Frequently Asked Questions
Select-a-Tour – FAQs
Q: “When we apply for the Russian Visa is your company able to provide the required Letter of Invitation / Tourist Voucher?”
A: Yes. We are licensed with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and will issue you an official visa support letter to cover the dates of your confirmed tour on receipt of your passport details. There is no charge for this. We can email this document to most countries, however, in France, you must receive this document by FAX. You may require the original document if you live in India or China, in this case, an international courier fee will apply. Please check with your nearest Russian Consulate for up to date information on this.
Q: “If we extend our tour in Moscow or St Petersburg, will the visa support still be valid?”
A: If you book your tour extensions through www.select-a-tour.com in conjunction with your tour, your visa support will be issued to cover the full period booked with us. If you book services with other suppliers, please advise us and request the visa support letter to cover the full period for a fee of €25 per person.
Q: “What is a Tourist confirmation and Tourist voucher?”
A: This is simply another name for a Visa Support letter. The visa support letter consists of 2 pages. The first page is your confirmation and invitation to Russia and this page includes all your passport details. The second page is your Tourist Voucher which confirms your tour or cruise is booked and pre-paid in full. The Russian Consulate will keep this document.
Q: “How should we complete the field asking for the Russian inviting organisation and reference number?”
A: This information is shown on your Visa Support Letter – though it can be difficult to make out as the letter is written in Russian.
You should enter “Select Service” (our Company in Moscow) for the inviting organisation.
You should enter “MBT000421” for the reference number and you will see the number of your invitation on the title of your visa support letter, after this word “ПОДТВЕРЖДЕНИЕ”.
Q: “What ‘address’ should I put on the Russian visa application form if I am on a river cruise?”
A: This field on the form asks for your hotel, the hotel’s address and telephone number.
For river cruises, simply put the name of the ship MS Nikolai Chernyshevsky or MS Leo Tolstoy and the starting point of the cruise in the address field ie Moscow or St Petersburg, as appropriate.
Q: “Can we book arrival and departure transfers through you?”
A: Yes, we have offices in Moscow and St Petersburg and can offer a full range of local services – including transfers and excursions.
Arrival and departure transfers for our Russia River Cruise (round trip) costs €100 for a private car for up to 2 people.
Please note that on most Guaranteed Departure Tours, transfers are included – check the tour summary for details.
Q: “Under what circumstances, would you have to cancel a cruise?”
A: We have been selling river cruises for many years and have never known any to be cancelled. For insurance purposes we cannot rule out “Force Majeure” and events such as acts of God, outbreak of hostilities, riot, civil disturbance, acts of terrorism, revolution, the act of any government or authority, fire, flood, lightning, explosion, fog or bad weather, interruption or failure of a utility service (including but not limited to electricity, gas, water or telecommunications), or strikes may cause cancellation of the cruise. We would advise all our clients to take out travel and medical insurance cover for the full period of the trip – just as you would for any holiday.
Q: “What is the protocol for tipping the ship’s staff on a river cruise in Russia?”
A: There are “tip boxes” on the ship where gratuities are collected and distributed among the staff at the end of the cruise. We recommend 5 USD per passenger per day – so roughly 100 USD for one couple. Additional tips for individuals are entirely at your own discretion.
Q: “Should I tip guides and drivers?”
A: It is usual to tip guides and drivers (smaller sum) if you are pleased with their services. On a group tour, you might make a collection amongst your fellow passengers, or tip the guide and driver directly if you wish.
Q: “I am travelling on the Trans-Mongolian tour – what visas do I need?
A: If you book on this tour, you will need visas for China, Mongolia and Russia – and we will provide you with a visa support letter from our offices in China and Russia respectively in order to obtain a visa. A transit visa for Mongolia may suffice depending on the duration of your stay in Mongolia.
If you are resident in the UK, we have a visa service and can obtain the visas for you. Please call 01480 433800 for information or review our website www.asla.co.uk
Q: “Do you accept bookings from overseas and can you provide documentation for me to get a visa for Russia?
A: “Yes – our customers come from all over the world and our Visa Support letters for Russia will enable most nationlities to obtain a visa – citizens of EU countries, North America, Australasia and the Far East are all covered. The Russian authorities have different regulations for citizens of certain developing countries such as a number of central African states, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Citizens of India usually require an original of the letter of invitation which we can send by courrier at additional cost.”
Q: “I can’t find the answer to my question in this list?”
A: If you cannot find the answer to your question, or you need more information, please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you a prompt reply.
Q:”My tour dates don’t match your departures – can you organise a tailor-made tour for me?”
A: If you cannot make one of our tours, our team will give best advice on tailor-made travel plans for both groups and individual travellers – email us with full details of your requirements and we will advise accordingly.
Q: “If I need to cancel my tour, what are the financial implications?”
A: Our booking conditions are clear and applied at all times. We strongly advise clients to take out appropriate insurance to cover cancellation charges that will apply after booking. Most travel policies will cover a range of reasons for cancellation – medical in particular, but you are strongly recommended to take out travel insurance at the time of booking.
Q: I have paid my deposit and want to pay the balance – how do I do it?
A: Please go to our Secure Booking Page – fill in the details and your invoice number with the amount you authorise us to collect; we process the booking upon receipt and will issue vouchers once payment has been approved.