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Overseas Adventure Travel
reviews & complaints

I had booked and paid in full three attempts for a Kenya and Tanzania Safari. OAT cancelled all three. I was added on to a fourth booking two months before departure. However, I lost the reasonable airfare paid for in November 2021. Now I had to pay another $5,000 for the new airfare, increased cost of insurance and an extra hotel room after my group left. I was told in June that I would get a $1,000 refund in 2-3 weeks. That never happened. I have called OAT several times and was told that there would be no refund. OAT is the reason that I had to pay more, not me.

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I am a 14 time traveler with GCT/OAT and will not travel with them again. I am on hold right now for 30 minutes waiting to tell an agent to take me off the mailing list! I get daily emails from them. I am done with OAT

Desired outcome: I expect a partial refund and a response.

Overseas Adventure Travel – Refund for canceled trip

On June 9, OAT (Overseas Adventure Travel) canceled my paid June 12 trip to Mongolia/South Korea. They asked if I wanted to reschedule, and I declined.

On July 1, OAT emailed me and canceled a post-trip for my scheduled October 1 trip to the Baltic. I phoned and told them that I would still take the trip and that they could take some of the $7,340 that I paid for the canceled Mongolia/South Korea trip and refund the rest to me. I stated that I asked for this refund on June 9 when they called to cancel the trip. I was told by the travel consultant that they were processing the refund but it takes 2 weeks. It was more than 2 weeks so the consultant said he would resubmit the refund request. I phoned on 7/21 and was told that a $2,719 refund request was sent to process on 7/14 and it could take a month. Since the money I owed on the Baltic Trip was $2, 916, where was the rest of my $7,340? My math makes $7,340 less $2,916 is $4,424. He said he would take care of it. Yesterday I received a late notice for payment of my Oct. 1 Baltic Trip. It states I owe $2,416. I phoned today and spoke to Jeffrey who told me that the bill was sent by a separate department and that my refund will now take 45 days. HELP.

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Desired outcome: A refund check for $4,934. That is $7,340 (paid to OAT on 4/12/22) minus $2,416 (due for Oct.1 trip per invoice #07 4/24/22) for a total refund of $4,4934.

Overseas Adventure Travel – Immediate return of our money.

Unfortunately, this issue continues from BBB-Boston claim #[protected] which I thought was to be resolved. Concerns a trip to Turkey that Overseas Adventure Travel scheduled for April, 2022. OAT canceled the trip. We had paid in advance the amount of $8009.00. After we filed with BBB OAT said they would refund our money however they said it was given as a voucher and would take 30 days to send to us. That was in early April. When I emailed them last week they said it would an additional 45 business days. I have trust issues now with them. I fear that they are not going to return our money.

Overseas Adventure Travel – Trying to contact OAT via phone calls

We have to cancel our trip to Australia and have been trying unsuccessfully to contact OAT via phone calls. We have been trying for over 1 week with no results. always on a wait list, “we will call you back within 24 hours” message after waiting for over 3 hours. and no call back.

Overseas Adventure Travel – Impossible to reach by phone or any other way

We had one great trip to Columbia 2 years ago, then booked a trip to the Baltics & Russia scheduled for 2020, then it was canceled rolled over to 2021 due to COVID, then it was canceled rolled over a 2nd time to 2022 due to COVID, then it was canceled a 3rd time for 2022 due to the invasion of Ukraine. Calling to get a refund or credits is impossible. For four days in a row times we were on the phone for 3 hours and never got through. When we finally got through, the customer service person was not well informed. We were offered a partial refund with the rest as credits, but when we saw the refund in our online account it was short by $600. We called to ask about it but waited on hold for 5 hours – and never got through. We were also told we’d get a call back with a day/time specified, never got the call. We sent emails to their customer support email address, never got a reply.

We have been trying on a daily basis (when the Boston office is open) to clarify our airfare, adjusted airfare (post-trip was cancelled by OAT but WE must pay for the rebooking?), and errors on our flights to Italy. We leave in less than two weeks. This is our 19th trip, and we had always been satisfied with the Boston office’s responses. After 3 hours and 15 minutes on hold, our calls are disconnected with a promise to return our call in 24 hours. Guess the company is short-staffed and filled with newbies who won’t understand customer service.

