More and more people are looking for a different type of holiday. Going on a tour with us is one. - You don't have to be a volcano fanatic to join one of our tours, and you don't have to have previous experience. Remember that we have different tours, with something for (almost) everyone,- but have a look at what travellers who have been with us have said about us...:
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Posted By: Roger Vaughan on May 14, 2012 11:26AM
Another brilliant Volcano Discovery trip (May 2012)for me, this time to Santorini. It was complete with the excellent guiding and knowledge that Tom always delivers on his trips. The food and company were also excellent.
I hope you are resting well in Germany after your trip from Greece. We had a good journey on the ship and our cabin even had a shower and toilet. We then had a slow day with a little bit of walking through the town center and out on the port wall to the Venetian Fort. Today we started our guided tour and visited the museum and Knossos.
Thank you for a great trip on Santorini. I have now seen many more places and love it even more. The other girls found it spectacular too. Thank you also for being able to adapt the program in such a way that we did not miss out due to the bad weather.
Keep in touch as I would love to show you parts of Australia one day and I even might come back and do another tour with you. Keep me informed about your new projects,
"Hello Tom: just got back from Java this morning. The trip was superb and I just wanted to tell you how much we appreciated Andi and Galih who stepped in when Andi became sick. Everyone has an excellent visit and learnt a great deal. Krakatua and Ijen were my personal highlights.
Best wishes Dick" (Richard H., Australia)
"I believe we will be talking about it for the next few years..."
At the Valle del Bove
Once again, we really appreciated with your arrangement and guidance. It was the most enjoyable and the highlight of our trip.
It had also opened our eyes to see how wonderful and powerful our planet is. We still have been talking about it. I believe we will be talking about it for the next few years. I don't think it will be a forgettable experience in my life. Poor me, it will be very hard to find another experience as good as this again. Unless your will take us to somewhere else on earth.
We would also thank for your organisation with Rosario to be our volcano guide. He was amazing. Hope we can visit him once again in the future.
Thank you very much. Please keep in touch and take care.
Tony / Moon / Joan / Eva"
(Tony S. from Hong Kong, about the Etna Volcano Special tour)
Thank you for a wonderful, awesome holiday. Holidaying with volcanoes was Craig's wish holiday and it definitely lived up to his expectations.
Your Vanuatu Volcano tour was a fantastic mix of hard core volcanoes and cultural Vanuatu life. I really enjoyed the time we spent in Endu while we both found the volcanoes amazing.
Yashmin thank you for your quiet persistent handling of the Air Vanuatu troubles. I am going to email them some feedback, but this will probably not make much difference.
Thank you again. I am not sure if other volcano tours are in our future, but if they are are we will do them with you.
(Shellie B., Australia, about the recent Volcanoes of the South Sea Vanuatu volcano tour)
the trip was superb and Yashmin did a wonderful job!
"Hello Tom: the trip was superb and Yashmin did a wonderful job! I came back fitter than before and looking forward to the next trip. Yashmin has convinced me to put Guatamala on the list!"
(Richard H., Australia, about the Vanuatu Volcano tour)
Just wanted to let you know I had a great trip recently to Vanuatu on your volcanoes in the south sea tour. After a few hiccups at the beginning Ulla and Basti were able to get things sorted and we set out on our adventure. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip, seeing the 2 things that I had always wanted to see......boiling lava and an exploding volcano! If Yasur was in my backyard I would love to watch it every night!
It also made a big difference to share the adventure with friendly, easy going people from around the world. Ulla and Basti were fantastic, very accommodating and nothing was ever too hard. This was my 2nd tour with volcano discovery, Volcanoes of Java being my first last year. I would recommend either of these trips to anyone who is seeking a volcano adventure."
Kristy W (Australia)
Just a quick email to say thank you for what was the most amazing tour (Volcanoes of Java) in August. Galih was an informative and helpful guide - he was incredibly knowledgeable and catered to all our needs. We were able to experience every volcano we had time for (sacrificed some sleep to fit in an extra couple!) and it was well worth it.
The highlight was most definitely seeing lava bubbling on the floor of Merapi crater - something to tick off the bucket list! I rarely go on holiday and feel such a sense of achievement at the end of it.
As a Geography teacher, this was a dream come true and would not hesitate to recommend VolcanoDiscovery to anybody - thank you so much. Both of you were incredibly helpful in your email correspondence prior to the tour and I received my gas mask well in time. I hope to travel with your company again in the future."
(Tina P., Coventry, UK)
I just wanted to give you some feed-back on my recent trip: Volcanoes of Java: 8-24 July 2012.
My son Zakkary & I thoroughly enjoyed the trip. We feel that your guide, Andi did a wonderful job and represented your company extremely well. You've got a good guy there!
Little surprises like including some beer with many meals and a T shirt are very appreciated.
I would highly recommend your company and hope, when I can find the time to perhaps use your services in Vanuatu at some stage.
Thanks once again,
"Back home. It was a cool trip in a really cool group. Thanks to Ulla Lohmann and above all also Basti everything went smooth despite logistic challenges on location.
The experience of both gave us a great insight into the culture and people of Vanuatu. The video from this trip will this time be a professional one, as the SWR film team was with us. In November, you can see an impression from this tour on "Länder, Menschen,Abenteuer". Perhaps you'll see me in there as well."
(Alexander Günther, Hanover, Germany)
Dear VolcanoDiscovery Team,
after returning from Java / Bali, I'd like to send you a a quick report about our trip. Marita and I felt super well on the tour from the very first day until the end. Andi took great care of Marita and could almost read every wish from her lips. Despite her pregnancy, she could enjoy the tour and would not have liked to miss a single day. I got to know Andi as extremely caring and responsible tour guide, one who also has great competence in photography - something rare to find! His enthousiastic way to show us Indonesia and the beauty of volcanoes is contagious from the first moment and makes wanting for MORE!
Marita und I would like to thank you and your team very warmly for the great tour. As a side note, we appreciated a lot that the maximum number of participants was set to only 6, which made for a very pleasant experience of the whole trip.
Dietmar and Marita
Feedback Milos-Tour April 2012
Customer feedback for the Milos-Tour in April 2012
Thanks a lot for great cooperation : travel agent called us to say guests had an outstanding tour with a wonderful guide J
All the best."
Agent de voyages Sales & Operations Specialtours & Groups
Tourisme Pour Tous
"I thank you again for this fantastic trip and the enthusiasm, your service to get up early every day. This is not as a matter of course.
Claus and Anna" (Krakatau to Bali photo tour)
A great TRIP to Etna with Rosario
"... btw we had A great TRIP to Etna with Rosario, so much so it has really inspired my son to do Geology in Imperial College in London this September.
Cheers, Michelle" (Private Tours on Etna)
Trip was incredible
Lava fountains of around 150 m height from the active flank vent during the 2011-12 eruption of Nyamuragira (Nyamulagira) volcano, DRCongo.
"Trip was incredible – this was most definitely the highlight. We were incredibly lucky – our viewpoint was better than when the eruption first started due to the orientation of the new cone.
Nyiragongo Lava Lake & Gorillas
"Alex, Beleta, Reinhard,
First of all I would like to express again my most great full thanks to Beleta. You did an excellent job to organize and manage this splendid trip to a fascinating part of your country: the Afar with its amazing people, the active volcanoes and it’s harsh but vast landscape of salt lakes.
You must have had some hard time to satisfy all the wishes of us crazy individualists: Two Germans and even a Bulgarian! And all those additional demands imposed on to you by your fellow countrymen like the Afar police men, the soldiers, the militia and all the administrators we run into together.
Beleta, you helped us to come to a closer understanding of our country and your people. I can’t imagine to have had a better ambassador of your country than you! Please transmit my thanks again to our drivers among them Tsigaye and last but not least to Sancho, our cook during this trip, who took care about our well-being.
Last but not least, I must have some words about my very well esteemed fellow travelers, Alex and Reinhard. Without you I can’t imagine to have done this travel. You lifted me out of that valley of ignorance of handling an expensive camera and both of you taught me how to shoot decent pictures with my camera. I would like to express my gratitude to both of you for the many tips and hints you gave me. If there would be an opportunity to travel again with all of you I would certainly do so.
I am also indebted to Tom’s Volcano Discovery and his dedicated colleagues. This travel was unique and exceptional.
Regarding the uploading of pictures, hints for improvement of the trip and observations at the Volcanoes you will have some news from my side after the holidays.
Have a merry Christmas and a happy new year.
Daniel" (Daniel F., Saudi Arabia)
"We had a wonderful time..." - travel article in Rock&Gem magazine Jan 2012
Read what it is like to travel with us - "A Grand Tour of Italy's Hot Spots" (Rock&Gem magazine, Jan 2012 issue)
I take advantage of this mail to state once again that this Stromboli discovery was great. You are used to but for newcomers, this is just magic.
Best regards - Nicolas
I saw that you have some customers testemony on your website: you may add this one if you want (and photo)
I wrote it in english (more international..)
"Thanks to VOLCANO DISCOVERY : we had a great Stromboli discovery, with my young kids.
Stromboli is just magic, erupting lava every 15 minutes or so, breaking the black night sky with fire: just great.
Going up with young kids is ok but needs some mental preparation and a good siesta before as the coming back is late night.
Last Congratulations to VOLCANO DISCOVERY: professional organisation and great spirit from managers that love volcanos and are not in just to tap money from tourists.
Best to all
Nicolas (44), Julia (7) and Yvan (9) - written 2 august 2011" (Nicolas, France, Stromboli tour)
...something I have wanted to do for 45 years and finally got the chance...
I have returned to Australia after 30 odd hours on the plane trail. I had to be back at work in 6 hours so I have only just had time to reflect and look at photos. Attached are 3 from Stromboli after our first ascent, the pictures from our second were interesting but less spectacular.
I give my best thanks to you and your team, Marco in particular for making it such a worthwhile and exciting time. It is something I have wanted to do for 45 years and finally got the chance.
Alan" (Stromboli to Etna trip)
"Hi Tobias and Phoebe,
I meant to e-mail you both soon after I got back home. Thank you again for an incredible week--it was definitely one of the greatest trips I think I have ever taken.
I made all my flight connections (though I had to run across the Munich airport, but it was a chance for exercise, haha), but my luggage got left behind in Munich and took several extra days to come home. And everything went well with the parents of the friend-of-a-friend who picked me up in Athens. I'm still astounded by the kindness of strangers, and the hospitality of Greek people in general.
Little by little, I'm uploading my photos to my Flickr account. There were over 600 so it's taking a while to go through them and edit them. Next up: stitching together panoramas of lava flows on Nea Kameni!
I actually I took very few photos of people on this trip. Tobias, you'd mentioned a site where we could share all our photos--I'd be happy to upload my originals there, too, so we all have them in one place.
Phoebe: I'm glad you all made it home safely!
Tobias: hope you had a great time in Minos! Your photos on Facebook are gorgeous.
