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.

Rouven WinsonGermany

The Kamchatka Discovery tour is ideal for travelers who want to combine adventure treks with a nice relaxed stay in a comfortable hotel.

Personally I liked the tour offerings because it is an interesting mix of the best Kamchatka has to offer: very scenic coastline, volcanoes, forests hot springs and...bears! We were lucky enough to see some...of course from a safe distance! I spent a week that could't have been better: after a good and relaxed sleep in a convenient room and a hearty rich breakfast we were taken to the mountains to the see or to the river. No chance for sleeping in the car: the rides were quite bumpy and adventurous and I'd give the drivers an award for their skills!

If I had eaten too much from the excellent seafood or breakfast buffet, I had the chance to burn calories on the scenic but not too rewarding mountain treks. But it was not all about nature: I liked the conversations with Katja, our guide, very much. She was just lovely...and never seen a bear before. Well, on this trip she saw three. My tip for travellers - you definitely SHOULD do the additional tour offerings: the helicopter tour was just breathtakingly beautiful and Mount Mutnovsky is a must. Tip: put Mutnovsky in the program and skip Dachnye Springs instead, Mutnovsky is far more spectacular. And the evenings? Well, the after tour program is not in the program. It was so nice to drink all the political troubles and intercultural differences away-together with Russians and Americans!

View related tour

Andrew WilliamsUSA

If you enjoy nature, wilderness, and unique corners of the world unlike any other, then I highly recommend a visit to Kamchatka.

My wife and I were interested in visiting Kamchatka, but were unsure how to make the most of our planned time on the peninsula.  We found 56th Parallel through a web search and identified several appealing tours, but unfortunately did not have enough available time to book one of the 8-day tours.  After contacting 56th Parallel, Anna and the team provided us with an excellent itinerary that captured the best of Kamchatka within our limited time frame.
For late June/early July, we were surprised at how much snow was still on the ground, especially at the higher altitudes, but this did not limit our hiking or trekking days.  The weather was still fantastic (maybe we got lucky), and the views from the higher altitudes were truly astounding.  The city tour of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky was informative and educational, and done in logical order: after a visit to the local museum, we visited the key sites that were pivotal to the history of the city and peninsula.  That afternoon, we were scheduled to take a boat ride in the bay and to a local island for a bit of nature observing, but unfortunately for us, a Russian submarine was heading out to sea, which suspended all naval activity in the bay.  With the help of Anna and our tour guide Ira, an alternative option was quickly proposed, and we ended up taking a drive, visiting local beaches and concluding at one of the most scenic points overlooking both the city and the bay (and the Russian submarine heading out to sea - there's something you don't see every day).  Outside of the 56th Parallel tour, but with their booking assistance, we did opt for the helicopter ride to Valley of the Geysers; although pricey, this was probably the highlight of the trip.  To look down into an active volcano from a helicopter is without a doubt a unique experience, and there are only a handful of places in the world where you can observe active geysers.
Accommodations were adequate; as we live in Russia, we were aware that "Russian 4 star" does indeed mean "European 2 star".  But when you go to Kamchatka, you're (hopefully) not going to laze around in a hotel; our itinerary was packed so that our time at the hotel was quite limited with only early breakfast, late dinner, and sleep.  Overall, though, the hotel was adequate: the room was satisfactory, and the dinners at the hotel were actually quite good - some Russian favorites as well as some local Kamchatka flavors.
If you enjoy nature, wilderness, and unique corners of the world unlike any other, then I highly recommend a visit to Kamchatka.  A big thanks to the team at 56th Parallel, first for organizing our trip under such short notice, and second for providing a truly memorable vacation.
View related tour

Charles HardemanUSA

...an extraordinarily successful visit which more than exceeded expectations!

We have just broken away from our moorings alongside port here at St. Petersburg after an extraordinarily successful 2-day visit which more than exceeded expectations. I have to admit that I am glad that you talked me into doing things I had not done before, and initially objected to, particularly the Metro which we all felt was a special experience.

Speaking of special, you could not have assigned us to a more knowledgeable, personable and patient guide than Nadya. Her command of English and encyclopedic knowledge of Russian history, the places we visited, St. Petersburg and just all matters of importance to us during our visit is unequaled. And, she is also just one of the nicest people on earth.

And, Boris, our bus driver deserves special commendation as well not only for managing the tight time cable amidst the usual difficult St Petersburg traffic and parking conditions, he had to do it while maneuvering around preparations for the upcoming celebrations which posed all kinds of obstacles...please pass on our thanks to Boris as well.

