Destinations:
Adriatic
Burma
China
China Escorted Tours
Danube
Eastern Europe Escorted
Egypt
Heart of Europe
India
Laos
Portugal
Rhine
Russia
Thailand
Tulip
Ukraine
Vietnam/Cambodia
Tips for Travel to Ukraine

Download PDF Version to Print

TIPS ON TRAVEL to UKRAINE - 2012 

To Our "Valued" Guests!

Welcome to the fascinating world of cruising the waterways of Ukraine! We are delighted to share with you information on this increasingly popular travel destination, its culture and its people!

Please bear in mind that the last two decades of changes in the economic and political ideologies in the countries of Eastern Europe, Russia and Ukraine have contributed to their rapid economic growth - and to all the growing pains that go with it. Your participation in traveling to these countries not only helps their economies but also spreads the friendship and understanding between our people. Therefore, you act as an "Ambassador" of the United States when visiting these foreign lands. The impression you leave will have an everlasting effect on future relations between these countries and your own.

It is therefore important that we advise and prepare you for some of the cultural and social differences you will encounter. These Tour and Travel Tips have been designed to provide useful information and helpful suggestions to ease your adjustment and help you get around any obstacles you may encounter. Your journey will be greatly enhanced if you take the time to prepare for it. Thoroughly acquaint yourself with the information provided herewith - but also talk to others who have been and study one of the comprehensive guide books available at your library or check the Internet!  The effort you put into planning your trip before you go will make all the difference...Thank you!

A FEW COURTESY REMINDERS

Make sure to be on time so as not to hold up the group.  Please refrain from talking while the guide/s are speaking or providing information regarding the tour.  Wait for all information to be given before asking questions.  Any special requests regarding group activities should be directed to your Tour Director who is responsible for representing the interests of the whole group.  Your local guides will refer all requests back to the Tour Director. Your cooperation in these matters will not only be greatly appreciated but will increase both the groups and your personal enjoyment of the tour.

GENERAL TRAVEL INFORMATION

Vouchers: If traveling within a group or on any set program vouchers will not be required or issued. If traveling as an individual and/or deviating from the regular itinerary, we may issue vouchers for services paid for. When included, vouchers will be listed on the check-off list sent with your final documents.

Air Tickets: Whenever our company issues tickets (e-tickets), they will be included with your final documents or sent to you electronically. In some instances, when tickets are issued directly by the airlines involved, they may be sent to you under separate cover. Please consult your check-off list.

Transfers: If you have purchased your airfare or have prepaid your arrival transfers through us,

please look for our Tour Guides holding yellow triangle Global Tours & Cruises (GTC) Signs
after exiting the Customs Area of the airports!

If you have purchased land/cruise only and are arranging for your own arrival and departure transportation, the names and addresses of your hotel and/or the port locations of our vessels will be listed on the Contact Sheet enclosed and sent with your final documents.

TRAVEL DOCUMENTS: Before leaving home, please ensure that you have your valid PASSPORT and appropriate VISAS (at time of print, US visitors do not require a visa to enter Ukraine. If you are a foreign national – please check with each country’s consulate, as rules may be different.)  Please make sure your US passport has a validity of at least 6 months beyond your scheduled travel dates and check for visa updates with the U.S. or the appropriate foreign consulates at least 90 days prior to your departure. Please remember: Obtaining a visa and proper travel documents are YOUR responsibility!

BAGGAGE: Make a detailed list of everything you pack for the trip, and then leave this list at home. We cannot be responsible for lost baggage, but most airlines will make every effort to recover baggage or make proper compensation if you are able to itemize the suitcase contents. It is also a good idea to tape a piece of paper INSIDE your luggage, which shows your full name, home address and telephone number. The purchase of Travel Insurance is strongly recommended!

BAGGAGE WEIGHT: Please remember that weight allowances vary and are lower when flying domestic, and intra-continental routes, utilizing smaller aircraft. Check your airline ticket for instructions and pack accordingly – or you may face overweight surcharges!

