My wife and I are contemplating the "Complete St. Petersburg" Value Excursion from DenRus, but I worry about being with too large a group and not being able to avoid the crowds. Has anyone taken this one? Do we need to spend the extra $$$ and go with a Denrus "Custom Tour"?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that as long as you are taking a guided tour (be it a busload or a private car), the tour operator gets a blanket visa to cover you. When you need a visa is if you are doing an "on your own" tour without a guide.
If you intend to participate in a St Petersburg excursion purchased directly from Carnival Cruise Lines, you will not need a Russian visa. A blanket visa covering guests on a Carnival organized excursion is provided.
Independent guests, who are not in possession of a valid Russian visa, will not be permitted to leave the ship.
So, I don't know the answer to the question, but I would really like to know as we leave in July.
We took this tour and were very pleased with it. There were four of us traveling together and we found 6 more people on mates to join our group. The people on the ship excursions were sitting on board while we were leaving the parking lot. We had no waits, the guide was great, and the price was cheaper than the cruise excursion. I dealt with a very helpful employee names Helga. Our guide was also Helga. If you decide to take this tour, send a note and I can give you a couple of suggestions of things to avoid.
When we went on the Denrus Tour which was a 2 day complete tour. There were about 24 people on our bus. I enjoyed the tour and we saw exactly the same sights as the ship excursion through Princess. We thought about the custom tour to cover a few other locations, but felt that we got more than enough with their group tour.