Multi-Day Tour

China Splendor (12 days)

Swain Destinations

Beijing, China To Hong Kong, China

China Splendor (12 days)

Day 5

Beijing to Xi?an

Day 6

Terracotta Warriors and Provincial Museum

Day 9

Li River Cruise

Day 10

Yangshuo Bicycle tour to Moon Hill

Itinerary

DAY LOCATION(S) HOTEL MEALS DESCRIPTION
Day 1
Beijing, China
None None
Today you will begin your Swain Destinations customized itinerary. Please note, international air has not been included in this package price.
Day 2
Beijing, China
Park Plaza Beijing Wangfujing None
Upon arrival, you will clear customs and immigration before being transferred by private vehicle to your hotel.

For centuries, Beijing has played a major role in China's imperial rule. It was Kublai Khan, a grandson of Genghis Khan, who reunified the Chinese territories and transferred the capital to Beijing during the 13th century. Beijing was not only a lasting imperial city, but also a thriving trading city that served as the easternmost terminus of the caravan routes of the Silk Road.

Today, Beijing remains as it was centuries ago – a great center of power and commerce. It is a bustling metropolis of soaring high-rises, gaudy billboards, teeming highways and a growing international stature. Although a number of Beijing's historical sites are slowly being preserved, many of the city's ancient neighborhoods have been razed in recent years to make way for glitzy commercial skyscrapers and apartment blocks. Nevertheless, Kublai Khan's imperial spirit remains in the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall and the Summer Palace.
Day 3
Beijing, China
Park Plaza Beijing Wangfujing Lunch
This morning depart your hotel for magnificent Tiananmen Square, the largest public square in the world, where Mao's picture hangs over the rostrum at the entrance of the Imperial Forbidden City. Walk in the steps of ancient emperors as you tour the powerful Forbidden City, hidden from public view for over 500 years. This is where Chinese emperors resided and ruled the country for 700 years until the year of 1911. The Imperial Palace provides outstanding examples of the greatest palatial architectural ensembles in China. They illustrate the grandeur of the imperial institution from the Qing Dynasty to the earlier Ming and Yuan dynasties, as well as Manchu traditions, and present evidence on the evolution of this architecture in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Continue to the masterpiece Temple of Heaven, an embodiment of grace and harmony. This is where Ming and Qing emperors prayed for good harvest and it is the largest temple complex remaining in China today. The pomp and grandeur of imperial China lives on in this historic landmark so integral to the nation's soul.

Lunch is at Beijing Fang Shan Restaurant. Set in Bei Hai Park a former imperial garden, Beijing Fang Shan Restaurant offers exquisite food from former Chinese dynasties. Waitresses in period garb lead you to the main dining room, which is splendid, with high painted ceilings and traditional Chinese art.
Day 4
Beijing, China
Park Plaza Beijing Wangfujing Lunch
A walk along the Great Wall of China ranks high on the wish list of many travelers and today's excursion will confirm it is one of the world's greatest travel experiences. Travel 43 miles by private vehicle northeast of Beijing to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, known for its beautiful surroundings of dense woods and rich pastures changing colors with each season of the year. It winds its way over a thousand meters to the crest of a mountain before turning sharply and dipping downhill, forming a triangle known as 'Ox-Horn Wall'. Linger at the towers and broad promenades; contemplate on the spectacular scenery and the lives lost in building this monumental construction that never truly fulfilled its purpose. There is ample time to stroll along its ancient stone promenade and photograph the wall as it winds across impossibly steep mountain areas. A cable car is available to help visitors and is included in today's tour.

Stop for lunch at Xiaolongpu Restaurant nearby, where their specialties include Sturgeon from neighboring Dongting Lake.

Continue on to the Summer Palace, formerly an imperial garden and palace for the Qing emperors. First built in 1750, largely destroyed in the war of 1860 and restored on its original foundations in 1886 - is a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design. The natural landscape of hills and open water is combined with artificial features such as pavilions, halls, palaces, temples and bridges to form a harmonious ensemble of outstanding aesthetic value.

Stroll along the famous 700 meter Long Corridor, with its beautiful Painted Gallery (each archway depicts a different scene), and enjoy some peaceful time on Kunming Lake by boat, soaking in the majesty of China's imperial past.
Day 5
Beijing to Xi?an
Grand Mercure On Renmin Square None
Transfer from your hotel to Beijing airport by private vehicle for your onward flight. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred by private vehicle to your hotel.

In 1974 a farmer from the dusty town of Lintong was digging a well when he unearthed a chamber that housed one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of the 20th century. Today the ancient army of more than 7,000 life-sized terracotta soldiers that guard the entombed Emperor Qin Shihuang is considered the “eighth wonder of the world”.
Day 6
Terracotta Warriors and Provincial Museum
Grand Mercure On Renmin Square Breakfast
Transfer by private vehicle to the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor, home of the world renowned Terracotta Army, an archaeological site of unimaginable size and importance. No doubt thousands of statues still remain to be unearthed at this archaeological site, which was not discovered until 1974. Qin (d. 210 B.C.), the first unifier of China, is buried, surrounded by the famous terracotta warriors, at the centre of a complex designed to mirror the urban plan of the capital, Xianyan. The small figures are all different; with their horses, chariots and weapons, they are masterpieces of realism and also of great historical interest.

