St Petersburg Tours

Mar 2nd, 2005, 01:05 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 16
St Petersburg Tours

Has anyone booked a private or small tour for St Petersburg when on a cruise? We do not like the large cruise ship tours where everyone is limited by the tardiness of the last person to get back on the bus, so we would like to do something on our own. We understand the visa issues and this is not a problem. Cruise is on Seven Seas Voyager in July.
sallyb49 is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 05:11 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 8,201
We used Red October in 2003 and very extremely happy with them. If you search for Red October on cruisecritic, ports of call, Baltic, you'll find lots of info.
abram is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2005, 05:49 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Sally-- cruisecritic is a very helpful site. In fact, there's a post there from someone who's looking for the same thing as you are. (Mabe it is you?) Be sure to look at the Radisson Seven Seas site as well as the Baltic site. Good luck. (we'll be sailing Voyager from Copenhagen on July 16-- our first cruise!)
poss is offline  
Mar 25th, 2005, 01:09 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Saint Petersburg is tricky for arriving on a cruise ship. It has unique elements to it.

First, it's a pity that the cruise ships stay for so short a time. Usually they are in and out within 48 hours. Some stay for 3 days. It just isn't enough time. Because there is so much to this city.

Secondly, to see the important things, the time is so critical for the cruise ship visitor. Your time needs to be well planned.

Now, the problems...

Ships are docking in several areas. One of those areas is particularly bad and that is the commercial port. In this controlled customs area, only the big players in offshore excursions can operate and smaller tour guide services are out. So there is less competition.

Some ships dock in better areas, like along the Neva in the center of the city. That is much better. But there is no guarantee that a ship which is expected to dock there will actually dock in that spot. It could be re-directed to a crappy area at the last minute.

I have not used Red October. People seem to be very happy with them and they seem to have a very positive buzz. www.russianguidenetwork.com is one source for using an independent guide service in Saint Petersburg. A person you could write to - to see what they can offer would be Lena at [email protected]

(I know her. She has a lot of knowledge.)
ideamaned2 is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2005, 10:13 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 22
I agree with you about the last person to get back on the bus. Using a private guide and driver also allows you to see more and ask more questions.

Please be careful when using a guide that they provide the visa. This is an enormous help. I am only aware of two companies who are both reputable and provide guides with good english that supply the visa.The two companies are Denrus & Red October.

Personally I would NOT see St. Petersburg any other way and I encourage my friends to do the same.
Canam is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 03:23 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 23
We used Red October last year and were very pleased. Our guide Elena was great.
SteveS2 is offline  

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