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Testimonials

WHAT OUR TRAVELLERS SAY

Feedback from our travellers after the journey is over, regardless of good or bad, is extremely important to us. Thank you to everyone who took the time to leave us your review. Knowing we’ve delivered what you were hoping for and sometimes more, is what keeps us fired up.

 

Jenne LoveAustralia

An amazing trip with contrasting destinations

An amazing trip with contrasting destinations - Moscow & Kamchatka. Guides were great, knowledgeable and flexible (Anna in Moscow in particular - she was so helpful and was able to adapt her tour to suit my interests). Accommodation very good in both destinations. The staff at the Krechet Hotel in Paratunka (Kamchatka) were all lovely - definitely the best, freshest and tastiest meals in the area as well. Had friends staying at other nearby hotels who came to visit for dinner as the food was so nice. 

Itinerary was great, guides were great, recommendations for activities were great, even managed to include some additional activities of my own which were easily incorporated.

Thanks Anna!

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Katja RiedelNew zealand

It was a wonderful adventure, the only thing that could have been better? The wind direction!

I can’t praise the organisation of 56th Parallel enough: Everything went smoothly, the booked accommodation was nice, there was enough flexibility to change plans and I felt that my wishes were taken seriously and were incorporated. They were easy to deal with and listened to my wishes. It was a wonderful adventure, the only thing that could have been better? The wind direction!

My 250km Ice skating adventure on lake baikal Feb/March 2016...

Five years ago I saw for the first time pictures of the frozen Lake Baikal on the internet. Gifted Russian photographer Daniel Kordan had just finished an ice skating trip around Olkhon Island with friends and came back with amazing photos of ice covered cliffs, lattice like patterns of white cracks in black ice, ice caves glittering like Aladin’s cave and icicles longer than a human being.

Fast forward five years later and I have just returned from my trip to Lake Baikal. My expectations were high after constantly looking at other people’s pictures of Lake Baikal, but they were exceeded. The ice was more wonderful than ever imagined and the ice skating was fantastic. I had enlisted 56th Parallel to help me with the logistics of my trip and they were great. Communication via email before the trip was good and together we worked out an itinerary for custom made trip.

Even when four days before the trip I had to put everything on hold because of family problems they were very understanding and prepared to support me whatever I decided. Luckily in the end I could travel as planned.

Anna from 56th Parallel with whom I corresponded promised me that my guide would be a real “travel buddy”. That was very important to me because I would be alone with the guide for 11 days. Maksim, 28 years old from Irkutsk, was the best guide I could have wished for. Experienced, yet relaxed, fit, with very good English, a good ice skater and with lots of local knowledge was also an interesting person to talk to. He was patient and friendly and looked very well after me. He was also very understanding of my photography, making sure I was at the best places during sunrise and sunset possible. He was a great guide and companion.

The organisation of gear, food, accommodation and transport was perfectly organised. In the evening we would skate into a village and move into cosy and warm rooms, often with the chance to take a shower before a filling dinner was served. During two nights we decided to camp on the edge of the lake, enjoying the solitude and scenery. In these cases it was no problem to cancel the accommodation, a flexibility I really appreciated.

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David FrankAustralia

"Thank you for a wonderful vacation experience..."

My wife and I just returned from a week long custom trip to Kamchatka with Illana as our guide.  Her knowledge, enthusiasm  and assistance exceeded our expectations.  Due to poor weather conditions, she was able to reschedule our activities to different days so that we did not miss any planned items.

She was most helpful in taking us to local stores and markets and assisting us in talking to the various merchants which added a personal to our trip. Her personal insights greatly helped us understand Kamchatka and its people.

We had an eye-opening experience, and hope others enjoy this unique part of the world!

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Anil and Gauri BorkarIndia

"We shall visit Kamchatka again!"  

Our Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky tour was very nice. But, unfortunately, out of our total stay, 8 days were heavy raining.  This, however,  did not stop us from exploring Kamchatka. 

Yes, and our guide, Miss Dariya was a wonderful lady. She was simply superb. Very soft spoken,  loving and knowledgeable.  Of all the things, she could speak very fluent English. Not only as a tour guide, she also helped us quite a lot for shopping, communicating with other people in the shops & restaurants.

Apart from this,  we really enjoyed the itinerary planned by 56th Parallel. The hotels and transport were also good. We will not  forget the taste of grilled Seabass in Kamchatka.

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Alexandra IkeguchiUSA

"We had a wonderful time on our Trekking volcanoes of Kamchatka tour!"

We were very lucky to have excellent weather and were able to fully enjoy all the beautiful and unique views as well as the wildlife. The guides were excellent and very fun, and the hotels even were not bad at all. I only wish my older son could have come too. Thank you so much for helping to organize this amazing experience.

 

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Marek PotomaCzech Republic

"The trip in Baikal was amazing and I still digest it."

Thank you for everything, it's been a trip of my life! All worked very well and I felt treated nicely and really enjoyed the company of your guides and drivers - both were lovely company and gave me lots of valuable insights. Also the services in the hotels chosen were perfect. The snowmobile experience was amazing, the drive through the pre-dawn time in minus 22 was fascinating!

By Lake Baikal, by its immensity and liveliness; its subtletness and tranquility. You get it all - monumental vistas with shorelines, islands and rocks, and tiny little details sculpted in the ice under your feet. Loud cracks of the ice plates and absolute silence, occasionally broken by blasts of the freezy wind forcing tears in to your eyes.

I don't recognize days and nights any more, waking up too early and getting to bed too late. I can't help myself - Baikal is like femme fatale; no matter how close you are, you never quite get her.

I believe Baikal is just great destination for tourists as much as I hate to say it (selfishly, I would keep them away :-)).

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Keith GayhartUSA

"I want to send a big thanks to Anna and Michael at 56th Parallel, they’re saints."

I owe thanks to many people for the great privilege of participating in this incomparable event. My enablers included Anna and Michael from 56th Parallel. My months of pestering questions were inevitably met with a reassuring “Don’t worry!” from Anna. That is sagacious advice for anyone visiting Siberia. If you ever have a yen to travel to that uniquely wonderful part of the globe, 56th Parallel should be your first call.

Lake Baikal is colossal. Standing in its midst, you are witness to an unvariegated plain of white. Staring down into this hazy prism you might glimpse fantastic objects fossilized in the frozen mass, or perceive liquid water far, far below. It was then that you could fully appreciate your position, gliding along on a thin veneer of glass above nearly a mile of abyss. BIM’s unique admixture of brutal conditions and otherworldly beauty is what gives the event its mesmerizing appeal.

Baikal Ice Marathon

The organizers of this event, rendered astonishing service, managing our meal and hotel accommodations, arranging for a small armada of buses, trucks, snowmobiles and hovercraft, preparing the course (even if their best efforts were undone by the Great Baikal), hosting the banquet and promoting good cheer.

Baikal Ice Marathon 2016 Keith

I also owe deep gratitude to the other six runners who took part in the BIM training program; we instantly became BFFs, did everything together and became mutual agents of encouragement and support.

LAke Baikal Ice Marathon review

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