We enjoy hearing what our travelers have to say about their MIR experience. For more information about any of our tours or if you’d like to talk to us or one of our past travelers about MIR’s trips, call 800-424-7289 or email us.
You can also hear more stories from our travelers on our blog and in our travel journals. Our president and co-founder, Douglas Grimes, shares his favorite travel memories from MIR’s 30 years in our MIR in a Nutshell series.
"Thank you for all your help. MIR has been unbelievably helpful, reliable and good value for the money. Your personal help has been invaluable as well. If anyone ever asks me which agency I used to go to Central Asia I will refer them to you."
- S. Kelley, San Antonio, CA
"We don't know where to start - a perfect itinerary which satisfied all of our needs, excellent accommodations superbly located, flawless execution of all aspects including visas, vouchers, theatre tickets, etc., and last but certainly not least, truly outstanding and professional guides and drivers.
We only wish that MIR provided tours everywhere, in which case we would never use another tour company again.
MIR Office in Seattle was outstanding. We have already told several friends about MIR and how wonderful they are! You all put together a trip for us that was perfect for our budget, time frame and interests. Russia is a fabulous destination - wonderful history, magnificent sites. We can't say enough about MIR and Russia."
- The Repkos, Princeton, NJ
“I would like to tell you what a delightful experience it has been working with your staff from start to finish on our last two International Travel Seminars. We chose MIR in the first place because of its reputation for being experts in travel in that part of the world. Your knowledge, professionalism, attention to detail, and ability to overcome all of our unique challenges to ensure that we achieve our program goals, has made these last two seminars a great success.”
- Tim LaSalle, President CEO, Agricultural Program
“I have traveled to over 115 countries and the 7 continents and already twice with MIR and can honestly attest that MIR’s tour manager is the best I have ever traveled with.”
- D. Lindner, Brookfield, WI
"In my opinion, our MIR Tour Manager was the most outstanding tour manager I've ever traveled with, and he's the first tour manager I've ever traveled with that I would try to seek out to lead a trip again... he was exceptionally competent, energetic, enthusiastic, and hard-working.
I loved the whole trip. It satisfied all parts of me: the traveler, the scientist, the historian, the musician, the photographer, the human being. In many ways I think this was the most rewarding trip I've ever taken, and that is saying a lot. I put a lot into it, but I was given so much more in return. Thanks to everyone at MIR for making this possible. I am looking forward to traveling with MIR again."
- A. Erdmann, Champaign, IL
"Our thanks to your staff, for all of their efforts on our behalf. From start to finish, this was a superbly orchestrated trip; everything ran as planned. If only MIR provided tours elsewhere, we'd never use another tour company again! The entire trip is one beautiful memory!"
- J. Saccone, Jr., Healdsburg, CA
"WHAT A TRIP!!! I returned last evening from the Kaliningrad and Baltics trip in a state of ecstasy... Without reservation of any kind I must say the trip was superlative. The tour manager is a guide without equal in my thirty years of travel. Since my retirement two years ago I've taken 23 foreign tours with some excellent operators - none equal the value and excitement you provided. Thank you for a delightful series of experiences."
- D. Levine, Tampa, FL
"Every day I am grateful for this fabulous trip. The destinations you specialize in are of much more interest now that I know what a well-delivered service you provide.
Our MIR tour manager made my trip more deeply meaningful and made sure that everyone on the train came away with a greater appreciation for this vast country. Thank you so much for your great itinerary, for the tremendous abilities of your staff, and by the way, for an absolutely fantastic eclipse! You can be certain I will recommend your company."
- K. Knack, Malibu, CA
“It was a very “go-go” trip with each day being as exciting or even more interesting than the previous one.”
- The Kearneys, Richmond, BC, Canada
"IT WAS AWESOME. The MIR staff who accompanied us on the trip, were very solicitous of our needs.
The trip was fantastic: the meals with the families, the visit and meal with the children and staff of the school, the yurt camp, the trip around Lake Baikal was not to be missed. The scenery of the lake was only surpassed by the camaraderie of the Russian people with whom we shared that car, the vodka and toast flowed deeper than the lake. The sounds and smells of the cities we visited were unforgettable. I have been to Russia and China before, but never have I had a better experience of the countries."
