Safety & Security in Russia

Safety and Security Policy of ExploRussia Tour Operator

 

Our Approach

 

ExploRussia is an independent, privately held company. Our office is located in Moscow, Russian Federation. As an incoming tour operator, we offer cultural, active, special interest and educational tours. We offer tailor-made tours for individuals and small groups. ExploRussia also provides tour-planning services. ExploRussia’s intention is to ensure safety in Russia for our guests, delivering positive and unique tour experiences. We also place the highest emphasis on transparency and reliability when working with all our stakeholders.

 

Our Safety and Security Policy

 

Insurance

 

Adequate travel insurance is a requirement for customers traveling with ExploRussia to obtain it is a traveler’s responsibility. Please note, that valid insurance is also required for a Russian visa.

ExploRussia carries the contract of insurance of civil liability for the non-fulfilment or improper fulfilment of responsibilities according to a contract of a tourist product realization. The Register Number in the Unified Federal list of tour operators is РТО 012038. https://www.russiatourism.ru/operators/show.php?id=110237

 

Accommodation

 

We ensure that accommodation that we book for you provides a safe and secure environment. Please contact us about any diet or a health issue that you might have, so we could inform the hotel staff. When using a family lodging, Explorussia advices travelers on how to behave to avoid any possible unpleasant circumstances.

 

Transportation

 

All transportation used by ExploRussia is vehicles with full license and insurance. When using public transport (trains, underground, buses, etc.), ExploRussian provides with detailed advice on how to travel to avoid potential risks.

Please be careful with catching a cab in the street. Instead, we recommend ordering a taxi by phone and mobile applications, such as Uber, Yandex taxi and Gett.

 

Routes

 

We carefully plan our tours and never suggest routes which could potentially cause any danger to our customers. Please see “Travelling in the Russian Federation” to find out more about restricted regions.

 

Emergency

 

All travellers receive a welcome package with all necessary emergency contact details. These include contact details of the tour guide, drivers and also numbers for police, fire department and ambulance services, and the address and phone numbers of their accommodation. If you have a problem or a health issue and you need help from a local, don’t hesitate to contact your manager. Your personal manager is ready to assist you 24/7 during your holiday.

 

Alcohol, Smoking, Drugs

 

ExploRussia has a strict policy regarding the use and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs by tour members. No individual under the age of 18 should consume alcoholic drinks. Please note that buying alcohol in the shops after a certain hour (e.g. from 23:00 to 08:00 in Moscow) is forbidden in the Russian Federation. There are penalties for drinking alcohol in public spaces and transportation, including regional and long-distance trains. According to the laws of the Russian Federation, no individual under the age of 18 years should smoke. It’s prohibited to smoke in public places, near the metro stations, in the cafes, and in the trains. Use or abuse of drugs and banned substances is forbidden under all circumstances.

 

Photo Making and Drones

 

Russian cities have some restrictions regarding professional photo shooting. Photographing any sites of strategic importance (e.g. airside area at airports) is banned. You are likely to have your camera confiscated or you could even get arrested if caught.

If you would like to make a professional photo session in the Red Square or in the Kremlin grounds, it’s necessary to get the permission of Federal Guard Service of the Russian Federation. By law, restrictions apply for commercial photography and during special protection activities. In practice, we would like to pay attention to this restriction anyone with a photo tripod.

It’s prohibited to take pictures in the Mausoleum.

In the metro, professional photoshooting should be negotiated beforehand with the senior management of the metro.

Drones weighing 250 grams or more must be registered. Flight plans should be submitted to the local air traffic controllers. It’s recommended not to fly drones in crowded public areas. It’s strongly prohibited to fly drones in the metro.

 

Advice before travel

 

Prior to arrival, all our customers receive guidelines on how to prepare for a tour (what to expect in terms of culture, climate, etc). On the first evening of the tour, the lead guide discusses with the tour participants general safety details and provides them with a welcome package, which includes emergency contacts and other useful information (e.g. city maps). Participants must follow the instructions of the tour guides at all times.

 

Transparency

 

ExploRussia is an independent and non-political private company. We select our partners very carefully and make sure cooperation rules are transparent for both sides. We take advantage of being a small company and take time to personally get to know the people we work with. Letters of endorsement from companies and clients are available on our website. Should you have any additional questions regarding our transparency policy, don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

Termination of the tour

 

ExploRussia reserves the right at all times to terminate the tour if the behaviour of any party member may cause danger to other clients, company employees or any third party, or damage to property. In the event of such termination, our responsibility for the tour will cease.

 

Traveling in the Russian Federation

 

ExploRussia assists travelers with visa application and registration in Russia. Be aware that the Russian authorities take a particularly strict attitude towards security and compliance with visa and registration rules.

According to statistics, most visits to Russia are trouble-free, but petty crime does happen in cities. Be alert to potential acts of mugging, pickpocketing, and theft from vehicles or hotel rooms.

In Moscow and St Petersburg you may encounter many police officers in the city center or in the underground, but this is a standard situation and there is nothing to worry about.

In Moscow there is special tourist police, the policemen speak at least some English. Their role is to help tourists. In general Russian people are curious about foreigners and not aggressive. Even if a person knows only “hello” in English he will try to do his best to help you if you are lost or get in any sort of trouble. In case you tell him or her back Russian “spasibo” a Russian will be happy for the rest of the day.

Racial profiling by the police may still occur, with officers targeting people who appear to belong to ethnic groups other than Russian. If you happen to have dark hair or skin, you may find yourself being noticed a bit more than others. Wherever you happen to be, be polite and cooperative.

We recommend to carry your original passport at all times. A copy will not be sufficient. If you can’t present your passport when asked, you might be taken to the police station for an identity check.

Homosexuality is legal in Russia, but there is still a degree of intolerance among some sections of the population. Be careful about public displays of affection.

The North Caucasus remains an unstable and potentially dangerous region. Authorities advise against all travel to the North Caucasus republics of Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan, and surrounding districts.

Due to the unstable security situation at the border with Donetsk, Kharkiv, and Lugansk Oblasts, we advise against traveling to these areas.

Cross-border traffic with Georgia ( in particular, with the region called Abkhazia) and Azerbaijan is also subject to restrictions. None of ExploRussia’s tours include traveling to these areas.

Important: All information written above should be treated as a general input for traveling in Russia. For the most adequate and up-to-date information regarding all safety and legal issues, please contact the Russian embassy directly.

 

 

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