LIFE ON BOARD
BOARD PAYMENT AND SHIPBOARD ACCOUNT
Onboard purchases (restaurant, bars) are accepted in cash (Rubles) or can be added to your personal shipboard account. At the end of your trip, you may pay in cash (Euros or Rubles) or by credit card. For payment of the shipboard account traveler’s checks are not accepted. Visa International and Master Card only. Bank checks cannot be accepted on the board.
Each ship has an onboard boutique area offering more than just accessories and essentials you may have left at home. Shop onboard and benefit from our souvenirs, postcards, photos and stamps. Payment can be made in euros and by credit card with a minimum amount of EUR 100.
Our bars offer a wide range of wines, beers, cocktails, spirits and non-alcoholic drinks. Your dining’s are always accompanied by soft drinks, wines and beers, tea and coffee. The drinks at the bar and the dining room can be settled in rubles, euros or credited to your shipboard account. We recommend against drinking tap water anywhere in Russia. Onboard there are heated water purifiers. Bottled water is also available for purchase.
There are no public phones on the vessel. Ship to shore communications can only be done through the Captain’s radio. Mobile phones work perfectly in Moscow and St. Petersburg and relays are more frequent on the route. Regarding the Internet there are two computers, located near the reception desk for the guest’s usage. The availability of the Internet connection, as the mobile network, may vary depending on the route.
DRESS CODE SUGGESTIONS
Onboard dress code is informal. Ties and jackets are not required. For the Farewell Dinner “evening casual” or dressier clothes are possible. We recommend you to take comfortable, casual clothes, sturdy walking footwear and waterproof light jacket for the sightseeing excursions.
DINING AND CUISINE
Meals are designed according to the scheduled activities and excursions. Cuisine that is offered on our ships is a wide variety of both Continental and Russian cuisines. We offer set menus for our guests; however, the choice between two or three main courses is available. All passengers are assigned to a table for the duration of the cruise. In case of travelling with friends we recommend you to advice Maître d’hôtel during your first dining onboard. Room service is not available.
Guests requiring special diets such as vegetarian, diabetic or low-cholesterol meals should inform prior to departure, and should alert the Maître d’hôtel when on board. Our chefs will make efforts to meet your expectations.
Al staterooms are equipped with sockets of the European format and the electrical current onboard is 220 volts. Sockets can be used for the hairdryers and battery charges.
An appointment in advance at the reception desk is required.
Lectures are organized for our guests with the different topics and background information of your destinations: culture, civilization, history and artistic heritage of Russia.
Books in English and French can be borrowed at the reception desk.
Washing and ironing services are offered onboard. Dry cleaning is not available. The price list, instructions and laundry bag are placed in your cabin. They will be picked up by our staff and returned the next day. Staterooms are not equipped with irons and ironing boards, as these could create a fire hazard, however, there is an ironing room, available for all the passengers.
MONEY AND EXCHANGING CURRENCY
All costs are quoted in Rubles. Regarding the Russian law, your ship will not be able to change money as the presence of the bureau de change onboard is prohibited. You will be able to change money in hotels, banks and official exchange bureaus for a fee. We advise against traveler’s checks which are not often used and accepted in Russia and which may be exchanged only in Moscow and St. Petersburg. It is also recommended to withdraw in these two cities, as ATM machines may be not available in other smaller cities. For purchasing items, we recommend you to bring cash in small denominations, as cash payment is the most common way in Russia; however, credit cards are getting more and more acceptable. Please note that bank notes need to be new or in a good condition (not written on or overly wrinkled) as Russian banks may reject exchanging them.
MAIL & STAMP
We recommend you to buy stamps onboard, as it is fairly difficult to buy them in Russia.
No vaccines are mandatory. Each of the ships is equipped with limited medical facilities and staffed by medical personnel. If you feel ill during your voyage, please immediately report to the medical center. Charges do apply for medical services and are dictated by the guarantee of the travel insurance you have purchased. The fares and schedules for the consultations are available at the reception desk. All the medical services are payable on the spot in cash (euros or dollars).
The onboard languages are English and French.
ON BOARD ENTERTAINMENT
A wide variety of entertainment is offered onboard to keep our guests amused and to stay forever in your memory. Every night there is a music band performing for our guests. Entertainments such as games, lotto, quiz and films are also available. We are glad to present unique entertainments on our ships such as initiation to the Russian language and culture.
OPTIONAL TOURS & EXCURSIONS
For our guests we offer a great variety of optional excursions for sale. All these excursions are priced in euros. Passengers, who have paid for their excursions prior to the arrival, will find a voucher in their travel pack. IMPORTANT: The voucher will be required upon arrival on the tour. At the optional excursion desk, only payment in cash and in euros is being taken.
Any guest traveling must have a passport that should be entrust to the reception of the ship upon arrival. It will be registered and presented to the authorities when requested. During your cruise you will have a a ship boarding pass that is your identification during the cruise. We suggest you to bring copies of your passport.
SCHEDULED TOURS AND EXCURSIONS
All the guests on a daily basis receive the Daily Schedule & Program with the description of the daily activities, shore excursions and tour departure times. Excursions and tours are conducted by French or English speaking guides that are committed to ensuring you have a great time on your cruise.
SHIP BOARDING PASS
Ship boarding pass will be given to you that is an ID document for you during your cruise. It is a personal document and is delivered at the reception in exchange of your key any port of call, just before disembarking.
Tips is a voluntary way of showing satisfaction for the good service and nowadays it has become commonplace in Russia. For most of the staff working in the service industry, tips is a large source of the income, therefore, your generosity will be appreciated. Tipping is left at your own decision, however, we recommend EUR 3 to 5 per day and per passenger.
For the safety and security of all the guests and staff onboard, smoking is only permitted on the outside decks. it is expressly forbidden to smoke in all the cabins as it can represent a serious fire and safety hazard.
Not all pharmaceuticals are available in Russia: it’s essential that you bring your usual medication in sufficient quantity for the duration of the trip. To avoid the embarrassment of the mosquitos in some areas of our cruise we recommend you to take appropriate lotions or creams. We strongly advice you against buying caviar and vodka on the street. Our guide can show you the shops offering a high quality and safe products.