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Old 7th February 2017, 09:30   #1
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Default Embarq Tours: Drive from India to Spain

Disclaimer: I do not have any commercial relationship with Embarq or its promoters.

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). While some people on this forum have done it in the past, I was surprised to find a potential tour being organized for regular folks (read not connected to motor sports/media)

Came across the post initially on Facebook. Then visited their tour website.

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.
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Old 7th February 2017, 10:03   #2
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Default re: Embarq Tours: Drive from India to Spain

The idea is a fascinating one, one that has popped into my head quite often. Do share details on it all, including costs, as and when you get to know. It's sure to pique the interest of many on here.
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Old 7th February 2017, 10:12   #3
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Default re: Embarq Tours: Drive from India to Spain

The term self-drive in the title made me click on this thread.

Where are you going to find a self-drive car?
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Old 7th February 2017, 10:18   #4
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What about return journey? Come back the same way driving or fly back with the car shipped via AIR/SEA mode?
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Old 7th February 2017, 10:29   #5
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Default re: Embarq Tours: Drive from India to Spain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Where are you going to find a self-drive car?
Had copied the title verbatim from Facebook. The title seems a bit mis-leading now that you have pointed it out. I think they mean for the person to drive himself/herself rather than being driven by a driver. Most roads won't comply with the logic the Google self-drive vehicles use. (Think Gata loops with the Google car)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bhandary View Post
What about return journey? Come back the same way driving or fly back with the car shipped via AIR/SEA mode?
Still awaiting logistical details from the organizers. All other tours on their website quote to/fro air travel to tour starting point. Also, the photos from other tours seem to have rental cars not the participants personal vehicles.

Last edited by varunsangal : 7th February 2017 at 10:34. Reason: Post script thought.
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Old 7th February 2017, 10:51   #6
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Default re: Embarq Tours: Drive from India to Spain

Wow, seems to be interesting.
Have they given any details on the route, visas etc?
What about the vehicles? Do they switch vehicles in every country, as many of the countries on the way including Spain drive on the right side of the road.

Please update once you get a response! A drive such as this would definitely be a lifetime achievement!
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Old 7th February 2017, 11:15   #7
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Default re: Embarq Tours: Drive from India to Spain

Quote:
Originally Posted by hybridpetrol View Post
Wow, seems to be interesting.
Have they given any details on the route, visas etc?
What about the vehicles? Do they switch vehicles in every country, as many of the countries on the way including Spain drive on the right side of the road...
Still awaiting details from the organizers. The webpage does say "20,000 kms - 12 countries - 45 days", so they must have visas/routes thought out.

Other people on the forum have done similar drives. E.g. London to Jammu: With a Range Rover (London to Jammu: With a Range Rover), so should be possible in one vehicle only.
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Old 7th February 2017, 11:21   #8
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Default re: Embarq Tours: Drive from India to Spain

These guys seem expensive. I looked at their pricing for Scotland 6 day tour ex-Edinburgh all inclusive was Rs. 2,20,000 per person on twin sharing. This translates to Rs. 35000 per person per day + airfare to UK. Typical costs -

1. Stay Rs. 10,000 to 12,000 per day per room so per person cost will be roughly Rs. 6000 per day.
2. Food - Rs. 4000 per person per day max.
3. Car rental - Rs. 4000 per day for normal cars or Rs. 10000 per day for luxury cars. translates to Rs. 5000 per person per day including fuel.

grand total - Rs. 15000 per person per day

Embarq charges Rs. 35000 per day. 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.

Last edited by Aditya : 8th February 2017 at 09:27. Reason: Typos
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Old 7th February 2017, 11:38   #9
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Default re: Embarq Tours: Drive from India to Spain

Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselFan View Post
...Embarq charges Rs. 350000 per day. Close to 2.5 times just for organising everything and providing a lead and trail car + airport transfers and SIM cards...
Would agree, the Scotland tour prices gave me a scare as well. Which is why I asked them for an indicative cost.

