MIR logoJourneys to Legendary Destinations at the Crossroads of Europe and Asia

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:

Is the program/departure guaranteed?

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.

Can you arrange air transportation?

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.

Can you arrange pre- and post- tour extensions?

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.

Are there any inoculations required for this tour?

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.

Who will lead the trip?

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.

What is included in the World Race tour?

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.

What is the deadline for signing up for the journey?

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.

What is the food like? Will there be vegetarian or low-fat opitons?

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.

What kind of accommodation can I expect?

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.

What do I need to bring?

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.

Will I be met at the airport?

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.

I'm traveling alone. Do I have to pay the single supplement?

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.

Do you offer travel insurance? Is it required for my tour?

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.

What kind of information will I receive to prepare for my trip?

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.

Will you help me to get my visas?

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.

What are the penalties for canceling my trip?

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.

What if MIR cancels the tour?

Your deposit will be refunded if MIR cancels your tour.

Isn't it dangerous to travel to these regions?

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.

Can you tell me more about how cars will be shipped from Los Angeles to China and how much that costs?

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:

  • Original Title
  • Vehicle Registration
  • Copy of passport of the owner of the vehicle

Other items that will need to be put together before the car can ship:

  • Power of Attorney from for the Customs purposes (a form will be provided)
  • Statement of facts and value (a form will be provided)
  • Copy of the final itinerary including international flights to Beijing and returning to the US.

What other paperwork or information will you need from me?

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:

  • Registration for the International Section
    • In order to be registered, we need to receive your Passenger Information Form filled in and signed, and your deposit of $2,000 per person no later than March 11, 2011. If you cannot download the Passenger Information Form, please call 800-424-7289 to request one.
    • Final payment for the international section of the journey is due at 90 days before the start date and must be paid in full no later than March 11, 2011.

  • Permit Application Processesing
    • We will need to send in the information that receive from you on the Driver Information Form, which includes the vehicle information required no later than March 4, 2011. If you cannot download the Driver Information Form, please call 800-424-7289 to request one.

  • Driver's License for China
    We will need to send the following items to China and therefore need all listed sent to MIR Corporation no later than March 4, 2011.
    • Six (6) color photo headshots 2.5 cm by 3.5 cm (smaller than standard passport photos).
    • Two (2) photocopies of your passport (the page with your picture, passport number, DOB, etc.).
    • A clear photocopy of your domestic and international driving licenses. These should clearly show your name, nationality, expiration dates and the types of vehicles you are allowed to drive.

  • Vehicle Plates required for China
    We will need the following items by March 4, 2011 to send to China to obtain the necessary vehicle permits:
    • Two (2) photos (approximately postcard size) of your vehicle. One photo from the front/side and the other from the back/side. One or both of these must clearly show the license plate number.
    • Two (2) copies of the vehicle's registration document.
    • A clear photocopy of the vehicle's emission test document. Note: If yor state does not require emission inspections or your car is too old to require one, then please obtain a vehicle "roadworthy" certificate from a local garage or motor club to copy and send.

    All copies and forms should be clear and legible as these will all need to be translated into Chinese.

  • Driver's License for Kazakhstan, Russia & European Union
    An International Driving Permit (IDP) is required to drive in Kazakhstan, Russia and the countries of the EU. An IDP is valid for only one year from the date of issue and may not be issued more than six months before your desired effective date. They cannot be extended, post-dated or renewed. You must apply in your country of origin, and your current state license must be good for at least six months beyond the issuance date of the IDP.

    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

  • "Green Card" Insurance Certificate
    Also known as the International Motor Insurance Certificate, the "Green Card" is an internationally recognized document that acts as recognizable proof of third-party car insurance. It is required to drive in the EU. You can obtain one by asking your own auto insurance company to issue you one.

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