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We've given each of our tours a comfort rating and a tour pace, walking or cycling grade to give you a general idea about the level of activity on each tour and the standard of accommodation you will be staying in at the end of your day's adventure.
Often you'll stay in different styles of accommodation during your tour; so we make an average rating across the entire tour. For more information on where you'll stay each night, please refer to the day by day tour itinerary.
The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these trip notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations.
Local Crew: Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognized part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. In order to make things easier for you, the Tour Leaders may organise a group’s tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the tour.
Recommended Currency for Exchange: We recommend that you take your money in Sterling, Euros or US Dollars cash. For US Dollars notes should be in good condition (not torn or marked), issued after 1990 (pre-1990 are often refused) and ideally in small denominations. Euros, Sterling and Dollars are easily transferable into the local currency, Roubles.
Where to Exchange: Most major towns – your Tour Leader will advise you on arrival.
Credit Card Acceptance: Local currency (Russian Roubles) can also be drawn on credit cards from ATM’s in both Moscow and St Petersburg.
ATM Availability: Cash can be withdrawn both in Moscow and St. Petersburg
Travellers Cheques: Travellers cheques are accepted in Moscow and St Petersburg but are very time-consuming to change and attract unfavourable exchange rates.
Camera, video and cloakroom fees: Please note that most sites and museums charge £2 to allow photography and store clothing.
*Cheap local fare in a small cafe or restaurant. **Typical food in a simple, reasonably comfortable mid-range restaurant.
It is a condition of joining any of our tours that you must have valid travel insurance. It must indicate that you have cover for (at least) medical expenses and emergency repatriation in the event of illness or injury. We also strongly recommend your policy includes cancellation protection as all deposit paid are non-refundable.
If you require travel insurance for your tour, Explore Worldwide is an appointed representative of Campbell Irvine Limited, who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services authority. Our travel insurance policy is specially tailored to the needs of the adventure traveller and will cover you for any included activity on any Explore trip. You can either purchase this at the time of booking or call us 0844 499 0901 after you have booked.
An entry visa is required for Russia by all nationalities. We recommend you obtain this through the Explore Visa Service in the UK, Visa Swift at http://www.visaswift.com/explore.aspx and by overseas clients through their Explore agent. Bookings must be received at least one month prior to departure to enable the processing of a Russian visa.
For arrivals in Russia more than 72hrs before Day 1: Please note if you are arriving in Russia more than 72hrs before the group arrive and staying at a different hotel to the joining hotel or with friends, it will be necessary to contact Explore to provide us with the address of your accommodation before you apply for your Russian visa.
Upon arrival in Russia, it will be necessary to register your passport with the authorities. Each hotel has a registration service, but if you plan to stay with friends rather than at a hotel your host will need to register you at the nearest police station. Failure to register within 72hrs will result in a penalty fee of up to 5000 rubles (approx 150 euros).
Please note: that the Russian embassy in the UK will only accept their own visa forms. You will need to visit the website http://www.rusemblon.org where you must fill in the application online which can then be downloaded. Other nationalities should consult the relevant consulate.
Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis A, polio and diphtheria. Consult your travel clinic for further advice. Tick-borne encephalitis is recommended by some medical sources if travelling in certain areas of Eastern Europe, at specific times of the year. Check latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure.
The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at http://www.explore.co.uk/Travelhealth/ and from your local healthcare provider.
Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed before departure.
We strongly recommend that you check your government’s travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs, including advice re: the legality of and local attitudes towards same-sex relationships. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Advice follow the link athttp://www.explore.co.uk/Traveladvice/
Unfortunately it does occasionally happen that luggage does not always reach its destination on the same flight as its owner, or possibly it may be damaged in transit. If you are unlucky enough for this to occur, it is important that you file a PIR (Property Irregularity Report) with the airline before leaving the airport. This is essential when you come to make a claim either against the airline or from your travel insurance company
Then we suggest you contact Nomad Travel, our equipment partner, who specialise in kitting people out for adventurous travel. You receive a special 10% discount in-store or online. Visit one of their stores, phone 0845 260 0044, or visit their website www.nomadtravel.co.uk/explore for further information.