OUR FINAL DOCUMENTS – TRAVEL PORTFOLIOS 

FREE ELECTRONIC DELIVERY: Once final payment is received all paper documents including: day by day itinerary, travel tips, airline tickets, contacts and other related  information will be sent to your electronically via email. This service is free, provided we have your email address.

PHYSICAL DELIVERY OF OUR PORTFOLIO OF GIFTS & PAPER DOCUMENTS:

If you do not have email OR would prefer to receive paper documents along with our set of useful, travel related items as outlined below, these items will be sent to you approximately 2 weeks prior to your departure via registered or overnight mail. The cost of this service will be listed on your invoice. 

1. LUGGAGE TAGS: Will be provided. If you would like your luggage to take the same vacation you do – please use them! Please note: The tags have been designed to allow you to list up to 6 points of travel (hotel to ship, ship to hotel, etc.). DO NOT DISCARD THEM! Simply cross out your previous location and write in your next destination (and room or cabin number if you know it).

This will help our staff and porters deliver your luggage to you in the shortest possible time!

2. SQUARE LUGGAGE STICKERS: If provided, Please stick them visibly on your suitcases when possible - the stickers will allow you, our guides and porters to recognize them quicker and get them to their destination faster!  

3. BADGES: If provided, please wear the badges at all airports, transfer points, hotels, and at any time you are embarking/disembarking the ship. Not only does your badge assist us in providing adequate security on the vessel by identifying you as a group member to our guides, staff and security personnel, it also allows you to get to know your fellow passengers sooner!

NOTE: Since people go by nicknames, our badges come blank. Please print your name the way you would like to be addressed and wear them at least for the first few days.

4. PENS & TRAVEL BAGS: Our unique pens and practical travel bags are not only “good looking” but superbly designed to hold everything from your documents to cameras to water bottles! People love them- and you will too!

5. SURPRISE GIFT: Depending on your travel destination and time of year, we may include a surprise gift, which may be a hat, an umbrella or “cool shades”….who knows, maybe even a winning lotto ticket! (but  you must promise to give us a fair share if you win J)

CLOTHING SUGGESTIONS: The dress code on our cruises is INFORMAL!

So please - PACK LIGHTLY!  Combine a few t- shirts, several shirts, a turtleneck with 2 wrinkle free slacks, one skirt, one sweater, a pair of shorts, a windbreaker and a sports jacket - and you are done! Leave your formal evening clothes at home; tuxedos and evening gowns are not required! The only time you may wish to "dress up" is for the Welcome and Farewell Dinners aboard the ship or if going to the opera or another cultural performance; on these occasions, a jacket and tie for gentlemen, and a cocktail dress for the ladies will be fine. But generally, the dress code is informal (and that goes for excessive jewelry too!) Remember - you are traveling to see - not to be seen! Keep it simple and you'll thank yourself later!  DO pay particular attention to footwear - you should have a good pair of comfortable walking shoes with thick rubber soles and firm arch supports.  If you buy new shoes, "break them in" before the trip. Suitable footwear aboard the ship would be sneakers, deck shoes, tennis shoes and similar rubber-soled shoes.

Our cruises involve extensive walking during visits ashore, so you need to be comfortable!

PHYSICAL DISABILITIES: Please note that the majority of the passenger vessels sailing the various rivers of the world (including those featured in our programs) have limited services for the physically impaired. There are few, if any elevators - steep staircases are the norm. In addition, due to their small size and shallow draft, the ships often anchor at remote undeveloped ports and stops. While this ability enhances the itineraries it also means that most of the shore excursions are done on foot. Therefore, severe walking disabilities may limit the passengers overall enjoyment on these programs.

Regretfully, we do not recommend these cruises to

severely disabled or wheelchair bound passengers! 

UKRAINE   ENTRY & EXIT Formalitiés

(Valid at the time of printing but are subject to change without notice)

ENTRY INTO THE COUNTRY:

An immigration card and Customs Form will be provided by aircraft personnel or will be available on arrival in the baggage area. Fill in both and proceed to….

1)      IMMIGRATION: Will check your Passport and take your Immigration Card.