- J. Alukos, Evanston, IL
“The kind, thoughtful, personal service we received from both guides and drivers was excellent. They all really went out of their way to meet our needs and whims."
- D. Schmidt, Lakewood, CO
“My MIR tour manager had an encyclopedic grasp of locations, artifacts and was great! Her English was flawless. You’re lucky to have her... Wow!”
- L. Gordon, Oviedo, FL
“There are no words to describe the most exciting trip I have ever been privileged to be part of. Your extraordinary arrangements of being on the inside of the most extraordinary world of Russian space endeavors past, present, and future has no equal.”
- T. Santmann, Babylon, NY
"My dealings with our MIR Tour Specialist were wonderful. She showed patience, interest and cordiality beyond the call of duty. The finest trip planner I've ever had and I've been to 80 countries."
- G. Cohen, Rancho Mirage, CA
"The cities are awesome and I had a fabulous time. But, a key part of this was the fact that we booked through MIR and MIR took care of everything. Would highly recommend traveling to Russia using a tour operator."
- L. Thatcher, Alexandria, VA
"Thank you for all MIR did to make our trip to the Baltics and Poland a success. We couldn't have done it without our MIR Tour Specialist's continued help and backup. Our experience with MIR was once again wonderful."
- The Reichels, New York, NY
"Every day was a surprise, it was nothing at all like I expected. The food, the people, the scenery I was just constantly amazed by it all. We met the nicest people on the train and learned so much. I really liked all the extra things that were done to enrich our experiences at each stop. I loved every minute!
Thank you for all your suggestions and for taking the time to make this such a personal experience of a lifetime.
I was constantly surprised by the beauty of Siberia and Mongolia, delighted with the people, the food, and so appreciative of all that I learned and experienced. What an incredible trip. Extremely well organized and thought-out."
- S. Hughes, Brampton, Ontario, Canada
"My MIR guide in Georgia was one of the best guides I have ever had anywhere in the world. Like most guides, her English is flawless, her knowledge of her country and its history is complete. What puts her above all the rest, was her willingness to spend her free time showing me the little visited hidden treasures that her country is blessed with."
- C. Fisher, Youngstown, OH
"Train travel has a number of distinct advantages - one doesn't have to constantly pack and move, one can sleep, eat, visit and watch the countryside while journeying from one destination to another. We were able to see things on the city tours that we probably wouldn't have if we weren't a part of this tour!"
- C. Reising, Eagle Point, OR
“Driving through the magical Wakhan Corridor, sleeping in a yurt on the Kyrgyz-Tajik border, impromptu Tajik dancing and stops at villages so remote that no map marks them – all unforgettable experiences. Yet, what really set this journey apart for me was the seamless organization and enthusiasm shown from start to finish, by MIR’s Central Asian team. A heart-warming, elevating trip that I would highly recommend to anyone with a sense of adventure.”
- Caroline Eden, Travel & Lifestyle Journalist
"A fascinating destination and a superbly managed tour. This was our first experience traveling with MIR and I would recommend MIR to others without reservation."
- G. Cohen, Hillsborough, CA
"A unique experience, well planned, well executed and very enjoyable. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip. The MIR Organization and people were terrific all the way through."
- The Johnstons, White Rock, BC, Canada
"This is the way to see and experience Russia. You have a manageable group, see all the major attractions, and get to learn something about the people. I have not seen any other tour that offers as much. I cannot pick out a favorite part - it was all very well done. I think the key was the tour and director and ours were exceptional!"
- The Joneses, DeRidder, LA
"Best international travel we have ever done. This trip has given us a new appreciation for Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novgorod, Russian culture and especially Russian art."
- The Nienows, Santa Barbara, CA
“The trip was a delight. I had the freedom and time to really enjoy myself.”
- S. Allen, New York, NY
“The best trip I’ve ever taken. The tour guides were knowledgeable and fun. The countries were beautiful.”
