Tuesday, Oct 17 2017
All Cities
Choose Your City
'The Yenisey is powerful, furious hero who does not know what to do with his strength and youth'
A.P. Chekhov, 1890

'Siberia is the new hot travel destination for adventurous well-off tourists'

By The Siberian Times reporter
11 April 2013

The Australian travel company is revolutionising the image of Siberia in the outside world.

'When I'm home in Sydney and my mind wanders back to Siberia, I often think about my experience staying in a log cabin in the taiga. The crisp air, the smell of pine trees and the soothing sounds of the nearby river'. Picture: Alexander Lesnyanskiy

See their fantastic video on Siberia, perhaps the best we have come across, highlighting the wealth of delights awaiting travellers here. 

Defying outmoded stereotypes, company 56th Parallel arranges 'luxurious' vacations with 'extraordinary opportunities for wilderness adventures', including a 'unique blend of Russian and indigenous culture' and 'vibrant city life' -not a bad recommendation from a company based in buzzing cosmopolitan Sydney!

Their up-market tours include 'a level of comfort - think boutique 4 and 5 star hotels, VIP transfers and high class restaurants - far beyond what most people associate with Siberia'.

'As travel connoisseurs seek new, exciting and unspoiled places to relax, play and explore, Siberia is emerging as an uncrowded alternative to traditional adventure tourism destinations,' said a statement from 56th Parallel, founded in 2011 and dedicated to Siberia, aimed at enticing more Australians to discover the undiscovered.

'The company offers a range of itineraries catering to all tastes, from action-packed 'adrenaline' tours through to more leisurely experiences based around exploring Siberia's ancient and modern cultures, customs and cuisine. 56th Parallel also provides the opportunity for guests to create completely customised, private itineraries'.

Among the highlights for Australians - and other international tourists - are seeing the Aurora Borealis, watching wildlife such as bears, hovercrafting, snowkiting, scuba diving, aerobatic flights, fishing and hiking. 

And rolling around naked in the snow after a traditional Siberian banya.

Discover Siberia

'Among the highlights for Australians  and other international tourists are seeing the Aurora Borealis... and rolling around in the snow after a traditional Siberian banya'. Picture: Alexei Malgavko

They promise the chance to 'look into the soul of Siberia'.

'Within Russia vast borders is adventure travels' best kept secret - Siberia', said the company's website - www.56thparallel.com (and no, they didn't pay us to say this, but this is a suberb site). 

'Shrouded in myth and legend, this little known wonderland is one of the world's last real off the beaten track destinations. Whether you crave adrenaline or want to immerse yourself in culture, Siberia has it all. Adventure travel in Siberia runs the full gamut from mild to wild, limited only by your imagination'.

They stress: 'Siberia's extraordinary vastness and its diverse geography means the choice of activities on offer is unparalleled. 

'In winter, Siberia offers skiing and snowboarding at both world-class resorts and spectacularly remote, crowd-free mountain slopes. 

'Guests are able to add a distinctly Russian flavour to their tours, with experiences such as the banya (Russian sauna), hovercraft rides, husky dog sledding, Russian ballet performances, and of course, tasting the world's finest vodka. 

'A summer tour is recommended to make the most of Siberia's surprisingly warm sunshine and the opportunity to hike in the taiga forest, go rafting and rock climbing, kayak along the rugged Pacific coast, or cruise the turquoise blue waters of Lake Baikal, the oldest and deepest lake on earth.

Discover Siberia


Discover Siberia

'In winter, Siberia offers skiing and snowboarding at both world-class resorts and spectacularly remote, crowd-free mountain slopes'. Pictures: Alexander Lesnyanskiy, Alexander Ermolitskiy 

'With over 9 unique sites recognised by UNESCO and close to 100 sites under consideration, Siberia's natural beauty has attracted Russian tourists, artists, photographers, wildlife lovers and adventure sports enthusiasts for generations. 

'Now the Russian government is making a concerted effort to promote international tourism within its borders, and is currently in talks with the EU to offer visa free travel for tourists. The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi is set to give Russia a massive tourism boost. Within Siberia itself, full service tour companies like 56th Parallel, along with a flurry of new developments from major international hotels mean Siberia is readier than ever to welcome travellers of every persuasion.'