The statues remain where they were uncovered, protected by a large hangar-like hall. Individual soldiers can be studied more closely in a museum exhibit in an adjacent building.

Following a Chinese lunch onsite, continue with a visit to the Shaanxi History Museum for a cultural and historical overview of the province, beginning with the great Emperor Qing. You'll re-live the rise of the city's greatness as guardian of the wealth that came from the Silk Road. After a comprehensive historical overview at the museum, you will travel to the walled city itself and walk atop the 600-year-old fortification.
Day 7
Guilin, China
Sheraton Breakfast
Transfer from your hotel to Xi’an airport by private vehicle for your onward flight. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred by private vehicle to your hotel.

Guilin is the home base for cruises on the picturesque Li River, offers spectacular scenery and is just a short flight from Hong Kong.

The river cruise, the main attraction, is a true pleasure. Moving among fishermen's bamboo rafts, the flat-bottomed boats ply a misty, shallow river, which is flanked on both shores by mountains and limestone outcroppings. Most cruises last about four hours, with lunch included.

The beautiful limestone crags seen along the river can also be found within Guilin, at Seven Star Park. At Fubo Hill you'll find the Thousand Buddha cliff (with only 400 statues), the Returned Pearl Cave and a 2.5-ton cast-iron bell. In the spring, there's a beautiful aroma in the parks from the red, white and yellow cassia blossoms.
Day 8
Guilin, China
Sheraton Breakfast
Travel by private vehicle 55 miles northwest of Guilin (or two to three hours) to the mountainous border between Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Guizhou. This remote hilly area is dominated by minority groups, chiefly the Dong, Miao, and Yao, who pursue terrace farming, hunting and logging.

Passing through quaint Ya and Zhuang villages, the highpoint of today is seeing Longji Titian (Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces), a beautiful fully sculpted landscape of terraces rice fields 17 miles (or 40 minutes) outside of Longsheng. May and August through to October are the best times to visit. May is planting season which offers the most spectacular vistas when the rice fields are submerged in water following the completion of the rainy season. September and October is just before the fall harvest when they fields are covered in waves of golden yellow.

A local Chinese lunch will be included today and you will return to your Guilin hotel late this afternoon.
Day 9
Li River Cruise
Yangshou Green Lotus Hotel Breakfast
The Li River twists and turns between lush, green rock formations known in geographic terms as karsts. The mountainous terrain is covered with lush bamboo and luxuriant forests, and the river itself is a highway of small boats from the villages that dot the shores.

You'll be cruising upriver for the next four hours, sitting in cushioned comfort in the main cabin or enjoying the open-air viewing platform. Bring lots of film because this is a photographer's dream, and you'll want to capture the dramatic landscapes that Chinese artists have been painting for centuries. Lunch will be served onboard, with local favorites and fresh catches from the Li River.

Your destination is the village of Yangshuo, where you'll disembark and stroll amid the colorful, bustling marketplace of local street vendors. After you stretch your legs and see the sights, your guide will check you into a local hotel while your luggage is transferred from Guilin.
Day 10
Yangshuo Bicycle tour to Moon Hill
Intercontinental Grand Stanford Breakfast
Yangshuo is a fantastic place to be active. The surrounding villages offer endless opportunities to get off the beaten track. The local people are very friendly. Some of your best days in Yangshuo are when you are off the beaten track and away from the major sights as you will discover rural China at its best.

Today take a guided bicycle tour of Yangshuo's Moon Hill area. One of Yangshuo's most visited sight, this karst peak obtains its name from a large round hole in the middle of the mountain.

Moon hill may be climbed to the top for views of the surrounding area. You can walk up to the whole section or you can continue right to the top for great views of the local area.

Fly Guilin to Hong Kong
Transfer from your hotel to the airport by private vehicle for your onward flight. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred by private vehicle to your hotel.

Hong Kong is a place of contrasts: geographically, socially and economically. Although many Asian cities claim to be where East meets West, the former British Crown Colony-whose largely Chinese population was ruled by Europeans for 156 years-is probably the closest the world comes to the genuine article.

Perched precariously on the edge of mainland China, Hong Kong has been battered by geopolitical forces for centuries. Thanks to its strategic deepwater harbor and proximity to Asia's most populous nation, the city profited as the capitalist gateway for the communist giant to the north. What was once a fishing village became one of the world's busiest international ports and business centers.

