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Hi, my wife and I are stopping in St Petersburg for 3 days with Celebrity Silhouette in June 2018 and wish to do a 3 day tour.

On several sites people say save money and go with SPB rather than the official cruise tour.

Celebrity are charging £300.30 for the 3 day package, which has almost identical itinerary to SPB.

However SPB charge £309.48, so more expensive than cruise ship's own package. Add to that the suggested gratuities of 10% for the guide and 5% for the driver and the cost with SPB soars to£355.90. (Plus photo or video pass for Yusopov Palace are extra).

 

Am I missing something here?

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  • 1 month later...
Hi, my wife and I are stopping in St Petersburg for 3 days with Celebrity Silhouette in June 2018 and wish to do a 3 day tour.

On several sites people say save money and go with SPB rather than the official cruise tour.

Celebrity are charging £300.30 for the 3 day package, which has almost identical itinerary to SPB.

However SPB charge £309.48, so more expensive than cruise ship's own package. Add to that the suggested gratuities of 10% for the guide and 5% for the driver and the cost with SPB soars to£355.90. (Plus photo or video pass for Yusopov Palace are extra).

 

Am I missing something here?

 

 

 

We were in St. Petersburg in June. We booked a 3 day tour with Alla Tours. They were fantastic. Limited to 16 people in an air conditioned van. Much much cheaper than the ships tour. Highly recommend

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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  • 4 months later...

We have done St P twice...same time /week of May, n same ship. We used Alla 2016...small group, small van --easier to navigate onto smaller streets & therefore dropped us off closer than big bus can.

Weather was rainy, n for whatever reason, despite so call timed entrance for the Hermitage, we stood in the rain w/ thousands of others for 45 minutes.

Guide didn't even look back to see if all 13 of us were going behind her. Promptly lost 1 person. ..at the first stop of St Catherine's palace with thousands of groups. She didn't wear anything

colorful or had a flag to spot her easily.

Must be an off day for her, coz a friend used her & loved her knowledge. BUT she was on a private tour of 4.

2017, we used SPB...

apparently a very big outfit with their own huge store. Weather was perfect, went straight into the Hermitage, and lunches were good. No complaints. Also

there was a new freeway in preparation of hosting the World soccer, n traffic was a breeze. St Catherine's palace/fountains had lots less people this round....

maybe coz of recent bombing in subway?? We went down to the deepest subway station as 2016, but didn't take the subway. Saw the art work n came back up right away!!

So we never felt that having done the cruise automatically write that itinerary off our list. Same exact cruise can be so different, depending on weather, n time of year.

Through signing up with roll call, we got a very good price. $240 for 2 days...May '17.

These 2 companies will match prices. They all cater to cruises, n they know exactly what they are doing. Itineraries are almost the same.

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We used SPB in June and were very satisfied. The cruise ship tour was far more expensive on our cruise. Even at the same price I would recommend SPB. With the cruise line tour you will be in a group of about 35 as compared to a max of 16 on SPB. You can get in and out of places far more efficiently in the small group and see more.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...
Unfortunately, £309.33 via Trip Advisor site as we speak.

I know this is an old thread, but did you check directly on the SPB site? What did you end up booking? I agree with others that it seems very strange for Celebrity's excursion to be the same price (or less!) than a private tour.

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After a lot of research we ended up booking the deluxe 3 day package with SPB.

Smaller groups, nippier air-conditioned vehicles, superior itinery and very experienced local tour guides were the main considerations and although the pricing was similar to our cruise lines we were able to negotiate excellent deals for other ports of call following on from this booking. This on top of the 'special price' offered to Cruise Critic members.

So far every communication and query has been answered quickly and informatively by SPB.

Will write a review post cruise.

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  • 5 months later...

As a follow up . . . SPB were beyond expectations!

Just six of us in a new air-conditioned minibus driven by the experienced 'Vlad' and hosted by the amazingly knowledgeable Svetlana. 

Could not find one fault over all 3 days.

Svetlana even knew of 'secret' ladies toilets in one of the main attractions (there was a huge queue for the regular ones).

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