Great Atlantic Sports Travel Services in Russia.
Russia is the largest country in the World. The European western part of the country in much more populated than the east, about 77% of the population live in European Russia. Russia’s capital Moscow is one of the largest cities in the world, other major urban centers include Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, and Novgorod. Of course, Moscow and Saint Petersburg will be a “must see” vacation destinations. This coupled with the Soccer in Russia 2018 makes it a trip of a lifetime. Be there to experience the drama, thrills and adventure in Russia.
Great Atlantic Sports Travel will have the International program to Soccer in Russia 2018 that sports enthusiast would want. Whether you would like to Follow Your Team or Select Your Schedule, we are your best source. Year after year, our clients come to us for the best services and flexible programs. Experience the host city/cities of your choice; travel, where, when, and how you choose.
Great Atlantic Sports Soccer in Russia 2018 Travel Package Options: Custom Travel, International Russia Airfare, Multi-City Hotel Itineraries, Extra Room Nights, Hospitality, Russia Excursions & Tours, Airport and Match Transfers. Travel Insurance is highly recommended for all International Travels.
Once you have decided that you would like to make a booking with us, please contact us to confirm the booking. We highly recommend that you consider Travel Insurance and protect your investment.
Accommodations: Please review our website for full information concerning the types of accommodations in Russia. The maximum number of beds in a hotel room is two. Request for rooms based on 3 or 4 persons will be for a maximum of two beds. Due to the limited number of hotel rooms during the World Cup, the cost of staying in Moscow and Saint Petersburg will be more expensive than the other host cities. Travel packages in each host city can be extended or reduced to a two night minimum in all cities except some premium dates may have three night minimum during major matches. Semis Final and/or Final World Cup Match may have three night minimums.
Great Atlantic Sports Travel Packages Available
Follow Your Team: will be added to the travel package based on the number of nights you would be in Moscow. Should this occur, our staff will keep you informed. Reducing the number of nights in Moscow. Reducing the number of nights in Moscow will lower the surcharge. This will need to be handled immediately after the draw, December, 2017. The standard 5 night package will not cover all possible match dates for each of the three matches that each teams has. Therefore the exact date of travel cannot be determined for the group matches until after the draw. To avoid having to wait to purchase your airfare until after the draw, you would need to extend your package one or two nights. This would allow you to purchase your airfare early.
Follow Multiple Teams; This cannot be confirmed until after the draw in December 2017. It is best to purchase a package following your primary team and then after the draw determines the actual travel dates that will include both teams. *Those teams that end up in Moscow or Saint Petersburg, a premium will be added to your package after the draw.
Select Your Schedule, Round of 16, Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals, and FINAL Travel Packages: All of these programs will be processed based on the established dates and hotels assigned in accordance with the bookings. The draw will not impact the status of these travel packages. These packages can be booked with three night stays in each city.
MATCH TICKETS and HOSPITALITY: Based on the overwhelming demand for tickets to the Soccer in Russia 2018 event, there will NOT appoint Official Travel Agency partners for this event. The majority of tickets will go to the 200 million plus residents of Russia. Consequently, the ticket lottery and your Soccer Federations will be the main source for stadium tickets. Indicated below are the options available for obtaining official Soccer in Russia 2018 tickets. For additional information concerning methods to obtain Match Tickets please review the ticket page. To attend Soccer in Russia 2018, you MUST obtain a FAN ID. Once you have purchased your tickets you will receive a Request ID number. Each individual needs to obtain one personalized FAN ID, irrespective of the number of matches you will attend or the number of Ticket Applications submitted. We do not assume liability or responsibility in respect of the application, issuance and use of such identification documents (FAN ID).
Match Day Transportation: Match Transfers are not included in the basic package due to the transportation variables in Match. The Soccer in Russia 2018 final draw will be December 2017. This will determine the dates and match locations for all teams for the group matches. Ground match transfers within a host city will be approximately $60 per person. Service will include English speaking local hosts. Should your team be scheduled to play in cities other than Moscow and Saint Petersburg, you will most likely be required to travel by air to that venue. Also, other host city hotel options are offered as an alternative city that may require a Motorcoach or Airfare. At this time we do not have the correct pricing and this service is not included in the package price. The cost of airfare and/or match transfers will be determined immediately after the draw.
