Eleanor Hardy 

Louisville, KY United States
 98%
Recommended
90
Reviews
 
Travel Specialties
Interests
  • Rail
  • Safari
  • Adventure
  • Independent Tours


Destinations
Selling Travel Since
1985
Languages
  • English

My Background

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, Rovos Rail, Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express, Belmond Royal Scotsman, Blue Train, Belmond Grand Hibernian & Andean Explorer -- these are some of the luxury trains I have personally inspected. (Somebody has to do it!) My husband, Owen, and I and our staff have traveled literally millions of miles on trains and 100s of cities over 34 years. Why? To test them out so we can know if these are good travel choices for you. My expertise also includes adventure -- hiking tours and safaris and expedition cruising -- as well as luxury hotels and experiences. My focus is personal, amazingly detailed service based on direct experience and great relationships with our Virtuoso partners. Our company is family-owned, our team is fabulous and we are proud to celebrate our 34rd year in 2017.

Nothing's more wonderful than a luxury rail journey. Safaris, cruises, fab hotel stays, unique experiences, dining reservations - these are icing on the cake, and we know just the ones to organize for you once we have a "get to know you" appointment.

The unusual, the fun, the adventurous is what makes me want to share the excitement. This is why my job as co-owner of The Society of International Railway Travelers and luxury travel advisor is perfect for me. BTW, email to get a copy of our fabulous, award-winning publication. OR check out our award-winning blog: blog.irtsociety.com. Or see our award-winning website: www.irtsociety.com. Our facebook is @irtsociety

Places I Have Traveled


Memberships 

Virtuoso Alliances
  • VAST - Virtuoso Active & Specialty Travel

Reviews and Recommendations for Eleanor Hardy

98%

of 90
guests
recommend


Virtuoso Verified Traveler

All reviews are from confirmed guests sharing exclusive insights

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By: SLO traveler


Reviewed on: 06 Oct 2013

We enjoyed our train adventure. Eleanor Hardy warned us to take eye masks and earplugs that came in handy. The food and service were marvelous and train travel a very unique experience.

By: fgerbil


Reviewed on: 07 Oct 2013

the tour of China (and HK) was brilliant - both the high speed trains experience and the tourist engagements. Our guide was also brilliant, and I commend whomever it was made the contacts with the train builders. Hotels were good or better, we had some special lunches at classy restaurants, local travel was efficient. I recommend and thank the Society [SIRT] for its very positive organization and management of what was anyway going to be a big time culture shock
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Highly Recommended

By: ED


Reviewed on: 11 Oct 2013

Eleanor did a most professional job arranging a complex trip!
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Wonderful experience

By: Susan and David


Reviewed on: 20 Nov 2013

Eleanor planned a delightful four days in Istanbul. There were no trains involved, but the city arrangements were wonderful. The tour guide was top notch and tailored the tour to our interests.
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Highly recommend

By: Hal


Reviewed on: 22 Dec 2013

Highly recommended

By: Rob


Reviewed on: 25 Nov 2013

From the moment we were picked up to the last day it was a wonderful week. Eleanor suggested this trip and she was so right. The Adrienne is a purpose built barge. The cabins were large and luxurious. The food exquisite. Each day Captain Anne cycled off early to get the wonderful French bread for breakfast. We were taken every day for an excursion and at night moored on the banks of the river for peace and quiet.
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Fun! Fun! Fun!

By: Laurie


Reviewed on: 22 Nov 2013

Major kudos go to Eleanor and Owen Hardy who set the tone right from the beginning. Their sincere friendliness, problem-solving skills, and warm sense of humor made everyone feel important to the group and well-taken care of. I think we all would have followed them anywhere!
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Eleanor Hardy and the Staff at IRT is HIghly Recommended

By: John from NJ


Reviewed on: 20 Nov 2013

Eleanor Hardy helped plan our journey on the initial run of the Orient Express from Stockholm earlier this year. Upon disembarking at Copenhagen where we stayed for two days we went on an extensive 10 day journey to Oslo, Trondheim, Bergen, Flam & Stavanger. She found the types of hotels we wanted to stay in booked the transportation by rail, cruise boat and catamaran to meet what we wanted to do and our budget.

Most definitely recommended

By: Evelyn


Reviewed on: 20 Nov 2013

When travel arrangements are made by Eleanor Hardy and her staff, I can relax and know that all will go well. I travel alone so it is important to know that I will be met at the airport and my hotel arrangements are in place, example, my last trip had me arriving at Almaty, Kazakhstan at 2:00 AM -- smooth as silk, no problems!!

Royal Canadian Pacific Trip is a definite yes.

