FAQs for Schools

How does leading a trip to Russia differ from other school trips?

The main difference with taking a group to Russia is that every traveller needs a visa. This can be a daunting process for a large group, but one which we will guide you through. You will feel less independent and more reliant on your guides in Russia, particularly if you do not speak or read Russian. Russian school tours are more expensive than other school tours because you have to pay for the visas, flights are much more expensive (currently approx £350 per person) and students have to be roomed in twins.

How does Russian City Breaks differ from other companies?

Russian City Breaks specialises in school trips to Russia. Our experience and knowledge in this area will be a huge benefit to you from the outset. You won't find a higher level of service anywhere and we are dedicated to making sure that your trip to Russia is a huge success for everyone involved.

We book your flights as far as 11 months in advance and give you the details immediately. You will know the airline, routing and timing well in advance of departure unlike when booking with other companies. 
We can also tell you your hotel accommodation months in advance. We include coaches fitted with seatbelts on all our tours as standard. We even include extra places on the overnight train so you are not sharing any compartments with locals. We are very flexible with free places and our guides are the best in the business!

Our quotes are comprehensive and flexible. They are clearly laid out so you can see exactly what is included. We include as much as possible in our costs so there are no hidden extras on arrival in Russia. You will be able to tell your students exactly how much money to bring with them with confidence.

Whenever possible we will arrange to come and see you at your school. 
We like to get to know our clients personally and it is this sort of personal touch that makes us the UKs leading specialists in school tours to Russia.

What will we see on a standard school visit to Russia?

Our recommended school tour to Russia, "Russian Classic" lasts 6 days, with 2 nights in Moscow, 1 night on a train and 2 nights in St Petersburg. You will have guided sightseeing tours in both cities taking in all the major highlights. You will also have tours of the Kremlin, Peter and Paul's Fortress and the Hermitage. You will visit a local Russian school and experience a traditional Russian folklore show in St Petersburg. Of course we are flexible with our itineraries and we will advise you of all the options available during the booking process.

Is a school trip to Russia expensive?

Russia trips are more expensive than other school trips. This is due to 3 main factors. Firstly no low-cost airlines fly to Russia so flights are expensive, averaging at around £350 per person. Secondly, visas are required by all visitors to Russia adding to the cost. Thirdly the hotels used for student groups generally only have twin bedded rooms, so students cannot room in triples or quads. In case of an odd number of travellers in your group we may be able to arrange for an extra bed (a rollaway) to be placed in one twin room to make a triple. This is not the case in all hotels so it is important to check your rooming with us.
The most expensive time of the year to travel is in the summer when flights can be hard to secure and the hotels raise their prices to ridiculous levels simply because they can do. Moscow is becoming a major exhibition centre which means that at certain times of the year hotel prices can be a lot higher than usual. When booking, the more flexible you can be with dates, the better chance we have of avoiding these exhibition dates. Also, it's good to remember that the more students you can attract to the trip, the cheaper it will be for everyone.

How can i keep the trip price as low as possible?

The larger the group you have, the cheaper the trip will be per person. If you are struggling for numbers, why not open the trip up to other departments? Try to travel in the low season. Consider flying indirect as direct flights tend to be more expensive. Think about your itinerary and the length of your trip. Perhaps visit St Petersburg only for your first visit. This would remove the expense of the overnight train and 1 extra day of accommodation, coaches, guides and entrances.

Are your tours all-inclusive?

Yes. We know how important it is to have a clear idea of all costs involved before selling your trip. Unlike other companies, we include everything up front in your itinerary to avoid misunderstandings. We do not sell tours on arrival and you will not be asked to pay extra money for services on tour. The only things your students will need money for on tour will be for lunches and souvenirs.

How do I start the booking process?

Call one of our Russia travel experts on 0845 225 2922 now. We will guide you through the stages step by step from your original idea to stepping off the plane in Russia!

Does Russian City Breaks book flights?

Russian City Breaks is not a flight provider. We act as agents of ATOL holders and will inform you of the ATOL holder with whom your flights are booked who will in turn provide you with the appropriate ATOL confirmation invoice and ATOL receipt. All flight payments will be made to the ATOL holder.

What are the flight arrangements?