International Flights and Flights within Russia: We are in the process of contracting for allocation and prices. We expect to receive this information in the coming months and certainly prior to the airlines releasing their seats into open market (usually 11 months prior to travel). Early reservations will be required to confirm preferred dates. Airfares are subject to change without notice until paid in full. We will also have allocations of air seats between the host cities.
Sightseeing and Excursions: Please review our website at www.greatatlanticsports.com for additional Excursions and Sightseeing travel. Additional sightseeing and Excursions will be added in the near future
Financial Security: Great Atlantic Sports Travel are proudly affiliated with the National Tour Association (NTA), and with the International Association of Travel Agents (IATA), consumer advocates of excellence in all forms of leisure travel. In addition to adhering to a strict code of ethics, Great Atlantic Sports maintain the following insurance to insure full client security: $2,000,000 coverage for general public liability, and a consumer protection plan to protect your investment. The thrill of traveling can come with its own security system. Protect your vacation investment. Make your travel plans with an NTA tour operator. For references call NTA services at 1-800-862-8888.
Travel Insurance is highly recommended. You can protect yourself against cancellation penalties if you cancel for a reason covered by the insurance policy you choose. All insurance policies are different. Please read all insurance policy documents very carefully to be sure you fully understand them and protect your investment.
Great Atlantic Sports Travel has been an Official FIFA Travel Agent for 1994 World Cup-USA, 1998 World Cup-France, 2002 World Cup-Japan and 2010 World Cup, South Africa™. Great Atlantic Sports has been appointed an official Hospitality Agent for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Germany and 2014 FIFA World Cup - Brazil. Experience counts, booking your travel for the 2018 FIFA World Cup can be done with confidence through Great Atlantic Sports.
Sightseeing: Russia will offer international visitors the most dynamic possible experience of the Soccer in Russia 2018. The largest country in the world, Russia offers a broad array of travel experiences. Major tourist routes in Russia include a journey around the Golden Ring of ancient cities, cruises on the big rivers like the Volga, and long journeys on the famous Trans-Siberian Railway. Whether you’re exploring the grounds of Moscow’s Kremlin or wandering through the steppes of Mongolia, a visit to Russia is an adventure not soon forgotten. Click here for additional information.
Custom Travel Packages: Let us build a custom sports vacation that's an exact fit for your corporate taste, time, and budget. Soccer in Russia 2018 events are the ideal setting for International Travel. Create a signature package incorporating extra room nights, multiple cities, sightseeing options, and meet and greet services.
Corporate Services: Integrating plan is not just a good idea to consider, but an essential strategy used for increasing market share and improving customer service. Incentive travel provides a distinctive opportunity for your staff or customers to strive to increase sales revenue. It is also an excellent way to introduce a new product line. Whether your company is best suited to sponsor a consumer program or an internal, regional, national, or even worldwide corporate event, we can assist. From concept to completion, Great Atlantic has the experience you need to help you boost your sales in an exciting way. Call or email our Sports Desk for additional information.
For those who wish to watch the matches in style, MATCH Hospitality will meet your every need with creative, flexible and tailor-made hospitality offerings. MATCH hospitality is the exclusive worldwide hospitality rights holder for the Soccer in Russia 2018. With its experienced team and operational expertise, MATCH Hospitality will deliver a hospitality program unrivalled in the history of theSoccer in Russia 2018.
International and Domestic Flights: During the Soccer in Russia 2018, airline reservations into Russia will be at an absolute premium. Therefore, it is critical to reserve your seats as early as possible to get the best air schedule and prices available. Choice routing from major cities worldwide will undoubtedly sell out quickly for this exciting international event. Your flight arrangements can be handled by your personal travel agent, or by our professionals at Great Atlantic Sports Travel. We are a full service company dedicated to customer satisfaction. Whether your preference is a specific airline, class of service, or particular routing, we will gladly customize an itinerary for you. We can book your air from any city. Click here to review available air through the internet (to be provided at a later date) or contact our office for information on our available air space.
