Essential Russia Russia, Moscow to St Petersburg

Essential Russia

Russia, Moscow to St Petersburg

Hiking
9 days
2020

Sat, May 16

Sun, May 24

€815

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Overview

Hop on this whirlwind tour through Russia from the majestic Kremlin Palace to the artsy Nikola-Lenivets Park, and finish in stunning St. Petersburg. With the hot banyas and warmth of its people, Russia ain't so cold after all, so don't be surprised if you're not Russian to leave once the trip finishes.

Map

Itinerary

Day 1Moscow
Zdrastvutye! Welcome to Russia. The great city of Moscow has survived centuries of revolution and tumult, from the days of the tsars through the communist era to the growing pains of democracy. Beneath its modern veneer – a sign of Russia's recent embrace of capitalism – Moscow is a fascinating, historic city with a wealth of sights to see. There’s so much to see and do in Moscow that it’s worth arriving a few extra days before the start of the trip. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm this evening, then take an orientation walk with your leader before an optional dinner for your first taste of delicious Russian cuisine with your new friends. 
Day 2Moscow
Visit the mausoleum of Russia’s most famous revolutionary – Lenin. He was the initiator of the 1917 Russian revolution that ushered in the era of communism, and you will join the queue lining up to visit his austere, eternal resting place on Red Square. Then enter the Kremlin grounds with a local guide, home to the oldest and most important churches in the country, where many Tsars and Tsarinas are laid to rest. Walk through the soaring towers and cathedrals of the political and spiritual heart of Russia before entering the Armoury Museum, home to an eye-bulging former royal collection of ambassadorial gifts, Faberge eggs, coronation robes and glittering jewels. 
Day 3Nikola-Lenivets
Pack your bags for a two-night stay in Nikola Lenivets. The group will take the metro to Moscow Train Station and travel to the nearest town where you'll transfer to Nikola Lenivets, a 650-hectare landscape park and open-air contemporary art space. The park was created, or perhaps more accurately dreamed up, by a young Russian architect looking for a space to engage in creative activities. Some people would've started a blog, he decided to start a community. Take a guided walking tour in the park as an introduction to the history, idea and art projects inside. You won't be able to see all the projects together, but everyone will have plenty of time and freedom to explore the park at their own pace and check out the projects and activities. Optional experiences include bike hire, a woodworking workshop, yoga classes and a visit to a family farm, or simply just walk around the serene surroundings and chat with the interesting souls frequenting the park. The full story is fascinating, and can be read at: http://nikola-lenivets.org/park-about-en.
Day 5Moscow
Travel back to Moscow for a free afternoon and evening exploring the city. Return to the Red Square if you wish, check out a few of the many museums or stroll the banks of the Moskva River.
Day 6Moscow - Overnight train
Today your leader will take you on a tour of the super-lush Moscow metro stations. These stations are unlike any metro you've had the displeasure of riding before, and look more like elegant 1920s ballrooms than the starting point of a daily commute. Mayakovskaya Station, for example, hosted headquarters of anti-aircraft defence in 1941 as well as a Supreme Soviet session, and on the ceiling, you'll find 34 mosaics called depicting 24 hours in the Soviet sky. It's considered one of the most beautiful metro stations in the world for good reason. Visit this, as well as other stations adorned with more mosaics chandeliers. Head to the train station in the evening and catch the overnight train to St Petersburg.
Day 7St. Petersburg
Arrive early into St Petersburg, Russia's current cultural, and former imperial, capital. With incredible art and architecture, this is a fascinating city to walk around. Take a quick tour with your leader to get to know the city, get your bearings and walk past iconic sights like Nevsky Prospect, Kazan Cathedral and the Hermitage Museum, not to mention the streets that played host to that ridiculous scene in Golden Eye where James Bond drives a tank through town. Shaken, not stirred, indeed. In the evening you'll take a pub crawl around town to see two different faces of the Russian drinking culture. The first is a ryumochnaya, or "vodka-glass place", which appeared in the city during the 19th-century. Enjoy traditional soviet snacks like pirozhki (small Russian pies), lard on bread, boiled eggs and mayonnaise, and bread with herring or salami. Afterwards, your leader will show you some of the modern pubs at the forefront of the ever-growing craft beer scene popular with the younger crowds. Try a Vasileostrovskoye, perhaps the most famous beer in town, or ask the bartender to suggest their favourite.
Day 8St. Petersburg
St Petersburg is built on 42 islands and also known as the Venice of the North. Forget gondoliers though, this is a city to explore on foot and today you can spend the day crossing its rivers and canals at your own pace (which will vary depending on your enthusiasm at last night's pub crawl). Take in the ridiculous views across the city from the colonnade at St Isaac's Cathedral, or stroll down St Petersburg's main street. Pop into one of the awesome bakeries or coffee shops along the way, or maybe head down to Aleksandr Nevsky Lavra, where Russia's great musicians and writers including Tchaikovsky and Dostoyevsky are laid to rest in the cemetery. A whole day could be spent wandering the halls of the Hermitage Museum, one of the largest and oldest museums in the world that houses one of the world's premier art collections. Whatever you choose, the city is easy to get around and your leader can help you make the most of your free day. In the evening, why not get the crew together and seek out a cosy restaurant for a final farewell.
Day 9St. Petersburg
Your Russian adventure will come to an end today. There are no activities planned. St Petersburg has so much to offer, so we recommend that those who wish to see more extend their stay by a day or two.