Overseas Adventure Travel – Refund for cancelled trip Reservation No 3961333

The trip was cancelled September 30, 2021. I have been sending more than 50 (FIFTY) emails because they failed to fully refund me. They issued a check for me which I never received and asked them to immediately cancel it. This is easily done by accountants. Again weeks passed and I was patient because apparently they are afraid I could cash their check. I had enough patience though.

I asked to refund me on the credit card originally used as they did with the biggest part of the money. Nothing happens. They only reply withe usual THANK YOU FOR CONTACTING OAT and IT WILL TAKE A FEW DAYS.

Desired outcome: Moneynrefund

Overseas Adventure Travel – Failed to honor incentives to reschedule and added cost of airfare on a trip with free airfare

A trip to Egypt was originally scheduled for 04/20 but cancelled due to the pandemic. International airfare was included in the cost. The original reservation was #3910108 and changed to 3975236 when I rescheduled. I received a letter dated March 21, 2020 from the CEO, Harriet Lewis stating that I could get a full refund, reschedule for later 2020 or in.

Overseas Adventure Travel – Getting a refund due to Covid cancellations

My trip to Israel was canceled in 2020 in 2021 due to the Covid I was told I could rebook if I am fully vaccinated but I am not and due to medical debt conditions cannot be so I called on July 8 was on hold for two hours but finally reached somebody and talked to Rebecca and told her of my problem and stated I wanted a refund she said she would have to talk to the finance department and would get back to me within a week this did not happen so the following Monday the 19thI called and was on hold for two and a half hours and I was told but my whole time had reached it’s limit and I was being disconnected but they would call me within 24 hours and this did not happenOn July 21 I called again at 6 o’clock my time 9 AM their time and was on hold for three hours and I finally had to give up because I had an appointment I then sent an email to their [protected] and still have not received anything back

Desired outcome: Full refund for trip plus insurance

Overseas Adventure Travel – Travel cost for reservation

I would like to complain on a recent reservation. We made our reservations number 395357 for myself and Friend on early February. We told the travel agent we were flexible and wanted the best deal. We booked a departure date of November 5, 2020. The travel agent never told us that a $500 airfare was being offered if you depart in Sept or October. If we knew.

Overseas Adventure Travel – simply horrible

They provide a strange kind of service. I booked from them for the first time recently and had some questions regarding my trip. Couldn’t reach them through their website forms and emails. Decided to call and was on hold for about 40 minutes without somebody picked up the phone. I just stopped calling. I understood I was just wasting my time. This is terrible what you do.

Overseas Adventure Travel – Mexico – oaxaca & merida

I booked first time through OAT for Mexico, specifically for a 1st-time tour with them because they prominently display their trips are 10-16 maximum guaranteed. –OAT opened an account in my name, which shows my booking with OAT to this day. However, the trip is led by the OAT-parent company Grand Circle. Nowhere on the Grand Circle website does it inform.

Overseas Adventure Travel – Don’t use them

This past month (November 2010), my mother treated my husband and I to a 3-week African safari. She booked the $25, 000 trip through Overseas Adventure Travel, a subsidiary of Grand Circle Travel LLC. The trip included international airfare for each of us, however, since she lives in a different U.S. state than we, OAT booked her onto a different flight than us. Since our trips were all booked and paid for at the same time as travelers on the same trip, I thought it was extremely cheap for OAT to put my 78-year-old mother on an international flight all alone. They obviously did it because the cost was less. Then to make matters worse, the layover in London for my mother’s flight from the United States was only 1 hour. Nowadays with the additional security checkpoints, it is absolutely impossible for anyone to make a connecting flight for international travel in 1 hour. So, as you would imagine, my mother did not make the connecting flight to Nairobi. The next flight out of London was 7 hours later, so my mother sat in the Heathrow Airport by herself for 7 hours, and by the time she arrived in Nairobi the next morning to begin our safari tour (which was leaving Nairobi at 9am), she was exhausted. Would you want your 78-year-old mother to begin an expensive excursion halfway across the world in a physical state like this? My husband and I were really upset about it. Upon her return to the United States, my mother called OAT to complain about their huge error in booking her outbound flights. To truly show their indifference to the magnitude of the situation and their obvious lack of professional customer service, Overseas Adventure Travel responded to my mother by telling her that there was nothing they could do for her since that was the only airline flight available at that time. You and I know that is totally bullshi_. If it were true, ALL of the U.S. travelers on our trip would have been on the same flight that she was on – but we weren’t. I’m appalled at OAT for taking this stand, especially since the majority of their tour clients are over the age of 60. Do yourself a huge favor when booking your travel plans to foreign and exotic locations: do not use Overseas Adventure Travel / Grand Circle. You’d be better off spending your hard-earned money with a tour company who is much more attentive to your travelling comfort and safety needs.

