How safe is it to book with Flower Travel?
Flower Travel is a full member of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents and is a fully accredited agency with the AFTA Travel Accreditation Scheme (accreditation number A10423). ATAS vets travel agents against strict criteria to ensure they meet certain standards, are reliable, well trained and professional businesses. Before becoming accredited, ATAS agents need to meet high standards of business discipline, training, compliance with Australian Consumer Law and compliance with a strict code of conduct – ensuring your piece of mind when booking travel.
Are Visas a big hassle?
This is where we come in. We have years of experience cutting through the red tape and helping our passengers through the process of obtaining the correct invitations and documentation. We will keep you informed of which visas you need and how and when to get them. This is not something you need to worry about. You can find out the costs associated with the visas here. If you are not travelling on an Australian or New Zealand passport please let us know before we begin the booking process; it can alter the way we need to work.
Do I need insurance? Do I need vaccinations?
The short answer is yes to both. We insist that you have adequate travel insurance to take any of our trips and indeed Russia requires you to enter your insurance certificate number on your visa application. Please contact us to help you with a quote. Which policy you purchase is your own choice of course but please be careful about relying on credit card travel insurance as many east European countries ask to see an actual insurance document and the level of cover is not always appropriate.
No vaccinations are mandatory but you would be well advised to get medical advice from a GP with up to date information on the areas you are travelling to or a travel clinic. As a general guide ask about Cholera, Typhoid, Hepatitis B, Tetanus and Diphtheria.
How much spending money will I need?
Always a difficult question to answer however on this trip all your meals are included as well as is all your city stopover touring. Souvenirs, alcohol and additional tips are really all you need to consider.
Can you cater for specials diets?
Yes we can. Please let us know at the time of booking and we shall contact the train operators on your behalf and confirm your special arrangements can be made.
There is no internet access on the train. However, you can bring your own laptop and use the internet via your mobile phone or satellite, but only while the train stops at a station and not when the train is moving (costs depend on your provider and can be relatively high). The hotels offer internet use in their business centres or you can go to an internet café in the cities. Some hotels even offer internet access directly in your room.
Does the Tsars Gold train go to St Petersburg?
NO, The Tsars Gold train stops or starts in Moscow. We have great packages to add on to your journey that make travelling easy. Please ask us for further information.
How reliable is the electricity supply?
Outlets are available in the corridors of the sleeping carriages but not in the compartments (except in Categories III, IV and V). Every carriage has 220 volts AC outlets, intended for charging, mobile phones, batteries and electric razors. However, we recommend you get the conductor to show you these sockets or that you bring along sufficient extra batteries for your electronic devices.
We can`t guarantee that there will be electricity at all times, especially when the train is not moving.
An English speaking doctor will be travelling on the train on the route between Moscow and Erlian (on the Mongolian/ Chinese border). They will be on call 24 hours a day. The doctor’s compartment is marked on your carriage overview/layout. The doctor also takes appointments and offers drop-in sessions. If additional, specialist, medical treatment is required, the on-board personnel can contact other doctors via radio. Doctor’s fees must be paid in cash after consultation (see Fee Schedule for Medical Services). Should you become seriously ill, you can be taken to a hospital in any of the larger cities. Beijing and Moscow have hospitals of international standing.
One biological toilet is available in a washroom in each carriage of category I – III. It can be used when the train is stationary for long periods (e.g. at border control points or stations). The toilets in categories IV and V can be used at any time.
Bolshoi and Bolshoi Plus compartments have their own private en-suite facilities.
Smoking is generally not permitted on board of the train as well as at stations smoking facilities. In any case, smoking is strictly prohibited in the compartments and corridors and in the restaurant car during meals. In my experience there were times when passengers were smoking on the train in-between compartments.