Visa necessary for St. Petersburg

Old Feb 13th, 2008, 09:35 AM
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Visa necessary for St. Petersburg

My family and I are travelling on the Crown Princess in June and it was recommended to us by our travel agency to book our excursions through the cruise line for safety reasons. We really like to explore on our own to get a feel for the city we are in. Can anyone share their experience with me?

Thank you!
Patricia
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Old Feb 13th, 2008, 09:49 AM
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Yes, you do need a visa but a private tour company (which we are doing) arranges it for you as well) There a lots of good tour companies that are less expensive than the ships tour and you can do them with fewer people which makes it nicer. Read this page from cruise critic to give you lots of good info
http://www.cruisecritic.com/ports/article.cfm?ID=149
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Old Feb 13th, 2008, 10:00 AM
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You only have two option if you do not want to get a Visa before you leave on your cruise.

1. If you book with the cruise ship ..then you do not need a visa.
I would not do this.!

2. Your best option is to hire a private tour guide/company in St.Petersburg....This is what I did.

Do not forget that that you will spend 2 days in St.Petersburg and the tour can get expensive if you are in a small group ,like 4 or less.

How many are there in your group?

You can have others join your group and reduce the cost...but do not have a group larger than 10 people.

The cruise ship docks about 6 miles from down town St.Petersburg..
There are no taxi's dock side.

If you chose to go totally on your own ,then you will need a visa for sure.

What are your other ports of call.?

Percy
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Old Feb 13th, 2008, 10:06 AM
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Thank you so much for this information! It is highly informative and I will pursue these options.
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Old Feb 13th, 2008, 10:10 AM
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I have kept in contact with Alla in St.Petersburg ( Alla of Alla Tours)

I can give you her e-mail or even email her and have her e-mail you.

I would start book the tours in St.Petersburg now.

I went in late August last year but was all booked with Alla by the first week of April

Percy
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Old Feb 13th, 2008, 10:43 AM
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Patricia,

If you are a group of 4 or more, could save at least 50% over the cost of the ship's tours by booking with a private guide.

We were very happy with our guide who also provided the necessary visa letters and arranged better and less costly evening entertainment than was available with our cruise ship.

Unfortunately, they have a minivan which will take only 6 passengers. Contact [email protected] or call +7 921 324 46 40. Mention a recommendation from Jeff in Arlington, Texas.
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Old Feb 13th, 2008, 10:44 AM
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Percy-
We are a family of five. Our itinerary is Copenhagen,Stockholm, Helsinki,st. Petersburg,Tallinn,Gdansk,Oslo and back to Copenhagen. I really appreciate any advice you may have.

Patricia
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Old Feb 13th, 2008, 10:47 AM
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Jeff-
Thanks for the info. Being a family of five, I did notice that it normally does save us money when we book private tours, which may help cover the cost of the visa's. I was told by my travel agency that I would have to walk a mile to get to a cab/car when I exited the ship, but it sounds like these private tour groups get access to the dock...is that true?
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Old Feb 13th, 2008, 10:50 AM
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Patricia

Since I have your e-mail address I will mail you the link of my Trip Report.

No wait I will give you the link here in case other might find it helpful.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...1&tid=35060844

I did the exact Ports of Call.

I started from Copenhagen but went two full days before to Copenhagen and then a full day after the cruise tour.

I had a private tour guide in Copenhagen, Stockholm , Helsinki, Tallinn and Gdansk, but I did Oslo on my own ,but took a taxi from the port in Oslo.

Ask any question you want ,it is all very fresh in my mind!!

A Visa in St.Petersburg is about $80.00

Believe me get a private tour guide.

Percy
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Old Feb 13th, 2008, 12:22 PM
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We cruised there last June on the Star Princess doing the same itinerary. Here is a link to my review. The private tours guides are well recommended and include allatours and Red october just to name two. St. Petes will be the highlight of that trip to be sure.
http://www.cruisecrazies.com/forums/...CODE=03&id=245
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Old Feb 13th, 2008, 12:23 PM
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Hello Percy: Got any travel plans coming up? Larry
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Old Feb 13th, 2008, 01:37 PM
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Hijacketwatch:

Sorry for hijacking your post Patricia.. I just want to say Hi to jacketwatch.

He did the Baltic cruise in June and I followed him two months later.
So I was able to pick his brain !!

Well, jacketwatch I was seriously thinking of going to Kenya and Tanzania and had all my homework done....but even the Tour Company said ."let's just wait for right now."

So I have been keenly watching all that is going on there right now.

Thinking maybe of doing the Black Sea cruise ( or non cruise) and the Eastern European countries like Romania ,Hungary etc.

I am in the wait and see stage right now

I have been thinking about you.
Percy
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Old Feb 13th, 2008, 07:24 PM
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Thanks to everyone for such great advice. We are taking this cruise for the purpose of a moving hotel, and want to experience these cities and ports to the fullest potential, so I will be contacting the local guides. Thanks again!

Patricia
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Old Feb 15th, 2008, 03:58 AM
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Hi Percy: Well that plan is a far cry from a baltic cruise! Diversity is the spice of life to be sure. BTW we are thinking of spending a few days in Montreal in Oct. Have you been there? Any advice? Thank you. Larry
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Old Feb 15th, 2008, 01:13 PM
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Hi jacketwatch:

Yes,I have been there. I have been to all 10 Provinces.!

If you go to Montreal then do the old part of Montreal.
Also
You can take a train ride (nice ride) or bus,but whatever transportation you use......... you have to go to..
Quebec City, this the place to visit if you go to Quebec.!

Lots of history in Quebec City, it is like walking around in any of the old European Cities.

Have a Good Time

Percy
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Old Feb 15th, 2008, 03:34 PM
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Thank you. I have heard that about QC. I don't want to miss it. Would it be better to stay in QC and travel to visit Montreal?
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Old Feb 15th, 2008, 05:55 PM
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Yes , I would spend more time in Quebec City(as I did) and then travel to Montreal.

In Quebec City , go to the Chateau Frontennac Hotel , go into the bar for a beer and sit by the window and look out over the St.Lawrence below.

They have a revolving Restaurant in Quebec City ( le Concorde), and if you go up there for dinner or lunch, the views are terrific and you will be looking out over the Plains of Abraham.

This is where Wolff( British) and Montclam ( French) has their battle in 1759.

Both of their gravesites are here ( Plains of Abrahma).

Have a good time.

Percy



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Old Feb 19th, 2008, 10:42 AM
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I'm horning in too--sorry Patricia. I wanted Percy to check his post of his trip report and pictures. I posted there earlier today about one of the pictures.
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Old Feb 19th, 2008, 10:56 AM
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Hi Giovanna:

You are mixing me up with BillJ.

I did a trip report BUT I did not post any pictures.

The heading you posted under was done by BillJ.... I read his report and reviewed all his pictures before I went to the Baltics, as BillJ had gone the year before me.

I went late last August ( 2007)

Take Care
Percy

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Old Feb 21st, 2008, 07:54 AM
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I sure was Percy. Must have posted before I had coffee. Thanks for your reply in any case.
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