Gate 1 Travel?

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Dec 3rd, 2018, 10:58 AM
  #1
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Gate 1 Travel?

Has anyone used Gate 1 Travel to take a cruise from Saint Petersburg to Moscow? Any reports?

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Dec 3rd, 2018, 12:07 PM
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I have not gone to Russia with them but had very good experiences with them in Thailand and South Africa/Swaziland. If you use them, buy the travel insurance they sell along with the tour.
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Dec 3rd, 2018, 05:01 PM
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Why buy the insurance from them? What does it cover?

On their web site they give a price for the cruise and NYC as a location for beginning and ending the trip even though the flight is not included in the quoted price. Does that mean that the tour group gathers together in NYC?
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Dec 4th, 2018, 08:29 AM
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Because travel insurance is just a good idea. You never know what might happen, and their coverage is excellent. When I was in Thailand, I fell (just one of those freak things) and hurt my knee and spent the next week in a Thai hospital with my leg in a cast due to a hairline fracture. With the cost of the hospital, x-rays, doctors, nurse escort home because I couldn't put any weight at all on that leg (his travel expenses from LA to Bangkok to NY and back to LA plus whatever you pay for his services), a one-way flight in business class so I could keep my leg elevated (that alone was $4700), and getting reimbursed for the part of the tour I didn't use, it came to over $21,000. Gate 1's insurance covered every penny. Plus, the people in Bangkok were a big help. Somebody brought all my stuff from the hotel to the hospital, they got the insurance process started so all I had to do was fill out some forms, and somebody came to see me in the hospital a couple more times to make sure I was OK (I was travelling alone). Well worth the $125 or so that I paid for the insurance!

Normally, even if the flight is included in the price, you don't meet in the US and all fly together. You are met at the airport at your destination. If the flight is not included, transfer from the airport at the destination is not included. You are responsible for getting to the hotel, or maybe in the case of a cruise where you're not getting there ahead of time, to wherever the cruise is leaving from. Usually there is a choice of the tour alone or the tour plus flight, but maybe that's not the case in the one you're looking at. You would have to ask them.
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Dec 4th, 2018, 09:48 AM
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If hundreds of reports on different cruise-related sites are to be believed, Gate 1 are legit.

I met several people who did Gate 1 in SPB over this past summer, and I understand they bulk-purchase cruises from Russian operators and hire local guides for ground tours. They also have one or two people on board to act as group leaders and facilitators. If I understand correctly, on-board entertainment is also provided by Russian operators, but there may be a couple of events specifically for Gate 1 customers, plus a free bottle of water or champagne here or there. Whether or not it's worth the price difference vs. buying directly from the Russian providers is up for debate, but I can see why people find their offering attractive.

They are definitely positioning themselves as a budget-friendly provider, so "their" ships are usually not quite as recently refurbished as some others available directly from the Russian cruise lines or Viking (as an example - google MS Zosima Shashkov).

Last edited by napoxoguk; Dec 4th, 2018 at 09:54 AM.
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Dec 4th, 2018, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by SusanP View Post
Because travel insurance is just a good idea. You never know what might happen, and their coverage is excellent. When I was in Thailand, I fell (just one of those freak things) and hurt my knee and spent the next week in a Thai hospital with my leg in a cast due to a hairline fracture. With the cost of the hospital, x-rays, doctors, nurse escort home because I couldn't put any weight at all on that leg (his travel expenses from LA to Bangkok to NY and back to LA plus whatever you pay for his services), a one-way flight in business class so I could keep my leg elevated (that alone was $4700), and getting reimbursed for the part of the tour I didn't use, it came to over $21,000. Gate 1's insurance covered every penny. Plus, the people in Bangkok were a big help. Somebody brought all my stuff from the hotel to the hospital, they got the insurance process started so all I had to do was fill out some forms, and somebody came to see me in the hospital a couple more times to make sure I was OK (I was travelling alone). Well worth the $125 or so that I paid for the insurance!

Normally, even if the flight is included in the price, you don't meet in the US and all fly together. You are met at the airport at your destination. If the flight is not included, transfer from the airport at the destination is not included. You are responsible for getting to the hotel, or maybe in the case of a cruise where you're not getting there ahead of time, to wherever the cruise is leaving from. Usually there is a choice of the tour alone or the tour plus flight, but maybe that's not the case in the one you're looking at. You would have to ask them.
Thanks.
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Dec 5th, 2018, 10:15 AM
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I have a friend who used them for a land tour. They have a good reputation for that, that's all I know. He liked it a lot, it was very well done.