By: Kentucky Boone


Reviewed on: 20 Nov 2013

The trip was scenic, relaxing, informative, enjoyable, and a culinary delight. The woodwork in the coaches and cabins was outstanding and very pleasing to the eye.
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Not Recommended

luxury with glitches

By: JF


Reviewed on: 20 Nov 2013

Our trip was through the Canadian Rockies via Canadian Pacific RR. The cars' ages were from 1912 to 1933. Our car didn't have air conditioning or heat - or cold water in the shower which they fixed. But not the heat or AC. The train had two engines and one broke down just as we needed to go over a high mountain pass. So we had to wait until another engine could be brought - 6-8 hours. Otherwise the trip was delightful; gourmet meals, wonderful staff and tours.
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One in a Million

By: Hallabaloo


Reviewed on: 10 Dec 2013

Eleanor Hardy is exceptional. A year ago she organised and booked a three-month trip for me through Canada and the US. Not just hotels, but trains, a cruise and excursions as well. I covered over 25,000 miles and all I had to do was be where I was told to be at the right time. Her organisational ability is astonishing. On my recent trip with Avalon, no problem was beyond her ability to correct. She is an amazing woman.
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Heavens Yes!!

By: Pompey


Reviewed on: 26 Nov 2013

Eleanor has guided me safely thru Eurasia about seven times since 2007. NEVER a problem, great travel. All my thanks.

Extraordinary!, Highly Recommended

By: Orlando


Reviewed on: 03 Mar 2014

My wife and I visited Bangkok, traveled on the eastern Orient Express from Bangkok to Singapore, with a few days stay there. Experienced the Orcaella River Cruise in Myanmar, stayed in Siem Reap, Cambodia, to visit Angkor Wat and ended our trip with a stay in Hanoi and a cruise in Halong Bay, Vietnam.The trip of a lifetime! Mrs. Hardy and her staff gave the extra mile to assure that every detail of our trip was covered. Traveling to South Asia was a concern to us, but they really arranged every detail making it a memorable one. They constantly followed up with emails or calls to make sure everything was going as promised and that we were enjoying it.We are already planning our next trip using their excellent services!
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Highly Recommended

By: SP47


Reviewed on: 08 Mar 2014

This was one of a number of trips Eleanor has planned for us and as usual, everything went perfectly!  Our guides and transfers were always where they were supposed to be and always on time.  Our accommodations were great and we were even upgraded two levels at one of our resorts!  We had numerous flights during our trip and all went off as scheduled.  We received exactly what we had specified, including the make and vintage of automobile for our transfers and tours.  Eleanor takes a personal interest in her clients and even went so far as to call us when we were half way around the world, part way through our trip, just to make sure everything was going well.  Eleanor is a pro at what she does and we cannot recommend her enough! 
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The Golden EagleTrans Siberian Express

By: Endlessly Curious


Reviewed on: 24 May 2014

The Golden Eagle Trans Siberian Express is truly the trip of a lifetime.  I found it most educational.  In preparation for this special trip, I read about ten of the books on the recommended list.  During the trip, I accessed 35 DVD's on Russia from the Golden Eagle's extensive DVD library for guest use in addition to attending at least five on-board lectures by a recently graduated doctor of Philosophy in the History of Russian Elites.  In major cities, tours and knowledgeable guides shared information and answered questions.  The Trans Siberian Express is a luxury immersion into Russia - past, present, and possibly the future.  Lake Baikal and Mongolia are only two of the many highlights.  The music concerts and cooking class added much to the ambiance.
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Splendid trip, diferent and exciting

By: Jose


Reviewed on: 18 Jun 2014

This trip was a magic experience, the great organization, and the kindness we were treated, was very satisfactory, really esceed my espectations. I will continue traveling with this group. Thank you
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Highly recommended

By: Ron


Reviewed on: 14 Jun 2014

Eleanor Hardy is the finest travel agent it is possible to imagine. I truly cannot think of a single thing I could improve upon. Her attention to detail is unsurpassed, her recommendations are always spot on, her demeanor is always cheerful and friendly. If a problem arrises on a trip, she fixes it immediately. She inspires confidence in the arrangements. She is always prompt in responding to queries. I have booked half a dozen trips with Eleanor and each has been memorable and the arrangements perfect. I look forward to many more. I cannot imagine working with any other agent. 
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HIghly recommend

By: Sandy


Reviewed on: 21 Jun 2014

Our family trip to Japan was perfectly planned by Eleanor....all eight of us were very happy with the trip and all of the arrangements, which were MANY!    We came home happier than any of us thought possible!    Perfect timing and perfect accommodations everywhere!   Many thanks!
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Highly Recommended. Eleanor resolves travel glitches with a phone call or an email.

By: JKF


Reviewed on: 14 Jul 2014

On our most recent trip, one of the suppliers (Rocky Mountaineer) though sending confirmations had not made a reservation with Via for our rail accommodations across Canada.  We didn't learn this until we arrived at the station to check in.  The people at Via were very helpful but it was Eleanor's call to everyone that made sure we had space and that Rocky Mountaineer upgraded all our hotel reservations through the trip.  The bottle of Champagne sitting in our room in Vancouver was also a nice touch.