Scratch the cosmopolitan, high-tech surface, however, and you'll discover vestiges of ancient China lying just below the city's modern urban facade and, in some cases, right alongside it. Residents invariably live in two worlds: Skyscrapers and enormous shopping malls sit next to narrow alleys crowded with traditional vendors' stalls. Businesspeople use cell phones to consult fortune-tellers before making important decisions. Taoist priests exorcise evil spirits from buildings, even from the city's racecourses. In sleepy walled villages, farmers tend their crops in the same way they have for generations.
Day 11
Hong Kong, China
Intercontinental Grand Stanford Breakfast
Pick up from hotel to traverse the World-renowned Victoria Harbour via the Cross-Harbor Tunnel. We then drive through Wanchai and take the Peak Tram to Victoria Peak, which operates on a double reversible funicular system with a maximum speed of 6 meters per second. Victoria Peak offers a breath-taking 360-degree view of the bustling harbour, Hong Kong Island and Kowloon as far as the eye can see. From Victoria Peak, the tour continues to Aberdeen village via the scenic resort areas of Repulse Bay and Deep Water Bay. At Aberdeen board a sampan to see the fishing junks and the Jumbo floating restaurant moored there. The tour will continue to Stanley Markets where you will have free time to stroll around historic fishing lanes jam-packed with vendors selling Chinese artwork, silk collectibles and curios. Return to Hong Kong or Kowloon.
Day 12
Hong Kong, China
Intercontinental Grand Stanford Breakfast
This dazzling city is crowned by the imposing Victoria Peak, which soars above Hong Kong's hustle and bustle, providing stunning views of the shopper's seventh-heaven, Kowloon Peninsula, across the bustling harbor. Head to the floating village of Aberdeen and dine on dim sum while your restaurant sways on a gentle swell. Overload your senses with a trip to Central Market where everything from fruit to flip-flops spill out onto the streets. Explore the surrounding area on your own or on one of our additional day excursions.
Day 13
Hong Kong, China
None Breakfast
Transfer from your hotel to the Hong Kong airport for your departure flight to the USA.

Tour Features

Experience(s)

  • Family Vacations

Description

Let your eyes open wide to the majesty of China in all its ancient history and visual wonders. Roam on royal grounds through the Forbidden City among imperial architecture. Walk alongside the Great Wall of China, a must-do before leaving Beijing. Your trip concludes in Hong Kong, a city magically living traditional Chinese culture in one of the world’s most future-forward, urban societies.

About Us

For over 30 years, Swain Destinations has been providing fully-customized travel experiences to Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific Islands, Africa, Asia and India. The destination specialists at Swain Destinations provide you and your clients with a special combination of expertise and local insight in itinerary planning. We offer flexibility in accommodating a wide spectrum of personal tastes, travel needs and budgets from the ultimate in luxury and private touring to more moderate arrangements. Swain Destinations has been nominated for 9 consecutive years as one of the top 5 FIT companies within the Virtuoso network

Insider Tip

Contact your Virtuoso Travel Advisor for insider knowledge to help enhance your experience.

Terms & Conditions

Terms and conditions are posted on our website - click here for details.



The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo and SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. Virtuoso CST#2069091-50. California CST# 2069091; TA# 808 - Registered Iowa Travel Agency; Washington UBI # 601 554 183. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

Reviews and Recommendations for Swain Destinations

92%

of 83
guests
recommend


Virtuoso Verified Traveler

All reviews are from confirmed guests sharing exclusive insights

Sort reviews by

Not Recommended

Fair

By: Not provided


Reviewed on: 20 Nov 2013

I suspect that there are better travel guides in China. We prefer guides with a more professorial/academic approach. Also, we do not like being taken to tourist sites (as in a tea house to sell us tea items) or a bad tourist restaurant.
  Loading comments. Please wait...
Not Recommended

By: Not provided


Reviewed on: 21 Nov 2013

the arranged transport at sydney airport a debacle, hotel in auckland did not have rooms ready - a room rate of $300/night steep when check in is 3 pm you don't get in until 4 pm and check out is 9 or 10 am - steep hourly rate. hotel shuttle service was substandard . arrangement for a rail pass poorly done confirmation numbers provided did not match those for the rail provider

Australia adventure

By: stanford GSB Grad


Reviewed on: 24 Nov 2013

The trip was wonderful. Every accommodation was excellent except for the hotel in Cairns. The public areas were very nice and the food was good but the room left a lot to be desired. All in all though the trip was well worth it.

Highly Recommended

By: Not provided


Reviewed on: 21 Jan 2014

Swain provided a very helpful booklet of our itinerary, vouchers & connections, including where to be at what time and what call-in confirmations to make in advance. Everything went off without a hitch.
Travel Advisor:  Kathy Moran

Highly Recommend

By: KJ


Reviewed on: 21 Apr 2014

We continue to be amazed at the complexity of our flight and transfer arrangements made by our Swain's representative.  Our travel was seamlessly enjoyable, and our hotels perfect.  24 days in Australia and New Zealand without a glitch, amazing!!  We definitely are Swain believers.
Travel Advisor:  Carol Asivido

Honeymoon

By: Ro


Reviewed on: 10 Jun 2014

Were easy to get a hold of and helpful in providing us knowledge in a foreign land.
Travel Advisor:  Kathy Moran

By: Joanne K.


