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Travel by river cruise ferry on the Ob river

russia travel- travelling with the ferry "Rodina" to Salekhard - Tobolsk - Omsk
* departure : three times per month in June and September and four times per month in July and August. All the timetables follow Moscow time which is two hours before Salekhard.
* travel itinerary : day 1; 17:00 departure from Salekhard, day 2; 19:30 Berezovo 30 minute stop, day 3; Oktobrskaya markt 1 hour stop, day 4; 8:00 Chanty-Mansiysk 2 hour stop, day 6; 7:30 Tobolsk (1600km) 1 hour stop, it's only possible to visit kremlin by taxi during this short break, day 9; 15:00 Omsk (2714km) final destination of the ferry. In the opposite direktion, with the current, the trip takes one third less in time.
* travel reservation : see the telephone numbers above. The boat is often full for one month in avvance.see Telophone numbers above. In Salekhard you have to buy the tickets via an agent, (phone number; 35177). If you don't have any ticket but try hard enough you will be allowed onboard but will probably have to sleep at least the first night on a bench while waiting for a cabin bed to become. vacant Try five hours before the departure when the boat has just arrived to go and talk to some of the staff preferaly the capten and see if you can arrange to be allowed onboard for the trip straight with them. If that doesn't work go and try at the ticketsales on the lower deck. In the meantime let somebody guard one of the ten (10) only benches on the upper outer deck for you if you don't want to spend the night on the hard floor. When there is less people in the hallway, do what the rest of the cabinless people do, drag your bench down to the lower floor where you can stay inside since it gets terribly cold outside at night. Take contact with the 1st class roomcervice staff as soon as possible, they have a book with information about when cabins will be free. Arrange with them first and go any pay first when everything is in order. I tryed the the opposite first but the lady in the ticket salestold me that no cabins would be free for six days. By arranging with the cabin staff I had a 1st class cabin for the second night.
* 1st or 2nd class cabin : the 1st class cabins are a little bit bigger than an 1st class train cupe and they have a washbasin. 3rd class A cabins have eight beds, 3rd class B is a huge room full of beds. On the 1st class floor there is a shower,10R, and the toilets are cleaner. The boat is very well kept by around 20 sailor apprentices. * restaurants : there are two small restaurants on board with simular menues potatoe mash, a piece of meat and some vegetables. Nothing special but a lot better than the hotdogs and hamburgers that I was expecting. Beer, vodka, fruit, ice cream, soft drinks, tea, crisps and coocies can be purchased in a small shop.
* sights : mainly the end of the third and the fift day the views are very beautiful. No mountains except for a few low hills, but there for very long and beautiful sun sets, espessially during the long polar nights. This rout is less touristy than the Yenisey, which a lot of cruiseships do.
* important information : bird lovers must not forget their binoculars. There is a container with free hot water on board for tea, instant coffie, noodles etc. Mosquitocream is an absolute necessity from Tobolsk and onwards, certainly during the warm summer months. If you are in money panic the ticket lady will probably exchange with you for around 30 Rubel for a dollar.
* price : from Salekhard to Omsk 1888/689/556 Rubel, Tobolsk; 1262/464/371 Rubel. The prices are for 1st class/2nd class A/3rd class B. If you have no cabin you have to pay aprox half of a 2nd class ticket and once you get a bed the rest is added on top of what you already have payed.
* timetables and maps : click for the timetables from the two boat companies : Timetable company 1 (862 KB) and Timetable company 2 (1.8 MB), I also photographed two maps of the Ob route and it's stops; click to see the maps : Ob river map 1 (877 KB) and Ob river map 2 (910 KB).