Russia - Shantar Islands Wildlife Expedition
Russia - Shantar Islands Wildlife Expedition
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 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
This is a true adventure expedition. You will be staying in simple shared huts with shared and basic facilities.
Food & Drink
As this is a remote expedition tour most meals are included. The daily meal basis is shown in the tour itinerary; breakfast (B), lunch (L) and dinner (D). Please note that lunches may be a picnic. Drinks are not included and will be payable locally in cash.
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 when travelling to quite remote areas such as the Shantar Islands. 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 (if available)
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
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
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 $50 USD for the driver. Please note that these are guidelines only.
A 10% tip is customary in Russia in bars, cafes and restaurants
200 Rubel will be appreciated when you are helped with your luggage by hotel staff
Foreign Exchange for Russia
ATM Availability: Only in large towns and cities.
Credit Card Acceptance: Very few places outside main cities will accept cards
Local Currency: Russian Ruble
Recommended Currency for Exchange: We recommend taking your money in either Russian Rubles or US$ 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
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.
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.
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 of 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.
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. Tick borne encephalitis can also be problematic in remote parts of Russia and you should seek advice on this before travel.
Preparing for your tour
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/windproof jacket is advisable. For walks we recommend long sleeved shirts and trekking pants
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. .
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.