bountiful meals and ample storage for unpacking. For non cruisers, there are a variety of good port stops with enough time to explore, in addition to tour excursion trips. This tour also offers several days of bus travel and hotel stays, which means you can see the countryside and get more than the limited ship's travel view of a country. This is a beautiful area of France with some of the best wine in France, available to taste. Bordeaux is now my very favorite French city!
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
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Trip Leader
Review   1


Travel Companions
Myself

The Great Rivers of Europe

Great River Trips

5   2 years ago
Very knowledgeable Advisors and Trip Hosts, the crew was great and we had met many of them before. WE hope to see them again on future trips.
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
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Trip Leader
Review   1


Travel Companions
Friends

Treasures of the Aegean: Greek Island Cruise, Athens & Istanbul

Go Back to the Drachma?

5   2 years ago
What a wonderful trip _Treasures of the Aegean: Athens & Istanbul Cruise? was! On our own, my husband and I rambled through the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul on our first day. We knew that this market of small stands and stalls selling Turkish food, d_cor, and other exotic items, extended for miles; nevertheless, we entered fully confident that we would find our way out. Wrong! Several mistaken directions later, we hired a taxi to take us back to our hotel. A fun first adventure! Another highlight happened at the end of our post trip, in Ancient Olympia. We visited the original Olympic Grounds and even saw the pit where even today the Olympic flame is lit, using a mirror and solar heat, just as it was in ancient days. My 73-year-old husband Joe jogged on the track as I snapped his photograph cautioning him not to run too far! Staying twice in Athens in the St. George Lycabettus Hotel was quite exciting. Not only was this a comfortable hotel where we enjoyed lovely large rooms, but as we ate breakfast seated on a balcony facing the Acropolis, the Parthenon glimmered in sweet early morning light. During the cruise part of our trip, due to the weather, we skipped some scheduled islands but visited other interesting islands instead. Hydra especially, where there is no vehicular traffic allowed, was a fun surprise. All transport is by donkey only! It was fun watching luggage being loaded onto the donkeys and more fun watching people climb up to ride on them. Our trip to Greece took place at the pinnacle of Greece?s financial difficulty. Three days into the trip Greece began to limit ATM withdrawals for its citizens. Six days later a referendum passed for Greece to leave the European Union. Fortunately, the President continued diplomatic talks and did not immediately withdraw. It was stimulating to travel as modern history was being made. Our last evening brought us together with our fellow travelers. Our informed, organized, and amusing guide Dina said to us one last time, _I want to tell you something.? We became quiet and listened. By this time, there was an agreement in place that Greece would stay in the European Union. _When I told you in Istanbul that you would need euros in Greece, I was really thinking then that per-haps I would be wrong, that perhaps Greece would decide to leave the Union and the euro. And go back to the drachma.? I laughed along with everyone else. Then I whispered a quiet prayer for hard-working Dina and for her beautiful country.
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
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Trip Leader
Review   1


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Spouse/Partner

Old World Prague & the Blue Danube

Old World Prague & The Blue Danube

1   2 years ago
This was our third river cruise with GCCL. All have been exceptional. This trip was bittersweet for us as I fatigue easily due to cancer. When we booked, we were This was our third river cruise with GCCL. All have been exceptional. This trip was bittersweet for us as I fatigue easily due to cancer. When we booked, we were remembering past trips (Great Rivers of Europe and Romance of the Rhine and Mosel) seven/eight years ago. Past trips were a bit more relaxing for us because the itineraries allowed for more actual cruising time with docking in small quaint villages that allowed walking into the quaint towns right off the boat and, in all fairness, the time of our life was different. This is a more historic busy trip to four European capital cities (Budapest, Slovakia, Vienna and Prague) which required busing into large, crowded cities with less available time on the ship cruising. This is an excellent itinerary for the right individual and we are not sorry that we went. It is just that with so much to do, we had to pick and choose. We did take three optional trips (Vienna Musical, Schoenbrunn Palace and Salsburg). All were excellent. Our Program Director Tereza was fantastic; she was professional, knowledgeable, organized and a very caring individual. The captain and the ship crew were friendly and helpful and the food was delicious and the presentation was great. The one comment we would make is that we would prefer one decent glass of wine at dinner than the several glasses we could have at lunch and dinner. The wine is free (along with beer and soda); therefore, it is not very good (seemed like it is watered down)! This was our third trip with GCCL; therefore, we became Inner Circle members and were allowed to choose a free gift; we chose jackets. Since we booked late, I called GCT questioning if we could receive our jacket for the trip. They followed up with their vendor and found the jackets shipped but wouldn?t arrive until our departure date. They overnighted another jacket so we would receive for the trip. This really impressed us!
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
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