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CrazyJess

St. Petersburg Local Tour Operators

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In one of the old chains on this very forum I found an interesting link https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BgxA9lzzPpaV58Rhh-11N-JrsPu9vya7/view  I saved it on my computer. A few years ago it really helped me to plan my tours. The link is still alive but it seems the table has been recently updated. Of course not all  local tour operators are represented in there but only the most popular and the most frequently mentionned on this very forum. Despite of this  I very much hope this table will be of help to those who are currently choosing  their tours with local operators. Good luck to all of you, I hope you will find excellent tours!

Jess

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Cool link.  

My only comment is, I would would use this for ballpark ideas and verify information once choices are narrowed down.

As I found one selection incorrect.; the grand tour by Alla does include lunches, on both days.   The link says "no, at additional cost".

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I think it would be great if someone would produce an updated version that included more companies -- for example, it doesn't include Red Sun Tours (which used on our last St. P. trip and which I'd recommend). Nor does it include White Nights, Dancing Bears, ULKO, etc., all of which I saw well-represented at the private tour meet-up location. Also, as Jnsplace1 noted, the companies adjust the tours every year based on what worked and didn't work the previous year.

 

But I would also remind people that sometimes even those plans have to be adjusted. I remember, a couple of seasons back, when some companies were warning people who'd booked the flat-rate group tours with them that they might not be able to tour Catherine Palace because of excessive crowds. If you want full control of your itinerary, I would recommend arranging a private tour?

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49 minutes ago, trosebery said:

I think it would be great if someone would produce an updated version that included more companies -- for example, it doesn't include Red Sun Tours (which used on our last St. P. trip and which I'd recommend). Nor does it include White Nights, Dancing Bears, ULKO, etc., all of which I saw well-represented at the private tour meet-up location. Also, as Jnsplace1 noted, the companies adjust the tours every year based on what worked and didn't work the previous year.

These are precisely the reasons that conducting your own research will best serve your personal wants and needs. There are many companies and their tours change on a yearly basis - it is best not to rely on a single source for your information.

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Thanks for the information. It is a good place to start.  We are on the SKY Princess and the Princess tours offered are no way near as comprehensive as these.  Not to mention the prices.  Are there any recommendations for a private tour?  Not sure I can afford that, but will look into it I guess.  

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2 hours ago, milolii said:

Thanks for the information. It is a good place to start.  We are on the SKY Princess and the Princess tours offered are no way near as comprehensive as these.  Not to mention the prices.  Are there any recommendations for a private tour?  Not sure I can afford that, but will look into it I guess.  

 

Try this thread:

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2696545-master-thread-of-st-petersburg-advice-and-recommendations-from-cruisers-whove-been/

 

As I noted above, on our last trip last season, we did a private tour with Red Sun Tours and would recommend both them and a private tour. The first time we were in St. Petersburg, we did one of the must-sees tours listed on the table in the OP's link, and while we enjoyed it, we found it very heavy on palaces and cathedrals and Imperial Russia in general. Doing a private tour let us mix it up -- for example, two of my new favourites were the Grand Maket (I'm fascinated by miniatures) and the Soviet Arcade Museum (which we could play with the vintage 15 kopek coins provided). We also loved being taken around the Faberge museum with a personal guide instead of an audio guide. If you can swing it, I'd find a couple of like-minded people on your roll call and set up your own tour!

 

Eta: I should add that we still did our Imperial Russia favourites! I happily skipped Catherine Palace a second time, but I love the fountains of Peterhof.

Edited by trosebery

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On 12/6/2019 at 7:43 AM, Jnsplace1 said:

Cool link.  

My only comment is, I would would use this for ballpark ideas and verify information once choices are narrowed down.

As I found one selection incorrect.; the grand tour by Alla does include lunches, on both days.   The link says "no, at additional cost".

There are more errors than just one and I stopped looking after finding two errors. Also, Alla does not offer a Happy Tour.

If a tour is required for a specific port of call, we contact several individual tour companies and find the tour that is the best fit for us. For most ports of call, we prefer to DIY. St. Pete is a special case due to the visa requirement. Berlin is another special case due to its distance from port.

3 hours ago, milolii said:

Thanks for the information. It is a good place to start.  We are on the SKY Princess and the Princess tours offered are no way near as comprehensive as these.  

