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Adding excursions is a great way to explore your chosen destination and make your trip a memorable experience. Whether you're keen to soak in the warm water of the geothermal Blue Lagoon in Iceland, spend a night in a Mongolian ger camp or watch the sunrise in Burma from a hot air balloon, it's the experiences that make a Regent Holiday.



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Iceland excursions area a great way to enjoy Iceland during a city break, fly drive or tailor made tour. Bask in the warm water of the geothermal Blue lagoon, race through beautiful wilderness on a snow-mobile or a superjeep, or search for whales on a whale watching tour.

Christina Gibbons

My first visit to Russia, or to the then Soviet Union, was in 1973. Oranges were a sought after luxury and the tour guides towed the party line. Many illusions of down trodden, sullen people were dispelled – with temperatures hitting the upper 80s folk were out and about in summer clothes, eating ice creams, swimming in the rivers, picnicking and queuing at street barrels for the alcohol-free malt beer kvas. So started a long love affair with Russia.

I have since returned many, many times but my excitement for the country has never waivered. There is always a frisson of tension and a hustle and bustle about the place, especially in Moscow. One cannot fail to be awe-inspired by the former wealth of the Tsars and the autocracy with their opulent palaces and priceless art collections. It is worth venturing off the well-trodden tourist routes to experience the vastness of the world’s largest country.

Take the train from Moscow to Irkutsk - an amazing piece of engineering in itself - to gaze in wonder at the world’s deepest lake, Lake Baikal. Stop en route in Yekaterinburg, Russia’s first industrial city; and the gateway between Europe and the East with the Ural Mountains forming a natural boundary Yekaterinburg’s main claim to fame is as the city where the last Tsar of Russia’s family were assassinated.

My first tour with Regent was over 27 years ago to the then staunch communist state of Albania. All foreigners were viewed with suspicion and one had to walk through a disinfectant trough on entry in order not to contaminate the local populace. Several times I was hauled before the secret police because members of my group had tried to venture on to a train. It took much persuasion to convince them of the British love of rail travel. North Korea is not dissimilar today; in order to pay your respects to the late Great Leader and founder of the present-day state, you have to be fumigated!

If I had to pick a favourite tour it would have to be Russia and the trip I took down the river Volga. There's the Kremlin, GUM and Red Square in Moscow at the start and the Great Palace and famous museums of St Petersburg at the end, but the best bit is that you get to see Russian life from the banks of the Volga. There is also a stop in Kizhi Island. The huge wooden churches here are one of Russia's least known but most impressive attractions. You can travel on a similar trip on one of our 5-Star Russian River Cruise holidays. 

Robert Longstaff

Growing up in a village in sunny West Yorkshire, I was always torn between travel and design when it came to deciding my future. I went down the travel route and after ten years working in the industry, I decided to scratch that design itch, and headed to Devon where I spent a year living in a campervan, working in a remote workshop, studying furniture design and craftsmanship. Though it was one of the best times of my life, I found myself being drawn back into the travel industry and moved to Bristol.

I was lucky enough to travel as a child with my family but fell in love with the mountains when I went skiing on a school trip. That turned into working in Chamonix, France, and later spent a ski season in Banff, Canada, as a snowboard instructor. When it comes to travel, rugged natural landscapes and mountains are my go-to.

I’ve travelled a fair bit, but Iceland is still ‘the one’. I always wanted to travel there for as long as I can remember and ended up booking a trip for a week, but once there I ended up staying for the best part of a month. It was everything I expected and more. I’d never experienced anywhere like that, somewhere so bleak and beautiful at the same time; I don’t think there are many places in the world like that – especially not within three hours of the UK. ‘Otherworldly’ is definitely the word.

Following that trip, I visited Japan for a month, which again was incredible but didn’t compare to Iceland. Returning to Iceland with Regent this year I thought it may be different or possibly spoil my memories of it, but it didn’t at all - it’s still my favourite.

I road-tripped through the country both times. Pitching a tent in the dark one night and waking up to realise we were just alongside Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon was just spectacular. On my next visit, I’m going to head to the north-west and explore the northern regions deeper, as well as taking a 4x4 out to discover the remote highlands in the summer.

I’ve finally ticked the last country in Scandinavia off the list, having now just returned from Southern Finland, exploring Helsinki and some of the countryside and towns in the south, and have previously visited Norway and Sweden.

Greenland is the next one on the list; I love anywhere vast, cold and remote, so it’s the natural next step from Iceland. With Regent, I’m heading to Southern Greenland this summer – the greenest part of the frozen country, where I’ll be immersing myself in Inuit culture, kayaking through the fjord systems and floating past immense icebergs under my own steam. I absolutely cannot wait!

 

 

Peter Wybrow

I’ve been working in the travel industry since I got my first ‘proper job’ in the late 1990’s. I figured that if I don’t have the money to travel then perhaps somebody might pay me to do so! The reality wasn’t quite like that but over the years I have used every available opportunity to visit all sorts of areas and try new adventures that I might not have otherwise considered; I have watched Beach Volleyball during the Sydney Olympics, climbed the highest peaks in Africa, followed Bradley Wiggins on my bike in the Tour de France and sailed a tall ship down the Brazilian coast. Since joining Regent in 2012 my focus has been on Russia and Eastern Europe with recent visits to Moscow and St Petersburg as well as a short spell leading our tour to Moldova. This tiny, and very friendly, republic is my new favourite country with loads to offer the experienced traveller and can easily be combined with a tour down to the Crimea in Southern Ukraine.

Read more about my travel to Regent Holiday's destinations in my blog or click here to explore our Ukraine, Moldova or Russia holidays. 





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