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St. Petersburg: Gosh, it's expensive

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Yeah, yeah... and that's coming from somebody who lives in Switzerland. :-)

I'm putting together a group trip (16 people) for St. Petersburg (flying out of Zürich) and have calculated that the price will be over SFr. 1400 (USD 1400) for the flight, three nights at a 3 star hotel and a tour guide. That's almost double what we paid for in Istanbul. Getting a visa will require submitting copy of a passport that is valid at least six months before the expiration date, providing a passport photo (no computer photos) and providing a copy of a health insurance policy that meets the specifications of the visa office.

This will be my 17th trip I'll have organised for my adult English students. We've been all over Europe but Krakow, Northern Scotland, Cyprus and Sicily are still on my list for future destinations. I'm really becoming hesitant in going through with this trip because of the organisation and costs involved. Fodorites, any encouraging (or discouraging) words will be helpful. Thanks.

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