Posted March 18th, 2015, 06:43 AM
Last edited by Pet Nit Noy; March 18th, 2015 at 06:45 AM
Frankly, in the few years I have posted here, I have never heard of this company. That is not saying they aren't reputable, but why take that chance?? ... As was said, ALL the independent tour companies in St Petersburg will tailor a tour to exactly what you want to see and what you do not. They ALL do it.
I want to qualify your claim that all independent tour companies will tailor a tour to exactly what you want to see and what you do not. I've discovered that the biggies are happy to customize a tour with a couple of tweaks but are not willing to offer an entirely new tour. My husband and I have been to St. Petersburg before, staying three days. During those days, the only standard destination we missed is the Church on the Spilled Blood.
For an upcoming visit, we wanted to visit completely new places such as Shuvalov Palace/Faberge Museum and the Yusupov Palace, behind the scenes tour of the Mariinsky Theater, and the Cottage Palace on the grounds of the Peterhof. We approached some of the big tour companies, but they were not interested in creating an entirely new itinerary for a two-person group. The contact in SPB recommended White Nights, newer tour company begun by a friend of SPB founder Victoria. This company was happy to design a unique tour. When we booked, we did so primarily on the strength of Victoria's recommendation, although we were pleased to see positive reviews on Trip Advisor.
For first-time visitors, it's reasonable to claim that ALL tour companies will do exactly what they want. Sure, some want to add a Jewish dimension to their list of places, but by and large, first time visitors are working off a set list of top destinations. But, return to St. Petersburg and want to visit second-tier places, you'll find the situation is quite different.
As to the worry that the posters on this board haven't heard of X Company or Y Company, please remember that all the biggies started small at some time. (I've forgotten the lineage of Alla and SPB, but I believe an employee of one went off to start her own company and now both are equally trusted and admired. I wouldn't be surprised if there is a similar "family" connection among Denrus and Red October.)
I recommend cruisers user common sense when choosing a tour company, but if you are really intent on taking an atypical tour and your group is small, prepared to be flexible and give a lesser-known company a chance.
I'll definitely report back on White Nights after our cruise.