Re arranging our own tour, it would ideally work out cheaper we can work on a 'not for profit basis'. Also, it would be interesting to have sponsorships etc, would really cut down costs. What is needed is a core group able to work out details and make arrangements.
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Old 7th February 2017, 11:46   #10
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Default re: Embarq Tours: Drive from India to Spain

My wife and i have been contemplating a drive such as this. Do share the details, when available. One does not need to switch cars at all. Recently, a couple from Mumbai did London and back through some 51 countries.
Would also be game for Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, thru Burma.
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Old 7th February 2017, 11:46   #11
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Default re: Embarq Tours: Drive from India to Spain

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.
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Old 7th February 2017, 12:27   #12
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Default re: Embarq Tours: Drive from India to Spain

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Originally Posted by earthian View Post
M...Do share the details, when available. One does not need to switch cars at all... Would also be game for Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, thru Burma.
Will share as soon as I hear back from them. Re Thailand etc, I've heard it is not too difficult to arrange. Definitely a candidate for team-bhp only initiative.

Quote:
Originally Posted by //M View Post
...I am sure Embarq will quote no less than 15 lakhs per person...
15 Lakhs per person is quite huge, would likely be out of bounds for many of us, including myself. However, it would be interesting to see if we can arrange a similar trip for ourselves and the costing for same. Am sure there is a healthy profit margin in there for the organizers, but 250% is too much.
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Old 7th February 2017, 15:46   #13
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Default re: Embarq Tours: Drive from India to Spain

Quote:
Originally Posted by varunsangal View Post
15 Lakhs per person is quite huge, would likely be out of bounds for many of us, including myself. However, it would be interesting to see if we can arrange a similar trip for ourselves and the costing for same. Am sure there is a healthy profit margin in there for the organizers, but 250% is too much.
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. His services will come at a price so there are many such allied costs which when calculated together will amount up in 7-figures. Plus the profit margin for organisers. If you consider carnet fees, then I doubt if the organisers would make 250% profit.

The cheapest way is to backpack, take minimum flights and use public transport. Driving is probably the most expensive way of travelling to Europe from India.

But I am not discouraging the initiative. Infact I would love to join in such an expedition but I am also concerned about the logistics and I know that a lot of cost is involved in executing a journey of such scale. Please share the costs and tentative itinerary/route once you get these details from Embarq.
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Old 7th February 2017, 16:10   #14
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Default re: Embarq Tours: Drive from India to Spain

Quote:
Originally Posted by //M View Post
The cheapest way is to backpack, take minimum flights and use public transport. Driving is probably the most expensive way of travelling to Europe from India.

But I am not discouraging the initiative. Infact I would love to join in such an expedition but I am also concerned about the logistics and I know that a lot of cost is involved in executing a journey of such scale. Please share the costs and tentative itinerary/route once you get these details from Embarq.
I agree that if one is looking for a cheapest way to travel around - then backpack, take flights to specific cities, and be back. Saves a lot of time too.
But IMHO, the exciting part is completely taken out. Crossing borders on road, that too when we are on the wheel would give a feeling of achievement that the flight journey across continents cannot give.
I felt more happier and excited and there was a sense of achievement, when I crossed the TN, KA, GA borders on my own Alto 800 than when I took flights to Germany or Hong Kong, and visited places through public transport and by foot.
Of course, views are subjective.
Moreover, getting a vacation for 45 days is something one has to prepare for a long time.
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Old 7th February 2017, 16:28   #15
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Default re: Embarq Tours: Drive from India to Spain

June and July are peak season for Spain which means that accommodation will be expensive. All the charming little hostels or hosterias which charge less than 50 euros in off-peak will suddenly jump to around 100 or more.
The idea does have merit but IMO, it's a bridge too far. A journey to a closer destination would have my vote too. Me and the wifey would love to join. (if we can figure out where to ditch the kids)
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