Totally agree - the independent operators offer a much more comprehensive tour with smaller group sizes and more reasonable prices. Most of the top operators will offer private tours as well.

Edited by dogs4fun

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On 12/7/2019 at 8:58 PM, milolii said:

Thanks for the information. It is a good place to start.  We are on the SKY Princess and the Princess tours offered are no way near as comprehensive as these.  Not to mention the prices.  Are there any recommendations for a private tour?  Not sure I can afford that, but will look into it I guess.  

 

Hi, we have been lucky enough to visit the Baltic twice. When I first started researching the tour options I found Anastasia Travel. When they were talking to me about the tour options, I remember thinking, I can always ask how much a private tour would be. I am so glad I did!! surprisingly it was not crazy expensive. We had such a good time, that the second time we visited St Petersburg, we contacted them again!!  

So why not just ask when you are researching the tour options? And if you would contact them and you are thinking of booking more tours in the Baltic cities, ask about their options (they give discount if you book more tours with them) And I love discounts, so I can spend that money somewhere else 

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Sorry, I have no access to this table and can’t change anything.  I just posted a link which I hope will be of help to many of you. Yes, it looks like Alla tours has lunches in its Grand tour. That’s correct.

 

Happy tour is provided by Best Guides as it’s indicated in the table. It’s one of their most popular tours, as the cost of a two day tour is only USD 199. This cost doesn’t include lunches, which you can book at an additional cost of USD 12. A few years ago we were thinking of booking Happy Tour but after all made a choice in favor of a more comprehensive tour Best Of the Best. By the way, Happy Tour doesn’t include lunches but includes vodka and ice-cream tasting 😉 Wow! I think it was the main reason why my DH was so much interested in booking exactly this tour 😁😁😁

Jess

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On 12/7/2019 at 1:58 PM, milolii said:

Thanks for the information. It is a good place to start.  We are on the SKY Princess and the Princess tours offered are no way near as comprehensive as these.  Not to mention the prices.  Are there any recommendations for a private tour?  Not sure I can afford that, but will look into it I guess.  

 

The tours seem expensive but I would look at taking a private operator for 2 days.  I am pretty sure that you can arrange to go as part of a group that they put together.  

 

I would DIY in other ports and splash out in St P. 

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On 12/17/2019 at 5:52 PM, angie7911922 said:

 

Hi, we have been lucky enough to visit the Baltic twice. When I first started researching the tour options I found Anastasia Travel. When they were talking to me about the tour options, I remember thinking, I can always ask how much a private tour would be. I am so glad I did!! surprisingly it was not crazy expensive. We had such a good time, that the second time we visited St Petersburg, we contacted them again!!  

So why not just ask when you are researching the tour options? And if you would contact them and you are thinking of booking more tours in the Baltic cities, ask about their options (they give discount if you book more tours with them) And I love discounts, so I can spend that money somewhere else 

We also used Anastasia Travel but only because it was recommended to us. However, we didn't do a private tour of just us 2, but a small group of 8 of us did the 2-full day excursion. Nonetheless, it was well worth it, together with the discounted offers we got for 2 more excursion we did in Stockholm and Berlin. Since then we always book tours with less than 10 people, and usually the ship tours come with a bus full of passengers 🙂

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On 12/20/2019 at 3:41 PM, CrazyJess said:

 

Sorry, I have no access to this table and can’t change anything.  I just posted a link which I hope will be of help to many of you. Yes, it looks like Alla tours has lunches in its Grand tour. That’s correct.

 

 

 

Happy tour is provided by Best Guides as it’s indicated in the table. It’s one of their most popular tours, as the cost of a two day tour is only USD 199. This cost doesn’t include lunches, which you can book at an additional cost of USD 12. A few years ago we were thinking of booking Happy Tour but after all made a choice in favor of a more comprehensive tour Best Of the Best. By the way, Happy Tour doesn’t include lunches but includes vodka and ice-cream tasting 😉 Wow! I think it was the main reason why my DH was so much interested in booking exactly this tour 😁😁😁

 

Jess

 

 

 

Hi Jess

I am curious about vodka and ice-cream tasting.  We are unfortunately just one day in stp but we are also booked with Best Guides and maybe we skip lunch and take this one instead. Where does it take place? I can hardly imagine one can eat ice-cream and drink vodka to it 🙈

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In Siberia at minus 28 have eaten Ice cream warmer than outside temperature.