Great trip with several trips and falls

By: Michaelzstuff


Reviewed on: 14 Sep 2014

We had a great time overseas with plenty to see and plenty of time to see them. A wonderful experience but terrible service with the connections overseas. We had made arrangements for pick-ups at every train station at the time of our arrival and rides from out hotel to the train stations.. Unfortunately, many times there was no one waiting to pick us up and times when there was no one to take us back to the train station. We made several international calls to reach someone while standing at the station with our family and baggage and were told that they would get back to us but never heard from them again. One of the drivers who did arrive took us to the wrong departure location and we had to pay for a cab to the airport. The only other blip was when we arrived at one of our stops along the way and we were told that we needed to pay for the tickets even though we found a document after we arrived back at our hotel confirming that we had paid for our tickets.
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A trip of a lifetime

By: Meera


Reviewed on: 15 Sep 2014

Had a memorable trip-a trip of a lifetime. Have been planning this trip for a while but could not do it earlier because of time constraints. Would definitely recommend this trip to all my friends and family. The staff were excellent and nothing was impossible. The stopover in Budapest and Romania were superb. Turkey was an experience by itself. All in all it was a fabulous trip
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Beautiful Journey To Remember

By: Bob


Reviewed on: 12 Sep 2014

Service was fantastic.Journey was scenic and it is definitely worth every penny. A Special Thanks to All the staff especially the cooks for the best food and personalised attention to detail. They made us feel special and we are honored and previleged to be treated as royalty. Thank You Eleanor and staff for all the help and support. Regards, Bob
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We appreciate all Eleanor did to make our trip problem-free.

By: refuse to answer


Reviewed on: 24 Sep 2014

Eleanor's booking, and her assistance with our Russian visas, were essential to make this trip so good.
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Great Trip!

By: JR


Reviewed on: 01 Oct 2014

Eleanor Hardy does an excellent job offering personal service in planning vacations. She is very knowledgeable and makes great suggestions. We felt like we received VIP treatment!
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An excellent trip on the Royal Scotsman

By: the prof


Reviewed on: 07 Oct 2014

The Royal Scotsman lived up to its billing - it was excellent on all fronts. It is the equal of the Royal Canadian Pacific train (sadly no longer available to individual passengers). Both trains are run on identical lines. The cabins were a miracle of economic use of space, the bed was very comfortable, the ensuite facilities were excellent, the crew were always attentive, and the food was consistently superb. The guests (with two exceptions) were a delight to meet. On the journey from Edinburgh to London we 'copped' five great cathedrals (Durham, York, Lincoln, Ely, & Peterborough) which was an unexpected bonus. An additional plus was the exceptionally pleasant weather for the entire trip. It was definitely a delightful trip which revived some very fond memories.
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A Casual Queen of Excellence

By: Shemesh Grinoley


Reviewed on: 23 Sep 2014

Eleanor and Owen Hardy and their team at The Society of International Railway Travelers are first and foremost just high quality and high class people who are down-to-earth hard-workers for their clients. We have traveled with them repeatedly because we repeatedly have amazing experiences based upon their recommendations and their follow-through and their crisis-management abilities (and through no fault of theirs, we've unfortunately had to manage crises with them). We have, of course, traveled with other luxury travel agencies and institutions and some manage to come close but many have failed to achieve the consistent level of superior service, satisfaction and sense of fun we've always gotten from Eleanor and her team. They love what they do - you as a client feel that love - and you love what they do for you. I honestly could not recommend Eleanor or The Society of International Railway Travelers more - and for more than just railway travel.
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Fun to work with

By: Kate


Reviewed on: 26 Sep 2014

Eleanor was quite knowledgeable about Barcelona. Her restaurant suggestions were great.
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Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro Trip

By: Al


Reviewed on: 02 Oct 2014

Overall, trip went very well. Hotels were as stated except for two issues. 1. The Hotel Falkensteiner (Zadar, Croatia) was totally unsuitable for an adult tour group. It is a resort hotel for families with children and the facility had plenty of them. The food was terrible and even the wine was bad. This hotel (5 Stars!!!!) should never have been booked for this group of travelers. The room arrangements were "different" and there was no privacy even in the bathroom as doors and partitions were made of frosted (see thru) glass. Bad choice! 2. Hotel Neptun (Dubrovnik, Croatia) A very nice facility with wonderful views of the Adriatic, but located too far from Dubrovnik (a 15 minute bus ride). Facilities and staff were first rate but food (dinner) was of institutional quality (or lower). It was served buffet style and everyone agreed that it was of very poor quality. As the facility appears to be owned by an Italian company, this is very hard to understand.
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Another excellent trip

By: Don


Reviewed on: 30 Sep 2014

This was my 6th or 7th trip traveling by train and I have no complaints.--Trip home was longer but that was result of increased freight traffic. As usual all tours were informative, hotels were great as well as the meals.
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Bucket List Experience Better Than Expected