Be well. :) It was wonderful traveling with you.
Smitha" (Smitha, USA)
What a genuinely life changing experience! I'm speechless!!!
Yashmin and the guides were first class and I am forever grateful for dealing with such experienced people! I want to go again! Thanking you
Tim J C." (Australia)
...want to thank everyone for such a great trip.
Hello Volcano Discoverers,
Heather and I want to thank everyone for such a great trip. It was a great group pf people to travel with and I think we have new memories that will last a lifetime. ...
We hope our paths cross again in the future. Maybe on another volcano, who knows
Cheers, Salute, Prost, Skaal, Gesondheid,
Craig L. and Heather H. (Colorado, USA, Volcanoes of Italy tour)
...what a great time we had...
We are now back from our holiday in Indonesia. Just wanted to drop you a message to say what a great time we had with Andi. The blue flames of Kawah Ijen were really a special sight to see, I'm amazed its not more nown as a tourist destination. Almost all the people we spoke to at Ijen during the day didn't know what wonders can be seen at night. Bromo was great too. Overall we had a fantastic time, many thanks. Phil H." (Volcanoes of East Java private tour)
"The Iceland break trip was wonderful..."
Iceland Break 17th of February 2011:
"The Iceland break trip was wonderful, we had such a great time with Haukur and Hadda and a very nice small group. Everything was perfect, the sites, the weather, the food,.. I will definetly come back to Iceland soon...
Best wishes from Zürich,
Susanne" (Susanne S., Zurich, February 2011)
"... an amazing day on our trip! ..."
Dawn and I can not thank you and Arthur enough for giving us an amazing day on our trip! I just submitted my review below to Tripadvisor and couldn't say enough good things about our experience with VolcanoDiscovery...
Take care, Rick
"Amazing 12 hours with VolcanoDiscovery!"
We spent 12 hours with Arthur on Feb. 10th, 2011 and it will be a day we'll never forget. I first contacted VolcanoDiscovery in December through their web site and promptly was contacted by Philip via email. I was initially considering the 6-hr Lava Proximity Hike but decided to book the 12-hr Active Eruption Combination Tour based on Philip's responses to my many questions. Booking through their web site was fast and easy. Philip gave us the option to advertise our tour on the web site so others could join us to reduce cost. Arthur called me the day before to arrange our pick up and discuss what we were interested in doing/learning so he could tailor our day to us. He was able to schedule a 2-hr tour of the Kazumura Lava Tube to start our day off which was incredible!
It was clear right away that Arthur was very focused on making sure we were getting the best experience possible. He had several local food items and drinks for us and checked often to make sure that we were happy with what we were doing and with our plans for the rest of the day. He took us to the National Park for several stops and a nice hike to Pu'u Huluhulu. After a quick stop for some food, he drove us to check in at Kalapana for the Lava Proximity Hike and we were off to see the lava up close. Once we got to the lava, he made sure to position us in the best place to get some great pics. Arthur acted as our photographer throughout the day and knew how to make both of our cameras get the best pics. I should also mention that Arthur's personality fits perfectly with his job. He was very friendly and personable. He also has a true spirit of Aloha and was well liked by everyone we interacted with during the tour.
Those 12 hours went by way too fast and the experience we had with VolcanoDiscovery was more than worth the cost! I had originally thought that we could tour on our own for a similar experience and boy was I WRONG!"
(Rick L., USA, about a Private Tour on Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i)
Happy New Year!
We did your tour with Phillip last night on the Big Island and had a wonderful tour on the lava fields.
"I can recommend this tour to anyone who wants to see, hear, feel, and smell the furious boiling lava of Vanuatu" (Andrew about the recent Expedition to Vanuatu)
Traditional dances on Ambrym (photo: Andrew McRae)
Explosion at Yasur volcano (photo: Andrew McRae)
"Hello Yashmin, and everyone at Volcano Discovery!
Thank you for running the Vanuatu tour, and explaining everything volcanic, and helping to keep us safe on the mountain and healthy in the jungles. None of us went for a lava swim so I guess it's a success?
Also, thanks for putting the flashing parking lights on the hills at Maroum because for a while I was concerned we wouldn't find our way back. But I think our local guides could have walked up and down blindfolded, they were amazing. Thanks for loaning me your jacket when I thought I would freeze to death - it was a privilege to wear that logo for just a few hours. :-D
Also thank you for helping me to understand that cultural immersion is the main value of travel. I can recommend this tour to anyone who wants to see, hear, feel, and smell the furious boiling lava of Vanuatu. Not to mention the poulet fish is superb! I may even have a taste for camping, Camenbert theory, and cassava that I didn't have before." (Andrew M., Australia)
Your company name is so perfect! I was awed by the sights, information and experiences of our recent trip - layers and layers of discoveries about volcanoes (for certain) but so much more ... the different regions, the cuisine, the wonderful people. My senses were definitely on high alert. Rain or shine what an absolutely fantastic time! I look forward to more Volcano Discoveries in the future. Have a "supa" trip to Ethiopia.
Warm regards, Eileen" (San Francisco)
"...perfect organisation..." (a feedback in Croatian)
jos uvijek pod nezaboravnim dojmovima od putovanja po Etni, Volcano i Stromboli,htjela bih da ti se zahvalim.Tvoje kompetentno i razumljivo vodenje po vulkanu,odlicno organizirano,srdacnost Tvoje i grupe za mene ostaje u lijepom sjecanju.
Taj dozivljaj erupcije vulkana Stromboli na vecer, pjesacenje po Etni,razgledavanje Lipara, sve me to animira za opet drugo putovanje sa "VolcanoDiscovery"
uz pozdrav Marica iz Varazdina,Hrvatska" (Stromboli to Etna tour)
"... a special thank-you to Tobias for being such a understanding and helpful guide for a really wonderful week..."
Group at a breadcrust bomb on Nea Kameni (photo: Allen Fraser)
We'd like to say a big thank-you to you all for being such excellent companions during our stay on such a wonderful island.
Also a special thank-you to Tobias for being such a understanding and helpful guide for a really wonderful week.
I've attached a group photo of you all by the bread-crust bomb (if anyone would like a higher res image let me know and I will e-mail it to you).
You are all of course welcome to visit Shetland and other websites you may find helpful are Shetland Geotours www.shetlandgeology.com (although we will be making some changes to what we do for next season) and Visit Shetland visit.shetland.org
"Hi, I liked the Vanuatu trip, I think it was pretty professionally run and I would travel with Volcano Discovery again it's a good company and the people that travel on it are all nice..." (Antony, Australia about the Volcanoes in the South Sea expedition to Vanuatu)
Just wanted to let you know what a great trip to East Java we had earlier this month. It was a fantastic trip with spectacular sights resulting in some 500+ pictures. We really enjoyed ourselves and had a great guide with Galih. Also the porters and drivers we had did a great job. We were very pleased to see that the porters not only collected our garbage but also others'. It is really quite sad to see that others just drop theirs.
Cheers, Elke and Kai" (Malaysia)
Looking over the Tengger caldera (Photo: Mirjam & Gerben, NL)
"Dear Tom and Tobias
We just returned from our trip to Indonesia part of which consisted of the tour with Volcano discovery.
We had a great trip and had splendid experiences in the various volcano areas. Our first compliment goes to your guide Eko Santoso. He was an excellent guide and travel companion and we had many conversations beyond the volcano activities themselves. He is also flexible and inventive and organized the trip very well...
... In this way we had a very balanced program of driving, scenery and exploration. One of the very interesting parts was the communication with the Sulphur miners near Iljen volcano. Through Eko's contact we warmed up in their hut after our night walk, shared some tea and got a deeper insight in their lives as miners.
... we look back with great pleasure on this trip (as the attached picture proves) and if our travels take us again near a volcano area we will certainly check if volcano-discovery organizes tours!!!" (Gerben and Mirjam, Netherlands, about their Volcanoes of East Java trip, July 2010)
Dear Tom, we've just returned from Sicily and would like to thank you for the wonderful experience that we had. We had great weather and could descend into Etna's main crater. Your "variant 1" turned out to be the perfect challenge for our 9 year old daughter, although she found the craters and the fumes a bit scary. My wife and I rank this trip as one of our top 3 experiences so far! Rosario was a perfect guide: he made us feel at ease and safe, provided just enough explanations without sounding like the stereotypical tourist guide and he was just 100% a pro.
Minor correction: the guides do have boots, backpacks and jackets that your customers can borrow.
I've enclosed a few pictures of us on Mt Etna.
Best regards Sven Jorissen"
"Hello Tom and Tobias. We have been meaning to write to say how much we
enjoyed our trip to Sicily. We'd particularly like you to know how very much we enjoyed the company of our guide. Of course life was a little easier for him with a group of just three people! But he went to great trouble to make sure that we were safe and comfortable and enjoyed all the trips we did with him. ... Thanks to you again, by the way, for allowing an 'uneconomic' trip to go ahead." (T. Mills, UK)
"...I climbed Sromboli as planned and had a really great time. The views were fantastic and the guides were very good.
I would definitely recommend this to anyone. Thank you." (Steve C., UK)
8-hr Volcano & Waterfalls Combination Private Tour w/Philip, June 2010
Akaka Falls. Photo: Jeff B.
Onomea Bay Scenic Drive. Photo: Ann B.
Kilauea Iki Crater. Photo: Jeff B.
Philip explains lava flows. Photo: Jeff B.
"Philip ..... arrived back in Atlanta yesterday morning uneventfully. We had a great trip to Hawaii with our tour with you a highlight. Here's the review I submitted to Trip Advisor. It will probably be published in a day or two. I cannot say enough about how impressive your product is both in its advertisements and when you receive it/actually experience it. I'll continue to pass the word as I can by any venue to promote what you are doing. Best to you and your new family. " - Jeff and Ann B
From TripAdvisor: "Beyond Cool....."
"Whoever thought rocks held secrets and had stories to tell? This was not your average, boilerplate tour so commonly foisted on tourists coming to Hawaii. This was a full day scientific, ornithological, geologic expedition. Never mind that Philip is an advanced degree graduate in geology from my alma mater, the University of Michigan - Go Blue - and a Volcanologist who has worked with the USGS, he's also an expert in the history and folklore of Hawaii and weaves the science of the volcanoes with the ancient stories behind Pele - the Goddess of fire and volcanoes celebrated in the old Hawaiian religion abolished in 1819 but still practiced by an active group of native Hawaiians today.
After extensive email exchanges with his partner Arthur, we chose to do the combined waterfall and VNP highlights tour. It is nearly impossible to fully appreciate the Big Island's stunning features in one day let alone a month. One cuts both the Hamakua Coast rain forest with its waterfalls and VNP short by combining them in an 8 hour tour but Phillip made it work for us. We toured the Hamakua Coast rain forest, Hilo Waterfalls, Kilauea Caldera and Thurston Lava tubes. The itinerary was customized for us- one of VolcanoDiscovery's benefits. In order to see more, we did not stop for lunch although this was available. Instead, Phillip had his Toyota Pathfinder stocked with plenty to eat and drink keeping us energized and hydrated. You'll gain about 90 minutes of sight seeing doing this.