Reviewed on: 27 May 2014

Michelle at Swain travel put together a great package for our Australia and New Zealand vacation.
Travel Advisor:  Carol Asivido

Fabulous trip with help from Swain

By: Onespud


Reviewed on: 06 Jul 2014

Swain did an excellent job of taking care of us.  All drivers were on time and delivered impeccable service.  Arranged tours could not have been better.  Our hotel locations were so close to restaurants and shopping.  Could not have been better.
Travel Advisor:  Theresa Quintarelli

Great Trip

By: Kim849


Reviewed on: 12 Oct 2014

Swain planned all of our transportation, hotels and activities and did a wonderful job! Made our vacation very relaxing.
Travel Advisor:  Julie Raines

Swain was great

By: Jill


Reviewed on: 17 Feb 2015

Every detail was perfectly handled. Trip exceeded my expectations.
Travel Advisor:  Sigrid Braeckeveldt

Great trip.

By: Kathy51


Reviewed on: 06 Mar 2015

Trip well planned given the time frame we were traveling in. Out of 23 days, only one poorly planned day. Terrific knowledge of all areas visited with fantastic recommendations on tours, hotels, etc. Helped resolve one problem.
Travel Advisor:  Lydia Ganz

Great operator

By: Mikeshy


Reviewed on: 24 Mar 2015

My wife and I just completed an 11 week trip in Australia and New Zealand hat had two cruises and two fly/drive segments. Swain provided ; all transfers between the airports and the cruise ships, three car rentals, lodging in 16 different cities as well as small group tours in most cities that we visited. We only experienced a couple of "hiccups" which is amazing considering the number of arrangements that were made on our behalf. When I did have a problem, it was resolved quickly after making 1 phone call. We had requested that our lodging accommodations would be in high end, small boutique hotels or B&B's. The quality of our accommodations was excellent. Between Jodi Fox, our travel advisor and Swain, they "nailed it!". With only one exception, we loved our accommodations. We had many, many small group tours that ended up being a private tour. The quality of the vehicles and the professionalism of the drivers/tour guides was also excellent. They did a great job.
Travel Advisor:  Jodi Fox

Great Teamwork and Travel Materials

By: rpw128


Reviewed on: 26 Mar 2015

Having done most of our work through Cindy Goldberger she did most of the interaction with Swain in the beginning. They provided valuable LOCAL feedback which proved critical to the enjoyment of our trip. They had activities that I could not believe that we would ever get to try, it was such a unique itinerary. Once we had everything the way we wanted it Swain sent over the travel documents which great and organized, just the way I was so I combined my documents with theirs and didn't miss a beat. Upon arrival they had a car service ready for us and our honeymoon began. It was such an easy experience after everything was booked we didn't have to worry which increased the enjoyment 100 times!
Travel Advisor:  Cindy Goldberger

Hands On

By: Lainey


Reviewed on: 21 Oct 2015

Trip of a lifetime!
Travel Advisor:  Jane Rosenkrantz

Australia

By: Daniel


Reviewed on: 30 Oct 2015

Swain, in coordination with Alicia, have planned a wonderful trip so far.
Travel Advisor:  Valerie Ann Wilson

Expert friendly service from Swain

By: Lynne55


Reviewed on: 11 Nov 2015

Every tour that was arranged by Swain was met with friendly smiles and professional service! We always were amazed at the knowledge and attention to our needs at every moment of our tour. They would go out of their way to accommodate us and told stories about the destinations that were not only fascinating but always intertwined with humor. This was an A+ tour company and would highly recommend them to any traveler!
Travel Advisor:  Wayne Muhlstein

Honeymoon In Australia

By: Richard


Reviewed on: 17 Nov 2015

Everyone at Swain Destinations did a great job in helping us plan our Honeymoon! We loved the little details like the Champagne bottles and desserts they had for us at each hotel we stayed. At the airports they would pick us up with a sign with our names and Swain destinations so we felt special. All the tours we went to in Australia were awesome and we could not have asked for a better Honeymoon. My wife Erika and I highly recommend using Swain Destinations for your next vacation.
Travel Advisor:  Sarah Lee

documents very complete and helpful

By: Bill67


Reviewed on: 04 Mar 2016

The documents provided were very helpful during the trip.
Travel Advisor:  Becky Hayes

Great Trip!

By: EdLaura


Reviewed on: 21 Mar 2016

Our Swain trip was a great view of New Zealand and Australia. We felt like we got to see everything we wanted in a relatively short amount of time. Our tour guides were outstanding and the group was very congenial. Thanks for a great trip!
Travel Advisor:  Marian Blessing

great trip

By: Craig


Reviewed on: 29 May 2016

All arrangements went off without a hitch, from the car rentals to transfers to pickup of cars at a new location, the cars were always waiting and the pickups and drop offs were fast. The hotels/B&B's were all outstanding, Swain always picked the best places to stay, the coupons for the stays worked well with no issues. The tours/trips were all outstanding, the coupons worked well with no issues. All airline flights also went off without a hitch. Our only issue, its a small one, would be that we never saw or met a Swain representative, we though we were supposed to meet a rep when we arrived. The way the arrangements were a rep was not necessary, but it would have been nice to have someone there to meet us and just say hi and make sure we knew what to do initially and make sure there were know issues.
Travel Advisor:  Jesse Taylor

Great trip

By: Rachel


Reviewed on: 14 Sep 2016

We had a wonderful time with everything planned well. We only had a few very minor complaints with White Sands Tours in Mauritius but otherwise was exceptional
Travel Advisor:  David Mellon

A good trip package and value.

