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pghflyer

Feedback on GV Tours Chile

Feedback on GV Tours Chile  

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  1. 1. If you took a tour with them, would you recommend GV Tours Chile?

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It would be great if each significant vendor had their own thread that we all used, so future cruisers don't have to do a scavenger hunt for assorted vendor feedback and reviews in many different threads. I was looking into GV Tours Chile for a few excursions and curious if people had good experience/ feedback?

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Posted (edited)

In March 2018 I had two tours booked with GV Tours. In Punta Arenas we got the first tender to the dock to find that GV Tours had cancelled our speed boat tour to Magdalena Island and Marta Island without any notice. They did not communicate with us or the other tour participants before the tour. They gave us a number of excuses such as, the weather was too bad (the weather was fine and all other tour operators were able to go), the port authority would not give permission for the speed boats to go to Magdalena Island (other speed boat tours including Princess tours went ahead) and then that there was a problem with the speed boat. After two days I had to contact GV Tours to ask for a refund. I received a one line email with no apology, no explanation but that a refund had been done and told to contact them if I did not receive my refund (I received the refund later that day).

 

In Puerto Montt we did their full day bus promo tour to Petrohue Falls, Puerto Varas and Frutillar. We had a lovely day and really enjoyed seeing the countryside and pretty towns. The driver and guide were good and the included lunch of a beef empanada and choice of red or white wine was delicious. 

 

Edited by PurpleTraveller

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I twice emailed them a simple question about a transfer/tour from San Antonio to Santiago later in the year and have had no response.  I've moved on.  There are other tour operators.

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The reason it can be difficult to find reviews about S. American companies is that the libel and slander laws here are strongly supported. 

You can be charged for simply causing a company to lose business or for damaging someone's dignity or standing in the community.

Whether your comments are true or not does not matter.  The saying "If you cannot say anything nice, then don't say anything at all" is the norm.

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Interesting.

 

I think this will likely have limited success against citizens of other countries. More I think the South America section here on CC is a little less active than other areas, but what do I know.

 

Nevertheless, I contacted them on Jan 05, and after not getting a response went ahead and made a reservation anyhow on Jan 08.  Still have yet to hear anything from them on that original question, and their automated responses indicate we shouldn't expect to hear anything from them until 30 days prior.

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On 1/14/2020 at 2:40 PM, pghflyer said:

Interesting.

 

I think this will likely have limited success against citizens of other countries. More I think the South America section here on CC is a little less active than other areas, but what do I know.

 

Nevertheless, I contacted them on Jan 05, and after not getting a response went ahead and made a reservation anyhow on Jan 08.  Still have yet to hear anything from them on that original question, and their automated responses indicate we shouldn't expect to hear anything from them until 30 days prior.

I booked my group of 12 for the transfer and tour. It did take two emails but they responded. Since we are on the same sailing I cannot review them yet!! !!

 

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I emailed them about a tour and messaged them on Facebook, no reply. I've booked with a different company.

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On 1/16/2020 at 1:10 AM, themnms said:

I booked my group of 12 for the transfer and tour. It did take two emails but they responded. Since we are on the same sailing I cannot review them yet!! !!

 

 

You are lucky. I emailed them a few questions a month ago....never heard back.....went ahead and submitted a reservation form through their site.....never heard anything from them @ their supposed communication timeframe of "30-days prior"....emailed them the beginning of this week....nothing.......not a great start for a company we were hoping to do 2 tours with (Santiago-Valparaiso-SanAntonio; and PuertoMontt-Osorno Volcano-Petrohue-PuertoVaras). 

 

I guess with your 12 you have already filled their truck so perhaps not a good sign.  I am mainly just wondering if these are even going!!

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8 hours ago, pghflyer said:

 

You are lucky. I emailed them a few questions a month ago....never heard back.....went ahead and submitted a reservation form through their site.....never heard anything from them @ their supposed communication timeframe of "30-days prior"....emailed them the beginning of this week....nothing.......not a great start for a company we were hoping to do 2 tours with (Santiago-Valparaiso-SanAntonio; and PuertoMontt-Osorno Volcano-Petrohue-PuertoVaras). 

 

I guess with your 12 you have already filled their truck so perhaps not a good sign.  I am mainly just wondering if these are even going!!