CUSTOMS: After retrieving your luggage proceed through either the “GREEN” or “RED” lanes;

GREEN LANE” – NOTHING TO DECLARE: This is the quickest way out for most visitors. NOTE however that Customs officers have a right to stop passengers and request to see their belongings. If you are not stopped, you do not need to give your Customs Declaration. Take this lane if you have less than $3,000 cash per person and nothing of major value.

“RED LANE” – SOMETHING TO DECLARE. If you are carrying High Value items such as Laptop Computers, high-end camera equipment or LARGE AMOUNTS OF CASH (over $3,000 - some or all of which you intend on taking back with you) you may want to declare them to avoid problems when exiting.

CASH: A maximum of $10,000 may be taken into Ukraine but foreign nationals may only take out a maximum of $1,000 per person USD ($) without any declaration forms. If there is a chance you may be taking home more than $1,000 – DECLARE YOUR CASH ON ENTRY!

If taking the “RED” LANE, present your Passport and Declaration Form to the Customs officer who upon inspection of cash or goods will sign and stamp your Declaration Form and return it to you.

You MUST keep this form, as you will need to present it to Customs upon exiting the country!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Local personnel including our Tour and Cruise Guides are NOT allowed to enter the Immigration/Customs areas. If you experience a problem you may ask the officers to summon one of them to assist you in translating. Otherwise, our Guides will meet you as soon as you exit the Customs Area! They will hold our Yellow GTC Triangle Signs and/or your group or individual names!
 

EXITING THE COUNTRY:

GREEN” LANE: Nothing to declare including cash amounts LESS than those allowed (see above)

RED” LANE: If you are taking back high end items including cash amounts larger than allowed, fill out another Customs Declaration Form and submit it to the Customs officer along with your stamped ENTRY FORM. Upon comparing the two the officer may request to see the funds or may let you through without a check. In either case – be sure NOT TO LOSE your Entry Declaration!

NOTE: ENTRY REGULATIONS CAN AND DO CHANGE! PLEASE CHECK WITH THE NEAREST UKRAINE EMBASSEY OR ON LINE, CLOSER TO YOUR DEPARTURE DATE.

CAUTIONS FOR EXPORTING & SHOPPING

NO ART / ANTIQUES: Works of art such as paintings, sculpture and old ICONS cannot be taken out of the country.  Antiques such as old coins, weapons, books published before 1945, furniture, samovars and musical instruments can be taken out only if you have a permit from the Ministry of Culture.

These items are subject to 100% duty.

YES Items such as coats, caviar (in reasonable quantities), carpets, jewelry and crystal purchased at legitimate shops can be taken out of the country and NO custom fees are applicable.

SOUVENIRS: Any types of handicrafts are usually of the highest quality. Hand painted “Matryoshka” dolls and “lacquer” boxes are world renowned – but make sure they are originals and not fake copies.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Please do not photograph people without asking their permission to do so. Do not take photographs of airports or military bases or installations. Remember to bring all the film you will need, because Russian and Ukrainian film may not be of the same quality.

VIDEO CAMERAS: Please remember that Ukraine utilizes a different standard (PAL/SECAM) than the United States (NTSC). THEY ARE NOT COMPATIBLE! Remember to bring enough blank tapes and if purchasing videotapes locally, make sure they are marked NTSC! Important: European DVDs are encoded differently from US DVD (Region Code 1). Therefore, please remember if you purchase a DVD in Europe, you may only be able to play it in laptop computers but not your DVD players! 

Note: Most museums, galleries and concert halls either charge a fee for photos or videos

(anywhere from 3 - 7 Euro depending on the institution) or may not allow photography at all.

DOCKING LOCATION

For those passengers purchasing land/cruise only and arriving directly to our ship on the day of embarkation, please note the docking location of our ships, which are at time of print:

 

KIEV:                        Dnieper Princess:      Main River Terminal

                                         Pochtovaya Square, 3  Pier #7 or #8, Podol, Kiev

 

ODESSA:                Dnieper Princess:      Port of Odessa Sea Terminal

                                                                         Primorskaya Str, 6

HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS (when applicable)

HOTELS: On some of our tours and cruise packages, in order to conform to airline schedules, we add pre/post-cruise stays at hotels in various cities (check your itinerary). In all such cases we use First Class (4*) properties, or best available and breakfast is usually included (for further information consult your vouchers or itinerary).  Other meals are provided as specified in your tour itineraries. In all cases, hotels are carefully selected to provide the best combination of location, comfort and value, but please remember - the quality and service levels of these hotels may still lag behind what we are used to in the west! For actual hotels used on your particular departure, please check the "Contact List" included with your final documents.

