About The Vagabond Tour Company
About The Vagabond Tour Company
The Company and our Tours
Vagabond tours is the perfect small-group vacation for people who don’t want a large group coach tour but still want to fully experience the grand country they are visiting.
We hope you like our website. It has been designed in the same way as our tours, which are great fun and informal yet extremely professionally, personally and thoughtfully created.
We have two distinct types of tours, the Vagabond Adventure tours and Driftwood Journeys of Discovery. Below we have some information on both types of tours and also the benefit of small group tours and the history of Vagabond tours
About Vagabond Adventure Tours
The Vagabond Adventure tours range from 7 to 12 days in length and combine an imaginative mixture of breath-taking scenery, relaxing exercise, local culture and history and of course cosy accommodation. Instead of normal buses or minibuses, Vagabond uses custom-built 4X4 Land Rovers and Mercedes vehicles (a.k.a. Vagatrons), so our group sizes are smaller and more flexible. This lets us explore areas far beyond the reach of normal tours. On occasion you’ll leave the road behind and drive along beaches, through rivers or up muddy tracks. Our ‘Vagatrons’ will bring you to remote places where you can: Walk in the mountains, kayak in secluded bays, ride a horse on a remote beach, clamber over ancient ruins, learn about pirate queens, retrace the steps of pilgrims or search for your ancestors and more.
And at the end of the day you’ll retreat to one of our cosy guest houses or small hotels. Where a roaring fire, some music, great food and a pint awaits.
About Driftwood Journeys of Discovery
In 2010, with years of experience running the hugely successful Vagabond Tours we felt it time to expand our touring options for our passengers. Customer feedback over the years has told us that some of you discerning travellers would prefer to put more emphasis on the scenery, culture and history and not partake in as many outdoor pursuits. So that’s exactly what we are offering you with Driftwood tours. You will leave Ireland relaxed, knowledgeable and mesmerized by its beauty. Our Driftwood tours are the perfect small-group holiday for people who don’t want a large coach tour but still want to fully experience the grand country they are visiting. Our range (6 to 11 days in length) of fully guided vacations combine an imaginative mixtures of breath-taking scenery, historical sites, local culture and cosy accommodation. Instead of large coaches we use smaller 16 seater mini coaches, so our group sizes are smaller and more flexible and more personal.
Small Group Sizes
With a maximum group size of only 13 passengers on Vagabond and 16 on Driftwood, the experience we offer is more like travelling with a group of friends than being stuck on a coach tour. Our groups tend to be made up of individuals, couples and small groups of friends – all are very welcome.
Our small group sizes are a huge advantage for passengers in so many ways:
- The smaller group sizes mean that our service is very personal, from the booking process to the tour itself.
- We don’t have to use large hotels in big towns, but get away from the crowds and stay in smaller hotels and guest housed in some of Ireland’s most remote and picturesque spots.
- It allows much more flexibility, so if there is something specific that people in the group want to see or do, then we will do our best to arrange it.
- There is no feeling of being herded around the country, it is your tour and everyone gets to make decisions. Because of this no two driftwood tours have will ever be the same.
History of Vagabond Tours
Vagabond’s first Vehicle and group on the beach, back in 2003
Vagabond tours was established in February 2002, the brain child of Rob Rankin who had been travelling in Southern Africa with his wife, Amy. While there, they saw the safari and ‘overland’ tours that were so popular and realised that a more adventurous way of seeing Ireland would be a fantastic experience for visitors. Ireland may not have the lions, elephants and deserts of Africa, but it certainly has plenty of great scenery, fascinating history and a few wild creatures running loose. Just what you need for a good safari.
Since 2002 Vagabond has grown steadily year on year, building an excellent reputation within the Irish Tourism industry and with customers abroad. We have won several awards and been featured in numerous articles in publications around the world.
The tours are constantly evolving, we put a lot of store in customer feedback and each year our trips have developed accordingly.
Head Office – VagaHQ Profiles
In 2012 Gillian decided she had enough of being down and dirty everyday and became Vagabond HQ’s first permanent recruit (outside of Rob and Amy). Gillian’s attention to detail and tenacity in seeing projects through to the end is a legacy from her previous life as an archaeologist (though not as mucky).
In her own time, she keeps rescue hens and provides all the office staff with the freshest eggs ever. Interestingly, all our Sales and Reservations team hail from County Wicklow on the east coast of Ireland. We reckon Gillian has a secret clause in her working ts and cs that insisted on this.
With more letters after her name than the rest of us put together, Megan is certainly Vagabond’s savant – her most recent qualification being the achievement of Masters in HR in 2017 (to add to her Master in Sociology). Megan joined Vagabond in 2013 and, in addition to being the voice of Driftwood (and HR policy maker) has a keen interest in all things environmental. She was one of the main drivers behind Vagabond becoming the first (and so far only) tour operator in Ireland to achieve Gold EcoTourism Certification. She is also heavily involved in scouting and has a strange interest in sharp implements.
Ciara is one of the latest additions to the team at Vagabond HQ, having joined us in 2017. We reckon what put her ahead of the other (more than 200) applicants was her answer to the key interview question of ‘…ice cream or cake?’. She is now the first point of contact for many of our Vagabond guests. Ciara has a degree in Veterinary Nursing and loves animals of all shapes and sizes- which is why she gets on so well with our Guides team! She loves to visit new places and has traveled extensively in Europe. She also loves food (ice cream and cake) and is the only person we know whose laugh can alternate between an uplifting giggle or a rather scary cackle.
Helen is our passionate, Irish tourism-loving marketing manager. In a reverse of the Irish tradition of emigration, we ‘stole’ her back from North America, where she had been working in Canada for a number of years with Tourism Ireland (we’re still working on getting her accent back though). With 15 years of experience in the industry she knows the island of Ireland very well, although don’t ask her to navigate! Helen is a true ‘foodie’ who’s vices are good red wine and cheese (she has others but won’t allow us publish them). She can always be relied on to recommend the best place to eat in her hometown of Dublin.
Meet the newest addition to the Vagabond Marketing team, Derry (from the Irish word Doire, meaning oak). In his first weeks at Vagabond HQ he quickly demonstrated the qualities of the oak (strength and endurance) in his work. Derry has a rather eclectic background. Having studied History and Politics he spent a year Japan before moving to London, where he completed his Masters degree in Web Design. He has worldwide travel experience, and tried many jobs along the way – selling sushi in London, picking kiwis in New Zealand and even cleaning toilets on a car ferry (we intend to test his skills on that one). South America remains on his bucket list, but being Dad to one toddler and with another on the way, he knows he has 25 years to save up for that one!