What is the difference between a charter bus and a tour bus? It’s a commonly asked question and a reasonable one: Both types of buses serve different groups in many ways.
Charter buses and tour buses also look similar from the outside. However, depending on your needs, knowing the differences in use, accommodations, features and storage is key to choosing the right bus. Below is a brief overview of these essential factors that will allow you to compare and contrast charter buses and tour buses to decide which works best for you.
Charter buses are a type of large coach that organizations or coordinators use to transport groups to a predetermined destination. Whether traveling short or long distances, charter buses are the most popular option to travel comfortably as a group. To help you decide if a charter bus is right for you, take a look at its typical use, accommodations, features and storage options below.
Large groups require efficient service that is scalable depending on the event, from weddings to school field trips, and a charter bus is the perfect choice. If you are an event planner, school administrator or leader of a group, you may wish to select a charter bus for:
- church or military transport
- family reunions or other traditional occasions
- professional conferences
- school field trips
- senior citizen outings
- sports competitions
- winery tours
Charter buses are scalable, which means that the number of seats can range from 36 to 60. However, the typical charter bus seats about 56 people. A minibus can seat fewer than 35 people. Smaller sizes are especially great for intimate events that require a shuttle experience, such as extended family going on a wine tour.
Charter buses are equipped with premium features that are designed to maximize the passenger experience. Such features include WiFi, reclining seats, power outlets, DVD players/TVs, radios, luggage storage and more.
Charter buses have some of the best storage options. Due to the wide range of passengers, a charter bus usually comes with a long row of luggage bays just underneath the main cabin.
When you think of the term “tour bus,” what comes to mind?
You may think of an escorted holiday tour or bus service that takes you sightseeing along designated routes to visit popular monuments or other tourist attractions. Tour buses are also widely used in the entertainment industry for artists, musicians, troupes, comedians and other groups traveling long-distance.
To help you decide if a tour bus is right for you, review its standard use, accommodations, features and storage options below.
Tour buses have many synonyms based on their use, such as entertainer buses, nightliners or sleeper buses. While mostly used in the entertainment industry, politicians and their support staff also take advantage of tour buses for long campaigns. Tour buses often travel hundreds of miles in a stretch to reach a destination.
You may be surprised to learn that a tour bus is usually a similar size as a charter bus. The differences lie in the details when it comes to construction and accommodation restrictions. Technically, standard tour buses contain fewer seats, enough for 35 to 40 passengers. The seating arrangements are also perpendicular vs. facing toward the driver as in a charter bus.
While charter buses contain reclining seats, an entertainer bus may contain eight to 12 bunk beds on average. However, entertainer buses may hold up to 18 bunk beds. A master suite is located toward the back in standard designs. A full bathroom, lounge area, kitchen, GPS, WIFI and TVs are also included in standard tour buses.
These features make tour buses perfect for entertainment groups and anyone on tour.
Entertainer buses transport crews for months or years at a time. That’s a long stretch requiring versatile storage options, from convenient storage in the lounge and bed areas to the luggage bays. Performers may also need an extra trailer for stage equipment and lighting.
The difference between a charter bus and a tour bus isn’t so apparent from the outside, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
Atlantic Coast Charters has helped make smooth travel arrangements for group trips since 2010. For more information, contact us by filling out this form.