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Trans-Siberian Help Choosing Tour Operators

County Mayo
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27 posts
14 reviews
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Trans-Siberian Help Choosing Tour Operators

Hi, I'm researching companies offering trips on the Trans-Siberian and Trans-Mongolian railways for a holiday next year. I've looked at 35 different trips and narrowed it down to about 7 different companies. Can anyone offer me any pointers or warnings in relation to any of the following companies:

1. Steppes Travel - they look very impressive but have been a little slow in responding to me. I feel they would be highly professional and knowledgeable although rather pricey.

2. Intrepid Travel - don't customise trips but the off-the-peg trip does like fabulous and not too expensive.

3. Regent Holidays - these have been so attentive to detail and helpful with customising a trip for me.

4. Audley Travel - have put together an amazing itinerary for me and have been so good in communicating with me, but the trip looks very expensive.

5. Trailfinders - say they will need to do it through Sundowners and I'm awaiting a response. I understand they have a great reputation.

6. Lupine Travel - ridiculously cheap which makes me nervous!! But a lovely itinerary with great add ons so why am I having reservations?

7. Intourist - are currently preparing an itinerary and quote for me. Have been very helpful so far. All of companies they may have the best local knowledge as they are Russian but I have found no reviews anywhere. Ex-KGB run organisation, set up by Stalin for the "policing" of foreign visitors... now not the case but still makes you wonder... I'd love people's opinion!

Anyone have any opinions please? All gratefully received!

Alison

Quainton, United...
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1. Re: Trans-Siberian Help Choosing Tour Operators

Also try www.realrussia.co.uk - they do tickets and visas, but now also do set tours. They know what they're doing, and get good reports.

Corpus Christi, TX
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2. Re: Trans-Siberian Help Choosing Tour Operators

We used these people about 10 years ago and can highly recommend them. Their offices are in Belgium.

http://www.monkeyshrine.com/

Also I would definitely check out the company "Man" suggested because he is "the man" when it comes to train travel. :)

3. Re: Trans-Siberian Help Choosing Tour Operators

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Mossel Bay
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2 posts
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4. Re: Trans-Siberian Help Choosing Tour Operators

Hi, I am also planning to do the Trans-siberian next year. I have found the tour of Just Go Russia to be very good. It starts in London, fly to St Petersburg, Train travel from there to Beijing.with stopovers along the way. They have different options. Hope this helps

County Mayo
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27 posts
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5. Re: Trans-Siberian Help Choosing Tour Operators

Thanks Alineata, I had a look at Just Go Russia and they do have some great tours. I was really hoping to get to Khustain National Park in Mongolia to see the Przewalski wild horses and JGR dont appear to go there. But other than that I thought they looked good. Prices not bad either. Trouble is I'm travelling alone and that's putting another 1,000 to 1,500 on the price. Let me know how you get on and what you decide. Is exciting stuff! :)

County Mayo
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27 posts
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6. Re: Trans-Siberian Help Choosing Tour Operators

Unfortunately I heard back from Intrepid that the Russia And Beyond trip won't be running in 2013, shame because that looked very good.

Oxford, United...
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7. Re: Trans-Siberian Help Choosing Tour Operators

Hi Alli

First, a disclaimer - I work on the web team at Audley, although I'm also a tripadvisor lurker (currently planning a trip to Denmark and Sweden!). In the past, I've arranged my holidays both through Audley and self-organised, and depending on what you are after, I can see benefits to both approaches.

I often see people on tripadvisor saying that Audley are expensive, but that's because the default level of service in our quotes usually includes transfers, excursions and other things that, for most people, are the icing on the cake - but others can happily do without.

Also Audley will do their best to price match - if you have a cheaper quote, send it over and they'll do what they can.

I hope you don't mind me chipping in here - let us all know how you get on!

County Mayo
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27 posts
14 reviews
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8. Re: Trans-Siberian Help Choosing Tour Operators

Hi Adam, thanks for your message. I would agree with you, the service I've received from Chris at Audley has been second to none and he has suggested a customised itinerary especially for me which is fabulous.

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
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14,970 posts
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9. Re: Trans-Siberian Help Choosing Tour Operators

I don't know if a US company can help but... http://www.irtsociety.com/

Oysterville...
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2 posts
26 reviews
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10. Re: Trans-Siberian Help Choosing Tour Operators

Another suggestion is a UK site:

The Man in Seat 61...

http://www.seat61.com/