- T. Bricher, Foreston, MN
"A tour you could not have imagined, from the new world to the old all in one city with the friendliest people one could ever meet."
- M. Voykin, Brandon, FL
"Our MIR tour guide was exceptionally good. His lectures were above and beyond what we had anticipated. He was kind and courteous. He even served our meals and sometimes the meals of others so we would not have to wait. He answered our questions, which were sometimes quite difficult. He always looks trim and coordinated and I always felt quite secure with him."
- J. Chamberlain, Salem, SC
"We had a very successful trip. I appreciated MIR's assistance in organizing our trip on short notice. The on-ground staff was also great!"
- I. Fairbanks, Seattle, WA
“I was totally impressed with the guides (all of them). Their command of English and their professional approach to each tour. They were frank and forthcoming in discussing their respective countries & often accommodated our personal wishes for special requests.”
- J.A. Smith, Saylorsburg, PA
"Well-organized tour, outstanding local guides in both countries who worked well with MIR's tour leader. I liked meeting Bulgarians and Romanians in their homes and seeing their crafts. It added much flavor to all the monasteries and churches on the schedule."
- B. Mundell, West Hollywood, CA
"Kamchatka is a beautiful land with mountains, volcanoes, forests, rivers and friendly people. Our tour manager was excellent."
- B. Martin, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
“My favorite part was the private dinner for us with the Moscow couple. There was wonderful food and wonderful to be in a Russian apartment.”
- B. Kielsmeier, Klamath Falls, OR
“Both guides were the highlight of the trip. That Tomaz (Warsaw) lived during the Nazi occupation was extraordinary. They made the cities, art history and culture come alive. Their enthusiasm and pride in their country was inspiring. We loved them both.”
- L. Thatcher, Alexandria, VA
“This is trip of a lifetime and more than just a train journey. This is also a chance to see a phenomenal cross-section of Russia (and Mongolia) in a relatively short time. Great camaraderie and interaction with the passengers.”
- A. Mowatt Jr., New York, NY
“Great trip…the people were so friendly! We enjoyed learning about the incredible history of this fascinating part of the world. Our driver in Uzbekistan consistently went above and beyond. He was always there for us."
- The Huffmans, Mansfield, OH
“My favorite part of the trip? Impossible to answer because I enjoyed most of it. The visit to the family in Minsk was very important as were the visits to Babi Yar, Uhatya and the old portion of Lviv.”
- F. Seaburg, Centennial, CO
“My overriding impression was one of excellence, and I’ve already recommended MIR to my friends. My favorite part, most definitely, was dinner in the homes of Russian couples. They were uniformly delightful and informative!"
- E. Robinson, Coronado, CA
"Fascinating. Educational. Mind expanding. On the whole I thoroughly enjoyed the trip. MIR did a good job!"
- H. Foehrenbacher, New York, NY
"This was the trip of a lifetime, especially the Svaneti area of Georgia... Being in the Caucasus was like being in a National Geographic article."
- R. H. Freed, Choteau, MT
"I would recommend MIR in general to anyone who asked. Service was always smooth. Especially for a New Yorker, the beautiful countryside and friendly people were a delight."
- C. Millsom, New York, NY
"We had excellent service, excellent guides and excellent tours. We will definitely use MIR again."
- A. Levy, New York, NY
"A solid program mixing travel and experiences in well thought-out itineraries..."
- D. Travers, Seattle, WA
“I loved the Mongolian people. From the folks at the hotel desks, the drivers, the families who invited us into their ger homes...everyone was so friendly and open to our questions."
- E. Lepore, Tavares, FL
"Starting off as a 'roots' trip, I came away with a true sense of place learning much about Ukraine's past and its present with hope for its future."
- M. Schwartz, New York, NY
"A fast-paced, very interesting trip. Good value for the money...the people we wonderful and very, very friendly."
- R. Rohr, Olympia, WA
“The tour exceeded our expectations. The country was very pretty, the people very nice, the food very good and the driver was great – by far our favorite part! He was very friendly, very knowledgeable, helped greatly with all aspects. He was a '10.'”
