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Old 7th February 2017, 18:42   #16
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Default re: Embarq Tours: Drive from India to Spain

Quote:
Originally Posted by varunsangal View Post

Driving to Europe is by and far the longest one can drive from India. (Cape of good hope might be the longest, but not sure there is a motorable or safe road to take you there)..

Questions:

1. Has anyone done Embarq tours in the past? Any feedback?
2. Has anyone done ANY such driving tours (commercially organized)? Any feedback?
3. Would anyone from this forum be interested in the tour? We can potentially form our own sub-group on the tour/carry the team-bhp baton.

Have sent a mail to the organizers asking for logistical details and potential cost.
1 - I think this is their first year organizing trips so I am not sure if there is any first hand customer experience.

The organizers have done their trip from India to Morocco which I guess is fabulous, so I am tempted to think that they know what they are doing.

If its about going on a road trip of this scale its not difficult to do it by yourself. I am not a big fan of organized trips even though I wouldn't mind giving my documents to someone who can help organize the legal formalities for me so that I can just drive.

My only experience on a road trip of a similar scale is the drive that we did from London to Mongolia in a humble Micra 1.0L - 10 years old and 75000 miles done.
There is a thread on it.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...-puny-car.html (GKEIC's Road Trip - 4 Average Joes, 16000 KMs, 16 Countries, 40 Days in a Puny Car!)

A rough cost of the trip was 4.50 Lakhs per person and that included absolutely everything - flight tickets ( >70K per person one way from Ulaanbaatar to Bangalore), 1.00 Lakh we gave to an agency for doing nothing 50K to another agent who managed to get the Uzbek visa but it was too late.

Quote:
Originally Posted by //M View Post
The carnet fee is very high in most countries so please factor in that cost too.

Even if you plan to drive your own car from India, you will need to procure carnet for atleast a dozen countries in order to make it to Spain/UK. Plus in some countries like China, I have heard that it is mandatory to take along a Chinese speaking guide for the entire period one travels in China.
Carnet fee is very high but its not applicable to a lot of countries. Below are the list of countries that need Carnet. Note that even India is a carnet country.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnet...ages_en_Douane.
The rough idea of how much it will cost is given in the link below.
http://www.go-overland.com/indy/articles/carnet.php.

If you are driving from India to Europe, the only country that can make the trip tough is China. Its not a carnet country, but you need a Chinese translator and a guide to drive in China and the whole arrangement is expensive. But not as expensive that you have to sell your kidney.
You can enter China via Nepal, even though Nepal is a Carnet country, as Indians we wouldn't need a Carnet I suppose (needs verification).

When I went through their blogs, I get a feeling that the route is India-China-Central Asia- Russia and then Europe, so essentially they can get it all done without a carnet. If the cost of this trip is going to be 15 Lakhs per person like some speculated here, then its a lot mark up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselFan View Post
Close to 2.5 times just for organising everything and providing a lead and trail car + airport transfers and SIM cards. Too much of an overhead I would say. I we plan ourselves we can do this tour in Rs. 15000 per person per day ex UK.
One can arrange it by themselves when it comes to self driving in UK or any of the European countries without much trouble. However I am all for a firm who can do it for me for a charge. But not for a mark up which is more than what the trip is worth.
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Old 7th February 2017, 19:29   #17
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Default re: Embarq Tours: Drive from India to Spain

While in theory this is fantastic, in practice it may be less so.

For example the overland trip to Europe from India, will involve passing through several danger areas, war zones and so on.

However much the lure of adventure may be there, personally I would want to weigh the above facts and the value of my life and peace of mind, against the said lure of adventure...
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Old 7th February 2017, 20:12   #18
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Default re: Embarq Tours: Drive from India to Spain

Interesting thread. I am having an inkling to ride down to Bangkok on my motorcycle after having successfully completed my Ladakh trip last year. This topic's discussions can be a starting point as to how to proceed especially points relating to Carnet fee etc.

Few pointers I got - http://www.holidaypost.in/tips-delhi...and-road-trip/
https://www.tripoto.com/trip/india-d...angkok-by-road

If there are more like minded Teambhpian Bikers, I am game.

Cheers...
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Old 9th February 2017, 20:26   #19
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Default Re: Embarq Tours: Drive from India to Spain

I was always intrested in such a road trip, when i was googling about 5-6 years back, there were no results.
It seems there are quite few offerings now. Apart from Embarq, there is Adventures Overland who are quoting 16 lakhs per person. Snapshot below and more details here

Quote:
HIGHLIGHTS
Distance Covered: 16,000 Km

Date: 16th April 2017 3rd June 2017

Duration: 48 Nights / 49 Days

Terrains: Mountains, Deserts, Forests, Highways, City Driving

Countries: India, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, United Kingdom

Time Zones: 8

Cost: INR 16 Lakh Per Person

TOUR INCLUSIONS
All Hotel stays on twin sharing basis
All Meals (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
Route Planning and Research.
Activities to make the experience truly memorable.
Local guidance and support from experts.
All inner line permits for restricted areas.
Limited stock of chocolates, snacks, water and soft beverages for every vehicle.
All Permits & permissions according to the norms & regulations applicable in all countries en route.
All Visas and Visa Fees
Carnet de Passage for your vehicle
Border crossing assistance
Lead vehicle in local countries wherever mandatory
All local permits, government permits, Ministry approvals, custom and immigration clearance
Adventures Overland merchandise.
Back up team with a crew vehicle equipped with GPS, oxygen cylinders, emergency food supplies and first aid kits.
Road books, maps and wireless radio sets for every vehicle.

