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Home Travel Guide Frequently Asked Questions FAQ Adventure Trips

FAQ Adventure Trips

ADVENTURE TRIP - GENERAL

How do I get to my destination?
Can I take a different flight or add one to the itinerary?
Can you organize a tailor-made active tour or combine two or more tours for me?
Are wildlife sightings guaranteed?
Am I too young - or too old?
Do many people travel alone?
Are the itineraries likely to change?
 

YOUR COMFORT

What kind of accommodation do you provide on the tours?
What local transport is available during the tours?
Can you tell me what kind of tents you use and how many people sleep in them?
What stuff do I need to bring with me for a trip?
Is there an English-speaking guide for every tour?
Can porters be hired?
 

MONEY

What can I spend my money on during the activity programs?
Can I use my Visa Card and/or Travelers Cheques in Russia?
 

HEALTH AND SAFETY

Is regional Russia safe?
Do trips involve a lot of physical exertion?
What kind of vaccination injections do I require for the active holidays?
What is Altitude sickness and how may this affect me whilst on my trip?
Which types of medication and accessories should I include in my first-aid kit?
Do I need travel insurance for active holidays in Russia and what type?
Is there a way of getting information to and from groups while they are in the wilderness?
 

ADVENTURE TRIP - GENERAL

How do I get to my destination?
Our active holiday programs take place in various regions of Russia, which are not easily accessible via direct flights from Europe. For those coming to the region from the UK or other countries, the most straightforward way to access the regions is via Moscow. There are several large Russian airlines (Aeroflot, S7, etc) that fly direct and daily, from Moscow to the capital of each of the regions (Barnaul for the Altai Mountains, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky for Kamchatka, Irkutsk for Lake Baikal, and Murmansk for the Kola Peninsula and Mineralnyje Vody for the Elbrus region). The nearest region for our activity holidays is Karelia, in the North of Russia. You can get arrive by taking a train from both Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Can I take a different flight or add one to the itinerary?
Yes. If you would like to leave a little earlier, or stay after the tour has finished, please contact us, and we will be pleased to help. Alternatively, you may like to combine two or more tours into one long trip (and, of course, save money on airfare). Wherever possible, our staff will tailor-make an itinerary to suit your own needs.

Can you organize a tailor-made active tour or combine two or more tours for me (for example city-break and active programs)?
Sure. If you would like to have a special trip for yourself or any number of participants, such as families, clubs, societies and companies, we will do our best to fulfilll your requirements. If it is impossible somehow for us to implement your request, we will offer you information and contacts that can be useful for realizing your plan.

Are wildlife sightings guaranteed?
There are no guarantees, of course, because we have no control over either the weather or the wildlife. Even after many years of running the same trips we can never predict exactly what we will see. But that is all part of the fun! Nevertheless, we put a great deal of time and experience into identifying the best locations, and the best times of the year, to maximize our chances of seeing the most interesting species. We also try to keep our itineraries flexible to deal with unforeseen circumstances and to take advantage of new opportunities.

Am I too young - or too old?
Most of our guests are in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s or 60s, but some participants are in their teens and many are in their 70s or 80s. If you are young at heart, and are in reasonably good health, you will be able to enjoy any of the tours in these pages. Occasionally, we warn of potential problems - for example, if you have a bad back and boat rides are likely to be bumpy, it is worth checking the specific information for individual tours. Some of the tours are unsuitable for young children, but there are others for which we accept bookings for kids under 16s accompanied by an adult.

Do many people travel alone?
A typical group consists of an interesting cross-section of people: traveling alone (quite many), with friends, or with their partners (men and women travel in roughly equal numbers). The basic prices are based on two people sharing a double room. If you are traveling alone, you can either share with another member of the group of the same gender (if there is someone available and willing to share), or you can pay the whole price and have a room to yourself (subject to availability - please ask for details).

Are the itineraries likely to change?
We try to keep to the itineraries as closely as possible, and while major changes may be necessary, they are unlikely. However, we do like to remain flexible - depending on the weather - to make the most of every opportunity.
 

