St Petersburg excursions

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Northern Europe & Baltic Sea
Aarhus, Bergen, Copenhagen, Gdansk, Greenland, Helsinki, Oslo, Reykjavik, Riga, St. Petersburg, Stockholm, Tallinn
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#1
London
617 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
First - apologies as I know this has been done to death previously.
I believe there are companies in St Petersburg who organise trips for small groups over a two day visit.
Can anyone put a link here to see details where everything went smoothly and you would recommend them.
If using a local company do we need to get our own visa.
If you have anything relevant to say please join the discussion!
Thank you.


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#2
Isle of Wight
398 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Hi
We researched extensively before our Baltic tour on Arcadia last year and we went with ALLA TOURS. Go to the ports of call forum and many people of many nationalities recommend this company.
The contact and confirmation of the booking was excellent, I cant remember our guide's name but she was great.
We took the Grand Tour, a minibus with 11 of us in it over 2 days. Couldn't fault it.
When you book the tour, the company will arrange for a "tour company visa" and that will ensure that you can set foot on dry land. You will have to stay with your guide at all times, that is a visa stipulation.
You pay for the trip at the close of day 1, no monies are paid up front. read the terms and conditions for cancelling.
I usually DIY everywhere but due to the visa restrictions that is not possible.
Other tour companies are available, but I recommend ALLA TOURS (google it! )
Regards x
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#3
1,298 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
Alla tours, SPB are two. They will sort the visa out for you.

Also of relevance is that from next year the latest info is that passengers on official ship tours will have priority disembarkation.

Private tour company vehicles will not be permitted to enter the port until 90 minutes after the ship has been given clearance to disembark passengers. This enables the official tours passengers to go through immigration and leave port.

Private tour companies are aware of this and will update websites as more info is provided.

http://guidetopetersburg.com/new-dis...18-navigation/
#5
West Country, UK
4,283 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
As this is not P&O specific I've moved it to port info
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#6
Arlington, Virginia
2,639 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
There is a ton of information on this forum about tours in St. Petersburg, but I would say the 3 major tour companies are, in alphabetical order: Alla, SPB and TJ Travel. Each of those companies offers similar 2-day tours for groups of up to 16 passengers (much smaller groups than the cruise ship excursions). They take care of the visas for you, so you don't have to worry (or pay extra) for that.

I suggest you go to the websites of each of those companies and compare their tours. In fact, if you are good at spreadsheets, you might want to create one comparing where each tour goes and how much time they spend in each site. I ended up choosing the Grand Tour with Alla because it included a subway ride, Yusupov Palace and more time in the Hermitage--all things that were important to me.
#8
London
617 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Can I thank you for this information. Excellent and informed. No further posts required.


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#9
Adelaide
23 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
There are plenty of tour companies that handle 2-day tours. I have used Alla which was great, but there are also many other great companies. Most focus on the similar attractions and sites and are much cheaper than the cruiselines.
If you book with the tour companies it is visa-free, you will receive a tour ticket that you need with your passport to provide to passport control. The tour companies have no control to issue visas or issue a blanket visa, it is simply a tour ticket for visa-free entry.
#10
Manchester
59 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
We did St petersburgh about 18 months ago and used SPB tours as previously mentioned.
I cannot praise the company enough they were absolutely brilliant.
#11
415 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
We just got back from NcL Getaway and used SPB Tours in 3 ports. Wonderful! In SPB, Elena was our guide who was outstanding! She was great and gave us terrific insight as well as history. We did the 2 day Deluxe, and will give a discount if you mention you're on CC


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#12
West Hempstead, NY
5,339 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
All the major players are very good. We also used SPB Tours and we had the best time Victoria is a joy to work with and they will insure .that you have an absolutely wonderful time in St Petersburg, or any other city you use them for.


Cheers


Len
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#14
Tennessee
148 Posts
Joined Jan 2001
We just got back from our Baltic Cruise and also used TJ Travels. We contacted them for a private tour for 2 and since we had been there before, gave specific sites we would like to visit. Michael was our tour guide who also worked at the Hermitage and was very good at all venues. We would definitely recommend them in heart beat!
#15
126 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
Also just got back a couple weeks ago from our Baltic Cruise. We used SPB. Maria our guide and our driver Roman were fantastic. Roman had Hi Speed Wifi in his Van which pleased my daughter. They were very professional, always on time and not once did I feel any stress about whether we would make it back to ship on time. They were always attentive to our needs including washroom breaks and the temperature inside the van. My suggestion is to look into your roll call for your cruise to see if any others are planning to book tours. The tour companies will try and keep everyone on the same cruise together. We had the same group for Berlin as well. Worked out great as everyone got along and had a great time.
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#16
6 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
We recently used Best Guides for a 2 day tour. They were excellent - price was right, 12 in our group, and all admission costs were included as well as traditional lunches. Highly recommend!
#17
West Yorkshire.
5,234 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
Originally posted by daddyo
We just got back from our Baltic Cruise and also used TJ Travels. We contacted them for a private tour for 2 and since we had been there before, gave specific sites we would like to visit. Michael was our tour guide who also worked at the Hermitage and was very good at all venues. We would definitely recommend them in heart beat!
We also have been to St Petersburg before so I am looking for a company that includes the Faberge museum and also an indoor visit at Peterhof.
I would be interested in help/ comments. Unfortunately, I am the most active person on our Roll Call, which has only reached 3 pages of comments.