Trip title

Essential Russia

Trip code

WBYA

Validity

Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019
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Introduction

Hop on this whirlwind tour through Russia from the majestic Kremlin Palace to the artsy Nikola-Lenivets Park, and finish in stunning St. Petersburg. With the hot banyas and warmth of its people, Russia ain't so cold after all, so don't be surprised if you're not Russian to leave once the trip finishes.

Style

Basix

Themes

18 to 29s

Transport

Metro,Train,Overnight train,Private vehicle

Physical Rating

2

Physical preparation

A good level of fitness will be expected and will certainly help increase the enjoyment of the trip. You will be required to carry your own bags through busy train and metro stations (including up and down stairs or escalators) and some accommodation may not have lifts.

Joining point

Centeral Hostel

Joining point instructions

There are three main airports in Moscow (Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo & Vnukovo). All are located about an hour out of the city in different locations. There is no direct Metro link to any of the airports. The nearest subway station is Kuznetsky Most (Кузнецкий мост) on the Purple Line 7 There is only one exit of the station from where it's 600m walk to the hostel. Out of the subway station, turn right and follow Rozhdestvenka street to intersection with Sandunovsky Pereulok. From intersection turn left and keep walking till Neglinnaya street. Turn right on Neglinnaya, keep on the left side of the road. Hostel is located in the next side street. Green door with the hostel sign. Follow instructions on the elevator to get to the property. If you get lost, you can show this to any passer-by: Пожалуйста, помогите мне. Я потерялся. Где улица Петровские линии 1

Finish point

Cameo Hotel Отеля Камея

Important information

1. A Single Supplement to have your own room is not available on this trip. 2. In order for our local operator to book train tickets we require the following information at time of booking or no later than 60 days prior to departure. • Passengers full name • Full Passport Details (number, expiry, issued) • DOB • City of Birth 3. We stay in multi-share accommodation with shared facilities in Moscow and Nikola-Lenivets. 4. It's possible to book pre and post accommodation with us depending on availability. Please note that we won't be able to book a single room or a gender separate dorm for the hostel in Moscow.

Group leader

All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

Safety

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

Visas

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time. RUSSIAN VISAS Most nationalities require a visa for Russia. RUSSIA - LETTER OF INVITATION (LOI) You will need a Letter of Invitation (LOI), sometimes called a Voucher or Visa Support Letter in order to apply for your visa. You can obtain your LOI online through our local partners in Russia. Instructions and a link to the website will be sent to you at the time of booking. Read the instructions carefully and fill in the online application form. You will then be able to download your LOI instantly. Please note that we will add 3 days to the LOI duration before and after your trip dates for your convenience. If you are planning to stay longer than these dates please let us know as we will need to manually request a LOI to fit your specific travel plans. The LOI included in the cost of your tour is for a Single Entry Tourist Visa. LOIs for other types of visas must be organised directly with our local partners Parallel 60 (www.visain.ru). INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR RUSSIAN VISA APPLICATION: Once you have obtained your LOI you can apply for your visa. You must apply for your Russian visa in advance. Visas are not available on arrival or en-route. It is your responsibility to apply for your own visa either directly through a consulate or by using a visa agent. We do not recommend trying to obtain your Russian visa outside of your home country or place of residence as your application may be refused. Use ONLY the information and dates on your LOI when filling in your visa application. There is no need to reference us or include a copy of your itinerary as Parallel 60, our Russian partners, is the official inviting organisation. Do not be concerned if the destinations and accommodation listed do not match your trip exactly. This information is for the purposes of obtaining the visa only, not an indication of where you must travel and stay once in Russia. DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR RUSSIAN VISA APPLICATION: * Letter of Invitation (LOI) * Photocopy of your passport * Passport size photos (up to 4) * Flight or other transport details (if requested) * Please check with the consulate for any other specific requirements VISA EXTENSIONS IN RUSSIA Please be aware that visa extensions are NOT possible in Russia. INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR RUSSIAN TRAIN TICKET BOOKINGS Train tickets in Russia are booked with passport numbers. Please make sure you provide us with your correct passport number. If you have to renew your passport after booking please notify us as soon as you have a new passport number and bring your old passport with you on your trip. If we receive changes to passport numbers less than 30 days prior to departure we cannot guarantee purchase of train tickets. We do NOT recommend travelling on multiple passports for trips that involve border crossings by train. This can cause difficulties with train ticket bookings and cause significant issues delays at immigration. RUSSIAN MIGRATION CARDS All foreign citizens entering Russia are required to fill in a migration card on arrival. The entry portion of the card will be retained by immigration upon arrival. The stamped exit portion of the card must be kept with your passport during your stay in Russia and submitted to immigration upon departure. If you are not given a migration card at immigration on arrival you must request one, even if the immigration official says that you do not need one. Loss or failure to receive the exit portion of the card will result in you not being able to travel on our trip as all hotels require this card for registration and may result in significant delays or fines upon departure.

