Viator Reviews

Viator
( 32 reviews )
Website: www.Viator.com

A technology company, based out of Sydney, was building websites for travel companies back in 1995.  This laid the groundwork for Viator, the company they are now known as.

Viator provides an extensive number of tours and activities making them a leader in the industry.  Some of their astonishing accomplishments include providing travel to 750 destinations worldwide, working with over 2000 affiliates, and offering almost 9000 activities.

In order to provide the best service and give you the best value for your money, all of the tour operators are prescreened.  Keeping good relations with their affiliates enables Viator to negotiate deals and pass these discounts on to customers.  The prices shown on their site reflects the total dollar amount including taxes.

When you set up an account on Viator’s website, you will be able to plan, book, and research trips.  You may also use their 24/7 customer support to book trips, if you are having a difficult time making a choice, you can ask for tour and activity recommendations.  

Making changes to your trip is easily manageable through your personal account; some of the tours and activities may have limitations to what can be modified, check on these prior to booking.  To keep up with technology, Viator has an application for Iphone and Ipad and they are on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and 4Square.

Viator provides a service; essentially, they are the intermediary, connecting customers to subcontracted tour and activity companies.  They charge more than what you would pay if you were to book all the travel and activities directly through local companies on your own.

Since plans can change last minute, it is important to get a travel insurance policy.  This will also protect you if flights are delayed causing a domino effect of disruptions ruining your entire trip. When traveling internationally, it is solely your responsibility to research what documentation is necessary to cross into other countries.  

You must also find out if there are any health requirements needed to travel to your destination.  Prior to finalizing your trip with the “middle man”, find a number of references who have knowledge of or have taken the same trip.  Be 100% certain of your choice before booking.

Viator Customer Reviews

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Not satisfied at all
October 26, 2021

My husband and I booked a tour to Siena, San Gimignano, Monteriggioni . The tour was awful. The guide did not tell the older guests that you would have to walk up hill after hill in Siena, just to reach the middle of town. When we finally got there we were not given easy instructions on how to get back to the restaurant.

Several of us were in a lot of pain from all the walking. Plus the guide they gave us could have cared less about the older ones in the group. It was all rushed. The castle walk was also very hard on all of us that were struggling to get up the hill. At the winery, the owner was more interested in making money than about people's feelings. He made rude remarks against some of the people who wanted to look at the vineyard and take a picture.

Needless to say we will never travel with your company again.

Viator has unreliable data
August 14, 2021
Absolutely avoid this vendor. They work worth unreliable data that does not align with the companies they work with. After confirming on the Viator site, and separately thru a chat with one of their Viator agents, I booked thru their site, credit card was charged. Next day, less than 24 hours before the experience I was contacted and told Viator didn't have the correct availability info and my experience was overbooked.

Dishonest Company
July 10, 2021

Booked a cemetery tour of New Orleans which included visits to some of New Orleans infamous characters gravesites. When we got to New Orleans, we found out the cemeteries were closed. Called Viator, but they said we were within the 24 hour window, so no refund. I said we bought a tour to visit cemeteries, and they are closed.....why no refund??

The Viator representative put me on hold, and called the tour operator, who confirmed the cemeteries are close, but she still refused to refund. She said you can look through the gates!!!! Viator simply doesn't care a lick about their customers or what they sell you.

They will sell you a tour that simply does not exist, and keep your money. Very dishonest company without a lick of integrity.

False advertisement, will not refund.
June 11, 2021

A complete fraud, they advertise access to the statute of liberty in their tour. Once I got there the tour guy (outsource provider from "TOP DOG") told me that they do not do that. That they have have in multiple occasions told Viator that, but they continue to advertise it. He advised me to not take the tour, and to ask for my refund; due to false advertisement.

I did as told, but Viator still charged me. I have been in contact with Viator but they keep giving me the same line, "We have reviewed the charges and can not refund, because the provider already purchased the tickets" yet, I said to them; that I did not take the tour, because, that is not what I wanted, and that I had specifically requested and confirmed access to the statute with the Viator representative.

