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only1armband

St Petersburg excursion

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H all,

 

We start our Baltic cruise in a couple of weeks, we stay in St Petersburg on the Thursday and Friday and so far booked to see Swan lake on the Thursday evening. Having read so many good reviews on many places to visit, we are conscious that time is against us. So without cramming in places we would rather take our time and enjoy our overnight stay. I would like to go to the Hermitage Museum and also told a visit to the Savior of the spilled blood is a must.

 

RCI don't do an excursion to combine both and I can not see on their excursions an option to visit 1 on each day. Has anyone found an agency that would pick up from the cruise port and either do a combined Hermitage/Silled Blood tour or 2 separate tours on the Thursday then Friday?

 

Many thanks

Edited by only1armband
typo

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We were on a Brilliance Baltic cruise in June and did the 2 day “Must See” tour with Alla Tours. While it was full on in was an excellent tour going to the Hermitage and Church of Spilled Blood along with a cruise, short subway ride, lunches in restaurants both days and other sites. Communication prior to the tours was also great with prompt replies to any questions. I would thoroughly recommend them. 

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Spb-tours.com is a great company. We asked them to put together a small group. We were with four other couples. This is the way to go!

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2 hours ago, Sydney54 said:

We were on a Brilliance Baltic cruise in June and did the 2 day “Must See” tour with Alla Tours. While it was full on in was an excellent tour going to the Hermitage and Church of Spilled Blood along with a cruise, short subway ride, lunches in restaurants both days and other sites. Communication prior to the tours was also great with prompt replies to any questions. I would thoroughly recommend them. 

We too have used Alla for our 2 day visit to St.Petersburg.  Without doubt, it was the best excursion we have ever done and the guide (Oxanna) was not only knowledgeable but a sheer delight.  Brand new transport and an equally expert driver made our excursion literally out of this world.  I agree with everything Sydne54 has written.  Go for it.

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If you are only a couple of weeks away, it might be too late to find something. As a reminder, if you don't have a tour booked in St. Petersburg, you can't just walk off the ship without a Russian visa, which it is definitely too late to apply for.

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We will be on the August 11 cruise, and have booked two days’ private tour with Anastasia travel. (They also took care of our ballet tickets, and visas.)

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3 hours ago, Sydney54 said:

We were on a Brilliance Baltic cruise in June and did the 2 day “Must See” tour with Alla Tours. While it was full on in was an excellent tour going to the Hermitage and Church of Spilled Blood along with a cruise, short subway ride, lunches in restaurants both days and other sites. Communication prior to the tours was also great with prompt replies to any questions. I would thoroughly recommend them. 

I’m booked for this tour for May 2020 and am pleased to hear you enjoyed! 

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1 hour ago, 1025cruise said:

If you are only a couple of weeks away, it might be too late to find something. As a reminder, if you don't have a tour booked in St. Petersburg, you can't just walk off the ship without a Russian visa, which it is definitely too late to apply for.

Many thanks,

As a last resort we can book on the ship for our excursions but as we all know, you pay doublw what independant agency's charge. Had some decent replies re Alla so will look at their website.

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4 hours ago, only1armband said:

"Has anyone found an agency that would pick up from the cruise port and either do a combined Hermitage/Silled Blood tour or 2 separate tours on the Thursday then Friday?"

 

A friend and I used SPB Tours and they were really great; everything was enjoyable, professional, and all the stops as promised. We did the 2-Day Russian Treasures Tour with Faberge Museum and it included both the places you want to see, plus many others. As did their 2 Day Deluxe Tour, and their 1 Day Deluxe Tour. Their website has all the details of each tour. 

 

We would definitely travel with them again. 

 

They took care of the visas and picked us up and dropped us off at the ship. But a couple of weeks is very short notice, so whichever tour group you're going to use, I would get it done as soon as possible.

 

 

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2 hours ago, little britain said:

+1 for Alla.  They will cover all your visa requirements too.  

Cheers for that, I'm flying from Birmingham on a propeller plane, that'll be an experience in itself!

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We also used Alla tours and they were excellent would highly recommend.

Some family friends of ours recently  toured with SPB and they were also extremely happy with their experience also.

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We just did this cruise earlier this month. We went through SPB Tours and they were amazing. We did the 2 day deluxe tour and then added on the ballet. We saw so much- including Hermitage (early admission- we were in rooms alone with our guide) and Spilled Blood. I highly recommend them 

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23 hours ago, BearsAhoy said:

We will be on the August 11 cruise, and have booked two days’ private tour with Anastasia travel. (They also took care of our ballet tickets, and visas.)

