The leader in Small Ship, River Cruising, and Land Tour discoveries worldwide
Contact Us 1-800-221-2610
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

Romance of the Rhine & Mosel

Lotsa Castles

4   2 years ago
The collection of reviews previously posted have adequately covered many details of the trip. We were assigned to Amin Sirag's group. If you get Amin for a Program Director, you have hit a home run. He was exceptional! We have been on sixteen plus OAT/GCT trips and Amin is one of the best with his humor and extensive knowledge. The photo shows him interviewing a college student. He went out of his way to locate music museums for our particular interest. The other Program Directors, Nancy and Johannes received top marks from their group also. The ship was AA+ in every respect. You will not be disappointed. The itinerary caused us to post four stars for personal reasons. Again, understand that we have been on numerous river cruises and, therefore, we did find the extensive number of castles and cathedrals a bit repetitive. This trip is paced on the "lazy" side with mid morning departures to town and early afternoon return to the ship combined with the slower walking speed expected with a group of 40 or so. Stops at the "Happy Room" can consume considerable time. Sampling the local beer and wine and street food (must try Currywurst) is always enjoyable. You will find warm hospitality and friendliness from the people in all the countries. Would certainly recommend this trip if you wish to experience sightseeing spectacular castles, cathedrals, inviting street cafes and enjoying beautiful European villages and vineyards.
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
Accommodations
Itinerary
Value
Food
Trip Leader
Review   1


Travel Companions
Spouse/Partner

NEW! Bordeaux: Vineyards, Vintages & Chateaux

A wine lover's tour

5   1 year ago
We returned a week ago from Bordeaux - had a great time. Let me start my review by saying that this trip is not for non-drinkers. There is wine and more wine - tasted and consumed - throughout the trip. Coupled with the great wine was incredible food, especially on the riverboat, MS Chanson. Superb. A few highlights of the trip: 1. The oyster farm. What a fun excursion. Even if you don't like oysters (I'm not wild about them), this will still be one of your favorites. 2. Chateau de Chenonceau - absolutely beautiful chateau and gardens. Plus, the iPhone type devices used for the self-guided tour were the best I've ever used. As the user is receiving interesting details about a particular room, art work, etc. the device has a picture of the subject making it easy to follow the tour. 3. St. Emilion - a lovely village with a fascinating underground church. 4. Home hosted visit - to a small family owned chateau. Not the large commercial successes with giant chateaux, our visit to Chateau du Cavalier allowed us to see and learn about the many small wine makers of the region. Our host was very nice and wonderfully informative. 5. Optional tour to Cognac - this was a change that GCT made because the previously offered optional tour wasn't received well by the travelers that took it. Just shows that GCT does listen to complaints and comments of their travelers. The town of Cognac and visit to Martell Cognac distillery was good. Unfortunately, we had very, very hot weather that day. On the up side, we happened to visit in the midst of a blues festival. One of those unexpected things that happen when you travel. I could go on - there were so many wonderful moments. I recommend that you take the trip and experience them for yourself. .
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
Accommodations
Itinerary
Value
Food
Trip Leader
Review   1


Travel Companions
Friends

Discover Sicily: Heart of the Mediterranean

Another Great Adventure

4   2 years ago
Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, nor lost luggage could dampen our enthusiasm during our three-week trip to Sicily and Malta. The weather was very changeable which we were told to expect during the winter. We packed layers and wore a winter jacket, hat, and gloves almost every day. The upside to off-season travel is that there are no lines or crowds at the major attractions. Most shops were open and we even got to experience some local festivities such as St.Agathata's Day in Catania and The Feast of St.Paul's Shipwreck in Malta. There is quite a bit of walking on this trip as GCT states in their literature. Be aware that sometimes the bus cannot stop at a particular hotel or restaurant due to narrow, cobbled streets. At times, this took time away from the activity. We benefitted from the great physical exercise but some had difficulty with the uneven pavement and length of walking to reach a destination such as a restaurant or hotel. Sicily amazed us with its ruggedness and beautiful sea coasts. We thought that we were in Athens as we walked among the temple ruins in Agregento and Siracusa ( which we visited on our own). Local bus transportation in some cities in Sicily and on Malta is very good and easy to use so we did some independent exploration. We flew in and out of Rome on two occasions which gave us a "teaser" of this wonderful city. We would have liked more time to explore the many fantastic sites there. Our PD, Marcello, was outstanding and he handled some unique situations with confidence and grace. He loves his country and even took us to visit his family's business. He filled each day with wonderful discoveries, including some local treats. Malta was a treasure and it is worth the extra time to visit. We especially enjoyed learning about St. Paul's shipwreck and influence on the island. We were disappointed that the weather interfered with the Mt. Etna visit since that is a major selling point of this trip. We also felt that the trip to Reggio was a bit overpriced and had some wasted time on the bus when we could have visited more of Messina. Lunch was at an ou-of-the way restaurant that seemed to take a lot of time (see note about the bus above). The bronze statues are very impressive! We felt that our 15th GCT was once again a wonderful learning experience filled with new disvoveries that have broadened our understanding of Italy and Malta.
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
Accommodations
Itinerary
Value
Food
Trip Leader
Review   1