They keep telling me to wait for 7 days, and every time is the same story. They are a complete ripoff, I am now disputing the charges with my credit card company.

This mob deserve a no star review
August 21, 2019

I am only giving this mob one star simply because reviewopedia does not give the option of no star.

When booking a tour of Macau the following important information is provided:

Important Information

Departure Point

Traveler pickup is offered

At time of booking, kindly select pick up point:

09:40 am - Sofitel Macau

09:45 am - Grand Emperor Hotel

09:55 am - Holiday Inn Macau

10:30 am - Taipa Ferry Terminal

Hotel pickup and drop-off (selected hotels only)

Exclusions

Hotel pickup and drop-off for guests staying at hotels other than those listed as eligible

As such we went to the hotel we selected (the Holiday Inn Macau) and for some inexplicable reason they expect me to be on the lookout for an email from the tour operator claiming we will be picked up from a hotel not shown on that list.

Not only that but they then want to get into an argument and refuse a refund as we were deemed to be a "no show", despite the fact that we waited at our selected pick up point for 20 minutes after the selected pick up time

Haleakala Sunrise Bike Tour took us for a "ride" alright
May 29, 2019

False advertising as to what to expect, no entry into national park,no sunrise seen, no volcanic crater sunrise view, crappy bikes, snails pace bike ride and all starts at 3 a.m.- why?

Viator is disorganized, they hang up on you, and only 1 in 4 speaks understandable English, trust me I spoke to several agents.

DONT BOOK WITH VIATOR!
November 8, 2018

Viator doesn't care about their customers and will always take the opposing side when it comes to the bookings problems that may come your way. We are currently on vacation and had booked a few tours with Amigo Tour, but we already started our vacation with a major headache because of them. Our tour itinerary stated that we were to meet our guide at this one checkpoint at 9am.

It stated that the guide would arrive early at 845am so we showed up at 830am to make sure we didn't miss him/her. Needless to say he/she failed to show up on time and by 920am we were already fed up on waiting on him/her. Of course, we asked around to see if anyone had seen the guide and every time we got the same response from everyone we asked which was, "oh yeah the Amigo Tour guide is usually late".

We called Amigo Tour several times before and after 9am but got no response. Even the employees of the Castle Of Chapultepec, which was the tour site, said the same thing about this agency. There were several people waiting there for the guide besides us. After we decided to do the tour ourselves with no guide, we decided to call the tour agency again. This time we got ahold of them and instead of trying to understand our situation they started to call us liars claiming the guide was there at 845am which of course wasn't the case.

We spent 2hours arguing with the agency demanding a refund, since it wasn't our fault that the guide was not on time to meet us for our tour. The agency had the nerve to confirm that sometimes the guide could possibly arrive a little late and that we should of waited longer for him/her. We got so fed up with arguing with the agency that we decided to cancel all our tours for the week that we had booked through Viator.

Amigo Tours told us that if we wanted a refund that we would have to find the guide there and he/she would issue us a refund but the guide was nowhere to be found after 40minutes of looking. We contacted Viator directly via email after several failed attempts with the tour agency to get a refund, but Viator sided with the agency instead of with us. They flat out told us that we were liars and that they contacted the agency and of course they denied any wrong doing on their part.

Viator then told us in that email that it was our fault for not showing up and that they would not give us a refund and thanked us for understanding. We got no support whatsoever from Viator not even a possibility of an investigation!! We of course emailed them back telling them that since Viator is not willing to investigate that we will contact American Express directly and file a complaint for that fraudulent service that we received and if we have to we will proceed further to prevent all charges against us for the week.

After we contacted American Express we received an email from Viator stating that they would show good will by refunding us $75 out of $600 for that one day tour. Really?!!! Yeah no!!! They don't care about their customers and will pocket your money unless you act against them!

Dishonest, disorganized, almost ruined our trip to Cusco, Machu Picchu
May 22, 2018

If there is a rating less than 1, I would choose that!

