Excursions on Seabourn Baltic Cruise

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#1
4 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
Hello..
We are sailing August 20..
Which excusions are worth it?
Did you have a personal visa in Russia or go w/ Seabourne excursions?
#2
2,008 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
Originally posted by mpom
Hello..
We are sailing August 20..
Which excusions are worth it?
Did you have a personal visa in Russia or go w/ Seabourne excursions?
Which ports are you interested in knowing about?
#3
Philadelphia, PA
4,507 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
This hread should be merged with the other one. The same questions. If you chose a commercial tour operator (Red October, for example) or the Seabourn excursions, you do not need a personal visa. That is if you want to go off on your own without a guide.

Go to the roll call BB and find some of the Baltic cruises WHICH HAVE ALREADY SAILED, and read those discussions as well. And you can check out the Ports of Call, but very few Seabourn fans post over there. But there are good evaluations of the commercial tour companies.
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#4
Bay Area
4,253 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by JaneBP
This hread should be merged with the other one. The same questions. If you chose a commercial tour operator (Red October, for example) or the Seabourn excursions, you do not need a personal visa. That is if you want to go off on your own without a guide.

Go to the roll call BB and find some of the Baltic cruises WHICH HAVE ALREADY SAILED, and read those discussions as well. And you can check out the Ports of Call, but very few Seabourn fans post over there. But there are good evaluations of the commercial tour companies.
As one who has yet to but will be sailing the baltic in a few weeks this thread is very relevant to my interests.

There is almost zilch on the N.Euro forums that actually meshes with Seabourn. Part of the problem is that even the third party tours are not set up to accomodate Seabourns schedule. While I still have questions it seems the answers have a severe lack of relevance to one on Seabourns schedule.
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#5
Bella Vista, Ar, USA
5,527 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
I also am having problems getting any responses from other people who will be on our 7/27 Pride cruise. There are tour companies in STP that do 3 day tour schedules which do match up with Seabourn's time in port but they are relatively expensive if you can't find others to join you.

Good luck in finding info and have a great next cruise.
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#6
Philadelphia, PA
4,507 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Don't forget the search function on this board. Lot's of discussions under Baltic and Russia but it takes some time to ferret out.
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#7
2,008 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
Originally posted by wwinfl91
I also am having problems getting any responses from other people who will be on our 7/27 Pride cruise. There are tour companies in STP that do 3 day tour schedules which do match up with Seabourn's time in port but they are relatively expensive if you can't find others to join you.

Good luck in finding info and have a great next cruise.
Baltics cruises and excursions are some of the most expensive on any cruiseline including Seabourn.
#8
4 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
I am interested if anyone has gone on the Ballet excursion..
Was it worth it?
Its at 7 pm..what did you do for dinner?
One cruiser responded it was hot..is there no ac?
Whar about the bicycle excusions in Tallin and Helsinki?
Any good?
Which Hermitage excursion is good.the half day or full day?
It seems its hard to get a visa so we are trying to do Seaborne sponsored excursions in Russia..
any other thoughts?
#9
2,008 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
Originally posted by mpom
I am interested if anyone has gone on the Ballet excursion..
Was it worth it?
Its at 7 pm..what did you do for dinner?
One cruiser responded it was hot..is there no ac?
Whar about the bicycle excusions in Tallin and Helsinki?
Any good?
Which Hermitage excursion is good.the half day or full day?
It seems its hard to get a visa so we are trying to do Seaborne sponsored excursions in Russia..
any other thoughts?

If you go to the Ballet, Seabourn opens the Restaurant on that night much earlier at 5:30pm so that you can get a bite to eat or upon your return they have a buffet in the Colonnade from 10:30pm until 11:30pm. When I did the excursion it was warm, remember you are in Russia and AC standards are not the same.

The Bicycle excursions in Tallin or Helsinki...forget it. You can rent your own bikes for less than half the price from the Tourist Information Kiosks and they supply you with maps.

I personally have doen the full day Hermitage Tour, but talk about warm, hardly any AC in the Hermitage and espeically on the upper floors.
#10
Philadelphia, PA
4,507 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Here's a link to walking tours of Talinn

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...n+walking+tour
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#11
Toronto, Canada
1,563 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
I am just beginning to plan my tours for my NEXT years' cruise!! I have always had wonderful luck with self guided walking tours that you can purchase for download to your cell phone or ipod. It is my preferred way to see everything! I can stop when I want, eat when and where I want, go on a bathroom break without informing the WHOLE group of my requirement and take it at my own pace.

It looks like there are quite a few options to do that in St Petersburg, including one with a SIM card that you can use if you need assistance from the tour company.

The Visa runs about $75.00 for Canadians and can easily be gotten through the Consulate. I like the freedom of being able to explore on my own

There is a "hop on hop off" bus there which I usually book to get myself acclimatized and then begin my walking tour.

I love to find little off the beaten track places to shop and eat - I am never dissappointed in my own little "tours".... I guess I like the tour "guide" I don't EVER have to worry about the tip!!!! LOL

Hope you have a great cruise!

Happy Sailings .... ALWAYS
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Happy Sailings....ALWAYS!