By: Jack


Reviewed on: 08 Nov 2016

It was a good package, everything was delivered as promised.
Travel Advisor:  Becky Lukovic

Don

By: Don


Reviewed on: 10 Mar 2018

Helpful when needed and responsive.

Swain

By: CAR


Reviewed on: 14 Apr 2018

They took care of everything. We never had one issue
Travel Advisor:  Nancy Macleod

Helpful service

By: kerful1


Reviewed on: 26 Nov 2016

The Swain folks were my local contacts for any issues or changes to my itinerary. I requested a change in my itinerary in New Zealand, moving sailing in Auckland to a different day so that I could add a day trip to Hobbiton, and they took care of everything. It was great to have a local phone number and email to contact in case I needed anything with any part of my itinerary.
Travel Advisor:  Peg Aikman

When I go to New Zealand again, it will be with Swain

By: Tina Lou


Reviewed on: 08 Dec 2016

The materials that they gave me for my trip to New Zealand was the right information, organized so I could find it quickly. Less stress, all I had to do was read it the day before my next adventure to be there to experience it.

Experts on South Africa and Zimbabwe

By: GeoStone1


Reviewed on: 20 Dec 2016

Swain Destinations coordinated the South Africa and Zimbabwe portions of our once-in-a-lifetime trip to Africa. Swain's representative met us in Cape Town at our hotel to discuss how well our trip was going and to check with us to see if any changes were needed. Ditto in Victoria Falls. What special service! Swain has the knowledge and expertise that resulted in our stay at 1st class accommodations throughout our trip, coordinate our ride on the luxury train between Pretoria and Cape Town, and our flights within South Africa and to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. A total success! We highly recommend Swain Destinations!
Travel Advisor:  Wayne Muhlstein

Private Wildlife Trip

By: Khalid


Reviewed on: 03 Jan 2017

It was a fantastic trip. The guides were professional, knowledgeable and enthusiastic. I got more out of the trip than expected. I had lost my cell phone twice but the problem was resolved quickly by the company. That was a big relief.
Travel Advisor:  Cindy Moore

austraia

By: op


Reviewed on: 04 Feb 2017

Excellent service
Travel Advisor:  Julie Boulanger Taylor

Blue Mountain Day Tour

By: Kathy Siefken


Reviewed on: 03 Feb 2017

Wonderful day with Swain Tours. We loved the tour and while it was a 100 degree day in Australia, we enjoyed our time on the tour and exploring the Blue Mountains.
Travel Advisor:  Jessica Griscavage

Australia and New Zealand

By: Mary Nell


Reviewed on: 06 Feb 2017

Swain is the very best tour operator for Australia and New Zealand. We had heard that before we took our trip and then we heard it during our trip and certainly experienced it to be a very true statement! The coordination of all the details for 3 weeks was amazing. Swain had drivers planned for our entire trip and without a doubt, they were all prompt, courteous, informative, safe and fun, plus they all had new beautiful cars!! I would highly recommend Swain to anyone that is planning a trip and wants to be assured that every detail will be handled. Australia was our 7th Continent to travel and explore and Swain made it a great journey. Wonderful memories!!
Travel Advisor:  Tina Aikman

Australian trip

By: Geri


Reviewed on: 10 Feb 2017

All contacts through Swain were prompt, courteous and informative. Our only glitch was our initial flight with Quantas but everything afterwards was uneventful.
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Bush

Australia tour

By: Betty & Allen


Reviewed on: 07 Feb 2017

What can I say. Everything worked out perfect. Our drivers met us on time and our guides were excellent. Everyone's expectations were met and exceded. It was a wonderful tour and I would recommend Swain to all who are seeking adventure and don't want to do the legwork.
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Bush

Wonderful Experience

By: Poppy


Reviewed on: 11 Feb 2017

All the arrangements, transfers and tours packaged for us by Swain staff were reliable and the services generally very good. The ability to customize our itinerary (even in country) was a new and wonderful experience. Most hotels and guides were exceptional, a few less so. Overall our extensive travels in Australia and NZ a fantastic adventure. The grand finale 3 nights at Matakari Lodge beyond 5⭐️
Travel Advisor:  Corinne Levine

Au

By: Hutch


Reviewed on: 05 Mar 2017

The trip went off without a hitch. Every plane was met, drivers were personable, guides were tremendous and we had complete confidence that our needs would be met.
Travel Advisor:  Cathy Dorton

australia new zealand

By: betty


Reviewed on: 02 Mar 2017

they were very professional
Travel Advisor:  Ingeborg Sanders

swain

By: Lisa


Reviewed on: 10 Mar 2017

Perfect- thanks to Wayne. We recommend him to our friends.
Travel Advisor:  Wayne Muhlstein

Australia - Feb 2017

By: J


Reviewed on: 13 Mar 2017

Except for 9:45pm event, followed by 4:30am event, everything went off very well.
Travel Advisor:  Christine Collins Bolus

New Zealand

By: Meagan


Reviewed on: 21 Mar 2017

Swain's knowledge of the local area helped us to find activities and sites to see what I had on my list, even if it wasn't the exact place. Their recommendations for local company's or sites to use/see while there or while driving from one place to another was very helpful. I know that they also worked with Deborah to help reschedule some things so I am very thankful for that.
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Barth

Great job!