We used Viator on a 2016 trip to Cusco, Macchu Picchu since we trusted TripAdvisor-- what a mistake! Never Again! I gave negative reviews on tripadvisor and Viator website but it never got published!

The negative experience: we were contacted by our 'tour' person via email after our payment, so I was feeling confident-- but when we got to Cusco, Peru, our contact did not show! I called several times and finally got through and we were picked-up by a taxi-driver. We were brought to a hotel that did not have a reservation for us! So we waited... then had to be brought to another hotel who still did not have reservation for us but finally took us in! All this and I was still adjusting to the altitude at Cusco and feeling dizzy. Tour for the afternoon went OK... but then...

Next day, trip was supposed to start at 5am. We were told to be at the hotel lobby on time or we will be left behind. We were at the lobby 15 minutes before departure; we waited and were never picked up! 2-hours passed and I called our contact and finally some taxicab took us to rendezvous with a tour bus who had purely Spanish speaking guests! Realizing we were English speakers, the bus guide made some calls and finally was able to arrange swaps and we got on to another tour bus (English speaking) 2 hours later. At this point we already missed many of the sites. It was frustrating but the day went on fine.

So next day we were supposed to leave for Aguas Calientes on the way to Machu Picchu; we were picked up late by a small minivan with other passengers, and it appeared we will not be able to make it in time for the train departure to Aguas Calientes. So the driver hailed a few taxicab (haggling in front of us), to take us to the train station, about 2 hours away. Finally he found a taxicab willing to take us, and off we went and made it in time for the train departure to Aguas Calientes.

When we got to Aguas Calientes, another representative was supposed to meet us at the train station and bring us to our hotel-- surprise surprise, nobody showed! Again I called and was just so frustrated with our viator contact-- we were the only ones left at the train station without contacts! I was beside myself! Finally someone did show up and got us to our hotel.

At the Machu Picchu site: we had a guide who was not really a designated viator guide. It seems he was just around the site getting contracted by others needing help. He was our guide for a few minutes until he decided to 'trade' with someone else who can barely speak English. This is simply unbelievable! I did not pay much attention to the guide since I can barely understand him, and instead focused on the beauty and majesty of Macchu Picchu. After a couple of hours with the guide, he left us on our devises anyway and just made recommendations on where we can go.

For our trip back to Cusco, my husband and I were praying that we would get picked up by someone (since our past experience had been just horrendous) since the train from Aguas Calientes was arriving late at night and we still had two hours drive back to Cusco. Fortunately we were assigned to one of the tour buses which then took us back to Cusco and we did get back to our hotel-- whew!!!

This experience with Viator was just horrendous! NEVER AGAIN and I keep telling my friends to stay away. It seems to be crapshoot. Viator does not really have its own people but just contracts with local providers. In their website they mention vetting, but there is really no vetting going on-- how can they "vet" when they have not even met their local contacts? Our contact in Peru even mentioned this and how difficult it was to work with Viator (I assumed this had something to do with payments).

This was the only trip during our 3-country tour of South America that went sour. I made all the reservations/flights/bookings for Argentina, Iguazu Falls, Lima and Chile, and everything was great. I highly recommend that people do their own reservations for Cusco/Machu Picchu. There are so many tour companies in Cusco and many seemed very professional. I should have trusted my instincts and made the reservations myself directly with the tour companies on site.

Viator tours took my money but did not supply a tour
November 22, 2017
I booked a day trip called "Yosemite National Park Day Trip from San Francisco" on Viator for the 3rd of September. I arrived a few minutes before the scheduled time, but no bus arrived. When I called the Viator office I was told that the bus had already passed there. They did not agree to send the bus to pick me up and rudely declined returning the money (139$). I suspect that there was no tour that day...I strongly advise against booking with them.

dishonest and false advertisers
November 13, 2017

Dishonest and advertise false services.Horrible customer service.

I purchased boat tickets and called BEFORE I purchased to confirm the times of departure and return that we needed. The representative "Jamaica" confirmed the times we needed were AVAILABLE and then proceeded to take my credit card payment. After she charged my credit card she then placed me on a 30 minute hold and came back on the line telling me the times were actually booked and NOT available. They sold me tickets that didn't exist!