We used Anastasia Travel as well and was very smooth booking and visa procedures. The manager was fast responsive and they tailored our tour precisely as we wanted to. That was an amazing tour as well as the entire Baltic cruise!

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I researched independent tours of St Petersburg because ship excursions are so expensive. Firstly let's clear up a common misconception regarding visas. If you arrive in St Petersburg by ship, are staying less than 3 days, and have pre-booked a tour with an approved tour operator, you do not need to apply for a Russian visa. Most cruise lines and UK tour companies tell you that they include a visa. This is just a sales pitch because they have to use approved Russian tour operators for their tours, just the same.
I opted for TJ Travel because they offered what I was looking for at a very good price. I made contact via their website and had an almost instant reply in perfect English, explaining They would pick us up outside the immigration hall. We would be using new air conditioned Mercedes mini buses, have a maximum of 16 people and an English speaking guide. They sent me all the appropriate tickets via email and a comprehensive explanation of procedures about how to get through Immigration. 
It was very simple and uncomplicated. They met me as agreed and there were a total of 14 on our tour. Our guide Mikhail was exceptional. His knowledge was outstanding and the trip was planned to the finest detail. We did a number of unusual things like visit the St Petersburg Metro including a two stop ride. the architecture down there is stunning. All major attractions were done in such a way that involved virtually no queueing. Our lunch stop was a small Russian cafe with local dishes. it was exceptional value for money, even if we did have to rely on Mikhail for a translation of the menu. The whole 2 days was a real highlight of our Baltic cruise. I would heartily recommend this company

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2 hours ago, Kate P.C said:

We used Anastasia Travel as well and was very smooth booking and visa procedures. The manager was fast responsive and they tailored our tour precisely as we wanted to. That was an amazing tour as well as the entire Baltic cruise!

I’m so glad to hear this! I contacted several companies, and the responses from Anastasia were always quick (even if it was just to acknowledge that my message had been received and they would reply shortly) and they were most responsive to our requests and interests. (A rep from another company effectively mocked me for asking for a booster seat for one of our children.) They gave me the best impression, *but* they aren’t one of the big companies and there aren’t as many reviews, so I was still a bit apprehensive. The custom itinerary they put together for us, as well as the willingness to answer all my questions, totally won me over.

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13 hours ago, garuz said:

I researched independent tours of St Petersburg because ship excursions are so expensive. Firstly let's clear up a common misconception regarding visas. If you arrive in St Petersburg by ship, are staying less than 3 days, and have pre-booked a tour with an approved tour operator, you do not need to apply for a Russian visa. Most cruise lines and UK tour companies tell you that they include a visa. This is just a sales pitch because they have to use approved Russian tour operators for their tours, just the same.
I opted for TJ Travel because they offered what I was looking for at a very good price. I made contact via their website and had an almost instant reply in perfect English, explaining They would pick us up outside the immigration hall. We would be using new air conditioned Mercedes mini buses, have a maximum of 16 people and an English speaking guide. They sent me all the appropriate tickets via email and a comprehensive explanation of procedures about how to get through Immigration. 
It was very simple and uncomplicated. They met me as agreed and there were a total of 14 on our tour. Our guide Mikhail was exceptional. His knowledge was outstanding and the trip was planned to the finest detail. We did a number of unusual things like visit the St Petersburg Metro including a two stop ride. the architecture down there is stunning. All major attractions were done in such a way that involved virtually no queueing. Our lunch stop was a small Russian cafe with local dishes. it was exceptional value for money, even if we did have to rely on Mikhail for a translation of the menu. The whole 2 days was a real highlight of our Baltic cruise. I would heartily recommend this company

Top post, thank you

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I highly recommend Anastasia Travel. We used them when we visited last May and we had a wonderful time. We too had specific places that we wanted to visit and Anastasia Travel helped us customize a tour that fully satisfies our needs. They were very kind and professional, they helped us create a tour that only includes the places that interest us. Our guide was just incredible and she made the tour very interesting and fun. I'm pretty sure they can help you create an itinerary that includes a visit to the Hermitage and Savior on the Spilled Blood in 1 day.

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We used TJ Travel and I would highly recommend them.  We did a private tour for just the three of us since some of what the son wanted to see is not included in normal tours.   TJ was the first who offered me a truly customized itinerary and they were so easy to work with.    If you stick with any of the companies that are recommended on these boards, I don't think you will disappointed.

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