Why we love it

An epic symbol of Russia, Red Square has also long been at the heart of the country's history. Visit the austere mausoleum of Lenin, then there are plenty of places to get your culture fix like checking out the eye-bulging treasure collection in the Kremlin and Armoury Museum.

Is this trip right for you

We stay in a hostel in Moscow and a Russian style country house in Nikola-Lenivets, which are both multi-share. It's a great chance to meet other like-minded travellers and an authentic Russia "dacha" experience. This trip is far from hand holding - with a limited number of activities included there is plenty of time to bring out your spirit of adventure. Your tour leader will give you suggestions and directions to help make the most of the time on the trip. The pub crawl in St Petersburg aims to give you an authentic taste of local culture with one drink included in each pub, but it's not specifically a "drinking tour" and participants will need to drink responsibly. Just as a heads up before you book: this trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

Health

GIARDIA Giardia intestinalis, a parasite that causes severe diarrhoea has been reported from time to time in the water supply in Russia. For this reason, we recommend against drinking unboiled tap water in all Russian cites. MEDICATION From June 2016 legislation was introduced requiring travellers bringing prescribed medicines into Russia to carry a prescription in the traveller’s name, plus the name of the drug and prescribed quantity. According to official channels if your medication contains "narcotic or psychoactive substances", a notarised translation is also required. In practice we are yet to hear of a traveller encountering an issue with bringing medicines into the country, provided they are able to show that they are prescribed to them however you need to be aware that doing so is at your own risk. Some medicines which you can buy over the counter in your home country may require a prescription in Russia. If you’re unsure whether you need to provide a prescription and notarised translation to bring your medicines into Russia, check with the Russian Embassy before you travel. TICKS In spring and early summer in rural areas of Russia and Mongolia ticks are prevalent. Please take precautions when walking in these areas by wearing long trousers and covered shoes, and check your clothes and body thoroughly. DIET/HYGIENE The diet and hygiene standards on this trip may be very different from what you are used to so please take care with washing hands before meals etc. and bring some medication/rehydration salts etc if you commonly experience stomach problems with a change in diet.

Food and dietary requirements

FOOD IN RUSSIA: What is food in Russia really like? See our blog here for some must try foods: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/5-foods-really-need-try-russia/ VEGETARIANS & VEGANS: Vegetarians in Russia certainly won't go hungry as there are usually plenty of meat-free options on menus including salads, certain soups, and cooked dishes such as mushrooms, potatoes, cabbage, buckwheat, dumplings with vegetable fillings, savoury pancakes etc. Vegans will need to look for options without mayonnaise, sour cream and cheese which are common in Russian dishes. Moscow, St Petersburg and increasingly other towns have an ever growing number of excellent vegetarian and vegan eateries. DIETARY NEEDS: Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may wish to supplement inclusions with their own supplies from markets or supermarkets.

Money matters

SPENDING MONEY: When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document). RUSSIA The official currency of Russia is the Ruble (RUB). 1 ruble = 100 kopeks. ATMs are widespread in Russia so the easiest way to access cash on your trip is to bring a credit card. Please check with your bank about overseas withdrawal fees before you depart and note that recent travellers have experienced difficulties in using credit cards without a debit function from US banks for purchases or withdrawals. The easiest foreign currencies to exchange are USD and EUR, however please be aware of the security risk of carrying large amounts of cash. In any case, some money should be taken as cash in case of emergencies - we recommend around US$500 per person. Commission is sometimes charged for currency exchange. Check the rate before you exchange as what is advertised is sometimes only for transactions above US$500, carefully check the amount you are given and ask for a receipt. Due to restrictions on changing money in Russia, only US$50 and US$100 notes/bills printed after 1996 and in good condition (no creases, marks, stamps or tears) will be accepted. Avoid bringing US$ notes in smaller denominations. By law, all purchases in Russia must be made in local currency. TIPPING IN RUSSIA: If you are happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. We recommend that any tips are given to the intended recipient by a member of your group, rather than collected and passed on by the group leader. The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers: - Restaurants/cafes with table service: We suggest 5% to 10% of your bill, however check if a service charge has already been added. - Local guides: Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest 100- 200 RUB per person per activity day for local guides with the amount adjusted accordingly for guides who are with you for a for a full day. - Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey, while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however a base of 100- 200 RUB per person, per day is generally appropriate, with the amount adjusted accordingly for drivers who are with you for less than a full day. - Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline $US3-5, or the equivalent in any currency used on the trip, per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip isn't compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service. Please do not tip with coins, notes of and less than 10 RUB or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult. Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less. CONTINGENCY FUNDS: We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved.