Private tour company vehicles will not be permitted to enter the port until 90 minutes after the ship has been given clearance to disembark passengers. This enables the official tours passengers to go through immigration and leave port.
I am also concerned about the information regarding the fact that the private companies are not allowed into the port until the coach companies have cleared. Has anyone experienced this?
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Jackie



Princess Platinum





Previous Cruises:
Crown Princess: Mediterranean Adventure 13-27th May 2017
Azamara Quest: TA Southampton to Montreal 09.09.16
Celebrity Eclipse, Baltic Capitals. July 25th-Aug 8th 2015
Infinity TransAtlantic October 24th-7 th November 2013.
Eclipse, Southern Caribbean March 23- 6th April 2013.
Constellation ( Celebrity) Amsterdam- Southampton (5th-7th Sept 2012) We are now Elite!!!
Century ( Celebrity) Honolulu to Ensenada Mar 2012
Eclipse (Celebrity)- Western Mediterranean Oct 2010
Arcadia (P&O)- Lands of Ice & Fire July 2009
Mercury (Celebrity) Oz & NZ Jan /Feb 2008
Artemis ( P&O) Iberian Delights Oct 2006
Galaxy ( Celebrity) Rome- Galveston TA Oct 2005
Ocean Village Barbados B2B Jan 2004
Infinity ( Celebrity) Alaska July 2003
Splendour of the Seas (RCCL) B2B Greek Islands Sept 2001
Carnival Sensation ex Dominican Republic 1999
+ 6 others, inc Airtours x3, Fred Olsen,Thompson, & Louis line
#18
Rhode Island
625 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Hi Jackie, we have not been to St. Petersburg yet but I also understand that this is what will happen. It seems to be confirmed that it will be definite on the days that the port is busy. Some in St. Petersburg are assuming that it will be everyday. We are working with White Knight Travel to customize an itinerary to include some things that are not on the usual itineraries and I am pleased with the results. We are planning to depart the port the first day atabout 9:00AM and return at about 7:30 or 8. I don't think that we can totally predict this. They only experimented on one day this summer and no one that I can find reported back but supposedly the port thought that it was successful.
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Jean
#19
1,665 Posts
Joined Aug 2013
Originally posted by upwarduk
We also have been to St Petersburg before so I am looking for a company that includes the Faberge museum and also an indoor visit at Peterhof.
Virtually all the major tour companies offer a tour that includes a visit to the Faberge. That means you can choose a company based on other factors -- size of group, help from company forming a group, lunch arrangements -- and be confident you'll be able to select a tour that includes the Faberge.

Going inside Peterhof adds a whole other layer of complexity to your expectations. I can't recall anyone posting about such a visit as part of an ocean cruise. That means you'll figure out how much this means to you. You could...

o arrange for a tour that meets your needs exactly and post about this tour on your roll call.

o book a private tour for only you and the people you'll be traveling with. That may mean a group of two if you're traveling as a couple. Pricey, but tailored to meet your needs exactly!

Originally posted by upwarduk
I would be interested in help/ comments. Unfortunately, I am the most active person on our Roll Call, which has only reached 3 pages of comments.
Patience! It's only the end of September. Even if others have signed up for the cruise, they may not be ready to think about excursions. If you do the work -- if you create your perfect tour -- you'll likely discover others are only too happy to join in to avoid doing any work on their own even if it means going inside a place.

Originally posted by upwarduk
I am also concerned about the information regarding the fact that the private companies are not allowed into the port until the coach companies have cleared. Has anyone experienced this?
I believe the new policy is supposed to go into effect with the start of the 2018 St Petersburg cruising season. Perhaps someone was on a ship this past season that was a test case for the new port company's policy. Otherwise, if memory is correct, the policy has yet to kick in.
#20
West Yorkshire.
5,234 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
Going inside Peterhof add a whole other layer of complexity to your expectations. I can't recall anyone posting about such a visit as part of an ocean cruise. That means you'll figure out how much this means to you.
Celebrity are doing one, which includes inside the Grand Palace & Cottage Palace of Peterhof, the lower gardens and the Palace of Nicolas 1 in Alexandria park. I was really wondering which tour company offered this tour, so I could compare prices!
However, I’m also thinking if priority debarkation is limited to cruise ship tours, it might be best to book this tour.
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Jackie



Princess Platinum





Previous Cruises:
Crown Princess: Mediterranean Adventure 13-27th May 2017
Azamara Quest: TA Southampton to Montreal 09.09.16
Celebrity Eclipse, Baltic Capitals. July 25th-Aug 8th 2015
Infinity TransAtlantic October 24th-7 th November 2013.
Eclipse, Southern Caribbean March 23- 6th April 2013.
Constellation ( Celebrity) Amsterdam- Southampton (5th-7th Sept 2012) We are now Elite!!!
Century ( Celebrity) Honolulu to Ensenada Mar 2012
Eclipse (Celebrity)- Western Mediterranean Oct 2010
Arcadia (P&O)- Lands of Ice & Fire July 2009
Mercury (Celebrity) Oz & NZ Jan /Feb 2008
Artemis ( P&O) Iberian Delights Oct 2006
Galaxy ( Celebrity) Rome- Galveston TA Oct 2005
Ocean Village Barbados B2B Jan 2004
Infinity ( Celebrity) Alaska July 2003
Splendour of the Seas (RCCL) B2B Greek Islands Sept 2001
Carnival Sensation ex Dominican Republic 1999
+ 6 others, inc Airtours x3, Fred Olsen,Thompson, & Louis line