The company's name will need no introduction to Russians but as 56th Parallel's founder and CEO Michael Schneider explained: 'The 56th Parallel has extraordinary significance in Russia and Siberia. 

'Every region in Siberia has a territory that touches the 56th Parallel, and landmarks at this latitude include Moscow, Novosibirsk, Lake Baikal, the Kamchatka Peninsula, Yekaterenburg and Bratsk. 

Most of the Trans Siberian railway follows the 56th Parallel, with just a few deviations here and there. Just as this single line of latitude connects all the regions of Siberia, we are deeply connected to every part of this mysterious and beautiful land, which is why we share our name with the 56th Parallel.'

Discover Siberia


Discover Siberia

'Everywhere I went, I was humbled by open-armed welcomes and authentic generosity. Classical music played on the main streets, and people would take walks purely for the sake of walking, strolling hand in hand with their loved one. I felt like I was in a movie, or some kind of time warp. Pictured: TBK lounge restaurant in Akademgorodok, Novosibirsk, and La Maison in Novosibirsk city centre 

The company's first tour was to Krasnoyarsk city, also on the 56th, and, he said, this 'still is one of our most popular destinations'. 

The idea for the travel company came to Mr Schneider on a business trip in June 2002. 

'I made my very first visit to Siberia,' he said.

'I have to admit I was a little apprehensive. I'd imagined somewhere cold and bleak and maybe even not-so friendly. So, it was a rather pleasant surprise for me when I landed in Krasnoyarsk city and stepped out into a sunny 25 degrees Celsius. The ride into the city was captivating. I was struck by the sight of smart new buildings sitting side-by-side with 150 year old houses, so old they seemed to be sinking into the ground.

'I spent the next few days exploring the city, meeting the locals, dining out and basically finding my 'Hollywood-ised' idea of Siberia being turned on its head! 

'Everywhere I went, I was humbled by open-armed welcomes and authentic generosity. Classical music played on the main streets, and people would take walks purely for the sake of walking, strolling hand in hand with their loved one. I felt like I was in a movie, or some kind of time warp.

'And then there was the food: so rich, so tasty! Most of the ingredients were gathered fresh from the gardens of babushkas. The service was impeccable, and the atmosphere of a celebratory Russian feast - well, it's pretty lively, to say the least. 

Discover Siberia


Discover Siberia

'With over 9 unique sites recognised by UNESCO and close to 100 sites under consideration, Siberia's natural beauty has attracted Russian tourists, artists, photographers, wildlife lovers and adventure sports enthusiasts for generations. Pictures: Alexander Lesnyanskiy, Vera Salnitskaya

'I quickly found myself falling in love with Russian hospitality and culture. My first banya (Russian sauna) was strange and invigorating and a brilliant bonding experience, and I spent countless nights feasting, toasting, drinking vodka, laughing and singing with my newfound Siberian friends'.

He explained: 'When I'm home in Sydney and my mind wanders back to Siberia, I often think about my experience staying in a log cabin in the taiga. 

'The crisp air, the smell of pine trees and the soothing sounds of the nearby river. On the same trip, my hosts took me quad biking, salmon fishing in the Yenisei and water skiing on the Krasnoyarsk Sea. 

'I felt like an honoured guest for every second of my stay. When I returned, enlightened, I was determined to share this amazing discovery with everyone. 

'I managed to gather together a group of slightly wary friends to travel with me to Siberia. Just like me, this first venture into the unknown completely turned their notions of Siberia upside down. And apart from the eye-popping landscapes and the incredible opportunities for adventure, what struck them most was the overwhelmingly open, caring and friendly nature of the Siberians.

'My business ventures in Russia were successful, and over the years I made dozens of trips to the region and made many lifelong friends. I realised I'd stumbled upon something life changing, something I was passionate about sharing with the world. I realised I'd laid the groundwork for a new kind of business - a travel company. 

