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sandrick

St. Peterberg tour with SPB tours

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This tour company has great reviews. However we are concerned about getting back to our ship on time on day 2.  We know holland america will wait for THEIR  tour buses only. Any experiences with SPB ??? Thanks!!

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It’s been a few years, but we enjoyed two great days with SPB.  We had no problems with getting back to the ship on time.

 

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We used SPB in every port on our Baltic cruise, highly recommend!

im sure they are all good but this is b our opinion

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We used Alla tours and they guarantee that you will get back to the ship on time. 

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We used SPB and had a fabulous two-day tour in and around St. Petersburg.  A grueling pace, but so memorable and worthwhile.  Our guide was a history professor at a university who really knew how to keep us enthralled.  We bypassed all the lines, so we got in the various museums and palaces quickly, leaving us more time to see the sites. 

 

My husband and I had tickets to go to the Mariinsky Ballet the evening of our first day in St. Petersburg.  This stop was outside the tour, and we purchased the tickets online.  The van dropped us off at the theater and came back to pick us up at 10:30 when the performance ended to return us to the ship, all at no extra cost.  We tipped the driver like crazy, and we thought this was service above and beyond.  BTW, we arranged this extra service before we left home.  If you're thinking of doing something like this, I highly recommend it.  The ballet was awe-inspiring.  DH balked at the high price tag but was so glad we went as this company is one of the premier troupes in the world.  Yes, they sometimes tour in the United States, but seeing the dancers in their "home" was a real treat.

 

We also toured with SPB in Berlin and Stockholm and received the same wonderful service and never worried about their getting us back to the ship on time.  A company doesn't build a good reputation by failing to return passengers to a ship in a timely manner.  I would not hesitate to book with SPB again.  If I return to Europe, SPB would definitely be my first choice as a tour guide in the many ports they now service.  Hope this helps calm your fears.  Enjoy.

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I agree wholeheartedly with sevenseasnomad.  We used SPB for 2 days in St. Petersburg and one day in Berlin. I wouldn't hesitate to use them again, and will if we get back to the Baltics.

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Can't say enough good about SPB Tours.  We organized a group when we went there so we got to pick our own itinerary and it was fantastic!  We rave about them every chance we get.

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We are booked with SPB this coming August for a 2 day private tour - I have no concerns about touring with them and making it back to the ship on time - having researched a lot about this before we booked! They mentioned to me that because of roadworks, we may miss one sight but we are also adding a Russian Doll experience for the kids. They were the only ones who replied with someone specific for kids if we wanted that. 

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We used Alla tours and would highly recommend them.  Everything was planned to perfection.  Nice transportation.  wonderful guide.  They made the best of our time and we never waited in lines.   Wonderful 2 day tour with Alla..

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We booked SPB in St Petersburg about 4 years ago. Guide was a professor of art history, and she was great. Got us back on day 2 with time to spare.

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We used Alla and had great days and were back to the ship in plenty of time.

 

Any of the top companies like SPB, TJ, Alla, etc are professionals at this and know their reputation hinges on their quality and the timeliness of return to the ship.  They’ve all been doing this a long time and know how to do it 😉 

 

If anyone is late coming back to the ship it will be ship’s tours because of the size of the bus, number of people,etc.

 

We’ve done St. Petersburg twice - once on a ship’s tour years ago and recently with Alla. There is no question that the private tour was a much superior experience 😄 

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7 hours ago, bluesplayer said:

We used Alla tours and would highly recommend them.  Everything was planned to perfection.  Nice transportation.  wonderful guide.  They made the best of our time and we never waited in lines.   Wonderful 2 day tour with Alla..

Same here, and our wonderful guide confided in the group that she had done everything necessary to start her own approved tour company for the next season. And that company was SPB tours. I would recommend Alla and also based on our experience with that guide (and reviews  I have since read) SPB tours.

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We will be on a Baltic cruise with Viking this May. After checking into reviews on this site and Trip Advisor, we decided to sign up with Alla Tours for a 2-day "Must See" tour in St. Petersburg. I've been corresponding with Lina from Alla Tours who has been super helpful in answering all my questions and helping us get all setup. I've been very impressed so far. I'll post our reactions to the experience when we get back in June.

