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Thursday 20 April, 2006 

Special Travel Insider 2006 Russian River Cruise

Good morning

You may recall I've promised to offer a Travel Insider Russian River cruise in 2007.  These plans are almost complete, and as an essential part of offering a cruise, I've decided to go on a test cruise this year to confirm the suitability of the vessel and the appropriateness of the itinerary.

Although I'm 99% sure of the wisdom of my choice, one thing I've learned about Russia is that Murphy's Law works in overdrive and even a 1% margin for error is sometimes too much.  So I'm taking a test cruise in July; if all is as promised and expected, I'll then offer the identical cruise in July 2007 as a special Travel Insider tour.

So why the special newsletter now?

Because, if you don't want to wait until July 2007, you're welcome to join me on this cruise in July 2006 as an honorary 'Beta tester'.

The cruise starts in Moscow on Thursday 6 July.  You'd need to leave the US on or before Wednesday 5 July in order to arrive into Moscow on (or before) 6 July.  It concludes in St Petersburg on Tuesday 18 July, and you can fly home from St Petersburg on that day or extend your time further as you wish.

This is short notice - it is less than three months before the cruise departs.  However, this short notice has been turned to our advantage -  I've spoken to the cruise operator - Amadeus Waterways, the same high quality company who is operating our Christmas Markets Cruise this December - and persuaded them to offer us a 'last minute special Travel Insider discount'.  And I'm also sharing the commission I'll receive to sweeten the pot for you still further, giving you two separate incentives to come join us :

  • Firstly, Amadeus are giving a $250 discount, per person, off their published cruise rates.  Depending on the cabin grade you choose, this is as much as a 10% discount.

  • Secondly, I will personally arrange and pay for the cost of your Russian visa (assuming you're traveling on a US passport).  This is approximately a $200-250 value, and saves you the major hassle of getting the visa invitation paperwork, dealing with the Russian Embassy, then paying more to get your visa registered upon arrival in Russia.

Interested?  You can see more information about the cruise hereLet me know if I can answer any questions; otherwise, please fill out the tour joining application at the bottom of the cruise information page and - assuming cabins remain - we'll be delighted to welcome you to our small group of travelers this July.

A cruise through the rivers, canals and lakes linking Moscow and St Petersburg is the only way to conveniently see more of Russia than 'just' the two big cities.  There's no better way to see otherwise virtually inaccessible (for regular tourists) parts of this vast country; while the itinerary's mix of time in Moscow and St Petersburg as well as cruising and visiting smaller towns gives a perfect balance of experiences.

I look forward to meeting you in Moscow and sharing a wonderful cruise with you

Until tomorrow's regular newsletter, please enjoy safe travels

              David M Rowell aka The Travel Insider

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