Frequently Asked Questions
An image from the original 1908 race, courtesy TheGreatAutoRace.com
Undertaking a long, overland rally is a big investment of time, money and energy. Representatives at MIR are always available to answer any questions you might have, but we hope you'll find this FAQ helpful:
The program is guaranteed when we have the minimum number of participants registered for the journey. We have already reached and passed that minimum number as of July 2010.
Yes, we would be happy to arrange your air transportation for you. MIR has special airfares to our destinations, and can offer excellent business class fares on Lufthansa, SAS, Austrian, Hianan, and United Airlines. We can also arrange one-way tickets at reasonable rates.
Yes, we specialize exclusively in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltics, Central Asia, Mongolia, China and Central/East Europe and have been guiding travelers to this mysterious and hidden region for over 23 years. We will be happy to make your pre- and/or post-tour arrangements within our destinations or to add on to the World Race 2011. See our main website for more information about what we can do for you.
Currently, no specific inoculations are required to travel to these destinations. We recommend that you talk to a travel medical specialist and consult the website for the Centers for Disease Control for recommended inoculations.
MIR's special tour managers and national guides are experienced, caring, multi-lingual leaders who bring a love of their work to ensure your satisfaction. Many of our managers are native to the lands in which they guide and have university degrees in art history, architecture, geology or ethnography.
Please refer to the Inclusions page, which lists all the inclusions as well as indicates what is not included. There are separate costs noted for the US portion of the journey, and you should be aware that the shipping fees for shipping the vehicles from the US to China or back from Europe are not included. Precise figures for the vehicle shipping should be available for individuals to obtain in the first quarter of 2011.
To register yourself and your team you must fill out and send in a Passenger Information Form for each person together with a copy of your current passport and your deposit. This will officially register you for the journey. We would like to receive all the registrations for the international leg (Beijing to Paris) by March 25, 2011.
This trip will introduce you to the regional cuisine of Asia and Europe. In the local restaurants in the cities you should find the food quite good. You will also have the opportunity to choose some of your own meals, as some independent meals are scheduled. In most places, vegetarian options and low-fat items are readily available.
Accommodations are really quite good, in most cities you will be staying in very nice hotels, well located with lots of amenities. In some smaller towns we use the best available accommodations, which will be moderate standard hotels. There are only a couple of what we would call rustic overnight accommodations on the whole journey.
Included in the Touring with MIR booklet, which you will receive after registration, is a comprehensive list of suggestions on what to bring with you, including clothing, sundries, gift items and indispensables.
Yes. A MIR transfer agent will be waiting just past customs and passport control with a MIR sign, as long as you arrive for a tour on the day the tour begins in the city where the tour begins. If you are traveling independently, or are arriving before the official start date of the tour, MIR can still arrange a pick-up and transfer from the airport to your hotel.
Not necessarily. If you wish, we can try to find a roommate of the same gender for you. We are not always able to match two singles wishing to share accommodations, but we can be successful. If we are unable to find a roommate for you, you will be assessed the single supplement fee.
We are happy to offer travel insurance to all travelers on our tours. We offer two types for this program, one is a comprehensive trip cancellation / medical coverage policy, and the other is an evacuation coverage membership. Brochures on both are available upon request. Please call 800-424-7289 to request one.
Once MIR receives your deposit and completed Passenger Information Form, we'll send you a complete pre-departure information packet including detailed packing guidelines, visa regulations and application forms (if applicable), descriptive itinerary, recommended reading and travel tips and more as time goes on and the trip start date approaches.
We will assist you in the coordination of all the visas required for this journey; however, these costs are not included in the land tour prices listed. Visas currently required for the U.S. Passport holders are: China, Kazakhstan, and Russia.
The deposit once paid is non-refundable. Additional cancellation penalties will be incurred starting from 90 days before the trip start date. For a full schedule of cancellation penalties, please refer to the Passenger Information Form.
Your deposit will be refunded if MIR cancels your tour.
As far as petty crime (theft, pick-pocketing, etc.) goes, we have found that these countries are no more dangerous than the downtown of a major US city. It's wise to take normal precautions, however, simply because thoughtless travelers can make good targets in any country, including our own. Any political unrest in our destination countries is always closely monitored. MIR has partners on the ground in close contact, and they advise us of any emerging situation that may pose any kind of threat to our travelers. Our job is to stay current on developments in our destinations, and we take it seriously.
Shipping vehicles from Long Beach, CA to Beijing, China and return shipping from Europe to the United States, is NOT included in the international journey costs and is dependent on various factors.
We reccommend that all participants work with Cosdel International Transportation to arrange the shipping of their teams vehicle to China and back home.
As far as cost is concerned, from Long Beach, CA to Xingang port in China, and from Paris to Newark, NJ would be starting at approximately $5,100 for a car valued at about $40k sharing a 40 foot container with another vehicle, and would go up from there. This does not include a Customs Bond, or US Customs or other government agency exam fees.
We have been instructed that more precise quotes cannot be obtained until the end of the year or even January of 2011. Some items that will be required for the shipping procedure that can be started on in the meantime are as follows:
Other items that will need to be put together before the car can ship:
A good question! There is quite a bit of paperwork, but remember that MIR representatives are always available to answer any questions you may have by calling 800-424-7289.
Deadlines and what you need to know before you go:
All copies and forms should be clear and legible as these will all need to be translated into Chinese.
The U.S. State Department has authorized two organizations to issue IDPs - the American Automobile Association and the American Automobile Touring Alliance, which offers IDPs through the National Automobile Club