Airports: There are three international airports in Moscow: Sheremetyevo (SVO) in the northwest, Domodedovo (DME) in the south and Vnukovo (VKO) in the southwest. Airport
- Sheremetyevo has undergone major expansion in 2010 with two new terminals commissioned and consists of five terminals. Terminals B (old Sheremetyevo-1) and C are located on the northern edge of the airport and provide mostly domestic and charter services. Terminals D and E operate since December 2010 along with older Terminal F (old Sheremetyevo-2, built for Summer Olympics in Moscow in 1980). Terminal D hosts domestic and international Aeroflot flights, Terminals E and F host international flights operated mostly by SkyTeam alliance.
- Domodedovo is a quite modern airport with a single spacious terminal. It serves both domestic and international flights by most Russian and international companies. Unfortunately, over a few last years, the airport has been increasingly suffering from overcrowding.
- Vnukovo is a smaller airport and is generally operated by low-cost airlines. As of March 2012, it undergoes a major renovation with a construction of a new spacious terminal building. A few Star Alliance airlines have recently switched their operations to Vnukovo.
There are airports in all large cities in Russia. Some international service can be found in: Novosibirsk, Sochi, Vladivostok, Kaliningrad, Ekaterinburg. International service to other destinations is much more limited.
Visa & Passport Requirements for Russia:
For the residents of over 30 countries, a visa is not required for entry into Russia. In general, residents of those countries can stay on the territory of Russia for from 14 to 90 days without a visa.
Unlimited entry and exit is available to residents of CIS countries: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarussia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldavia, Tadjikistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine. If the stay on Russian territory of the citizens of these countries (with the exception of Belarussia) is over 90 days, they will need grounds to be in Russia for a longer period of time – a work permit, patent, studies at a higher education establishment, etc.
The possibility of staying in Russia without a visa for up to 90 days is available to citizens of Abkhazia, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Nicaragua, Peru, Uruguay, Fiji, Chili, Ecuador, Souther Ossetia. Inhabitants of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macao, Cuba, Serbia, Thailand, Turkey and Montenegro can reside in Russia without a visa for up to 30 days. Hong Kong residents can reside for up to 14 days.
The federal legislation establishes that during the time period of the holding of the sporting competitions entry into the Russian Federation by foreign citizens and individuals without citizenship wishing to be spectators at the sporting competitions, and departure from the Russian Federation of such citizens and individuals without citizenship, will be carried out without the receipt of visas.
Ruѕѕіа аlrеаdу hаѕ аn еxреrіеnсе оf hоldіng lаrgе-ѕсаlе ѕоссеr еvеntѕ wіth vіѕа-frее trаvеl for fans. In Mау 2008, a ѕіmіlаr mоvе hеlреd thоuѕаndѕ оf soccer fаnѕ tо соmе tо Mоѕсоw fоr thе fіnаl mаtсh оf thе UEFA Champions Lеаguе between Chelsea and Manchester United.
A very important thing to know is that onсе уоu gеt tо Ruѕѕіа, dо NOT оvеrѕtау уоur wеlсоmе unlеѕѕ уоu hаvе gоttеn a rеgulаr tоurіѕt vіѕа рrіоr tо bоаrdіng уоur flіght tо Ruѕѕіа. Remember – regular vіѕаѕ аrе nоt grаntеd оn аrrіvаl to Russia. If you did overstay, уоu’ll fіnd уоurѕеlf ѕtuсk іn Ruѕѕіа untіl a nеw tоurіѕt vіѕа аррlісаtіоn will be аррrоvеd and this рrосеѕѕ might tаkе uр tо 20 dауѕ.
A nоrmаl Ruѕѕіаn tоurіѕt visa іѕ $160 for the US citizens аnd this move with visa-free entry for the Soccer in Russia 2018 is very helpful. As it was already mentioned before, ticket-holders will be allowed to stay without a visa for only a month and if you plan to stay in Russia for a longer period, you should get a visa before your trip. For those of you who are interested, I’ll tell you what the process is to get a Russian visa.
Transportation around Russia:
Due to the immense size of the country, and the poor road safety, the best way to get around through the entire country quickly is by train. Russia has an extensive rail network linking nearly every city and town, excepting some northern ones. For intercity travel, the train is generally the most convenient option for trips that can be covered overnight. Although accommodations are not always the best, Russian trains have efficient and courteous staff as well as timely departures and arrivals. The train is an option for longer trips (many Russians continue to use it for trips of 2 days or more), but mainly if you appreciate the nuances and experience of train travel in Russia. For the complete Russian rail experience, the one-week Trans-Siberian Railway has no equal.
