Testimonials – Travellers Reviews

A huge thank you to the travellers who shared a review of their experience.*To see images travellers shared, click read more at the end of each testimonial.

Gergely NemethHungary

This was a fantastic trip!

I enjoyed every minute. Kamchatka is so beautiful, the tours are organized perfectly, the guides were very well prepared. We stayed in Antarius Gesthouse, that was also good. The room was clean, the food was delicious in the restaurant.
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Katherine AskinaziUSA

Thank you for setting things up for me. 

I have returned from my travels and am ready to share my experiences with you. The drivers were excellent - everyone showed up on time and were very helpful. The guide, Anna, was very knowledgeable in describing the sights in Irkutsk, Tasty and Baikal. The Central Hotel in Irkutsk was top notch. Baikal Cedar surpassed my expectations.  The room was lined with cedar planks and had a spectacular view of the lake.  The bathroom was quite modern.  The hostess, Olga, was very friendly and helpful.  

I saw the Lake Baikal museum, the nerpas in the aquarium and rode the chairlift.  I really loved the Circumbaikal railway ride.  I was surprised that three meals were included (not just lunch).  I had a window seat in the best car.

The only disappointment was that the hike did not go as planned.  I think it was Anna's first time on the trail and I'm not confident we took the correct route.  It took us so long to get to the lunch spot, I wasn't sure we could make it to the end (Bolshiye Koti) before darkness set in.  Anna was unable to gauge how long it would take to hike to the end. Some other hikers, passing in the other direction, told us it would take another three hours.  We decided to stay where we were and to call for the boat to pick us up from there. In retrospect, I would have preferred someone who already knew the trail.

All in all, I'm glad I finally saw the place that had been on my mind for many years.  I wouldn't have been confident choosing lodging, etc. on my own.  It's hard to trust online reviews these days. My visit with my cousins was not without adventure.  A passenger took ill on the flight from Irkutsk to Moscow, so we had to land in Perm.  The delay caused me to miss my connecting flight to Rostov.  I caught the next flight, but my luggage arrived a few flights later.  In Rostov, my cousin did get sick and was hospitalized for 5 days.  It gave me an opportunity to see the medical system up close. Quite an eye-opener, for many reasons.  Since I work in a hospital, it was interesting to compare the two systems.

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Mira and Ehud ShavalbeIsrael

Everything was organized, the guide was perfect!

Kamchatka is the unique place but not to everyone, just for a tourist that like nature and can handle the conditions. I will be happy to recommend on you !!!!!
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Mary and Peter HewettAustralia

The Trans Siberian experience was amazing. Where do I start?

We arrived home early last week after an incredible journey across half the world. I certainly want to go back and explore more of both western and eastern Russia! Moscow was a vibrant, incredibly cosmopolitan European city. Clear blue skies and our jet lag provided us with the opportunity to wander around St Basil’s and Red Square at 6am which is the perfect time to see and photograph tourist sites. Boarded the train on Monday evening and were extremely grateful for your suggestion of 2 cabins and the shared bathroom. Visits to various cities across Western Russia - Kazan was a favourite.

Then across Siberia which blew away, all my preconceived ideas. Silver birch trees, rivers and villages full of wooden houses all along the way. Irkutsk was a revelation -I could definitely spend a long time exploring the area.
Peter even managed a haircut there. The best he has had.

Lake Baikal again needs to be revisited and explored properly!

Ulan Bataar was a surprise as was the Terelj National Park. Another future holiday destination which I need to visit before it becomes part of the regular tourist trail.

Finally into China and a day in Erlian waiting around. Unfortunately, the guide there didn’t really seem to know much about the place which is surprising given that there isn’t really that much to see. Onto Beijing which we had all visited a couple of times already so decided that once we were off the train we would leave the tour group as we had already visited all the sites, they were viewing on previous trips.

The Russian train was very comfortable and beautifully appointed. Our cabin attendants were delightful as was our barman and waiter Yuri who was very keen for us to partake of his vodka (which we did of course). We were fortunate enough to be placed in an area of the bar for our meals which contained only 4 tables so felt rather special.

We all think we may have not actually realised what we were getting into which was probably our own fault. There were times we felt like we were on a “cruise on a train” as most tourist activities seemed to centre around three meals a day and for many of the passengers, the opening time of the bar was a high point in their day. Unfortunately, many of the offenders were the Australians. Not a great impression!

A few of our fellow passengers who had booked through agencies in both Israel and the US had been advised to finish the trip in Ulan Bataar, spend a few days in that region and then fly to Beijing. I would probably suggest that if someone asked me as Ulan Bataar and the surrounding area is so interesting. I could have spent a whole day at the museum.

I suppose I felt that we rushed from place to place and seemed to spend the longest amount of time eating 4-course lunches in restaurants in each of the places we visited. I felt that valuable sightseeing time was wasted.
Perhaps an alternative activity could be suggested for those who don’t need a huge lunch.

Anyway, it was an amazing thing to do and the staff were fantastic! I must especially make mention of Elvira who did an incredible job keeping people informed and not losing one person. I don’t envy her job at all.

It has certainly shown me how big Russia really is and given me a taste of some wonderful places to go back to and explore as an independent traveller.

Thank you for all your assistance!

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Ruth VosselerAustralia

I would definitely recommend this company to other travellers.

I thoroughly enjoyed Kamchatka and found the tour excellent!  We didn’t get to the geysers due to the weather but that was ok, as everything else made up for it and more. The staff were all dedicated to their jobs and handled everything very professionally. A  big thank you to our superb translator Tatiana (Tanya) who was so helpful, and such a lovely girl and to Vitaliy he did a great job of getting a pilot to take us off the mountain near Esso when we were delayed an extra night due to low cloud. Thank you for the extra step to get 7 Americans back to Petropavlovsk quickly in alternative transport so the could catch their flight to the Anchorage that evening.
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Wendy LongshawAustralia

The trip was great!

Oksana was the best guide/ interpreter and all the other staff were great! Meals were terrific!

Unfortunately, the weather was unkind to us though and our walking to Mutnovsky and Gorley volcanoes had to be abandoned. We were nearly blown away in our tents! However, we returned to PKC a day early and went to a thermal pool and the Volcano museum. The weather was also too bad for the Avacha bay trip - something I was going to do on our last day as didn't leave till 9 pm. Guess the only complaint would be the very poor toilet facilities at the Tolbachik camp. This was completely out of your's hands I know. With 50-100 people there a night to the shallow dug facilities was shocking.

 

 

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Fiorella Calvinisti and Rolando MasseliGuatemala

The tour in Russia has been excellent!

From the weather to the places, everything was perfect! The service has been great from the tour guides to the doorbells. The accommodation fantastic. Please complement everyone for us. We are very very pleased.

It is hard to find a single most enjoyed thing in our tour, it was extremely good. We enjoyed it all. The selected places, the route, the food even the climate was perfect. There is one thing that deserves a special word and it is the tour guides. They were amazingly friendly and well prepared. Thank you very much 56th Parallel for such a wonderful time.

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