By: RichieBooBoo


Reviewed on: 06 Oct 2014

Had the time of my life on the VSOE from London to Venice. The experience was even better than I had dreamed. Eleanor and her team made the booking easy, and once in the hands of the Belmond staff you have it made. Met the nicest guests, and the staff was amazing. Certainly hope to ride this wonderful train on another route in the near future.
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Rovos Train in South Africa

By: Gerard


Reviewed on: 01 Dec 2014

A good way to visit South Africa. Good service, good food, good organization on board of the train.

review

By: me


Reviewed on: 09 Dec 2014

I felt that the description booklet was misleading. The Upper Amazon is really a trip for birders not a person who wishes to see a variety of species. The naturalists were excellent, the expedition leader excellent, but the emphasis was birds. On only one walk did we see other species and that is because we had a villager who sought out the other species. That would have been great for all of the walks. Also during the reviews, photos of the species being checked off on the checklist would have been helpful. The service and friendliness of all of the staff was commendable. Entertainment at night great.

Great service

By: Becky


Reviewed on: 30 Apr 2015

Eleanor was excellent from the beginning when she suggested Rovos Rail, which we had never heard of. She followed up promptly to all our inquiries and was especially helpful organizing an additional week of safari camps after the train trip. We will definitely recommend her to friends and will use her services again.
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Exceeded our Expectations

By: PottiChurchill


Reviewed on: 18 May 2015

From the moment we arrived we were made to feel very welcome by the group leader Rosie, who was full of fun and joy throughout our whole trip. The attention to detail was immaculate as was the cleanliness of the train and our compartment. The staff on the train couldn't have done more for us. They were always cheerful and were always glad to help us in any way. Our coach driver, Benito, was also amazing and the cleanliness of the coach was also without fault. The food on the train was of a very high standard and always plentiful. The combination of rail travel and coach travel was well balanced and thoughtful. We would recommend this train journey to all our friends as we thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. I think we were fortunate that the rest of the group were friendly and interesting which added to our wonderful experience. Thank you all, again, for what you have done for us. We will have fond memories of our trip. David & Simone

great way to travel

By: shifty one


Reviewed on: 28 Jun 2015

like checking into a hotel, unpacking once, and letting the sights come to you.

My expectations were high and they were exceeded

By: captainmcd


Reviewed on: 09 Jul 2015

The Transcatabrico gran lujo was the best train trip in my life. Nice accommodation, great food and wonderful passengers and crew. You need to enjoy seafood and good wine. I was afraid it might be dressy and snobby but it was not.
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Every detail exceeded my highest expectations

By: Longshanks


Reviewed on: 12 Sep 2015

From the moment we turned the corner at baggage claim and saw a porter holding a sign with my name to the VIP treatment upon departure from Istanbul, every moment exceeded whatever wild expectation I could have dreamed of. Thank you Eleanor. Every day we were surprised and delighted.
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Wish There Were More Stars

By: M and M


Reviewed on: 13 Sep 2015

5-stars is simply not enough to describe the Paris-Istanbul journey. Each and every staff person excelled at their post on the train, with catching enthusiasm and smiles. The quality of everything was of the highest possible standards. Christian Bodiguel, the Executive Chef de Cuisine, presented creative gourmet meals, despite the conditions of cooking in a train kitchen. Surprises awaited us around every corner, when we least expected them, after returning from dinner. Outstanding is not a strong enough description of this journey.
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Absolutely Incredible...Trip of a Lifetime

By: Clay


Reviewed on: 23 Sep 2015

Traveling on the Sea Cloud with Eleanor was one for the record books, a most memorable trip with attention to every detail....accommodations, excursions, meals, fellow shipmates, tour guides, and lectures were all beyond expectation. We all had so much fun together, mainly because Eleanor, along with her husband Owen," led the band" in creating the atmosphere to make it that way. They set the tone and allowed all of us to enjoy the experience-they had fun too we hope! On a personal note, Cathy and I came down with a bug a day after arrival. Fortunately, we had booked some extra playtime on the front end of the trip. However, Eleanor's concern, facilitation of medical help, and guidance with Travelex all made us feel comfortable and allowed us to recover quickly in time to join the rest of the travelers. This trip was definitely a once in a lifetime trip for us, made possible by Eleanor and incredible in every way imaginable.
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jbecerram@prodigy.net.mx

By: Jose


Reviewed on: 30 Sep 2015

This trip was an incredible adventure, on the Sea Cloud, an incredible 1931 built Ship. With all the tours and inside experience. My Wife and Myself, really thanks all the Eleanor & Owen Hardy hostest that makes this trip so special. The kindness and happiness they have really makes everything different. Thank you for everything.
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DREAM TRIP !!!!

