MIR’s 30 Years: MIR in a Nutshell

MIR’s 30 Years: MIR in a Nutshell

MIR Corporation – the name means “peace” and “world” in Russian – is an award-winning tour company founded in 1986 and specializing in creative, culturally immersive journeys along the Silk Route, Trans-Siberian Railway, and to Western Russia, Siberia and the Russian Far East and beyond.

Based in Seattle, Washington, MIR Corporation works closely with its local affiliates in Western Russia, Siberia, Uzbekistan and Ukraine. MIR has twice been named one of National Geographic Adventure’s “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth,” and is a preferred operator for museum, alumni, and special interest organizations around the country.  No other American tour outfitter deals exclusively with this slice of the world, at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, and none with more first-hand experience, stronger and reliable on-the-ground contacts, or more affection for this part of the world.

(Note: If you are a journalist, writer, or would like more information, photos and videos, please view MIR’s press room/media kit.) 

1986 Soviet graffiti spells out ‘МИР‘ – Russian for ‘MIR,’ which means both ‘world’ and ‘peace’ in Russian. MIR Corporation was founded in 1986.
Photo credit: Helen Holter

MIR’s 30 Years, in a Nutshell

We at MIR celebrate our 30th anniversary in 2016, and all that has transpired in the course of three decades: from “perestroika” and “glasnost to the fall of the Soviet Union, from using typewriters and telexes in our business to smartphones and Skype, and from traveling solely to the U.S.S.R. and later Russia to now 35 destinations, including Central Asia, China, Iran and North Korea.  Although there are many facets to MIR’s beginnings, one that was especially significant was a young 20-something volleyball star, Douglas Grimes, answering “da” when asked if he’d like to create a citizen exchange of volleyball players to the Soviet Union.

“MIR’s 30 Years” stories are embedded with their companion videos; you can also view the videos separately. “MIR’s 30 Years” focuses on three areas:

  • MIR’s 30th anniversary, and its exciting beginning in 1986, at a time when things were just opening up between the U.S. and U.S.S.R.
  • MIR’s imaginative types of journeys to 35 countries at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, from Russia and Central Asia to Iran and North Korea.
  • MIR’s passion for Siberia, steeped in MIR President Douglas Grimes’ good fortune to be among the first Westerners to explore this legendary place.

You can also view the entire video series of “MIR’s 30 Years” on MIR’s YouTube channel, , specifically under the playlist,

MIR’s Beginnings

Iconic symbol of the U.S.S.R., the Soviet hammer and sickle is topped by a Kremlin star
Photo credit: Helen Holter

MIR’s One-of-a-Kind Journeys

Some travelers drive Land Rovers on MIR’s overland journeys, as here in Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Photo credit: Douglas Grimes

Siberia, A MIR Specialty

MIR’s Douglas Grimes was among the first Westerners to visit the Soviet Union’s Kamchatka Peninsula, similar to Yellowstone Park’s geysers and thermal springs
Photo credit: Martin Klimenta

MIR’s Travel Videos, in a Nutshell

This is a sampling of MIR’s ever-expanding video offerings on its YouTube channel, . Here you will find videos shot by MIR staffers and MIR travelers, capturing the sounds and spirit, daily life, culture, and natural beauty of the places and people MIR is so passionate about, at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. 

Siberia & Russian Far East

Trans-Siberian Railway

Central Asia


Western Russia

South Caucasus

Central & Eastern Europe

MIR’s Douglas Grimes and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy enjoy a one-on-one conversation before the manned launch of a Soyuz spacecraft in Baikonur, Kazakhstan
Photo credit: Douglas Grimes

Learn More About MIR

Connecting with MIRMIR has a deep presence on social media, offering its latest travel news, videos, photos, destination information, and special offers:

(Top photo: Logo of MIR Corporation)

PUBLISHED: September 30, 2016

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