What does “MIR” mean?

In Russian, the word mir means both “peace” and “world.”Read more about MIR’s beginnings and why MIR is your best choice for travel to Central Asia, the Trans-Siberian Railway, Russia and beyond.Read More

How long has MIR been in business?

MIR began over 30 years ago, in 1986, when president and founder Douglas Grimes helped organize (and participated in) a goodwill volleyball tour of the USSR. Douglas enjoyed the country and the people so much that he was inspired to help others travel there. (About MIR)Read More

What is the maximum group size on a MIR tour?

MIR has four types of group tours, the Premier, Cultural and Explorer series tours and Private Rail Journeys. The Premier and Cultural trips have a maximum of 16 travelers, and the more intimate Explorer trips allow a maximum of only 12. Rail Journeys by Private Train are often large groups of 100 or more travelers. Our Flexible Essential Private Trips are indeed Private Trips (not group tours). They are suggested itineraries with no set dates. Essentials are priced based on two travelers, although the number of travelers can be easily expanded or contracted.  A single traveler can book a Flexible Essential trip for a supplemental price.Read More

Are the scheduled group departures guaranteed?

The Premier, Cultural and Explorer group tours are guaranteed once they have registered the minimum number of travelers. The minimum number varies from two to six and can be found on the specific tour page and in the Descriptive Daily Itinerary. Rail Journeys by Private Train scheduled from May to October are considered guaranteed departures.Read More

Can MIR book my international air transportation?

MIR’s in-house, full service air department is available to assist our travelers with their air travel needs. Check with MIR before booking air on your own, as we are happy to research and compare the best fares and routings available. We have access to special contract rates to many of our destinations, including excellent business class fares on Lufthansa, United, Austrian, Swiss Air, Air Canada, and SAS Scandinavian Airlines. We do not furnish air-only arrangements; air tickets must be purchased in conjunction with a MIR tour. Mileage tickets and upgrades must be purchased on your own. Visit our Air Information page for more details.Read More

Can MIR arrange pre- and post-tour extensions?

Absolutely. Our staff has the information and expertise to plan anything from one extra day in the Gobi Desert to two extra weeks in St. Petersburg. Aside from special-order extensions, many of our trips are designed so that they can be linked together back-to-back. Also, consider the classic itineraries featured in our series of Flexible Essential Private Trips – well-designed private tour itineraries already researched and ready to book on the dates you choose. You can easily add these on before or after your main tour.Read More

Who will lead my tour?

MIR’s tour managers and national guides are experienced, caring, multi-lingual leaders who bring a love of their work to ensure your satisfaction. Many of our managers are native to the lands in which they guide and have university degrees in art history, architecture, geology or ethnography. Check out our sterling tour managers and guides.Read More

How strenuous are MIR tours?

We offer four styles of group travel – Premier, Cultural or Explorer Series tours and Rail Journeys by Private Train – each with a slightly different focus and with different physical demands. Explorer Series are more active than Premier or Cultural tours, but generally, to be comfortable on a MIR tour you need to be able to walk at least a mile a day unassisted, and be able to keep up with other group members. Private Rail trips may present challenges getting on and off the trains. For a detailed overview of the physical demands of each trip, see the specific Descriptive Daily Itinerary.Read More

What’s included in my MIR tour?

MIR small group tours offer great value with our all-inclusive land tour pricing. By “all-inclusive,” we mean that we include well-located accommodations, the majority of your meals (as listed in the itinerary), access to spectacular sites, cultural performances and special visits, the services of an experienced tour manager, gratuities to support staff (local guides, drivers and restaurant staff for included meals), arrival/departure transfers (whether we book your international airfare or not) and ground/surface transportation per the itinerary (trains, coaches, jeeps, boats/hydrofoils as applicable). The inclusions for each small group tour, Rail Journeys by Private Train and Flexible Essential Private Trip are listed on each tour page under “What’s Included” and in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary for that tour.Read More