What to take

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances or up or down a flight of stairs. Our travellers usually find the smaller their luggage is, the more they enjoy the trip not having to worry about carrying heavy bags! Aim to keep your main luggage under 15kg. Many travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller suitcases or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps or handles. If you are taking overnight trains, or primarily using public transport then the smaller your luggage the easier it will be to store under or above bunks. A lockable bag or small padlock will be useful especially when travelling on public transportation as well. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, and jacket etc. when you’re exploring during the day. Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip. Essential: - Clothing: a mixture of lightweight and dry fast clothing and warm layers are recommended essential for travelling in this region. Long shirts, pants, scarves are useful for covering shoulders & knees when visiting religious sites. - Shoes: sturdy and comfortable shoes for walking long distances are essential. - Personal travel documents inc. your passport (visa), travel insurance, fight tickets and trip notes. Photo copies of your passport and visa, passport size photos and travel insurance will be handy. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary. - small first aid kit including items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes, Band-Aids and insect repellent, and essential medicine depending on your doctors advice. - Money: cash/credit card/EFTPOS card and money belt - Sun protection like hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses. Recommended: - Refillable water bottle (1.5 litre capacity suggested): The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. - Cell phone, camera with spare batteries, charger, and adapter plug - Hand wash, travel wipes, toiletries and small towel - Watch/alarm clock and torch/flashlight (and spare batteries) - Torch or flash light esp. for stay at local guesthouses or home stays Optional: - Sleeping bag. Useful for camping, overnight trains and poorly heated hotels, particularly during the winter months of Dec - Feb when temperatures are low. - Sleep sheet. If you are travelling during the hot season you may wish to pack a sleep sheet so you will be comfortable no matter what the weather. - Ear plugs to guard against street noise and snorers. - A good book, a journal and music player for overnight train rides and longer drives. Other things to consider: - Check weather in destinations you are travelling to online a few days before you go to make sure you pack appropriate clothing - Laundry facilities may not be available in all destinations, so make sure you have a few cycles of clothes to tide you over until your next chance to wash

A couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

Feedback

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/ After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

Emergency contact

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager. You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete. For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/ In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, please contact our local office: Russia local office: ++7 918 615 1572

Responsible travel

We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation are matched by Intrepid Group dollar for dollar (up to AU$10,000 per donor and AU$500,000 in total each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And because Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

Accommodation notes

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in your selected accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for your arrival, especially if you're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible, which means you won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, you can store your luggage and explore the new destination. If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights. RUSSIA REGISTRATION: Please be aware that Russia requires all foreign nationals to register their passports upon arrival in each city. Since March 25th, 2011 the registration rules for foreigners have been relaxed in Russia. According to these rules, foreign citizens must register themselves within 7 business days of their arrival into Russia (instead of the 3 days required before). This means that if you are arriving in Russia before the trip start date or staying extra days after the trip has finished (less than 7 days), whether at our hotels or at accommodation of your choice, you don’t have to be registered and pay any registration fees. We will take responsibility for registration of passports at our first place of stay in Russia including any associated costs. If you are arriving more than 7 days prior to the start of the trip, or staying more than 7 days post-trip, you will need to be responsible for your own passport registration and any extra charges for this service. Failure to register could lead to problems at immigration when departing the country. HOT WATER: Please note that in many cities in Russia, including Moscow, hot water is turned off for up to one month during summer for routine maintenance. During this time only cold water may be available. HOMESTAYS and GUESTHOUSES: Please note that at our homestays and guesthouses you might be required to share a room with people of the opposite sex or with your leader. When we stay at people's homes, beds might be pull-out couches or mattresses on the floor. DOUBLE BEDS: Please note that rooms with double beds are not always available. Wherever possible we will put couples in rooms with double beds but there may be times when only twin share rooms are available. RUSSIA TRAINS: Overnight trains are simple but comfortable. There is a toilet/bathroom and compartments with bunks/berths. Please note that we travel 2nd class on all overnight trains (4 people per compartment). While we always try to have our groups staying together there may be times where due to ticket availability the group will be staying in different compartments and carriages. If the group number does not divide into 4 then you can also expect that some group members will be sharing a compartment with other travellers including local people. There are generally no power points available in the compartments of the trains. The only power outlet occasionally available is one in the corridor for the whole carriage, and this is not guaranteed to have a steady flow of electricity or to be accessible from the compartment. Trains are generally heated but most do not offer air conditioning. The train can become very hot even in winter and the train attendants will not allow the windows to be opened, please pack clothing appropriate for the warmer conditions on these train journeys.

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

Your fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. SINGLE TRAVELLERS: Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

Itinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Accommodation

Hostel (3 nights),Hotel (2 nights),Guesthouse (2 nights),Overnight sleeper train (1 night)

Safe Booking

Do I have to book in advance?

  • Yes, we encourage you to book this trek in advance.
  • For day activities, we recommend you to book 48 hours before the tour.
  • For multi-day packages, the earlier you book, the more significant is the chance that you can participate in the journey.


When do I have to pay?

  • We have a "book now, pay later" policy. Due to this process, we don't ask for any bank card details.
  • We created our booking system to be convenient and secure for you.
  • The provider will contact you and discuss the payment with you later.


What other fees do I have to pay?

  • There are no hidden fees on Trekhunt (like booking fee, cancellation fee, etc.).
  • We don't charge you any additional fees.
  • We offer this tour precisely with the same price and conditions as the provider.


Is booking secure?

  • We created our booking system to be convenient and safe for you.
  • We don't ask any of your bank card details!
  • We only ask you to provide us your name, email and mobile number.
  • We forward this information to the provider, who can send you the tour details.


Don't miss out. We recommend you to book this tour today.