CRUISE RULES

Your enjoyment of the trip will depend in large part on your positive attitude. Here are a few pointers that will help you prepare for your journey. Cruising the waterways of Ukraine is a unique and incomparable experience to any other form of travel!

General River Rules

1.     Maritime Law - As with a pilot on a plane, the Captain of a ship is the ultimate law. He is responsible for the ultimate safety and comfort of the vessel and its passengers. It is within the Captain's jurisdiction to change the sequence of stops, ports, etc. if necessary due to inclement weather conditions, high or low water levels, dock and lock schedules, technical reasons etc. The Captain has the right to remove unruly passengers, quarantine the ship in case of disease and similar. Therefore, although unlikely, certain changes in schedules may happen. Though we expect to provide sightseeing of all of the major attractions listed in our programs, there is always a possibility that the sequence of touring may be altered to take into account the operating hours at museums, galleries and monuments. Shore excursions may be changed in response to sailing conditions and other factors. Your understanding and cooperation in such instances is greatly appreciated!

2.     Cultural Differences - Remember that you may be traveling through countries whose political, social and cultural backgrounds may be different from your own. Do not let political differences govern your perspective. Instead, travel with an open mind, and you will satisfy your curiosity about the people, their lands, their history and their culture.

3.   Service - If you receive poor service at any point, try to take it in good humor and solve it directly.

      If you have any serious complaints, take them to your guide and/or Cruise Director.

4.     Bureaucracy - Expect a little bit of red tape, and try not to be bothered by bureaucratic rituals, which may be different from country to country.

5.     Do not compare things you see by American standards. These river vessels were all specifically built for cruising the narrow rivers, low lying bridges and tight locks that connect the Ukrainian Waterways. Therefore, although quite comfortable, they are small and practical and should not be compared with huge ocean faring vessels.  Above all, keep your sense of humor and enjoy the cultural legacies, physical geography and rich variety of the people as you sail through this unique and different land!

UKRAINE  RIVER CRUISE  VESSELS

Whatever ship you may be travelling on (ours or others), the comfort "zone" will be similar on all.  Most if not all of the ships currently plying the inland Locks and Rivers were all built during the seventies, eighties or early nineties in Eastern Germany, Czech Republic or Austria. They were all built to meet the strict standards of the inland waterways including locks built back in the 30ties. In other words, the “hardware” on most ships is similar if not identical. The important things that distinguish them are the variables: the quality of their food, provisioning, maintenance and level of on board service. These will vary based on the shipping company, which owns the vessel as well as the Tour/Cruise Operator who arranges the services. In your case you have made an excellent choice! You will be  plying the Dnieper River with a company that is recognized as one of the premier River Cruise Operators in its class - Yours Truly!

GENERAL INFO:  For M/S “Dnieper Princess”

PASSENGER MIX: Part of our sailing dates are “charter” or “half-charter” dates, which means that those sailings have been completely or semi-exclusively reserved for our North American clientele and most if not all passengers will be English speaking Americans or Canadians.  On other dates, there is usually an international mix of people from all over the world - France, Germany, and Scandinavia - even local folks! A great way to meet the people of the world and make new and long lasting friends! Whatever the mix, however, English is always the primary language used.

CABINS: All cabins are outside. Lower deck cabins are designed for triple accommodation. They are located in the hull, and they feature portholes that cannot be opened. The twin cabins located on the 2nd ,3rd , and 4th  are all  about 110-120 sq ft and feature 2 lower Pullman style berths and full picture windows. Single Cabins (85 sq ft) have one lower berth and can be found only on the 3rd and 4th decks. Every cabin has private yacht like shower/toilet facilities, individually controlled heating and forced air, radio P/A system and storage space.  There are no refrigerators In terms of comfort, the cabins are not luxurious, but are clean, practical and comfortable. Note: SHOWER HEADS are also your sink heads. Pull them out and use the hook to take a shower!

