Posted July 30th, 2004, 03:13 PM
We are booked on the WindSurf's August 11-21 Baltic cruise. We have 2 days in St. Petersburg, we've obtained Russian visas and are planning on sightseeing in St. Petersburg on our own. We really don't like cruise tours, would rather do our own thing at our own pace. We don't speak Russian, I speak a little French and my husband can manage a little German.
Most of the posts on this board seem to talk about using some sort of tour guide. Is it possible to get around on our own? Or are we crazy to even consider it?
Our Russian visas are sponsored by a tour company associated with the cruise line. They are for "indepedant shopping or sightseeing". Would we be violating our visas if we hired a local tour guide?
Thanks in advance,
Is the tour company requiring you to take a tour with them? The reason I ask is we got visas also with a letter of invitation from Red October. But Red October required that we take one of their tours. So we did a few things with them, then went off on our own. It was perfectly fine and fun. We took a hydrofoil to Petehof, canal tour, went out to dinner. True nothing's in English, and hardly anyone speaks English, and we managed just fine! They certainly know yes, no, right, left and WC. However, the beauty of a tour guide for the really popular things like the Hermitage, Peter and Paul, St. Isaac's etc. is they get you ahead of the lines. So, consider doing both.