Volhynian Village Adventure Tours
2014 Tour Dates: September 8 - 19, 2014
Recently I again returned from another wonderfully successful Volhynian Village Adventure Tour. Because of our limited group size and restricted area of coverage, we had ample time to visit all the desired villages in a leisurely fashion. In addition, we spent a day sightseeing in Kiev, several days in the State Archives in Zhitomir, including the former Party archives, plenty of time interacting with villagers, visiting historical Bolshevik sites in Zhitomir, took a cruise down the Dneiper River and enjoyed a lovely farewell dinner of Georgian food. We had many findings in the archives and in the villages. In the past one tour member even found a first cousin on the road to his village. It was incredible!
I can hardly wait until our next tour. I have every confidence it will be equally satisfying. September is a good time of the year to visit Ukraine. The weather is nice, the villagers are accessible and the airline prices are a little lower than mid-summer. I invite you to join me in this “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to go back to your ancestral villages.
The primary package includes visiting all the villages of your choice within the area roughly from Zhitomir to Rovno, touring the historic cities of Kiev and Zhitomir, doing research in the archives and immersing yourself in Ukrainian culture. Additional options: You can rent a car with an English-speaking guide to re-visit any villages or do a side trip. You can also make a stopover in Europe to visit family and friends, or do additional research and touring. Any departure from the regular itinerary is at your own expense.
- Seasoned tour escort.
- English-speaking guides.
- Comfortable transport van.
- Limited group size.
- Modest accomodations.
- Preparatory materials
In Kiev you will stay in a nice hotel within walking distance to Independence Square. While touring the villages, you will stay in a hotel in the center of the city of Zhitomir (Pop. 400,000), where all the action is or in a modern hotel outside the city. Though the accommodations are pretty modest, they are clean and substantially better than in many other Third World countries.
The charge for land arrangements is a flat fee of $195/day US funds, based on 10 days. This includes board and room, interpreters, archival fees, transportation, sightseeing and many other amenities, not usually offered by other tours. In other words, it’s an all-inclusive tour, as long as you stay within the regular itinerary.
Airfare: The airfare cost will vary depending on your point of departure. For example, the cost from Portland, Oregon is approximately $1,300. including tax, but from New York it is considerably less. If you are departing from the US, I can usually arrange for you to get a good rate through our travel agent or you can use your own agent. However, if you are leaving from Canada, it may be preferable to make your own travel arrangements to coincide with our schedule and itinerary.
Not Included in the above costs: Cost of passport, travel and health insurance, overnight stay in Europe, if applicable, alcohol beverages and any personal items.
As your tour escort, I can promise you a first-class, “hassle-free” tour for that part of the world. I have been to Ukraine about 30 times, up and down the village roads many times and made a lot of strategic contacts over the years. I also have considerable experience leading tour groups, have done extensive research in the archives, gathered a great deal of historical information on the area, published three books on the Russian Germans in Volhynia and founded a growing humanitarian mission work in the Zhitomir region.
I am a retired educator and humanitarian, married with three children and five grandchildren. My wife, Nancy and I own a U-Cut Christmas tree business in the beautiful hills of historic Helvetia, outside Portland, Oregon.
Now is the time to set your dreams in motion for next year’s adventure.
Donald N. Miller