RS Tours Compared with Overseas Adventure Travel Tours: Update

Today I came upon a now-closed travel forum about the differences between Overseas Adventure Travel tours and Rick Steves tours. People who posted discussed hotel quality, group sizes, and other issues. These are now moot given the differences in responses to Coronavirus cancellations between the two companies. Overseas Adventure Travel originally offered refunds to travelers whose trips were cancelled or who cancelled their own trips within published cancellation policies. Overseas Adventure Travel is now reneging on promised cancellations and offering travel credits only. They essentially changed their policy and then retroactively applied that policy to all cancellations. A quick scan of reviews on Tripadvisor and the Better Business Bureau will tell the awful truth. Given Rick Steves’ ethical and compassionate response to Coronavirus cancellations, there is no longer a contest between the two companies.

I can testify to the truth of this post as I am one of the victims of their change of policy. Note, OAT is no longer cancelling tours, they are “postponing” them and people are automatically reassigned to the same tour in 2021 with the option to change tours.

I was lucky (or stubborn as my wife says) in that I did not take “no refund” for an answer. I complained to the Massachusetts Better Business Bureau and State Attorney’s Office. I finally got my refund as a result of those complaints. So, if you are owed a refund by OAT, try these two avenues. It has also worked for other people.

I still had an ace up my sleeve in that I was processing a charge back on my credit card. I ALWAYS use my credit card no matter what the cash discount is (even for Rick Steves Tours which I have taken).

They’re probably running out of cash.

Odysses Unlimited is still giving refunds on their cancelled tours and now lets tour members make final payments up to 45 days prior to their tours rather than the regular 95 days. If cancelled by that 45 day limit, deposits will be refunded.

I can’t help but think that all these businesses that are dealing with refunds vs vouchers, are having to make the choice of writing you a bad check or stalling until they get more cash flow.

Be careful with the chargeback route. Many companies are not fighting the chargeback so you get your money, but then they send you to collections and ding your credit report. It is always better to let the refund process work itself out to a final answer no matter how slow it seems to be going and only then pursue the chargeback if you don’t like the answer.

It’s a pity but it cements my loyalty to RS. We attended an OAT meeting a few years ago in Sacramento. Huge attendance, many, many repeat customers giving testimonials. They had several tours which looked appealing. But, they have their share of negative reviews which you really don’t see with RS. RSE is bound by Washington state laws regarding prompt refunds but I trust his personal moral compass here. You would think, companies that take deposits and have published refund policies would have some reserves, but I guess not.

OAT is bound by Massachusetts law which has about the same requirements for refunds as Washington. That is why my appeal to the State Attorney’s Office had traction.

These are unheard of circumstances indeed. I had booked 2 tours with a Pennsylvania company last year. With the news of a virus issue in Feb. I decided to cancel. Yes I lost a lot of $S. However it was my choice. Never knowing how bad it would really become. I cannot expect the company to absorb the loss of a decision I made. But if the future is conducive to travel again then I will happily book with them again. I received 50 % back on my trip promptly. No complaints here.

I can only assume that getting their money back is not one of the adventures the customers signed up for.

I do feel sorry for companies that are caught in a cash-flow squeeze. And I feel very sorry for their customers, especially those who have lost their job and need that refund to survive. My guess is that the cash to refund payments is not there and they can’t get any money. OTOH, aren’t they the kind of small business the Feds are supposed to be propping up?