By: Bill and Marty


Reviewed on: 04 Oct 2015

DREAM TRIP !!!! Sorry...we are SO VERY SATISFIED that it would take more time than I can command (and also the 1000 characters would run out before we even got started) Suffice it to say..it was a DREAM trip with essentially no hitches or concerns and we would certainly recommend the trip and its "planner" without hesitation. Bill and Marty
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Great Dublin Hotel

By: Potato George


Reviewed on: 19 Oct 2015

It's more than I usually spend on a hotel room, but the Merrion Hotel is worth the price. Impeccable service, friendly staff, highest quality rooms, furnishings, and meals. The Merrion is a short walk from the National Museum, Trinity College, St. Stephens Green, and other worthy destination. Virtuoso booking resulted in room upgrades and early check-in for both my stays. I've found a home in Dublin!
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Every bit a luxury trip. Great food, great staff, and beautiful train.

By: rmeidy


Reviewed on: 22 Oct 2015

We missed the first segment of our Royal Scotsman Tour due to an unfortunate injury. The staff tried their best to get us on the train after our hospital visit, but that was not to be. They arranged for us to rejoin the trip at its midpoint, however, and included us in the "between tours" sightseeing that included the Royal Britannia museum, with the group that we would have been with for the entire tour. When we finally were able to rejoin the tour, we found the staff and accommodations on the train superior to what we had expected. They specially prepared the gourmet food for our injured member, and made us feel like nothing was out of order. Our compartment had adequate storage and room to move about. The beds were comfy, and the bathroom with a near full sized shower, was wonderful. We are still talking about the food. It was some of the best prepared and served meals we have had on any of our travels. The chefs and staff were outstanding. 40 brands of scotch made the trip!
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excellent adventure in Peru and Bolivia

By: carole w


Reviewed on: 23 Oct 2015

Machu Picchu was beyond awesome, as was our Tauck tour guide, Wendy, and all of the accomodations and travel on planes, trains, buses and boats. As was mentioned in the trip description, exploring Peru and Bolivia was hard work because of the altitude issues. One must be in excellent shape to endure the rigors of this trip. It was certainly an eye opener to experience the various cultures we visited. I am so glad I had the chance to experience it all.
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Fabulous Trip

By: Cindy and Doug


Reviewed on: 08 Nov 2015

We found our tour to Italy absolutely fantastic. Everything from the helpful and personal planning by Eleanor Hardy at IRT to the last moment of departure from Florence back to the US was done with great care and efficiency. We were picked up by A&K by our guardian angel, Marta, and a delightful driver and delivered to our hotel which was everything we expected and more. The staff at the hotel was always helpful and charming. For three days we tour Florence with the delightful and very knowledgeable Beatrix??sp. She was lovely and kind. We had a great time with her. We were taken from Florence to Tuscany to the lovely Villa Bordoni where we stayed for 5 nights during which we were picked up by the most wonderful driver/guides. Each one was so knowledgeable, kind, and were wonderful ambassadors for their lovely Country. Each tour we had, whether at a winery, museum, or town in Tuscany was informative and great fun, and always on time. Thank you A&K and IRT.
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Attention to detail

By: Jann


Reviewed on: 01 Dec 2015

I cannot praise Eleanor Hardy's company highly enough. She took care of all the planning, paying attention to every detail and thus this trip was smooth running and fabulous. I hope to travel with this company again.
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Perfectly planned!

By: Railroader


Reviewed on: 27 Jan 2016

Our air travel and personalized stay in Sydney both before and after our Royal Caribbean cruise around New Zealand met, and in many cases, exceeded our expectations. All the of drivers were where they were supposed to be when they were supposed to be there. Our two all-day excursions were hosted by delightful, knowledgeable guides/drivers and the venues we visited were just the kinds of things we'd hoped to do. The events that we got ourselves to (Opera House tour and dinner cruise) were exactly as described and great fun. The accommodations at the Park Hyatt were beyond our expectations! We had beautiful suites with incredible views of Sydney harbor, the downtown and the Opera House. The concierge service was simply extraordinary...we felt like royalty. Thanks, Eleanor and Allison for a job well done. Our trip was wonderful!

Good advice on Santiago Parador

By: Wag


Reviewed on: 20 Jun 2016

We did not do the Barcelona leg of the trip, so I can only comment on the Parador in Santiago. The location of the Parador is ideal for a terrific view of Santiago as it is right on the old square directly adjacent to the Cathedral which is spectacular and warrants many visits. It gives a true feeling of the history of Santiago. In spite of the expense, I would definitely stay at the Parador. For a structure built in the 1400's, they have modernized it into a superbly beautiful hotel. The food served in the Parador is terrific, and not to be missed. Spending two days in Santiago before embarking on the Gran Lugo is the way to go. We were happy that we started our train trip there as opposed to San Sebastian. All in all a delightful experience.
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It is all in the logistics

By: tracy g


Reviewed on: 30 Jun 2016

Eleanor Hardy and team at IRT Society planned the logistics to couple a Tauck and National Geographic Tour. Great air arrangements with good business class fare and excellent transfers at each end. For a three day hiatus between tours in Dublin, they placed me at The Merrion Hotel which is a gem that most likely I would have not found on my own. When I departed the Merrion, I left two drawers of clothing by accident. Knowing I was returning for one last night on the way home, I emailed Eleanor with the sad story (I do not carry international cell service) and she contacted the hotel, they retrieved the articles, laundered them and had them waiting in my new room upon return. That is why you use a Virtuoso travel agent! The logistics, extra amenities and knowledge are worth their weight in gold!
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Great train

