Frequently Asked Questions
Russia Boutique River Cruises FAQs
We hope that the information provided below will help answer any questions you may have about Uniworld Boutique River Cruises. If you have any questions or concerns not answered here, please feel free to contact your travel agent.
Q: How do I get a Russian Visa?
A: Please go to visacentral.com . If a Russian Letter of Invitation is required for your Visa application, visacentral.com can assist you with obtaining the letter. Obtaining the proper travel documentation is your sole responsibility.
Q: What about the weather?
A: Prepare for a variety of weather conditions depending on your travel season and the river you will be cruising on. Layering clothing items is always your best bet, as this allows each person to adjust to any temperature, including artificially maintained temperature, by removing or adding items throughout the day.
Q: What should I wear ashore?
A: Comfortable, sporty, smart-casual daywear is appropriate both onshore and onboard. You’ll find coats, sweatshirts, heavier cotton or wool tops and long-sleeved shirts, and corduroy or heavy khaki pants perfectly suitable. You will find a significant amount of walking over uneven terrain during your time ashore. We recommend comfortable walking shoes with good ankle support. Don’t forget to pack a waterproof jacket (preferably hooded), or even a heavier-weight coat for colder temperatures.
Q: I have concerns about my physical ability. What do I do?
A: Guests with mobility concerns need to discuss their concerns with Uniworld staff in advance of their departure. Guests requiring the use of a mobility device, such as a wheelchair, motorized scooter, or walker, may not be able to participate in many shore excursions or use them onboard the ships. Also, guests who may be limited in their ability to walk long distances may also have difficulties as there is often uneven terrain on many shore excursions.
Q: How accurate are the shore excursion/tour descriptions?
A: Uniworld does everything possible to ensure that shore excursions are performed as promoted and as outlined in our literature. In certain circumstances or for reasons beyond the control of Uniworld, it may not be possible or practical for the excursion to be performed exactly as written. The decision to not operate, to alter the operation, change content, and/or otherwise adjust or modify any element of the excursion as advertised is at the sole discretion of Uniworld, always taking into account the safety and best interests of the guests, and the intent of the overall product delivery. Any such modifications to excursions will not result in eligibility for a refund.
Q: Can the itinerary change? What happens if it does change?
A: You can count on the value of Uniworld’s experience and regional knowledge to make sure you enjoy your cruise/tour even when conditions beyond our control occur. The very nature of a river, its sources, and networks of bridges and locks means that there will be times when weather or other conditions in a region require Uniworld to make adjustments and modifications to the operation of an itinerary. Although every effort is made to keep itineraries as advertised, Uniworld reserves the right to make changes and substitutions as may be necessary to ensure the safety of our guests and the vessels. Itineraries may need to be altered specifically because of water levels. Time permitting, every possible effort will be made to alert guests in advance of boarding of any known changes. Otherwise, all guests will be informed onboard of changes and amendments. Any changes to itineraries, including the addition of extensive motorcoach touring to effect delivery of the intended itinerary operation, will not result in eligibility for a refund.
Q: What time will excursions depart?
A: All shore excursions are carefully coordinated to the ship’s daily schedule. Just prior to dinner each evening, or perhaps earlier, your Cruise Manager will brief all guests about what activities will take place the next day. This briefing includes information about departure times, specifics about the shore excursions/tours, suggested shopping and restaurant recommendations, and other important information about the port of call. In addition to the briefing, a daily program will be distributed to each guest’s stateroom every evening. This program provides a written overview of all events taking place the next day— whether onboard or ashore.
Q: How can I book the optional excursions?
A: Reservations for the optional excursions on your cruise can be made directly with your Cruise Manager onboard the ship. Charges for optional excursions will be added to your onboard account. On pre- and post-cruise extensions, payment for optional excursions will be made directly with your Local Host via credit cards. We cannot accept cash payments for optional excursions. A briefing will be held the day prior to go over any information you may need to make an informed purchase decision. Operation of optional excursions is subject to a minimum number of participants. No refunds are available for any optional excursions canceled by the guest within 24 hours of the start of the excursion, or if the excursion was pre-purchased.
Q: Does each motorcoach or walking group have its own tour guide?
A: Yes. Each motorcoach or walking group has its own English-speaking local tour guide. Uniworld tries very hard to ensure that our guides are of the highest quality, well-versed in their subjects, and most of all, making sure that you have the best possible time ashore.
Q: What about tipping?
A: Gratuities should always be in accordance with each guest’s personal satisfaction. And Uniworld endeavors to work with the best local guides available. Please refer to the “Gratuities” section of the Cruise Companion booklet for specific recommendations and guidelines.
Q: What is the transportation like on excursions?
A: Uniworld works with some of the world’s best tour companies, all of which are chosen with exact standards in mind. To ensure your maximum enjoyment of each excursion, all motorcoaches seat 40 – 45 people and are air-conditioned whenever possible. There are a few destinations where the equipment may not be of a similar standard and, in such cases, the best possible transportation will be arranged. Rest stops are provided throughout the course of the excursion, as most motorcoaches used for excursions will not have onboard toilets.
Q: Is smoking allowed on shore excursions/tours?
A: Smoking is not allowed while on the motorcoach, and many historical venues now request that visitors not smoke anywhere on site. We ask all our guests who smoke not to do so while on excursions/tours.