Jump to content

Best Guides Group


Recommended Posts

We have booked a two-day customized private tour for my husband and myself with Best Guides, and have been communicating with Andrey. He has put together two days tailored to our interest in WWII and Russian history, and has arranged for tickets to see the Mariinsky Ballet (Nutcracker being performed) which is thrilling for us, as I worked for a ballet company for years and both daughters danced.

 

We had been booked on an SPB tour, which I know would have been wonderful, but Best Guides was willing to accommodate our particular interests (WWII, cathedrals, local food, the revolution...) We are so looking forward to this!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
By the way, what are the most famous and popular ballets in Mariinski? Must-sees for ballet lovers? I want to arrange evening in the theatre for us in St.P...

 

Have you already booked your cruise? If yes you probably won't have a big choice, they have one performace per day.But anyway it should be great, Mariinski is so famous!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

We used Best Guides on our recent trip to St Petersburg on Celebrity Eclipse. They were fabulous. We wanted a trip that would work for two adults and two children (aged 5 and 6). I liaised via email with Kira who helped us choose an itinerary over two days that would work for everyone. She was so helpful and accommodated all our requests.

 

They also arranged our visas and sent us our tickets well in advance of the trip.

 

When we go off the ship, our wonderful guide Irina was waiting. She had puzzles and colouring for the boys and immediately captured their interest and imagination about exploring this great city. Our car was immaculate and spacious and the driver was excellent.

 

We spent two action packed and fun days exploring palaces, churches and castles - we hunted for treasure, made fountains, sailed boats on the river and learned about the history of the city. Irina accommodated all of our requests and managed to add in a trip on the metro to keep my eldest son happy and an opportunity to sample local vodka (to keep me happy!)

 

She was wonderful with the children and also so well informed of Russian history - her English was also impeccable.

I highly, highly recommend Best Guides - especially their child friendly tour.

 

Julie Jean

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Figured I'll share my experience here. We booked a private "child friendly" tour with Best Guides and customized it a bit to be slower but yet hit the best sights. We had Irina as our guide and she was fantastic. We thoroughly enjoyed our tour and she was dynamic, energetic, and friendly with all of us, especially our kids who loved her as well. I would not hesitate to recommend them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 9 months later...
Hi

My partner and I have mobility issues so needed to find an alternative to the ships tours which required too much walking. A friend recommended one company but they were busy and suggested Best Guides.

Our contact was Dariya. She was very patient and after numerous emails me from asking questions suggested 2 x 4 hour tours on each of the two days in port, St Petersburg. We did a tour of St Petersburg going into St. Peter and Paul fort and church on the spilled blood. The next day we visited Catherine Palace Park. Her written English was amazing. She was very helpful.

Our tour guide was Olga and her English was brilliant too. She was very informative and FUNNY. On each day she added extra requests like a visit to the Metro which was very enjoyable. She ensured that we could sit down when we needed and tended to save any information briefing till then.

Our driver was Vassilli (spelling?) who also cheerful, friendly and a safe driver.

We had a great time with Best Guides and would highly recommend them.

 

Welcome to the Cruise Critic forum and than you for this post.

 

We are planning on using Best Guides next year and it is nice reading another very positive review.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I booked with Best Guides for the Intensive Tour in St. Petersburg. I got a group of 12 together from our roll call to make the group. We got a great discount for the tour (soooooo much cheaper than the cruise line).

 

We had Irina as our guide. She was fantastic. Her knowledge of history and architecture made the tour even better. She was flexible in timing, which is what I really want from a private, smaller tour. We decided as a group that we wanted to stay at some sites longer, and left a few a bit earlier. We found a site that wasn't listed on our tour, but got to go there anyway, after agreeing to spend a little less time at another site. You would never be able to do this on other larger tours. The intensive tour does not include lunch, so we decided to stop at a local "pancake" restaurant. We had delicious pancakes filled with meats, cheeses, and other goodies with apple caramel ones for dessert. Once again, a larger tour would never have allowed this. In a large tour you eat what they say, when they say to eat it. You also waste a bunch of time waiting at a large facility.

