To enter Russia you'll need a visa before travel - make sure you apply for the correct type and duration of the visa. During periods of high demand, you should apply for your visa well in advance. Russian diplomatic missions and the visa application centres in London and Edinburgh will collect biometric data (scanned fingerprints) from visa applicants above the age of 12. This applies to each Russian entry or transit visa application. It is mandatory to visit the visa application centre in person to apply for a Russian visa. Visa applications for UK residents are to be submitted at the Russia Visa Application Centre in London, Manchester or Edinburgh (UK). For further information see the Russian Embassy website and the website of VFS Global who manage Russian visa applications on behalf of the Embassy. Tourist visa applications can take 10 working days to be processed and longer during busy periods. Please see https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/russia/entry-requirements for more information. We can help towards application via a Visa Support Letter (VSL). You will need to send us all of the required passport information within the API form we have sent to you. Shortly after, we will send you your signed VSL. Upon receiving an authorised VSL you will need to go to your nearest UK-based Russian embassy to apply. Please note that only you can acquire a Russian entry visa due to biometric data (scanned fingerprints) collection. Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months after the expiry date of your visa. Tourist visa applications can take 20 working days to be processed and longer during busy periods.
Visa requirements are subject to change and obtaining a visa is the responsibility of the traveller and not Mercury Holidays. We recommend you check with your destinations' Tourist Board or Embassy prior to departure for the most up-to-date guidelines regarding these.
EU nationals do not require a visa for Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. Further advice should be sought from the applicable tourist authority for other nationalities and for general queries. We strongly advise you check your destinations' Tourist Board or Embassy for the most up-to-date guide-lines regarding passport validity.
We strongly recommend that you and all members of your party are suitably insured as soon as you book your holiday. It is a condition of booking that you must have suitable travel insurance. It is important that you purchase travel insurance that suitably covers your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking. To assist you with this, we have arranged travel insurance in partnership with Holiday Extras. To arrange your travel insurance with Holiday Extras, please call 0800 781 4237 and quote 'WK830' for preferential rates. Please ensure you provide us with the name of your insurer, policy number and their 24-hour emergency contact number as soon as possible. Mercury Holidays will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking.
If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £250pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.
Your flight is to Pulkovo International Airport in St Petersburg with British Airways (BA) departing from London Heathrow Terminal 5. Each passenger is entitled to 23kg of hold luggage plus one item of hand luggage providing the exterior dimensions (height length width) do not exceed 115cm and 10kg in weight. Weight restrictions will be finalised on your e-ticket receipt. Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check-in. Heathrow Airport advises that check-in should be three hours before your flight departure time. If you wish to arrange Airport car parking or accommodation at preferential rates, we recommend you book this in advance with Holiday Extras on 0871 360 2000, quoting HX313.
Health and Vaccinations
It is your responsibility to check any health & vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in sufficient time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, www.travelhealthpro.org.uk, www.hpa. org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.
This tour is accessible to most people with an average level of fitness and able mobility. It involves full days of sightseeing, often on foot, and includes climbing stairs and getting on and off coaches.
The minimum number of travellers in your group will be 15. If in the unlikely event there are less than 15 people booked on your tour date, we will endeavour to reduce any disruption to your holiday and try to operate your tour with lower passenger numbers. If we are not able to operate your departure date then you may be asked to change to a different date and a full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.
This is an escorted tour, meaning you will have the services of an English-speaking guide during each excursion ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge at all times.
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania all use Euro. The currency in Russia is the Ruble and in Poland, the currency is the Zloty. It is advised to take a mixture of currencies. You will also have access to ATMs during your tour where you can withdraw money in local currency.
You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any dinners where these are not mentioned on your itinerary and personal purchases, such as souvenirs, extra drinks and snacks. We would recommend a minimum of £40 per person, per day for the duration of the tour. Tipping is common practice in America. It is customary to tip your guides and driver, please allow approx. $8-$11 (£5-7) per person per day. All tips will be collected by your tour director on the last day. Tipping at restaurants, hotel staff etc is discretionary.