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Yays or nays for the Viking Homeland excursions

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Alla tours were phenomenal in Russia and less expensive then trying to piece together same stops through Viking excursions.

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Unlike the other reviewers I found the

cruise to Pulpit Rock poor. I had high expectations of the excursion but was disappointed. Nothing much to see when you arrive at the rock, we saw the goats, had some waffles [as if we needed more food!] and to me wasted a good deal of time in between. We went through Viking and the boat was crowded on top and undercover was drab. The highlight excursion was the sea plane, worth every penny.

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I've seen many references that booking St. Petersburg tours via local guides is cheaper than Viking. We are on this cruise next year and the detailed excursions and prices aren't available yet from Viking. I know it might be different for our tour next year, but can anyone tell me what Viking is charging this year for their two-day tour in SPG?

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TBH it really doesn't matter..it's going to be twice as much with twice as many people. We did Alla and loved it. Other companies get great reviews as well. Alla gives a CC discount, the others might too.

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I've seen many references that booking St. Petersburg tours via local guides is cheaper than Viking. We are on this cruise next year and the detailed excursions and prices aren't available yet from Viking. I know it might be different for our tour next year, but can anyone tell me what Viking is charging this year for their two-day tour in SPG?

 

Did the cruise in 2016. We used Alla Grand tour and as I remember, it was about $235 for the 19 hours of tour but did not have evening entertainment. There were also discounts applied to the original price for booking early and what not. The Viking Ultimate 2 day Program, which did cover the ballet was selling for $ 469. Just a reference.

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They had an option for evening entertainment and they even offered it the first day of our tour but we were exhausted and couldn't imagine doing more!! We booked private for just 6 of us and it was not much more than the group which has a max of 16. Gave us some flexibility to stop some other places.

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Since there are 2 threads going on Homelands Excursions, I'll copy this to here...

 

Rode the funicular up the mountain in Bergen on our own. I walked the 4km down and back to the ship. Fun.

 

 

Optional Homies tours May-June 2017 Bergen to Stockholm that we took...

Full Day to Flam Flamsbana railroad: Very nice scenery & train ride. Bus ride long but fascinating. Roundabout inside a mountain tunnel.

Pulpit Rock: Overpriced. Not worth it. Walk 150 yards to Rodne or other tours under half price right near your ship.

A Day in the Life of a Viking Arlborg: Fun, not great.

Roskilde Viking Ship Museum & Cathedral: Went alone. Loved the ship museum & outdoor ship building

Charming Coastal Copenhagen: Wife took this alone. Loved it.

Bad Doberan Minster & the Molli Railway: fun relaxing afternoon trip; didn't want to travel to Berlin

Malbork Castle Tour: Poland. wife went alone & loved the castle tour

Palmse Manor House & Upper Tour Walk: Saw everything. Tallinn upper town walk, Estonia seacoast national park, fun manor tour & tasty, healthy country lunch. Loved it.

St Petersburg: 2 day private tour with TJ travel. Best ever. Guide was PhD @ Hermitage. Early quick entries everywhere. Fun lunches @ Russian restaurants. Saw more than Viking @ half the price.

Panoramic Helsinki & Porvoo: Panoramic = bus tour. Porvoo OK, but unimpressive. Best part was the half hour walking around Helsinki docks & shops. Not recommended.

Vasa Museum & Stockholm by Boat: included lunch at a very nice restaurant. You could easily do all this on your own at much less $.

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Thanks for the responses. Now I just need to convince DH that it will be ok to do a third party tour in Russia with one of the vendors so many here have recommended.

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Whomever you choose, they make it VERY easy to do business. Their email to you is your VISA. No charge, no problem. Print & bring. You pay AFTER your 2 day tour is over. They take credit cards, suggest amount to tip and ask for tips in US dollars.

Use your Roll call here to get others to join you and reduce the cost.

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We had a similar experience as philw in SPB, although we used Alla. They provided a private area on their website where we could chat to their staff, could review the itineraries and print boarding passes. No deposit required.