By: NurseL


Reviewed on: 12 Apr 2017

Swain Destinations did a great job with our itinerary! The excursions were exactly what I wanted in my bucket list vacation! We had to call George from Swain Destinations while in Australia to make some last minute changes to our plans and he was able to make the requested changes without any problems. I also want to recommend the drivers we had to and from each airport to our hotels. They were all very friendly and super knowledgeable about the area. We felt comfortable asking them for recommendations for things to do while in each city. Great experience!
Travel Advisor:  Theresa Quintarelli

Bucket list New Zealand

By: Steve Strake


Reviewed on: 07 Apr 2017

Fantastic vacation. This company know how to create a fun trip.
Travel Advisor:  Sandra Ortiz
Not Recommended

12 days in Japan

By: Charlie


Reviewed on: 17 Apr 2017

We did not work directly with Swain but the results of their efforts bring into question their dedication to good service and flawless execution. Our experience reduced our opinion of their abilities to meet customer expectations.
  Loading comments. Please wait...
Not Recommended

Trip to Japan

By: Joe


Reviewed on: 18 Apr 2017

Our trip to Japan had some rough edges. The initial arrangements in our proposed itinerary were incomplete regarding a number of important details (e.g., who would meet us, what type of transport would be used), subsequently clarified. The descriptions used for events and services in our itinerary were sometimes unclear, ambiguous or incomplete, also subsequently clarified but with difficulty. Once in Japan, the private guide arranged in Kyoto for 1-1/2 days was less than satisfactory in terms of her job skills. Finally, the Ritz-Carolton Kyoto provided some of the poorest dining room service we've encountered in a long time - very young staff, not well trained, although well-intended. We were left with the impression that both in terms of office organization in the US and on-the-ground experience in Japan that our group was not well served by Swain, relative to the prices we were paying.
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Excellent Itinerary

By: brea2942


Reviewed on: 09 May 2017

We had an excellent trip arranged by Swain Destinations for our land portion of an Australian/New Zealand vacation. Swain arranged our internal flights, tours and lodging. We gave them specific input as to where we wanted to go and many of the things we wanted to do and they put together an itinerary that was very good for us. We had no problems with any of the transfers (everyone arrived on time or ahead of time to transfer us from hotel to airport to cruise ship, etc.) and the lodging they chose for us was excellent. Overall, this was a stellar vacation itinerary!
Travel Advisor:  Marsha Dolbow

China

By: jalousie


Reviewed on: 03 Jun 2017

We had a flawless/seamless trip through Swain. Guides were wonderful and so helpful. The accommodations were first-rate
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Bush

Australia, the perfect destination

By: Davonia


Reviewed on: 23 Jun 2017

Deborah Barth of Brownell Travel sought the help of Swain Destinations for the Australian portion of my recent trip. From drivers to lodging to tour guides our trip was perfect. The drivers were outstanding, always on time and in wonderful vehicles. Lodging was exceptional. Tour guides were great. Deborah worked closely with Tanya at Swain to be sure the Australian portion of our trip met our needs. Everything worked beautifully. Leave the details to the professionals!
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Barth

Great touring experience with Swain

By: Michael Yu


Reviewed on: 11 Jul 2017

All the details were taken care of from hotel reservations, to air and train bookings, to great daily itineraries. No miscues on the ground through the whole trip except for the rainy weather in Hakone (delayed one boat tour and hid Mt Fuji). Professional bilingual guides (had 2 different guides, 3 days each). Private van transportation made the touring very efficient and less taxing on the body and feet. Seemless pickups and drop offs made for worry free travel which is what you want when you are on vacation. Great private origami lesson for the family made for great bonding. No complaints, good value for the wrap around service.
Travel Advisor:  Marsha Dolbow

Tour arrangements

By: Bud


Reviewed on: 19 Jul 2017

Mary Lou Yeager worked with Swain to arrange private tours and transportation in Dubai, the Winelands and Cape Town. All the arrangements worked perfectly. The tour guides were knowledgeable and quite accommodating. We had a wonderful time!
Travel Advisor:  Mary Lou Yeager

Excellent

By: Allie


Reviewed on: 18 Aug 2017

Absolutely fantastic.
Travel Advisor:  Jessica Battista

Awesome Tour Operator

By: Chris


Reviewed on: 11 Sep 2017

Swain has coordinated our trips to Australia/New Zealand and to South Africa, and each trip was fabulous. We highly recommend them. We spent our time enjoying our trip and experience and no time on worrying about rides, hotels and activities. They took care of everything!
Travel Advisor:  Valerie Anderson

