I am considering booking Timofey Kruglikov’s 2 day St Petersburg tour. Tim is referenced in Rick’s St Petersburg book. Has anyone taken one of Timofey's tours and if so, how would you rate them and what comments would you have?
Not sure about TImofey's tours, but we used Anastasia Travel for our 2 days visit there with the cruise ship, and we had no regrets booking them.
I checked Timofey's website - it is well put together, and his credentials are quite impressive.
His "off the shelf" tours seem to be rather generic, with the exception of "Saint Petersburg in Russian literature" and, perhaps, "History of the Siege", but that doesn't come unexpected - supply is definitely driven by demand in SPB, as thousands upon thousands of cruisers look for the "safe" and "educational" cookie-cutter experience that can be squeezed into two days (in a city that can take weeks to explore).
His prices seem to be pretty good too. Anyways, with RS's endorsement, what do you have to lose?
Would have to support Kate and Angie on Anastasia Travels. They made my Baltic Cruise and St Petersburg experience wonderful. I'm not sure about Timofey Kruglikov but perhaps you'd find some reviews from previous users online.
I used Timofey’s company in June 2019. We had a “custom private” tour for two days, and couldn’t have been happier. We were met at our ship, and taken in a private van, with a driver and guide. On day one, three of us went to Catherine’s Palace for a 1/2 day tour. We went to the head of the line everywhere. Our guide, Daria, was an art history major, with extensive knowledge of Russian history as well.
On day two, four of us went for a 2 1/2 hour tour of the Hermitage, followed by a river cruise and then lunch in a Russian restaurant. Timofey offers similar sorts of excursions, for larger groups of people, but this time, in this city, private worked for us.
The price worked out about the same as taking the Cruise ship group tours, which in our case was Oceania, and was way more fun.
I would rate his company as A+.
I used Timofey Kruglikov’s company July 8-9, 2019 while visiting St. Petersburg on a Baltic cruise. We had a “custom private” tour for two days, and our experience was not as happy as the one described by “pacificbic.” Our itinerary was confirmed on January 22, 2019. On June 8, 2019 Timofey indicated that it may not be possible to visit Catherine’s Palace. There was no clear explanation for this although Timofey did indicate that he was still waiting to hear from the Palace and hoped to hear before July 8. We agreed to an alternate plan should the tickets not come through (they did not). The alternate plan did not suit our tour guide, Oleg; he varied the plan and there was no way to recover. There were many issues, especially related to our tour guide, but one highlight was our excellent driver, George.
Rather than dwell on what went wrong, here are some tips that may help those who work with Timofey, or other tour companies, in the future:
- If any specific aspect of the tour is very important to you, ensure that it is confirmed. If not, consider booking a supplemental cruise ship tour. For example, with advance planning we could have visited Catherine’s Palace on the evening of July 8.
- Be prepared for a change in plans, and have alternatives clearly identified in specific detail.
- If you are visiting the Russian Museum, which I highly recommend, or the Hermitage, request a guide with an art and art history background.
- If you are not interested in shopping for trinkets, be specific about not wanting to visit a tchotchke shop to use their toilet/restroom.
- If all goes well, great. If not, at least you are visiting St. Petersburg and will learn a considerable amount about Russian history and its people.
I cannot rate Mr. Kruglikov’s company because I do not have a comparator. As with all tour companies, sometimes things go astray and some tour guides are better than others.
I am not sure about Timofey Kruglikov tours but I can vouch for Anastasia Travel too. We used them last May 2019 and we had a wonderful time. Everything was well-planned and well-executed on the days of our tour. The planning stage was also very smooth as they were very responsive and professional. They helped us create a customized tour that satisfied our needs and only included the places that interest our group. Venus, our guide was exceptional. She was very informative and lively which made the tour very fun and interesting. I highly recommend them if you are looking for a tour company for your St. Petersburg tour. Good luck with planning your tour!