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I'll echo so many above re SPB in Baltic ports -- we had absolutely fantastic guides in Berlin and Stockholm, and very good tours in St.P and Helsinki. Even with a StP guide whose English was not quite as fluent as our guides in the other ports, the 2-day tour  there was still spectacular, with adjustments to the usual itinerary to avoid huge crowds on a busy local holiday weekend.

Shipmates who used Alla or TJ reported similar experiences, so you should be fine with any of those three.

Edited by kd202

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We toured with Alla and had a great visit seeing much more than the ship's tours. We noticed on the first day of the tour we visited the sites outside the city.  On the second day we were much closer to the ship - just in case.   The major firms, Alla, SPB. etc. have contingeny plans.  One vendor reminded us that in this day of social media, if they don't get us back on time, they are out of business.   BTW, HAL/X tours promise that you will be at the head of the line.  Our group of 10 walked around the line with our guide and entered.

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We highly recommend SPB.  Fabulous 2 day tour in St Petersburg.  Getting you back on time is critical to their bottom line.

Edited by Kona921

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11 hours ago, kazu said:

Any of the top companies like SPB, TJ, Alla, etc are professionals at this and know their reputation hinges on their quality and the timeliness of return to the ship.  They’ve all been doing this a long time and know how to do it 😉 

 

Not to mention that most, if not all, of the folks on your tour (if it's booked with one of the named companies) will be from your ship. If there is a situation where the tour returns late it will be VERY unusual and probably fall in the "emergency" category. In that case, the ship will be notified and the captain will do everything he can to avoid leaving a large group of passengers stranded in Russia with the administrative and financial nightmare that involves. 

 

Jus' sayin'...

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Had a GREAT time with them... We got back BEFORE some of the HAL folks. Enjoy!!

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SPB tours are wonderful.  Viktoria customized to exactly what I wanted to see, the treasure rooms at the Hermitage,  riding the subway, taking a hydrofoil from Peterhof, visiting a farmers market,  a canal boat tour and on and on. So much better than the first time on a ships tour that wouldn’t let us visit the inside of the churches.  

 

Absolutely NO worries and you are in a much smaller group seeing what you want to see! 

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The two day SPB tour we took in St. Petersburg was one of the most memorable tours we have ever taken. We saw more, had a smaller group and paid substantially less than what the cruise line would charge. This company, as well as all private tour companies, survive on their reputations. They will assure you are back onboard in plenty of time. They also take care of the visa. 

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On 2/19/2020 at 7:58 PM, sandrick said:

This tour company has great reviews. However we are concerned about getting back to our ship on time on day 2.  We know holland america will wait for THEIR  tour buses only. Any experiences with SPB ??? Thanks!!

This company was great; they got us back in plenty of time. AND, when I got sick in the middle of the day, they arranged for a cab to get me back to the ship, no small task in a country where were were supposed to stay with the tour group at all times! I was told exactly how much to pay the driver [who spoke no English!] and got to see parts of St. Pete no one else did. 

 

Another advantage is that SPB has offices in most of the same ports that we stopped at on the cruise and offered discounts for booking in multiple cities. 

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We used SPB tour company for our two day excursion in St Petersburg in 2011. We couldn’t have been more pleased with the guides. I highly recommend their tour. We also used them for shorter tours in two other ports.

Edited by madera1

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We did the 2-day as well. It's as great as what everyone says.

 

Also remember your tour ticket is your Russian visa, they are responsible for you in Russia, they are VERY motivated to make sure you don't overstay your visa. Plus Helsinki/Tallinn is very close with good connections. Hmm... Rom2Rio says it's 3 1/2 train trip with multiple per day. You would probably get there before the ship.

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We just booked with them for our August St Petersburg Tour. In the FAQ, they state that they have never had a late arrival in 13 1/2 years and will pay to get guests to the next port if it ever does happen.

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