By: Stew Choo 43


Reviewed on: 17 Jul 2016

It was a wonderful train with good food and excellent service. The rooms on the train were large and beautifully done. The cities we visited were wonderful and enjoyable to tour. The schedule was well planned and everything was on time. The temperature control in the room was hard to understand. . Parking the train at night was great for sleeping on the train. The tours were well organized but the guide had to say everything in 3 languages (Spanish, English, and German) which took a lot of time. When she was speaking in English many people not listening to English started talking which made it hard to hear her. If we went past a church on the bus there was not enough time to talk about it in 3 languages before we were past it. There needs to be headsets used. Lunch should be served at 1pm instead of 2pm and dinner at 7pm instead of 9pm. Overall a great trip and great train.

Canada is beautiful

By: Katy37


Reviewed on: 07 Aug 2016

Rachel and Eleanor at the Society of International Railway travelers arranged our 15 day tour across Canada. It was an exceptionally pleasant experience. All of our hotel rooms had spectacular views; we were always met as promised at the airports and train stations; and all of our guided tours were excellent. The itinerary that IRT provided was perfectly detailed, so we never had any confusion or misunderstanding that sometimes goes with international travel. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this agency for planning international travel.
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Trip of a lifetime

By: RRBill


Reviewed on: 30 Aug 2016

Eleanor Hardy at The Society of Railway Travelers managed to put together a dream tour for us.. She insisted that REGENT was the cruise that we MUST use. We had asked for a ship that was not so big. She recommended Regent as the best of the best, and we found out she was right. We had several opportunities to "see" what goes on at Princess and another line and were SO THANKFUL that we were NOT on one of those floating rabbit warrens .WE WERE ON THE RIGHT SHIP. The crew was intelligent and courteous and VERY friendly. The food was OUTSTANDING as was the management of the several restaurants on board. And the selection of available shore activities was fascinating. But the magic touch was that Eleanor was able to put us on the Alaska Railrod to Denali and back and connecting with the ship almost seamlessly. AND when we arrived at Skagway we found that the "other" railroad that was in our sights was ready and waiting for us. The White Pass and Yukon RR trip was PERFECT
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Excellent service

By: js_ga


Reviewed on: 11 Sep 2016

Eleanor arranged our entire schedule, making our complicated vacation hassle free.
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Complete Package

By: Shifty1


Reviewed on: 15 Sep 2016

This trip was planned and executed perfectly. From the very start and through the entire venue, a well designed plan kept us busy and always aware of what lie ahead. No unexpected events or wasted down-time. Always feeling pampered with a general concern for our welfare.

Unforgettable train across Ireland

By: Jazzorgellady


Reviewed on: 14 Sep 2016

This trip was just wonderful! The train was as comfortable as possible (chairs in dining and bar coaches, bed, shower and toilet). The staff were very helpful and the two chefs conjured out delicious meals day after day. Our tour guide was very competent and gave us many details to the program of the day. The bus driver were reliable drivers with nice buses. So everyone could relax while we were driven by bus to another new sight. For me it was especially nice that Eleanor and Owen were on that tour. They really did a good job and made sure everyone felt comfortable and happy. This was my 2nd tour with Belmond. My first tour was (7 nights) on the Royal Scotsman in 2011. Both the Irish and the Scottisch tours are highlights in my memories!
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Excellent first class travel

By: Wiscongirl


Reviewed on: 13 Sep 2016

The Belmond Hibernian train thru Ireland was a first class success. This was my seventh trip with the Society of International Railway Travelers and as always, Eleanor and Owen Hardy provided an exceptional experience. From the moment we stepped off the plane in Dublin to the time we said good-by ten days later we enjoyed smooth trouble free traveling. Eleanor's close attention to every detail and her cheerful demeanor made the trip a memorable vacation.
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great service and lots of knowledge but not overbearing Great fun our first rail experience

By: marge


Reviewed on: 12 Sep 2016

we had a ball loved the staff on the train very congenial and helpful wanted everyone to be happy Great bunch of people on the tour Had a great time, I hope we get feedback from for the arrival to the train most impressive.
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Incredible experience

By: Jose


Reviewed on: 14 Sep 2016

The Society of International Railway Travelers, use to give us the best experience around their trips, this is my third trip with them, and every trip is unique and indescribable, always they look for special events around the diferent activities we have with the tour. They make the journey welcoming. And we feel so good.
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Another "grand" trip from IRT