Apparently, RS manages his assets better than many. Good for him!

I just ordered the RS Guide to Belgium, Bruges, Brussels etc. I want to go back on my own next year if possible. Reading it will be fun and I can start my planning a bit early. In the meant time the few extra dollars will help RS to continue to pay his staff.

One time friends asked us to join them on an OAT tour. When I called to ask a few questions before booking, I was treated so rudely by their agent that I will never travel with them.
I know that would never happen with RS staff!

” I was treated so rudely by their agent”

That was not my experience with OAT. I have traveled with both OAT and RS and have found both of their agents to be very polite and helpful. Even when the OAT agents had to deny me my refund, they were very polite. In fact, I believe the felt embarrassed by the whole situation.

Apparently, RS manages his assets better than many. Good for him!

This article implies he is (or might be at some point) digging into his pocket to cover staff salaries.

Lots of anger about OAT and their change of policies on the Trip Advisor Senior forum.

“Lots of anger about OAT and their change of policies on the Trip Advisor Senior forum.”

OAT shutdown their own forum because of all the anger being expressed on it about the denial of refunds.

It has been my experience that OAT advertises many tour departure dates, but will cancel departures if not enough people have signed up,and then assign you to another departure without consultation. If you have made your own flight arrangements, this sudden re-scheduling can present many problems. Their choice of airlines can also be less than ideal. Prior to an India trip, the representative told me she had just returned from the India tour. I asked her opinion of Air India, the carrier OAT was using for this trip. She said, “Oh, I didn’t fly Air India. I flew Emirates.” When I found Air India’s safety record was dismal, I ,too, chose my own carrier. Finally, if i ever travel with OAT again, I will skip the “home visit.” While this is billed as an authentic view of local life, you are, in fact, experiencing a local home business. OAT advises bringing a gift for these home visits. Offered a book of photographs of the USA, the home owner said, “Oh, we have a lot of these,” and threw the book on a shelf without further ado. And, unlike RS tours, shopping is definitely on the official schedule.

This thread has been really helpful.

I’ve briefly considered OAT in the past. Some itineraries looked really good, but after seeing their true colors, I will pass regardless. I appreciate how RS takes care of their customers and isn’t out to simply make a buck.

I have to say that I liked my experience with OAT. I traveled to Peru and Ecuador with them and plan on going to Costa Rica as well. I was scheduled for the Grand Circle trip to the UK which died with the virus. I was testing the waters to see if I liked them. I do like the itinerary and so I’m planning the UK trip in May 2021, fingers crossed. I like the no single supplements but it has been a while and I was unsure of the companies now. I am also planning trips in the future with RS and will gladly pay the single supplements if need be. I want some of the adventure in Europe that I don’t think I’d get with GCT. Bottom line, I’m not unhappy, yet. We shall see.

I’ll just add some information I have gleaned from the Senior Forum on Trip Advisor regarding OAT and refunds. Several people have posted they’ve had success with OAT giving them refunds after they contacted the BBB and/or the MA State Attorney General office and/or their credit cards. I’ve no personal experience, just read that forum every day and thought the experiences there might be helpful to folks on this forum.

I cracked up at one poster who indicated he’d gotten his money back and then got an apology letter from OAT offering $500 off his next trip. “As if” he says.

For those who got their money back from OAT, did you also get the travel insurance refunded as well. We bought their expensive CFAR policy which is a misnomer as it does not apply to this situation apparently.

According to an article today in the NYTimes

Overseas Adventure Travel is part of Grand Circle Corporation, a family of travel companies based in Boston. Massachusetts happens to be one of only a handful of states with specific laws that guarantee consumers protection against travel sellers, including requiring that tour operators offer the option of cash refunds.

As Adam Anolik, a San Francisco- based travel-industry lawyer, explained over email, that’s why oversight — forcing a company to comply with state laws — can feel like an uphill battle. “The outcome can often turn on who cancels, which is why a lot of suppliers and travelers are playing chicken right now. In reality, many of these statutes are seldom enforced. This pandemic could cause some of them to be dusted off,” said Mr. Anolik.