Honeymoon - South Africa

By: Kmiq


Reviewed on: 02 Nov 2017

Swain was top notch. Every employee we came in contact with was personable and pleasant. In particular, our driver/tour guide, Gary, for the half day tour of Cape Town and the day drive to the Cape of Good Hope was fantastic. His knowledge of the plant/animal life, geography, and history of the City / Country was immense. There was no question Gary couldn't answer, and he always had interesting facts/trivia to share. Gary even made us a romantic lunch reservation on the bay so we could enjoy some alone time and whale watch. Would recommend to anyone traveling to South Africa!
Travel Advisor:  Jessica Griscavage

Australia

By: PR


Reviewed on: 02 Oct 2017

The trip was perfect in every aspect
Travel Advisor:  Roz Gibel

Australia Trip - October 2017

By: MK


Reviewed on: 05 Nov 2017

Swain Destinations provided documentation, travel vouchers, etc. for our trip. The documentation was very professionally presented and organized, which made for easy reference during travels. Phone numbers were provided for questions before and during our trip for added peace of mind. Overall they did a great job of preparing us for the trip!
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Trevino

Japan

By: Leighsa


Reviewed on: 27 Nov 2017

Outstanding. A fantastic collection of places to visit and things to do. Will definitely use Swain Destinations again.
Travel Advisor:  Arlene Humble

NZ/Australia Trip

By: Linde


Reviewed on: 19 Nov 2017

The trip details indicate Swain's thorough knowledge of trip locales.
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Trevino

New Zealand and Australia

By: Nat


Reviewed on: 04 Dec 2017

Our experience with Swain Destinations was phenomenal. They were incredibly receptive to all of our requests. They helped to put together a 17 day itinerary for our travels to New Zealand and Australia. There were certain things we requested to do on our trip but we also let them use their judgement to suggest excursions and places to stay. All of our excursions were amazing and the accommodations were delightful in every city we stayed in. We wouldn't have changed a single thing about our trip, it was all wonderful!
Travel Advisor:  Michelle Ellis

Our First Try

By: newbies


Reviewed on: 13 Dec 2017

Swain recommended, and then booked, excellent accommodations and travel arrangements. It was a seamless part of our trip.
Travel Advisor:  Amy Paderewski

No problems experienced

By: Patch


Reviewed on: 12 Dec 2017

Swain made sure that every aspect of our vacation was taken care of. We never had any worries. I loved knowing that our escorts and tour guides had all the answers and so I could relax. All tours and drivers were professional and expert.
Travel Advisor:  Tish Kelly
Not Recommended

The Bad

By: Grumpy


Reviewed on: 11 Jan 2018

The night before we left on our trip they called for a medical release, very unprofessional.
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Australia

By: Brad


Reviewed on: 06 Jan 2018

Loved the intinerary put together by swain. We had a great trip and loved everything planned!
Travel Advisor:  Laura Epstein

New Zealand Excursions

By: Shelley


Reviewed on: 16 Jan 2018

We had booked our excursions through Swain. We were overall very pleased with the guides and tours we took as we were booking several. Some tours were better experiences than others so once Swain has given the information on the tour company it would be worth a quick glance at their website to make sure your expectations meet the experiences. We had a little bit of time miscommunication with one of our tours (one-on-one guided fishing) and that was discouraging. So my only feedback is to double and triple check the confirmed times at least 2 days before directly with the tour operator.
Travel Advisor:  Laura Bassett

Great!

By: Jan


Reviewed on: 24 Jan 2018

We lined up a lot of activities over our 3-week vacation that Swain helped put together. Everything went very smoothly except for a glitch with our car rentals, and one call to Swain helped sort it out. Very pleased.
Travel Advisor:  Tisha Neufville

Great Choices and Knowledgable

By: JeannieM


Reviewed on: 08 Feb 2018

Our agent primarily worked with Swain, but our experiences were all positive. They made excellent selections in accommodations and day trips in an effort to meet (and exceed) our desired activity goals. The companies utilized were professional and fun. The 1 transportation confusion was addressed swiftly, pleasantly and effectively. Swain was knowledgable and knew the best choices in New Zealand - I wouldn't hesitate to use them again!
Travel Advisor:  Candy Overland Davis

Tour of Australia and New Zealand

By: Roweana


Reviewed on: 14 Feb 2018

Our experience with Swain Destinations was highly recommendable.
Travel Advisor:  Valerie Anderson

Swain knows Australia

By: Andrew


Reviewed on: 15 Feb 2018

My California based travel agent contacted Swain for their local knowledge and contacts for arranging multiple trips within Australia. There was a small mix up while I was in Australia and they quickly cleared it up and acted on my behalf. They were very professional and helpful during the entire process
Travel Advisor:  Theresa Quintarelli