KEYS: For security reasons and to avoid loss, there is only one key available per cabin (old style turn keys). We ask that keys be left at the reception desk whenever disembarking the vessel. This is the only way for the ship to know who is onshore or on board the vessel.

Linen/Towels: While cabins are cleaned every day, due to limited storage and cleaning facilities on board, and in order to conserve water, bed linen is washed every 3 days. Towels are exchanged every day if desired, otherwise every second day. To add to the conservation of the environment we still ask that you use your towels sparingly and suggest that you bring an additional big bath towel with you.

Laundry Facilities: Washing and ironing services are available on board through your cabin maids.

Dry cleaning, however, is not available. Laundry charges should be paid in cash directly to your maid.

Toiletries: While toilet paper and soap bars are provided, they are coarser and may not be of the quality you are used to at home (girls!). Therefore you may want to bring your own roll, soap, shampoo and similar. Whatever you are used to at home. If you are not particular (guys!) you won’t have a problem.

Communication: There are no public phones on the vessels. Ship to shore communications can only be done through the Captain’s radio. Although our Cruise Directors have cell phones, these are used for business and emergency situations and even then are difficult to get through especially when ships are at sail. Therefore your ability to communicate with people back home will be limited to selected port stops where there are post offices offering international connections. In an emergency we recommend that your family contact our US office or our overseas representatives who will forward important messages via the port and river authorities. However, please note that even in emergencies information may take 24 hours or more to get to their recipient.

Restaurants: The restaurants on the 3rd and 4th decks of both vessels are used to serve all meals in one seating. Once on board, 3 meals daily are served on all ships. Mealtimes vary from day to day because they are coordinated with the timing of port arrivals and departures. The exact times are noted on daily schedules (delivered to cabins each day during dinner) and are also displayed on information boards one day in advance. As a guideline, meals are served as follows:

MEAL                                                TIME                         STYLE                                   

  • Breakfast                                 07:00-09:00                Self serve Buffet                                
  • Lunch                                      12:00-14:00                 Sit down*                  
  • Dinner                                     18:30-20:30                 Sit down                    

*In some ports, based on stops and excursions, lunches on board are replaced with with lunch packs.

MEALS: While meals served on these ships may not be as extravagant compared with Western or Ocean going, lobster munching cruises, most of our passengers find the size and quality of the meals hearty and fulfilling. All meals are preset for all passengers (depending on season, passengers may be offered a choice between 2 main courses for lunch and dinner). Breakfast consists of a variety of eggs, sausage, porridge, cold cuts and similar. A three or four course meal is served at both lunch and dinner, usually consisting of soup/salad or appetizer, main course (meat, fish, chicken with vegetables) and dessert (cake/ fruit). Coffee or tea is provided free of charge with the meals. Other drinks and bottled water can be purchased at nominal prices.

SEATING ASSIGNMENTS: At your first onboard dinner, all passengers are assigned a restaurant and a table for the duration of the cruise. If traveling with friends, we recommend you advise the Maitr’D during the first meal that you wish to sit together. Our restaurant staff will make every effort to accommodate all requests but please note that we do reserve the right to assign restaurants and tables based on client profiles, group seating requests, special meal requirements and other technical reasons.

SPECIAL DIETS: Due to an economy still in transition, food variety and provisioning may not be as varied as we are accustomed to in the West. Vegetarian diets are limited to the vegetables at hand, sometimes a repetitive quantity of cabbage, tomatoes, cucumber and pickled salads. Salt-free, sugar-free or fat-free meals are a novelty. Jenny Craig or similar are not available. Although we and the restaurant staff will make every effort to arrange for special meals, if you have strict dietary needs, you may want to bring some non perishable snacks, crackers, chips, dried fruits, dietary sweeteners, and any other items that will compliment the limited variety of special meals that can be provided. Please advise us of any food allergies at the time of booking.