So the advice earlier about contacting the BBB and the MA State Attorney General office sounds like it could help

Thanks, John. If they fail to give me a refund, that is what I will do. I am a former MA paralegal and very familiar with the AG demand letter. I just heard from a poster on TripAdvisor that they also got a full refund of the trip insurance as well.

What would be truly awful is if companies go bankrupt and out of business because so many of their customers request cash refunds. Rick seems to have deep pockets and can afford to give cash refunds, but he is also having to reduce salaries for his employees, and he is accepting no bookings at all for any trips. (And I assume that’s just the ones who work directly for him, not the tour guides who probably have no income right now.) From what I’ve read, some of those who were scheduled on trips this spring and summer were wanting to rebook rather than get the cash back, but he is not offering that option. Deep as his pockets may be, what if he can’t stay in business? I think a lot of us would be heartbroken.

OAT is postponing trips (rather than canceling them) and offering pretty generous incentives ($500 per traveler) to keep people from canceling altogether. They are also offering a no-risk booking policy, allowing travelers to rebook any tour for 2021 or 2022. If that’s what they need to do to stay in business, I’m not so begrudging. But I do wish they would offer at least the option of a cash refund.

I have a tour scheduled with OAT this October/November, which I booked in early January. I think there is only a small chance it will happen, and even a smaller chance that I will go if they don’t postpone it. I’ve only paid the initial deposit; the balance is due in early July. Before I pay the balance, I will most certainly have a conversation with them about my options.

This would be my second OAT tour. The first one (to South America) was one of the best travel experiences I’ve ever had.

Lane, I agree with you. I am not demanding a refund as I’d like to go still. They treated my sister very well on her many trips with OAT and I enjoyed my only trip with them but have been looking forward to more. I think for Europe, I would prefer going with Rick Steves but for other areas, who can we trust? I’ve enjoyed the experience I had and feel willing to try them again.

Mary, you may also have recourse thru your state’s Insurance Commissioner regarding the refund of your insurance premium. It’s worth a try.

I’ve not traveled with OAT but based on the Senior Forum thread on TA, I think the discouraging thing is they promised some people cash refunds up front (and early on) then reneged and changed their policy. Nope, cannot change policy in midstream. Now people are getting refunds who have filed with BBB and/or the AG’s office. So. are they refunding everyone or just the folks who are the squeaky wheels? What about the people who may not be internet savvy and may not be on forums like this one and TA? From a neutral, non-customer view of the posts, it seems like they are not treating people the same across the board and that would make me think twice.

Thanks, Pam. I saw your reply on TA. I will explore all avenues and will be persistent. We are out of pocket close to $3,000 for the deposit, flight upgrades and CFAR insurance. If it was just the deposit I wouldn’t be so angry and would take a voucher. This is just plain wrong what they are doing and they may be ok in the short term but the bad publicity they are getting will have people thinking twice before booking with them. In the long term this is not a good business practice.

In my first post on this topic (the first response) I reported that I got a full refund for my tour after contacting the BBB and State Attorney General. That refund did include the travel insurance.

It is well and good for some people to accept a voucher. However for some of us that are elderly and not sure when, or if, they will travel again; whose 401k has taken a significant hit; and my wife lost her job, the tour cost is just too much to absorb. When we signed up for the tour the Terms of Agreement stated that if OAT canceled the tour you would get a full refund. I will not do business with a company that does not live up the the terms of their contract (i.e., they lied to us).

While it would be sad if these companies go bankrupt because of cash refunds, those customers are entitled to refunds. If the company is going to demand that its customer follow its laws — and you can bet they’ll be sure we do — then if their own rule says you can get a refund, then you should be able to get the refund. It was shady of OAT to go against their own contract.

Personally, I don’t like the thought of credits when something is either so far in advance and/or is of a significant value. Many travel agencies, musicians, etc. are postponing instead of cancelling because their insurance doesn’t cover COVID either. That’s not only money I could be building interest on, but depending on one’s age or circumstances, they may not be able to travel next year. What if they can’t get time off work? What if they’re 80 and this is their now or never chance? What if a couple would have travelled now then is not able to next year because they have a baby? It’s not as easy as simply getting a credit to the local shopping mall and being able to use it whenever.

