|Russian River Cruise
|Listed below is important information to assist you in preparing for your upcoming trip. This information provided will help you have a more enjoyable experience while you are on your tour.
|On some programs, there are a limited number of single and triple rooms. Double rooms usually consist of 2 beds. Triple rooms are normally a standard double room with 2 beds. A cot or rollaway bed may be added to the double room at some hotels, based on room size and fire codes. When triples are not available, appropriate charges for single and twin accommodations will be assessed.
We make every effort to accommodate your specific requests and forward them to the hotels. These requests cannot be guaranteed as hotels may not always be able to honor them.
Check-in times are set by individual hotel properties and vary by hotel. Depending on your arrival time, there may be a delay in gaining access to your room as most hotels offer afternoon check-in. We ask guests to observe check-out times at all properties as designated by the hotel.
Some hotels require a credit card imprint or your passport information upon check-in in order to activate telephones in the rooms and for potential incidental charges. Most hotels charge an access fee for using phones in hotel rooms. Please check with the front desk personnel at each hotel for specific policies.
Hotel membership programs are not applicable.
In certain countries, hotel rooms tend to be smaller than standard U.S. accommodations. Please be assured that we use high quality properties throughout each country.
|The Americans with Disabilities Act does not apply outside of the United States.
In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, we will make reasonable efforts to accommodate the special needs of tour participants. Persons requiring individual assistance must be accompanied by a companion who is capable of, and totally responsible for, providing the necessary assistance. Neither our personnel nor its suppliers may physically lift or assist clients onto transportation vehicles.
We regret that we cannot provide individual assistance to a tour member who has special mobility, dietary or other like needs.
|Arrival Day Suggestions
|Due to varied flight schedules and different arrival times of our tour guests, your tour will not have any scheduled activities prior to dinner on Day 1. Should your flight schedule allow for an earlier arrival time that day, enjoy the great opportunity for some independent exploration.
|Clothing & Packing Tips
|If you are taking prescription medication, please be sure to take an adequate supply for your tour and a few additional days, in original prescription containers. Medication should be packed in your carry-on baggage. Do not place it in your checked luggage. You may want to carry an extra prescription in a separate bag in case medication is lost.
|Note: the M/S Litvinov is docked at:
North River Port - 51 Liningradskiy Highway
St-Petersburg - River Port, 195 Obykhovskoy Oboroni
EMERGENCY TELEPHONE NUMBERS
Emergency Contact numbers:
St. Petersburg – Cruise Coordinator = Telephone: (– dialing from abroad) - +7-812-713-59-05 (– Mrs. Svetlana cell # +7 921 323 75-05)
Moscow – Cruise Coordinator = Office Telephone: (– dialing from abroad) - +7-943-85-60 or 61/62/63 (–Mrs. Natalia cell # +7-916-227-37-45)
For your information – email address of the ship is: Russia@orthodoxcruise.ru
English spoken on board and during all shore excursions.
There is no safe in your cabin. We urge you to leave valuable jewelry at home. Collette Vacations is not responsible for any valuables left in the cabins. Any charge to return lost and found property on board will be at the owner's expense.
|It is best to acquire the amount of Rubles you will need for the entire trip upon arrival in Russia. A bank or exchange office will generally give you the most favorable rate of exchange. ATMs are also available in Moscow/St. Petersburg or you will find a currency exchange booth in the airport upon arrival.
Banks are usually open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Most are closed on Sundays.
New bank notes are a MUST, newer than 10 years with no tears, marks or wrinkles. You will need to ask for NEW bills when at the bank or when receiving change from vendors. Please make sure to check that the bills are not torn or otherwise damaged. If they are, you will most likely not be able to exchange or spend those at subsequent locations.