YOUR COMFORT

What kind of accommodation do you provide on the tours?
We use hotels with local ratings, but please note that standards of, for example, safety, hygiene and quality can vary throughout the destinations that your holiday may involve. Russian ratings are sometimes of a lower standard that those in Western Europe. Generally the hotels are clean, comfortable, safe, though sometimes they can be large and slightly impersonal.

Almost all accommodation, including tents, is on a twin occupancy basis. Occasionally we might stay in a wooden or mountain lodge, or a local yurt that is dorm style. This is part of the experience of an adventure holiday and a flexible approach is required.

On some routes in the regional Russia, you will also have the option to choose private home stay accommodation instead of the official hotel. This will allow you to save costs while enjoying the warm hospitality of the local Russian families. Please check the relevant section in the tour dossier notes or ask our staff about this opportunity.

What local transport is available during the tours?
We use many different forms of transport on our trips: from helicopters and Soviet-army military buses to ferry boats, regular public trains and bikes. Your feet come in handy too on a lot of treks! We tend to use private transfers and vehicles and avoid overcrowded local transport, but we might also use public transport, especially trains, buses and boats. This is a good way to mix with the local people and avoid the “goldfish-bowl” effect. Whatever we use, it is clearly stated in each description of the itinerary.

Where overnight rail transportation is included in your holiday, accommodation will be in four-berth, mixed-sex compartments. If you wish, we can upgrade your rail ticket to the 1st class compartments which consist of two berths. Russian trains are solid, utilitarian and reliable. You’ll have your own cozy berth, complete with fresh-laundered linen provided and a place to stash your luggage. Letting the train take you to the desired destination is the most comfortable way to achieve distances that would otherwise require a somewhat unenlightened drive with little legroom.

Can you tell me what kind of tents you use and how many people sleep in them?
We provide different types of tents for our trips depending on climate, tour type and transportation facilities. Some of them are Galaxy III 3-Person Backpacking Tents (used for two), Aztec Cabida 2man lightweight, trekking tents and other types. Normally the tents are mosquito proof and it takes just few minutes to set up a tent. Rent-a-tent is included in a trip price for most of the tours, please read the tours descriptions to see if you need to pay a charge for hiring a tent.
 
What stuff or equipment do I need to bring with me for a trip?
The following list is comprised of equipment and items which are either essential or beneficial for most travelers who visit our active holidays in Russia. Additional clothing or personal equipment can be added, but it must be remembered that on extended hikes everything will have to be carried.

Is there an English-speaking guide for every active tour?
Yes. Each tour is accompanied by at least one English-speaking guide and, in some cases, there are two or more guides (in addition to local experts who often add further insight and knowledge). We believe that qualified guides are very important. From a practical point of view, especially when traveling to remote places, their considerable experience in travel can help to smooth the way and, indeed, they often solve problems before they are even noticed by members of the group. Our guides also enhance every tour: they are chosen for their leadership abilities, enthusiasm, sense of humor, and desire to share their extensive knowledge and love of the wildlife.

Can porters be hired?
Yes, porters can be hired on most of our programs but they should be arranged for ahead of time. Porters cost from $15 to $30 per day depending on the tour and region) and can carry your camping equipment, food and part of your personal belongings (normally up to 14 kilos in total). Usually one porter is shared between two clients (carrying 7 kilos for each client). Of course if you wish to have the services of a porter to carry the entirety of your equipment and food you may hire a porter to work solely for you.

Note: Porters are not a standard part of our tours or tour cost. They must be specially requested.
 

MONEY

What can I spend my money on during the activity programs?
During the trip you will have the opportunity to buy local souvenirs, arts and crafts, ethnic carvings in wood and bone, some extra food and drinks, maps, books etc.

