...a wonderful trip with an excellent guide... (Volcanoes of East Java tour)
I'm sitting here in a coffee bar on Kuta beach walk and fill the time
between two espressi to write these few lines about my trip.
I enjoyed it very much. Organisation, accommodation and transfers went
well. Galih was guiding with a lot of passion, competence and patience.
Especially Krakatau was one of the highlights.
Unfortunatly Ijien was closed due to vulcanic activities.
But apart from that, a wonderful trip with an excellent guide.
(Thomas N. from Germany, on his private October 2015 which was customised with an extension to Krakatau)
Wonderful landscapes Volcanoes of Java
Dear ###VD### 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
"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)
...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)
"... 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)
"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)
"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)
"...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)
"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)
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)
Andy's comment on the Krakatau to Bali tour (July 2009)
"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.
Dr Antony V.E., Melbourne Australia."
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."
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!
Regards and “auf Wiedersehen”
Sabine + Egon
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)
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)
Hallo Tom und Tobias,
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
Good luck und gut Lava"
Frank Krahmer - Premium Nature Photography
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 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)
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)
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)
(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, 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)
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)
"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)
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)
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)
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"
VolcanoDiscovery featured in Endless Vacation magazine:
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)
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)
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)
"…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)
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)