BA flies direct to Moscow and St Petersburg from Heathrow, and British Midland flies to Moscow. There are no direct flights from other UK airports. Direct flight time is approx 3 and a half hours. This option can be pricey, particularly when looking for specific dates. Most schools opt for the cheaper option of flying indirect and we generally use KLM or Lufthansa for this, via Amsterdam or Frankfurt/Munich respectively. Typically all fights depart early morning, so you can prepare your group for a very early start! You will arrive mid to late afternoon. On the return journey, flights back to the UK depart in the afternoon, so you will have the morning and lunchtime in Russia on departure day.

When do I need to confirm the dates?

The sooner you can give us fixed dates the better. We can start looking for flights with our flight supplier no sooner than 11 months before departure when airlines release their timetables. The more flexible you are with your departure date the better. If you can give us a departure date range then there is more chance of getting suitable and cheaper flights for your group.

How do I confirm a trip booking?

To confirm your trip to Russia with us we require a completed application form (from each person travelling) and a £200 deposit per person.

What are the payments arrangements?

You will make 2 payments to Russian City Breaks. The first is a £200 deposit per applicant upon sign-up and the second is the balance of the trip price, due 90 days before departure.

Do you offer free places?

As a rule we incorporate 1 free place for every 10 paying participants. We can be flexible with this and if you require extra free places, let us know and we will adjust the price accordingly.

What is your cancellation policy?

Should the entire group cancel more than 30 days before departure, then the £75 non-refundable portion of each participant's deposit will remain non-refundable, plus any other non-refundable services that have been prepaid on your behalf including, but not exclusive to, train tickets, hotel deposits and theatre tickets.

 

Should the entire group cancel less than 30 days prior to departure, then no refunds will be given.

Should one participant cancel, they will be subject to the standard cancellation policy as per our booking conditions. Please note that as individual cancellations without replacements will affect the overall tour cost, Russian City Breaks may have to charge a small group supplement.

Are payments to Russian City Breaks insured?

Yes. Russian City Breaks is insured with Travel & General under their TOPP policy. This gives you the same protection as you would receive from an ABTA bonded company. For more details please click here.

When do we need to start the visa application process?

We will be in touch 3 months before your departure date to begin the visa application process. At that stage we will email you the application form along with detailed instructions on how to fill it out. Please note that all participants' passports will be needed for up to 3 weeks during the visa application process.

Do we need vaccinations?

Whilst not required, travellers to Russia are advised to have up-to-date vaccinations for tetanus-diphtheria, hepatitus A and typhoid fever, as well as medications for travellers' stomach upsets. Water for drinking and brushing teeth should be treated; bottled water is readily available.

Do we need travel insurance?

Visitors to Russia are strongly advised to have full insurance for medical treatment and accidents should they require private care. In our experience, most schools already have travel insurance in place for their students, however if not, we have established some excellent group rates with a well known insurance group. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

What currency should we take?

The euro is the strongest currency against the rouble at the time of writing. You can change euros and USD easily in both Moscow and St Petersburg. You can also exchange pounds in most hotels. The best solution is to pre-order roubles in advance so you have some when you arrive. Your students will not need a huge amount of money as almost everything has been covered in the total trip price. Cash will only be required for such things as lunches, souvenirs and tips. Also if your students have and want to bring bank cards, it's very easy to withdraw cash while in Russia, as long as they remember their PIN code! Please see the handy currency converter to get up-to-date rates. 

What is the weather like in Russia?

The most popular times of year for school trips to Russia are during half terms and Easter. These will fall between Feb and Apr and Oct-Nov depending on your school. It can be very cold in February, temperatures hovering from minus 6 to minus 26, but impossible to say with any accuracy. The cold weather appeals to some schools as seeing Russia covered in snow is how they imagine true Russia to be, although as 2008 proved, we can't even guarantee snow in February any more! As long as you are prepared well for the cold, then there is no reason at all to be put off by going to Russia in February. You will not be outside for long intervals at any time during your trip. You may still see snow in April but perhaps not as much. With worldwide weather becoming more and more unpredictable lately, it is difficult to assess with any guarantee how the weather in Moscow or St Petersburg will be for certain in any given month. Locals in St Petersburg didn't see snow until January this year, the warmest winter in recorded history and it was then still snowing in April with minus temperatures. Please see our weather page for links to more detailed information on current Russian weather.


Call us - 0161 491 0266 info@russiancitybreaks.co.uk