Can I use my Visa Card and/or Travelers Cheques in regional Russia?
Credit cards are not widely accepted in stores apart from those in Moscow and St. Petersburg. However, there are bank machines in all cities in Russia where you may withdraw money from your credit or debit card. You may use the following Travelers Cheques: VISA, American Express and Thomas Cook. The bank commission on these checks is around 3%. It should be noted that most banks are unfamiliar with Traveler's Cheques and therefore cashing them is an ordeal. In any case, you should have some ready cash on hand in US Dollars / Euros when you come to Russia. Please note that you might have problems exchanging US-notes dated earlier than 1991 and sometimes than 1998.
 

HEALTH AND SAFETY

Is regional Russia safe?
Yes. All our destinations for active holidays are generally safe. In the cities hotel entrance is secured and you are quite safe to walk around the town at any time. People are usually friendly and can be very helpful. You just need to use common sense and avoid obvious danger, just like in any other foreign city.

Do trips involve a lot of physical exertion?
The level of physical exertion will depend on your tour choice. We offer a large variety of trips with the aim of accommodating as many different agenda's, goals, and holiday styles as possible. In short, we prepare trips which are conducted entirely with the support of trucks, horses or army buses and require little or no physical strain (Grade A) as well as trips which require a high level of physical conditioning and consecutive days of hiking over difficult terrain or rafting along the wild rivers (Grade C). All our tours are graded for the level of physical exertion required. Please see an explanation of our tour grading system in Adventure Packages Explained section for a better idea of the type of trip which you would like to participate in. The tour descriptions provide more specific details.
 
What kind of vaccination injections do I require for the active holidays?
Although there are no vaccination requirements to enter Russia, it is generally recommended that you will be vaccinated for Diphtheria, Polio and Tetanus. Food and waterborne diseases are more common than in the US or Europe, so Typhoid and Hepatitis A are also recommended. If you are visiting Siberian regions (Lake Baikal and Altai Mountains) and undertaking outdoor activities between May and August, a vaccination for tick-born Encephalitis is strongly recommended. Read more about Health & Vaccinations

What is Altitude sickness and how may this affect me whilst on my trip?
Lack of oxygen at high altitudes (over 2500m.) affects most people to some extent. The effect may be mild or severe and occurs because the air pressure is reduced and the heart and lungs must work harder to oxygenate the body. While mild AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) does not interfere with normal activity, the persistent and worsening symptoms can lead to the severe AMS and even to two very serious conditions such as High Altitude Pulmonary Edema and Cerebral Edema which could be fatal. Unfortunately youth, good fitness and previous experience at high elevations do not necessarily mean that you will be less likely to have problems with altitude.

The symptoms of AMS include: headache, dizziness and nausea, loss of appetite, disturbed sleep, shortness of breath.The best medicine is prevention and there are some things that climbers can do to to minimize their risks of illness and improve their performance: These are guidelines only! For more detailed and professional information regarding the AMS please refer to the following links: www.traveldoctor.co.uk, www.thebmc.co.uk, www.ismmed.org
 
Which types of medication and accessories should I include in my first-aid kit?
Please view a suggested complete First-Aid Kit Checklist for your trip. Please contact Go Russia to obtain information on the medications available from your guide on site.

Do I need travel insurance for active holidays in Russia and what type?
Adequate travel insurance is essential for everyone who participates in a Go Russia tour. It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you are insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs, air ambulance and helicopter rescue services). We also strongly recommend that you take out cancellation insurance, as all deposits paid are non-refundable.

You must carry proof of insurance (e.g. your insurance certificate) with you on the holiday; if you cannot provide this at the start of the holiday, you will be required to take out a suitable policy at that time. If this is not done or impossible for practical reasons, then you will not be allowed to continue with your trip and will not be entitled to any refund for services not provided.

We have arranged special rates with Columbus insurance. You can arrange your travel insurance through us on-line.

Is there a way of getting information to and from groups while they are in the wilderness?
Yes. All of our trekking groups and the majority of all other groups which access the areas not covered by the mobile phone providers, carry with them a satellite telephone. With this telephone, our guides keep regular contact with the local office.