Multi-Day Tour

Circle South Island (13 days)

Swain Destinations

Christchurch, New Zealand To Nelson, New Zealand

Valid for Departures Now Through: 31 Mar 2018


Day 1
01 Feb 2018
Christchurch, New Zealand
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
02 Feb 2018
Christchurch, New Zealand
None None
Cross the International Date Line, an imaginary line on the surface of the Earth that runs from the North to the South Pole - and defines one calendar day from the next. Crossing the International Date Line adds one day (24 hours) traveling west, and subtracts one day (24 hours) traveling east.
Day 3
03 Feb 2018
Christchurch, New Zealand
Ibis Christchurch None
On arrival into Auckland you will need to clear customs and make your way to the domestic terminal for your connecting flight to Christchurch. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your accommodation, or if you choose the rental car option, collect your rental vehicle from the airport depot and self-drive to your hotel.

Christchurch is the South Island's largest city, beautifully encapsulates the best of what New Zealand has to offer. This is a vibrant city of exciting festivals, art galleries, theaters and great shopping. Award-winning attractions are available within the city and the surrounding countryside. Find out what variety really means; explore our unspoiled corner of the globe, where wilderness, adventure and sophisticated urban living can be found in perfect balance.
Day 4
04 Feb 2018
Christchurch, New Zealand
Ibis Christchurch None
Christchurch, the city of parks and gardens, trees and beauty, is also buzzing with street life. Wine bars, street cafes and exciting entertainments give the central city vitality unique in New Zealand. Christchurch is said to be the most English city outside England. The downtown district focuses on Cathedral Square, where you'll find buskers, speakers and the eccentric Wizard of Christchurch (who is classified as a living work of art).

You can sedately cruise the Avon River by punt, on its meandering course through town, under many bridges and past historic landmarks, or do your own thing by canoe. Vintage car, horse and carriage, hot air ballooning and guided walking tours: these are just a few ways to explore the Garden City.
Day 5
05 Feb 2018
Dunedin, New Zealand
Mercure Dunedin Leisure Lodge None
A university city of Scottish heritage, Dunedin possesses a unique combination of cultural riches, fine architecture, and world-famous wildlife reserves. The sheer physical beauty of Dunedin’s dramatic bush-covered hills and valleys at the head of a long natural harbor attracted Maori settlers to the site over four centuries ago.

Then, in 1848, Scottish migrants established a town here, giving it the ancient name of Edinburgh. Soaring cathedral spires, a magnificent Flemish-style railway station, fine banks and office blocks, a nineteenth-century castle, old university buildings and a neo-gothic convent are among the city's architectural treasures. Dunedin's art gallery and museums contain some of the best collections in New Zealand. And within the city boundaries are internationally renowned wildlife reserves including a rare Albatross breeding ground and Yellow-Eyed Penguin colonies.

If you choose the self-drive option, you will drive from Christchurch to Dunedin at your own pace.
Day 6
06 Feb 2018
Dunedin, New Zealand
Mercure Dunedin Leisure Lodge None
Depart from your hotel for the scenic drive to Taiaroa for a guided Albatross land tour (restricted viewing from late September to late November). A lunch stop is made (own expense), before transferring to Wellers Rock for the guided cruise to Taiaroa.

You will be fascinated and exhilarated by the wealth of wildlife, so close, so natural. View albatross, seals, cormorants, geology and history from the Monarch, then transfer to the penguin reserve for a Yellow eyed penguin land tour before returning to Dunedin.
Day 7
07 Feb 2018
Queenstown, New Zealand
Heartland Hotel Queenstown None
Travel Dunedin to Pukerangi aboard the Taieri Gorge Railway, considered by some as one of the world's great rail journeys. See spectacular changes in scenery, from fertile plains to the rugged mountain gorges of the Taieri River. The trip crosses giant stone & wrought iron viaducts, enters numerous tunnels carved from solid rock.

At Pukerangi, you change to the motor coach link to Queenstown. You travel through Central Otago with its bizarre schist rock tors, desert landscapes, blue lakes and river gorges.

If you choose the self-drive option, you will drive from Dunedin to Queenstown at your own pace.

Nestled beside the deep blue waters of Lake Wakatipu, at the foot of the Remarkables Mountain Range, Queenstown is a year round resort, where you can be as active as you want, or just leisurely enjoy the magnificent scenery.
Day 8
08 Feb 2018
Queenstown, New Zealand
Heartland Hotel Queenstown None
Transfer from Queenstown by coach to Glenorchy and the mouth of the Dart River. Here we board the 18 foot specially prepared jet boat and thread our way through a maze of channels between river flats in only inches of water. Snowcapped mountains surround you as you view the World Heritage Grandeur, and waterfalls cascade into the lush bush clad valleys – a magical, untouched place.