If you want to ride around the Big Island in a Robert's Tour bus, that's fine but you'll miss the depth and richness of Hawaii's youngest island, well 800,000 years old - available to you with your guides from VolcanoDiscovery Hawaii Private Tours. You're going to pay more for this kind of very personalized adventure than on a tour with 60 of your closest friends crammed into a big bus. But it is worth every penny.
"If you are going to do one thing from Hilo, go to Volcanoes National Park (VNP). There is enough here to occupy an entire day. We actually did two things and if you do this, do it with a guide to maximize your time. You could not do this on your own, at least I could not, because there is so much to see and picking the right stuff to see is going to be difficult. I recommend VolcanoDiscovery tours.
We did an 8 hour tour that combined the highlights of VNP and the rainforest and valleys of the Hamakua coast... This was also a private tour …. we were it so, we obviously got lots of personalized attention.
I’d also recommend this for families with children 9 and up. It is incredibly informative and the history of the Islands and the science of the volcanoes – and Kilauea is active as we speak - is right out there for you to touch because of Phlip’s excellent narrative. Amazing! The Thurston lava tubes are inside VNP and part of this tour. You have to see these to believe them. VNP is unique to the islands so, naturally, this is the emphasis but Philip did a great job in the rain forest, with its waterfalls and boiling pots right in Hilo, as well." (Jeff B., USA)
8-hr Custom Private Tour w/Arthur, August 2009:
My family took a tour with Big Island eXcapes (now VolcanoDiscovery Hawai'i) during our vacation at the end of August.
It exceeded my expectations and we all had a fantastic time. Months later we still recall our time with Arthur (our guide) with smiles and laughter.
My family consist of 2 adults, 2 teens and 2 kids, for everyone to be entertained for more than 8 hours is a miracle. Arthur can truly work wonders. He entertained the little kids with stories and jokes. He chatted with the teens and even my mother (who doesn't understand English) enjoyed the tour very much.
I had researched several tour companies before deciding on one, and Arthur did not let me down. The best part about tours with Arthur is that its not a bus tour with 50 other people where you're rushed from one place to another. Arthur's tours are more intimate and friendly, its similar to visiting a friend and having your friend show you the island.
Our tour group was just me and my family. I basically researched certain areas we'd like to visit, emailed them to Arthur and it was incorporated into our itinerary. We had the luxury of making our own itinerary, we lingered in certain areas that we enjoyed more. That would've never happened if we had signed up for a tour with another company.
We were able to go at our own pace which was very important with the kids. After our tour started, we even added a new destination and Arthur worked it into our day perfectly without rushing us and he made sure we made our flight back to Honolulu since we flew to the Big Island specifically for the tour.
Another advantage of a tour with this company is that everything is prepared for you. All you have to do is show up and you're taken care of during the tour. Anything you need (sunblock, snacks, drinks, towels etc... will be provided. It was one less thing to worry about. I didn't have to buy and pack everyone a bag, which I'm sure I had to do with some other tour company.
I can't say enough about Arthur and his company, just know that once you do sign up for a tour with Arthur, you are getting the best. It really is a personalized and unique experience. We made the tour into "our tour" where there is something for everyone to enjoy in our group and we truly had a fantastic time. When we go to Hawaii again, we will definitely be calling on Arthur and Big Island Excapes (now VolcanoDiscovery Hawai'i).
"...thank you for a fantastic trip. I enjoyed it and got a clearer understanding of the rift system in East Africa and the process of the triple junction there. It was also great to meet Thomas, Michel, Michael and Rowland." (Kwame O., UK)
"Bonjour de France, enfin du soleil ici pas le même que celui de Santorin bien sûr, mais c'est toujours agréable.
Le retour en France a été difficile après avoir vécu une semaine hors du commun dans un décor extraordinaire. Je remercie Tobias et toi pour votre façon de partager votre passion et de nous faire entrer dans cet univers décalé avec la vie "normale" de tous les jours.
J'ai apprécié la découverte géologique de l'île, l'initiation à la compréhension de la formation de l'île et des volcans, les rencontres avec des gens simples mais de caractère de Santorin.
Le temps s'est arrêté pendant une semaine et je garde des souvenirs d'odeurs, de couleurs, de plats partagés avec le groupe.j'ai revu les photos prises pendant le voyage, les couleurs et les paysages étaient tellement extraordinaires que les résultats sont surprenants même avec mon simple appareil photo. J'aimerais envoyer les photos de groupe prises dans la taverne de nicolas à "yurgos", peux-tu m'envoyer leur adresse?Egalement j'aimerais commander le livre de Walter Friedrich, mais je n'ai pas noté l'éditeur.Merci pour ces renseignements.
Bonne continuation dans tes voyages
ps: quelques photos jointes... Myriam" (Myriam T., Orléans)
a wonderful excursion at the Etna
I would like with this email to thank Volcano Discovery and the Team (Specially Rosario Basile) for a wonderful excursion at the Etna.
I took nice photos which I would like to share at the web page of Volcano Discovery. What shall I do?
kurze Naricht nach der Reise: es war SUPER!!!!! ...bien cordialement
8-hr Volcano & Waterfalls Private Tour w/Arthur, May 2010:
Of course you may quote me !!!
Arthur gave us an AMAZING tour. Although we picked a specific tour (Volcanos and waterfalls) Arthur found out more about our interests and further personalized the tour to suit us.
We got to do things we would have never been able to do ... things we never would have even known about if it werent for Arthur.
He is very passionate and educated about the island and culture. Its surprising to me that he hasnt lived there all his life with the knowledge he has.
He spoiled us. It was the BEST way to spend the day! ...
I just wanted to thank you again for such an AMAZING tour last week! You are
great at what you do and we really had a fantastic day! You showed us the
Hawaii we were hoping to see!!
I will send you the album once I load it if you are interested.
Thanks again ... mahalo
Lori" (Lori, USA)
"one of the most amazing experiences of my life"
I just wanted to send you a note to say how much I enjoyed the recent tour.
Marco was just brilliant and I can safely say that it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life!
Adrian (Stromboli to Etna tour May 2010)
8-hr Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park Group Tour w/Philip, April 2010:
Thanks for a most enjoyable and informative day - you made the day one of the best guided tours we have had anywhere in the world.
Best wishes, Ric" (R. Cother, Australia)
Dear Tobias and staff,
Many thanks for the excellent tour on the Best Kept Secret, Nisyros island. The volcano was of course a vivid memory and just one of the higlights to the tour. I have just returned from April 2010. Perfect weather, beautiful. If you can go in spring, do it! I have taken 3 different Adventure Travel tour company, and Volcano Discovery was by far the best. Nisyros island has more ruins than Athens, more authentic villiages than I have ever seen. I'm talking about pristine enchanted mountain top shocking vistas and each village area Has No Cars. You can get a huge hike, or wander at your pace, as they did accomidate for small groups. You can not beat the price, they have in the case of the 2 tours that i took Santorini, and Nisyros, for example just across the street was a hotel for 3 times the price. In Nisyros ther were no crowds, untouched open roads, and safe. There are black sand beaches and thermal bath houses from Roaman times. I was surprised to see recent remodeled museums on Nisyros. Better than Athens Acropolos, and lit up at night, you view them as you eat your dinner in Mandraki. So Volcano experts and history buffs, ancient finds, as the small churches with artifacts that you can almost touch, icons and whitewashed quiet stone blue and white, everywhere. This is not your Big Box Over advertised overated island. Thanks Forever,Elana V., Honolulu Hawaii
From my volcano to yours
Sent from my iPhone
12-hr Volcano Geology Private Tour w/Philip, April 2010:
Hi Philip, Tom
I just wanted to provide a review of our April 6th tour in Hawaii.
Initially when I booked, the lava from the ongoing eruption at Kilauea was flowing at a site accessible to hiking. Unfortunately by the time we arrived, it was inaccessible. Philip and I had a telephone conversation and he suggested a number of good options open to us. We settled on two hikes; the Mauna Ulu and Kilauea Iki circuits. I was travelling with my two teenage sons and Philip provided exceptional guiding through the day we spent with him. I was impressed by a number of things including his breadth and depth of geological knowledge, local history, mythology, biogeography and his respect of Hawaiian practices and beliefs related to the volcanoes. I found him very amiable and the fact that he kept my boys interested for the whole day I think is a great testament to his abilities. The photo filled binders he used at the various stops brought the volcanoes to life for us. As a geologist myself I see value in use of scale. I particularly like his reference photos with use of well known objects (Niagara falls, Empire state building) to give one a perspective on the magnitude of these eruptive events. Fresh fruit and drinks at the stops was also very much appreciated. I highly recommend Philip as a guide to anyone with an interest in natural history or photography.
I hope to go back when Pele sees fit to send forth the lava to the sea.
Thanks Philip, my boys and I had a great time.
Phil, Peter and Ryan Benham
8-hr Volcano and Waterfalls Private Tour w/Arthur, April 2010:
We just returned home from our great trip last night. I want to thank you very much for such a wonderful insightful tour of the lsland and waterfalls! Jim and I just loved it and you made it very interesting and informative. ...
Thanks again for such a memorable trip and taking all the photos for us too! Sincerely, Donna"
An article about our Kilauea Volcano Special Tour w/Philip & Tom, published January 2007:
I am sorry that it has taken me so long to email you with feedback from the trip Janet smith and Michael bailey took in June with your guide Rosario to do the full traverse of Etna. It was fantastic and something we will never forget. It was a hard walk but very enjoyable and Rosario was fantastic, he is very knowledgeable, kind and friendly, we were like friends by the end of the walk. Please make sure that you feed back this to him...
Thank you for all your help and we would definitely recommend you to others
Janet and Mick" (UK)
Feeback from a private group tour on Etna
Group on 15 Nov 2009
On Nov. 15, 2009 a group of 11 people went up the Etna with our guide Rosario starting from Rifugio Sapienza.
It was the first vulcano tour for all of us and we were all impressed what we saw during the day: It was awesome to see the boiling craters on the top of the Etna and feeling the heat of this impressive active vulcano. The highlight was for sure the currently open lava spot on the Eastern side of the Etna, it was amazing to see and to feel the power of the earth. We really have to thank you and Vulcano Dicsovery for the perfect organisation and we also have to thank our guide Rosario, who took care very well of the large group and provided us with very useful and detailed information on vulcanology and geology of the Etna. Rosario thank you very much for this perfect adventure tour! Here I will also attach 1 foto of our group walking up the Etna on this day.
Thank you again for the organisation!