One of my group have them booked in Puerto Montt also. She told me she used WhatsApp worked much better!! Re our group from Santiago, yes I think we got one bus as we are all at the DoubleTree.. Try WhatsApp

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On 1/31/2020 at 10:06 AM, pghflyer said:

 

You are lucky. I emailed them a few questions a month ago....never heard back.....went ahead and submitted a reservation form through their site.....never heard anything from them @ their supposed communication timeframe of "30-days prior"....emailed them the beginning of this week....nothing.......not a great start for a company we were hoping to do 2 tours with (Santiago-Valparaiso-SanAntonio; and PuertoMontt-Osorno Volcano-Petrohue-PuertoVaras). 

 

I guess with your 12 you have already filled their truck so perhaps not a good sign.  I am mainly just wondering if these are even going!!

The troubles described in the above posts tell me that I have three good reason to book most of my land excursions only with Viator or Grey Line, while my cruise excursions are booked with the cruise line: 1. Both Viator and Grey Line are reliable, have good equipment, and have good guides. 2. Cruise lines offer a guarantee to get their guests back to the ship before it sails. 3. I don't need the hassle of booking with a relatively unknown organization with possibly spotty customer service records.  

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Well, they did finally write me back this evening to confirm everything.  I have generally found Grey Line to be a different animal than these small 15 or less person tours. Actually GVTours also sells through Viator, so you could end up with them from there (just pay a little extra as they raise their price for the Viator referral fee).  I also consider the cruise line offerings differently as they are much more expensive and usually larger groups.  Anyhow, lots of variety for everyone.  I'll update this with our experience on this company.

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On 2/1/2020 at 8:06 PM, pghflyer said:

Well, they did finally write me back this evening to confirm everything.  I have generally found Grey Line to be a different animal than these small 15 or less person tours. Actually GVTours also sells through Viator, so you could end up with them from there (just pay a little extra as they raise their price for the Viator referral fee).  I also consider the cruise line offerings differently as they are much more expensive and usually larger groups.  Anyhow, lots of variety for everyone.  I'll update this with our experience on this company.

So glad you got a response!  We used Greyline in Brazil a couple of years ago and the tours were fine. Just a few more people on them than we prefer! 

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On 2/1/2020 at 5:29 PM, ShmuelCharlie said:

The troubles described in the above posts tell me that I have three good reason to book most of my land excursions only with Viator or Grey Line, while my cruise excursions are booked with the cruise line: 1. Both Viator and Grey Line are reliable, have good equipment, and have good guides. 2. Cruise lines offer a guarantee to get their guests back to the ship before it sails. 3. I don't need the hassle of booking with a relatively unknown organization with possibly spotty customer service records.  

 

Viator is not a tour company, just a 3rd party booking agent. After you book a tour with them, your voucher will tell you who the actual tour company is that's being used. As stated above, GV Tours lists some of their tours on Viator so you could get stuck with them if you aren't paying close attention to your booking. 

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GV tour’s 
 

We had a enjoyable day with them. Post cruise tour. We visited Valparaiso, Viña Del Mar, where had a delicious lunch. We then went a winery for wine tasting. Very nice experience.  At the end they dropped our group at airport. I had dropped my wallet in the limo. I contacted the company they said they found it and would send a driver to the airport where I meet him. Henry the driver was great in doing this favor for me before my flight left that night. Victoria in the offing was super In arranging the location and delivery of the wallet!  
 

The tour cost $85.00 per person!

 

gvtours.chile@gmail.com

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On 2/6/2020 at 9:55 PM, kinipela35 said:

 

Viator is not a tour company, just a 3rd party booking agent. After you book a tour with them, your voucher will tell you who the actual tour company is that's being used. As stated above, GV Tours lists some of their tours on Viator so you could get stuck with them if you aren't paying close attention to your booking. 

OK, yeah, I should have realized that Viator was a 3d-party booking agent. Also, they're not always reliable w/regard to who they work with and supposedly work with. An example of the latter situation happened when I had an excursion in Buenos Aires this past Fri., 2/21, to do lunch at an establishment called La Bistecca in Puerto Madero. Unfortunately, the voucher Viator issued to me wasn't honored by the restaurant, and the phone number shown on the voucher didn't exist. Fortunately, the folks at La Bistecca accommodated walk-in diners, and I had a good lunch there, but I wish I didn't have to pay 2x for the same meal. I mentioned this issue in my review of the excursion w/Viator, and requested a refund.

