I wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed our trip to St Petersburg. It all worked out very well - the hotel, the ballet, the Hermitage and particularly yesterday the trip to the palaces. Please pass on our thanks to Anya - she was an excellent guide and it was great after 2 days DIY ! Many thanks for all your assistance with organising our trip. I would certainly recommend Exeter International.
The sights that we saw were uniquely Russian and well worth the trip. Ruslan and Marina were both very personable, well informed and entertaining guides. While most of our family are more used to wandering around new places with a guidebook, the organised nature of this trip was better suited to our travel as a group, our lack of Russian and the short time we had, as well as saving us from getting bogged down in bureaucracy. The landing cards you sent us spared us the frustration of our fellow passengers on the inbound flight who were turned back at passport control, as no landing cards were given out on the plane nor were to be seen in the arrivals hall.
There were so many new experiences that I feel I was away for much longer than a week. Thank you for arranging for us to see and do all these delightful things.
Many thanks for organising a wonderful 7 night trip to Uzbekistan. We were a group of 7 doctors very much interested in history. Uzbekistan was simply amazing and we thoroughly enjoyed visiting historic cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva. Everything worked like clockwork and your attention detail was great. Our local guide was very knowledgeable and took great personal care of us. We enjoyed the 2 train journeys too!
We will highly recommend Uzbekistan and Exeter international for any discerning traveller.
Prof Mohan (Birmingham)
I was fortunate to have Alexey, an infinitely knowledgeable curator at the Hermitage as well as delightful company, as my guide when I visited the museum, all thanks to the travel specialist Exeter International. For when it comes to privileged access, Exeter would seem to be in a class of their own. If you want to visit the restoration labs at the Hermitage or its out-of-town depository; the amber workshops at the Catherine Palace (much more interesting, as it happens, than the gaudy Amber Room itself); visit a fashion designer’s atelier, they can fix it. The absolute highlight of my trip was going backstage at the soon-to-be-replaced Mariinsky. And not just backstage: we were taken under it, on to it, into the orchestra pit, the wings, the wardrobe, right up into the loft beneath the dome where they paint the scenery. Even into the dancers’canteen.
We want to tell you what an amazing holiday we had from beginning to end. Not a foot wrong! The hotels were great, the river cruise could not have been better. The staff and guides were wonderful. The staff on the Volga Dream were the best. Enjoyed all the activities offered and entertainment offered on board. The ballet culminated our final evening of our holiday - what a way to finish!
All three guides in Poland were very good, each in his/her own way. They were extraordinarily knowledgeable. It was a lovely trip but you should have arranged better weather!
We had a wonderful time in Russia and thought both of our guides, Anna and Julia, were excellent. They were both very informative, enthusiastic and friendly with brilliant English.
Mrs J Atkinson
Marina was a joy to be with. Her enthusiasm and obvious pride and love of her country were evident from the outset.
Mrs C Dow
Helen was wonderful. Highly intelligent and amazingly well informed. Her passion for her birthplace was evident and added hugely to the trip.
Mrs C Dow
Julia, our guide was first class! Knowledgeable, enthusiastic and patient
Mr Busby & Ms Gattuso
Julia, the Exeter International guide on the Volga Dream made a great holiday remarkable.
Mrs B Bromley
We had a fantastic trip, Moscow was great. The Volga Dream was a floating dream and St Petersburg was a knock out. Everything worked like clockwork and we had blast. Thanks again, it was super!
Mr & Mrs L Silver
We found the Volga Dream exceeded expectations with a very professional crew, excellent food and lovely decor
Cruising through the lakes and waterways on the beautiful and very comfortable Volga Dream will remain with us for the rest of our lives. The ship was easily the best we saw and the crew could not have had done more for us.
Mr & Mrs Turner,
I really Can’t fault there service! From checking us in and filling in our migration forms, I think you made the whole trip effortless. Our guide was charming, knowledgable and efficient, made the visit SO much easier.
Mrs P Ellis-Jones
Helen worked hard to smooth our passage to all sights, avoiding any crowds and queues. Very knowledgable.
Mr & Mrs I Rendall
I wanted to let you know what a wonderful time we all had in St Petersburg. Our schedule was pretty punishing as there is so much to see in a city with such rich history and culture– even so,we only scratched the surface.
Our guide really was exceptional and without doubt made all the difference. Please will you thank her on our behalf for all she did for us.
J Prenn & Family
Anya (our guide) was first class. Her English is superb and knowledge of the city is very extensive. We really felt she gave us value for money. Highly recommended.