Mit freundlichen Grüßen/Best regards
A BIG THANK YOU
"I just wanted to say abig thank you to you and your team for organizing our fantastic trek up Kili last week. Everything worked smoothly- your guides were first-class and the food, camping equipment, etc. was excellent. We enjoyed it tremendously. Please pass our thanks on to the team. Thank you" (Charles P., Sussex, UK about his trek up Kilimanjaro)
First class service (Kilimanjaro)
"We all agreed that we paid for first class service and we received first class service. Your crew did an outstanding job. We could just marvel how they managed to keep up their happy spirits despite the heavy work. Also the food and service was amazing under such harsh conditions. We loved all the porters and guides who never stopped being upbeat and helpful even when we were tired, cold and cranky! The best part was that we ALL made it to the top. ... It was reassuring to see that safety was always at the forefront.
Also your concern about the welfare of the porters made a big difference in choosing this company. Our tents, camp, food and staff appeared to be far superior to the other mountain trekkers which we encountered on the way. Our guides were the best. We always felt well informed about the upcoming day and when needed they were willing to give up their own comfort just to make sure we are all well taken care of. This is beyond the call of duty." (Helga A. from Minnesota about her climb to Kili)
6-hr Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park Private Tour w/Philip, February 2010:
"...if you want to learn a lot, have unlimited questions, and want to experience time with an expert,this is the best possible choice. ...We found that by having this choice of guides, we were able to go with the one who best met our needs. We liked the small personalized group as opposed to groups of 30 people we saw herded around looking glazed and we liked that we could focus on what WE were interested in as compared to a more general tour that is one size fits all..." (->read the full review on Tripadvisor)
Peter and Sue's feedback from the Montserrat tour in Feb 2010
"The visit to Montserrat was a wonderful experience for both of us. Seeing the many ways in which the volcano has changed both a natural landscape and overwhelmed a built environment has certainly left a very strong impression.
Thank you so much for organizing our trip.
Peter" (Peter V., Toronto, Montserrat Volcano Special tour, Feb 2010)
4-day Kilauea Volcano Special Private Tour w/Philip, November 2009:
Lava sea entry (photo: Guillaume)
Lava flowing over the cliff on Hawaii (photo: Guillaume)
We had a fantastic time in Hawaii. Phil did an excellent job (above expectations) and we were delighted by the amazing landscapes of Kilauea. Phil is very talented and knowledgeable not only in volcanology but also in botanic and local culture.
We would love to do another trip around the world with more volcano discoveries but we think we are running out of time and budget...
Thank you to give us this opportunity of in-depth volcano discovery.
Karolina and Guillaume"
"Dear Philip ... Thank you again for the nice way you guided us on this fantastic island. We definitely hope to come back one day. Karolina and Guillaume"
8-hr Volcano Geology Private Tour w/Philip, November 2009:
We had a great one day tour on the Big Island with Phil. His knowledge of Hawaiian culture was an unexpected plus." (Douglas B, about his private tour on Hawai'i)
Margrit from Potsdam about the Faszination Volcano tour on Santorini (Oct 09)
wieder einmal war es sehr schön auf Santorin und ich möchte mich für alles bedanken. Die Organisation, unser Hotel und die vielen neuen Eindrücke, welche du uns vermittelt hast sind kaum in Worte zu fassen. Vor allem aber danke, dass ich noch so kurzfristig teilnehmen konnte.
Eure Touren sind schon etwas Besonderes und mit viel Esprit, sehr persönlichen Einsatz, so dass man sich sofort wohlfühlt und immer gern wiederkommt. Herzliche Grüße, Margrit" (Margrit from Potsdam, Faszination Volcano tour)
nochmals vielen herzlichen Dank an Dich und die anderen für die schöne gemeinsame Woche mit dem gelungenen Mix aus Natur und Kultur, Sonne, buntem Stein und blauem Meer, Wandern und Neues Lernen, ein bisschen Anstrengung und Genuss!
... Weiterhin viel Glück bei allen Euren Unternehmungen und herzliche Grüße - Gudrun"
We would like to thank you very much for your support in arranging the Etna Volcano trekking. It was a very nice 1st year wedding anniversary for my wife and me. I hope that we would collaborate again in the future.
On http://picasaweb.google.com/pujujajoju/Etna# you could see our photos.
Best regards, Ionel" (Ionel A., about his private tour to Etna.
"Thanks for a great tour, we really enjoyed the trekking and were lucky to see lots of eruptions on Stromboli..." (Eolian Islands + Etna tour - Nick B., UK)
"Hallo Tobias, hallo Tom
Ich bereue nichts !!! Eine fantastische, anspruchsvolle Tour wird sich in meiner Erinnerung einprägen, als eine meiner schönsten Reisen überhaupt.
... Ich bedanke mich bei Tobias für die guten Tipps zum noch besser Fotografieren und bei Ihnen beiden für die perfekt organisierte und durch wirklich fähige Leute geführte Tour. Ich kann mir gut vorstellen, dass dies nicht die einzige bleiben wird, die ich bei VulcanoDiscovery gebucht habe. Das Gleichgewicht zwischen Anstrengung und Geniessen entspricht so ziemlich genau meinen Bedürfnissen, damit ich mich gefordert und zufrieden fühle.
Nochmals vielen Dank und die herzliche Grüsse aus der Schweiz
Antony on the boat to Rakata island near Anak Krakatau
"Dear Volcanodiscovery and my Tour Guide Andy,
I would like to thank you both for the great trip that you provided. I found
the organisation was excellent and the food at many of the restaurants was superb.
I think the highlight was Krakatoa which is really an amazing volcano, and
some of the high climbs which were very exciting. Every volcano we visited
was a bit different.
Andy is a very experienced guide, who can take you as close to any volcano
in the tour as you like as deemed safe by him. Most of all I was very
impressed with Andy's enthusiasm, he loves the volcanoes and it really shows in his own keenness to see them over and over again.
Indonesia I found overall was also very scenic. And I would encourage others
to book this tour before the masses find out about it!!
I hope that one day a tour will be offered to Sumatra and Andy can lead the way once again.
Thanks so much for the link to your great photos! They really brought back a lot of happy memories of the wonderful Volcano Discovery Tour you and Tom gave us. This was definitely one of my most memorable trips ever. Who could forget all of the great meals, including limpets, sea anemones, fresh salads and fish; walking on the volcano, swimming in the hot springs, the visit to ancient Thira, hiking from Fira to Ia to see the sunset, and, of course, captain Sostis, with his unique yoga sessions, massage, fresh goat cheese and Greek coffee, not to mention his excitable dog! And of course the wonderful living geology lesson that is Santorini. I hope to do another Volcano Discovery tour soon – in fact, after a couple of weeks back at work, I’m ready to go next week!
I am sifting through my photos with plans to post a select group soon and would love to see those taken by other members of the group. Hope everyone had smooth and uneventful trips home and that the tour of Methena was fun. I enjoyed my all too brief visit to Athens before heading home. Thanks for the great hotel booking, Tobias. I had a view of the Acropolis from my balcony. What more could you ask for?
"...Somehow I missed Tobias' link to photos and, fortunately, saw it through your note. Just finished looking at each image. Now, I"m exhausted! Stunning, and brings back keen memories, indeed. A whirling, dizzying journey to a version of Santorini unknown to most travelers. From moment we dropped luggage at Aktori to wine-tasting, to walk between villages, to our magical boat trips, to trek around caldera ledge, to climb up limestone mt., to smoking sulpher, to ancient city of Thira, to dreamy soups, best goat cheese, limpets and baklava...on and on. Tom and Tobias, our intrepid, ever-onward guides are a terrific team. Such compatibility among group of 17--wondrous again. How lucky was that??
Crazily, I just returned from 12 days in China...thus, a combo Greece/China 5-week adventure to savor and treasure. From yogurt, white villages & volcanoes to noodles, mountain temples & cave grottos. All intrigue and mystery and contrasts galore...
Peter from Denmark about the Krakatau special tour:
Hello Tom. My journey home, went without problems. As i told, this visit to krakatau was the fullfilment of a life long dream for me. To see an active volcano and a famous one to. you, Doni, Marco and the others was very fine company. I liked to be together with you, it was a good experience and would like to do it again... My best gretings.
8-hr Volcano Geology Private Tour w/Philip, June 2009:
"One of my degrees is masters in geosciences, which I got because of my interest in Kilauea. My husband arranged our day with Phil as a 50th birthday present for me, and it couldn't have been better! We know that classroom experiences in geology can never replace field experience, and even though Bob and I have explored Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park on several trips, Phil provided information, insight, and opportunities that we previously had not had. The trek through Kazumura Lava Tube was extraordinary!
Phil's knowledge is extensive and it is obvious that he can easily adjust the level of explanation of volcanic features and processes to the interests and background of participants. We returned the following week and hiked to the top of Mauna Ulu at Phil's suggestion, with the additional knowledge that we had acquired during our day with Phil.
Denise" (Dr. Denise Meeks, Astronomy/Physics Faculty, Science Department Chair, Northwest Campus, Pima Community College)
Feuerberge der Südsee - Rückmeldung
Guy watching eruptions at Yasur volcano
"So urteilte ein Kunde über die 14 tägige Reise, welche als Expedition ausgewiesen wurde.
Das Reiseprospekt informierte im Voraus hervorragend über die zu erwartende Erlebnisse.
Die Durchführung der im Prospekte angegebenen Ankündigungen war vorbildlich. Alle Fahrzeuge bzw. Flugzeuge, die für die Transfers erforderlich waren bis auf einmal pünktlich, was unter den gegebenen Umstände ( auf Ambrym und Tanna existieren keine asphaltierten Strassen bzw. keine funktionierende Infrastruktur) eine ausgezeichnete Leistung darstellt. Zugleich blieb es jedoch möglich unter bestimmtem Umständen und mit Zustimmung der Reiseteilnehmer, dort wo das gewünscht wurde vom Reiseplan abzuweichen.
Für die Reiseleitung konnte die Fernseh-Moderatorin und Fotojournalistin Ulla Lohmann verpflichtet werden. Aufgrund Ihrer außergewöhnlichen Kenntnisse der Südsee und deren Bewohner konnte Sie nicht nur viel Wissenswertes vermitteln, sondern wegen Ihren vielen früheren Kontakten mit den Insulaner Tabus durchbrechen und der ganzen Gruppe
von neun Personen die Warmherzigkeit dieser Insulaner näher bringen. So waren Besuche bei den verschiedenen Dorfbewohnern einer der Höhepunkte dieser rundum gelungener Reise. Ihre hervorragenden Kenntnisse als Photographin und Hobby Vulkanologin führte zu mehreren sagenhaften Besuchen der Feuerberge mit gigantischen Ausblicken, die von den Besuchern – auch mit ihre Hilfe – auch fotographisch zu absoluten Höhepunkte werden konnten.
Auf den ältesten Expeditionsteilnehmer – immerhin deutlich über 60 Jahre alt – wurde stets Rücksicht genommen ohne das dies zu Einschnitte für die Jüngeren führte. Ich kann diese einmalige Reise jeden Vulkan – bzw. Südsee Liebhaber nur empfehlen."
