Topdeck Vs. Contiki


Hey guys[br][br]Just wonder if any one has traveled with topdeck or contiki before and which one is better, i have been hearing some comments about topdeck which doesn’t make me feel happy, let me know!![br]thanks[br][br]Abbey;D


I’ve been on 5 Contiki tours and 1 Topdeck but planning on another. Topdeck is generally smaller, around 30 people vs 50 for Contiki. Both tour groups are very similar and fun. What have you heard bad about Topdeck?


I can’t speak from personal experience (haven’t tried either yet), but I’ve talked to a couple of people who suggested that contiki is very ‘party’ orientated (so whether or not that’s what you want…), and topdeck slightly less so. Got that same impression from reputation too. [br][br]But meh, I guess its got more to do with what you do/who’s on the trip/who you hang out with e.t.c than the company you go with. [br][br][br][br]European Getaway 4th July :smiley:


I was going to book with Contiki, but then my available dates changed and the tour I wanted was full. I found their travel consultants extremely unhelpful.[br][br]With Topdeck I was able to communicate by email with a travel agent who was very helpful and now I’m all set to go on European Wonder on June 25th.[br][br]~European Wonder June 25th to July 8th 2009~


hi cal[br][br]my friend went on a topdeck tour this year and i was just talking to her and she said that the topdeck leader wasnt very nice, and her whole tour got sick, but i have heard really good things to, i just wanted to know any one else views [br][br]Abbey


[quote]Originally posted by Abbey88[br]
hi cal[br][br]my friend went on a topdeck tour this year and i was just talking to her and she said that the topdeck leader wasnt very nice, and her whole tour got sick, but i have heard really good things to, i just wanted to know any one else views [br][br]Abbey[br][/quote][br][br]Well meh, if the tour leader is a biatch/******* it just gives us all something else to bond over :slight_smile: From what I have heard I would still rather be on a Top Deck cos i think it is a bit more ‘real’ IYKWIM? I’m sure I’m not the only one who has heard that Contiki is more about the grog and the party than the location? Don’t get me wrong, I love my grog just as much (maybe more) than the next person (hell, I’m tipsy right now!!) but I am in Europe to see and remember the sights, not forget them. I can write myself off at home or anywhere, I don’t need to fork out for a Europe trip to do that!!![br][br]Europe 10/08/2009 - 28/10/2009[br]European Emperor 20/08/2009[br]Bravo Italia 30/08/2009[br]


Ive just come back from a Topdeck trip-European Getaway and had the most amazing time. My leader/bus driver were brilliant and the other crews we ran into from time to time all seemed awesome. Judging from the Contiki groups we ran into it was all about getting smashed, picking up and seeing the sights when not to hungover. We still partied hard but no where near as often. If you want to see Europe-Topdeck, if you want to party in foreign countries-Contiki


I agree with you. Ive heard the same things about contiki. As someone else said if you want to get smashed and drunk and hungover. You can do it any time at home. I’m going with topdeck because i am more for the history and exploring and seeing the sights and not getting plastered every single night.


I heard basically the same thing as everyone else when I went to the travel agent to get some tour brochures - contiki more about partying, topdeck less so. But, then again, I went to flight centre and the guy who owns there also has shares in topdeck, so go figure :D[br][br]Morgan[br]Grand European June 16 2009


I actually almost booked contiki too. The only reason i didnt is because of the dates.

Aside from the differences in reputation about drinking etc the only other complaints i have heard is that the food is way worse on Contiki, you are expected to tip drivers and tour guides (not forced to but it isnt even suggested with topdeck) and Contiki is a lot more planned. For example a lot of dinners are actually optional excursions. I know these are optional but i would assume more than half the people do all of them and i am quite looking forward to finding cute little out of the way places to eat at, rather than pubs and the type of places i would eat at here at home.


