Altai Discovery


Altai Discovery

Style: PioneerGroundbreaking tours to unique destinations
Duration: 12 days
Type: GroupSmall group tours with a maximum of 12 travellers

Notes

Important Information

Foreign Government Travel Warnings

Before booking your tour please familiarise yourself with the country specific information provided by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) - https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice. This includes important information such as the latest immigration requirements, and details of any travel advisories.

At the time of writing the FCO does not have any warnings in place against travel to the areas we visit on this tour.

Non UK nationals should check with their own government, as the information and advice may differ to that provided by British authorities.

Accommodation and Meals

Hotel Check-in Times

As a general rule most hotels will allow guests to check-in from 2pm. Please note that the price of your tour does not include guaranteed early check-in. Therefore please advise us if you would like to ensure that your room is available for an earlier arrival. This is particularly relevant on the first day of the tour and for early morning arrivals. One option is to pre-book and pay for an extra night at the beginning of your tour which will guarantee your accommodation is available irrespective of what time you arrive. Please contact us for information and costs.

It should also be noted that on many of our tours we have set-aside Day 1 of the itinerary as an ‘arrival day’. For this reason and because tour participants are likely to be arriving at different times, and often from different countries, guided sightseeing or other activities are not included. If you are arriving early or before the start date of the tour and would like to organise some extra arrangements on a private basis please contact us.

Accommodation Rating

This tour has a mixture of comfortable hotels with private facilities and lodges and yurts with shared facilities.

We welcome solo travellers and single rooms will be allocated subject to the applicable tour supplement. Please note that on occasions you may not always be allocated a double or twin room, as some hotels have designated single rooms. These may be smaller in size. However, the supplement payable takes this into consideration.

Food & Drink

The daily meal basis is shown in the tour itinerary; breakfast (B), lunch (L) and dinner (D). Please note that lunch may be a picnic. Drinks are not included and will be payable locally in cash.

Dietary Requirements

If you have any special dietary requirements you must notify us at the time of booking. While we will make every effort to cater for you, we cannot guarantee that this will be possible. 

Budgeting for your Tour

Many meals on our Russia tours are included, particularly as you will be travelling in quite remote areas. However you will need some extra money to cover meals and drinks not included in the tour price, any optional sightseeing, souvenirs and items of a personal nature, such as laundry. 

Food

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.

Lunch £5 per person
Dinner £10 per person

Drink

The prices for drinks can vary greatly depending upon location and the prices detailed below are an average guide. In general you would expect that drinks purchased in a supermarket or local bar to be less expensive, whilst drinks in an upmarket bar or restaurant may be more expensive.

Bottle of Beer £1
Water £0.50

Tipping

Local Crew

Tipping is entirely voluntary and in Russia it is not expected. However if you feel that your guide and driver has offered particularly good service you may wish to consider a tip of up to $USD 100 per person for the guide and up to $50 USD for the driver. Please note that these are guidelines only.

Restaurants

A 10% tip is customary in Russia in bars, cafes and restaurants.

Hotel porters

200 Ruble will be appreciated when you are helped with your luggage by hotel staff.

Foreign Exchange

ATM Availability: Only in large towns and cities
Credit and Debit Card Acceptance: Very few places outside main cities will accept cards
Local Currency: Russian Ruble
Recommended Currency for Exchange: We recommend taking your money in either Russian Rubles or US$ cash (only accept post 2006 US$ notes). Avoid the lower and higher (US$1, 5 & 100) denomination notes, as they are difficult to change. Please note that it is difficult to convert local currency back to US$'s so please ask your guide for guidelines on how much to exchange
Where to Exchange: Your guide will advise you on arrival at the destination

Joining your Tour

Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme. 

Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive an airport transfer, both on arrival and departure include in the tour price. In order that the transfer can be arranged please ensure that you advise us of your flight information once available. Please advise the date, time and flight number for your arrival/departure. If we have not been advised of this information at least 2 weeks before travel, then you will be required to make your own way to the hotel on Day 1 of your tour.

Travel Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Undiscovered Destinations that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip.

Visa Information

Most nationals will require a visa to visit Russia. To obtain a visa you will need a visa authorisation letter and service voucher – we will provide these for you. In order to do this we will require your full passport information and details of arrival and exit into and from Russia as well as details of the city in which you intend to lodge your Russian visa application, no later than 30 days before departure.

From the 10th December 2014 everyone in the UK applying for a Russian visa will have to do so in person in order to submit their finger prints. This does not apply to Diplomats, Officials and children under the age of twelve.

Currently there are 2 processing centres in the UK.

London: 15 - 27 Gee Street, London, EC1V 3RD

Edinburgh: 16 Forth Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3LH

Anyone residing in Scotland must apply via the processing centre in Edinburgh. These centres will be open for submissions from 8:30am to 3:00pm and from 3:00pm to 5:00pm for collections.

You will not need to book an appointment to attend, when you arrive you will need to take a ticket and wait to be called.

Regulations do frequently change though, so we advise that you check the current requirements with your nearest embassy.

Passports

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, valid for at least six months after the date of return to the UK.

We strongly advise that your passport contains a minimum of two blank pages, as this may be a requirement of the local immigration authorities. In addition certain countries will stipulate that the two blank pages are opposite each other. If you are unable to meet these requirements you may be refused boarding by your airline or denied entry by the immigration authorities.

For specific information about the requirements for your destination please check with the country’s embassy or consulate. Alternatively UK citizens can visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice. 

Vaccinations & Protection

Approximately 2 months prior to departure, we strongly recommend that you contact your doctor’s surgery at least or a specialist travel clinic for up-to-date information, advice and the necessary vaccinations. For a visit of less than one month, almost certainly you will be advised to have immunisations against the following: Diphtheria and Tetanus, Hepatitis A and B, Polio and Typhoid. For visits to rural Russia protection against tick-borne Encephalitis is recommended.

Preparing for your tour

Climate

Our tours in Russia only operate in the high summer months of June to September – outside of these times it is simply too cold to operate our trips. Even in summer the temperature can be cold.

Clothing should be lightweight, but a warm sweater, fleece jacket, and woollen hat and warm socks are advisable as nights in particular can be cold. A lightweight waterproof jacket is advisable. For walks we recommend long sleeved shirts and trekking pants.

Equipment

Take a torch, water bottle, sunhat and sunblock. Binoculars are useful, as is a telephoto lens for keen photographers. You may wish to take a swimming costume and towel. You should take a good insect repellent. 

Footwear

Our tours in Russia involve hiking/walking. We recommend lightweight trail (hiking) boots or shoes with good grips and trainers or sandals for general travelling. 

Luggage on tour

One main piece of luggage (we recommend a soft bag or holdall) plus day sack.

Luggage allowance on tour: 20kg (please note airline allowances may vary)

Electric Supply & Plugs

Generally electrical supply is 220-240V AC (50 Hz) and uses European two circular pin style plugs.

Tour Itinerary Versions

Please ensure that you have an up-to-date copy of these tour notes immediately before you travel, as from time to time our itineraries may be amended, either for operational reasons or in response to feedback from customers. You will be informed of any major changes to your tour but small changes may just be added to these tour notes. These notes were prepared 21/03/16


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