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Announcing Sustainable, Ethical, Design-led Tours to the Former USSR

Views from the road between Khorog and Murghab, Tajikistan. Credit: Alex Pflaum

When the world went into lockdown in March last year, travel came to a standstill. A year later, as vaccine distribution ramps up, travel is coming back. As travel begins returns in a post-Covid world, it will have changed. It will be more sustainable and ethical. 

Posters tell the stories of the USSR. But not the whole story. The rest needs to be experienced. Over the past two years, I’ve had several customers of Comrade Kiev ask for advice on travelling to the former Soviet republics. In my own experience, I’ve found that travelling to many of these countries is often difficult - filled with friction and uncertainty. I wanted to change that. 

Introducing Comrade Kiev Travel

I've partnered with Joro Experiences to create sustainable, ethical and design-led tours to the most extraordinary and often overlooked destinations across the former USSR. The first two tours are Architecture Across the Ages and Roads to the Roof of the World.

Architecture Across the Ages takes travellers to some of the most important – and most often overlooked – architectural sites across Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Visit Uzbekistan’s towering turquoise mosques, see how Georgia shook off Soviet rule with cosmic-inspired superstructures, and witness the rebirth of Turkmenistan with its audacious white marble city.

Roads at the Roof of the World offers travellers soaring views across jagged peaks, steep-sided valleys and high plateaus in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Get a rare glimpse of lands largely untouched ideological undulations, and the people who call them home. 

Boy and his horse on the steppes of Kyrgyzstan. Credit: Frans Hulet

Our Commitment to the Environment

There is no better way to understand other cultures than to visit them. But, ultimately all travel has an impact on the environment. Each of the tours we offer creates between 6.5 and 9.31 tonnes of CO2e per person. Working with Joro Experiences, who founded the Conscious Travel Foundation, we’ve reduced the average footprint of each tour by 7-12% so far. All remaining unavoidable carbon emissions are offset through our partners at Chooose. Chooose uses that money to capture the equivalent carbon emissions from the atmosphere and store it in stable ways. 

Our Commitment to Freedom & Equality

We’re respectful of being guests in other countries with different cultures, but won’t stand silent when human rights are violated. In some of the countries I visit, the authorities regularly crack down on the media, harass peaceful protesters, engage in smear campaigns against political rivals, and ban independent foreign organisations. We donate 1.5% of the price of each tour to local community projects, and a further 1.5% to Human Rights Watch, an independent, non-profit NGO that exists to give voice to the oppressed and hold those responsible accountable. 

We’ll release more tours in the coming months. Each tour is bespoke and built to fit your budget, timeline and interests. If you’ve been wanting to follow in the footsteps of legendary polar explorers, climb smoking volcanoes in the remote Far East, or cross the endless Gobi desert on camelback, get in touch. We’ll take you there, we’ll get you closer. Get in touch to plan your next trip.

Warsaw Tourism Days | Poland | 1981£300.00
List of all posters

Further Reading

art

Soviet Intourist Travel Posters - How the USSR Used Art & Propaganda to Drive Tourism

Intourist held a monopoly on tourism in the USSR. As the only tourism agency in the Soviet Union, Intourist was responsible for attracting and accommodating all tourists. Like every other industry or ideal in the USSR, Intourist used propaganda to advance its agenda. Posters targeted western audiences. They portrayed the Soviet Union as a glamorous and exotic land rather than a country of labourers and peasants.

travel

The Trans-Siberian Railroad - The Railroad that Changed the World and Started a War

9,198 kilometres of tracks connect Moscow to the Pacific port of Vladivostok. As the longest railroad in the world, the Trans-Siberian Railway is truly one of humanity’s most impressive engineering feats. But, this symbol of Soviet power has also had an outsized impact on the world at large. Its construction was the catalyst for a war between two superpowers, it transported millions of prisoners to the Gulags, and served as a lifeline during the Second World War.

travel

Exploring Budapest’s Dystopian Underground Water Reservoir

Rising above the banks of Budapest’s Danube river is Gellért Hill, an affluent residential area with elegant tree-lined streets. But, hidden beneath the surface is a strange and surreal sight - the József Gruber Water Reservoir. Every March, it’s emptied for its annual cleaning. With 106 stretched columns, the second basin makes for a futuristic and dystopian landscape.

art

Abandoned Kyrgyzstan: Aalam-Ordo, the Centre of the Universe

Along the southern border of Issyk-Kul lake, Kyrgyzstan, two shining golden gates and 1,500 metre long wall shield a giant hundred hectare complex. I scaled the wall and on the other side, I discovered hundreds of abandoned yurts, an outdoor theatre and a handful of colourful peeling murals. ‘Aalam-Ordo’, which translates as ‘the centre of the universe’, now sits abandoned.

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+44 7397 297470
london, UK
london, UK
+44 7397 297470
hello@comradekiev.com
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