Go Back   CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums > Destinations > European & Mediterranean Destinations
Register Forgot Password?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old June 15th, 2001, 06:26 PM
Senior Member
Cruise Maniac
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 116
Default Baltic Cruise-doing it on our own

We're taking a Baltic Cruise on Orient in a couple of weeks (yippee!!!). We're intending to do all the ports on our own, including St. Petersburg which we've visited before. We have applied for our visas and am crossing my fingers that they get here on time. We've traveled in Europe quite a bit so we are comfortable on our own.

Any tips on touring on our own in these ports (Copenhagen, Stockholm, Tallinn, Helsinki and St. Petersburg)? I'm mostly concerned with St. Pete, are there taxis at the piers, any trouble getting a taxi back to the pier? Has anyone tried the circus? Do they still have the 100% fat ice cream? Any trouble with lines at Peterhof and the Hermitage? I've read that opening times are not set in stone, any trouble getting into anyplace? They didn't have restaurants open to the public on our last visit, is it safe to eat away from the ship?

Has anyone shopped for amber? Best quality/prices in St. Pete or Copenhagen?

Any trouble using the ATMs in St. Pete?

I will be armed with several guides books and lots of internet printouts, a Russian/English dictionary.

Any other general wisdom/tips/suggestions would also be appreciated. Thanks!
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old June 17th, 2001, 08:59 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 2,266
Default Re: Baltic Cruise-doing it on our own

Kris,

I understand that there are still problems going ashore on your own in St. Petersburg, but I'm not sure of the details (whether you simply need a particular visa or whether you can't do it at all).

You might want to check the U. S. Department of State web site (http://www.state.gov) for more information on the countries where you have ports of call.

Norm.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old June 23rd, 2001, 02:10 PM
Senior Member
Cruise Maniac
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 161
Default Re: Baltic Cruise-doing it on our own

Hi -- We are going on the Galaxy in September. I understand there has been an effort to make acquiring individual visas for Russia a little easier. Also a reduction in cost from $100 to $40. I don't know how this compares with the cost of a shore excursion from the ship. I have read also that getting from the docking pier to "downtown" is not easy.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old June 24th, 2001, 04:38 PM
RZ
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Baltic Cruise-doing it on our own

Hi,

We were on the Renaissance R8 Baltic cruise 3 wks ago. We took the ship's tour of the Hermitage and the big advantage was that the tour groups had access to the Hermitage a few hours before it was open to the public. I would guess that the crowds are larger now with the peaking tourist season. After the general public entered - it was crowded. The trip and tour were great.

An unexpected treat were a truly professional dockside band (the St. Petersburg Dock Band). These guys played their hearts out and were great. They play for donations - musicians of their caliber sadly have to do this for an income.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old June 24th, 2001, 11:08 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,238
Default Re: Baltic Cruise-doing it on our own

Kris ...

We did it on our own with our trusty Lonely Planet Guide. There are taxis at the pier at St. P. Getting back isn't that easy, the cabbie will drop you off at the pier gate and ANOTHER cabbie will take you to the ship. After a long day, the $5 to get back to the ship is a bargain.

It is a wonderful, but VERY WEARING, itinerary. From conversations we had with others, we saw about 4X as much as the people on ShoreX's.

If you have any other questions, e-mail or post here.

pamda -- Cruise Mates Utility Infielder
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old July 15th, 2001, 10:27 PM
Robie
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Baltic Cruise-doing it on our own

WE just did 14 nights on the Galaxy. Did most ports ourselves. Bought the city cards in Oslo, Arhus, Copenhagen, and Helsinki. It really is great. In kmost places the cards admits you either free or at a reduced fee to most museums and attractions. Buses, trams, trains and ferries are also include. In some cities, sightseeing tours are included. A really good way to see the sights. We only bought tours in St. Peterburg. The Hermitage tour in AM gets you in about an hour before the crowds. The line when we left was wrapped aroung the block. People who did it on their own waited 2 hours and were crowded in the palace. Even if you get a visa and a guide, take the ship,s topur of the Hermitage. We also got in early at Catherine's palce in Puskin. We took the PM tour to Peterhof. Although, we bypast the lines to get in, it was crowded. THey were all worth seeing. Have fun. Relax and enjoy.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old July 24th, 2001, 10:27 PM
SandyB
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Baltic Cruise-doing it on our own

I'm also sailing- Galaxy cruise of 9/8. Sounds like it might be interesting to get a group together to do van tour in St. Pete's. Any interest if thsi is your cruise?
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old July 26th, 2001, 10:32 AM
Robie
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Baltic Cruise-doing it on our own

Russia on your own. Not smart. Everywhere else, just fine.Ship does provide a shuttle service to a place called "red October" if you have a visa. Getting around in St. P is tough.Roads are the worst. Taxis break down. Lots of nasty folks. Beware. Take the ship's tours. It's safer and more convenient. You don't need a visa if you take ship tours. If you go on your own, be ready for long waits in lines at most attractions. Hermitage- over 2 hours. Very crowded. Ship tours get in an hour before the public.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
28, azamara, baltic, cruise, cruising, july, june, tips

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Baltic Cruise sle Celebrity 3 January 26th, 2004 02:15 PM
baltic cruise iris Shore Excursions 2 September 17th, 2003 07:42 PM
Baltic cruise Ed Heller European & Mediterranean Destinations 9 June 10th, 2001 08:04 AM
Baltic cruise Louis European & Mediterranean Destinations 8 May 13th, 2001 09:35 AM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


 

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:23 PM.
design by: Themes by Design

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1