Mr & Mrs Clark
Nothing about Transylvania disappointed us, and it had felt like our own discovery too. It’s still there, a special jewel.
We had a wonderful trip and everything was really perfect. Helen was extremely well informed and great company.
Ms C Johnston
We couldn’t have had a better guide! It was just like being shown round by a very knowledgable friend.
Mr & Mrs A Nichols
Exeter gave us a truly unforgettable experience. Nothing was too much trouble, everything they arranged was hassle free. The guides were local, fluent in English and knowledgeable in every aspect of the history, art and culture of Russia. Exclusive doesn’t begin to describe the service we received.
Mr & Mrs J Callcutt
We have an enormous amount to thank you for and we were incredibly impressed by the way you organised everything: we ate in your recommended restaurants and all of them were delicious, the itinerary was perfect, the hotel comfortable and welcoming and the guide you had chosen for us was just lovely. We enjoyed our stay all the more for having Luda with us; she was charming and sweet and helpful and we were so touched that she accompanied us to the airport and saw us safely through the queues. Thank you for all you did to make it such a memorable holiday; it could not possibly have been better or happier.
The Gayner Family
We would all like to thank you, Natalia and Alexei for an absolutely fantastic holiday in St, Petersburg. Everything you arranged was impeccable, from start to finish. A trip to St. Petersburg is not the traditional holiday you would associate with four adolescent girls, but they thoroughly enjoyed it and got a tremendous insight into a completely different culture and history from their own. Natalia managed to interest them so much in what we did that they were concerned that they did not want to moan and let her down! This is something we wouldn’t have achieved on our own. I have already recommended your company to a number of my friends and colleagues and we are starting to save up for another trip.
Thanks once again
Ian, Patricia, Helene, Camille, Celine, Isabelle,
Exeter Travel is the very best way to see Russia. Don’t take it on by yourself! They specialise in cultural events and can customise a private trip for you as well, truly a life for a Tsar! They are the very best and I recommend them very highly. Have taken two tours with them and am looking forward to a third.
Take these VIP tours that open all the right doors
I have to say a special ‘thank you’ to our Polish guide Joanna. I suppose it did help with her being a Chopin ‘fanatic’, that she made our stay in Warsaw so special.
I found it a magical trip and would not have missed it for the world. It was like having a secret world opened up to me. So thank you for organising such a great experience with skill, thought and good humour.
A wonderful, memorable trip – very well run and organsied. Varied and always interesting – So glad we came.
The reading of the Cherry Orchard in the Yusupov Palace was one of those spontaneous, unforgettable experiences that make travel so special. The whole trip really was unique and extraordinary and I would love to do another tour with Exeter like this one.
A very very Successful and memorable holiday – one of the very best I have participated in.
I am still savouring, processing and cherishing a most memorable 5 crimean days. Thank you.
The best guide we have ever had anywhere in the world.
It is a living museum and we have had a personal tour of some 2 hours by its 91 year-old curator and it has been frankly quite special. If Ilona can pull off stunts like this on a regular basis, I think to myself, no wonder they say she is the best guide in Prague.
Toby Clothier commenting on a visit to the apartment of Geraldine Mucha in Prague.
For those who find the usual summer circuit old-hat and parochial, the Black Sea is where its at.
Music has a great advantage: without saying anything, it can say everything.
St Petersburg is the most beautiful city in the world.
Travel & Leisure
St Petersburg: “The finest of fine art and architecture by day, and opera, ballet and concerts by night.”
Moscow… is huge, excessive and glamorous, which makes it the perfect place for a weekend of overindulgence.
Exeters clout was such that when I arrived outside the Kremlin Walls, I was waved to the front of the lengthy security line.
Conde Nast Traveller
Expert guiding with St Petersburg insider Ludmilla Kolesova of Exeter International.
Sunday Times Travel Magazine
My new husband surpassed himself when he secretly arranged our honeymoon in St Petersburg. It was the most perfect surprise. Exeter International surpassed themselves in the personal service we received. As I had always imagined, the city was a magical combination of the literary, historical and modern. The recommended hotel was outstanding, smoothly bringing together grandeur and intimacy. Our tour guide was an excellent match for our interests. And the tips on places to eat were spot on. I know David enjoyed conspiring with Ala behind my back in the months leading up to our wedding and I shall not complain about this “other woman”, given the wonderful start their plotting gave to our married life!
For the discriminating traveller to the more exotic areas of Eastern Europe we can thoroughly recommend the professionalism, attention to detail and care of a tailor-made holiday by Exeter International. Our recent visit to St Petersburg was perfect in every detail.