WATER: We strongly recommend against drinking tap water anywhere in Ukraine. Please note that while on the “MS Dnieper Princesswe will provide 1 bottle of water per person for lunch and for dinner DAILY FREE of charge. Bottled water is of course available for purchase.

ELECTRICITY: Electrical current in hotels and on board ships, is 220 volts/50MHZ. In order to use any appliances, (including shavers, hair-dryers, chargers for movie cameras etc.) you will need to bring;

1)      Universal Transformer: to convert from US 110 Volts to 220.

2)       Universal Adapter Plugs: Round pins for sockets that are different than at home. Since there are no supplies of converters/ adapters, we recommend you purchase a transformer/ adapter plug set, at any convenience or appliance store before you leave.

OTHER FACILITIES: There are no elevators or swimming pools aboard our Ukraine vessels.

Smoking: While in most former Eastern Block countries, smoking is still a mass habit our ships ARE NON-SMOKING and we limit smoking to the Sun deck and outside areas. Smoking is not allowed in the restaurants and buses. Mutual respect and consideration from both smokers and non-smokers will be appreciated.

HEALTH CONSIDERATIONS: Due to limited services for the disabled and because of extensive walking on our excursions, we do not recommend these cruises to people with severe disabilities. Those passengers with lighter physical disabilities must report them to us at the time of booking. Most cabin doorways and public rest rooms are not wide enough to allow access by standard wheelchairs. Passengers confined to wheelchairs must provide their own collapsible chair, and may find certain areas of the ship inaccessible. Please note there are risers to cabins, bathrooms and public rest rooms. Prospective passengers with physical impairments must therefore be self-sufficient since the vessel’s crew or staff cannot provide services of a personal nature.  

MEDICAL: A qualified physician is available on board all ships. Customary charges will be made for all medical care and services. Please note that the medical facilities and personnel are only equipped to provide basic medical care.  These personnel cannot offer care for conditions requiring specialized expertise or equipment. Passengers with such conditions, or in the event of an emergency, may be evacuated to a medical care facility ashore at the passenger's own expense. Existing medical problems, which may require treatment by the vessel’s physician, must be brought to our attention at the time of booking. Neither we nor the vessel's owners and operators shall be liable for any act or omission of the physician and/or nurse. If you require special medicines, it is essential that you bring them with you from home, as only a limited range of medicines may be available.

MONEY & METHODS OF PAYMENT:

Here are some IMPORTANT notes:

  • CASH: YES (PREFERRED) – EURO (EU) OR USD ($) changed to Grivnas
  • CREDIT CARDS: YES! BUT LIMITED USE outside of urban areas! VISA OR MASTERCARD ONLY!
  • TRAVELER CHECKS: NOT RECOMMENDED! Exchangeable in major cities (banks) only

CURRENCY: The currency is the Grivna (pronounced Hrivna). At the time of this printing, one USD ($1) was worth about 8 Grivnas. These values may change daily – so check your local newspaper or the internet a few days before departure.

EXPENSES FOR ON BOARD SERVICES: All costs are usually quoted in Grivnas. Direct payments must be made in cash. However, for the benefit of our passengers, most services provided on board such as liquor purchases in restaurants and bars are to be signed to your cabins. At the end of the cruise all collected bills will be submitted to passengers for payment – which may be paid with CASH or Credit Card (Visa & MasterCard only!). PERSONAL OR TRAVELER’S CHECKS ARE NOT ACCEPTED! There is NO EXCHANGE OFFICE ON BOARD! However, for passengers with Traveler Checks as well as foreign cash that need to be converted to Grivnas, we do make stops at a major bank in Kiev so you can change money.

OPTIONAL EXCURSIONS: FOREIGN CASH ONLY! NO CC OR LOCAL CURRENCY!

A number of optional activities will be offered for sale (Cultural performances, additional tours etc.) during your cruise. These optional services are priced in USD $. Because of the need to prepay extra buses, guides and entrance fees at last minute depending on passenger interest – ALL OPTIONAL EXCURSIONS MUST BE PAID IN CASH IN EURO OR US Dollars at the current exchange rate.

