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.

John and Pom DorlingAustralia

We truly believe our private tour was the best way for us to see the sights and make the most of our time!

Your guides were the highlight of our week in Russia. They were both knowledgeable, warm and friendly. They accommodated minor changes to our itinerary to fit in with Russian bureaucracy seamlessly, recommended great places to eat lunch and guided us through Russian specialities. We appreciated all the time saved by your guides as they skipped the queue at all major sites and museums.  They knew where to lead us to for the best photos.  It was luxuriously indulgent to be met by your professional drivers and each and every turn.

We found Moscow to be a very interesting city filled its contrasts. It is a safe, fast paced and modern city where everything is on a big scale.  From the 10-12 laned boulevards, to the monuments and churches to the Stalin era architecture - it’s all aimed at showing power and strength. St Petersburg is different to that.  It’s not so concerned with showing power and strength but rather with wealth and opulence of a bygone era.

All in all, we truly believe our private tour was the best way for us to see the sights and make the most of our time!

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Cecilia HallstromSweden

I am very happy to let you know that I am very satisfied with my trip to Kamchatka!

I only wish to come back some day, for some real heliskiing. I was happy with the hotel even if it wasn't the one you sent information about. They had a nice hot spring. I was very, very happy with my guide, Katja. We became good friends. It was a fun mix of things and a nice introduction to a fascinating part of the world. Thank you!
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Julija GlizevskajaLithuania

It was a pretty great adventure and well organised!

I enjoyed a lot! Great food (especially picnics), good accommodation. Days were planned very well, we had enough time to enjoy and made plenty of photos or just have fun. I really liked, that we were not rushed. Our guide was enthusiastic, full of energy and well acknowledged. The group was very friendly, probably that our age range was pretty small. It was also very nice to receive a small present on international women’s day.

Although it was sad to see that majority of the group didn’t speak English. It’s strange that young Russian could not understand English. Except for guide and Australian girl, there was only one more who spoke some English and could communicate with us.
Then I was a bit disappointed that it was provided too much alcohol. But even on an ice raft, when in a program was mentioned that it would be mulled wine, there was only champagne. I hope this could be taken into consideration.

And in conclusion, I would like to say thank you for a great time. I would definitely recommend it!
PS. I am also at some point would love to visit Kamchatka and Yakutia.

Regards
Julia

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Oskari EskolaFinland

We really did have an amazing time at Baikal!

We had spectacular luck with the weather, being basically sunny with no wind or downwind for the days with skating, and when skiing in Mamai there was a 50cm dump of snow during the night that provided great powder runs. But we were even more impressed with the level of planning you had put into making the trip a success, from all the transports to every meal it was perfect.Having some diet issues I was very happy to see that all the food was thought through, but that it also had a local touch, since that always makes it more interesting.

I guess the only improvement would have been if our skiing guide had known a bit more English, but even now it worked out, and he did a great job overall. Our ice skating guide was fantastic - if he would want to improve, he could be a bit more proactive in describing the plan, and options etc, but that’s a minor detail.

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Kurt SuterAustralia

Andrew and Igor have been very friendly and knowledgeable tour guides, the program and daily trips they offered were varied and interesting.

As a non-photographer, I did not have too many expectations. My focus was on Ice Skating and exploring the Icy Wonderland on foot and with my eyes, and that worked out very well. I had access to skates all week and I enjoyed a number of skating excursions in the vicinity of the van, as the exceptionally low temperatures during our stay on Okhlon Island prevented me from venturing too far. Dimitri, our driver on the island did a fantastic job navigating the icy roads.
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Heather FitzpatrickAustralia

Thank you for all your work, and I will be staying up to date with other tours that 56th Parallel run.

The trip was fantastic. The landscapes were amazing, and I was happy with many of my photos. Accommodation at the Lake: was really good, and perfectly suitable for the trip. Yes, it was a little cold a couple of nights, but really nothing that bad. So, I would say it is a suitable place to book for your future tours. Our guides and their scouting of locations: the locations selected were awesome as they were able to dodge the large groups of tourists, and we nearly always had the place to ourselves. This was absolutely key to the enjoyment of the trip and the quality of the photos, so this was simply wonderful. This was actually the most important aspect of the trip.

Dmitri the driver: he was the king of the ice, that guy. He improved the safety of the trip immeasurably. The food at lunches on the trip: Dmitri's wife cooked the loveliest lunches. Your communications leading up to the trip: you were excellent in keeping in touch and providing information.

CONSIDERATIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT

- Andrej is an AMAZING landscape photographer (which we only realised at the end of the trip when we saw some of his photos), and we sort of missed the benefit of his knoweldge.

- Gaining tips and help: both Igor and Andrej were great at scouting locations and I liked them both very much, but I think they presumed that we all were just capable of capturing the landscape to maximum effect. I am an amateur photographer with no landscape photography experience. Later on the tour, Andrej started to show me some good spots to set up, which I was grateful for. If only this was posible at the start of the trip, and so many more of my photos would have been a better quality. So, I wasn't asking for dedicated and long-winded personal assistance, just a few minor tips and traps along the way was all that was needed to make a difference.

- I learned in other photographic contexts that you should start wide, then go small, and something like this could really help for landscape photography too when there's a group, i.e. start with your wide shots then walk towards the rock or hill that's the subject, for example.

- Packing list: I'd strongly recommend including on the packing list some cleat-like/ice no-slip things that you can place on your shoes. You can buy some fairly low-grade ones at the supermarket there, but they weren't that good. It means the difference between skipping/running along the ice like an elegant gazelle, or shuffling at a snails pace carefully and slowly, and even then falling over and hurting yourself constantly. Also, chemical hand warmers aren't really available in Russia, and I know that some of the others mentioned these. I also bought the reindeer boots that all of the cool Russian kids had there (like this), and I didn't have a single moment of cold toes.

So overall, I really loved the trip and found it to be a once in a lifetime opportunity to see a truly beautiful landscape; one which is fragile and vulernable to our climate change, and over-touristing in the coming years. Thank you for all your work, and I will be staying up to date with other tours that 56th Parallel run.

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Axel BendixsenAustralia

Wonderful tour!

Although I wasn’t as experienced a photographer as my colleagues, I found the places the guides took us were extremely interesting. It was my first time in Russia and I loved it. The cold was very manageable, even though the last three days in Moscow gave us the heaviest snowfall in 70 years! Thank you, well done and I also would be happy to recommend the tour!
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