(G. Franquinet, Teilnehmer der Pilotreise Mai 2009)
Valerie's feedback from the trip on Santorini, May 2009
"Dear Tom & Tobias. Thank you for our remarkable trek in Santorini and Methana--for the beautiful memories and breathtaking photos. ... Coming home to Tobias' pictures gave me time to slow down and appreciate the remarkable experience we had. I braved edges with Tom's help, jumped on boats with swirling seas (Daphne said I landed, elephant like, on poor Steve flattening him). ... The views took my breath away. ... Remember the oasis where we drank fresh squeezed orange juice and cake? I doubt whether juice will ever taste that good again. ... Little did I know that a bonus to our trip was the leader's desire for good food--and wine-- at the end of the day. I have new appreciation for magma, volcanic bombs, the beauty of the caldera, smoking sulphur, adjectives that describe volcanic formations and olive trees found preserved in volcanic ash. Thank you Tom and Tobias for a remarkable experience, and for your good choice in participants. It was a great group. Valerie" (Fascination Volcano, Santorini tour)
"... This was one of those wonderful adventures that we loved at the time, but loved even more as we looked back at all of the places we'd been, the lovely people we met, the great bond we developed. And......a birthday - high atop a volcano - that I will remember forever! ...Many hugs, Daphne" (D. Lewis, Washington, Santorini tour)
Ronny's mail about the expedition
Ronny at a freshly ejected lava bomb that is still glowing inside...
"Hi dear volcano lovers,
... I also wanted to thank everybody for making this tour so great!
Especially our professional and charming Ulla, for guiding us around Vanuatu, and Tom for the initiative/organization.
2-Day Active Eruption Combination Private Tour (20-hr), April 2009:
Hiking on the lava flow field towards the ocean sea entry
Pahoehoe lava close-up
The sea entry at night
Katerina & Guillaume
"Hi Philip, hi Tom,
Ok unfortunately back in Paris...sometimes it's hard the return to the
reality, especially after spending some really good time...
Just wanted to say thanks to both of you for that extraordinary occasion
for us, to approach one of the most impressive volcano, as well as for your professionalism from the beginning to the end and your time and care consecrated to us.
... Nevertheless that's true that anything could not easily replace the moment
of being a witness of such event like an active volcano is....always
fascinating and surprising and for sure we will not forget easily all what,
thanks to you, we were able to see....or at least till some such another
Thank you, Philip, again, for these two days, and mostly for your passion
and enthusiasm and unexhaustible knowledge, that you do know share and that's what we really appreciated as well as your personality and your
attention for our comfort and security and......ok then I think I will stop
there with all these compliments before you get too proud of you :)....and
still could continue to improve yourself.....
Thank you once more and just hope that still more and more people will appreciate more and more this "end of the world" not only for this
particularity of having an active volcano(s) but also for all the other
natural beauties and wealth hidden in the middle of these islands, that is
very often underrated by a lot of people (and certainly overshadowed by the
idea of the famous great hawaii's beaches and beaches and again the beaches - just an idea of many of european people that there is nothing else - ok, already succeeded to change this idea of some of them, but still a lot of work to do...) At least, like this, we can still hope in lasting preservation of the nature there...or at least a bit longer...(ok it's always relative...) Nevertheless hope all your clients do so (take care about the environment) ! :)
Good luck with your future plans!"
Sincerely, Katerina S. & Guillaume C
This trip had everything! It was so much better than the standard tourist trip to Santorini (we felt so superior the folks who arrived on the 10 story floating skyscrapers and who apparently devoted their time on the island to shopping!). The hikes were good exercise, but with your encouragement to the less athletic among us, not too tough. We got to see so many parts of the island that most visitors don't get to see. And our reward for energetic hiking was delicious food, and lots of it. I appreciated that we got to eat a whole variety of local foods and wines which do not appear on the conventional menus of Greek restaurants in the U.S. I ate like a champ but didn't gain any weight!
I particularly appreciated the interpretation of the geology that you provided. On the way to the airport, you asked what was my favorite thing we did. I liked all the hikes, and especially the accomplishment of doing so much in a short time, but the big thrill, I think, was visiting the small geology museum in Perissa and seeing the critically significant preserved olive tree that you discovered and having you tell us about the find. Thanks for a really wonderful experience!" (Linda K, Olympia (WS), Santorini May 09)
Panorama of Dallol (photo: Jorge Santos)
"Hi everybody, ... Just to tell you that was pleasure having you guys and gals on this trip, I believe we had good fun moments and maybe we will meet again in another trip. Any trip that is off the beaten track, requires lugging 15kg of photo gear up the mountain, no toilettes, a reasonable amount of risk, etc, but could deliver good shots...I am in."
- Jorge Santos (Danakil expedition)
Look at Jorge's photos: www.jorgesantosphotography.net/Portfolio/Danakil
Ich möchte Dir an dieser Stelle noch einmal ganz herzlich danken für die sehr gut organisierte Expedition zum Erta Ale und Dallol. Ich habe selten zuvor in zwei Wochen so viele positive und eindrückliche Momente erlebt wie auf dieser Reise. Neben dem Besuch der Vulkane wird mir die Danakil-Wüste mit all ihren facettenreichen Landschaften, die Freundlichkeit der Aethiopier, der sehr gute Teamgeist unserer Gruppe und natürlich die Kamelkarawane zum Salzsee in bester Erinnerung bleiben.
Auch erwähnenswert ist natürlich der Besuch der Felsenkirchen, welche eingebettet in einer fantastischen Landschaft liegen. Ich bin sehr dankbar für all diese eindrücklichen Momente! Sollte ich zukünftig wieder einmal auf Vulkanexpedition gehen, werde ich ohne zu zögern "VolcanoDiscovery" deswegen kontaktieren. Zudem erlaube ich mir, Dich in meinem Bekanntenkreis weiter zu empfehlen.
Herzlichst, André B.
Schweiz" (Expedition to the Danakil)
It is always a wonderful experience to have happy clients and it is a great joy to have good feedback at the end of a tour,- here are a few of them in their original version:
"Hello Tom, Ines, Nicola, James, Steve Time passes by very quickly... but i managed to sort out the highlights of my 650 photos of our trip in Sicily and the Eolian Islands. Here it is: http://picasaweb.google.ch/daniel.reutlinger/VolcanoDiscoverySicilyEolianIslands# It was really a pleasure to travel around with you and watching all those photos reminds me of those great days. Hope to see you some day on a Volcano or in Switzerland or somewhere else on this beautiful planet... Daniel" (Stromboli to Etna tour Oct 08)
"Hallo, Tom Zuerst vielen Dank für die tollen Photos, ich zeigte sie auch Helene und wir schwelgten wieder in Erinnerungen an unsere gemeinsamen Ferien. Es war eine wirkliche lehrreiche und zur gleichen Zeit auch sportliche Reise gewesen. Vor allem wurden auch unsere grauen Zellen aktiviert........ Auch über die Organisation muss ich Dir noch nachträglich ein grosses Lob aussprechen!!!!! Irgendwann werde ich wieder eine Reise mit Deiner Organisation durchführen. Ich habe ja Einiges lesen können ( sites internet). Ich wünsche Dir eine schöne Adventszeit sowie natürlich auch vielleicht ruhige Weihnachten und einen tollen Rutsch ins Jahr 2009, sowie weiterhin viel Erfolg auf Deinen Reisen. Und vielleicht irgendwann einmal wieder ?! Alles Liebe und Gute Uta" (Fasination Vulkan, Santorin - Okt. 08)
Inès on Vulcano's crater
"Kære Tom Tak for en skøn uge i det eoliske øhav og på Etna. Dejlige vandreture med gode guider, smukke omgivelser og godt selskab, det var lige det jeg ønskede mig. Vulcano, Stromboli og Etna er de første vulkaner, jeg har oplevet, og det var helt fantastisk. Etna var virkelig storslået. De øde lavalandskaber og alle de fine sten bjergtog mig helt og aldeles. På Stromboli var det fascinerende at se ned i krateret og se de små luende flammer og fontænerne af ild, der skød op. Men de små fulmaroler på Vulcano med deres svovldampe betød noget helt særligt, fordi det er den første vulkanske aktivitet jeg nogensinde har set. Dette er steder, jeg gerne vender tilbage til. Inès, Stromboli to Etna, Oktober 2008" (Ines K., Denmark)
Blick in Teufels Küche" Bromo (Foto: Hanspeter Ulrich)
"Hallo Tom und Doni, Herzlichen Dank für die unvergessliche Reise quer durch Java nach Bali! Die Organisation vom Volcanodiscovery-Team vor der Reise und die Leitung von Doni während der Tour haben bestens geklappt. Doni hat uns kompetent und mit viel Gefühl durch ein Land geführt das wir bisher nicht kannten. Er hat uns eine Menge über die wunderbare Natur und das lebensfrohe Volk Javas und Balis mit Begeisterung näher gebracht. Nachfolgend einige der vielen Highlights: romantisches Campieren in Sichtweite von Anak Krakatau und das Jurassic-Park Feeling der Tengger Caldera mit Bromo und Semeru zu allen Tageszeiten. Der Besuch des Muddflow-Katastrophengebietes von Porong sowie des Schwefelabbaus im Ijen war sehr eindrücklich und hat uns auch nachdenklich gestimmt.Die langen Fahrten mit den verschiedensten Transportmitteln waren sehr abwechslungsreich. Wir genossen die schmackhaft zubereiteten indonesischen Gerichte vor allem in den kleinen Restaurants. Am langen schwarzen Strand vom weniger touristischen Nordbali hatten wir Zeit die eindrücklichen Erlebnisse der letzten 16 Tage Revue passieren zu lassen. Das ruhig gelegene Bali Lovina Beach Cottages ist eine sehr gute Wahl. Wir werden euch auf alle Fälle weiterempfehlen und freuen uns jetzt schon auf eine nächste Reise mit Volcanodiscovery. Eine Auswahl unserer Fotos: http://hanspeter-ulrich.magix.net/ Grüsse aus der Schweiz - Margrit und Hanspeter Ulrich" (Krakatau to Bali Tour)
"Just to say what a great trip to Etna and thanks to Rosario for showing me such wonderful sights. It was fantastic!" (T. Salt, UK) (Etna Private Tours)
"Etna, 15th August 2008 Thank you, it was a great experience, and we looked differenly at all the Volcanos in the Eoliennes, specially Etna. Roberto is great guide, as he could share his passion and knowledge with us,and give so much explainations." (Patrick de la Chesnais, UK). See Patrick's photos from this excursion on this page.
wir sind wohlbehalten von unserer Trekkingtour zu den Vulkanen Javas zurückgekehrt. Das waren wirklich unvergessliche Eindrücke! Am meisten haben mich der Krakatau und der Semeru beeindruckt. Nach dem anstrengenden Aufstieg auf dem Plateau des Semeru zu stehen und unmittelbar daneben eine riesige Aschesäule in die Luft gehen zu sehen, war schon ein fantastisches Erlebnis! Aber auch Merapi, Kelud, Bromo und Ijen waren echt klasse. Insgesamt eine richtig super Tour, für die ich mich bei Euch noch einmal herzlich bedanken möchte. Vor allem die Organisation vor Ort war spitze. Unser Guide Andi hat wirklich alles im Griff gehabt. In einem Land wie Indonesien ist man eigentlich darauf eingestellt, dass es mal das eine oder andere logistische Problem gibt. Aber nicht die Spur davon, es hat alles wunderbar geklappt. Und Andi war großartig, sowohl was Organisation als auch seine Tätigkeit als Trekkingguide betrifft.