 

We also used Alla for the tour in Tallinn and didn't pay for that tour until the end of the SPB tour. If we missed any port, no refunds were required, as we had no deposit paid.

 

Based on my research, all 3 or 4 major tour operators in SPB, provide almost identical levels of service, terms & conditions and pricing. Overall, we probably use ship tours more than private tours, but in SPB, I would be happy to use any of the private operators prior to booking a ship tour.

 

Hope you manage to convince DH.

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We used Best Guides in SPB. I wanted to make the most of our visit so we booked a private tour for two. A very knowledgeable guide and a great driver [Mercedes E Class] who dropped us off right outside the various places. We had a very extensive programme and it was worth every penny. The booking was very easy like the other firms you pay on the last day. Visas are not necessary, you use the paper they send you and it was a quick process going through passport control.

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We took the two day Grand Tour with Alla in Saint Petersburg and it was excellent.

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Hi guys, looking for any insight as to your favorite included or paid excursions for the Homelands cruise. I would, also, like any info of ones that you didn't particularly care for. Was there anything in port not included but is a must see in your opinion? I know on our Grand European River Cruise there were a few that weren't included and I was lucky to find through research.

 

Dauntless, you have been a lot of help. Just wanted to give you a shout out.

 

Thanks for any and all help.

Did Alla 2 day tour in St. Petersburg was great . Highly rec.

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We used TJ Tours in St PB. For their 2 day Highlights tour. They were great. Highly recommend TJ. Also, took Rødne to Pulpit Rock. Very good and half the price. Five

Minute walk from our ship.

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My friends did the trip to Berlin 3 years ago and did not think it was good since it's a long bus ride before you get there and then not much time in the city. You could just hang around the port area or go on another excursion. We had friends who met us at the port and took us around.

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Montana, Viking is now using a train to Berlin. It was quite pleasant. I felt that we had enough time to see the important highlights. We chose the Historic Berlin which was an optional tour. I would definitely do it again. I was a bit hesitant about the bus ride but was happy they switched over to train.

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I did buy the Stockholm Pass and travel card because we are starting there as well and staying for the pre cruise stay. I had them delivered here. I paid for Rodne and have the tickets here. Yes, it is much more homework with this than the River Cruise. We are using Alla Tours in Russia, also.

 

I am so jealous that you are on the Sky. On our Viking river cruise we met a lovely lady that was a waitress. For some reason we bonded with her and stay in touch to this day. She was going to be working our cruise but just recently got transferred to the Sky. She tried and so did we to get transferred but both ships were sold out. So bummed. If I have time I will check on CC when we are gone to see if you have any questions. Enjoy your trip.

 

We are booked on the Sky for July 2019; we will be three days in Stockholm on the pre-tour; what is the Stockholm pass? Should we get that?

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Hi, I am going to copy and paste from their website https://www.stockholmpass.com/.....

What is The Stockholm Pass and what does it include?

 

The Stockholm Pass is a sightseeing city card which allows visitors to experience everything Stockholm has to offer whilst saving both time and money. The Stockholm Pass includes free entry to over 60 top attractions, monuments and museums, including a wide range of boat and bus tours.

What's included:

 

 

  • Free entry to over 60 of Stockholm’s most popular attractions

 

  • Free bus tour and boat tours of Stockholm city, islands and canals

 

  • Free guidebook to help plan your sightseeing adventure

 

  • Optional Travelcard to get around Stockholm with ease

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We are booked on the Sky for July 2019; we will be three days in Stockholm on the pre-tour; what is the Stockholm pass? Should we get that?

 

If you like to do things on your own before the cruise, then yes, get the Stockholm Pass(It might be "Stockholm Card") The name changed in the past few years and I can't remember which is current. We did the cruise in 2016 and like you, went 3 days early. With that and the Travel Card for the Metro System you will seldom need to put out extra money. It goes into effect when activated and we were able to take the HOHO bus to the port from our Hotel in Gamla Stan to the dock.

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