Ireland’s biggest Russian tour operator cancels entire programme


John Galligan Travel has cancelled all tours to Russia amid the Ukraine crisis, reports Shauna McCrudden

St Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow

We are all Ukrainians

Below is a statement from John Galligan of John Galligan Travel. It is a very important statement. It states that due to the murder and mayhem unleashed on Ukraine by Putin and his army, John will no longer be organising tours to Russia. And this is after 40 years of service and relationships with Russia and the Russian people. John is clear that his argument is not with the Russian people but with President Putin. John also adds, “Our protest may be small and insignificant”.

All I can say is that nothing could be further from the truth John. You have shown great courage and example and I, along with our team at Travel Extra, applaud you. 

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Having had many connections with Russia and its people, especially in the world of ballet, I know how difficult this is for all concerned. Having worked with artists such as Rudolf Nureyev, I know the argument is not with the people but the government. 

-Kevin Flanagan, Editor-in-Chief Travel Extra

John Galligan Travel statement

As the Russia and Ukraine crisis continues, John Galligan Travel (, Dublin’s longest-serving tour operator of packages from Ireland to Russia, has cancelled all tours to Russia. This includes their most popular short breaks to St Petersburg and Moscow as well as the “Highlights of Russia” holiday.

John Galligan Travel ( is a small independent leisure travel company specialising in upmarket leisure, upmarket cruising, expeditions and own-brand “Bucket List” trips. A member of the Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA), they have been offering weekly departures to Russia since the 1980s. 

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But earlier this week, JGT advised its Russian suppliers that all tours planned for the foreseeable future have been cancelled. They cited that while they admire the Russian people and strive to separate business and politics, the crisis between Russia and Ukraine is no longer able to be ignored.

John Galligan, M.D. of, stated, “Over the years, we have come to know and have a high regard for the Russian people. It is unfortunate that this decision had to be made, since we have a long-standing history with Russia. Since the start of our tours, we have successfully separated our travel agency from politics, but we feel that this invasion cannot be ignored.”

“We know the Russian government will not be the slightest bit worried about JGT cancelling its Irish programme. However, we feel obliged to register our protest at the murder and mayhem the Russian government has unleashed on the innocent people of Ukraine. Our protest may be small and insignificant, but if everyone around the world makes similar tiny gestures, Russia will definitely start feeling the pinch.”

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See John Galligan Travel’s other full programmes at

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