 

A little Vodka will help !

 

Russian tradition

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On 2/24/2020 at 9:42 PM, Nok977 said:

Hi Jess

I am curious about vodka and ice-cream tasting.  We are unfortunately just one day in stp but we are also booked with Best Guides and maybe we skip lunch and take this one instead. Where does it take place? I can hardly imagine one can eat ice-cream and drink vodka to it 🙈

Sorry! I don’t know. We signed for Best of the Best Tour.  Just ask Best Guides…. And check their website – you can book Happy Tour with and without lunches…. Russian vodka is great  but I’m not sure it’s a good idea to have vodka  (even with ice cream) instead of a lunch :)))

Jess

 

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Our ship will stay there all day till 9 pm. I checked the mentioned  link https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BgxA9lzzPpaV58Rhh-11N-JrsPu9vya7/view but I didn't find any long-day tour. Then I asked several local tour companies and got a proposal which I considered suitable for me https://boards.cruisecritic.co.uk/topic/2618338-msc-meraviglia-rollcall-20062020-15-nights-norway-and-baltic-sea/ I'm pleased to share the link with you.

 

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23 hours ago, FiNiCheck said:

Our ship will stay there all day till 9 pm. I checked the mentioned  link https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BgxA9lzzPpaV58Rhh-11N-JrsPu9vya7/view but I didn't find any long-day tour. Then I asked several local tour companies and got a proposal which I considered suitable for me https://boards.cruisecritic.co.uk/topic/2618338-msc-meraviglia-rollcall-20062020-15-nights-norway-and-baltic-sea/ I'm pleased to share the link with you.

 

Hi FiNiCheck

We got quite similar proposal from Best Guides, and I totally agree with you - for a one-day tour it is good value for money. However I am now obsessed with this vodka/ice-cream tasting, I need to do it! 😁 So the question is - if they can modify the agenda for us, let's see what the girls come up with )

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On 2/28/2020 at 5:08 PM, CrazyJess said:

Sorry! I don’t know. We signed for Best of the Best Tour.  Just ask Best Guides…. And check their website – you can book Happy Tour with and without lunches…. Russian vodka is great  but I’m not sure it’s a good idea to have vodka  (even with ice cream) instead of a lunch :)))

Jess

 

Thank you, asked Best Guides  and unfortunately their reply was the same - not a good idea to replace lunch with vodka tasting ))). But they promised to take us to a shop where we can purchase good vodka to take home. Now the only question if our cruise takes place or not ((. I don't want to cancel forever but probably would make sense to postpone to e.g. autumn instead of May-June. In discussion with my partners in crime )))

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On 12/7/2019 at 3:58 PM, milolii said:

Thanks for the information. It is a good place to start.  We are on the SKY Princess and the Princess tours offered are no way near as comprehensive as these.  Not to mention the prices.  Are there any recommendations for a private tour?  Not sure I can afford that, but will look into it I guess.  

Hi Milolii,

 

are you still planning to go?  Or are you putting it on hold for now like many others? Actually for those who decide to go the current situation might be an advantage - seems that local operators will have to drop prices, we are for example booked with Best Guides and they already announced 20 % off for all tours in May in June. The problem is that it is still VERY unclear if travel across the borders will be possible then. My prediction the operators will keep the prices relatively low this summer, not only May-June, so you are likely to get a private tour to a more than reasonable price. 

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Hi Nok977.  We cancelled the cruise.  We  may try for 2021. But I will follow along here to read others’s adventures aNd recommendations.  

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On 3/23/2020 at 7:22 PM, LaPochCka said:

Indeed, I also saw this offer on their website. 20 % is a very good discount, however hard to say who would be able to take advantage of it. Currently to my knowledge Saint-Petersburg is locked for all tourists until May 1. Our cruise is scheduled for July-August, I still hope we will be good, let's see what we get from Best Guides by that time 🙂

Lapochka, 

 

we are rescheduling to 2021, Best Guides guaranteed us we can keep this year pricing. I am more than sure that once we return to "normal world", the prices will go up.

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