To sum this up – JUST REMEMBER – CASH IS KING!

How much CASH to bring with you? Although everyone is different, we suggest that you bring around $500 to $1000 per person in NEW AND UNTORN BILLS ($5, $10, $20 and higher) for use during the trip. If you are planning on purchasing more expensive items and top quality souvenirs, you may want to bring more.

GRATUITIES

THE "BAD" NEWS: Tipping today has become commonplace in all former communist block countries including China, Russia and Ukraine. Due to the volatile nature of these new economies, salaries for regular folk are pitiful compared to the rising costs and inflation in their own countries – let alone if we compare them to western standards.  Consequently, for the majority of the people working in the service industries (hotels, restaurants, travel), tips and gratuities have become a large source of their income. Therefore, your gracious generosity will be appreciated throughout your trip. THE "GOOD" NEWS: Unlike in many places in the west including the United States – where 18 % “service charges” are either tacked on to your bill or demanded (regardless of the quality of service), tips in the "east" are still left to your discretion!  Therefore, no service - no tip! The choice is still yours. However, since we repeatedly get asked to provide a guideline - here it is:

TIPPING SUGGESTIONS:  Tips should be divided in 2 separate segments:

1)     Individual tips: To staff/personnel on land portions who have earned your gratitude (Cruise & Tour Directors, Local Guides leading local tours, drivers of busses, specific waiters at hotels or other ground personnel). These should be given directly to each individual service provider. (See below)

2)     Pooled tips: For a group of individuals working as a team to service you on a specific portion of a trip (such as crews on ships).

1) INDIVIDUAL TIPPING: While you are in cities or on shore excursions, local guides and drivers will escort the local tours. The so-called standard tip should be $3 per person for the local guide and $2 for the driver. Porters will also appreciate a $1 tip. A $1 per person/per day should be left at hotels for your maids. For taxicabs or at restaurants add 10% to %15 to your final bill amount.

CRUISE HOSTS/TOUR DIRECTORS are the Travel Experts we employ who pick you up and stay with you from the moment you arrive to the moment you depart. They will be your guiding angels throughout the trip. They will lead you, educate you, entertain you and if need be, scold you –

But we are certain you will find their assistance indispensable in providing you with the utmost travel experience possible! Since they sail with you and are essentially at your disposal 24 hours a day,

We recommend $5 per person/per day - or about $60 per person for a 12-day cruise.

2)     POOLED TIPPING (CREWS ON SHIPS): For ship crews we implement a Pool System whereby all the crew members, from the Captain to the "lowly" deck hand share in the gratuities collected from all passengers. The reason for doing this is that during the course of your cruise, you will actually see and meet only about 1/3 of the crew - mainly the entertainers, the restaurant and bar staff and maybe your cabin maid. However, there are many more crew members you will not see whose good work is equally important to the smooth operation of the cruise - from the engine crew who sweat in the "bowels" of the ship and who keep us afloat, to the many staff and crew members who arrange for our busses & excursions, to the catering people who travel to our ports in advance of the ship in order to obtain and provide us with the best available food and beverage supplies...  

POOLED TIPS: Therefore, to ensure equality for all, we ask that one day before your Captain's Farewell Dinner, you place your total gratuities for the cruise portion in an envelope and drop it in our "Gratuities" box or give it to the Head Purser/Cruise Director. All the gratuities will be delivered, on behalf of all passengers, to the Captain during the Farewell Dinner Suggested amount:

$10 per person/per day x 12 = $120 per person for the cruise duration

 (Total amounts collected are divided amongst 110 crew members) 

IMPORTANT FINAL NOTE ON TIPS: The above suggestions are given as guidelines ONLY!

You may leave as little or as much as you feel comfortable with. If you endear yourself to any particular crewmember and wish to award them directly - please feel free to do so!

Summary on Tipping:

If all of this is confusing, in simple terms, we recommend that each person sets aside $200 to cover all your tipping needs for the total duration of the program.

