Opinions of Alla Tours in St. Petersburg

Sep 2nd, 2011, 07:40 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 157
Opinions of Alla Tours in St. Petersburg

Husband and I will be going on the May 2012 Baltic Cruise. We are thinking about using Alla Tours for the two days in St. Petersburg. Would love to hear from others that have used Alla and get your opinion.
Thank you
jojuice is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2011, 09:18 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,612
We used Alla Tours for their 2 day "strenuous" (or at least I think that was what it was called) tour in 2009. It really wasn't that strenuous but we did pack a lot of things in during the two days.

There were 4 of us on the tour and we found that by being in a smaller group, our guide was able to get us in certain places ahead of the huge tour groups that were waiting in line. (A real bonus when you see some of the lines at certain places, like the Hermitage).

Our guide was excellent (she also worked as a history teacher) and the van we rode in was a late model Mercedes and very comfortable. The driver did his best to pick us up as close to the site as he could as my mother had some walking issues (even getting admonished by the guards at the Peter and Paul Fortress because he pulled into a restricted driveway).

Because we chose the strenuous tour and had so much packed into the itinerary we did not spend as much time in certain places as I would have liked. Some places our tickets were on a timed entrance so there was no way to really work around that. However, being in a small group allowed us to move around easier and see a lot more than if we were in a larger group.

Contacting Alla and working with her was very easy. I was able to customize the suggested itinerary and substitute some sites for others. The instructions and documents were sent in a timely manner and were easy to understand. I have no problem recommending her services.
chepar is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2011, 01:37 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 13,036
chepar gave you good information.

I also had Alla Tours and can recommend them highly.

As chepar said you can customize your tours and omit some of the places on the "Strenous Tour", which I also think you should take.

It is not strenuous , in the way it may sound but rather that you see more places.

Better to spend only an hour at St. Isaac's Cathedral ( for example), than not to have seen it at all.

If there are certain places that you know about in St.Petersburg and want to have a look at them ( even if it is quickly)....then Alla will add this to your trip.

For example: Have them drive you by for picture taking , of the Faberge Egg building..where all those famous eggs were made.

Another example:

When we were coming from the St.Peter and Paul Fortress/ Cathedral, just before we reached the traffic light at the Troisky Bridge to go to the Hermitage....

I leaned over and asked our driver Boris , if he could turn left at the traffic lights " because Peter the Great's Original Log Cabin is only a couple of block away."

Boris said ::" Sure , no problem"

I then said , "Could we then go another two block further and we the Aurora Ship also " ?

The Aurora is the ship that fired that shot at the Hermitage during the Russian Revolution...so it is nice to see and go on this ship.

This is what we mean by saying you can add places to Alla's already good tour.

If I went back to St. Petersburg ,it would be Alla Tours again !!

( Hi chepar )
Percy is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2011, 05:35 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,612
Hi Percy!

I have to say that you were the basis for my choosing Alla Tours in St. Petersburg - your recommendation and detailed posts regarding your experience is what convinced me to book with Alla and we had a fantastic time!
chepar is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2011, 06:17 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 13,036
Glad I was able to help you chepar, I agree that Alla really has some good tour choices.

You did a good job on answering a lot of Baltic Cruise question after you got back.

How are you doing ?

I was in Eastern Europe for a month in June 2011 and did my first River Boat cruise ( 2 weeks) down the Danube.

( Sorry to partially hijack your report jojuice
Percy is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2011, 09:58 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 157
Thank you so much for your input. We will book Alla Tours. We will be going May 2012. When should we book?

Since you have been so helpful, we are planning on using our ship "Eurodam" for a Stockholm shore excursion. We will be docking in Nynasham. Have you used any of the ships shore excursions?

We have also booked a Warnemunde/Scherwinn Tour with Friends of Dave. Has anyone used them?

Also, we are planning on doing Tallin, Copenhagen and Denmark on our own. Is this a good idea?

Any other advice would be greatly appreciated since we are "Newbies" to crusing.

Thank you ahead of time for advice, input and suggestions.
jojuice is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2011, 12:30 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 13,036

The Eurodam is a fairly large ship at 2100 people.

That is okay , but I am wondering why you are docking at Nynasham?

From Nynasham is is a longer drive into Stockholm.
Never used a shore excursion as I had a private guide.

In Stockholm you want to see:

1. Vasa Ship and Musuem for sure.

2. Do the City Hall tour ( about an hour and it cost $ 10.00)
This is not the convention City Hall we think of.
This is where many of the Nobel Prize ceremonies are held.
The Gold and Blue Room are nice to see and you can go up to the tower for great views of the City.

3. Gamla Stan ( this mean Old Town)..this is where you will spend the majority of your time after # 1 and # 2.

4. Here you can tour the Royal Palace
5. Storkrykan Church ( next door) very nice inside..cost 3 euors.
6.Stortorget Square is next door to the Storkrykan Church

7. In the Stortorget Square you will see a Well. This well is Mile Zero.
8. Also in the Square is a nice statue of St.George slaying the Dragon
9. A lot of place are very close by to walk to , like :
The Parlimament Building
Rosenbad Palace ( scross from Parliament ..home to the Prime Minster)
House of Nobility ( Swedish House of Lords)
Bonde Palace ..next door to the House of Nobility
Opera House and Square.

All of these places are within walking distance of each other. get a simple map and know where they are.

You can do Tallinn and Copenhagen on your own but you HAVE to know where to walk to and what you are seeing.

( this is called "doing your Homework )

I know an excellent tour guide in Copenhagen, she may be expensive but you will see lots!

I can help you with Tallinn but do one place at a time . !
Percy is offline  
Sep 5th, 2011, 11:09 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 157
Thank you so much for the help. I will stay in touch. Have already started Copenhagen, Tallin and Helsinki homework since we will be doing all these on our own.

What guide did you use in Stockholm?
jojuice is offline  
Dec 17th, 2013, 04:58 AM
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 6
I used SPB Tours last year on recommendation of my parents who used them 2 years previous. They were very personable and responsive with every step along the way. We used them for the 5 Baltics package, which included 2 days in St. Petersburg and Vodka Cruise in the evening, Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallinn and Berlin. It was all very reasonably priced, much less than the ship excursions. My husband and I had a wonderful time!
cruzysuzy is offline  
Dec 26th, 2013, 09:50 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7,437
We used Alla. Also a two-day "strenuous" tour (primarily so we wouldn't be paired with people with "walking issues" that can be common on the big ship excursion buses). We went with ten people, a driver, and a guide in a twelve passenger van. A smaller group is much better for moving around.

If we had had only six people, there would have been no line for Catherine's palace. As it was, our group snuck in by blending with an Italian group that was in line when we got there. Everywhere else seemed to work fine with our group size.

One feature/drawback of the strenuous tour is no stop for lunches. We took sandwiches and light snacks with us from the boat and were fine - others complained about it, then copied us on day two.
Publius is offline  
Dec 26th, 2013, 10:29 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 8,201
The OP's cruise was 18 months ago.
abram is offline  

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