I then proceeded to tell Jamaica that this was not acceptable service and that I was very upset. She then sent me an email and said I had to either accept the different times or cancel my booking. She offered NOTHING after clearly she screwed up! So without any other option I said I would go ahead with the tickets even though they were not the times I wanted.

She proceeded to send my voucher to me via email and asked for me to check my "tickets". I opened my email and got a voucher that had no time or even location information on it. I expressed that I was weary because they had already lied to me once and that I wanted something that clearly stated I had an actual reservation for the times I purchased. She then hung up on me!

(after 45 min on the phone) SO I called the customer service line back - got a different lady and had to re-explain everything. She informed me that their customer service was not able to call out or call back any customer! WOW! So the new lady placed me on hold for 20 minutes.

She then told me they could only email me a number for the boat company so that I could then call them and confirm that I had an actual reservation! I obviously asked to speak with the supervisor. I was placed on hold once again for 15 minutes. The supervisor admitted that their representative had messed up by selling me no-existing tickets.

THEN she said they couldn't do anything except refund my card and waive the cancellation charges! I asked her for her name and she refused to tell me! She then transferred me directly to the boat company. Once I was connected with the boat company I told them what had happened.

They of course apologized, but it wasn't their fault or in their control. They said the tickets I had been sold were sold out 2 days ago! I am taking the time to review and write this because this company "Viator.com" is lying and selling false goods! On top of it they advertise they sell special discounted rates and that is also a lie.

The tickets I purchased through them were exactly $1.00 - yes - ONE dollar difference.Do yourself a favor and avoid this website like the plague!!!!

Borodino Battlefield Tour, Russia
October 14, 2017
A scam. Don't even think about doing this with Viator! I booked and paid the 20% deposit. Heard nothing back from the tour guide. When I emailed, back came the response that the price was now TRIPLE what it said on my Viator receipt (and on the Viator tour & booking website). Also said that instead of starting at 9am as scheduled it would start at 11am. I said this was unacceptable.. No response from the tour guide nor from Viator as yet. This seems to be a dodgy outfit happy to wreak havoc with your vacation planning.

They cancelled my and did not refund!its a scam!!
June 18, 2017

I booked for a tour of the undergrownd river and cristal caves in Cancun. They cofirmed by email and then cancelled by email 10 hours prior to the trip. I asked for a refund and they told me i have to do it myself and call another number for cusmorer service, or email (too bad there is no customer service email adress to contact them).

If you like losing your mind during your vacation go ahead and book with them.

Uses third party guides and is not reliable
April 23, 2017

Partly, so we could book a Viator tour of Buenos Aires before our cruise, we arrived there one day early. Having been robbed twice in that city, we didn't want to venture on our own. We booked the afternoon tour, since we wouldn't arrive in time for the morning one. At the hotel, we discovered that they had messed up the time, and the tour had come for us that morning!

I spent three hours on the phone between Viator and their local tour company (mostly on hold) trying to get them to come for us that afternoon. Neither party agreed to help us. So it was basically a wasted day. Equally infuriating was that Viator told us we should have made a long distance call out of the U.S. 4-8 hours in advance (while we were flying) to verify the tour, in other words, to make sure they hadn't canceled the tour and not informed us!

Viator offered to do nothing for us but refund our tour price, not even a future discount. No company that values its customers would refuse to offer any good faith compensation whatsoever!

tourist in Washington DC that was scammed for the War Memorial and Arlington Cemetery tour
April 20, 2017

Viator tours are a scam!!!! No one showed up to take us on our tour, so they threw us on another bus with a guide named Ali, who had trouble speaking English. We did not see all the places they advertised, no bottle of water, and most disappointing was that we paid $68.99 a piece and everyone on the bus paid $25.

I have written complaints to the company and they lied and said we were late for our bus and they left us. We arrived at the Hyatt at 9:45 for our 10:30 tour. Our supposedly 5 hour tour was about 3 hours. This was the ONLY disappointment in our trip to DC. What a rip off!!!!!!!

