Saint Petersburg (Санкт-Петербург in Russian) is a Russia’s second largest city, with a population of more than 5 million perched at the eastern tip of the Baltic Sea and the Neva River.
If you are the first time in Russia, and if you have time before the conference, you can find the main attractions of the cultural capital of Russia like State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace, Grand Palace, St. Isaac’s Cathedral State Museum-Memorial, Palace Square (Dvortsovaya Ploshchad), Nevsky Prospekt and other world famous places. The summer months are undoubtedly the best time to visit St Petersburg, as temperatures average between 12° and 20° from late May through to August.
Please remember, that the Russian payment and monetary unit is ROUBLE. Foreign currency is not accepted. You can make a change in the airport, also in a lot banks in the city.
Most sights and shops are open 10am to 6pm most days and close for one day a week – usually a Sunday.
Keep in mind that most of transportation in Saint Petersburg stop functioning at night. The subway is closed from midnight to 05:45 and transfers between lines close (and open) at this time, while the departure of the last (and the first) trains from each station varies slightly. Taxis are always available.
At night, the city is divided in two by the Neva; all the main bridges are drawn up to allow for boat traffic. Remember to make it to your side of the river in time; otherwise, you could find yourself stuck on the wrong side until early morning. Some bridges close once per night to permit crossing; see below for details. There is however, the tall cable Big Obukhovski Bridge that is not drawn up, as it is an important part of Saint Petersburg Ring Highway, but it is rather remote from the city centre, which would multiple the taxi fare several times.
Nizhny Novgorod (Нижний Новгород in Russian) is the 4th largest city in Russia with a population of 1.3 million, and is the administrative center of the Nizhny Novgorod region and of the Volga Federal District, which covers 14 regions and republics of the Russian Federation. Nizhny Novgorod covers an area of 260 square miles along the riverbanks of the Volga and Oka Rivers.
Nizhny Novgorod is situated about 250 miles east of Moscow and is easily accessible by an overnight train or by air (see Travel Information).
The climate of Nizhny Novgorod is similar to the climate of Moscow.
The weather in Nizhny Novgorod in July is typically warm (sometimes hot), with daily temperatures ranging from 20 to 30 C. Rain is quite possible.
The Russian payment and monetary unit is ROUBLE.
Foreign currency is not accepted. One can exchange foreign currency in the cities.
The American dollars and the Euros are the most widely accepted currency all over Russia.
Traveller’s cheques can be cashed at the commission of 2 or 3% (available only in major cities and not at every bank).
One gets the equivalent in roubles at the current purchase exchange rate of the bank where one cashes the cheque.
Credit cards are relatively widely accepted in Russia (VISA or MASTER CARD are preferable).
Payment with a credit card may sometimes incur a surcharge of a couple of per cents, so make sure you know if there are surcharges before you decide to run your card.
Credit cards will not be accepted on board.
Simple Rules to Follow During the Trip
KEYS: Please, leave your keys at the reception when you leave the ship and go sightseeing.
Take your keys from the reception right after you come back: a key at the reception means that not everybody is on board and the ship cannot leave.
BADGES: Organizing Committee would appreciate your wearing badges all the time during the trip to facilitate communication.
ELECTRICITY: No heating appliances (hair driers, irons, water heaters) can be used in your cabins.
There is an ironing room on the main deck. Hot water is available from boilers. Cell phones and notebooks can be charged at the OC cabin.
RADIO: Listen to radio announcements to be reminded about the schedule for the day.
E-MAIL: Due to networking problems, the Organizing Committee will guarantee the participants and guests of the Symposium the possibility to use e-mail only when we stay in or pass big cities.
VISITING MONASTERIES: Women visiting Russian monasteries are requested to wear long skirts and, preferably, head scarves. Visitors, both men and women, wearing shorts will not be allowed in.
Long sleeves are appreciated.
MEDICAL SERVICE: Medical assistance will be available on board.
OC cabin number: 127
Please note that the boat will depart from Saint Petersburg (airport code LED) and will arrive in Nizhny Novgorod (airport code GOJ).