Russian trains are divided into types:
High-speed trains are European-standard high-speed inter-city trains, capable of typical ground speeds of 250 kph (or 155 mph). They currently run between Moscow, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, and Nizhny Novgorod. These trains are called "Sapsan" within Russia, or "Allegro" on the Helsinki – St. Petersburg route. Express trains have two types of seats - 1st or 2nd class. Both of these classes are adequately comfortable with an offering of complimentary drinks and snacks and additional leg room in the first class coaches. The Allegro offers wifi internet for all passengers, while the Sapsan offers this feature only for its 1st class passengers.
There are 5 to 10 daily departures of "Sapsan" trains between Moscow and St. Petersburg (more during peak summer travel season). It takes about 4 hours to reach Moscow from St. Petersburg by “Sapsan”
Meet Sapsan - the most convenient way to travel between Moscow & St. Petersburg In December 2009, Russian Railways brought into service the Sapsan (Russian for Peregrine Falcon). Named after the mythical bird, this high-speed Russian train achieves a maximum speed of 250 kilometers per hour (155 miles per hour). Today this is arguably the most convenient way to commute between St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Vladimir. The convenience of the Sapsan train service already rivals travelling by air. The short flight time of one hour between the Pulkovo Airport outside St. Petersburg and any of the seven airports that service Moscow (Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo, Vnukovo, Myachkovo, Ostafyevo, Bykovo, and Ramenskoye) certainly lures travelers at first. And although rail service currently takes four hours, it is quite common that passengers spend three or more hours in traffic getting to and from the city-centers to the airports. With the Sapsan, passengers in St. Petersburg only need to catch the train at the centrally located Moskovsky Station in the morning, and by noon, they are at Leningradskaya Station in the heart of Moscow. It means no tedious airport customs procedures, no traffic jams on the way to and from the airport, and significantly less stress. This is a far cry from the journey from Moscow to St. Petersburg that travelers had to endure before first Sapsan train tickets went of sale. The ride on board this modern high-speed train is as smooth as any modern train or urban commuter rail experience seen anywhere in the world. Beside speed, the Sapsan train caters to the requirements of the modern luxury and business traveler. Whereas comfortable seats are reserved for business and first class on an airplane, the Sapsan’s first and second class seats both provide passengers with the same experience. The first class seats, however, have additional leg space and WiFi access, service that has increased in demand (and expectation). Of course, service is far removed from any of the Soviet-era gruffness, with attendants providing a modern level of friendliness and courtesy, defining anew the meaning of Russian luxury travel. The cabins are kept impeccably clean, with all accommodations well-maintained. And unlike any airline flight, passenger luggage can be accessed from storage by the attendants, should a passenger need anything from their suitcase. Eventually, if the Russian Railway Ministry has its way, the Sapsan RUS EVS will be employed along an extensive system of new high-speed rail lines that will extend across Eurasia, removing bottlenecks at the nation’s airports, improving travel efficiency for businessmen going between cities, and providing more luxury travel options for those who want to see this great country for themselves. Don't hesitate to choose Sapsan for your trip!
Travel Classes Onboard Sapsan Train
- Economy class seats are standard soft seats with textile coverings. All seats have adjustable backrest, footrest, individual tap light and a folding table in some places. * Sapsan train ticket includes press and a cold snack which depends on the carrier and out of our responsibility.
- Restaurant Car - Only on Sapsan trains seats are located in restaurant car. Ticket price includes drinks and meals from the menu for the amount of 2 000 Russian rubles (about 35 USD). It is available upon request on the board of train. As a rule there are 4 seats around a table. Seats feature textile coverings, adjustable back rest, footrest and armrest. On all other trains this travel class corresponds to Economy Class without meal included.
- Conference Cabin - It is a separate unit with a lockable door perfect for 4 travelers either business or leisure travels. Presentation equipment for business meetings is available. It features 4 leather seats + a tiny sofa. Cabin is supplied with a personal dinner table, footrests, tap lights, multifunctional display, entertainment system, 220 VC outlets, audio and video outputs, outlets for charging mobile devices and free Wi-Fi. Seats can be automatically adjusted providing even more comfort with enlarged armrests.
