Testimonials – Travellers Reviews

A huge Thank You to the travellers who took the time to leave us a review. Knowing we’ve delivered what you were hoping for and sometimes more, is what keeps us fired up.


Sandra Thomas and Pat FarrantUK

A trip of a lifetime, many thanks!

Hi Anna, just to say "thank you" for organizing such a fantastic trip in Lake Baikal! Both Pat and I thoroughly enjoyed it and met some lovely people, the one day of -40C was a bit extreme. All went off well, both of the tour guides in Moscow and Irkutsk were really good and drivers met us all promptly, so really well organized! Thank you so much for putting up with all our enquires. Anyway a trip of a lifetime, many thanks! 

Lake Baikal winter tour

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Chris HobbsAustralia

Thank you for being the best tour guide that I have ever had

Hi Dasha. I would like to thank you for being the best tour guide that I have ever had as well as being the nicest. You really made my holiday the trip of a lifetime and one I will never forget. Although it was quite physically demanding at times I suffered no ill effects at all and it did me the world of good. I would love to climb mt Avachinsky, but I would need perfect conditions and be based nearer than Paratunka so as I had more time. Anyway I will look into it as I would love to!
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Peter MeggyesyAustralia

There is still a lot of misinformation about Russia, which is so unjustified.

Dear Anna, Michael and 56th Parallel team,
The Baikal itinerary was spot on and the guide from Irkutsk, Dasha, was the best. Her English was superb and she had a genuine passion for Baikal which made the trip really special. The Kamchatka trip ground crew were excellent and well organised. The facilities were excellent, great food and the tour guide Vitaly was strong, organised and extremely efficient.
Russia is a beautiful country, lots to see. Your suggestion to see Kazan was excellent as it was really beautiful. If there was any downside it was that I somehow thought that I would see lots of bears on the Kamchatka trip. Had I have known I would have probably booked a few days at Kurile Lake as well to take advantage of seeing the bears.
I tried the day trip option during the trip but the weather was not kind. That is not meant as a criticism but rather feedback that when others book for Kamchatka it is worth pointing out that if they also want to see bears they need to organise the side trip.
I am only just starting to sort through my photos but will send you an assortment of the "best of" in a couple of weeks when I have finished.
Once again, thanks to you and Michael and once again all the best for the future. As I said it is a difficult industry that you guys are in and, interestingly, Russia still would be a "hard sell" for you guys. I am a doctor down here and I was amazed at the level of ignorance among my patients about travelling in Russia. Before I went on holidays they would ask where I was going and when I replied "Russia" most were worried for my safety. There is still a lot of misinformation about the place which is so unjustified.
Warmest regards,
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James BrownUSA

Visiting Kamchatka was an amazing experience that I enjoyed immensely

Let me start by saying I had a really great time in Kamchatka. If by "specialist" you mean Anna(my tour advisor), she was really wonderful. The information she provided prior to the trip was comprehensive, informative and crucial to the enjoyment of the trip. The itinerary was great and well planned, and designed to make the most of the time and variable weather conditions. I don't know how the itinerary could have been planned differently, well done. The facilities were fine and all the equipment was in good condition.
I loved our guide, Ygor; our chef, Natasha; and our driver, Victor. I was extremely disappointed not to be able to helicopter north to see bears, due to bad weather; but this did enable me to tip Ygor, Natasha and Victor well, so that was a "silver lining". Kamchatka is hypnotically beautiful and worth visiting (more than once). I think the importance of warm clothing and insect repellent (insect repellent especially) should be emphasized a little more.
I have recommended 56th Parallel to people here in the US. Visiting Kamchatka was an amazing experience that I enjoyed immensely. I would like to see more "off the grid" itineraries for trekkers. I had an amazing time.
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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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