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Jane Dale

Russia

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I have booked a Baltic cruise for July 2017 and wondered if anyone had any tips for St Petersburg. I have heard you need a visa if you want to get off the ship on your own. I'm happy to pay for one organised trip with Celebrity but not happy paying 300 quid each for 3 days.

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I have booked a Baltic cruise for July 2017 and wondered if anyone had any tips for St Petersburg. I have heard you need a visa if you want to get off the ship on your own. I'm happy to pay for one organised trip with Celebrity but not happy paying 300 quid each for 3 days.

Unless you want to go to the trouble of getting a visa which is not cheap and very problematic then I am afraid you have 3 choices book with Celebrity, book with private tour company or stay on ship.

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Passengers on our cruise last month used Alla Tours who seem to be very reputable and I have heard one called SPB as well. Have a look in 'Trip Advisor' and see what they come up with. You can't go all that way and stay on the ship, We did 2 ships excursions 1 was St Petersburg Panoramic and the next day we did Peter & Paul's Fortress + a sail on the Neva which was excellent.

Alla and SPB seemed to use 16 seater mini buses which looked quite comfortable

It is a lot easier getting into Russia than it is the USA - a couple of minutes and you're in, 

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We had a wonderful two day tour with SPB tours. We were a group of ten so were able to have a tour tailored for us, but they also have small group tours that individuals can join. The cost was just over half the cruise line price and they included a group visa in their price. We had to book in advance and send passport numbers and details. They sent ius a letter to show at border control when we left the ship and we did t have to pay anything until the end of the first day. Alla, SPB, Denrus and others are very reputable companies who make their living from cruise ship passengers. They do not take any risks with passengers missing their ships because they start at the furthest point in the morning and end near the dock well before sail away time.

Sheila

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We too had a great 2 Day tour with SPB. It was our 3rd visit and we had used ships tours previously but the SPB tour was the best by far, because they are small tours you are not waiting for 40 passengers to get on or off the bus, and the smaller buses cope far better in the traffic so you see far more in the time. 

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