 

So, if you are planning on touring St. Petersburg, try to get Irina and Best Guides. It will be a very memorable tour at a great price.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I booked with Best Guides for the Intensive Tour in St. Petersburg. I got a group of 12 together from our roll call to make the group. We got a great discount for the tour (soooooo much cheaper than the cruise line).

 

We had Irina as our guide. She was fantastic. Her knowledge of history and architecture made the tour even better. She was flexible in timing, which is what I really want from a private, smaller tour. We decided as a group that we wanted to stay at some sites longer, and left a few a bit earlier. We found a site that wasn't listed on our tour, but got to go there anyway, after agreeing to spend a little less time at another site. You would never be able to do this on other larger tours. The intensive tour does not include lunch, so we decided to stop at a local "pancake" restaurant. We had delicious pancakes filled with meats, cheeses, and other goodies with apple caramel ones for dessert. Once again, a larger tour would never have allowed this. In a large tour you eat what they say, when they say to eat it. You also waste a bunch of time waiting at a large facility.

 

So, if you are planning on touring St. Petersburg, try to get Irina and Best Guides. It will be a very memorable tour at a great price.

 

Thank you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our family of 5 did a full day tour with Irina from Best Guides in June, 2018. We rented a van and visited The Hermitage, Peterhof, Spilled/Split Blood Cathedral and 2 other cathedrals. The day was amazing and Irina was outstanding. She provided great historical background which was interesting to our teenager and to the parents! Everything was arranged by Best Guides - easy to find them at the port, accommodating throughout the day. We highly recommend Best Guides and Irina!

 

Welcome to the forum and thank you for your positive post.

 

We will be in SPB in September 2019 and one of our roll call members checked the number of ships scheduled to be in port. A LOT and calculated 15,000 possible cruisers.

 

So we booked our tour with Best Guides now! lol Figured even all the tour operators in SPB must have some limitations so not taking any chances of getting shut out. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

we used best guides on june 1 and 2, 2018, and couldn’t have been more pleased.i very highly recommend them. We were a group of four who wanted a personalizedprivate tour. We were on a baltics cruise and had just two days in st.petersburg and a long list of sights to see. We were especially interested inspending time at the hermitage. I compared several companies and thought thatbest guides offered the most flexibility.

 

natasha was very responsive to mye-mails and made planning our tour very easy. We were able to include everymajor attraction in our two days in st. Petersburg as well as a nice russianlunch.

 

our guide was svetlana starkova, whowas extremely knowledgeable and pleasant. It was like having a friend take usaround the city. She was able to get us into all the places ahead of thecrowds. Vassily was our driver, and he managed to find the perfect parking spotwherever we went. We toured in an air-conditioned mercedes mini-van. We couldnot have asked for a better team to show us their beautiful city.

 

the price for our private two-daytour was very competitive, and payment was easy. We simply paid by credit card outsideof one of the sights.

 

i recommend best guides without any hesitation.if you'd like more information, please contact me.

 

:) :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

We used Best Guides for a private 3-day tour about a week ago. We were two families with children. Our guide was Anna. Totally fantastic tour. Would recommend them wholeheartedly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
Thank you for your post NNN. Did you do a regular itinerary or was it specifically targeted at the children?

 

Our itinerary was specifically tailored to make the kids happy. We went to many of the same places that everyone else does, but Anna the guide planted little nuggets here and there to give the kids a little extra fun/excitement. For example, Anna had special little things planned at Peterhof, at Peter & Paul, etc. We did cut and add some stuff to the typical itinerary as well. Still included plenty to keep the adults interested also. The itinerary was frankly perfect -- wouldn't change a thing -- although we were active in tailoring it by doing our own research and emailing back and forth with Best Guides in advance. We didn't go late any night, except to see the Mariinsky ballet. Painting the nesting dolls was a huge hit.