Yes, Rick does deep pockets, but he is giving refunds under WA State law. Furthermore, I believe the reason he is no longer accepting bookings/transfers for later trips is not because he doesn’t want to, but because his staff is so swamped right now with refunds. I believe if you want to book a new tour beyond August, you still have that option once you get the refund. In the end, it’s the same result, just a little less work for the staff, which is understandable.

This popped up on the TA forum from OAT. Are they softening/seeing the bad press they are getting and damage to their company’s reputation?

“Please accept our apologies for the delay in responding to emails and calls. We understand the frustration this has caused. Please email us your details at and we will look into your refund status. Thank you!“

Mary! I just read that TA post and was coming over here to PM you with that bit of information!

I have enjoyed 5 OAT tours that were excellent. Just took their Galapagos and Michu Picchu trip in January this year. Just lucky timing. With the uncertainty with the timing of future overseas travel I will not make plans and advance deposits for any trip. We make several trips a year around the world, often on our own. All travel companies are feeling the money crunch right now. We got caught in a bankruptcy with a local company a few years ago. Will not pay with a check again.

Overseas Adventure Travel (O.A.T. Tours)

Travel Style: Culturally immersive and local experiences. Walking between 3-6 miles a day.

Tour Types


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Overseas Adventure Travel (O.A.T. Tours) Reviews & Ratings

My favorite OAT adventure

I went to this adventure with my sister-in-law and we had the absolute best time! Our guide were all amazing and our trip leader Martin was exceptional! My sister-i-.

We visited Panama on this trip with OAT

We visited Panama on this trip with OAT including walking through El Chorrillo neighborhood and listening to the stories of the survivors of the US invasion. We woul.

India was on my bucket list.

India was on my bucket list. I have travelled with OAT many times and knew if any company could show it to me properly it was them. The trip surpassed any expectatio.

This trip has been one of the best with OAT so far

This trip has been one of the best with OAT so far. The sightseeing, food, and most of the accommodations were very good. Our tour guide, Anuja Skaria, was absolutel.

Interesting travel

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip led by a fantastic leader – Pum from Thailand. He was an excellent mentor for all of the local guides and allowed them to lead in thei.

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Editoral Review of Overseas Adventure Travel (O.A.T. Tours)

Founded in 1978, Overseas Adventure Travel specializes in small group and small ship adventure tours. Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT) is now part of the Boston-based Grand Circle Corporation, which also includes Grand Circle Travel and Grand Circle Cruise Line.

Quick Facts

Founded in 1978

Very welcome to solo travelers – Free or low single supplement

Average Tour Price – $4,538

Average Tour Duration – 15 Days

Small Groups – between 10 and 16 travelers, max of 24 on small ship cruises

Travel Style – Culturally immersive and local experiences. Walking between 3-6 miles a day

Age Range – Primarily 50+

What Makes Overseas Adventure Travel Stand Out?

Touring southeast asia with Overseas Adventure Travel (O.A.T. Tours)

Overseas Adventure Travel is solo traveler friendly. They offer free or low single supplements. OAT understands that solo travelers desire to follow their own schedule, desires and needs. They help handle all the details to make sure your trip is affordable, easy and enjoyable.

A major focus of OAT is cultural immersion. Travelers can expect to visit local schools, churches, and homes (where you might be treated to a home-cooked meal). Experienced guides — all fluent in English — lead groups off the beaten path when possible.

OAT strives to give back to the world they send travelers around. A portion of all proceeds goes to the Grand Circle Foundation, which supports cultural and educational programs in the countries visited.

Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Overseas Adventure Travel?

  • Ages 50+

Woman in Turkey on a tour with Overseas Adventure Travel (O.A.T. Tours)

OAT specializes in small group tours around the world serving Americans aged 50 and older. They appeal to the old fashioned – the fact that they still offer a physical catalogue is testament – and their travel style reflects an appreciation of the classics coupled with an adventurous spirit to explore each destination deeper and from a local perspective.

