Press & Awards
Press & Awards
Over the years Vagabond and Driftwood tours have been honoured with several prestigious awards, both at home and internationally. We have also been featured in numerous TV programs, newspaper and magazine articles and even used in a Nationwide advertising campaign. Please see below for further details.
National Geographic Traveller Magazine – Top 50 Tours of a Lifetime 2013
Vagabond tours are delighted and thrilled to announce that our 8 day ‘Wild Irish Rover’ tour has been chosen as one of their ’50 Tours of a Lifetime 2013‘ by National Geographic Traveler Magazine.
As Norie Quintos, executive editor of the magazine wrote, “ The tours we selected capture that spirit of exploration,they push the boundaries of mainstream tourism, whether taking travelers to the far corners of the globe, or helping them dive deep into the culture of familiar destinations.”
This is a huge honour for us and we would like to say a huge thanks to everyone who has contributed to our success over the years: Our customers, our team, our suppliers and also friends of Vagabond who have all made a massive input. And not to mention National Geographic Traveler for considering us.
We are the first Irish company to be chosen as one of the ‘50 tours of a lifetime’, and this just adds to our sense of achievement. We feel like we have won an Oscar…
The Green Awards 2018 – Winner of the Green Tourism Award
On the 20th of February 2018, Vagabond Tours won the Green Tourism & Entertainment Award at the Green Awards 2018.
Vagabond is committed as a tour operator to providing the most sustainable and environmentally friendly tours of Ireland for our guests, our suppliers and the communities we visit. Read more about our green initiative here.
Irish Tourism Industry Award 2017 – Best Adventure Experience (Again!)
On the 14th Feb 2017, Vagabond Tours of Ireland took home the prize of Best Adventure Experience 2017 at the Irish Tourism Industry Awards. Previously received the same award in 2015. The biennial ceremony showcases the country’s most successful and innovative tourism products, services and experiences.
We were delighted to receive this award again and be recognised for our efforts in this area. As continue to strive to deliver exceptional adventure tour experiences for those who come on tour with us. None of this would have been possible without the hard work and effort from our amazing tour guides, office staff & suppliers.
Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence (5 out of 5!)
We are delighted to have a 99% five star rating on Tripadvisor and have been awareded Certificates of Excellence the past three years running. These certs are awarded to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers. We’d like to say a big thank you to all our guests who took the time to leave such great reviews on Trip Advisor & helped us earn this award.
Ecotourism Ireland Gold Level
We were delighted to have achieved the Ecotourism Ireland Gold Level, becoming the first and only Tour Operator in Ireland to do so.
Vagabond Tours of Ireland understands that they are caretakers of Ireland and it is their responsibility to practice being sustainable to ensure the landscape, the Irish culture and traditions are protected for future generations and visitors alike to enjoy and experience
“These Ecotourism approved experiences are at the forefront of the industry. They are provided by businesses dedicated to educating tourists about the natural world and local culture. They are striving to be environmentally innovative and socially responsible. Their ecotourism products have a positive impact on the environment, local communities, and their clients. They will invest both time and money to maintain positive ecotourism practices. These Ecotourism approved experiences have had an on-site assessment, which verified that they have received 85-100% of the available points.” EcoTourism Ireland.
Recent Press Mentions
‘Don’t know much about Northern Ireland? Explore on a six-day tour’
Los Angeles Times, February 2016.
We were delighted to have an article on our new Driftwood 6 day ‘Northern Island’ tour written by Brian E. Clark on the LA Times website. Click here to read.
‘Five Myths About Group Tours’
USA Today, February 2016.
We are thrilled to get a fantastic write up in USA Today by Everett Potter! The article is about what to expect when you visit Ireland and debunks out of date perceptions. Rob(Vagabond Tours) quoted as a pioneer of Adventure Travel in Ireland. Titled: Five Myths about Ireland, you can read the article here.
‘Explore Athens on your own or go with a group to Northern Ireland’
Chicago Tribune, February 2016.
More on our small group tours of Northern Ireland from the Chicago Tribune. Click here to read the full article
‘Five Myths About Ireland’
USA Today, March 2015
Everett Potter, debunks the top 5 myths about Ireland. Rob Rankin (owner of Vagabond Tours), is quoted as a pioneer of Adventure Travel in Ireland. Read the full article here.
‘Adventure With Vagabond Tour of Ireland’
Travel Age West, March 2015
Eric Hiss captures the essence of our tour in his artcile in TravelAge West Magazine Read the full article here.
‘Vagabond Explores Ireland Off The Beaten Path’
Travel Pulse, March 2015
From it’s beginnings when Rob and Amy Rankin decided to take a safari journey in South Africa, through to the development of Driftwood tours. James Ruggia in Travel Age West charts the Vagabond journey. Click here to read the full article.
‘The Wild Atlantic Way’: the Longest Coastal Route in the World. Experience it with Vagabond Adventure Tours of Ireland’
Houston Style Magazine, March 2015
Stretching 1,600 along a stunning undulating coastline. Let Vagabond Tours take you on a driving adventure. Click here to read the full article.
‘Discovering Ireland with Vagabond Tours of Ireland’
Everett Potter Travel Report, March 2015
Travel writer Everett Potter thought he knew Ireland “the greatest vistas, the venerable pub that I swore pulled the best pint ever, the most comfortable country house hotel anywhere – I had a pleasant awakening last October” Read the full article here.
Vagabond: As Seen on TV
Vagabond tours was featured on RTE 1’s highly acclaimed entrepreneurial show, Higher Ground, which follows the progress of, and gives mentoring to, a series of start-up companies around Ireland. Each episode also features a case study of an established business with similarities to the featured start-up enterprise. Vagabond was used as the case study of an established tour-operator, as the film-makers mentor and follow the progress of Paul Harmon, who is setting up an electric bike touring company in Westport. Hopefully Vagabond has been able to pass on a few helpful hints to Paul to assist in getting his business off the ground.
Vagabond the Supermodel
In 2010 Vagabond was contacted by Vodafone (Ireland’s largest mobile phone network) because we had been chosen from their 100,000+ Irish business users to be featured in their new ‘business dreams’ campaign. We (Rob and a Vagatron) were then photographed standing in a river for four hours (Rob even had make-up on), plastered all over the national press, radio, and bus-shelters. We have also been filmed for online advertising and have been included in their direct mailing campaign. The message is that with Vodafone anyone’s business dream can come true, and our business dream is that our passengers go home loving Ireland as much as we do. We think you will.
More Press Mentions!
Award Winning Tours
Three Time Winner ‘Merit Award’ Failte Ireland Irish Welcome Awards
2006, Rob Rankin
2006, Dave O’Connor
2005, Mark Connolly
Winner ‘Best Customer Focused Company’ Shell LiveWIRE Young Business Awards, 2003
Venturepoint Enterprise Awards Finalist, 2003