- Premium Class - All seats are equipped with a folding table, adjustable back rest, individual lighting, a socket between the seats, footrest, radio headphones. All seats have leather coverings. Ticket price includes one hot meal, beverages and soft drinks, travel set, magazines and newspapers. Wi-Fi is available.
Long-distance (дальнего следования DAHL'nyehvuh SLEHduhvahnyah) trains generally cover trips more than about 4 hours or 120 miles. Take a look at the Russian long-distance rail timetable.
Shorter distances are covered by the commuter trains (пригородные PREEguhruhdnyyeh), which are popularly called электрички ehlehkTREECHkee. Most train stations (железнодорожный вокзал zhehlyehznohdohROHZHny vohgZAHL) have separate areas for selling tickets for these types.
Almost all long-distance trains are set up for overnight travel. There are several classes of accommodation:
- Deluxe – lyuks (люкс) – the most comfortable and the most expensive, with private compartments for two adults and a child, with a private toilet and shower. Only a few branded trains have this posh class. An entire compartment is reserved even if you buy a ticket for yourself only, thus the price can be up to 3 times higher than in the 1st class.
- 1st class – spalnyy (спальный) – with private compartments for two people. Most trains connecting major cities have a car of this class; tickets are quite expensive in comparison with European standards. Colloquially this class is commonly referred to as SV (es-veh, СВ).
- 2nd class – kupe (купе) – with private compartments for four people. These compartments have two top-bunk berths and two bottom-bunk ones. In the daytime the two latter ones are shared with your neighbors from above as sitting places. In modern single-decker second class carriages of firmenny trains the lower berths are convenient sofas that are easily transformed into beds by putting down their backs. On some trains, compartments may be marked as male, female, or mixed-sex by the ticketing system. Note that in double-decker second class carriages top-bunk berths on both levels offer little overhead space suitable only for lying position, and luggage in these compartments can be placed only under bottom-bunk berths. This is because overall carriage height is limited by the overhead wire.
In all the three above-mentioned classes bedding is always included in the ticket price, and on branded trains a lunchbox with some refreshment (mineral water, yogurt, etc.) and a hot meal (cooked on demand in the dining car and thus can be brought to a passenger when it is most convenient for him/her) are also included.
- 3rd class – platskart (плацкарт) – with unwalled compartments of four fold out beds opposite two beds on the window wall. There is controversy on safety of these compartments. For some these compartments are generally less safe than other classes as they allow uncontrolled access. Others point out that in an open car full of witnesses the chances of becoming a victim of a crime or harassment are less. Anyway, they provide for a much more immersive experience. Bedding is an additional option that can be bought together with the ticket if you specify it explicitly.
- Sitting class – sidyachiy (сидячий) – sitting cars for shorter distance, with rather soft but a bit narrow armchairs (like in intercity buses) and seat reservation. These are mostly met on slower regional trains, but sometimes can be found on quite long-run routes, such as 145/146 Saint Petersburg — Chelyabinsk one. No bedding, of course. Not recommended if you take an overnight trip, however it's a cheap option for a 200-300 km travel between adjacent regions.
Every car has its own attendant/conductor (provodnik or provodnitsa), which check your tickets at your boarding, provides you bedding, sells you tea or snacks and can lend you a mug and spoon for (in most cases) free, especially if you order coffee or tea. Do not be afraid, if the conductor takes your tickets, he gives it back at your destination station; if not, feel free to remind him/her to do so. In the corridor you will typically find a samovar with free hot water for making tea or soup. Most long-distance trains have dining cars.
Bottom-bunk berths (nizhnie – нижние) are slightly more comfortable than top-bunk berths (verhnie – верхние), because they have more place for baggage under them. There are also discounts sometime for top-bunk berths only (usually not in the tourist season and not in popular directions, which are from largest towns on Friday nights, and back on Sunday nights).
