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.

Jan McDowallAustralia

Everything about our Russian experience was wonderful.

We had a wonderful trip. The cruise and all the staff, and the food could not be faulted. The entertainment on board was excellent. The hotels we stayed at were in a great location. Close to main attractions, very upmarket. Fellow passengers were mostly Australian. The service we received from your office was great and we have already recommended you to our friends. And of course if we ever go back to see more we would contact you. Regards, Jan
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Ian HeathAustralia

Our St Petersburg visit was certainly a highlight of our trip.

We got back from Europe last week and are catching up with various emails etc. Our St Petersburg visit was certainly a highlight of our trip.  We were very pleased and impressed with all aspects of our tour there. Our guide – Marina – was excellent. She had both encyclopaedic knowledge of all the places and things we were shown and lots of stories and anecdotes as well. She was punctual, excellent at navigating through the various entrance procedures (which were quite often very crowded), and very helpful with advice and assistance for the private parts of our trip as well.

(We had bookings to a concert at the Mariinsky Concert Hall which she took us to make sure we knew where it was and to pick up the tickets.  We also had internet tickets for the Hermitage for our free day which again she showed us where we would have to go to use them). She made a number of recommendations for meals – most of which we followed through with and they were all excellent. Our drivers were also excellent – punctual and skilled.

Our accommodation was also very good.  You may recall that I was uncertain about how 3-star/4-star ratings in Russia would compare with other European hotels we had experienced.  The Renaissance in St Petersburg was certainly well rated at 4-stars – it met our needs very well, especially as we were staying for 7 days which is quite a long time for us in a hotel (we would normally book an apartment for that sort of time).

Our itinerary worked out well I think. We certainly felt like we had seen all the main highlights of St Petersburg. We chose not to book any of the suggested night entertainments because we thought we might be too tired at the end of a day sightseeing – this we think was a wise decision. I do not think we could have turned around after the Peterhof trip or the Tsarskoe Selo trip and gone out in the evening (beyond the evening meals).  (We found Marina was willing to push us to see as much as possible and we had to slow her down a little to include breaks for coffee or food which she was willing to forgo if we had the stamina).  Of all the activities and places we visited, I thought the canal tour was the weakest.  It did not add significantly I thought to what we were exposed to through our land-based activities with Marina. Nonetheless, the canal tours were clearly a major industry in St Petersburg but perhaps we were spoiled with our private guide and others got more out of the canal tour.

The only hiccup in our visit was on our free day (Tuesday).  We wanted to visit the Kunstkamera museum.  Lonely Planet said the Museum was open Tuesday to Sundays and Marina (looking after us again) checked the Russian website to confirm this information. Unfortunately when we got to the museum on Tuesday morning the sign on the door said it was closed on Mondays and the last Tuesday of the month!

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Fiona Kemp & Virginia HilyardAustralia

We have had a wonderful time and are so grateful for the assistance from you guys with planning our trip.

Everything was fabulous and went relatively smoothly. It was comforting to see signs with ours names or your company when we arrived at our destinations to transport us to our accomodation. The ger camp was pretty special and we so enjoyed our guide Chuck who treated us more like family than just another couple of tourists. Lake Baikal was also a special place to go to and we found the accomodation there very quirky and entertaining. Train seats also good. Once again thank you for everything!

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Randal BarryAustralia

Would do it again in a flash and highly recommend it to others!

Was better than my expectations which were high. Thanks for a great trip. All of my group said how great you had been helping them and felt the same as I did at end of the trip. We all would be tempted to go back again. For Pete I think he would camp at Kuril Lake. For me I would like to go (obviously at short notice) when an active volcano erupting to see it in all its red glory. A trip to Kuril Lake would say is a must do! Need to say yes it a lot of money but once in a lifetime experience.

Camping was good - toilets for a trip to Tolbachik bad but what you would expect. Cook and food were very good. Guides were very good. Vehicle and driver were very good. So in terms of choosing that particular company no hesitation in recommending them again. Keeping the group small was a bonus and would not have enjoyed anywhere near as much in a large group. We all got on fabulously and have remained in touch.

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Mike SmithAustralia

56th Parallel ah shucks!

Thanks guys! We had an absolute blast! Feel free to share the YouTube link of this video on your socials or emails if you want to help promote your future tours.
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Alyssa CarterAustralia

In short we absolutely loved it!

Kamchatka is incredible, we had experiences where you do not get anywhere else in the world! The staff were lovely and Anton's photography skills came in very handy for us. The camping was great, the hotels were good. Anichka's cooking was awesome! Driving in the kamaz was awesome! The two different experiences with the bears was epic! It was a really special experience and we feel so lucky to have gone somewhere so remote.

The only negative comments would be that a lot of single-use plastics were used in the kitchen. We ate from plastic plates a lot of small plastic drink bottles etc which could quite easily be reduced. Overall it was our favourite destination of the last 6 months.

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Raffi MaghdessianSwitzerland

Kamchatka is a beautiful region!

Lake Kurile is a unique place in the world for brown bear watching. The 14-day trip is globally balanced between wildlife observations and landscape images.

However, I find that we spend a lot of time transferring. I understand that the weather conditions in the region are difficult and that the helicopter is sometimes a trap. Despite these few comments, I recommend this trip without problems, the staff is always very available, the guide does his job and the organization of 56th is very professional.

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