DAILY SCHEDULE AND INFORMATION BOARDS 

Information regarding the daily tour program, meal hours and updated on-board activities for the next day will be printed and delivered to each cabin the night before (usually during dinner). Information will also be displayed on the notice boards, each evening after dinner. Please remember to check these boards frequently during the day (best at meal times) since they will always be updated in case of any last minute changes. Although the ships are equipped with P/A systems, to ensure the passengers privacy, announcements are not heard in public areas (except in an emergency). Therefore it is a good idea to check our information boards regularly!  We hope we have been able to provide you with information covering the most frequently asked questions. If there is something we missed, please feel free to give us a call or send us your comments!

THANK YOU! AND HAVE A WONDERFUL TRIP!

SAMPLE OF TYPICAL WEATHER

Average Temperatures in Fahrenheit Degrees

            CITY                           MAY       JUNE       JULY     AUG    SEPT    OCT

                                                   H/L          H/L           H/L         H/L         H/L       H/L

 

            Kiev                              62-47       68-54         74-56      79-59     70-61      66-44

 

            Odessa                        67-55       72-58         78-62      76-60     68-56      66-52                             


EMERGENCY CONTACTS:

For the hotel names and addresses used for our specific departure - please consult the CONTACT SHEET supplied with your final documents. In addition, the following addresses may be useful to you:

(Please note phone numbers should be rechecked with the State Department prior to your departure)

UKRAINE

United States Embassy

10 Yurii Kotsiubynski St.

Kyiv 01901

Tel: 380  (44) 490-4000

Fax: 380 (44) 490-4085

Ukraine is a dual language country. Although use of authentic Ukrainian is on the rise, Russian is still widely used. Here are some basic Russian phrases that you might find useful.

 English/Russian (pronounced as written)

Hi! - Priviet

Good Morning - Dobroe Ootro

How Are You? - Kak dela?

How much does it cost? - Skolko stoit?

Too Much! - slishkom dorogo

My name is - menya zovoot

Thank you - spasibo

Please - pazhalosta

Bye - poka

Goodbye - dosvidanya

Yes - da

No- nyet

 

Numbers

one - odin

two - dva

three - tri

four - chetiri

five - pyat

six - shest

seven - sen

eight - vosem

nine - devyat

ten - desyat 

PACKING TIPS & SUGGESTIONS

Items You May Wish to Bring Along:

·         Shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, facial tissues, washcloths and shower caps, as they are not supplied on board.

·         Skin cream and other cosmetics for sun protection.

·         Insect repellent.

·         Spare set of eyeglasses for emergencies. If you wear contact lenses, bring a pair of eyeglasses for occasions when contacts are bothersome to wear, such as in strong wind or dust.

·         Medications, which are vital to your health. A letter should accompany these from your doctor (signed and dated), certifying that such medications are vital to your health. Dosage should be indicated. Always pack any personal medications in you carry on luggage, not in your checked baggage.

·         Common remedies such as laxatives, indigestion tablets, aspirin and travel sickness pills

(However, the latter will probably not be needed while in the protected waters of the inland rivers and waterways).

·         Sunglasses.

·         Bring plenty of film, memory cards, and blank videocassettes.

·         Sewing, cosmetic, shoe shine, first aid kits, and paper towelettes.

·         Laundry soap packets and flat sink stopper.

·         Diet sweeteners if you do not take sugar.

·         Instant coffee if you prefer decaffeinated!

·         Non-dairy cream packets for your coffee (cream not available on all ships)

·         Binoculars (excellent for viewing scenes from the Rivers).

·         Batteries for cameras, shaver etc.

·         Electrical Extension Cord (not available on most ships)

·         Transformer and plug adapters (purchased at K-Mart, Thrifty, appliance stores)

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION SEE YOUR TRAVEL AGENT OR CONTACT

 

VALUE WORLD TOURS, INC.

17220 NEWHOPE ST. #203

Fountain Valley, Ca 92708

Tel: (714) 556-8258, Fax: (714) 556-6125,

Email: travel@valuecruises.net      Web: www.valuecruises.net

Updated 10 February, 2012- ST @ Property of Value World Tours, Inc @ All rights reserved

Information provided herewith was correct at the time printing but is subject to change without notice