Travel Companions
Spouse/Partner

Highlights of South Africa

SAWUBONA - We see South Africa

5   2 years ago
I just returned from the 'Highlights of South Africa Trip'. The scenery, the local tours, the food, the hotels, the learning and discoveries were awesome! The safaris were full of excitement, giving us many opportunities to see and enjoy animals in their natural habitat; the rangers were tireless in their devotion to assuring that we saw as much as possible, while assuring our safety. The Congo Caves, near Oudtshoorn, were a delight to tour! The Ostrich meat that we consumed after a visit to the Ostrich Farm was also a delight, as well as learning everything about an Ostrich that we would ever want to know:) The gondola ride up to the Table Mountain gave us a panoramic view of Capetown. The gondola ride up to the top of Cape Point gave us another wonderful panoramic view of the East and West coasts of South Africa, The numerous penguins at Boulders Park were a real joy! The landscapes and coastal scenes in South Africa were out of this world. The visit to Stellenbosch to tour the Spier winery was a delight, as well as visiting the town itself, along with the museum at the University of Stellenbosch. The Apartheid museum and tour of Soweto in Johannesburg were 'eye-opening', our local tour guide, Lemon, was very knowledgeable and informative! The City Tour of Capetown with time spent at the V&A Mall showed us what a beautiful and exciting city Capetown has become. Our home hosted dinner with Brenda was delicious and entertaining; especially when seeing and discussing the photos of Nelson Mandela at her house! Our Program Director, John Finch, did an outstanding job of explaining life in South Africa and organizing us on tours to utilize out time efficiently, to eliminate waiting.
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
Accommodations
Itinerary
Value
Food
Trip Leader
Review   1


Travel Companions
Myself

Cultural Crossroads Portugal Morocco Spain

Not a good Value

2   9 months ago
Very disappointed...ship had a variety of mechanical problems, which resulted in always trying to make -up "lost" time. Pace then became much too fast.......Not your typical GC cruise. Not a very good value overall........
✘ No, I do not recommend this trip.
Accommodations
Itinerary
Value
Food
Trip Leader
Review   1


Travel Companions
Spouse/Partner

Discover Sicily: Heart of the Mediterranean

Discover Sicily - Heart of the Mediterranean

5   1 year ago
This trip was outstanding. Our guide, Marcello, went above and beyond to make this vacation extraordinary. The only negative comment we have is with the way Grand Circle assigns hotel rooms. Because it was our first trip with them we always got the worst rooms available in every hotel. Our rooms generally faced construction sites, alleyways, stone walls, air conditioning ducts, scaffolding, etc. While we understand the concept of rewarding repeat customers, we felt we were treated like second class citizens with the rooms we were assigned at each location.
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
Accommodations
Itinerary
Value
Food
Trip Leader
Review   1


Travel Companions
Friends

Essence of the Elbe: Berlin to Prague

Fantastic Elbe Cruise

5   1 year ago
After 14 trips with OAT/GCT, we picked this trip because we had not been to east Germany and Poland. What a great choice! The cruise could not have been better, even though we did not get to cruise the whole way. They did extra activities to make up for our lost cruising. The scenery was pastoral and peaceful. The towns we visited were very interesting with their beautiful architecture and history. We had great tours in each town with great local guides. The ships crew was over the top. They could not do enough for us. They were always upbeat and happy. There was always things to do onboard. They entertained us and even the captain performed. This is the best ships crew we have ever had. Our trip leader, Cristian was superb! Not only did he educate us about all the places we were, but when we had free time, he had lots of ideas for us. He was willing to take us on extra tours that he offered during that time. He also provided us with handouts and maps (even of the subway in Berlin) to enhance our trip. There were many extra learning and discoveries along the way. I felt like I really knew the areas we visited. Even though we had 43 in our group, it felt like a small group. Met many great travelers that we hope we meet again. Our Kaffeeklatsch was enlightening. The lady we visited was very open to discussing how it had been with the wall and how things had changed. It is always interesting to get to know local citizens. We have been to Prague before, but enjoyed it again. Always a beautiful city. Didn't expect to like Berlin with it being so big, but we fell in love with it. Would love to go back there. The city transportation is so easy to use and with the map that Cristian gave us showing the stops and what they were near, we never got lost. The pre trip to Poland was outstanding. Auschwitz was sobering, but very educational. Krakow was wonderful. Even though it is a bit pricey, this extension was well worth it. As you can tell, we loved this trip and have terrific memories!
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
Accommodations
Itinerary
Value
Food
Trip Leader
Review   1


Travel Companions
Friends

The Best of Eastern Europe

This GCT Seasoned Traveler Says "Very Good Value"

4   1 year ago
The pace of the trip was excellent and our program director was knowledgeable and helpful. All hotel accommodations were very good and most were centrally located so that during "free time" we were able to walk to various shops, restaurants, and local points of interest. The only exception was the Clarion Congress in Prague which is not located in an area conducive to walking anywhere. While there is public transportation available it is not as easily accessible that as "mature travelers", we would like. With that in mind, I still highly recommend this trip
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
Accommodations
Itinerary
Value
Food
Trip Leader
Review   1


Travel Companions
Spouse/Partner

Ireland in Depth

A Trip of a Life Time

5   1 year ago
Our trip to Ireland was wonderful. Grand Circle Tours took care of everything Hotels, Ticket, Transportation, and the tour guide was very knowledgeable and compassionate about his country?he was funny, kind, and all was very helpful. He was always professional yet friendly just a truly nice person. He is a tremendous asset to Grand Circle Tours as well as the coach the drive who was spectacular
✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.
Accommodations
Itinerary
Value
Food
Trip Leader
Review   1


Travel Companions
Spouse/Partner

Italy: Tuscany, the Alps & the Riviera

No pre or post trips

3   12 months ago
Our discoveries and excursions were interesting and unique. This trip didn't have a pre-trip or post trip. The hotel in Venice was not up to Grand Circle standards. The fact that we paid full price, but had to pay for our own transfers is very upsetting. I would look at other companies for our next trip.
✘ No, I do not recommend this trip.
Accommodations
Itinerary
Value
Food
Trip Leader
Review   1


Travel Companions
Spouse/Partner
1 to 10 of 647 reviews