Mr & Mrs Bond
Anya was a first-class guide. We enjoyed her company and expertise very much.
The Menzies Family
Our guide was more than excellent; her contribution made the holiday special.
Mr & Mrs D Elliott
It was just superb. The itinerary was just right for our group and our guide Anya was EXCEPTIONAL.
A fascinating experience made truly educational because of the experience and professionalism of our guide, Anya.
All six of us greatly enjoyed our brief holiday in St Petersburg. All the arrangements worked admirably and we particularly enjoyed being with our guide Helen, who was just right for us. Very many thanks to you and your colleagues for making it possible for us to have such an enjoyable break. And the ballet was wonderful!
Without exaggeration, it was perfect.
I just wanted to let you know as soon as possible how fantastic I thought our trip to St Petersburg was. Thank you for arranging everything and for constructing such appropriate themes. I really enjoyed the trip. It was excellent.
I have visited St Petersburg several times since 1989, and never thought I would have the opportunity to enjoy your extraordinary experiences.
P W Gregory
I just wanted to let you know that your guides in Kiev and Istanbul had been world class. You should let Eugene(he still owes my friend and I his home-made borsch!) know that his guide in Kiev was as good as a walking encyclopaedia and she had so much initiative and passion about her job and country that had made us want to visit Ukraine again. She had no problem organising and recommending unique and interesting restaurants to us. The Hyatt Regency was also up to our standard.
The two Exeter extraordinary experiences were truly extraordinary. In particular our guide was excellent and really informed company, I know we did not manage to communicate to her how much we appreciated her but we did.
The whole experience was nothing like we imagined and was truly amazing too say the least. We certainly have lots of dinner party conversation and beautiful memories that will be with us forever.
Ala - just to let you know we had a fantastic trip. Our guide Dascha was also a delight and we really enjoyed her company.
A special thanks has to go to our guide, Ruslan, who was friendly, funny and extremely knowledgeable. He brought the buildings alive with his amazing historical information, something that wouldn’t have been possible if we had been on our own. He also gave us some fascinating insights into Russian life past and present, we never ran out of things to talk about and the car journeys just flew by.
The trip you arranged was exactly to my taste. The guide, Ludmila, was extremely good, sweet, helpful and cheerful. She was a pleasure to have around and knowledgeable.
M La Follette
Exeter did everything possible (and more in my case!) to make this trip perfect in every way.
Ala a big thank you to you and your team at Exeter we have already told our friends of the wonderful experience we had with your company. (…) Nothing that Exeter could improve on.
C & S Lucas
A fabulous trip to a ‘must-see’ destination. Ruslan our guide was superlative and his extensive knowledge and great personality helped make our trip even better. The special Treasures Vaults in the Hermitage were fantastic, and also enjoyed Amber Workshops at Catherine Palace.
Our guide Ruslan was excellent, charming and nothing was too much of a bother for him. He is a star and I would really like to commend him.
B & G Seymour- Taylor
Thank you so much for organizing my St P trip. I am stunned by the beauty and historical richness of this fine city, and am ready to return (perhaps in a warmer month). I’ve been very lucky. I arrived in heavy snow, but otherwise have had crisp blue skies. Anna is a gem, and I feel privileged to be guided about by her!
Just a quick note to let you know that the trip was absolutely excellent! Our guide was brilliant - extremely knowledgeable and accommodating to our every need.
We had a wonderful time, thank you very much! Spot on restaurant recs in both cities! Hotels were great - particularly the Ritz in Moscow. Great location and super comfy! Our guide in St Petersburg, Anya was so beyond fabulous. Really - amazing! Knowledgeable, energetic, and just a lovely person to be around. The driver, Nicholas was incredible too - he literally walked us on to the train and put us in our seats. The amber workshop was def a highlight. We really had a wonderful time and can’t thank you enough for the well thought out itinerary.
K Rosen Diamond
First, a big thank you for arranging our trip to St P. We had a wonderful time, and particularly appreciate the flexibility and responsiveness our guide, Maria, showed and the behind-the-scenes arrangements Dimitri seemed to be making constantly.
For a hassle-free short break, book through a Russia specialist such as Exeter International.
Backstage trips organised by tour operators such as Russia specialists Exeter International reveal a side to Russia’s past that most people never see.
Exeter International makes things happen by having its own offices in Moscow and St Petersburg. However, even more impressive was the way the London-based Ala Osmond was able to call in favours from personal friends.
Only with an appointment and a guide can you see the czars’ bejewelled excesses in the Hermitage Museum’s storerooms, which contain four-fifths of the collection, and its Treasure Gallery.