"I would like to add my voice of thanks to the whole team behind the wonderful coordination of our two days in St Petersburg.  As a former event producer, I know just how many things go on 'behind the scenes' and how many things it takes to deliver an exceptional tour.  Our experience is one I will treasure forever.
Nadya and Borya excelled in their roles.  And, as Charles says, Nadya is a delightful young woman who is so well equipped to lead a memorable tour.  She shared so many points of interest and historical facts with us, we'd never appreciate Russia in that way from reading about it.  She truly brought Russia to life for us.
Thank you to you for all the amazing coordination you put into our visit" (c) Kathryn

With all best wishes, and a well done to you Anna,
Charles and the travelling Vikings

View related tour

John Mills and Mark WoznyUSA

A million thanks! 

Anna and the 56 Parallel team put together an amazing itinerary encompassing three distinct and very different venues within the Russian Federation; Moscow, Kamchatka, and Saint Petersburg. While the trip required many scheduling variations, every date and time was executed flawlessly by the several drivers and guides assigned to caring for Mark and I during our 10-day journey. Nicolai gave us a condensed (we only had several hours) but comprehensive tour and history of Moscow.

Anna provided superb guiding in Kamchatka making every aspect of our visit there a wonderful adventure. She was a competent, knowledgable leader who lined up perfect assistance from Andre and Vica. After an historical tour of the city by Anna, we went to the snowy hinterlands of the peninsula where Andre and Vica took us by snowmobile and sled to wonderful views and places including a marvelous waterfall and natural hot spring as well as getting close (despite a challenging weather day) to one of three volcanos visited. The woman who owned the camp where we stayed was a great host, making sure that all of her guests were fed hearty meals designated for the outdoor activities we were involved in. We also had picnic lunches of salmon, seaweeds, octopus, and squid; along with breads and cheeses. At least Mark got to sample the various local foods. (I stuck to the cheeses and breads, lol).

We got to rope ski behind the snowmobiles and the rides on the snowmobiles were the best! We got to play on two volcanos, one active, as we rode to both via snowcat. Great fun climbing up and freeriding down on our butts. The last stop on our trip was St. Petersburg where we were met and guided professionally and thoroughly through the sights of the city including the Hermitage and Catherines Palace by Marina and Archie. In spite of some very lengthy flights in between stops, we really covered an amazing amount of territory. We are grateful to everyone associated with 56 Parallel in making this adventure one of the very best ever! A million thanks!


St Petersburg private tour review Kamchatka winter tour review Kamchatka winter tour from USA Kamchatka winter tour

View related tour

Hendrik and Claudia LeberSwitzerland

Moscow was fascinating, we want to come back soon. And personally, I liked Siberia and Lake Baikal.

I was very happy with the tour organisation it was well planned and everything was smooth. All our needs were covered. The guides in both Moscow and lake Baikal was very good. By the way, the group was also very nice. We were happy to be in a mixed Russian-Western group with mostly young people.

4 Seasons Hotel in Moscow was outstanding, one of the best rooms in one of the best hotels we have ever stayed at. Hotel in Irkutsk was good. The hotels and guest houses on Lake Baikal itself were not up to our standards, especially regarding beds (mattress and bed cover) and bathrooms. Food was ok, but somewhat monotonous. For a week it is ok, but it is not very positive memory.

But anyway, we've enjoyed our time in Moscow and Lake Baikal very much. Moscow was fascinating, we want to come back soon. And personally, I liked Siberia and Lake Baikal. I liked the emptiness, the cold, the ice. With better hotels, I could even convince my wife to come back.

I will definitely recommend choosing the 56th Parallel for others travellers and yes, I highly recommend to travellers explore Lake Baikal, however, it is suitable only for a certain type of traveller.

Lake Baikal winter tour Lake Baikal winter tour Lake Baikal winter tour Lake Baikal winter tour husky dog sleddingLake Baikal winter tour Lake Baikal winter tour Lake Baikal winter tour

View related tour

Chris WrightAustralia

Everything was wonderful!

I was very happy with the trip. The guide, Yulia, was wonderful. She was friendly, positive, knowledgeable and interesting. Alexei the driver was very good at what he does. The lake, of course, is absolutely beautiful, a wonderful place. Thank you for all of your assistance with that part of the trip too.
View related tour

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

View related tour
More Reviews

If you have any urgent questions or enquiries, please give us a call +61 2 9388 9816