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We've never been to Russia but plan on going this summer-fall. I'd appreciate any helpful advice, tour companies, land only, cruise only, etc. Phyllis Jackson

First thing, you will need a visa to enter Russia, you have to obtain it prior to arriving in Russia, they do not provide visas upon arrival. Check with the Russian Embassy for details on forms, costs and insure your passport is valid for 6 months after your departure date in Russia.

Contact the Russian Tourism office for some information.

River cruises seem to be very popular.

I know MIR Corp does a lot of tours of Russia their website is they do group and custom made tours.

Do a search on this website for other ITN comments of people who have done Russia.

Unless improvements have been made, restrooms on trains were pretty dirty.

6 of us used MIR to organize an independent tour in the summer of 2007. They were terrific...very responsive to what we wanted, able to find us reasonable places to stay at fair prices and provided good guides. Highly recommend talking to them.

If you search "Russian Tours" on this message board and then click on "Tours to Russia" you will find my query from last year. In addition to various reader responses, you will find my comparison among various Russian river cruise lines. We ultimately traveled with Viking River Cruises due to their itinerary. While we enjoyed the river cruise portion and were treated very well, we would have preferred time in St. Petersburg and Moscow hotels rather than staying on ship throughout the tour. We felt separated from the true Russian experience. As for visas, we opted to go through the Visa service recommended by Viking rather than handle our own visa request as we usually do.

Thanks Jack. Good suggestions. I believe we will go with Viking as they have the only company that uses hotels in Moscow and St Petersburg. Phyllis

Thanks for your suggestion of MIR.