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Baltic Sea Ports of Call and suggested Tour Guides

Baltic Sea Ports of Call and suggested Tour Guides

Old May 16th, 2015, 05:04 PM
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Baltic Sea Ports of Call and suggested Tour Guides

Getting a very late start on planning for a Baltic Sea Cruise my husband and I will be taking this July and would very much appreciate any help!
We will be sailing on the Oceania Nautica. Other than London, we have never visited any of the ports of call. Our itinerary is:

July 7 - depart out of London after spending two nights at the Doubletree Hilton, Westminster
July 8 - Bruges (Zeebruge), Belgium
July 9 - Amsterdam, Netherlands
July 10 - Kiel Canal Transit
July 11 - Cruising the Baltic Sea
July 12 - Stockholm, Sweden
July 13 - Helsinki, Finland
July 14&15 - St. Petersburg, Russia
July 16 - Talinn, Estonia
July 17 - Klapeida, Lithuania
July 18 - Gdansk, Poland
July 19 - Copenhagen (spending two nights at the Marriott Copenhagen)

We usually prefer private tours, although I know this is likely not feasible, especially in St. Petersburg. But due to husband's hearing difficulties and food allergies, and being unfamiliar with the European transit system, it always seems to work better. We both love history, architecture, art, and trying some of the local foods and wines.
Any suggestions anyone can provide will be much appreciated!
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Old May 16th, 2015, 08:59 PM
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My daughter and I did a Baltic cruise last summer. We used Alla tours in St Petersburg for both days and a third day in Moscow. Excellent company to work with. Tallinn we did on our own using Rick Steve's Baltic cruise ports book for suggestions. Stockholm we used that same book and a HOHO bus which was just okay. Helsinki we did a ships tour. We came into Copenhagen on our own and just toured on our own for 3 days prior to starting our cruise from there. Hopefully others can give you some other tour companies to look at but Alla and Friends of Dave seemed to be used by a lot of people on our trip. Have a wonderful time!
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Old May 16th, 2015, 09:44 PM
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I used Alla too about 5 years ago and they were good in St. Petersburg. They took us to all the top spots. We also took a ride down the longest escalator to the underground metro train system. It was a quite exciting. The only thing I regret was not catching a ballet. Our tour did not get back in time to get dressed and back out again for it.

We roamed around Copenhagen on our own for a few days, hitting a few museums and a HOHO tour. In Stockholm we spent all our time in line to get into the Vasa Museum with a tour, but we could have gotten in faster had we purchased the tickets in advance. The rest of the ports we used the ships tours.
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Old May 17th, 2015, 07:18 AM
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Thank you livetoroam and ChallengerGrey! I will definitely check out Alla tours for St Petersburg. I do have Rick Steve's Baltic Cruise ports book and am finding it to be one of his most interesting, well-organized books ever!
I've just heard back from Stockholm Guide and Cruise Services and may try to use them in Stockholm, depending on price. Would also love to find a tour guide in Bruges for a walking tour of the Old Town and then maybe take a canal ride.
Really looking forward to seeing this part of the world!
Thank you again for your help!
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Old Jun 7th, 2015, 09:55 AM
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Dancing Bear Tours in St. Petersburg is great to work with as well. Alla Tours runs some huge groups from cruise ships in St. Petersburg (maybe they do private as well, however we kept running into huge groups from the ships while we were in St. Petersburg).

If you want a smaller group or private tour, Dancing Bear is a smaller agency that specializes in smaller groups.
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Old Jun 14th, 2015, 12:51 PM
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Just saw your post BlazerJH, and thank you! I have already booked a private tour with SPB Tours for St. Petersburg and am now looking at all of our other ports of call. Would love some more advice!!!
Next to St. Petersburg, we are most looking forward to Amsterdam!!! (Big fans of Van Gogh!)
I've booked a hop-on-hop-off canal ride and an early entrance to the Van Gogh Museum. That's all I've done so far. Can anyone give me advice on the best (and easiest) way for us two Texas hicks to get from the port into town????
Thanks so much! ��
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Old Jul 1st, 2015, 02:02 PM
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In Helsinki, we did the HOHO bus and I was told we saw everything that way that the ship's excursion did (for much less money).

In Stockholm, I looked into buying Vasa tickets in advance and I couldn't find any way to do that (at least on the Vasa site). We were going to do the HOHO bus at the port, but there was a long line. We ended up getting a cab - from the port to Vasa, from Vasa to Gamla Stan, and then from GS back to the ship - and it was cheaper (and incredibly faster) than buying 4 HOHO tickets.
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Old Jul 9th, 2015, 09:07 AM
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Thank you Philly Fan! I've worried more over this port than any other!
We will do what you suggested!
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