11 Dec About private tour across Russia, review by William and Michele
William and Michele Voss, from USA, went for a private tour across Russia in November 2013. They wrote about their experience in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Perm and Irkutsk:
We are writing to express our great and deepest appreciation to you and your many colleagues for an outstanding experience of travel in Russia this month. Our return to the United States on Friday was on schedule and uneventful – completing a totally delightful travel experience which met and exceeded our highest expectations. As I write we are now substantially on the way to full recovery from time changes and the long travel time associated with our return home.
We thank you especially for greeting us upon our arrival in Moscow and personally leading us on a whirlwind day of acquaintanceship with your fine home city. As applies to much of our trip, we only can wish that we might have stayed longer in Moscow to further appreciate the wonders of the great city.
All of your arrangements associated with our travel were perfect in both the planning and execution. The diversity of guides provided for us were highlights of the trip both in their knowledge and the warm welcomes they provided. In the Perm region, Alexi and Svetlana as relative newcomers to tourist services went overboard in their efforts to expose us to the diversity of our travel destinations in the region. In the Lake Baikal region, we were particularly grateful that Leonid had suggested the modification of our initial itinerary to include Olkhon Island– without question one of the high spots in our journey. Catherine’s high professionalism and depth of knowledge of both the arts and history made our exposure to St. Petersburg a very fulfilling conclusion to our travels. We were grateful for Ekatrina’s support and oversight of our time in the St. Petersburg area. Hopefully, our gratitude towards each of our guides was expressed in an appropriate manner.
All of our accommodations were excellent. The Pushka Inn and the Legend of Baikal hotels were particularly outstanding. The accommodations and time on Olkhon Island provided a unique introduction to a more classical Siberian experience. We were particularly pleased with our Aeroflot services. With your help the last minute change in flight schedule from Moscow to Perm went smoothly. On our return from Irktusk to St. Petersburg, our inbound flight to Moscow was delayed by heavy headwinds. Aeroflot responded by providing boarding passes at our arrival gate for the next available outbound flight to St. Petersburg immediately alleviating any concerns we experienced regarding the rescheduling of that part of our journey. In-flight services and baggage handling exceeded our expectations. We would heartily recommend air travel via Aeroflot for any tourists traveling under limited time schedules. All of the related airport transfer services were on schedule without delays.
We thank you for arranging the cultural evening outings in Perm and St. Petersburg. The orchestral concert in Perm was outstanding. The opportunity to see the beautiful old Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg was a privilege even though the acoustics of the venue made presentation of an opera in that setting a bit of a challenge for the audience.
Last but not least, we would thank you for having accommodated our personal schedule requiring travel in the ‘low season”. The absence of crowding at major tourist destinations more than offset any disadvantages associated with travel at this time of the year.
You have accomplished great things with your formation of ExploRussia. We wish you every continued success with this venture.
With warmest regards and grateful hearts we send our greetings.
Michele and Bill Voss