... Nochmals danke an Euch und vielleicht bis zum nächsten Mal! Ich werde auch wieder einen Reisebericht über die Tour schreiben und diesen auf meiner Homepage veröffentlichen. Das dauert aber bestimmt noch eine ganze Weile. Wenn er fertig ist, gebe ich Euch Bescheid.
Viele Grüße aus Berlin Kay Estler
Frank working at the lava lake of Erta Ale volcano, Ethiopia
"Hallo Tom, ich möchte mich hiermit bei Dir für die exzellente logistische Organisation der Touren nach Äthiopien Januar 2008 (Erta Ale, Dallol) und Indonesien Juli 2008 (Krakatau und Tengger Kaldera) bedanken. Dank Deiner netten und kompetenten Partner vor Ort (Solomon, Doni und alle anderen) fühlte ich mich in sehr guten Händen aufgehoben und verköstigt. Somit konnte ich mich auf meine fotografischen Aktivitäten konzentrieren, ohne mir über organisatorische Dinge Sorgen machen zu müssen. Ich bin überzeugt, dass wir noch einige weitere Exkursionen zusammen machen werden und kann Volcano Discovery Touren sehr empfehlen.
Good luck und gut Lava"
Frank Krahmer - Premium Nature Photography ------------------------------------------------------- www: http://www.frankkrahmer.de
"Tom, I'm thinking you might be on your way to Krakatau now -- I hope you all have a great trip. We had such an excellent time on our Santorini tour and I keep going back to your web site to figure out which volcano tour I want to try next... " (Jill, USA)
Disculpa que haya tardado un poco en responderte, he estado viajando bastante por trabajo estas semanas, y ahora toca unas semanas más tranquilas en Barcelona. El viaje estuvo fantástico, llevábamos años con ganas de ir a Nápoles y vuestra combinación vulcanismo-arqueología-historia estuvo realmente bien. Nosotros nos volvimos encantados, la organización perfecta, tu trabajo fenomenal y hasta el tiempo acompaño. Tenemos ganas de volver y no descartamos para el año que viene un poco más de “lava volcánica” con el itinerario Stromboli-Etna.
Da recuerdos a Tobias, es siempre agradable encontrar personas con esa pasión por la naturaleza y por intentar hacer cosas diferentes, incluso en sitios como Italia y Grecia donde parece que esta todo inventado. Si avísanos cuando vengas por Barcelona que tenemos ganas de verte. Abrazos" (M. A. Vallencillo, Spain, Vesuvius-Pompeii tour)
We’re now back from another great week on Etna.
We very much enjoyed our day out with Marco on 5th June (Rosario had to lead a group that day) which Steve Banfield joined us for. We visited the ‘Bottoniera’ to do some filming/photos for a few hours, returning down the usual pleasant descent route around Mte. Montagnola.
We undertook numerous other walks on Etna during the week – some of which we had not done before - including a return to the current eruption site at the ‘Bottoniera’, when the activity had changed to more random and sporadic explosions from the upper vent, some of which were quite violent, although activity from the lower vent remained relatively predictable. We got some good night-time video footage of the active vents and lava flows from the Schiena dell’ Asina on one of our evening excursions. On our last day, we got excellent views (and, luckily, some more good video footage – for once the Valle del Bove was mainly clear of clouds!) of the advancing active lava front between Mte. Simone & Mte. Centenari from the ridge above the Serra del Concazze; the eruption was clearly continuing in similar style to the previous days, although there were far less ash emissions as the upper vent was exhibiting more Strombolian-type activity." (Niki, UK, custom Etna tour)
"Hi Tom, Just a quick note to fill you in on what we did after leaving you on Etna...we think we used our time wisely, we saw lots, and we had a very good time. Thanks for all the good advice, it was very useful to us.
We had such a good time on our expedition with you! It was more strenuous than I expected, but also more rewarding and more fun! I could hardly wait to get back to show pictures to my friends and brag on our exploits! One other unexpected plus--despite the mass quantities of delicious food, I actually lost a couple of pounds--my trainer at the gym was impressed! Thanks for being such a thoughtful, knowledgeable and food-oriented guide. We loved our trip!Regards, Linda K." (Linda K, Washington, Stromboli to Etna trip April 08)
"Hi Tobias We are writing to express our high level of satisfaction with our tour of Naples on 3-6 May.
We are impressed with your professionalism and competence to coordinate travellers from different countries. Our sensation is that you are very professional agency, providing fast and clear answers to our series of e-mails, making it easy the tour booking and solve problems. Additionally your excellent website provides clear and useful information.
The hotel was great, the Napolitanean food and wine were delicious and the itinerary was wonderful appropriate to our interest with a perfect combination of geology-nature, historical values and the interesting city of Naples. All the places visited were very interesting in itself, but after the explanations and assistance of our guide, Marta, they became sincerely impressive. We want to make a special mention to Marta, our guide-driver-assistant-bodyguard, because she was very good and has make our trip better.
It was a pleasant experience to find a company like Volcano Discovery, which provides a service so different, fun and interesting even in places where everything seemed invented on tourism. We are already planning our trips for 2009, we'd like to repeat in the future with another trip in Italy, and why not, in your loved Greece which we have not visited yet. Once again, thank you very much for organising the trip. We had a fantastic time! Many thanks and regards Miguel A. V. & Maria del Carmen P." (M.A.V & M.C.P., Spain - Vesuvius to Pompeii tour)
"Hi Tom and Tobias, I just wanted to tell you what a nice job that Marco did on our volcano tour last month. I had originally asked for Marta because I thought she would be great with the grandchildren. Marco did a fabulous job with both children-the eight year old grandson especially enjoyed Marco. They were great friends by the end. ...Thanks again for a great volcano tour, Terry" (Terry D., Coloroado, Stromboli to Etna trip May 08)
Marlies and Solomon at Dallol
Hello Tom Hello Solomon
WOW - the DANAKIL has it all
Sand - stones - rocks - lava - salt - camels, not to forget the fascinating volcano ERTA ALE and the mysterious and magic scenery at DALLOL. Thank you TOM for taking me on your pilot expedition. Thank you SOLOMON for being such a great and helpful tour guide. (Marlies B, UK, Erta Ale - Dallol expedition).
Thanks again, Tom, for this great week in Santorini.
Thanks for your competency, your kindness, your support in all situation. Thanks for the ouzo, the orange juice, the wine ...Keep in touch, Marie-Paule (Fascination Volcano, Santorini)
One word that describes Etna is 'awesome' and one word that describes Rosario's skills as a guide 'outstanding' ! ... thank you for arranging this Tobias ! (Etna tour - Kamal M., UK)
"Thanks again for the great time we all had when visiting Methana & Poros Island. I was very impressed by Greece & will return when other things allow." (Robin, UK, tour to Methan & Poros, Jan 08)
Lengai volcano mirrored in Lake Natron (photo: Philip Benham)
Thanks for the fantastic trip to Lengai. ... We had some spectacular experiences on the remainder of our trip. Rwanda's Volcano National Park is very beautiful and back in Tanzania we witnessed vultures tearing apart an antelope, two hippos battling on land for about 20 minutes and wildebeests giving birth. The highlight though was my two days on Lengai." (Phil from Canada, Lengai expedition Jan 08)
Hi all, Sorry about the late reply, just getting back in the swing of things at work. We climbed Etna as planned, although you do not appreciate the grand size of it until you are there. Etna being over 3 times higher than any mountain in Ireland. We met our guide at the top of the road near the excursion centre by the cable car. After he had sorted us out with gear we headed off up the cable car and trekking across the snow. i must admit that i had never trekked in snow before nor had any of my team. (We hardly get any snow in Ireland only rain). After hiking for about 4-5 hours and lots of breaks we got to the cabin at the top with in about 30 - 45 mins from the main cones. It is hard to describe the mountain. it was total covered with snow and was a small bit cold but once you keep moving you don't really feel it, a clear blue sky since we were above the clouds and total quite not a person for miles. Peaceful a bit different than my job. After the guide digging out the snow from the cabin door we ventured in to get some much needed food and hot drinks which we had carried up the mountain. after resting at the cabin it was decided to head back down, as one of the teams old back injury had came back to haunt him. On the way down we looked at some lateral craters and vents. We later headed back down the cable car and to the excursion centre. This trip was well worth going and i would recommend it to any one traveling to scissile to attempt this trip. Who knows I may come back and attempt it again myself one day, when I am a bit fitter I think. A special thanks to the guide for staying with us and showing us the beauty of the mountain. I am sure he could have climbed the mountain in the half the time it he wanted to. (lol). And to all the staff of Volcano Discovery for making this trip one of the best trips i have been on. Yours sincerely Christopher Corbett, Igor Kendrinkski, Paul Doolan, Marco (Ireland)
"MANY THANKS again to TOM for the incredibly wonderful trip to Krak. OK, tell him I will wait to exit Krak photos until next monday or tuesday, I will need many days to edit so many photos............ Hoping Tom is amusing of Indonesia summer, warm greetings from a very cold Trieste!! m"
(Marco Fulle, a VolcanoDiscovery Europe Team member after his tour in Nov 07 to Krakatau; his photos are now online on www.stromboli.net at:
Tom, I am writing to you to thank you for a wonderful tour. Both yourself and Rosario provided a fantastic service from the moment we enquired to the moment we arrived back at Rifugio Sapienza. Rosario was a great guide and he helped us to get much more out of our trip to Mt Etna than we could have hoped for and truly made it a trip to remember. Should you ever need a reference, I would be more than happy to oblige. As soon as I can, I will be putting some photos on our website of Rosario and our trip. Should you want a copy of any of them, just let me know. I will let you know when I have published them. It will probably be at least a week though.
"Tom, Had a great tour, Etna was more than impressive, just fantastic - like a moonscape up there. ..." (J Perston, UK)
".. Just got back from Sicily. I had a very enjoyable time even though Etna has been shy and did not want to put on a performance. On the Monday I went round to the North side visiting the Grotta del ghiaccio, first time wearing crampons. The second day was spent in the Valle del Bove. The third day spent at the summit craters. The fourth day I joined Marta visiting the Alcantara Gorge, Taormina and spending the evening and next day in Catania.