 

This was our itinerary, in case it helps. Note that on the first day our touring ended early because we attended a World Cup soccer match -- that's obviously something you won't have...

 

June 22, Friday 7 people

08:30 meeting with your guide at the ship

08:30 - 10:00 city drive

10:00 - 11:00 Peter and Paul Fortress/Cathedral with hidden passage and walk along the rampart;

political prison

11:00 - 12:00 Spilled Blood Cathedral

12:00 - 12:30 transfer to the metro (line 3 – Gostiny Dvor)

CAR 08:30 12:30

GUIDE 08:30 12:30

 

June 23, Saturday 7 people

09:00 meeting with your guide at the ship; drive to the center

09:30 - 12:00 Hermitage tour (the Palace of Wonders); early admission; quick lunch in the museum

cafe

12:30 - 14:00 Matryoshka painting master class in the café (you may have tea with snacks)

14:30 - 16:00 Faberge Museum (with audio guide)

16:00 - 17:30 walking tour along Malaya Sadovaya; shopping

17:30 - 18:30 dinner in the nice restaurant

19:00 - 23:00 Transfer to/from thte Mariinsky Theater

CAR 09:00 23:00

GUIDE 09:00 17:30

 

 

June 24, Sunday 7 people

09:30 meeting with your guide at the ship

09:30 - 10:30 drive to Peterhoff

10:30 - 12:30 The Paradise of Fountains tour with visit to one of the small palaces in the park

12:30 - 13:30 drive back

13:30 - 15:00 St. Isaac’s Cathedral with Colonnade

15:30 - 16:30 Vodka Museum with degustation

16:30 - 17:00 back to the ship

CAR 09:30 17:00

GUIDE 09:30 17:00

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
Thank you so much for your post NNN. Very helpful. How old were the kids?

 

Sorry for the late reply -- just saw this.

 

Our group had two 10-year-old girls and one 6-year-old boy. We also had four adults. Glad it helps!

 

And yes, Vodka Museum was interesting and a great way to end the trip!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did anyone use Best guides for other baltic ports?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

We used Best Gudes for both St. Petersburg and Berlin.

 

It turned out that our Best Guides Tour to Berlin was conducted by TJ Travel. To us there was no difference as to which company we used, the excursion to Berlin was excellent. The personnel at TJ had us on their list and did not discriminate because we were paying their "competion". Everything was well organized and we had a great time.

 

Our Berlin tour was three days ahead of our St. Petersburg tour. We paid for both tours in St. Petersburg on the morning of our second day of our two day St. Petersburg excursion.

 

For the record, we used the following tour companies on our Baltic Sea cruise:

 

Copenhagen - Hamlet Tours - Grand Inner City Tour

Warnemunde - Best Guides - Classical Berlin

Tallinn - Saku Travel - Tallinn Highlights On Wheels and On Foot

St. Petersburg - Best Guides - All St. Petersburg Grand

Helsinki - SPB Tours - Panoramic Helsinki + Seurasaari Island

Nynashamn - SPB Tours - Stockholm Highlights from Nynashamn

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...

FYI, my family of 4 has booked Best Guides' Best of the Best mini-group tour for June 2019, and we cannot wait!  Thanks for all of the wonderful reviews and information!

 

Question:  not knowing everything that is included in their "city tour" each morning, is that portion of the tour likely to include a stop at the Peter & Paul Fortress?  If not, would it be feasible/worthwhile to ask if they could include it?  I don't know if the logistics/distance would preclude it.  I don't need a tour of the entire fortress, I really just would like to see the tombs of the Tsars.  Thoughts?  An easy stop?  Way out of the way?  Not worth the effort?  Thanks again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, oksteveou said:

FYI, my family of 4 has booked Best Guides' Best of the Best mini-group tour for June 2019, and we cannot wait!  Thanks for all of the wonderful reviews and information!