Trains are classified according to their average speed:
- skorostnoy (скоростной, numbered 151 to 168) – the fastest trains (seating only), average speed is 91+ km/h, current maximal speed record is ~250 km/h by Sapsan;
- uskorennyy (ускоренный, numbered 171 to 198 and 800 to 898) – fast trains (some with seating only, some with overnight accommodation), average speed is close to 91 km/h;
- skoryy (скорый, numbered 1 to 148 round-the-year and 201 to 298 seasonal) – rapid trains with overnight accommodation, average speed is 50 – 91 km/h, usually 60 – 80 km/h;
- passazhirskiy (пассажирский, numbered 301 to 598) – slower trains with more frequent stops, average speed is less than 50 km/h. Mostly used on regional routes.
- mestnyy (местный, numbered 601 to 698) – the slowest trains serving all the localities along the railways, speed is the same, as of the previous ones;
- pochtovo-bagazhnyy/gruzopassazhyrskiy (почтово-багажный/грузопассажирский, numbered 901 to 998) – mainly used to deliver post and bulky baggage or goods but also offering passenger capacity to persons accompanying these items;
- prigorodnyy/elektropoyezd (пригородный/электропоезд, numbered 6001 to 6998) – suburban trains mostly serving commuters in cities.
- express suburban trains (экспресс, numbered 7001 to 7999, but there is an exception in the St. Petersburg – Vyborg line where they are numbered 609x) – faster suburban trains connecting regional and large cities. They make few stops along the way. The difference in fares compared to conventional suburban trains is low, so it's one of the most preferred options to get to Moscow from the capitals of adjacent regions.
According to their standards of service, some trains are promoted to branded ones (firmennyy, фирменный) and given a proper brand. The most distinguished trains, like the first branded one in Soviet/Russian history, the Red Arrow, as well as privately held Grand Express and Megapolis ones, use their own special liveries.
Because virtually all long-distance trains are overnight, the long-distance tickets are bound to specified train. At Russian counters or travel agencies you'll get a reservation automatically, but if you buy an international ticket from some European non-CIS country, you should ask for reservation explicitly.
Ticket price depends on train class and car class, as well as on season (off-peak day tickets can cost 2/3 of peak day tickets). You can check the ticket price at Russian language version of Nnov-airport.ru, Poezda.net or Russian Railways e-shop.
Most stations have a large room called a KASsovyi Zal (кассовый зал) where tickets are sold. Lines vary widely – some stations are much better organized than others nowadays, and it also depends on the season. If you find the lines unbearably long, it's usually not hard to find an agency that sells train tickets. Commission rates are generally not prohibitive. For instance, buying your ticket to Saint Petersburg from Moscow, it is much better to walk a flight of steps from the ordinary ticketing office – there are no queues upstairs and RUB140 is a small premium to pay for this service.
Alternatively you can buy an e-ticket online on Russian Railways website. It allows Visa and MasterCard cardholders to purchase tickets for RZD/FPC trains directly and at the lowest prices, without any commissions (the only thing is a margin between exchange rates during conversion of your currency to Russian rubles for committing the payment). You should take the printed e-ticket at station counter before boarding and pick up a regular ticket.
Stations in middle-sized and big cities have ticket machines with interface in both Russian and English. You can either buy a ticket or print the ticket you previously bought on the site. To print a ticket, you can either enter the booking code or scan the bar code from the electronic reservation. These machines don't accept cash, only debit/credit cards.
There are many agencies selling Russian train tickets abroad – RealRussia, RussianTrains or RussianTrain. They have English-language website and can deliver the ticket by post to your home address, but prices are 30-50% higher.
Generally, buying tickets from Russia to any other CIS country is same as for domestic routes, because all CIS railway companies share a common reservation system. This does not apply for ticket from abroad to Russia – you have to buy the ticket at railway company of the departure country.
Travel time can vary from several hours to several days. There are more types of train between the two largest cities than between any other two cities in Russia. Apart from ordinary trains, there are rapid trains (Sapsan) that run by day only and cover the 650km between Moscow and Saint Petersburg in 4 hours. Some of the overnight trains are quite luxurious — these include the traditional The Red Arrow service and the private Grand Express (Russian interface only, English version is under construction), a 'hotel on wheels'. Sheets, towels and pre-packed breakfasts are included in all the better trains. Shared bathroom facilities are located at the end of the train car. There are special hatches that one may use to secure the door of the compartment from the inside during the night.
