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Cruise Ship Shore Excursions Advice

St. Petersburg...
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Cruise Ship Shore Excursions Advice

Hello everyone! I am in the basic stages of booking excursions for our May 2017 Baltic cruise. We have 2 full days in St. Petersburg, and we want to do things such as: The Hermitage, Petershof, and Church on Spilled Blood. Our cruise line (Norwegian) doesn't really offer 1 whole package that encompasses all these stops, and the other options that come close are very expensive. I have found other tour companies such as "Shore Excursions Group" and "SPB Tours" that offer these same itineraries as the cruise line, but for way less money. Does anyone know if these outside companies are reputable to book through? Or have a specific recommendation of a company to look at? I should also ask, does the cruise line allow you off the boat if you tell them that you have a tour booked through a 3rd party affiliate that will be meeting you at the docks? I know Russia has strict visas requirements, and I do not want to lose out on money because Norwegian won't let us off the boat. Any thoughts/suggestions are much appreciated. Thanks!

Edited: 12 January 2017, 11:47
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61. Re: Cruise Ship Shore Excursions Advice

Thanks for the speedy and informative reply! I've been reading the roll call forum for my cruise on Cruise Critic forums, and SPB has been booked by several other passengers with strong recommendations from past travellers, so I will definitely check them out! Did NCL try to make you wait to disembark until after passengers who booked excursions through the cruise line? Which other Baltic cities did you use SPB for?

St. Petersburg...
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62. Re: Cruise Ship Shore Excursions Advice

No problem! They did not make us wait to disembark, but a lot of people's tours started at or around the same time (around 8 AM.) So I believe that was the problem, honestly. I would suggest getting an early start on the 1st day of your tour, as that took the longest. By the 2nd day, everyone knew where to go and what to do, so it only took about 10 to 15 minutes to clear customs. We also took SPBS tour in Stockholm (Nynasham) as the boat actually docks about an hour South of the city. We went to the Vasa Museum, and by where the Nobel Peace prize is presented every yea, and then tour a walking tour of the city. It's something you can probably do on your own, but navigating the public transit was not something I was confident enough to do on my own in Stockholm. They also have a tour in Berlin, and I believe Copenhagen and Tallinn as well. When you email them To inquire about tours, mention you learned about them on Cruise Critic, and they usually give you a discounted rate, on top of their great prices that they already offer.

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63. Re: Cruise Ship Shore Excursions Advice

You may check www.tzarinatours.com also. We've just returned from a Baltic cruise with Viking ocean cruise. During the 2-day stay in St. Petersburg we joined a 6-person private tours arranged through Roll Call of the Cruise Critic. The tour was offered by Nina of Tzarina Tour. We basically hit all the must-see sites (including most inside visits) in a 20 hours intensive two-day itinerary for $310 each person. Nina is very knowledgeable and very personable. All six of us agreed that because of Nina, St. Petersburg was the most memorable excursion experience during our two-week cruise experience.

Edited: 04 September 2017, 21:11
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64. Re: Cruise Ship Shore Excursions Advice

we are taking Viking Oacean in May 2018 to St. Petersburg. How did the excursions work out for you in 2017

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65. Re: Cruise Ship Shore Excursions Advice

we are taking Viking Oacean in May 2018 to St. Petersburg. How did the excursions work out for you in 2017

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66. Re: Cruise Ship Shore Excursions Advice

So I bought tickets to the Hermitage and plan to walk off the cruise ship and get a taxi to go see it.

I don't have a Russian visa (american citizen) Maybe have a cup of coffee and return to ship.

will I be in trouble???

Moscow, Russia
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67. Re: Cruise Ship Shore Excursions Advice

> plan to walk off the cruise ship

You can't "walk off the cruise ship" through immigration without either a Russian visa or a tour voucher. As has been written in this forum at least gazillion times.

Edited: 10 March 2018, 06:16
Cookstown, United...
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68. Re: Cruise Ship Shore Excursions Advice

We booked a two day trip from an independent Russian company costing £200;each but it was so worth it. An amazing two days. I am so sorry I can’t remember what company but our guides name was laina and she was brilliant. We saw everything we wanted to see.

Cookstown, United...
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69. Re: Cruise Ship Shore Excursions Advice

Yes you will not get off the ship without a visa, you have to go through passport control and show your visa or receipt from the company your meeting outside the terminal. There are lots of local companies to go through, maybe you could explain that you already have your ticket and pay them for other trips

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70. Re: Cruise Ship Shore Excursions Advice

Thank you for the info and clarification.

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