Map

Itinerary

Day 1Moscow
Zdrastvutye! Welcome to Russia. The great city of Moscow has survived centuries of revolution and tumult, from the days of the tsars through the communist era to the growing pains of democracy. Beneath its modern veneer – a sign of Russia's recent embrace of capitalism – Moscow is a fascinating, historic city with a wealth of sights to see. There’s so much to see and do in Moscow that it’s worth arriving a few extra days before the start of the trip. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm this evening, then take an orientation walk with your leader before an optional dinner for your first taste of delicious Russian cuisine with your new friends. 
Day 2Moscow
Visit the mausoleum of Russia’s most famous revolutionary – Lenin. He was the initiator of the 1917 Russian revolution that ushered in the era of communism, and you will join the queue lining up to visit his austere, eternal resting place on Red Square. Then enter the Kremlin grounds with a local guide, home to the oldest and most important churches in the country, where many Tsars and Tsarinas are laid to rest. Walk through the soaring towers and cathedrals of the political and spiritual heart of Russia before entering the Armoury Museum, home to an eye-bulging former royal collection of ambassadorial gifts, Faberge eggs, coronation robes and glittering jewels. 
Day 3Nikola-Lenivets
Pack your bags for a two-night stay in Nikola Lenivets. The group will take the metro to Moscow Train Station and travel to the nearest town where you'll transfer to Nikola Lenivets, a 650-hectare landscape park and open-air contemporary art space. The park was created, or perhaps more accurately dreamed up, by a young Russian architect looking for a space to engage in creative activities. Some people would've started a blog, he decided to start a community. Take a guided walking tour in the park as an introduction to the history, idea and art projects inside. You won't be able to see all the projects together, but everyone will have plenty of time and freedom to explore the park at their own pace and check out the projects and activities. Optional experiences include bike hire, a woodworking workshop, yoga classes and a visit to a family farm, or simply just walk around the serene surroundings and chat with the interesting souls frequenting the park. The full story is fascinating, and can be read at: http://nikola-lenivets.org/park-about-en.
Day 5Moscow
Travel back to Moscow for a free afternoon and evening exploring the city. Return to the Red Square if you wish, check out a few of the many museums or stroll the banks of the Moskva River.
Day 6Moscow - Overnight train
Today your leader will take you on a tour of the super-lush Moscow metro stations. These stations are unlike any metro you've had the displeasure of riding before, and look more like elegant 1920s ballrooms than the starting point of a daily commute. Mayakovskaya Station, for example, hosted headquarters of anti-aircraft defence in 1941 as well as a Supreme Soviet session, and on the ceiling, you'll find 34 mosaics called depicting 24 hours in the Soviet sky. It's considered one of the most beautiful metro stations in the world for good reason. Visit this, as well as other stations adorned with more mosaics chandeliers. Head to the train station in the evening and catch the overnight train to St Petersburg.
Day 7St. Petersburg
Arrive early into St Petersburg, Russia's current cultural, and former imperial, capital. With incredible art and architecture, this is a fascinating city to walk around. Take a quick tour with your leader to get to know the city, get your bearings and walk past iconic sights like Nevsky Prospect, Kazan Cathedral and the Hermitage Museum, not to mention the streets that played host to that ridiculous scene in Golden Eye where James Bond drives a tank through town. Shaken, not stirred, indeed. In the evening you'll take a pub crawl around town to see two different faces of the Russian drinking culture. The first is a ryumochnaya, or "vodka-glass place", which appeared in the city during the 19th-century. Enjoy traditional soviet snacks like pirozhki (small Russian pies), lard on bread, boiled eggs and mayonnaise, and bread with herring or salami. Afterwards, your leader will show you some of the modern pubs at the forefront of the ever-growing craft beer scene popular with the younger crowds. Try a Vasileostrovskoye, perhaps the most famous beer in town, or ask the bartender to suggest their favourite.
Day 8St. Petersburg
St Petersburg is built on 42 islands and also known as the Venice of the North. Forget gondoliers though, this is a city to explore on foot and today you can spend the day crossing its rivers and canals at your own pace (which will vary depending on your enthusiasm at last night's pub crawl). Take in the ridiculous views across the city from the colonnade at St Isaac's Cathedral, or stroll down St Petersburg's main street. Pop into one of the awesome bakeries or coffee shops along the way, or maybe head down to Aleksandr Nevsky Lavra, where Russia's great musicians and writers including Tchaikovsky and Dostoyevsky are laid to rest in the cemetery. A whole day could be spent wandering the halls of the Hermitage Museum, one of the largest and oldest museums in the world that houses one of the world's premier art collections. Whatever you choose, the city is easy to get around and your leader can help you make the most of your free day. In the evening, why not get the crew together and seek out a cosy restaurant for a final farewell.
Day 9St. Petersburg
Your Russian adventure will come to an end today. There are no activities planned. St Petersburg has so much to offer, so we recommend that those who wish to see more extend their stay by a day or two.

Trip title

Essential Russia

Trip code

WBYA

Validity

Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019

Introduction

Hop on this whirlwind tour through Russia from the majestic Kremlin Palace to the artsy Nikola-Lenivets Park, and finish in stunning St. Petersburg. With the hot banyas and warmth of its people, Russia ain't so cold after all, so don't be surprised if you're not Russian to leave once the trip finishes.