In Moscow and St. Petersburg, MasterCard and Visa are the most widely accepted credit cards in Russia, with American Express not accepted at all. Although credit cards are becoming much more widely accepted than hard currency, you should not count on them to be accepted in all situations, especially in the countryside. Be prepared to pay in Rubles, Euro or US Dollars (if they accept them). When you plan to use a credit card, it is best to make sure it is accepted before completing the transaction.
Money Matters Ashore
Credit cards are accepted at major shops, hotels and restaurants. Street vendors and small shops accept cash only. The Ruble is now fully convertible, however, its rate of exchange varies.
We recommend you to take a part of your money in small denomination bills. We recommend you each take 50 USD in 1 USD dollar bills and the remainder in 5, 10 and 20 USD denominations. A good website to check the current exchange rate is http://www.xe.com/ucc/.
ONBOARD THE SHIP, THE OFFICAL CURRENCY IS THE RUSSIAN RUBLE. HOWEVER, PRICES MAY BE POSTED OR QUOTED IN RUBLES, EURO AND U.S. DOLLARS. THESE ARE THE ONLY THREE CURRENCIES ACCEPTED ON THE SHIP. Payment for bar bills, hairdresser services, tips, and most purchases on board should be made in cash with Rubles, Euro or U.S. Dollars. Money cannot be exchanged on the ship so if you want Rubles it will be necessary for you to exchange U.S. Dollars upon your arrival at the airport. Payment for doctor(s) visits must be paid in CASH only.
Traveler's checks are not accepted on board ship or on land as payment and cannot be exchanged for cash. Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard) may only be used onboard to settle your bar bill…only if your credit card sales exceed 50 USD. But note that credit card sales are closed three days prior to the conclusion of the cruise, therefore you will need to have some amount of cash in Rubles or Dollars. The shipping company reserves the right to limit the use of credit cards. Cabin tabs are not maintained on this cruise; all purchases/expenses require payment at time of service.
Optional Shore Excursions and prices below are approximate and are subject to change without advance notice.
PLEASE NOTE - ONLY CASH IS ACCEPTED WHEN PURCHASING THE OPTIONAL EXCURSIONS OFFERED BY THE CRUISE SHIP. CREDIT CARDS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED:
There are seven optional excursions offered on this trip and they range from 30 USD per person to 120 USD per person. If you wish to purchase all of the optional excursions, the total cost is approximately 573 USD per person at time of printing. Option prices are subject to change and are to be used as a rough guide only.
MOSCOW: (prices subject to change without notice)
Moscow Circus: 75 USD per person
Moscow by Night: 45 USD per person
Peterhof: 77 USD per person
Folklore Show: 90 USD per person (inc. champagne and caviar at intermission) - This option operates the same time as the Ballet.
Ballet “Swan Lake”: 120 USD per person
Yussupov Palace and Canal Boat Ride: 83 USD per person - This option operates the same time as Peterhof.
In total, for option payments, tipping, etc., it is recommend you bring $300-$500 USD in cash.
|An adaptor (which changes the physical plug) and/or converter (which changes the electric current) are necessary if you plan to use an appliance with voltage different from the standard within the country you are visiting. It is European-style plug (2 round prongs). Please note, if your appliance has dual voltage you may still need an adaptor for the plug.
When packing your electronic items for travel, please review the converter electric current level to make sure it the same or greater than the items you are planning on using. The ship is not supplied with converters or adapters, so please do not forget to bring your own.
If you plan on utilizing or transporting a sleep apnea machine, please remember to pack an extension cord & adapter plug to ensure proper function.
|Bring a camera, memory cards, film, and batteries and be sure to bring enough photography supplies for your entire trip. If you have a video camera, bring an extra battery, plus proper recharging equipment. Due to security screening, we recommend storing your equipment in your carry-on luggage.
Bring a travel alarm clock, travel sewing kit and an alcohol based gel hand sanitizer when soap and water is not accessible.
Pack items that may leak in plastic bags. Do not pack any articles of value in your checked luggage.
As a precaution, we suggest that you divide the contents of your suitcase with your traveling companion.