The refund process is a scam
March 13, 2017

I cancelled a tour 2 months out which is fully refundable. I had to call twice and 3 weeks later I still don't have the credit. I just had to create a dispute from my credit card company. Viator even sent me an email confirming the refund would be posted by a date-which was a week ago.

They said it had to go through a special process because of a glitch or something on their end. I just had to cancel another tour...a month out and they said the same thing. It would have to be sent to the "refund" department to handle...and guess what - you can't talk to them directly! SCAM.......

Journeyman Lineman
December 13, 2016
Got the round trip from Mexico City airport to the hotel,they never showed up in my travel back.My diabetic went down because they abandoned us and I was late for my fly and before lost $100.00 dollar bill I got no time to change it for confident on them.They literally said to me to take any car or loose my fly.It was sadddd!

Sold unavailable seats, no refund yet, bad customer service
December 10, 2016

I read your reply, Viator. Well, I think you didn't get my point.

1) Don't sell seats if you know they're not available! When I called you after my booking was shown "pending" for more than 3 days you replied that there are no seats left hence the booking didn't go through. Why do you show them as available on your website then (besides the website of the actual business has shown "no seats left" when I checked later).

2) I am still waiting for my A$164 refund for more than a week now. So while you're not actually fulfilling a service you still get to work with the money of your customers. A bank transfer within Australia usually doesn't take more than 24h. I am fine if it takes 3 business days but more than a week? C'mon, that is poor form and I am calling you out on that. We could have already booked an alternative event if we wouldn't be short on those 160 bucks.

3) Your phone customer service is not very helpful. They only got their standard lines and that's about it.

Again, poor customer service. Stay away.

Skip the line FTW!!!
September 21, 2016
I knew Edinburgh Castle was one of the most popular places to go, so I bought these "Skip the Line" passes! When I got to Edinburgh, it was raining and there was a long queue to buy tickets and enter the castle. I was so happy I had those passes as I surprisingly got to skip the whole line! I never knew it could be so convenient!!! It was so worth it, I would definitely buy from Viator again!

Agree "Avoid Viator" and "Review system is a scam"
September 9, 2016
I had read the reviews that you should avoid Viator, but I booked our tour anyway. The tour was completely overbooked and we did not get to see the sites as described in the tour description. I wrote a one star review that was never posted on their website. I will not use Viator again and you cannot trust their reviews. How many other one to three star reviews do you think never make it to the website?.

Never Again!!!
August 12, 2016

I wish I had read all these comments before I booked our tour to Cusco/Machu Picchu!!! As others pointed out, Viator DOES NOT run the tours. They simply take whichever tour company or broker in the area, without even vetting them! A total scam!

I booked my family's 5-day tour in Cusco/Machu Picchu and everything was quick and we got our "voucher." However, when we got to Cusco, no one picked us up. We had to call the contact person, he sent a cab, and we got dropped off at a hotel that did not have reservation for us! The company that "handled" our tour in Cusco/Machu Picchu was also a broker, simply piecing together other tours already in the region.

For 4 of the 5 days on our tour, the company "forgot" to pick us up. We had to constantly call. The hotel people were shaking their heads! We would have been so much better off had we taken a different route and just booked all the tours when we got to Cusco, and it would have been cheaper, more organized, and fewer people in the tour. As it was we got passed on from one tour bus to the next. Cusco and Machu Picchu were so beautiful and historic, I would have loved to have taken a more organized tour of the area. However, we enjoyed every bit of the time that we were actually on a "tour."

It seems Viator takes 20% off from whichever company wants to post on their website, and they don't even vet the tour. A total scam. I will post this on my FB so everyone knows their scam.

I learned my lesson quick, though. We wanted to go to city tours in other places in Peru, and also in Argentina-- we booked the tours in the city itself. I saw the same tours on Viator, more expensive, and who knows which broker would be running them!

Do NOT take tours from Viator, they only select reviews that are very positive, and never post negative reviews. My negative review was never posted.