TOUR EXCLUSIONS
Vehicle
Your own international or domestic passenger flights.
Meals and drinks not mentioned.
Fuel
Alcoholic beverages.
Insurance and documentation costs such as travel insurance
Vehicle servicing, repairs, traffic fines or parking penalties.
Any cost arising out of unforeseen circumstances like ill- health, vehicle breakdown or repairs, damage accruing from land blocks, bad weather etc.
Additional accommodation charges due to unforeseen delays in the journey.
Any Medical expenses incurred during the trip
Any charges for carrying video camera or still camera.
Any hotel, subsistence or other costs incurred prior to the official start date of an expedition and after the official end date of the expedition.
Vehicle shipment from UK to India
Return ticket from UK to India
Completed Ladakh trip last year, planning Bhutan this year. Would love to drive to Bangkok in my Scorpio 4WD.
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Old 7th March 2017, 16:16   #20
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Default Re: Embarq Tours: Drive from India to Spain

Finally heard back from Embarq on the tour quote and itinerary. The price is sky high as expected and does not include vehicle, fuel, shipping, flights. Also, they seem to be aiming for a very small group (~10 people only).
Definitely out of my league, starting with not having the right vehicle to ensure such a journey.

Text from email and attachment quoted as below.

Quote:
Greetings from Embarq !
Thank you for showing interest in our tours.
The attached file will give you all the details on the route, tour cost, what is included and excluded.


About the drive:
▪Embarq's overland road trip will take you across 12 countries over a period of 45 to 50 days. This trip is all about driving in your own car all the way from India to Spain in Europe. At the end of the trip you fly back and vehicles are shipped back to India.
▪Its about experiencing varied landscapes, crossing borders, meeting new people and enjoying different cultures and cuisines.
▪This is the one road trip every road tripper wants to do but does not know where to start and how to go about it.

Our Directors with Embarq- Sujal Patwardhan and Medha Joseph have done this trip in 2015 and it has truly been life changing for them. They know what prep work it needs.
Our research, knowledge and first-hand experience will make it easy for you to Embarq on this once in a life time journey.

Tour Dates: 15th June 2017
to 31st July 2017

In case 45 days seems difficult for you, we also have options for shorter versions of the trip. You can drive with us till Uzbekistan (30 days) or St. Petersburg - Russia (40 Days). The tour cost will vary accordingly.

Enrollments have already started. Last date for confirmation is 10th March. The group will be small and private (not more than 10 participants) of like-minded and well-traveled people.
Let me know when we can have a call or meet to discuss this further. Hope you can make it !
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Embarq- India - Spain 2017.pdf (2.06 MB, 267 views)
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Old 7th March 2017, 16:28   #21
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Default Re: Embarq Tours: Drive from India to Spain

Quote:
Originally Posted by //M View Post
I had once discussed a similar overland roadtrip with a friend. We wanted to ship our motorcycles to Iran and then ride it through the Central Asian Stans - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan & Uzbekistan plus Mongolia and return back via China & Myanmar.

However, the agencies who specialise in such Overland Expeditions quoted huge prices which were too hard to justify. I am sure Embarq will quote no less than 15 lakhs per person for this India to Spain roadtrip. This is with reference to the price I had been quoted when I was planning the Central Asian roadtrip through some other similar agencies.
Quote:
Originally Posted by varunsangal View Post
Finally heard back from Embarq on the tour quote and itinerary. The price is sky high as expected and does not include vehicle, fuel, shipping, flights. Also, they seem to be aiming for a very small group (~10 people only).
Definitely out of my league, starting with not having the right vehicle to ensure such a journey.

Text from email and attachment quoted as below.
So I was pretty much accurate with the 15-lakh per-head figure. However, there is more to it. Return flight fares, fuel costs, repair costs, vehicle shipping costs, medical expenses, miscellaneous costs arising due to unforeseen situations and insurance costs will definitely push the cost to a 20-lakh round figure. And that is assuming one owns an apt vehicle for the journey (preferably an AWD or a 4x4 SUV).

Phew !

While this is definitely aimed to promote overlanding trips and I am sure a lot of cost is involved in organising a roadtrip of such scale, but still the 15-lakh figure excluding a lot of essential things sounds way too high to me.
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Old 7th March 2017, 17:28   #22
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Default Re: Embarq Tours: Drive from India to Spain

Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsyFreak View Post
...there is Adventures Overland who are quoting 16 lakhs per person...
Looks like Embarq has done its SWOT analysis and is trying to stay competitive, comparing with the quote from Adventures Overland.

Quote:
Originally Posted by //M View Post
So I was pretty much accurate with the 15-lakh per-head figure... but still the 15-lakh figure excluding a lot of essential things sounds way too high to me...
You were bang on with the estimate. However Embarq has excluded a lot of essential items. Also, given the lack of sponsorship of this event, the cost per individual will likely be >25 lakhs, not counting the cost of procuring and adequately modifying an AWD vehicle.
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Old 14th March 2017, 20:20   #23
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Default Re: Embarq Tours: Drive from India to Spain

Quote:
Originally Posted by varunsangal View Post
Looks like Embarq has done its SWOT analysis and is trying to stay competitive, comparing with the quote from Adventures Overland.
I too got the response from Embarq, with the same pdf attachment. Obviously all these companies arrange these trips with a margin.
These are definitely reaping the benefits of being the the early players.
Well, the good sign is that there are quite a few companies popping up now when compared to few years back.
Just saw that Mahindra themselves are offering a drive to Bangkok through their Mahindra Adventure from this year at 3.5 lakhs one way.
Good for us petrol heads to see sinking boundaries and more options coming up.
I would like to see how much would it really cost if we planned this on our own.
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