Branded trains are always air conditioned, but in cheaper ordinary trains it is true only for renovated or new carriages (mainly TVZ cars built in 2006+), so it would be a good idea to inquire beforehand whether your carriage has an air conditioning system, especially if you are traveling to the southern part of Russia in summer.
Train stations staff most often speaks only limited English, so if you are not familiar enough with Russian to purchase your train ticket in person, it is suggested that you purchase online or through your hotel concierge or travel agent before you depart.
Dining cars of express trains are nicely appointed with real table linens and an impressive menu and wine list, but an average bill is 2 to 3 times more expensive than it would be in a typical cafe in the city before and after you travel.
At major stations trains usually don't stop for long times, about 15-20 minutes. Check the timetable placed on door at the end of the corridor. During long stops, you can buy various meals and drinks at the platform from locals for pretty reasonable prices.
A few very popular routes, mostly between Moscow and nearby cities such as Vladimir, Yaroslavl, Tula, and others have an express commuter train that is considerably more comfortable. Your ticket will have a designated seat number and the seats are very comfortable. The trains travel to their destination with only 1 or 2 brief stops and are thus considerably faster.
Smoking on all types of trains is absolutely prohibited.
Being drunk and unruly and any type of aggressive behavior will get you in trouble first with a conductor and then with the police. People in Russia generally keep their voice down when traveling on trains and talking in a loud voice will earn a cold look from other fellow passengers. As a tourist just avoid drinking alcohol, it would only get you in trouble, if you don't know the language.
Drinking your own beverages is OK in closed compartments if your neighbors don't mind seeing you in a slightly drunk condition, otherwise they may officially complain about your behavior to a conductor or a transport policeman, and that may result in the termination of your trip at the very next station where you will be accompanied to a police department and fined. In this case, your ticket will be marked by a conductor and you'll have to buy a new one.
Warning! Since 2014 drinking of any alcohol in trains (except dining cars) is illegal and punishable with fine from 500 to 1500 rubles, so if you decide to drink on a train, do it at your own risk. As said above, if you drink responsibly and behave quietly, the other passengers most probably will not trouble you, but if policemen that patrol trains see you drinking, you may have problems.
Alcohol ordered in dining cars may be consumed right there without any problems. But note that, as of 2014, most dining cars officially offer only alcohol up to 16.5%. Sometimes they can unofficially offer you vodka poured in a tea-pot, but beware of its possibly low quality. Perhaps, the best choice in this case would be a glass or two of quality wine instead.
Be aware of the time zones difference between the cities, e.g. Moscow and Vladivostok differ by 7 hours. Within Russian territory trains always operate on Moscow time zone (UTC+3).
Most Russian cities have bus links to cities as far as 5-6 hours away or further. Though generally less comfortable than the train, buses sometimes are a better option time-wise and are worth looking into if the train timetables don't suit you. A small number of cities, notably Suzdal, are not served by train and bus is the only option besides a car.
The Russian word for bus station is Avtovokzal (Ahv-tuh-vahg-ZAHL). Most cities have just one for long distance buses and the state buses depart from there. However, in Moscow and in some other Russian cities, a number of commercial buses are available, and they generally don't depart from the bus station. Quite often, you'll see commercial buses near train stations. Sometimes they run on schedules, though for popular routes (such as Moscow-Vladimir, Moscow/Yaroslavl, etc.) the buses simply wait to fill up. On these buses, payment is usually to the driver.
Russian buses have luggage storage, but if it's an old Eastern-bloc bus, you may find your luggage wet at the end of the trip.
Apart from regular buses there are private minibuses called marshrutka (маршрутка). Marshrutkas have fixed routes, but usually no timetables and no regular stations. Stop at the roadside and wave a hand, if you are lucky and the minibus isn't full, it will stop. You can arrange with the driver to drop you off at a desired place on his route. At more frequent stops the driver waits until his minibus will fill up. There are no tickets, you pay directly to the driver. Marshrutkas ride both on countryside (in this case they likely to have timetables) and as city transport – in cities usually have number plates as regular buses.
The tremendous distances of Russia make plane travel highly desirable if you plan to travel to some of Russia's more far-flung attractions. It's worth considering for any destination that is farther than an overnight train ride. Travelling across Russia by train can sound awfully romantic, but it's also time-consuming and rather monotonous. Nearly every major destination of interest has an airport nearby. The great majority of domestic flights are to/from Moscow, but other services exist.
