I will be going on a cruise with my family in the Baltic Sea. We need Assistance in finding a good tour company for many of the ports in Scandinavia. Particularly, St. Petersburg. The ship's tours are too expensive. We have done our cruise lines tours and we were usually a little disappointed in the quality and price. The guides always wasted time rounding up people. We want to see just as much as the ship tours if not more for a cheaper price. The most I will pay for a person is $150- 200 if the tour is private. I am really trying to get $100 tour.I will be on the cruise in about 2 weeks. Any suggestions?
I have hear great things about Red October. That is why my family are I are going tp use on our cruise.
Ian, there are a number of tour companies offering private tours in SPBAlla, SPB, T J Travel, Best Guides, DenRus. Your problem is time with putting together or joining a group. Go immediately to cruisecritic.com and the roll call forum thread for your cruise where you will find people on your cruise looking to join or put together private tours for SPB.
Ian, some additional comments. I have never been on a Baltic cruise, but have been on a Med cruise and am scheduled to go on a Baltic cruise July 2014. As a result, I have done some research regarding Baltic cruise excursions. First, it seems that there are only two places on a Baltic cruise where you need to pay: SPB and Warnemunde if you intend to go to Berlin. In most, if not all, of the other ports, you can tour on your own with proper research. I have no first-hand knowledge of the tour companies I mentioned above, as well as Red October, but all of the companies generally get very high marks. Second, for a two-day private company tour of SPB with a group, you are probably looking at $150 per day per person. For a three-day tour, you are probably looking at $130 per day per person. Third, for those cruising, cruisecritic.com as well as RS's website is a very valuable tool. Again, go immediately to the roll call forum for your cruise line, and you can see others on your cruise doing what you are talking about doing, which is looking for others to form a group for a private tour. However, many started doing this months before the cruise, have contacted the different tour companies for pricing and itinerary, and have put together their groups. But often there is room for another two or four persons. Also, if you check the many forums on cruisecritic.com, you will see one for Europe and then Northern Europe, on which there are thousands of posts over the years about the different ports on a Baltic cruise and any number of threads discussing the different SPB private tour companies.
We used Alla tours. They offer choices on the type of tour and size of the group. Our tour was ten people plus a guide and driver for $300, including tip, each for a two full day strenous tour (no more money out of pocket). Considering a visa alone costs more than half that, I thought it was a good value. The tour company paired us with others from our ship. We hadn't met any before the tour, but did tour with one couple at our later ports. A larger group will cost less, you will have to check with them to see how much less.
I was just in St-Petersburg in June and took a tour with ULKO. I was very satisfied with this company and Irina was the name of my guide. Good luck!
Last year we (group of six people) did 4 days tour of St.Petersburg and it cost us $ 580 per person including four nights hotel. After that we did Moscow and then river cruise on Volga all the way to Astrakhan (on Volga delta almost at the Caspian Sea. It's actually a lake). We did all of this through this company: http://www.expresstorussia.com Look for tours at St.Petersburg: http:www.expresstorussia.com/st-petersburg-travel.html