Style

Basix

Themes

18 to 29s

Transport

Metro,Train,Overnight train,Private vehicle

Physical Rating

2

Physical preparation

A good level of fitness will be expected and will certainly help increase the enjoyment of the trip. You will be required to carry your own bags through busy train and metro stations (including up and down stairs or escalators) and some accommodation may not have lifts.

Joining point

Centeral Hostel

Joining point instructions

There are three main airports in Moscow (Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo & Vnukovo). All are located about an hour out of the city in different locations. There is no direct Metro link to any of the airports. The nearest subway station is Kuznetsky Most (Кузнецкий мост) on the Purple Line 7 There is only one exit of the station from where it's 600m walk to the hostel. Out of the subway station, turn right and follow Rozhdestvenka street to intersection with Sandunovsky Pereulok. From intersection turn left and keep walking till Neglinnaya street. Turn right on Neglinnaya, keep on the left side of the road. Hostel is located in the next side street. Green door with the hostel sign. Follow instructions on the elevator to get to the property. If you get lost, you can show this to any passer-by: Пожалуйста, помогите мне. Я потерялся. Где улица Петровские линии 1

Finish point

Cameo Hotel Отеля Камея

Important information

1. A Single Supplement to have your own room is not available on this trip. 2. In order for our local operator to book train tickets we require the following information at time of booking or no later than 60 days prior to departure. • Passengers full name • Full Passport Details (number, expiry, issued) • DOB • City of Birth 3. We stay in multi-share accommodation with shared facilities in Moscow and Nikola-Lenivets. 4. It's possible to book pre and post accommodation with us depending on availability. Please note that we won't be able to book a single room or a gender separate dorm for the hostel in Moscow.

Group leader

All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

Safety

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

Visas

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time. RUSSIAN VISAS Most nationalities require a visa for Russia. RUSSIA - LETTER OF INVITATION (LOI) You will need a Letter of Invitation (LOI), sometimes called a Voucher or Visa Support Letter in order to apply for your visa. You can obtain your LOI online through our local partners in Russia. Instructions and a link to the website will be sent to you at the time of booking. Read the instructions carefully and fill in the online application form. You will then be able to download your LOI instantly. Please note that we will add 3 days to the LOI duration before and after your trip dates for your convenience. If you are planning to stay longer than these dates please let us know as we will need to manually request a LOI to fit your specific travel plans. The LOI included in the cost of your tour is for a Single Entry Tourist Visa. LOIs for other types of visas must be organised directly with our local partners Parallel 60 (www.visain.ru). INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR RUSSIAN VISA APPLICATION: Once you have obtained your LOI you can apply for your visa. You must apply for your Russian visa in advance. Visas are not available on arrival or en-route. It is your responsibility to apply for your own visa either directly through a consulate or by using a visa agent. We do not recommend trying to obtain your Russian visa outside of your home country or place of residence as your application may be refused. Use ONLY the information and dates on your LOI when filling in your visa application. There is no need to reference us or include a copy of your itinerary as Parallel 60, our Russian partners, is the official inviting organisation. Do not be concerned if the destinations and accommodation listed do not match your trip exactly. This information is for the purposes of obtaining the visa only, not an indication of where you must travel and stay once in Russia. DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR RUSSIAN VISA APPLICATION: * Letter of Invitation (LOI) * Photocopy of your passport * Passport size photos (up to 4) * Flight or other transport details (if requested) * Please check with the consulate for any other specific requirements VISA EXTENSIONS IN RUSSIA Please be aware that visa extensions are NOT possible in Russia. INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR RUSSIAN TRAIN TICKET BOOKINGS Train tickets in Russia are booked with passport numbers. Please make sure you provide us with your correct passport number. If you have to renew your passport after booking please notify us as soon as you have a new passport number and bring your old passport with you on your trip. If we receive changes to passport numbers less than 30 days prior to departure we cannot guarantee purchase of train tickets. We do NOT recommend travelling on multiple passports for trips that involve border crossings by train. This can cause difficulties with train ticket bookings and cause significant issues delays at immigration. RUSSIAN MIGRATION CARDS All foreign citizens entering Russia are required to fill in a migration card on arrival. The entry portion of the card will be retained by immigration upon arrival. The stamped exit portion of the card must be kept with your passport during your stay in Russia and submitted to immigration upon departure. If you are not given a migration card at immigration on arrival you must request one, even if the immigration official says that you do not need one. Loss or failure to receive the exit portion of the card will result in you not being able to travel on our trip as all hotels require this card for registration and may result in significant delays or fines upon departure.

Why we love it

An epic symbol of Russia, Red Square has also long been at the heart of the country's history. Visit the austere mausoleum of Lenin, then there are plenty of places to get your culture fix like checking out the eye-bulging treasure collection in the Kremlin and Armoury Museum.