- The Hillegases, Atlanta, GA
"If we had done this tour 20 times it couldn't have gone better. Kudos to MIR and your staff."
- The Killgores, Omaha, NE
"The trip exceeded my expectations. I would travel with MIR anywhere"
- The Burrells, Pinehurst, NC
"The best trip I've ever taken. The tour guides were knowledgeable and fun. The countries were beautiful."
- T. Bricher, Foreston, MN
“The trip was GREAT! MIR has done a good job in piecing together enough ‘silk road’ experiences that we feel we understand the terrain, the people, and the history. All the guides were tremendous."
- R. Rothway, Walnut Creek, CA
"I had a great trip and VERY safe, I do not understand why people do not go there, it was most interesting. We had a fantastic tour guide -- extremely knowledgeable, I recommend him highly. The people were great, they wanted to speak English with us and were always very nice. In the tea house they put an American flag on our table."
- F. Hayet, San Rafael, CA
"The 'trip of a lifetime' enhanced by great companions! Just an amazing adventure!"
- A. Swindlehurst, Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada
"Our tour manager was a delight and made the trip fun.”
- The Johnstons, White Rock, BC Canada
"MIR has very significant experience in this region and I highly recommend them."
- K. Meier, Boca Raton, FL
"I value the fact that I could count on your people being where you said they would be 100% of the time.”
- L. Koehn, West Des Moines, IA
"The tour included all the elements that we appreciate most in a trip: magnificent and varied scenery linked to an opportunity to learn about the history, politics and cultures of a fascinating region of the world."
- The Hansons, Coventry, CT
“My overriding impression was of the journey, traveling through areas I had never heard of and stopping in little villages to talk to and photograph local people was fantastic."
- A. Levin, Randolph, NJ
"Tour was very well organized. Romania was a beautiful country as well as being historically interesting and a source of great information.”
- A. Sheff, St. Augustine, FL
"Our national guide was outstanding."
- B. Baldwin, Fairfield, OH
“The well-run tour was an excellent introduction to a part of the world that is of strong interest, both for its long and important history, its centuries-old religious traditions and structures, and its political unrest in recent years. My MIR tour opened our eyes to all of these.”
- E. Darrah, Seattle, WA
"MIR did an outstanding job of coordinating and managing the details of the trip."
- W. Uhlman, Seattle, WA
"As with the other MIR trips I've taken, the trip was well-run and we saw many interesting things. The tour manager was friendly and very helpful..."
- C. Pazar, Massapequa, NY
"The entire trip is one beautiful memory!"
- J. Saccone Jr., Healdsburg, CA
“I thought the scenery in both Turkey and Georgia was amazing and the food exceptional."
- J. Guild, Monkton, MD
"The tour was well-organized...with a wonderful tour manager. We saw a great deal and learned even more."
- D. Ginsberg, New York, NY
"Beautiful country, great local guide!"
- S. Kovack, Seattle, WA
"It was impressive that we did so much and that everything went to smoothly."
- C. Williams, Baton Rouge, LA
"As far as the pace of the trip, we feel it was certainly 'action-packed' and filled, and then some, with a full day's worth of exciting, challenging adventures. It is such an excellent tour precisely because it is filled with opportunities and experience which make the trip the experience of a lifetime!"
- B. Specker, Wildwood, MO
"Rural countries with very friendly people and beautiful scenery."
- H. Barnette, Marietta, GA
"Your entire staff did a great job with our tour. We look forward to working with you in the future!"
- B. Soileau, Baton Rouge, LA
“Would recommend MIR strongly to arrange for a trip to this part of the world. Poland was my favorite - Westernized, modern, friendly and helpful people...”
- M. Bernstein, Bridgehampton, NY
“Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova was one of the most interesting trips ever. Wonderful places visited, and a special opportunity to know these countries, the culture and social and political issues as well. Our MIR tour manager was great. She really made everything perfect.”
- A.T. Garcia, Caracas, Venezuela
“Excellent trip in all respects!”
- B. Tanner, Glen Haven, CO
"With regards to the Georgian people, I have never been more welcomed any where I have traveled, and I have traveled extensively. People went out of their way to meet me, and thank me for coming."