'In 2011, 56th Parallel was born. Through our tours and experiences, I hope to show the world the real Siberia, and give people the chance to fall in love with this extraordinary part of the planet - just as I did'.

Comments (10)

It's a shame almost no one can see the beauty of isolated places like Siberia. I wish more people would be more adventurous. Anyway, I cant wait to go to Siberia in 2 weeks. Its been a dream of mine for so long. Thank you SiberianTimes for all the amazing articles!
Nomad Burg, Den Bosch, Netherlands
20/07/2017 16:41
0
0
My husband and I will be headed to Nome Alaska this August and we would like to know if we can travel to Siberia from Nome? Could someone suggest where we might go? We're interested in seeing the Siberian sights, hiking and enjoying the unimaginable.

Thank you!
Elizabeth, Reno NV
28/04/2017 01:50
1
0
-- The Australian travel company is revolutionising the image of Siberia in the outside world --
That realy sounds overhyped, unless it was a paid advertisment article..... :) There is a whole banch of Siberia based travel companies that do their best building up "the face of Siberia in the outside world". I used couple local companies on my trips and was quite satisfied. Obviously an Irkutsk-based company will offer you way better rates for the same service, rather than one from Sydney.
Man, Nomad/World
14/05/2013 17:07
2
0
bathing in the snow! insane russians!
O, S/E ASia
13/04/2013 23:27
1
1
ok I buy it. The pictures look great
Serge, France
13/04/2013 13:04
4
0
ok but I will still never believe that the western tourists will step off their paths to Thailand or Greece or Turkey or wherever they go and will go to Siberia. But the pictures you show are good, and in fact only give an understanding of 1-2% of how beautiful Siberia actually is.
Yan, Novosibirsk
12/04/2013 17:14
8
0
Hi guys and thank you for promoting Siberia - we are indeed are not as wild here as some people still think. Welcome to Siberia))))
Misha, Siberia
12/04/2013 15:19
15
1
Dear Mr Schneider, Australia has many immigrants from that part of the world and especially those that trekked overland through China with young children who are now adults and possibly grandparents.

I too grew up believing it was a barren 'God-forsaken' land until I started to read and hear from others that had travelled across that land and remarked on the beauty. Yes, these people are typical of being truly friendly, extremely hospitable and generous. That is one of the traits in which I am also proud to have inherited. I now wished I had travelled to Siberia as I myself have been called a Сибірка.

A pity I never took up the opportunity when I had the chance. But I wish everyone all the best where my heart should be.

ps: We do not call our grandmothers 'babushkas' (these are those Russian wooden nesting/nested dolls - but бабуся. All our elderly are treated with respect and referred to either as 'бабуся' (grandmother) or dido (grandfather) even if not related.
Valentyna, Perth, Scotland
12/04/2013 11:58
13
1
Hi Laura,
First of all , allow me to Thank " The siberian Times" THANK YOU!!! who wrote a great editorial about us, Its always Much nicer to Get attention when you did NOT ask for it, and it just happens, either due to Passion or Hard work.

Laura, Siberia is huge, and the choices are many, feel free to contact me for any information you need, my team and i would love to share our passion for the region and the opportunities for great adventures, whether you are looking for a culture immersion, nature, wilderness or adrenaline boost. Info@56thparallel.com
Michael Schneider
Michael Schneider, sydney/Australia
12/04/2013 11:46
sounds and looks tempting. go on guys, tell us more. I am certainly not as nervous about the idea of travelling to Siberia as I would have been months ago before I started reading you. And now this company with its impressive website and interesting tours - you are certainly pressing right buttons with your western audience. Its a fascinating thought to imagine yourself in Siberia
Laura, Germany
12/04/2013 11:11
9
0
1

Add your comment

We welcome a healthy debate, but do not accept offensive or abusive comments. Please also read 'Siberian Times' Privacy Policy

Name

Town/Country

Add your comments

The views expressed in the comments above are those of our readers. 'Siberian Times' reserves the right to pre-moderate some comments.

Control code*

Type the code

* obligatory


News

Business

The Bank of Russia official exchange rates of foreign currencies
EUR67.46USD57.34GBP76.15Other...