By: rfisher352


Reviewed on: 13 Sep 2016

I was a guest on the recent guest on the Belmond Grand Hibernian tour of Ireland, chartered by the Society of International Railway Travelers. It was an extraordinary trip in every way. The arrangements were meticulous and their realization perfect. The train was luxuriously comfortable -- though I did hear some complaints from passengers about the narrow beds. And the food and wine were universally praised. The itinerary was busy but not overwhelming and the stops chosen were interesting and informative. I enjoyed especially the tour of the distillery and the session of falconry, which was unusual and great fun. I also loved the Titanic experience in Belfast. But above all I loved the opportunity to see the lovely Irish countryside from the train -- a perfect way to experience it. I would heartily recommend the trip to anyone interested in Ireland or train travel or both.
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Austin Adventures to Bryce and Zion

By: Bev


Reviewed on: 21 Sep 2016

Our trip with Austin Adventures to Utah for hiking and bicycling was excellent in every way. Enjoyed every minute, excellent value, highly recommended.
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London to Berlin on the VSOE

By: RichieBooBoo


Reviewed on: 06 Oct 2016

I was blessed to be on the inaugural London-Berlin VSOE. it was amazing. I'm an OE fan, having done Belmond trains in South Afica, Peru, Europe and Asia, and this route is among the best. The route along the Rhine viewing castles from your cabin or the club car is so wonderful. Equaling the time and cost of the London-Venice route, this is such a great new experience. My friends at the International Society of Railway Travelers took GREAT care of me. Eleanor and ALLISON will make your experience the best.

i started this too late

By: fearless ferd of river forest


Reviewed on: 20 Jan 2017

a complicated trip was made manageable.
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Trains

By: Earle


Reviewed on: 17 Oct 2016

Had a great trip. The rail travel and the train associated tours such as the factories and the control center were excellent. The tours really added a great touch to the trip. On the negative side fewer temple visits would be appreciated. Our Japanese guide, Hiro Matsumura, did a magnificent job.

Met highest expectations

By: Old Boy Larry


Reviewed on: 16 Oct 2016

The main purpose was experiencing high speed trains in Japan, and we certainly did! In addition, we were able to visit behind-the-scenes places not open to the casual visitor - this really made the trip worth the value! Our tours of historic and culturally significant places added greatly to the experience, and our guide, Hiro, was well-informed about them. We went to several fine, but very similar Japanese restaurants, and I would have appreciated sampling a wider variety of styles. Otherwise, the tour met my highest expectations.
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Great trip!

By: John


Reviewed on: 17 Oct 2016

Taste of Bordeaux was a great trip. We liked AMA and they took very good care of us. Transfers and connections by train were great. Cruise director was outstanding and went way beyond expectations! We had terrific weather. Met some new friends!!! Airline flights went very well also. Thanks to you and Allison for putting this all together for the Barkers and Lamys!!
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Unusual side trips.

By: Jim


Reviewed on: 16 Oct 2016

Excellent trip. Did some things-(visit rail maintenance facilities and manufacturing facilities) that I could not do on any other tour. Would like to return to Japan. Had a exciting time. Tour group was very friendly. Jim

japan HSTs

By: fgerbil


Reviewed on: 19 Oct 2016

it was a brilliant trip - packed in a lot in a small time. Miyashima was the top experience. Hotels were excellent. Mix of travel/transport experience was v. good, especially for those who were interested in the performance of the railways. Escort: Hiro (properly pronounced hero) was just that. after China in 2013 the SIRT is batting 1.000 for two at-bats

Expert planning, as always

By: rfisher352


Reviewed on: 19 Oct 2016

As always, when I take a trip planned by Eleanor, everything goes off without a hitch. Her attention to detail is unsurpassed. And she always has some little surprises. Checking in at my Spokane hotel, I was presented with an elegant upgrade, thanks to Eleanor. And she knows I hate duvets, so my lovely bed was appropriately "duvet-less." She is always within easy reach, on the rare occasions when something does go wrong. I wouldn't consider taking a trip that was not planned and executed by her.
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Tauck --- Top of the Line!

By: Janet B


Reviewed on: 06 Nov 2016

The Rhine and Moselle river cruise, 12 days from Basel to Amsterdam, was beyond fabulous. We had heard of Tauck's excellent reputation as a top cruise line, but even as seasoned travelers we were not prepared for the excellence throughout. From well-planned day trips to incredible cuisine to a staff that was professional and attentive, it's hard to think of a category where we weren't blown away. The cabins were spacious and well appointed. Our ship, the Tauck "Grace" was brand new, very high tech, a smooth sailer. The crew kept the ship spotless. Perhaps the daily highlight was cocktail hour in a Lounge prior to dinner. The bartenders knew every drink in the book, and served them with a great assortment of finger foods. A great trip.

Stress free Fun!