- C. Fisher, Youngstown, OH
"The trip exceeded my expectations. I would travel with MIR anywhere."
- D. Taylor, Des Moines, IA
“Meeting the local people throughout the trip was our favorite part.”
- The Johnstons, White Rock, BC Canada
"My overriding impression was of the excitement of being in such exotic places—Siberia and Mongolia; and to do it with an experienced and knowledgeable tour manager and tour company. Lake Baikal, Naadam Festival, the Gobi Desert will all leave lasting memories of a wonderful trip.”
- K. McKeever, New York, NY
“The trip was wonderful. The itinerary was great, the stops extremely interesting. The MIR Tour Manager, Batir, was very good. Your local guys were great also and very knowledgeable.”
- L. Alvarez, Miami, FL
"The trip was a wonderful look into a way of life that we were not familiar with but worth trying to understand. I loved visiting the people in their gers. They were so welcoming and I was fascinated by their way of life."
- S. Firth, Berwyn, PA
“Thanks for a great trip! I enjoyed it all: the vast landscapes of both Siberia & Mongolia, cultured activities, local singing, interaction with the locals, Lake Baikal and Naadam Festival. Our MIR tour manager–exceptional; very competent and knowledgeable."
- W.R. Shanks, Bristol, VA
“The trip was interesting; I knew little about this area and enjoyed learning more. The vitality of the people is remarkable; they have done so much since 1991. The old town areas of Riga and Vilnius were particularly attractive and fun to browse."
- C. Heermann, Lincoln, NE
"The friendliness and warmth of the people and impressive color and artistry in the monuments and textiles were beautiful.”
- D. Schuh, Victoria, BC
"The tour was wonderful and very interesting!"
- H. Bingo, Rochester, NY
“How could one not be awed by the petroglyphs in Azerbaijan, the caves at David Gareja in Georgia and the view of Mt. Ararat in Armenia? These are just the highlights of each country. Every day brought new adventures.”
- J. Jones, Santa Cruz, CA
“A very impressive tour. Moldova was my favorite part – walking through little villages with our outstanding local guide. The meals were better than expected and our MIR tour manager was very good.”
- P.D. Arben, East Lansing, MI
"Being in the high pastures of Kyrgyzstan, where the herders bring their livestock for summer grazing. The horses were beautiful. It was a treat to see them running free in the lush grass."
- R. Miner, Ashland, OR
“It was a great trip and an extraordinary experience to be in Russia in winter. Masha was the perfect guide and MIR was extremely helpful in planning our expedition.”
- The Ladd Family, Dover, MA
"There were great meals in the ger camps and really comfortable digs."
- H. Hey, Yuma, AZ
"I was struck by how beautiful the countryside was and the unbelieveable beauty and variety of the churches."
- A. Walsworth, Marceline, MO
“I would say this tour was an excellent way to find out what makes Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia tick. We had a good feel for the countryside, cities, cultural aspects and attitudes that make up the lives of the people.”
- J. Kruger, Exeter, NH
“The trip was outstanding and interesting. I was very impressed with the quality and will recommend this trip to my friends.”
- M. Perkins, Mount Airy, MD
“A great opportunity to see this part of the world with a company that really knows the area.”
- The Burrells, Pinehurst, NC
"This was a journey through history, architectural styles, art, and music. We got a vision of these people’s determination to be free and determine their own destiny."
- The Korunes, Jacksonville Beach, FL
"Traveling in the Caucasus Mountains in Georgia near the Russian border was a highlight. We would recommend this trip to seasoned travelers that have an interest in early Christianity as we do."
- T. Rickert, Peachtree City, GA
"Life on the train was better than expected. I knew Russia was large but to experience it from Vladivostok to Moscow was amazing. I wouldn’t have visited most of the cities on a trip to Russia so this was an excellent way of touring. The guides were very knowledgeable. A wonderful experience!”
- B. Herum, Naperville, IL
“My overwhelming impression was of a fascinating and troublesome part of the world which the trip helped me to understand. I enjoyed Georgia and Armenia – their troubled history and culture. They were beautiful, as well with charming and hospitable inhabitants. Cultural history of paramount to me and the Caucasus is an interesting part of the world now, geopolitically as well as historically.”