Your driver/guide shares his knowledge and explains all about the area, then pulls into a bank so that you may explore the area by foot. This optional 30-45 minute guided walk takes you into the native forests at an area called Paradise in the spectacular Rees valley. You will then be collected by the 4 x 4 coach to take you back to Glenorchy, before transferring back to Queenstown. Trip duration is 6 hours.
Day 9
09 Feb 2018
Queenstown, New Zealand
Heartland Hotel Queenstown None
At your leisure to explore the adventure capital of New Zealand. Set between the towering Remarkable Ranges and the bottomless Lake Wakitipu, Queenstown has it all - bungy jumping, jetboating, rafting, amazing scenic helicopter flights. You may wish to visit Milford or Doubtful Sound or the old gold mining town of Arrowtown. Explore the surrounding area on your own or on one of our additional day excursions.
Day 10
10 Feb 2018
Punga Grove Motel None
Depart from Queenstown to arrive at Franz Josef around 4.15pm. Sit back, relax and take in the spectacular scenery of Kawarau Gorge, Lake Hawera, Haast Pass and Fox Glacier. A stop is made en route for lunch (own expense).

If you choose the self-drive option, you will drive from Queenstown to Franz Josef at your own pace.

Set between the stormy expanse of the Tasman Sea and the unbroken chain of the Southern Alps, the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand is truly a land apart. For 372 miles from north to south, this wild and often sparsely-populated region of mountains and glaciers, of lakes and unruly rivers, of primeval forest and magnificent coastline, overwhelms visitors with its natural beauty. Opportunities on the West Coast are now virtually endless for activities like beach and forest walking, tramping, fishing, horse-trekking, canoeing, exploring old gold mining regions or ghost towns abandoned in the wake of the gold rush era.
Day 11
11 Feb 2018
Punga Grove Motel None
The half day trip includes a 2-mile interpretive walk to the terminal face and the opportunity to climb on the rugged ice face of the Franz Josef Glacier. During the walk, your guide will provide the story of the history of the glacier and geology in action, which is an experience in itself. Trip duration 4.5 hours (age restriction 5-60 years), includes up to 2 hours on the ice. A reasonable level of fitness is recommended to fully enjoy this tour.
Day 12
12 Feb 2018
Nelson, New Zealand
Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco None
A point-to-point coach service will transport you from Franz Josef to Greymouth. A stop for lunch is made at Shantytown (own expense) before continuing on to Greymouth. On arrival connect with another coach for the journey to Nelson.

If you choose the self-drive option, you will drive from Franz Josef to Nelson at your own pace.

Nelson is an extraordinary corner of New Zealand, where the attractions range from deep forest to crazy café culture. The Nelson region is the northwestern half of the top of the South Island: the beautiful country lying between the northern edge of the Southern Alps and a great sweep of beaches.

Nelson’s trademark is the diverse culture that has bloomed in this area of rich resources and easy climate. There is always something happening in the Nelson region, and you can count on encountering original characters amongst a vital network of artists and craftspeople, farm and orchard settlements, Maori marae, alternative communities and adventurers.
Day 13
13 Feb 2018
Nelson, New Zealand
Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco None
The beach, shining sea, cool cafés, forest walks, beautiful landscapes, sun and blue skies, a thoroughly relaxed lifestyle, the artists attracted for the same reasons, their amazing art, the seafood, the wine, boutique breweries... this is Nelson.
Day 14
14 Feb 2018
Nelson, New Zealand
Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco None
This day is at your leisure. Explore the surrounding area on your own or on one of our additional day excursions.
Day 15
15 Feb 2018
Nelson, New Zealand
None None
Make your way to Nelson airport for your departure flights.

Tour Features


  • Adventure
  • Family Vacations
  • Wildlife & Nature


New Zealand's South Island is full of quaint towns, beautiful landscapes and a relaxed lifestyle. With Circle South Island we'll delve into southern Kiwi life. Uncover Christchruch, a green city with buzzing streets, wine bars and cafes. You won't get more cultural than Dundedin. A dramatic city set in the hills and valleys, surrounded by a wealth of wildlife in the region. Fly past waterfalls and lush valleys on a Dart River jet boat; treading on only inches of water, an activity sure to get anyone's heart racing! And don't forget about the awe inspiring glaciers at Franz Josef; a sight unlike any other, sure to make you appreciate New Zealand's South Island.

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


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Not Recommended


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.
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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


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


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

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

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


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


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


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.
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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.
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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


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


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


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


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

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.
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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


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


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


By: Don

Reviewed on: 10 Mar 2018

Helpful when needed and responsive.