Avoid over packing and leave room for souvenirs that you plan to take back home.
|Bring a copy of your passport/identification and pack it separately from the original.
Leave a copy of your tour itinerary at home with your emergency contact and a copy of your passport.
Remember when flying you can only take one quart size bag with no more than 3 ounces of any one liquid. Liquids that do not fit in the one quart size bag and are larger than 3 ounces will be discarded by security.
Remember to hydrate and get up and stretch while flying.
If you are considering using your cell phone while traveling internationally, you should check with your cell provider concerning their access and charges for overseas calls, texting and emailing for the specific destination you are traveling to.
|The following are included in your tour package: transportation via motorcoach, accommodations, hotel luggage handling, meals, sightseeing, admission charges (as outlined in your itinerary), and applicable gratuities for bellmen, doormen and dining room wait staff. Customary gratuities for cruise ship personnel, hotel housekeeping staff, local sightseeing guides, drivers and tour managers have not been included.
|In order to further enhance your experience of this destination, six local guides have been arranged throughout this tour. Customary gratuities for these guides are not included in the cost of the tour. Gratuities should be extended on a voluntary and individual basis at a suggested amount of 1-2 USD per day, per guide. Your tour manager will review customary tipping amounts and timing with you when you are on your tour.
|Please consult with your scheduled airline as luggage fees and restrictions vary by carrier and destination.
Due to the limited motorcoach capacity, checked luggage (62 inches in length, height and width; weight not to exceed 23kg/50lbs) is allowed on tour.
We also encourage just one carry-on bag per individual (for carrying items that might be needed during the day’s sightseeing excursions or camera/video equipment). Dimensions for carry-ons should not exceed 17" x 12" x 10", allowing it to fit under the seat or in the overhead rack of most motor coaches.
If you exceed the limit of 2 bags, we cannot guarantee that your additional luggage will be able to fit in the touring vehicle. Storage or shipment of additional luggage will be at your own expense.
If we are able to accommodate your additional luggage, we will assess a fee of 4 USD per bag per hotel.
Please remember to label your luggage and important items with your name, home address and telephone number. We recommend labeling your luggage on both outside and inside of the bag.
Please attach only the plastic luggage tag included in this mailing to your checked luggage before checking in for your flight.
Your paper luggage tag is to be attached at the first hotel.
We cannot assume liability or accept claims for loss or damage to luggage and personal effects due to breakage, theft or normal wear and tear that results from hotel, airline and group carrier handling. It is in your best interest to have adequate insurance (such as our comprehensive “No Worries Travel Protection”) to cover these eventualities.
Baggage - Cruise
After you have unpacked your suitcase on board ship, place your empty bags outside your cabin with the baggage tags still attached. For your convenience, your luggage will be stored and returned to you one day prior to your departure.
Baggage handling is included for one bag per person at all airports and the ship. On international tours, customs regulations demand that your tour representative meet you outside the customs area. Consequently, you will be required to carry your own luggage through airport customs. Although porters are generally not allowed in these areas, luggage carts are often available for your use.
|All meals are included on board ship as indicated in your itinerary. All scheduled meals include a choice of coffee or tea and water; however, these beverages are not unlimited. Alcoholic beverages such as wine, beer and sodas are at your own expense. Guests with special dietary requirements must advise a sales representative at the time of booking and also the tour manager upon joining the tour. When information is provided, every effort will be made to accommodate these requests but not all requests can be guaranteed. For meals not included in your program, your tour staff will be able to assist you with suggestions. Please be advised that the average cost of meals, should you choose to dine off the ship, is as follows: lunches are 17 to 25 USD and dinners are 28 to 40 USD.
The ship has two restaurants which allow one seating for all meals. Our group will be assigned to one restaurant for meals for the duration of the cruise.
The buffet breakfast is usually served between 7 am and 9 am. Daily sightseeing typically starts at 9 am, and you’ll return to the ship in time for lunch, usually served from noon to 1:30 pm.
