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GordoRFC

St Petersburg

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Hi

We are sailing to the Baltic on Arcadia at the beginning of July and was just wondering which of the St Petersburg tours would be best to book?  I am pretty sure there will be exactly or pretty much the same tours on offer as previous yers, but with such a huge choice on offer and only an overnight stay to see as much as possible...any pointers would be great.

Also, I was looking at getting a Travel Visa sorted out but it really does seem like hard work.....is it worth the effort and additional cost or are you safer and better sticking to P&O approved tours?

Thanks

G

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You do not need a visa for tours with the major private companies in St. Petersburg either.  We used SPB, but others like Alla and Denrus also offer good small group tours often at a considerably lower price than the cruise lines.  We had to send passport details to SPB, then they sent us a confirmation letter to show when leaving the port.  We took a two day tour and did not have to pay anything until the end of the first day.  Personally I would not go to the trouble and expense of getting a visa.

Sheila

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5 hours ago, smtcan said:

You do not need a visa for tours with the major private companies in St. Petersburg either.  We used SPB, but others like Alla and Denrus also offer good small group tours often at a considerably lower price than the cruise lines.  We had to send passport details to SPB, then they sent us a confirmation letter to show when leaving the port.  We took a two day tour and did not have to pay anything until the end of the first day.  Personally I would not go to the trouble and expense of getting a visa.

Sheila

 

Thanks Sheila, I will do some more digging and certainly look at using something like SPB if that gives the best protection and choice of tours, I am not adverse to trying anything and doing some digging to find how best to use the time available in a port that has so much to offer and see so will have a look at that option.

Cheers

G

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9 hours ago, GordoRFC said:

 

Thanks Sheila, I will do some more digging and certainly look at using something like SPB if that gives the best protection and choice of tours, I am not adverse to trying anything and doing some digging to find how best to use the time available in a port that has so much to offer and see so will have a look at that option.

Cheers

G

We had no concerns about missing the ship on our tour.  We did the distant attractions the first day and the more local ones on the second.  These companies have good resources so could deal with any problems that might arise.  Check reviews on TripAdvisor and look at the websites of the various companies to see what is offered and which company suits your needs.  We were travelling with our extended family including children and SPB gave us a guide who was an English teacher and was very good at making history interesting for youngsters.

Sheila

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I went a few years back and did five trips in two days which was hectic. Palaces were the Hermitage, Catherine’s and Petergof, managed to fit in Peter Paul fortress and also a boat trip stopping off for a walk around with a visit to a most architectural splendid church whose name escapes me. Two days wasn’t really enough. I did it from the ship and it was a small fortune but worth it.

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3 hours ago, Countrygirl said:

We did the Russian Folklore evening,  it is not something we would normally do but it was brilliant and being driven around St Petersburg in the evening with all the lights was magical.

Thanks Countrygirl I am already feeling more confident and willing to try things so thanks ever so much for that, I think St Petersburg is a city that does bring things out in you and tap into your hidden side, I will try and fit in as much as we can.

Cheers

G

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30 minutes ago, Pesky Pirate said:

I went a few years back and did five trips in two days which was hectic. Palaces were the Hermitage, Catherine’s and Petergof, managed to fit in Peter Paul fortress and also a boat trip stopping off for a walk around with a visit to a most architectural splendid church whose name escapes me. Two days wasn’t really enough. I did it from the ship and it was a small fortune but worth it.

Thanks Pesky....I do think it is a city where you need more than the time on offer during our overnight stop, but like all stops on a cruise, find one you love and want to see more of and do it again, we did Venice overnight a couple of years back and I really want to do again, I have a feeling St Petersburg will be the same...but thank you for the tips.

Cheers

G

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We have been to St Petes twice and are thinking of going again.

The private tours are better value for money , but can be tiring ,The Ship's tours are good ,but they are in larger groups.

The Russian Museum (Art) is worth a visit ,a canal tour again good, and we loved the Petrhof Palace Breathtaking to say the least.

As the recon you need 11 years to see everything in the Hermitage you only see some highlights, Fantastic place to visit ...Davybe

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We did the P and O two day excursion. On the face of it it appeared to be expensive, but it was worth every penny. No need to get individual visas, we were in new minibuses with a driver guide and in,y 14 passengers. We saw everything we wanted to, plus a trip on the canals, a hydrofoil trip plus a journey on the underground. Would recommend this trip.

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Davybe, Cruise Chef & Cruise Addict

Thanks for your thoughts and comments and by the sound of it St Petersburg IS a place where you need to spend time in to see the things you both want and need to see....I am looking at doing a couple of tours, whether its a 2 day one or individuals on both days....still to work out, the evening canal tour appeals to me too, so much to mull over but thanks ever so much for your own thoughts and experiences.

Cheers

G

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I can recommend SPB. We did a 2 day tour with them for much less than the ship and in a small bus for 8 of use got into places the boat coaches couldn`t. They also switched things around very easily when it was crowded due to an event on. Had probably one of our best guides ever and could not have fitted more in. Superb.

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We did the Baltic to St Petersburg last June with Cunard. You do not need a visa if you pre book tours with the ship or credited tour company in St Petersburg. We did a tour each day with the ship. First day was a coach tour round all the sites getting off for photos. The next day was a trip on the river. On this you see some of the same places from a different angle also some you can only get to by water. Both guides were very good with good English spoken. 

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Hi, I also did the 2 day tour, with Alla, they packed a lot in & it was tiring, but definitely worth it. I liked the fact we were in a small minibus rather than the large coaches the cruiseline (CMV) were using, which often meant we could get into & out of places quicker, giving us a little more time. They were very easy to deal with, & explained how to meet up etc. in detail, plus our guide was very good. I took the boat's evening ballet trip, which was a comparable price to the onshore.  I too looked at getting a private visa, but decided it was too expensive for a couple of days, if I had been going for a week I may have taken that route.  
Hope you have a lovely trip.

 

Edited by Lee8553

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