I’m doing the Mega European with topdeck and was almost going to do the similar Ultimate European with contiki. After researching topdeck I was sold, partly because there’s less of a party atomosphere and partly because of value for money. I’m camping most of the way but it’s worth it to save $1000+. Also contiki’s food fund may be ~$100 less then topdecks, but topdeck provide so much more meals.
In the end I guess it’s personal preference, but the money I saved goes towards seeing the sights! ;D


I’ve also chosen topdeck over Contiki, as friends who have been on both preferred Topdeck due to the party atmosphere on Contiki. I’m not a heavy partier, so it didn’t seem like my kind of thing. Will find out in a few weeks whether i made the right choice, but i’m very confident i have!



I’ve done both Contiki and Top Deck tours in Europe and I’m heading back later this year with Top Deck again.

The main thing I got from Top Deck was that the tour leaders treat you like adults. We had many occasions during the Top Deck tour where my friends and I decided not to do the included sightseeing tour or included dinner and all we had to do was let the tour guide know that we weren’t going to be there and it was no big deal.

On the Contiki tour, it was really regimented with no leeway and the leaders were really unhappy if you didn’t do the “group thing”.

The tours on Top Deck also tend to be a little older, so while sangria parties on the beach in Barcelona, and big nights out at the Red Garter in Florence still happen, they tend to be part of the occasion, rather than the normal every night activity - most people are interested in actually being able to remember their tour.

You’ll find that Contiki and Top Deck tend to share campgrounds, some hostels and hotels etc, so there isn’t really a huge amount of difference here - it’s all about the attitude on the tour.

Stacey :slight_smile:


I did contiki camping and am now booked for camping with topdeck.
Contiki was awesome. There was no peer pressure to drink and party. It was probably less than half the group that partied every night. It was also not a giant orgy. Contiki did shout everyone a few drinks under particular circumstances but overall there were more early nights than late. All depends on your group really.
Im doing topdeck this time because how helpful their staff were at the travel expo when i was deciding between the 2. Im sure the experience wont be much different.


Hi, I went on a contiki concept tour a couple of years ago, and yeah it was fun BUT there were a couple of downsides. yes there was a lot of partying but that is totally up to the individual as to whether u want to get involved or not but having said that, you kinda feel like your missing out if you don’t join in. and our tour manager was a total git, he was so sleazy and was kinda mean. for example he’d leave people behind for optional stuff if they weren’t on the bus on the dot (he left a girl running for the bus), and in the end no one liked him. I’m sure most contiki tour managers are not like that (i’ve heard alot are great) but it kinda put a downer on the trip, and kinda turned me off contiki.


I would personally recommend Topdeck over Contiki. The group size is generally smaller, the staff are awesome and the experience is just that much better. Contiki are very agressive towards Topdeck, when we were in Paris our entire bus got shown the fingers by a Contiki bus, including the Contiki staff! Topdeck is a heck of a lot cheaper and the opportunities are greater! Contiki you are paying for the name… and the product doesn’t live up to the cost!


Top Deck for sure.I am actually looking into a short around around the North Island of New Zealand from Wellington to Auckland for Christmas 2013 given how much of a bargain these tours are for the money and the cost of Airfares isn’t too bad.I much prefer a smaller group and one that actually wants to see the sights and have a good time without the need to get drunk and off their face nightly.I am doing my final Contiki next July to New Zealand then will change companies.


Hey guys.

Has anyone mentioned Expat Explore? I have been on their website amd it seems their prices are much better than both Top Deck and Contiki.
I have spoken to a few people who have been on their tours and it sounds really good. Any feedback?


i’m doing topdeck only because i’m over 30 not 18 anymore but I think it’s not all about the party you can get that with both but it’s the people you meet and the experiences you have i’m doing topdeck for the older element and the awesome sightseing and people i’ll meet along the way


my sister went with contiki and her whole tour got scabies, the flu and whatever else that was going around, i guess when your in a confind space for so many days, your bound to catch something, considering most people who are going are there not only to experience the sites (thats if they see em, but trying to pick up on the trip.
But im yet to experience a tour, but i have been on an insight vacations bus tour and the tour leader was approachable and okay, but what you have to remember is that these tour leaders and bus drivers are also getting up at the crack of dawn with us and doing full days and may not get to sleep or enough sleep. tours are a quick turn around as well. so gotta feel for them as well.