Hotels: In Moscow, we will be staying at the National Hotel, directly across from the entrance to Red Square and the Kremlin. In St. Petersburg, we will be staying in the Corinthia Hotel on Nevsky Prospect – in the heart of one of St. Petersburg’s most fashionable districts. In Saratov, we will be staying at the Slovakia Hotel on the banks of the Volga River. In Volgograd, we will be staying at the Hotel Volgograd. In Omsk, we will be staying at the Hotel Tourist. Each room has a private bath. Free WiFi is available in all of the hotels.
Meals: We will be visiting a rural part of Russia, and English is not commonly spoken by the local people. The Russian language uses the Cyrillic alphabet, and reading menus and signs will be difficult unless you are familiar with this alphabet. Consequently, most meals will be included with the tours (excluding alcohol). Drinks (soft drinks, bottled water, alcohol, etc.) ordered separately from the meal are not included, and you must pay directly for them.
The three dinner meals in Moscow and two dinner meals in St. Petersburg are not included. Lunch on the Trans-Siberian Train from Moscow to Omsk is also not included, and neither is lunch at the airport in Moscow upon arrival in Russia. There are many restaurants in the vicinity of the hotels in Moscow and St. Petersburg that have English-language menus.
In general, if you adopt the attitude that food is a part of the experience of this trip, you will be happy! Particularly on the days when we are visiting the former colonies, lunch may be “picnic style” with a boxed-lunch or tasty food prepared by local hosts. Options will be limited to what’s provided. If you are really finicky about your food, it will be best to pack some snacks in your daily backpack.
If you have very strict dietary requirements (for example, completely gluten free or vegan), this trip is not for you unless you want to bring some of your own food. While some hotel locations may be able to provide dietary accommodations (like vegetarian option), some meals will have been prepared locally by people living in the former colonies and we cannot make specific requirements regarding food preparation. In general, a standard vegetarian diet should be okay as there are a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits available at this time of year. If you would like to have a vegetarian meal, when available, please indicate so on the Tour Application Form.