 

Question:  not knowing everything that is included in their "city tour" each morning, is that portion of the tour likely to include a stop at the Peter & Paul Fortress?  If not, would it be feasible/worthwhile to ask if they could include it?  I don't know if the logistics/distance would preclude it.  I don't need a tour of the entire fortress, I really just would like to see the tombs of the Tsars.  Thoughts?  An easy stop?  Way out of the way?  Not worth the effort?  Thanks again.

 

The Fortress is very close to the Port. They should be able accommodate you if it is not already included in your tour.  I planned out the sights I wanted to see and they made it work.  

 

Do some reading on the history of the Czars, Bolsheviks,, Russian Revolution, Lenin and Stalin before you leave. IFascinating history and such a beautiful city. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/17/2019 at 2:23 AM, marbleski said:

 

The Fortress is very close to the Port. They should be able accommodate you if it is not already included in your tour.  I planned out the sights I wanted to see and they made it work.  

 

Do some reading on the history of the Czars, Bolsheviks,, Russian Revolution, Lenin and Stalin before you leave. IFascinating history and such a beautiful city. 

The Fortress is a must see. You'll get the Russian political history in a nutshell, tombs of the Romanov monarchs and the political prison being two essential parts of a tour. Reading on the Russian history would be a great way to get prepared for the visit. I'm not sure about Stalin as he got the power after the capital was transferred to Moscow, but history of the Czars, Bolsheviks, Russian Revolution, and Lenin will keep you busy :classic_smile:.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...

We just got back from a 13 night cruise on the Azamara Journey that included three nights in St. Petersburg. We were a group of 8 and chose Best Guides Group for a three day tour. Our guide was Olga and she was wonderful. Her English was excellent and her knowledge and insight was extraordinary. The arrangements and tour went flawlessly and the bus that we had was in great condition. Our driver Sergei was very professional. I would recommend Best Guides Group to anyone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

St. Petersburg is an amazing city and you definitely want to use Best Guides Tour Group to see the amazing sites the city has to offer.  We were there for 3 days in August of 2019 on an Azamara Cruise.  Our ship, the Azamara Journey, was berthed in downtown St. Petersburg.  I am not one for big bus tours (too much time wasted on body movement) so I found Best Guides Tour Group from recommendations on Cruise Critic.  From the moment I inquired with them I knew I had made the right choice.  They offered us a 3 day tour package to see the popular sites but there I wanted to make some adjustments and they were very cooperative and made those adjustments for us.  They also take care of your visa so you don't have to go through the long and expensive process.  I shared the excursion opportunity on Cruise Critic and 4 other couples joined us for a group of ten.  We received discounts for early booking and for having a group of 10.  On the first morning we were promptly met by Irina, our wonderful guide and Alexander (van driver).  The van was a very new/clean Mercedes passenger van with Wifi!  One of our group was still working and the Wifi was a great asset for her work.  Irina was extremely knowledgeable and efficient.  Now efficiency is very important in St. Petersburg as there are an overwhelming number of tourists/buses at this time of year so a guide has to know the best time/place to enter a museum/church/palace to avoid the crowds.  Irina was the best!  At the Hermitage we entered early in the back and were able to get through many of the rooms before the crowds began to build.  Every site we visited she provided educational background information and then while at the site she provided a running dialogue of the key site aspects.  We used headsets that made hearing the dialogue very easy.  Irina answered all questions.  Each day we were picked up at our ship, toured, provided lunch and then returned to our ship at the expected time.  Lunches were at very nice restaurants and the food was great.  The best part of this review is the significant savings we were able to get as compared to booking the VERY SAME 3 day tour package with the cruise line.  We never worried about getting back to the ship in time and always felt safe.  At the end of the 3 days we felt like we had made new friends in Irina and Alexander and it was difficult to say goodbye.  I highly recommend Best Guides and recommend that you inquire with them and you won't be disappointed.  I would be glad to answer any questions that you may have so that you are comfortable with your choice.  Safe travels, Ann.bedford2@gmail.com.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: AmaWaterways Announces an Extended Season on the Douro River
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...