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Old March 20th, 2009, 05:13 PM
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Default St. Petersburg

Kuki, I am trying to talk Carole into doing the shore excursions on our own in St. Petersburg. I have read good things about Red October and others. She wants to take ship tours even in the Caribbean, and this will be a hard sell. I have a few questions the first do these tour people take credit cards our do I need to bring cash? second I have read that no visa is required with Red October and others is that true? The cruise lines always say that anything other than a ship tour needs a visa. Kuki, I believe a recommendation coming from you will resolve some of her concern. I seem to remember you have used one of these tour guides yourself. I want to get the most out of our time in St. Petersburg, and a private tour company seems like the best way. Thanks for your help. Mike
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Old March 20th, 2009, 05:38 PM
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Default Re: St. Petersburg

Quote:
Originally Posted by TravelMike
Kuki, I am trying to talk Carole into doing the shore excursions on our own in St. Petersburg. I have read good things about Red October and others. She wants to take ship tours even in the Caribbean, and this will be a hard sell. I have a few questions the first do these tour people take credit cards our do I need to bring cash? second I have read that no visa is required with Red October and others is that true? The cruise lines always say that anything other than a ship tour needs a visa. Kuki, I believe a recommendation coming from you will resolve some of her concern. I seem to remember you have used one of these tour guides yourself. I want to get the most out of our time in St. Petersburg, and a private tour company seems like the best way. Thanks for your help. Mike
Mike,

I am not Kuki nor have I played him on TV but I can answer your questions.

If you go with a registered guide you do not need a visa. I can't answer you, specifically about Red October but we used a private guide (Julia Ivanushkina) last May and had a great tour and saw many things that people on the ship's tour never saw, including dinner with a local family. We did The Hermitage, Catherine's Palace, Church of Spilled Blood plus many other sites in the two days we were with her.

I was a bit angered at the ship for printing, in the daily newsletter, that if you didn't take their tours you would need a visa or would not be allowed past immigration. This is not true. You need to provide the immigration people, at the pier, with your tour "tickets" or the itinerary from the company and you can pass right through. It was absolutely no problem. We passed through immigration with no problem.

The downside was that she required payment, on the last day, in cash. American money was fine but it had to be in good shape with little or no damage on the bills. We paid her with American money and Russian rubles.

I actually feel that the ship's tours were lacking from the feedback I received.

However, I do STRONGLY recommend that you do not do St. Petersburg on your own. A guide is required.

Take care and if you have any questions, feel free to PM me.
Mike
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Old March 21st, 2009, 12:11 AM
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Mike...

I think you guys would be crazy to do St. Petersburg without a private guiide. With a private guide, you have no waiting at any of the main palaces and museums, so in two days you'll fit in much more than anyone on the ship's tours.

I've been a couple of times. Used Red October once and DenRus once. I preferred DenRus because we were able to do just the two of us easily, while Red October wanted a bit larger group for the same $.

DenRus customized more easily to what we wanted (as we'd been before), and offered a great tour with an excellent guide and a driver for what I thought were very reasonable rates.
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Old March 21st, 2009, 02:16 PM
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Kuki, thanks for the information. I have a few questions, How do you contact RenRus, and do they accept credit cards? Is it possible to pay them in advance? From what Mike M said if you have tickets the visa is not an issue. Thanks, Mike
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 08:33 PM
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Hi,
This is a major trip for a mom and daughter- daughter is 58 so Mom is lots older. How much can we expect to pay for a private tour in St petersburg Russia? Any comments would be greatly appreciated.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucymae152 View Post
Hi,
This is a major trip for a mom and daughter- daughter is 58 so Mom is lots older. How much can we expect to pay for a private tour in St petersburg Russia? Any comments would be greatly appreciated.
Lucy, Carole and I used Red October and had a wonderful time. We saw so much more than our dinner mates that took ship tours. We had a driver and guide for the two days. It cost about $1,500. and they took a credit card. I tipped at the end as well. I feel we say it all. It is a long way to go to feel you missed something. I highly recommend Red October. I think Den Rus is good as well Kuki recommends them as well. Red October stopped doing groups because people could not agree on what to see, and the group moved at pace of the slowest person. Cost a little more but well worth the money. Mike
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Old March 10th, 2010, 07:47 PM
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Thank you so much for your reply- we are so looking forward to our trip.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 08:53 PM
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I went with Alla. No individual visas required, as with the other registered tours/tour guides.

It was $300pp for a 2 day tour and they accepted credit cards. I did a shared tour and it was limited to 16 people (maybe less). We be the cruise line tours everywhere and also gained faster admission.

http://www.alla-tour.com/

Way too many pictures from our tour

Jul08_StP_1 Jul08_StP_2 Jul08_StP_3

Jul08_StP_4 Jul08_StP_5 Jul08_StP_6

Russian Shopping
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