Russian Federation Travel Guide
We’ll be honest—we’re way behind in our planning for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games over in Sochi, Russia. The event is less than a year away, so if you’ve been waiting to finalize some plans, now’s probably a good time to get the ball rolling.
Airlines and hotels have been taking reservations for quite some time, but that still doesn't cover the most important part: how to score tickets! (Otherwise you’ll just be hanging around watching the Today show on location, and that’s not really worth the trip to Russia.)
CoSport is the only authorized Olympic ticket reseller in the United States, and they just announced some new ticket and ticket package options. Their website does a good job showing off what’s available, but just don’t get your heart set on anything in particular—some stuff is already sold out.
Just the other day we heard about Turkish Airlines and their problem with red lipstick, and now it looks like the carrier is getting ready to ban even more in-flight stuff. Apparently the airline is not too keen on serving alcohol to Russian passengers, because apparently they’re a little too thirsty when it comes to up in the air beverage consumption.
The news is trickling out from a couple of sources, as the reports appear to have started over in Russia. If things are true the carrier would move to stop serving alcoholic beverages on flights to and from Russia, as Turkish Airlines isn’t really up for dealing with potentially unruly passengers.
Kitty cats. They rule the internet and, whether we realize it or not, pretty much the world too. Ever noticed how cats sometimes stake out the coolest spots in a city? This new featureTravel Catfocuses on exactly that. Submit a photo to be featured by tweeting or Instagramming it to us (details below).
Travel Cat spotted in: Ekaterinburg, Russia
This week's Travel Cat is from Instagrammer @aksayulia, who shares this kitty sitting on a window sill somewhere in this fourth largest city in Russia. Ekaterinburg sits north of the Kazakh border but still far enough away from Siberia to allow this kitty to have a nice springtime sunshower.
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A Russian region once shunned as the site of the world's third-worst-ever nuclear disaster, in which hundreds of people were killed, has now become a potential tourist destination because it was hit by a giant space rock that injured thousands of additional people. The local tourism board is actually talking about making parts of the territory into a "Meteor Disneyland," a reference to last month's Russian meteor.
It’s not exactly Universal Studios Russia just yet, but it sounds like some of your favorite theme park characters will be going on a bit of an international road trip. The critters from movies like Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda—and of course there’s Shrek too—have applied for the necessary passports and visas, and they’re ready to depart.
DreamWorks Animation has licensed out many of their fictional characters, as they’re hoping that they can cash in when a couple new theme parks are constructed in spots like St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Yekaterinburg. No need to book your tickets just yet, however, it sounds like the goal is to have the turnstiles swinging for the first time at some point in 2015.
Organizers are promising that the new parks will be some of the continent’s largest indoor fun zones, and that entertainment won’t stop there either. It’ll all be part of a bigger construction project featuring movie theatres, concert halls, hotels, and of course plenty of stores to spend your extra rubles.
[Photo: AIMS Productions LLP]
[Photo: AIMS Productions LLP]
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Time is running out for those hoping to volunteer at the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. On March 1, 2013 volunteer registration for 2014 Winter Olympics will close for good.
An estimated 25,000 volunteers will be needed to work nearly 50,000 shifts in more than 20 areas, from meeting delegations at the airport to helping with the Closing Ceremony. There will also be 3,000 volunteers specifically trained to welcome visitors and help them find their way between venues. In total, volunteers will account for more than 30% of the total Sochi staff.
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There’s a little bit of an arms race going on in the former Soviet Union, as the country’s carriers are going all in when it comes to in-flight WiFi. Last year Transaero flipped the switch on some up in the air connectivity, and now it sounds like another carrier from Russia is getting in on the in-flight fun.
If all goes according to plan Aeroflot will be wiring the necessary bits and pieces right into their planes, as they look to get the in-flight WiFi up and running on plenty of planes before the end of the year. In total there will be like 26 planes getting the new technology, as it appears the airline will be initially focusing on some of their long-haul aircraft. Airbus A330s are up first, and then some Boeing 777s will get into the mix as well.
Our sis site HotelChatter does a bang-up job of covering the latest news and trends in the hotel world. We're also including a few links from VegasChatter, the newest member to the family. So check in and stay awhile.
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Last week, we showed you the unique paint jobs some airlines have slapped on their planes, specifically for these Summer 2012 Olympics. Well, that's not all of 'em as Russian airline Aeroflot has decided to get into the spirit too; they're just two years early.
You may know that the 2014 Winter Olympics will be centered in the Russian town of Sochi, so it makes sense for the airline to repaint some planes to gain some excitement for the Games while the spirit is high.
The Airbus A320 features the logo for the Sochi games as well as the three mascots, smiling to welcome passengers.
If you’re thinking about a international theme park road trip there might be another point of interest to add to your planned Google Map. The bulldozers aren’t turning up the earth just yet, but it does sound like Universal Studios will bring its movie magic overseas. The plan is to create a brand new park all the way over in Moscow, but it might be a little bit different than some of the company’s other parks.
It gets pretty darn chilly over in Russia, so the plan is for Universal Studios to be more of an indoor theme park. It’s scheduled to take up around 37 acres of space, so we kind of think that’s going to limit the potential for Harry Potter to make an international flight across the globe. However, the blueprints do a call for an indoor water park as well as one of those CityWalk shopping and entertainment districts. The whole thing will be called Galactica Park, but that’s assuming the drawings and sketches actually come to life.
Here at Jaunted we’re used to hearing about special deals to mark special occasions. And, let’s be honest, they’re normally pretty rubbish. So we’re massively intrigued about a new hidden offer that British Airways has come up with.
For some reason (maybe a BA person can explain), BA is classifying its four-hour Heathrow-Moscow flight as long-haul, and adding in planes that carry First Class and World Traveller Plus as well as economy and business. The route upgrade begins March 25, but for some bizarre-but-welcome reason, they’re offering a sneak preview of the new route on two specific flights next month.
Fly out on BA0872 on 4 March (8.40am start) and back on BA0873 on 6 March (at 6pm) and you’ll pay just £99 each way in economy, and £149 each way in business. Including taxes.
When Karl arrived in Moscow to board the infamous train, a cranky taxi driver briefed him on the trip, explaining that Karl was about to spend a week, "in a smelly carriage with Russians who will not wash for a week but they will drink." But, at first that was not Karl's experience at all. He checked into a first class private room on the train and was actuallyfor maybe the first time on the serieshappy. But, that happiness was short-lived after he was moved to a third class bunk where he said he "felt like Anne Frank."