Cindi
#12
CA, USA
13,721 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
I highly recommend one of the tour companies like Denrus, Alla or Red October. You can set your own agenda and have the convenience of a private car with guide and driver. If you add up what individual excursions to the same places would cost per person on Seabourn you'll find it's not that much more expensive. Also your visa is included as long as you're with the guide. This is truly money well spent imo.
#13
Brookfield, Wisconsin
302 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
We booked the Old Talinn walking tour through Seabourn. It poured nonstop the day we were there. Guide tried her hardest to deal with that, took us through the old town, into a church and into a cafe where there was coffee, a pastry and a short performance. Also had a bathroom stop at a souvenir shop. Our impression of Talinn was that the residents are trying their hardest to make an economy based on tourism (dining and souvenir shops.) Provided you can get to the Old Town area from the ship (it is quite a hike despite the maps that make it look like a hop-skip.) Download info for Talinn tourism off the internet, get a taxi to the town and do your own tour. There is a hop on hop off bus that is probably a good option.

We also booked a Seabourn excursion in Helsinki to Porvoo. Porvoo is a kind of older resort type town outside Helsinki. It is a lovely area, very rural and peaceful. Some nice shops and restaurants. We had time in the middle of the town, then were taken on a boat trip out into the beautiful waterways surrounding Porvoo for a narrated cruise, ending up at an historic old hotel for a nice lunch. The tour was $ 279 pp, a bit high but we had a shipboard credit to burn up and we actually enjoyed that excursion.

Helsinki itself has a lot to offer. The ship was docked nearer the city than in Talinn, and there was an outdoor market going on that we did not have time to explore. I'd have liked to spend more time in Helsinki and less in Talinn. Ship was in Helsinki port for about 7 hours. There is also a hop on hop off bus that you can use there.

Unless you are taking a Seabourn transfer in Copenhagen or Stockholm, no excursions are available to you. Both cities are packed with sights and things to do. We bought the Copenhagen and Stockholm cards and toured on our own using public transit (metro, bus, tram and trains, plus taxis.) Not hard at all.

In Russia, we hired a private guide for 3 days, $ 1,600 USD for both of use. We concentrated on the history and sites of the Czars and got our money's worth plus. Great guide, great experience. Well worth every penny for the driver, the priority access to the palaces, etc. If you have a limited budget, try one of the Trip Advisor recommended touring companies who run small group tours. St. Petersburg area is spread out, can be confusing to find your way around, and you will make the most of your limited time in that area with a tour or guide. When I calculated the cost of the Seabourn tours we'd have to take to cover the same ground, it was less expensive to hire the guide.
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#14
Adelaide
346 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Last year we spent a lovely day walking around Helsinki, buying gloves at the market, a pullover in the old fashioned department store, (from Australia we were not expecting the cold), and revisiting our youth in the seventies in the Marimekko and iittala shops in the main street; really interesting Scandinavian giftware. In the afternoon we did a fabulous Seabourn tour, one of the best ever, which involved sitting astride and holding on for dear life on a high speed black rubber open boat for a tour of the vast harbor, stopping out in the middle when it started to rain to don ponchos and roaring along the coast. There were only about eight of us, and the pilot took us to his timber house in the woodlands for a barbeque with his gorgeous wife (and to drink the local schnapps). It was wonderful to see their way of life in this timber and glass house, surrounded by trees and imagine it in winter, surrounded by snow, with reindeer around, so different from our hot summer beach lifestyle.
#15
kansas city
41 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Secoma4, when were you in Helsinki? We are on the Sojourn and arrive there August 29, but I can’t find the excursion you took on the zodiac rubber boat. I want to do that! It sounds awesome. Do you recall the title of the excursion? Thank you!
#16
Chicago,
4 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
We will be on the same cruise as you are going on & are going thru the same search for shore excursions. I have found that on our previous sailing with Seabourn their excursions can be fair to good but expensive. I have contacted Allah Tours and am considering a three day private tour as well as going on the Seabourn Evening at Catherines Palace. I am planning to do Tallin, Helsinki and Stockholm on our own. If you would be interested in sharing an exclursion in any of these ports we would enjoy hearing from you.
#17
Bella Vista, Ar, USA
5,527 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Originally posted by ND1948
We will be on the same cruise as you are going on & are going thru the same search for shore excursions. I have found that on our previous sailing with Seabourn their excursions can be fair to good but expensive. I have contacted Allah Tours and am considering a three day private tour as well as going on the Seabourn Evening at Catherines Palace. I am planning to do Tallin, Helsinki and Stockholm on our own. If you would be interested in sharing an exclursion in any of these ports we would enjoy hearing from you.
Which Seabourn ship are you on as several are making Baltic runs this summer? We are on the Pride and have been talking with another couple on the roll call (see link below)

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1648271

about doing tours in STB. If we can get 6 of us the price drops far below what you can get from Seabourn.

Send me an email at [email protected] if you are on the Pride and we can talk further.

Have a great next cruise.
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#19
Kansas City, MO USA
100 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
I have spent a day in both Tallin and Helsinki. Loved both places. My advice is to schedule no tours in advance. Just get to the city center and walk or ride public transit. Helsinki has wonderful public transit. You can ride for miles and see a lot for very little money.