As usual, Marta maintained the professional standards I have come to expect from the "Volcano Discovery" team, and I expect the three other clients felt the same way." (S. Banfield, UK)
"Hi Tom I would like to tell you about my Krakatoa to Bali Tour, June 07 but I dont have enough time. I would like to tell you, I had the most magical tour of my life. To start with Doni is the most lovable, caring, and funny person I have met in many years. He looked after me like a queen making sure that everything was just the best. Krakatoa was unbelivable, Merapi was Majestic, and Bromo beautiful. The whole beauty of Java and its people was very addictive. May I say thankyou to Doni and everyone that helped along the way, in making my life long dream come true ...the whole trip was a very healing experience and I loved every moment of it. Thankyou Doni for making it my Magical Java Tour....Cheers Joy Poortier Alice Springs, Australia" (Krakatau to Bali tour, June 07)
Merapi at sunrise
Me and Doni
Semeru at sunrise
Me on the rim of Ijen volcano
4-Day Kilauea Volcano Special Private Tour w/Tom, July 2007:
"We have arrived at home last night as per schedule...We could enjoy our tour very much and we think that our tour aim was 100% satisfied. We could have wonderful experience that we could never forget. Thank you very much for your guide. Later, by mail, I will send two video files, mpeg2 format and mpeg4 format, that recorded the lava. Sincerely, Seiji" (S. Takeda, Japan, Kilauea Volcano Special tour July 07)
One of the participants sent us this nice spostcard she made herself.
Sacred Sites in Greece 2007 tour - hand-made postcard.
"Hello Volcano Discovery and especially Marta, I just wanted to let you know how much we all enjoyed our tour with Volcano Discovery... For me personally the whole trip was fabulous from the hikes to the boat trips on the Mediterranean. There is not a single thing I would change for myself. Marta-You did a nice job, the ladies all loved you. .. Terry" (Colorado, USA)
"This is a note to say that we enjoyed the climb and you made it successful, interesting and informative. Thank you very much for being an excellent guide. I attach two of our photos, one taken at the crater rim - and one of you! ... Thanks again Rosario!" (T Ecott, Etna private tour, May 07)
"Just a quick email to say what an amazing time I had hiking up Mount Etna last Thursday. It was an amazing experience I shall never forget, much thanks to our guide who was informative, safety conscious and extremely patient! Regards, Francoise J." (Etna private tour, May 07)
"Doni, Just a quick line once again to thank you for your assistance , companionship and friendship over the last two weeks. I had a brilliant time." (B. Barker, Isle of Man, Krakatau to Bali April '07)
"... I just wanted to thank you for another nice trip. I'm sure it won't be the last. ... You seem to choose your people well...Marta was quite knowledgeable and very enjoyable to be with..." (Stephen, USA)
"Having been back from Italy for a week, just a few lines to say what a great holiday it has been. I thought that Marta did a brilliant job as tour manager, up to volcano discovery's usual high standards, if like the rest of the group, it had of been my first time travelling with the company i would have been very impressed..." (Steve, UK)
"I have had a great time in Indonesia, enjoyed almost every minute of the trip. It was a great adventure in good company - a lot of fun. Be sure to look me up when you're next in NZ, I'll show you some local ignimbrite. Hope you like the attached pic. Cheers Jim." (Jim Cummings, NZ)
4-Day Kilauea Volcano Special Group Tour, December 2008:
"Hi, ... I just viewed the DVD I bought and thought I could hear the sounds and smell the smells! I really had a great time on our trip and appreciated your knowledge and experience and your company! It was, for me, an experience of a lifetime! Mahalo, once more, and all the best! Fondly -- Regina" "Tom Pfeiffer proved to be a knowledgeable and trustworthy guide throughout our trip. He communicated not only a wealth of information and his passion for the subject of volcanology, but also his delight in the drama and beauty of the world of volcanoes. Respectful of individual needs and interests, he made the experience both educational and most enjoyable. Regina Bringolf, Hancock, New Hampshire, U.S.A."
8-hr Lava Proximity Hike (Private Tour) w/Philip, January 2007:
"We hiked the volcanic lava with Philip on Jan. 30 and what a thrill it was for us! Philip was able to point out various configurations and structures that we saw along the way and explain their existence because of his background as a geologist and volcanologist, and that just made the whole trip for us. He also took us close to a skylight where we could see the glow from the lava flowing through the tube and be the first people to walk on the new lava around it, and that was definitely a thrilling experience! We have shown just about everyone we've met the pictures of the skylight and have told them about your company, so hope you get some business out of it. There was certainly a lot of interest.
Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for enabling us to have such a wonderful experience, and to thank Philip again for taking us on such a fascinating hike. It was the highlight of our cruise around the Hawaiian islands. We're glad that we got to ride in Philip's old hunker of a jeep as it made it a bit funky for us, but hope he enjoys his new vehicle." (Sheila, US)
"Hi Tobias, just wanted to say how much we loved Greece and you; Hannah had to leave at 9:00 am; we are enjoying the pictures but miss the real thing. love, Kathy and Hannah" (San Francisco; Saronic Gulf tour 06/07)
"Just wanted to say thank you very much to Marta Gasparrini, for her mamzingly led trip through Naples, to Amalfi, which I was on the last two weeks...thank you for making it one of the best holidays of my life!" (J Brown, UK)
Hi Doni! "Hey guys! What's up, what's up yo?!" We're all sorry we have not written to you earlier, guess we've had enough just thinking of all our good Indonesian memories. It was really an exciting and exotic adventure for us, we are often talking about when we'll do our next trip to Indonesia. There sure will be one. And as a gesture of our gratitude, we'd love to show you Scandinavia if you're ever in Europe. ... It's really amazing how different countries and lives can be and Indonesia is probably the most interesting place all the three of us have ever visited. So, of course we've told our Scandinavian friends about the amazing trips to Bromo, Sukamade, Ijen plateau, Bali, all the towns, other places and of course our new Indonesian friends. If any of my friends want tips for Asian trips, I will without any doubts recommend them Indonesia and your guiding. Sorry, but I don't remember your wife's and older son's name, but I do remember "little Buddha"'s name - Yoni. Anyway, say hello to them all and Manitro (hope I spelled his name correctly) from all of us. And of course Annika and Fredrik send their best wishes to you. Terima kasih for the magnificent tour and wonderful company! //Arvid E H." (Sweden, Java custom tour)
"Hello Doni, back in my home I would like to thank You again for the 3 ½ weeks on the islands Java, Bali and Lombok. It was very, very nice weeks. The job with our group was not surely always easy for you. In spite of that you made Your Job good and fulfilled every wish. Next to the wonderful landscapes, to the interesting volcanos particularly the people in Your Country for whom it is been surely often heavily but they are always cheerful and sociable, left me enthusiastically. Very different than we European. I request you always good health and a happy family. I hope, we see ourselves again. ... Once more thanks and greetings, Karlheinz" (Krakatau to Bali tour, 2006)
"Once again, thank you very much for for organising the trip. We had a fantastic time! Many thanks and regards, Penelope" (UK, Volcanoes of East Java tour, summer 06).
Group of the Bromo-Semeru-Ijen tour (Sep 2006)
"Hallo Tom, seit vergangenem Freitag sind wir wieder zurück in Deutschland. Die Tour durch Java und Bali war ein unvergessliches Erlebnis! Vielen Dank auch für die Vorbereitung dafür. Viele Grüße und alles Gute für VulcanoDiscovery, Florian" (Bromo-Semeru-Ijen, Sep 06)
"Dear Marco, We want to thank to you for your very kind guide in Italy... Hiromi asks me for saying thanks to you and Tom. She is also impressed by the beauty of the eruptions and volcanoes and is very satisfied for your guide... Kind regards, Seiji" (Japan; Stromboli tour Sep 2006)
"Buenos Dias Marco, It is really great hearing from you. How was your last tour? Not as good as us, right?! I really wanted to thank you for being such a wonderful guide. I had a wonderful time. Believe it or not, I really want to go back already. Someday, maybe I will move to Italy, who knows. For now, I am preparing to move to New York. I will continue to practice my Italian and perhaps I will see you again at another volcano. All the best, Sedelia" (NY, Etna-Stromboli tour May 2006)
"Bonsoir Tom, Merci pour les photos de Santorin qui sont magnifiques! Et encore félicitations pour l'organisation de ce voyage. Quand on revoit les photos et le film qu'a fait Yvon, on se rend compte qu'on a non seulement bien vu l'aspect Géologie de cette île, mais aussi l'aspect humain... Bonne continuation (les Suisses disent "bonne suite") und alles gute. Nathalie et Yvon" (Santorini tour, Sep. 2006)
"Un très grand merci, Tom. Quel plaisir de revivre ces moments fabuleux grâce à tes photos ! J'espère que ton périple italo-sicilien se déroule aussi bien que le nôtre et je te redis ma reconnaissance pour la qualité de l'organisation et les commentaires dont tu nous a fait bénéficier. Cordialement, Geneviève" (Santorini tour, Sep. 2006)
"Hi Tom - Hope you are well. Thanks again for a great trip - really enjoyed it - particularly the second climb to the craters. Had a good time - helped by the weather and a good group. - Well organised! ... Andy" (Etna-Stromboli tour Oct 2006)
"Tom, I just wanted to say thanks for arranging such a great trip. It was everything I hoped for and more. Marco was great, as was Rosario, and stromboli was absolutely stunning. I also wanted to confirm you were ok...we were all quite concerned considering you were right in the center of all the trouble over there. Please let me know if everything worked out. I look forward to a long and fruitful relationship, and fully intend to use your services again in the future. With warm reguards, Stephen Hunt" (Etna-Stromboli tour May 2006)
13-Day Heartbeat of the Earth Private Tour w/Philip, November 2006:
"Aloha Tom Just wanted to give you some feedback from the above trip. It was FANTASTIC!!!!!. As you know I was the only participant which worked well for me as we had a suggested itinerary, but was able to modify to suit my requirements, including the incredible boat trip to view lava. I have travelled extensively, and this boat trip is definitely up there at the top with other unbeatable life experiences. Philip Ong is one of the kind. His knowledge and passion for the Big Island is unsurpassable. His friendly disposition enjoyable. I loved every minute I spent with him, will treasure the discussions about anything and everything we undertook. The joking and laughs we shared - he really made the experience work. Also I would like to thank you for all the emailing and sorting of dates etc that you did to make my trip possible. Phil has some fantastic ideas and plans to include in future tours, which will make it even better - if that is possible. An amazing experience that I will never forget and a new friend made. Mahalo!! Denise Ellson"
