What is the best way to get Kamchatka?
You can get Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky city (PKC) flying to the local Elizovo airport from Moscow, St-Petersburg, Vladivostok, Khabarovsk (in Russia) or Anchorage (in the USA). For those who fly from Europe - Moscow transit will be the best variant, for people from Korea, Japan, Australia, etc. Vladivostok or Khabarovsk will suit best connecting from Seoul or Niigata.
There are every day flights from Moscow to PKC by Aeroflot International Airlines.
Are there any other means of transport but plane?
There are no railway trails on the Kamchatka peninsula.
There are no regular passenger vessels to get Kamchatka but a cruise ships.
Can I arrive earlier or depart later than the group?
We will be pleased to assist you with booking accommodation, individual transfer and interpreter service or additional program if you inform us in advance about your early start or late departure off the group schedule.
What time is best to travel?
For summer kinds of tours (trekking, floating/rafting, mountaineering, etc) we recommend July - September. The most stable weather (and less mosquitoes) is from mid August to mid September. For fishing trips depending on the species of salmon to be caught the best time is June for King salmon, end of July - August for Pink salmon, and September for Silver salmon. Our spring tours (heli-skiing/heli-snowboarding, cross-country skiing, ski-tours, dog-sledding) are available from December to June (please see the tours description where the dates for particular tours are specified separately). Any month of the year can be suitable for ethno-cultural tours.
How can I make a booking?
You complete a Booking Form, and e-mail or fax it signed to the Kamchatka Travel Company office, together with you pre-tour deposit. We will confirm you're booking and provide all the further necessary information to ensure you are fully prepared for your adventure.
How can I get a visa?
To get a Russian visa you require an invitation to accompany the application for a visa. That will be done after the confirmation of your booking a tour and receiving your pre-tour deposit. You should send the fully completed and signed application, with three photographs, and two photocopies of Photo/signature pages from your passport to the nearest Russian Consulate or Embassy. Click here for find more info about the World's Embassies & Consulates. Click here for obtain full information about Russian Visa Requirements. Note that your passport must be valid for 6 months after the end of the trip. If you are travelling on more than one passport, please use the same passport for the entire trip. It is also your responsibility to ensure that there are sufficient blank pages for any visas required and for entry/departure stamps. Check with your consulate on the application fee. When you receive your visa please carefully check the passport number, the entry and exit dates.
How fit do I need to be?
By the way, your age is not a factor in determining how well you can enjoy our wilderness trips. We have successfully taken tourists from 18 till 65 y.o. (and even 70-75 sometimes), as well as families with children between the ages of 10 and 14 who had prior camping experience.
I am single, can I still join a trip?
Yes. If the dates suit, you can book any trip you like, and we will pair you up with a same sex single (or you can book 'forced single' accommodation).
Am I suited to group travel?
Most of our groups are maximum 10 to 15 people plus local staff, but please be assured that we always fully recognize your needs as an individual and you can do your own thing within the framework of the itinerary.
Can I do an individual program or organize my own group?
If the given departure dates are not suitable for you or you do not want to travel in a group, we will be pleased to work out an individual itinerary to fulfill your travel plans and interests. This is also available for any groups that are not able to follow the specified on these web-site itineraries due to the dates or any other reasons. We have a wide experience of organizing tailor-made holidays for families, friends, clubs and special interest groups.
Who will lead our group?
Every group independently on the number of tourists involved is accompanied by the necessary quantity of experienced staff. In Petropavlovsk you will have a representative of travel company who will meet you, assist with formalities, hotel check-in, interpreting where necessary. En route usually there is a guide (depending on the trip type he/she can be a mountain guide, floating guides, an anthropologist, a biologist, an ornithologist, etc), an interpreter and a cook. The porters can also be hired on certain trekking routes.
Your well being is always of importance, therefore our staff constantly reviews every aspect of your adventure and our guides are extensively knowledgeable and familiar with the demands of traveling in remote regions.
Where do we overnight en route?
While in cities we stay over in the hotels where you can expect normal, clean and simple facilities. In a small village we can stay in a basic hotel or in private houses. On all our trekking trips we camp in comfortable two person tents.
Do I need an insurance?
We strongly recommend you carry personal medical and travel insurance to cover against accident, sickness, loss of baggage, unexpected alterations to travel arrangements, cancellation, etc.
How often do you change an itinerary or cancel a trip?
Please note that while every effort will be made to follow an itinerary, in the event of political problems or natural disturbances which are beyond our control, we reserve the right to make any changes. To get the most out of your adventure it is important that you are flexible, positive and eager to take on all the challenges that arise, which is all part of traveling in Russian Far East. Besides if anything is changed or modified in a tour it is primarily for your benefit and safe.
As we travel in small groups most of our trips operate - so you can be confident of going on the trip of your choice.
How can I have someone contact me while I am travelling?
Please leave the contact details of Kamchatka Travel Company Grand, so that our office staff could deliver a message for you, if you are available in a remote village or in a city hotel. Vice versa you can make an international phone call from the hotel or at the post office in PKC or send an e-mail to your friends or relatives. On a route such services are generally not available.
Is it safe in Kamchatka?
Kamchatka is considered to be very safe. The level of criminality is very low in comparison with the other regions of Russia. Anyhow whilst travelling theft is always a possibility, so a money belt or pouch is a good idea.