- J. Marshall, New York, NY
"It's an outstanding introduction to the culture and people of Mongolia and Tibet."
- M. Bieber, Kearney, NB, Canada
"Thanks so much for your great customer relations. I hope to travel with you again soon."
- J. Ziegler, Santa Barabara, CA
"When we read about the Russian tanks rolling into Georgia in August, 2008, our hearts sank. We thought this would be the end of our trip to the South Caucasus. However, throughout this uncertain time, MIR stayed in touch with us. We realized that if there was any possibility of including Georgia in our tour, that MIR was on top of the situation. Indeed they were. Our tour of Georgia was outstanding and we saw nothing of the problems the country had experienced a few months earlier."
- M. & D. Kostro, Hendersonville, NC
"We recommend this trip highly. Our MIR tour manager was fantastic! It was interesting interacting with locals - real learning experience..."
- The Hunts, NE
“Tatiana, Olga, Jim, Paul and the tour director worked hard to make the trip enjoyable. I’m glad I went. The tour service, etc., were very good.”
- E. Schwartz, Lundenberg, MA
“Our favorite part was the wedding in Albania that we just stumbled upon! Loved the cultural interactions...”
- G. Sample, Shreveport, LA
“This was a more interesting area than I had expected. It hadn’t really been high on my list of places to visit but now I want to see more of Eastern Europe. I especially enjoyed the Art Nouveau district in Riga.”
- K. Fitzgerald, Palos Verdes Estates, CA
“Truly a trip of a lifetime. Would highly recommend it”
- K. McKeever, New York, NY
“Very well organized with excellent guides."
- L. Blessinger, Boise, ID
“Uzbekistan’s draw, in my view, is the Islamic architecture of the past (approximately) 500 years. It was noteworthy to see the effect that Russia and USSR had on this part of Central Asia. I particularly enjoyed the tour of the Registan of Samarkand and the meal in the private home, where the host ate with us.”
- M. Chalick, Washington, DC
“MIR did a really good job of planning and of seeing that we were cared for on the trip. It was exotic. Turkmenistan was an absolute eye-opener. The trip was very educational and overall it was great!”
- P. Scanlon, Bisbee, AZ
“We enjoyed the whole experience and everything proceeded like clockwork.”
- R. Goodman, Mt. Dora, FL
“My favorite part was seeing the history museums and learning about the history of the four cities and three countries. This is an area of interest for us. The places have a lot of intense history, very tangible when you visit.”
- S. Bernard, Aspen, CO
"The whole experience was great. It was all so good that we could not pick a favorite."
- The Johnstons, White Rock, BC Canada
“My favorite part was visiting the ruins of Nisa and Merv. Both sites served to anchor the history of the area for me.”
- S. Gorry, Bronx, NY
“MIR did a great job! Wonderful places to visit. Kiev and the Ukraine exceeded expectations."
- The Bulkeleys, West Palm Beach, FL
“We loved the trip and MIR’s organization of the trip for us.”
- The Cmoliks, Richmond, BC, Canada
“We had a wonderful trip and MIR did an excellent job making the arrangements. We were very happy with the MIR package and all of the staff members…”
- The Hartwells, St. Petersburg, FL
“Saw and experienced historic sights and learned about the Silk Road, Islamic art, the history and art of China as well as impressions of post–Soviet ‘Stans and modern China.”
- The Heldmans, Oakland, CA
“This is a great way to see much of Russia/Siberia. The guides were essential…"
- The Howles, Chapel Hill, NC
“Tour was highly satisfying, especially in terms of the education we received from our guides.”
- The Mikkelsens, Seattle, WA
- O. Ilich, Richmond, BC, Canada
"A very enjoyable trip! The Baltics are much more progressive and Western European than I had thought. Tallinn was my favorite - a delightful city."
- A. Abrams, Pacific Palisades, CA
"Trip of a lifetime - exhilarating!"
- J. Buch, Florence, OR