Passports and Visa
If you do not have a passport, APPLY NOW! Please do not wait until the last minute. You should always carry 2 extra passport photographs with you, in case of emergency (if your passport/visa is lost or stolen), and always carry 2 sets of photocopies of your airline tickets and the first two pages of your passport.
Extensive pre-tour paperwork is necessary to obtain a Russian visa. Our outfitter will provide the necessary applications and instructions, and detailed information will be sent to you approximately 90-120 days in advance (when it is possible to begin the application process).
An estimate of current visa costs for US passport holders, based on standard processing time, is $290. Your exact visa fees may differ as visa costs can depend on a number of factors, such as state of residence, processing time, and return shipping. Visa fees are always subject to change.
In addition your passport must also have adequate unused visa pages to allow for entry and exit stamps upon arrival and departure from Russia. To be safe, all travelers in the region are strongly encouraged to have a minimum of six or more unstamped visa pages in their passports prior to commencing travel. Please note that Amendment pages in the back of your passport are not to be used for entry and exit stamps or visa issuance.
You will be asked to submit your passport to the hotel upon check-in for registration purposes. The hotel may return your passport right away, or may keep it overnight, and this process may be repeated at other cities on your itinerary. Always make certain you reclaim your passport at the desk. Your passport is your responsibility. Do not lose it or your customs declaration.
Health Requirements and Health Insurance
You MUST have your own health insurance and be in very good physical condition to participate in this trip.
There are no special vaccinations required to enter the country, but please make sure that you are up-to-date on routine vaccines. Please consult with your personal physician, local health department, travel clinic, or immunization center about any vaccinations you may need to update, or others that may be personally recommended for you based on your age, health, and past vaccination history.
You will be supplied with bottled water during this trip. Water in Russia can be problematic and it is strongly advised to NOT drink tap water, not even to brush your teeth.
Is This Trip Right for You?
While the accommodations utilized are superior tourist class, please keep in mind that some aspects of the tourism infrastructure in Russia are not up to the standards North American travelers expect. Services are improving in the region; however we may encounter problems with bureaucratic service, road conditions, and availability and quality of public restrooms. This itinerary features a significant amount of touring on foot. Many streets and sidewalks are uneven, and some attractions are only accessible via steep staircases. Museums generally do not have elevators.
We believe that this program is designed to be as comfortable as possible for travel in this region. It is rated as “Moderate” because of the daily walking involved, the length of some bus rides and the overall shortcomings of the tourism infrastructure. To reap the full rewards of this adventure, travelers should be able to walk at least 2-3 miles a day, keeping up with fellow travelers. Flexibility, a sense of humor and a willingness to accept local standards of amenities and services are essential components to the enjoyment of this trip.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this schedule is accurate. However, trip itineraries are always subject to change. We do our best to inform participants in advance of any changes, but, due to the nature of travel in Russia, this may not always be possible.
Traveling to Russia: Arrival in Moscow, Departure from St. Petersburg
You should plan to arrive in Moscow at the airport by early-mid afternoon on September 1. It might take approximately 4 hours from scheduled landing time to get to the hotel depending on which airport you fly into. Moscow is one of the largest and busiest cities in the world, so substantial traffic and sometimes lengthy customs/immigration with lots of flights arriving at the same time, contribute to delays getting into the city center.
There are two airports that are suggested, where most of the major flights from the US fly into:
Sheremetyevo (SVO) International Airport has non-stop flights on Delta Airlines direct from New York. Aeroflot also has direct flights from New York, and Aeroflot also flies from Los Angeles. Flights arrive by approximately 12 noon – 2:00pm.
Domodedovo (DME) International Airport is a bit farther from Moscow, but Air France, KLM, Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian and more fly from the U.S. through Europe to this airport.
Departure from St. Petersburg can be at any time on September 11.
There will be group airport transfers for those arriving on the tour start date (September 1) and departing on the tour end date (September 11). Our outfitter will try to combine flight arrival and departures that are reasonably close together.
Anyone arriving or departing at different dates and times, and not able to be part of a group arrival or departure transfer, will have private transfers as necessary. The cost of this will be $75 per car, with a maximum of 2 persons/car.
We would be happy to help you with pre- or post-tour arrangements. Please feel free to contact us.
Making Travel Arrangements to Russia
We are happy to help you make your flight and travel arrangements. Please contact us for more information.
NOTE: The recent trend in travel is for travelers to finalize their plans much closer to departure time than was customary in the past. While we try to be as flexible as possible booking last minute registrants, we must often relinquish hotel space and air reservations up to 6 – 12 weeks prior to departure!
Please keep this in mind when making your travel plans.
Final payment is due to AdventureWomen, LLC in a cash form (check, money order or wire transfer) on or before June 3, 2017.
The unit of Russian currency is the ruble. You may exchange currency in the major hotels, and at kiosks on the streets. The rates are published on a board either outside or inside the building, and you can use your calculator to make sure you get the published exchange rate.
1 U.S. Dollar = 64.4 rubles, as of 8/23/2016. See: http://www.xe.com/ucc/ or any universal currency converter for updated exchange rates. Make sure the bills you bring to exchange are crisp, new and unmarked, or they will be rejected at the exchange point.
Ask your local guide for the best place to exchange money – rates at airports and banks are not always the best. Your passport is usually required to exchange money.
ATMs: Called bankomats, are prevalent in larger cities. It is recommended that you use your ATM card to get cash, and then use the cash for your purchases. Usually the charges are lower than paying for meals or purchases with a credit card. Save your receipts and check the exchange rate that you were charged. It is preferable to use ATMs inside hotels and banks, due to reports of scams involving street ATMs.
Credit Cards: Credit cards can be used at more and more places in Western Russia, but it is wise to save all receipts and check them against your statement on your return home. Some cases of fraud have been reported.
Reminder: Contact your credit card/debit card company a week or so before you depart the U.S. to let them know you will be traveling in Russia. This will help prevent your funds from being frozen. Also, ask them what their fee is for international transactions so you can plan accordingly.
Traveler’s Checks: Not recommended. It may be difficult or impossible to find a place to exchange them, and they may give you a poor exchange rate.
Weather everywhere can be unpredictable year round. Furthermore, personal perception plays a large role in your comfort in varying conditions. Some people are comfortable in a heavy sweater and windbreaker at 35°F, and others need a down parka. Thus, your personal preferences should be your guide in packing for this trip.
The average temperatures in Moscow in September are 50°F, with highs of 57°F and lows of 43°F.
The average temperatures in St. Petersburg about 50°F, with highs of 56°F and lows of 45°F.
As always, the best bet is to be prepared for a wide variety of conditions, spanning the range from hot, sunny weather to more average cooler early-autumn weather.