Overall, prices fall into the moderate range, and are especially a bargain for solo travelers, who can save substantially by not having to pay for single supplements. Accommodations are designed to be both comfortable as well as unique and in keeping with the local spirit of the destination. If your hostelling days are over but you feel too adventurous for a standard hotel, OAT will be a great company to travel with.

OAT travelers are those with a passion for culture. They don’t just want to see a destination, they want to experience it. For these travelers, spending a day in a Maasai village in Kenya, eating dinner with a local family in Chile’s oasis town and interacting with local musicians at the bustling Libertad Plaza in San Salvador, Belize is a welcomed adventure.

Top Destinations

Female traveler enjoying Overseas Adventure Tour in Patagonia, Argentina

OAT operates tours all over the world, specializing in remote, off the beaten path destinations. African safaris are an especially popular offering, though you can also travel to Japan, India, Peru, Iceland, Vietnam, Albania, or Morocco, to name just a few of its far-flung destinations. OAT also runs small-ship cruises through the Galapagos, on the Amazon, and along the Turkish coast.

OAT Travel Style

With Overseas Adventure Travel you’ll find a combination of transportation and accommodation styles, but all with an element of comfort. Groups are small, with a max of 16 (24 on small ship cruises).

Accommodations vary, but generally favor being local and non-traditional over a basic centrally located hotel. Their exact words are “emphasis on authenticity, rather than amenities”.

Exploring rural China with Overseas Adventure Travel (O.A.T. Tours)

Their style is all about unique and meaningful cultural interaction. While you’ll learn the history and see the famous sights, their true focus is about people and connections. This means you’ll enjoy meals with local families, like you’re just a friend over for dinner; visit schools and see the amazing work being done in small communities. The visceral understanding and perspective that comes from learning to cook traditional meals and make traditional crafts is what you’ll find on an OAT tour.

Why Choose a Tour with OAT?

OAT offers a unique up close and personal experience, guaranteeing that its groups will never exceed more than 10-16 travelers. A spirit of spontaneity is part of what makes traveling with OAT special, as they strive to take advantage of every interesting opportunity during a trip.

Woman in traditional dress in India

Traveling with Overseas Adventure Travel allows for an in depth cultural travel experience in comfort. Many opportunities exist for travelers to find deals, and it’s a great way to meet new friends in a similar age range.

If you traveled extensively in your youth and are not ready to slow down, but perhaps are looking for a few more logistical ducks to be taken care of for you, OAT could be the perfect fit. They offer a variety of options for more independent minded travelers, as well as ample free time to explore and plan your own adventure during cruise port stops and on their group tours.

Alternatively, if this is your first travel experience, OAT will be a great starting point. You’ll gain cultural insights, meet locals, as well as hit on all the best tourist sites that provide cultural and historical context to your destination.

Overseas Adventure Travel Covid Safety Precautions

Through December 31st 2020, Overseas Adventure Travel is offering Risk Free booking. You can transfer your departure with all change fees waived.

Some countries are beginning to reopen to international visitors with entry restrictions while others have remained closed. Stay up to date and see a full list of which countries are open »

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Solo friendly

  • No single supplement


COVID-19 Travel Safety

COVID-19 is still affecting travel around the world but more countries continue to reopen and adjust travel restrictions and requirements. We recommend reviewing the following Travel restrictions & safety measures by country resource before planning or booking your trip to ensure you understand risks and logistics.

See the Full list of Covid-19 travel resources – all updated regularly given the fast changing environment.

And check out everything you need to know about how vaccines are affecting travel , including which countries open to fully vaccinated travelers.

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See the Countries reopening for tourism updated list to find your next destination.

Consider booking a Custom or Private Trip for the peace of mind that comes from working directly with a travel expert, who can plan ahead for safety and assist you during the trip if any complications develop, plus gives you more freedom and flexibility with your itinerary.