For trip insurance, I'd just compare their offer versus DIY. I know a relative of mine did get it through a cruise company as I recall for a cruise and it was a very good deal, I checked the terms, it was cheaper than if you bought it on your own. But you should compare the offers.
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Dec 6th, 2018, 11:54 AM
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I just checked Gate 1 prices for 2019 navigation - frankly, $1300 for a 12-nighter sounds like a great deal. I couldn't find the offers for same ship/same dates from Russian companies (the info hasn't been released yet), but you could reasonably expect something in the range of $600 to $1000, depending on the class of cabin. Given that you are likely to spend about as much on your airfare alone, I'm not sure the savings are worth the extra hassle - all it would do is offset the cost of the visa.
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Dec 6th, 2018, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by napoxoguk View Post
I just checked Gate 1 prices for 2019 navigation - frankly, $1300 for a 12-nighter sounds like a great deal. I couldn't find the offers for same ship/same dates from Russian companies (the info hasn't been released yet), but you could reasonably expect something in the range of $600 to $1000, depending on the class of cabin. Given that you are likely to spend about as much on your airfare alone, I'm not sure the savings are worth the extra hassle - all it would do is offset the cost of the visa.
Proce are a little higher than that:
https://rivers.affordabletours.com/s...ty=176&price=0
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Dec 6th, 2018, 11:52 PM
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Don't you usually travel independently? I trust you know that St. Petersburg and Moscow are not difficult to visit on one's own.
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Dec 7th, 2018, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by kja View Post
Don't you usually travel independently? I trust you know that St. Petersburg and Moscow are not difficult to visit on one's own.
Yes for Moscow and Saint Petersburg, although the last time we were there, 1995, getting a visa was a pain. But we want to see things in between, just like we went to Bulgaria and stayed in Bucharest for a few days before taking a Danube cruise from the Black Sea to Budapest.
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Dec 7th, 2018, 01:41 PM
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Easy enough to visit Novgorod between St. Petersburg and Moscow by train. For the Golden Ring cities I had a car and driver, but that may be more expensive now.

I always travel with medical and medical evacuation insurance, and for a cruise I would want interruption/cancellation as well, but I would NOT buy it from Gate1, I would use an independent provider. I use Seven Corners, but check at insuremytrip.com for providers.
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Dec 7th, 2018, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
But we want to see things in between.
And this, in my opinion, is where Moscow-Spb cruises kind of fall short, in sharp contrast to both European river cruises and the Volga cruises.
Uglich and Yaroslavl are good, and Kizhi is absolutely mind-blowing (and much easier to do on a cruise vs. DIY), but that's pretty much it.

If I were set on doing the cruise (and had a lot of time to spare), I would go Moscow to SPB, arrive at least a week early to Moscow and do Moscow, some Golden Ring towns, and perhaps Kazan - then do the cruise, and extend my SPB stay by another week.
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Dec 7th, 2018, 05:07 PM
  #14
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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Yes for Moscow and Saint Petersburg, although the last time we were there, 1995, getting a visa was a pain. But we want to see things in between, just like we went to Bulgaria and stayed in Bucharest for a few days before taking a Danube cruise from the Black Sea to Budapest.
Now I get it! I hope you find an option that works for you.
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Dec 9th, 2018, 08:37 PM
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If you do decide to go with Gate 1, I think it makes sense to use their insurance, even if it costs a little more. Makes it easier for them to get everything started and help you with the process should the coverage become necessary.
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Dec 9th, 2018, 09:09 PM
  #16
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Originally Posted by SusanP View Post
If you do decide to go with Gate 1, I think it makes sense to use their insurance, even if it costs a little more. Makes it easier for them to get everything started and help you with the process should the coverage become necessary.
That's a legitimate point, but I must admit that when I consider trip insurance, the LAST thing I consider is the ease to the provider.

I'll second thursdaysd's recommendation to check insuremytrip.com or squaremouth.com, a similar resource (if, IMO, less user-friendly.)
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Dec 9th, 2018, 09:19 PM
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I wasn't talking about ease to the provider. I was talking about ease for the traveler!
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Dec 9th, 2018, 09:25 PM
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I would also note that I have used Squaremouth on my last couple of trips when I travelled on my own, but it's different when you go with a tour from a specific company, good to go with their insurance then.
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Dec 9th, 2018, 09:36 PM
  #19
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Originally Posted by SusanP View Post
I wasn't talking about ease to the provider. I was talking about ease for the traveler!
I suspected so, but I'm glad you clarified your meaning! And I'd still check insuremytrip.

Last edited by kja; Dec 9th, 2018 at 09:57 PM.
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Dec 10th, 2018, 06:00 PM
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We used Gate 1 for our trip to China: Beijing, 5 day Yangtzee River Cruise and Shanghai. We booked because of an excellent price for a Dec 1 departure and Dec 13 return, $1500 pp including air RT LAX to Beijing, and two inner-country flights. We weren't expecting too much in the way of hotels because of the great rate. Boy were we wrong!! The hotels we were booked into were some of the nicest we have ever stayed at anywhere in the world. The Gate 1 guides were knowledgeable and genuinely fun. We had one guide that stayed with us for the entire trip and then there were individual guides for each city we stayed in. I would not hesitate in the least to take another Gate 1 guided tour.
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