By: Mike33


Reviewed on: 23 Oct 2016

A short weekend turned into a lifetime memory in Niagara on the Lake Ontario thanks to Eleanor and the Virtuoso team. Accommodations, fall color, wine tours, cycling, and the Falls....all in 3 days without any feeling of being rushed. Highly recommend.
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Professional, friendly, accessible

By: tracy


Reviewed on: 20 Nov 2016

When you call Eleanor, she is friendly, spends time to listen carefully and then offers suggestions to refine original plans. She offers lovely, and sometimes luxurious flourishes, but is respectful of personal spending habit and monetary constraints, As a "former do-it-yourself" travel planner, I have found Eleanor's services to have streamlined and made my trips more efficient with much richer experiences than I could have ever imagined. She and her team are worth every cent of their fees! She is accessible at all times, supportive, but does not waste anyone's time. Truly a highly trained and practiced professional! She has been there and done that with first hand experience of most of the trips she sells and plans.
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It's true! You made magic happen

By: Tree


Reviewed on: 02 Dec 2016

Eleanor understood the experiences I wanted and worked with Amber Tours in a manner that resulted in seamless travel facilitation throughput my entire journey. Every single day contained joy as I marveled at the life of India. Feeling safe and well cared for by Eleanor and Amber Tours gave me the freedom to interact in a much more personal manner. The education I received, on so many levels, is a genuine and invaluable treasure. As is Eleanor.
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Maya

By: Ron


Reviewed on: 10 Feb 2017

As always, working with Eleanor was a delight. She is always quick to respond and has the answers at her fingertips.

Excellent Advisor

By: Tim


Reviewed on: 22 Mar 2017

She is attentive and responsive.

Perfect

By: Mainer


Reviewed on: 06 May 2017

Perfectly considerate, attentive and helpful. Will look forward to working with her again

Belmond Grand Hibernian Luxury Train

By: Bob


Reviewed on: 22 May 2017

Our entire experience from initial contact through receipt of final travel documents was first rate!

IRT

By: JB


Reviewed on: 23 Jun 2017

Very nice, easy to plan. Fine trip. Will book with Eleanor again.
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IRTS

By: BillC


Reviewed on: 03 Jul 2017

At all times, Eleanor and her staff were thorough and professional. I would not hesitate to use their services again.

Professional

By: Tim


Reviewed on: 22 Jul 2017

Eleanor is caring and professional. As is the entire IRT staff. We recommend them to everyone.

Orient Express

By: colinandkaron


Reviewed on: 25 Sep 2017

Hello Eleanor, Members of the Society of International Railway Travelers have returned after a magnificent and enjoyable holiday on the Paris to Istanbul, Orient Express. Here we are in Bucharest; never thought we would visit this part of the globe but what a way to see it. Loved every minute of our journey and the Chef and catering were superb. Our many thanks for the lovely wine left in our cabin apartment. Cheers to you and our next trip with the Society of International Rail Travelers. Colin and Karon

VSOE to Istanbul

By: C&J


Reviewed on: 09 Sep 2017

Eleanor is very professional and very helpful. She spends a great deal of time with you at the beginning of your trip learning your likes and dislikes. She goes out of her way to design interesting and unusual experiences for you. We have really enjoyed working with Eleanor.

Legends and Loughs

By: Laurie Rothinghouse


Reviewed on: 20 Sep 2017

She is the very best! I want Eleanor to plan all my trips. This past excusion was fantastic. Everything was perfect just like clockwork.

Trip Advisor

By: Joe F


Reviewed on: 16 Sep 2017

Eleanor was extremely helpful and did a great job of setting up travel arrangements before and after our train excursion. She put up with numerous questions we had concerning our trip and helped take the "angst" out of trip preparations concerning such mundane matters as tipping, connections, etc. I would highly recommend Eleanor to anyone who is thinking about taking one of the great trips.

Sea Cloud

By: David


Reviewed on: 14 Oct 2017

Eleanor is world class!

Eleanor Hardy

By: Janet


Reviewed on: 08 Oct 2017

Eleanor is knowledgeable and provides sound advice

Scotland Getaway

By: F. Wood


Reviewed on: 19 Oct 2017

We contacted Eleanor to get help planning a trip to Scotland. We met in her office for about an hour to get to know each other and to discuss the places we were interested in seeing and the accommodations we preferred. She was very cordial and thorough, and introduced us to her office personnel. Shortly thereafter she presented us with a proposed itinerary, which we accepted after a few modifications. She was very helpful in refining the trip and in making suggestions for side trips. Before we left for Scotland, she made sure we had her 24/7 contact information in case any complications arose. She checked with us by email during the trip to be sure everything was going as planned. We were very pleased with the hotels, the drivers and the train transportation. We recommend her without reservation.

Great help

By: O’Shay


Reviewed on: 02 Nov 2017

Eleanor was so thoughtful throughout the whole planning and even after I set out on my journey. I couldn’t have asked for a better person to work with.
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Wonderful Trip

By: Daniel E


Reviewed on: 30 Oct 2017

Delightful and professional. All arrangements were first class as expected. Could;d not be more pleased.

Working with Eleanor Hardy, you will have access to:

  • - Special perks and extra amenities
  • - An experienced travel guide whom you can rely on before, during, and after the trip
  • - Exclusive luxury resorts and properties
  • - Once in a lifetime experiences

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