The people you meet will be generally interested in you as a foreign guest, and will be very friendly and helpful.
Will I see wildlife?
If it is specified in an itinerary you will likely see wildlife sightings, but wild animals are unpredictable, and this can vary from trip to trip. For instance, there are many places in Kamchatka where you can see a big brown bear, but the guarantee is not 100% yet as your luck depends on the time of the year, wind direction and some other factors. When working out a new destination we try to unforeseen all the chances as to maximize the wildlife viewing opportunities taking into consideration our previous experience and knowledge on timings and locations.
What is included in my trip? What is not included?
Please refer to the trip description for the exact inclusions. We always try to include as many inclusions as possible (e. i. transportation, all meals, accommodation, most of the necessary equipment), so that once you leave home there is little to spend. Anyhow sometimes a group may not wish to book the whole package service, and we on request can reduce the number of items included to be paid on spot (for instance, meals in the city restaurants, or cook services en route, etc.; please note that guide and transport is a must, as our company having issued you an invitation for visa is fully responsible for you).
Not included: plane tickets (except some cases), airport taxes, excess baggage charges, cost of visa, travel insurance, any items of personal nature as laundry, beverages, telephone/fax charges, tips.
What can my out of pocket expenses be?
You may need money (US$ cash) to cover your general needs, and small souvenir purchases. Please note that traveler's checks are not acceptable here. Some hotels accept credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, etc). It is better if you bring 50/100 US$ notes issued not earlier than in 1991.
The nowadays prices for food and drinks are as follows:
Bread - 30Rbs/1 $;
Juice - 80Rbs/2,3$;
A bottle of Russian vodka - 500Rbs/17$;
A bottle of Kamchatka beer - 60Rbs/2$
Cigarettes - 150Rbs/5$;
Please note that prices in a restaurant are higher, and a lunch or dinner without alcohol may cost you about 25-50$.
Optional excursions (if specified separately) are to be paid in cash on arrival to the our representative.
What about tips?
Guide gratuities are left entirely to your discretion, and are shared among the guide and trekking crew.
What about the food on a route?
While en route our cook will make tasty and varied meals partly from fresh, partly from dehydrated ingredients. Sometimes we have to use the last mentioned due to the remoteness and length of the treks. Water, used for cooking from the local steams, is crystal clean, but if you wish you can use puritabs as well. Lunch is usually picnic style, with soup with mushrooms, peas buckwheat, local breads, sausage, tea, coffee, chocolate. Dinner includes a combination of western and local cuisine (main course, soup, desert, hot drinks). Alcohol beverages are generally not included.
What should I do if I require a special diet/meals?
If you have special dietary requirements (for vegetarians, or for medical reason) please let us know about it in advance, so that our cook could make every effort to accommodate your needs.
Are there any special vaccinations needed to enter Russia?
For entry into Russia there are no compulsory vaccinations. Anyway it is usually recommended to have protection against Tetanus, Typhoid, Infectious Hepatitis and Polio. A gamaglobulin shot is good to boost your immune system.
Please check up your teeth before the departure. Consult your doctor for further details.
Do you supply a medical kit?
Our guide always has a medical kit with him. But you may need specific medications you are used to in your country, so it is your responsibility to contact your doctor before departure and bring sufficient quantities of medications you may require. We suggest you to bring the following for your own use:
What would you recommend to take of clothes, equipment, etc?
Our general recommendation is that you keep the weight and bulk down to a minimum as the baggage allowance is 20 kg on most flights. Don't bring a lot of clothing for cities.
First of all we recommend you to have rucksack (large enough to hold all your personal belongings, including sleeping bag and sleeping mat; waterproof; with an effective waist harness and comfortable shoulder straps for extended trekking; minimum 60-65 liters capacity), one holdall or kit bag to store luggage not needed on trek.
Electricity throughout Russia is 220 volt/50 Hz. The plug is the two-pin thin European standard. Be sure to bring your own converter as most places in Russia do not carry them.
All prices are generally quoted in rubles. Currency can be freely converted at banks, hotels or kiosks. Traveler's checks are hard to cash. Credit cards are accepted in most places that work with foreign tourists. Some may turn down American Express. Visa and MasterCard are known, hence - more widely honored. ATM machines are widely available in major cities, but note: they do not have letters on the key pad, so if your PIN includes letters, do remember them as digits!
Despite the recent rapid improvements in the telecommunications infrastructure, telephoning in Russia can be difficult and expensive. Best bet is to use the phone at your hotel or use AT&T, Sprint or MCI's USA direct services. Tokens or calling cards are required for street pay phones, which can be purchased at newsstands, in some stores, and many kiosks.
Time is GMT +3 for both Moscow & St. Petersburg.
GMT +11 for Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky
Remember to bring any medications you may need. Check with your health insurer before you depart to ascertain your coverage in the event of emergency. Many insurance providers offer specialized riders which can cover emergency evacuation. We do recommend buying a travel insurance.
Crime situation has considerably improved in Russia over the past couple of years. Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky is a very safety town. Taxis
In Russia, taxi fees are usually negotiated with the driver ahead of time. Do not use gypsy cabs or accept rides in cabs that already have a rider. We shall be glad to provide you with airport transfers by our company car.
Tipping is increasingly expected at restaurants. Tip 10% depending on service. It is typical to round up the amount due to the next round figure.
How can I get more information?