The Russian domestic airline industry since the 1990s has made substantial improvements, so that plane travel in Russia is like in any other developed nations of USA or Europe, with a high standard of service and punctuality. Domestic flights cover huge distances and are part of an efficient network and are quite affordable.
- Aeroflot based at Sheremetyevo airport, Moscow, is Russia's national airline for local Russian and CIS flights and international flights to worldwide cities (Germany, South Korea, US, etc.). Flights from St. Petersburg back into Moscow run only USD57 (May 2009) and makes this less expensive and less time consuming than taking the train. Since December 2010 Aeroflot operates both domestic and international flights from the new Terminal D located next to the old international terminal (now Terminal F) serving non-Aeroflot international departures. Many international flights and most internal ones are operated by Boeing and Airbus aircraft, only a few soviet era aircraft are left.
- S7 airlines (ex-Siberia or Sibir Airlines) Russia's largest domestic carrier with international service to many cities in Germany, China and ex-Soviet republics.
- Rossiya Airlines has a substantial network based at St Petersburg Pulkovo airport to major cities in Russia, and to western Europe.
- UTair operates the largest aircraft fleet in Russia and ranks among the top five largest Russian carriers by passenger volume. UTair is the Russian market leader in helicopter services and is the world's fourth largest helicopter service provider by volume of international operations.
Yakutia Airlines is Siberian/Far Eastern air carrier having extensive flight network around Siberia and abroad.
Soccer in Russia 2018 Ticketing Policies
All Tickets for the Soccer in Russia 2018 will be exclusively available for the purchase by the members of the general public on www.fifa.com/tickets and, during the Last Minute Sales Phase, in the Venue Ticketing Centers in Russia. The unauthorized transfer, resale or further use of Tickets is a violation of the General Terms and Conditions for the Use of Tickets.
On www.fifa.com, customers will also find a link to the webpage of the official hospitality rights holder appointed by FIFA for the Soccer in Russia 2018 where customers may purchase Ticket-inclusive official hospitality packages.
1) Any Tickets obtained from any other source (for example, unauthorized intermediaries such as ticket brokers, internet auctions, internet ticket agents, internet or other unofficial ticket exchange platforms) will be automatically cancelled once identified and do not entitle the Ticket Holder to access the Stadium or any refund or further compensation.
2) Transfer and Resale of Tickets
Ticket Holders may not sell, offer for sale, resell, offer at auctions, donate, act as a commercial agent for another party or otherwise transfer a Ticket in any way without the specific prior written consent of FIFA.
Ticket transfer requests will be considered in accordance with the Ticket Transfer and Resale Policy which will be made available by FIFA on www.fifa.com/tickets at a later stage.
Tickets may only be transferred or resold via the official Ticket Transfer and Resale Platform.
The purposes for the rule limiting Ticket transfers and resales include
a) event security,
b) consumer protection,
c) avoidance of counterfeit tickets, and
d) protection of a fair pricing scheme.
According to Russian Laws, it is an administrative offense to transfer or resell without FIFA’s consent (article 14.15 of the Code of Administrative Offences).
3) Use Tickets for Commercial Purposes
Tickets may not be used for any commercial purposes, such as for promotions or advertising activities or used as a price or reward in a competition, sweepstake or incentive program. Further details will be set forth in the General Terms and Conditions for the Use of Tickets.
4) Consequences of Unauthorized Transfer, Resale of further Use of Tickets
The unauthorized transfer, resale or further use of Tickets is a violation of the General Terms and Conditions for the Use of Tickets. In such case, Tickets will be automatically cancelled by FIFA. As a consequence FIFA may:
a) refuse to deliver the Ticket;
b) refuse entry into the Stadium;
c) eject the Ticket Holder from the Stadium;
d) seize the Ticket;
e) electronically invalidate the Ticket, and any other Tickets purchased by the Ticket Applicants;
f) file suit to enforce the relevant terms, laws and regulations and claim damages, if appropriate; and/or
g) notify governmental authorities of any such violation.
In such case the Ticket Holders are not entitled to any refund or further compensation.