When you join one of our trips, we want you to have peace of mind. In response to COVID-19, we’ve:
Join us on an immersive journey from Belarus to Ukraine, visiting the “Hero City” of Minsk, a living museum-city of Soviet Modernist Architecture; bustling Kyiv, a hotspot for European tourism; and the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, a place few people get the chance to visit. We’ll glimpse buildings and monuments steeped in history, partake in a Soviet-style Independence Day parade, and dedicate a full three days to exploring the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, where we’ll come to more fully understand the accident, the decades of devastation that followed, and the people who have chosen to return. Along the way, we’ll meet a Stalin-Award-winning artist, a Pripyat local who resettled in the Exclusion Zone, and several Belarusian Independence Day parade-goers who will help us balance some of these heavy histories with hearty food, personal anecdotes, and on parade day, rollicking fun.
The total cost of this trip is $3,335. For those traveling solo and who'd like their own room, single accommodations can be provided, subject to availability, at an additional cost of $380.
Our trip begins in Minsk, Belarus and ends in Kyiv, Ukraine. We recommend arriving in Minsk by 3 p.m. on Day 1 and departing from Kyiv any time in the morning on Day 10. If you'd like to extend your trip, we’d be happy to provide suggestions for things to do and see in these two cities on your own.
Travelers should feel comfortable walking three to five miles over the course of each day. We’ll be traveling mainly by private vehicle and by foot, taking several walking tours that require standing for long periods of time. Our three-day exploration of Chernobyl will involve quite a bit of walking over rough terrain, so please be sure to bring walking boots or other appropriate outdoor footwear. Long sleeves and full-length pants are also required inside the Zone.
Chernobyl is very much safe to visit. The outer area, the 30km Zone, acts as more of a buffer space between the contaminated land and the rest of Ukraine. This area is more or less fine—people live there full-time, they grow crops, raise livestock, and so on. Radiation levels in the 30km Zone are lower than the standard background radiation in a typical developed city. The largest dose of radiation our travelers usually get is from their trans-Atlantic flights. Most important, as always, is following the site’s regulations. Chernobyl’s security team is really thorough, and last year alone it safely catered to 120,000+ visitors.