"Can you pass on my sincere thanks to Tom Pfeiffer for his extraordinary assistance in giving us a very, very good interview on the base of Mt Merapi last week. None of us were to know how significant our interview and programme was to be, until the earthquake hit us on Saturday morning and the whole value of what we were doing increased enormously. Elliott flew out of Jakarta on Monday morning and the tapes are going straight into editing to be made into an hour programme tentatively called "Fire Mountain" - this will then go to air world wide on Discovery very soon we hope. Toms contribution was significant and I for one will keep your contact information in case other networks need similar expertise and talent. In return, If you can make a note of my company at www.limage.tv in Singapore, Im freelance and available to shoot these programmes to the highest global standards for any client, in any location on earth. ... Thank you gentlemen, it was a genuine pleasure meeting you and working with you. Yours Sincerely LAURIE K. GILBERT s.o.c. Motion Picture Director of Photography Film & HD Cinematographer"
VolcanoDiscovery featured in Endless Vacation magazine:
"Hello Tom, ... Penelope and Elizabeth left Java last Monday, and are now half way down the coast of Vietnam. I am sure they will email you on their return to the UK in about 2 weeks but I thought I should pass on some very positive comments. They both absolutely loved Java and I am sure they will be wanting to return in the near future. They found the local people particularly friendly in marked contrast to their initial experiences in Hanoi (although things are running much more smoothly now). In one of your emails, you said that Doni was very good. In fact, that is a major understatement. Penelope ranks him EXCELLENT - not only as a volcano guide but also in making sure everything ran smoothly in camps, hotels, restaurants, etc, etc. (Elizabeth also met him on the last day). ... they both had a wonderful day going to Krakatoa with Alain - from the wonderful departure port, to the volcano climb, swim, and restaurant in the evening. In & around Yogya, they admired both temples (getting locked into one because of the time & having to climb the gate), and got to 4kms from Merapi. Also, they particularly liked the hotel at Yogya - very happy with the others, but they felt this one was special. As I say, I hope they will comment further on their return, but I would like to thank you very much for organising this trip and to thank your people on the ground for all their work. Many thanks again. Best regards Robert" (May 2006, Robert, UK)
"Hi Tom, Now that we are back home, I wanted to thank you for your patience in showing us so many different aspects of Santorini: the history of volcanic eruptions and geology, local wine and food, Easter pageants, great walks and views, ancient excavations, etc. We enjoyed our stay very much! ... please give our regards to Koula and her family. We really appreciated that they invited us to share their fabulous Easter meal with them. It was very kind of Tobias to meet us for an evening on such short notice. ... Viele herzliche Gruesse Ursula and Bill" (May 2006, Ursula & Bill from Canada)
Pirgos village on (Greek Easter) Good Friday (21 April 2006)
"Tom... really enjoyed the day. Because of the amount of snow, we had to walk from the top of the cable car, and that made it a very long day but all the more memorable. The visibility from the top was very good, and we could clearly see the Aeolian islands, although it was very hard to see into the crater because of the clouds of gas. We had some walking equipment, but the snow shoes Rosario brought were very useful, if a little difficult to get used to. Rosario was great, with a very good knowledge of the mountain, volcanos, and good English (even if he didn't think so). We would certainly recommend yourselves and/or Rosario to anyone else visiting Sicily who wanted to go on Etna (or any other volcanos). Mark & Sarah (Scotland)"
"Hi Tom, just a note to thank you for a great tour in October, it was great fun and I learned much, the food and company were excellent, the whole experience was fantastic. I see I even made it to the picture gallery! I have been busy with the thin sections, and have attached a few photos for you to look at. As is often the case ones that you expect to be good are disappointing, e.g. Cape Riva Ignimbrite, while Dacite, which looks to be just glass, shows a lot of structure, flow aligned crystals and good zoned feldspar and pyroxene. The sale of slides seems to be going well and I have stared a ‘shop’ on ebay http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Geosec-Slides which is difficult to keep stocked as they sell so quickly. The fund for future collecting expeditions is growing nicely! ... Once again thanks for October, send my regards to your Mother, and have a happy Christmas. Rob" (UK, Dec. 2005)
Karen inside a spectacular cooling fracture on the volcano of Methana.
Regina, Tobias and Karen in a cafe on Poros Island, Greece (Saronic Gulf tour, Oct. 2005).
"Hi Tom, Hi Tobias, Just a very brief message to say "hello" and to thank you for making my first encounter with Greece such a special one. I have many fond recollections and stories to last a lifetime. ... I am slowly adjusting to life back in the states, but missing my traveling companions very much. Please send my best regards to Regina and remember too that you will always have a place to stay should you come to San Francisco. With warm regards. Karen" (San Francisco, Oct. 2005)
Some nice words from a mixed group on Santorini ... (French, English, German speaking)
"Thank you Tom for a wonderful week of discovery & wonderful surprises! Judith."
"Hello Tom, Thanks a lot. I'm glad that I joined the Volcanoes of Italy - the Grand Tour. Everything was very well organised. For me personally, Stromboli and Etna were the highlights, but the other places and volcanoes may also not to be missed. Stromboli wasn't very active the evening we climbed to the summit. But, the day after I got the chance to take a few pictures from the observation platform at 400 meter. I was amazed by the results I got with a small digital camera. I'm really looking forward to new tours and destinations in the VolcanoDiscovery program for next year. Best Wishes, Ronny" (Belgium) -------- "Tom, Thanks for a magnificent trip... Brian" (Isle of Man)
"Dear Tom Many thanks for a wonderful trip to Santorini, it was great! Hope things go well at the conference. Well, I said I would send you the octopus photos so here they are, hope they don't clog your mailbox I have no zip function on this computer! All the best Ann" (Newcastle, UK)
Lunch break on the volcano of Santorini (1)
Lunch break on the volcano of Santorini (2)
"Salut Tom! Nous sommes bien rentrés en France ce soir, la tête pleine de merveilleux souvenirs... Ce voyage restera inoubliable pour moi, et je garde plein d'images fabuleuses de tous ces moments magiques que nous avons vécus... Merci pour toute ta gentillesse et ta générosité, je suis vraiment heureuse de t'avoir rencontré! A bientôt! Alix"
"Un petit aperçu photographique pour encore une fois te remercier pour ce fabuleux séjour. Je t'envoie le tout sur CD ou DVD le plus vite possible. A+ Marion et Eric"
4-Day Kilauea Volcano Special reviews, 2005:
"The Tom Pfeiffer & Phil Ong tour is the ultimate volcano live performance ..." -> Read the FULL REPORT ! (Britt and Finn Pedersen, Denmark; 1 March 2005)
"Thank you both for an amazing trip. Pele pulled out all the stops, which I will forever appreciate (I'm pretty sure I'm hooked on lava), but so did you guys. It would have been fun hanging out with you anywhere, but it was best to do it on a volcano. Unforgettable. <...>Thanks again. I had a blast. Next, Santorini (and you have to come too, Phil!). Be careful, don't do anything too crazy, and have a Thai meal and a beer for me. Love, Pam." (Pam Petro, Massachussets; 26 Feb. 2005)
"Having visited Etna independently on 2 previous occasions, I wanted to join a small group so that I could hike to the main craters. I found the trip with Tom in July 2004 well organised and informative. Tom and the Etna guide that was with us for our 3 day trip took us to parts of Etna that no other tourist would probably know of or could visit safely. The hiking was long and fun. The visit to the main craters was fantastic and allowed us to see Etna in all its glory. I will definately be joining Tom again later this year to visit Java and woud recommend Volcano Discovery to anyone with an interest in hiking volcanoes." (Andrew Jackson, UK)
"Hi Tom, Thanks again for the super week on Santorini! It really was the experience I expected and I would heartily recommend your trip to anyone interested in combining a holiday on the Greek islands with geologically fascinating day walks. Well done!" (Bob Davenport, Germany)
"…I am so pleased to tell you about Tom's Santorini tours! My preference for travel is to be "as close to the ground" as possible. By that I mean I avoid tourist areas and really look for unusual or cultural/educational experiences. Tom's tours are both intimate and professional. Tom is an expert in not only volcanic activity past and present, but he is also an expert on Greek life and culture. He knows the people, and they love him. Because Tom has lived in Greece for several months of the year for several years, he is well known and appreciated by the locals. This appreciation for Tom and the people he brings on his tours is rewarded by the community with absolute joy in service. For example, the last night of the tour we had a meal at a taverna on a beach. The restaurant gave us each a choice of anything on the menu. We were treated to amazing traditional Greek food, from small fish to hardbread, feta and olives, and amazing desserts. All of this was served in casual fashion on a makeshift outdoor patio almost in the sea! (not quite) My favourite day was the trip to the volcano. We boarded a small boat and were transported to the volcano by the most humerous and typically Greek character, Sostas. Sostas is a friend of Tom's and can be seen on the Discovery show featuring Tom and Sostas and this tour. We landed on the volcano and Tom explained its history and answered any questions we had. We then swam in the volcanic waters at Sostas's house as Sostas prepared a traditional fish soup, hardbread, feta made from the goats that wander around the hills surrounding Sosta's property, olives, ect. An absolutely marvelous day. I must point out local tours to the volcano generally involve large boats with hoards of tourists who are dropped off and picked up with no explanation of the volcanic activity or history. Tom ensures a personal and educational cultural experience." (Shelly Logan, Canada)
"Hello Tom, I send our last Bulletin because there is one article on the excursion Santorini. I profit to thank you again very much for the way you lead this tour all the people were very happy." (Pierre Vetsch, Société Vulcanologique de Genève, SVG) - the report (in French) is found in the Bulletin Nr. 45 of the SVG.
Extract of the bulletin report mentioned above, referring to the Oct. 2004 tour: "...L’histoire de Calliste (le très beau nom donné à cette île par les anciens Grecs) est extraordinairement bien inscrite sur les flancs de sa caldeira (plutôt des restes de ses caldeiras successives). Des évidences ont été trouvées pour au moins 4 caldeiras, suite à autant d’éruptions explosives. La dernière, la Minoenne, date de 1645 BC. Elle est gravée dans la mémoire de l’humanité... tellement elle est récente ! C’est tout cela, et bien d’autres choses encore, que nous sommes allés admirer (et tenté de comprendre) au cours de ce voyage. Le magicien dans cette affaire, c’est Tom Pfeiffer, géologue-volcanologue mandaté par notre président pour nous accompagner. Tom a parfaitement répondu à notre attente. Passionné, attentif, pédagogue, à l’humour taquin, volontiers francophone, il nous a fait découvrir les secrets de cette île en sept jours bien remplis. Je parlerai plus loin de son parcours professionnel..." (Jean-Maurice Seigne, Genève, Switzerland)
2-Day Active Eruption Private Tour w/Philip, November 2008:
Dear Philip, dear Tom,
in November after an really exciting day, we´ve promised Philip to send some pictures. Well, it was not forgotten, we just had to cover with Christmas, new year and, of course we had to sort through our pictures first. We did, and you can find the photos here. As you can see, Tom, you have the right fireproof man out there on Hawaii. Thank you again for taking us on that trip, showing us what kind of stuff lava really is! We wish both of you a happy new year, full of adventures and new experiences. Stay healthy!
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