Trip of a lifetime

By: Simpson


Reviewed on: 27 Feb 2018

Everything was first class from start to finish...
Travel Advisor:  Vivian Paesano

swain

By: Australia


Reviewed on: 11 Mar 2018

Good the drivers were well informed. One excursion was not as described we complained and were refunded 1/2 of our money.
Travel Advisor:  Kathy Grant

Swain does it right

By: Aussie traveler


Reviewed on: 08 Mar 2018

Excellent. They have great options. Everything set up very well based upon our input and came off without a hitch. All of the guides were very personable, very professional and very informative. Airport transfers went smoothly. Drivers and guides arrived on time for all activities
Travel Advisor:  Mary Porter

Australia and New Zealand

By: Susan


Reviewed on: 03 Apr 2018

The places we stayed were amazing! Wharekauhau was over the top wonderful. The service here was amazing. Nicholas, Grant, Matt and Shannon were especially memorable. We felt very pampered here. Treetops was also amazing. Another place with impeccable service. We loved everything about this place. Cape Kidnappers was also amazing and we had a great day of golf. Blanket Bay was unbelievably beautiful and especially memorable. And of course Southern Ocean Lodge in Kangaroo Island made me feel like I was in a James Bond Movie. Over the top wonderful. These are truly my 5 favorite places I have ever been in the world. I loved having pre dinner drinks and dinner included and it was fun getting to know others at the pre dinner drinks. The food was amazing everywhere. The service was the best at all of the places. Better than anywhere else we have stayed anywhere in the world. I would recommend the same trip to anyone.
Travel Advisor:  Michelle Jaykus Peck

Australia and Fiji

By: Cydney


Reviewed on: 11 Apr 2018

Excellent! The hotels were fabulous as were the many, many adventures and excursions they planned for us!
Travel Advisor:  Arlene Humble

New Zealand

By: Fran


Reviewed on: 21 Apr 2018

Our trip was seamless due to the employees of Swain. They were friendly and prompt always. We had a great trip.
Travel Advisor:  Gloria Welles
Not Recommended

Cookbook

By: Newbee


Reviewed on: 28 Apr 2018

I felt like this personalized tour was created like every other tour with the same stops and excursions as every tour I read online. Did not feel any thought went into it as an individual
  Loading comments. Please wait...

So-So

By: alice1


Reviewed on: 07 May 2018

Swain is usually above reproach. However the arrangements in Perth did not go as planned. However, Georgia spoke with them and they refunded me a portion of my money.
Travel Advisor:  Georgia Schley Ritchie
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Very good

By: Luis


Reviewed on: 17 May 2018

Very knowledgeable and very friendly.
Travel Advisor:  Peter Rubin

Overall trip to New Zealand and Australia

By: Mary


Reviewed on: 28 May 2018

Overall, very good. Only one thing we'd rather have gone on the Hobbit Tour instead of the Glow Worm Cave. Other than that, tour was great.
Travel Advisor:  Theresa Quintarelli

Not all promises were delivered

By: Carolyn


Reviewed on: 07 Jun 2018

Their overall proposal for our trip was adhered to in broad strokes, but important details were changed without our permission & to our disappointment. When we contacted them directly, during the trip, they responded promptly. We felt like we were promised, & paid for, one description of our trip & we received a lesser version - leaving us wondering about what happened to the money we paid, when we received less. As there were no itemized expenses ever presented, it was easy for them to "shortchange" us. Their site recommendations were, in general, wonderful, but one or two of their guides were not up to the Virtuoso level (& one was beyond awesome!), nor were some of the "experiences" they booked. They dropped the ball on a fairly routine train trip, causing an unnecessary interruption, requiring additional ticket purchase & on two occasions asked their guides to handle issues that were strictly administrative (causing confusion for guide & traveler). Wish there'd been fewer snags
Travel Advisor:  Carol Brant

Perfect Trip!

By: AGW


Reviewed on: 14 Jun 2018

Swain developed a wonderful itinerary for my first trip to New Zealand! Loved it all and they were easy to work with and very responsive. I would definitely use them again!
Travel Advisor:  Linda Terrill

Great Company!

By: Lissa


Reviewed on: 05 Jul 2018

They did a wonderful job planning our trip in Australia! They were very helpful, especially taking care of some changes! All of the tours were perfect! And the drivers and guides exceptional! I would definitely use them again!
Travel Advisor:  Michelle Boyles

Quick Trip to India

By: mj


Reviewed on: 29 Jul 2018

This is the second time I've used Swain Destinations and they did not disappoint. The first time was for a trip to Australia, and it was spectacular. This trip to India lived up to those expectations. The Swain recommended accommodations were flawless, the drivers were punctual and helpful and the guides were fantastic.
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Trevino

Reps Knowledge

By: Brenda


Reviewed on: 19 Aug 2018

Contact at Swain was helpful in knowing specific answers to several questions I had regarding Australia to help me make my final decisions.
Travel Advisor:  Debbie Kellogg

Trip to Australia

By: Kristi


Reviewed on: 23 Sep 2018

Our trip to Australia was perfectly planned and executed- we had a stress-free amazing vacation!
Travel Advisor:  Catherine Parkin