Buy a FlexiTrip – save money (and stress) on your next post-COVID trip

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About the company

Overseas Adventure Travel offers unique small group adventures worldwide to Americans over 50. By land and sea, we explore on—and off—the beaten path with a resident OAT Trip Leader, immersing ourselves in local cultures, sampling unique modes of transportation, and staying in authentic lodgings that reflect the essence of your destination. Grand Circle Small Ship Cruises serves both our GCT and OAT brands with an award-winning fleet known for exceptional value and high-quality experiences in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America. Custom-designed according to our travelers’ specifications, our fleet includes 50+ small river and ocean-going ships that we own or privately charter.

Grand Circle Corporation is a global enterprise—comprised of a family of travel companies—committed to changing people’s lives by offering high-impact experiences to our travelers and building local communities through philanthropy, social entrepreneurship, and volunteerism.

Simply by traveling with OAT, you support the work of the nonprofit Grand Circle Foundation, which was created with the mission of changing people’s lives through travel—both those of our travelers, and of the people who welcome us so warmly into their homelands.

Journey with the Leader in Adventure Travel and Watch Your Dreams Take Flight: It is the stuff of dreams: gazelles bowing to lap at a glassy pool in the Serengeti as the vast sky turns purple with night, the tiered splendor of the Himalayas, rising behind a Tibetan monastery. Dreams like these are everyday realities for OAT travelers, thanks to the principles which ground every OAT adventure: value, choice, discovery, and carefully paced itineraries.

Our Value puts your travel dreams within reach: OAT can help you realize your travel dreams for a lot less than you thought possible. Together with our regional offices located throughout the world, we’ve been able to establish long-term relationships with many local vendors and hotels. Buying direct brings down our costs—and allows us to pass the savings on to you. And negotiating directly for hotel space also allows us to secure as many single room allotments as possible for our solo travelers. That way, we can also extend our great value to solo travelers. In fact, we offer the best value for solo travelers, guaranteed.

The Choice is yours: You’ll always have plenty of choices with OAT. We offer you a breadth of awe-inspiring travel destinations—from the peaks of the Andes to the sweeping desert sands of the Sahara to the rugged natural beauty of Iceland. You’ll also enjoy more trip extension choices than ever before—like hiking to ancient monasteries in Bhutan or discovering the Moai monolithic rock statues on Easter Island. You have plenty of choices within each adventure, too, including several interesting optional tours. And the free time we’ve woven into our itineraries allows you plenty of opportunities for independent exploration. You can shop, unwind, perhaps linger at a sidewalk café, visit an interesting gallery or museum, or explore a cobbled street that caught your eye earlier in the day. You can do as much or as little as you want on an OAT adventure—the choice is yours.

OAT Difference

Adventure Travel: Adventure travel with OAT is a journey beyond the familiar, one that takes you into the very heart of a destination—to meet people where they work and live.

OAT Advantages: Journey with the leader in adventure travel and watch your dreams take flight, thanks to the principles which ground every OAT adventure: value, choice, discovery, and carefully paced itineraries.

Small Groups, Big Discoveries: When you discover the world in an OAT small group, you’ll journey off the beaten path to the places the big tour groups miss—and enjoy an intimate, discovery-filled adventure filled with personal connections, shared experiences, and treasured memories.

Trip Leaders: No matter where in the world you venture with OAT, you’ll have one of our resident, expert Trip Leaders by your side. All are fluent in English and possess the skills, certification, and experience necessary to ensure an enriching adventure.

Airport Transfers: We’ve listened to your feedback, and will now offer international airport transfers to and from your hotel to our travelers who choose to purchase their own airfare on OAT adventures as part of our Personalize Your Trip program, which allows you create the OAT adventure that’s right for you.

Personalize your trip: OAT travelers have long expressed the desire to decide exactly where they’re going, how they get there, and when they wish to leave. That’s why we developed a variety of choices that enhance the value of every trip we offer, allowing you to create the adventure that works best for you.

Traveling solo? Enjoy your own room or cabin—at no extra cost: You’re in control of your travel dreams—and we’re making them more affordable than ever: Maybe you prefer the freedom of solo travel—or maybe you and your usual traveling companion can’t agree on a destination. Whatever the reason, you don’t have to put your travel dreams on hold. When it’s time to go it alone, you’ll never pay a Single Supplement to have your own room or cabin with OAT.




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