Is this trip right for you

We stay in a hostel in Moscow and a Russian style country house in Nikola-Lenivets, which are both multi-share. It's a great chance to meet other like-minded travellers and an authentic Russia "dacha" experience. This trip is far from hand holding - with a limited number of activities included there is plenty of time to bring out your spirit of adventure. Your tour leader will give you suggestions and directions to help make the most of the time on the trip. The pub crawl in St Petersburg aims to give you an authentic taste of local culture with one drink included in each pub, but it's not specifically a "drinking tour" and participants will need to drink responsibly. Just as a heads up before you book: this trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

Health

GIARDIA Giardia intestinalis, a parasite that causes severe diarrhoea has been reported from time to time in the water supply in Russia. For this reason, we recommend against drinking unboiled tap water in all Russian cites. MEDICATION From June 2016 legislation was introduced requiring travellers bringing prescribed medicines into Russia to carry a prescription in the traveller’s name, plus the name of the drug and prescribed quantity. According to official channels if your medication contains "narcotic or psychoactive substances", a notarised translation is also required. In practice we are yet to hear of a traveller encountering an issue with bringing medicines into the country, provided they are able to show that they are prescribed to them however you need to be aware that doing so is at your own risk. Some medicines which you can buy over the counter in your home country may require a prescription in Russia. If you’re unsure whether you need to provide a prescription and notarised translation to bring your medicines into Russia, check with the Russian Embassy before you travel. TICKS In spring and early summer in rural areas of Russia and Mongolia ticks are prevalent. Please take precautions when walking in these areas by wearing long trousers and covered shoes, and check your clothes and body thoroughly. DIET/HYGIENE The diet and hygiene standards on this trip may be very different from what you are used to so please take care with washing hands before meals etc. and bring some medication/rehydration salts etc if you commonly experience stomach problems with a change in diet.

Food and dietary requirements

FOOD IN RUSSIA: What is food in Russia really like? See our blog here for some must try foods: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/5-foods-really-need-try-russia/ VEGETARIANS & VEGANS: Vegetarians in Russia certainly won't go hungry as there are usually plenty of meat-free options on menus including salads, certain soups, and cooked dishes such as mushrooms, potatoes, cabbage, buckwheat, dumplings with vegetable fillings, savoury pancakes etc. Vegans will need to look for options without mayonnaise, sour cream and cheese which are common in Russian dishes. Moscow, St Petersburg and increasingly other towns have an ever growing number of excellent vegetarian and vegan eateries. DIETARY NEEDS: Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may wish to supplement inclusions with their own supplies from markets or supermarkets.

Money matters

SPENDING MONEY: When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document). RUSSIA The official currency of Russia is the Ruble (RUB). 1 ruble = 100 kopeks. ATMs are widespread in Russia so the easiest way to access cash on your trip is to bring a credit card. Please check with your bank about overseas withdrawal fees before you depart and note that recent travellers have experienced difficulties in using credit cards without a debit function from US banks for purchases or withdrawals. The easiest foreign currencies to exchange are USD and EUR, however please be aware of the security risk of carrying large amounts of cash. In any case, some money should be taken as cash in case of emergencies - we recommend around US$500 per person. Commission is sometimes charged for currency exchange. Check the rate before you exchange as what is advertised is sometimes only for transactions above US$500, carefully check the amount you are given and ask for a receipt. Due to restrictions on changing money in Russia, only US$50 and US$100 notes/bills printed after 1996 and in good condition (no creases, marks, stamps or tears) will be accepted. Avoid bringing US$ notes in smaller denominations. By law, all purchases in Russia must be made in local currency. TIPPING IN RUSSIA: If you are happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. We recommend that any tips are given to the intended recipient by a member of your group, rather than collected and passed on by the group leader. The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers: - Restaurants/cafes with table service: We suggest 5% to 10% of your bill, however check if a service charge has already been added. - Local guides: Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest 100- 200 RUB per person per activity day for local guides with the amount adjusted accordingly for guides who are with you for a for a full day. - Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey, while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however a base of 100- 200 RUB per person, per day is generally appropriate, with the amount adjusted accordingly for drivers who are with you for less than a full day. - Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline $US3-5, or the equivalent in any currency used on the trip, per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip isn't compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service. Please do not tip with coins, notes of and less than 10 RUB or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult. Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less. CONTINGENCY FUNDS: We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved.

What to take

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances or up or down a flight of stairs. Our travellers usually find the smaller their luggage is, the more they enjoy the trip not having to worry about carrying heavy bags! Aim to keep your main luggage under 15kg. Many travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller suitcases or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps or handles. If you are taking overnight trains, or primarily using public transport then the smaller your luggage the easier it will be to store under or above bunks. A lockable bag or small padlock will be useful especially when travelling on public transportation as well. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, and jacket etc. when you’re exploring during the day. Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip. Essential: - Clothing: a mixture of lightweight and dry fast clothing and warm layers are recommended essential for travelling in this region. Long shirts, pants, scarves are useful for covering shoulders & knees when visiting religious sites. - Shoes: sturdy and comfortable shoes for walking long distances are essential. - Personal travel documents inc. your passport (visa), travel insurance, fight tickets and trip notes. Photo copies of your passport and visa, passport size photos and travel insurance will be handy. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary. - small first aid kit including items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes, Band-Aids and insect repellent, and essential medicine depending on your doctors advice. - Money: cash/credit card/EFTPOS card and money belt - Sun protection like hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses. Recommended: - Refillable water bottle (1.5 litre capacity suggested): The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. - Cell phone, camera with spare batteries, charger, and adapter plug - Hand wash, travel wipes, toiletries and small towel - Watch/alarm clock and torch/flashlight (and spare batteries) - Torch or flash light esp. for stay at local guesthouses or home stays Optional: - Sleeping bag. Useful for camping, overnight trains and poorly heated hotels, particularly during the winter months of Dec - Feb when temperatures are low. - Sleep sheet. If you are travelling during the hot season you may wish to pack a sleep sheet so you will be comfortable no matter what the weather. - Ear plugs to guard against street noise and snorers. - A good book, a journal and music player for overnight train rides and longer drives. Other things to consider: - Check weather in destinations you are travelling to online a few days before you go to make sure you pack appropriate clothing - Laundry facilities may not be available in all destinations, so make sure you have a few cycles of clothes to tide you over until your next chance to wash

A couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

Feedback

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/ After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

Emergency contact

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager. You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete. For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/ In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, please contact our local office: Russia local office: ++7 918 615 1572

Responsible travel

We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation are matched by Intrepid Group dollar for dollar (up to AU$10,000 per donor and AU$500,000 in total each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And because Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

Accommodation notes

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in your selected accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for your arrival, especially if you're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible, which means you won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, you can store your luggage and explore the new destination. If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights. RUSSIA REGISTRATION: Please be aware that Russia requires all foreign nationals to register their passports upon arrival in each city. Since March 25th, 2011 the registration rules for foreigners have been relaxed in Russia. According to these rules, foreign citizens must register themselves within 7 business days of their arrival into Russia (instead of the 3 days required before). This means that if you are arriving in Russia before the trip start date or staying extra days after the trip has finished (less than 7 days), whether at our hotels or at accommodation of your choice, you don’t have to be registered and pay any registration fees. We will take responsibility for registration of passports at our first place of stay in Russia including any associated costs. If you are arriving more than 7 days prior to the start of the trip, or staying more than 7 days post-trip, you will need to be responsible for your own passport registration and any extra charges for this service. Failure to register could lead to problems at immigration when departing the country. HOT WATER: Please note that in many cities in Russia, including Moscow, hot water is turned off for up to one month during summer for routine maintenance. During this time only cold water may be available. HOMESTAYS and GUESTHOUSES: Please note that at our homestays and guesthouses you might be required to share a room with people of the opposite sex or with your leader. When we stay at people's homes, beds might be pull-out couches or mattresses on the floor. DOUBLE BEDS: Please note that rooms with double beds are not always available. Wherever possible we will put couples in rooms with double beds but there may be times when only twin share rooms are available. RUSSIA TRAINS: Overnight trains are simple but comfortable. There is a toilet/bathroom and compartments with bunks/berths. Please note that we travel 2nd class on all overnight trains (4 people per compartment). While we always try to have our groups staying together there may be times where due to ticket availability the group will be staying in different compartments and carriages. If the group number does not divide into 4 then you can also expect that some group members will be sharing a compartment with other travellers including local people. There are generally no power points available in the compartments of the trains. The only power outlet occasionally available is one in the corridor for the whole carriage, and this is not guaranteed to have a steady flow of electricity or to be accessible from the compartment. Trains are generally heated but most do not offer air conditioning. The train can become very hot even in winter and the train attendants will not allow the windows to be opened, please pack clothing appropriate for the warmer conditions on these train journeys.

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

Your fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. SINGLE TRAVELLERS: Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

Itinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Accommodation

Hostel (3 nights),Hotel (2 nights),Guesthouse (2 nights),Overnight sleeper train (1 night)

Safe Booking

Do I have to book in advance?

  • Yes, we encourage you to book this trek in advance.
  • For day activities, we recommend you to book 48 hours before the tour.
  • For multi-day packages, the earlier you book, the more significant is the chance that you can participate in the journey.


When do I have to pay?

  • We have a "book now, pay later" policy. Due to this process, we don't ask for any bank card details.
  • We created our booking system to be convenient and secure for you.
  • The provider will contact you and discuss the payment with you later.


What other fees do I have to pay?

  • There are no hidden fees on Trekhunt (like booking fee, cancellation fee, etc.).
  • We don't charge you any additional fees.
  • We offer this tour precisely with the same price and conditions as the provider.


Is booking secure?

  • We created our booking system to be convenient and safe for you.
  • We don't ask any of your bank card details!
  • We only ask you to provide us your name, email and mobile number.
  • We forward this information to the provider, who can send you the tour details.


Don't miss out. We recommend you to book this tour today.

Time until next start
213
days
11
hours
:
41
min
:
44
sec

Prices from

€815

Duration

9 days
2020

Sat, May 16

Sun, May 24

€815

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Overview
Itinerary
Trip title
Trip code
Validity
Introduction
Style
Themes
Transport
Physical Rating
Physical preparation
Joining point
Joining point instructions
Finish point
Important information
Group leader
Safety
Visas
Why we love it
Is this trip right for you
Health
Food and dietary requirements
Money matters
What to take
A couple of rules
Feedback
Emergency contact
Responsible travel
The Intrepid Foundation
Accommodation notes
Travel insurance
Your fellow travellers
Itinerary disclaimer
Accommodation
Safe Booking
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Saturday, May 16
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