 

But usually, though, I've had great success w/Viator. What Grey Line does is OK, too, but the thing that bothers me about Grey Line was their tendency to take people from their hotels to a central depot, drop them off there, and then require the visitors to board the waiting coaches at the depots to go on their tours. When you're doing this in unfamiliar territory, I get a bad feeling about whether I'll get a good experience from the tour. 

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Posted (edited)

Well, I just completed two tours (Santiago to San Antonio via Valparaiso....and Puerto Montt-Osorno Volcano, Petrohue Falls & Puerto Varas) with GV Tours.  I would generalize them as a Good Value but Incredibly Disorganized and Unresponsive to Customers Prior to Tours.

 

We sent multiple questions to this company weeks in advance and never got responses for long periods of time.  Then the day before the tour they sent us a single email asking us if we gave them the wrong hotel for pickup. Nope, we gave you the correct hotel (turns out they did this to other guests staying at our hotel too). They then changed our pickup time to 30 minutes later....and then showed up the next morning back at the original time.  The published itinerary for the tour wasn't completely followed.    For our second tour, they didn't have our name on the tour list when we arrived (despite having a confirmation and email discussion), didn't completely follow all published itinerary items, and then they forgot to collect our payment so (once we realized) we walked back after disembarking to make sure they got paid.

 

The price was GREAT compared to the ship and the guides and itineraries were overall enjoyable.....but other than that, they are a bit of a mess.  So if you are willing to put up with some chaos and not getting responses to inquiries to save a decent amount of money and still have a good tour, these are your guys.

 

I did hear from a few people that they were more responsive through What'sApp....which is great for people who have that and want to use it......

Edited by pghflyer

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Just a quick question.  Can you tell me who else you booked with for a tour in Puerto Montt besides GV tours and Viator and were you satisfied with them?

 

Thank you

 

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On 3/6/2020 at 4:34 PM, cruisetimeusa said:

Just a quick question.  Can you tell me who else you booked with for a tour in Puerto Montt besides GV tours and Viator and were you satisfied with them?

 

Thank you

 

 

We went with this company and enjoyed our day very much http://puertomontt-excursiones.com/en/

 

It is a popular company to use in this port.

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Thank you.  That is who a friend has booked with but they are awaiting a confirmation back.  Glad you were pleased with them.

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On 2/1/2020 at 6:29 PM, ShmuelCharlie said:

The troubles described in the above posts tell me that I have three good reason to book most of my land excursions only with Viator or Grey Line, while my cruise excursions are booked with the cruise line: 1. Both Viator and Grey Line are reliable, have good equipment, and have good guides. 2. Cruise lines offer a guarantee to get their guests back to the ship before it sails. 3. I don't need the hassle of booking with a relatively unknown organization with possibly spotty customer service records.  

Viator is only a booking agent and does not operate any tours.     And in Porta Montt they are probably contracted with GV tours.     Facts have been-  this is where they are based and anything else you book with them is contracted.      I find it far more efficient to go direct.    

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10 hours ago, Budget Queen said:

Viator is only a booking agent and does not operate any tours.     And in Porta Montt they are probably contracted with GV tours.     Facts have been-  this is where they are based and anything else you book with them is contracted.      I find it far more efficient to go direct.    

Agree that Viator is a booking agent. I admitted that in an earlier posting. If you read this nearly two months ago, you also may have seen my reply. I still have reservations about whether direct tour groups are able to give the guarantee that they will return the van/coach/whatever conveyance to the dock as well as ship shore excursion operators can. I also don't know whether private tour operators are bonded and insured as well as ship operators are.

 

I base that opinion on what happened in Arica, Chile over 15 years ago: The same ship that took me and my Mom to Chile on a holiday cruise between '05-'06 also had another sailing to this port that included a B'nai Brith tour group (in case you don't know what B'nai Brith is, it's an international Jewish service organization). This group hired a private tour operator to give them an excursion of Arica's sights, included the petroglyphs in the Atacama Desert. On the return trip to the ship, the tour bus driver, who had little sleep the night before, fell asleep at the wheel and took the bus full of passengers over a cliff, killing everybody aboard the vehicle. Accident investigators learned that the tour company had no insurance on their vehicle and the driver wasn't insured ether.  Lesson learned: take the time to research the tour operators before booking them. Another lesson learned: ship tour operators are vetted by the cruise lines to ensure safety of their guests. 

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