Dinner is a casually elegant affair and is served usually between 7 pm and 9 pm.
We recommend that you avoid drinking tap water. Bottled water and canned/bottled soft drinks are readily available for purchase on the ship and ashore. They are not included in the cost of the tour, except at lunch and dinner. One liter-bottle of water is included per passenger per day. Bottled water is NOT unlimited for meals.
|Collette Vacations provides name badges to our travelers in order to facilitate conversation among fellow travelers. The name badge also ensures that a Collette Vacations representative can easily recognize you, especially at airports upon arrival.
|Interested in reading about your destination before you depart? We have pre-selected travel guides, novels and books on history, nature and art to help enhance your total vacation experience. You can access the complete list by typing the following into your web browser. Select the region of the world to find your tour: http://www.longitudebooks.com/find/d/73/r/CV/mcms.html
|If you purchase DVDs or other electronic equipment abroad, check that it is compatible with your PC or other home equipment.
Our tours are non-smoking throughout.
If you require a smoking room, please alert your agent upon tour booking.
Please be mindful of locations where smoking is prohibited: the motorcoach, at dining venues and other restricted areas on tour including most hotels. Customers are responsible for any fines incurred for failure to comply with smoking restrictions.
|Moscow is 8 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.
|We pride ourselves on having the best-trained and most experienced tour managers in the industry.
Gratuities should be extended on a voluntary basis and should be in direct proportion to the level of professionalism and personal service extended to you throughout the tour. Past experience has shown that a guideline of 4-6 USD per person for each traveling day is a customary amount for the tour manager. A customary amount of 3-5 USD per person per day is suggested for the driver.
|Flight Information, Departure Taxes & Fees
Land Only Vacations:
If you chose to purchase a land only vacation, pay particular attention to flight segments that occur during the tour which are not included in your land only rate.
You must purchase these internal flight segments and the schedule must match the flights that we utilize on the group tour.
Please provide us with your flight schedules for the entire tour six weeks prior to departure so we may secure services if you purchased transfers from us, as well as maintain emergency contact.
Air Inclusive Vacations
Air inclusive vacations cover air transport to and from your origin gateway as well as all internal air segments on tour.
In order to comply with Homeland Security’s “Secure Flight” mandate, all passengers must provide full name, date of birth and gender at time of reservation. Your airline ticket must match the name on your valid, non-expired, government issued photo ID to be shown at the airport (including middle name, first or middle initial).
If you are a member of a participating frequent flyer program, provide the number upon booking and retain the passenger copy of your ticket and boarding pass to ensure that you receive proper credit of your mileage.
Some air tickets are not eligible for mileage accrual.
Whenever possible, we will add charges for air departure taxes to your invoice. Some international arrival and departure fees are not included in your air ticket and must be paid by you on tour in local currency.
We are pleased to provide you with complimentary airport to hotel, and hotel to airport transfers at the beginning and end of an escorted tour when you purchase an air-inclusive vacation.
Land-only clients who have purchased round trip transfers will be accommodated at the same times as air inclusive clients.
Arrival meeting locations and transfer departure times are provided on your document booklets.
On some programs there may be a waiting period at the airport due to varying flight schedules of other arriving passengers.
If you have secured your own transfer, you may meet your tour manager at the hotel.
Motorcoach Information: We do not own or operate vehicles. We charter quality coaches that are temperature controlled vehicles. Coach size may vary based upon the number of tour patrons. In certain countries, lavatory equipped motorcoaches are not available or the lavatory is for emergency use only.
Frequent stops will be made en route for comfort and convenience.
Seat Rotation: Seats are rotated for the benefit of our tour guests. This fosters communication and enables our guests to enjoy a variety of vantage points on the motorcoach. Guests will rotate seats at least once a day, as directed by the tour manager. In fairness to all, there will be no exceptions to this policy.