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Old May 14th, 2009, 11:15 AM
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Default Sochi private tour on a minibus for Prinsendam Oct 18, 2009

We are a couple looking to take the private tour and thought it would be fun and cost effective to hire the minibus and have 8 other join and split the cost. This is a tour we can design and the duration will be 8 hours. I have been in the travel industry and have designed tours, so would not mind doing the preparation and would also like the input from fellow tour mates. This way we could cover more of the main attactions in Sochi and do it in comfort and more economically.

If you are on the Prinsendam, departing Rome (Civitavecchia) on Oct 18, 2009 and are interested in joining us on a private tour of Sochi, Russia, please respond. Also, if we take the private tour of Sochi, reserving the minivan through HAL shore excursions, we do not need a Russian Visa. If not on a HAL shore excursion, you would need a Russian Visa which is a bit expensive.

Hope to hear from you.
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Old May 14th, 2009, 11:48 AM
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I would be very intersted to hear your progress on organizing this tour... I have been to Sochi and didn't find much to do other than sit at the 'beach' and get a few questionable spa services... but then again, I was there back in '93 and a 'guest' of the Casino... long story lol
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Old May 14th, 2009, 12:28 PM
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Hi Canadian Cruise Booker
From what I have read there have been many changes since 1993. With the Olympics comming to Sochi in 2014, much has changed so I am very interested in seeing the many sights. They have spectacular gardens with exotic trees, marveleous mountains with gorgeous views, and plenty of good architecture and history. We only have 8 hours so I am sure we will not be bored. Don't think we will take in the beach in late October. That is what I like to do in the Caribbean or South Pacific.

Thanks for your interest and please stay posted as we will let you know how this unfolds.
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Old May 14th, 2009, 12:49 PM
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Actually, we were there in October ...just shows you how desperate I was for a beach(it was 15-20 degrees C) while living in Moscow! ...lol Yes, I am sure things have changed. I was there just when things were starting to crumble with no $$ from the government coming in... I am sure there are plenty of things to see... the coast was beautiful... Yalta is still my fav though.
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Old July 18th, 2009, 06:05 PM
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I am traveling on this cruise with my husband, his brother and sister-in-law. We are interested in private excursions. Tell me more about the Sochi tour, please.
Alexis
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Old July 18th, 2009, 09:49 PM
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Hi, I am delighted to know that you will be on the Oct 18th Princendam and would also like to a private tour in Sochi. May I please get back to you shortly to answer your question and let you know what we were thinking and what I had found out.
I have company now and it will take a bit to explain it so I will get back to you next week. I look forward to our correspondence at that time. Thanks. More soon.
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Old July 19th, 2009, 12:09 AM
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Thanks for your reply. We are traveling to Germany on Aug. 23, arriving on Aug. 24. We will have internet access, but it may take me a while to get back to you after we arrive there. I look forward to hearing about Sochi.
Thanks,
Alexis[/quote]
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 03:57 PM
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I have researched the possibility of renting a car or van through HAL shore excursions and here is what I have found out.
If you 4 were interested in joining us we would then have 6 people, so the cost could be divided by 6.

The van holds 10 people plus guide and driver and the car only holds 2 plus the guide and driver

Here are the prices for each:
The car would not accommodate us but the price is $1094.00 for the day.

The 10-passenger van for 8 hours with English speaking guide and driver, but not including admission fees nor lunch would be $1730.00
That would be approximately $288.00 per person unless we find others to share the trip.

The benefits of having the private vehicle and guide is that we could do more with in the 8 hours allotted.

Here is a sample itinerary of what we might wish to see. In comprising this itinerary I took into consideration the location of each site, and thus choose to include the following points of interest as they would fall within the same direction and thus be physically doable in the time allotted.

·Drive through the city passing the main sights as we start our tour

·Matsesta Spa area *

·The Yew and Boxwood ancient forest (part of the Caucasian Biosphere Reserve)

·Eagle Rock and the Akhzu gorge and the Agura Waterfalls

·Mzymata River valley

·Akhshtyr Cave with the primitive remains dating back to the Paleolithic era.

·Perhaps time to visit the Ethnographic Museum where the Adyg tribe clothing etc is displayed.*

·Krasnaya Polyana (red meadow) nature reserve (site of the 2014 winter Olympics)

·Sochi Botanical garden (Dendrarium) including the Tree of Friendship

·The ability to walk around down town Sochi and within Riviera Park

*We may have to make choices due to time constraints.

What we would not see would be Stalin’s dacha, and the tea plantation in Dagomys. At first I was very interested in Dagomys as it were the last Czar Nicholas II had his summer palace but that is no longer there and now a huge modern hotel complex is at that sight. Also in the red meadow (Krasnaya Polyana) area we will not have time to go to each area of the huge complex where the Olympics will be held but would at least have a view of the main area, which is suppose to be spectacular.

Please look over the HAL shore excursions and let me know if you are interested in joining us on this tour or if you prefer to take one of the established tours from the shore excursion list. If we were able to get 4 more to join us the cost would be $173.00 per person and that would be a good deal. But it is a gamble so please let me know your thoughts and thanks for your interest.
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 04:25 PM
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BTW, Stalin must have had a tonne of Dachas as I have aquaintances that own one... been to one just outside Moscow too... I don't think you'd be missing more than a hunting cabin with wood panelling and bad carpets... I spent the night in the one a friend of a friend and it was like staying in a roadside motel in the sticks...

just trying to make you feel like you are not missing much... lol
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