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Aorinka

Children friendly tours with Best Guides

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I’m coming to St. Petersburg for the second time the coming summer, now with my husband and daughter (she will be 10 at the time of the trip). I’d made a reservation with the Best Guides again for the “relaxed” 2 day package before I saw a special children oriented tour option on their website. I wrote to the company and they answered that these tours were available for my dates and that it would be just a little bit more expensive if I decided to replace an ordinary city drive with the children friendly “Secrets of St. Petersburg” and an ordinary Hermitage tour with the children friendly “Palace of Wonders”. Any way the cost sounds reasonable and the manager promised that the tour would be adapted to the age of my daughter.

My question is if anybody has tried children tours with the Best Guides? Are the tours really interesting for children? Is it worth the money and time when you have only 2 days in St. Petersburg?

Thank you in advance for your answers.

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I am glad to see Best Guides mentioned on these boards. I don’t have personal experience with special tours for children, but I would trust their promises. I used their services last summer and left Russia being their highly satisfied and addicted customer. I suppose that if you are going on the same cruise for the second time it will be interesting for you to see the city from a slightly different perspective.

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take a change of clothes for your daughter.

Here is a video we took.

 

Thank you, taking a change of clothes is very good point.

People are wearing coats and jackets!

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That was in early May and it was pretty cool.

By the way, we have e-mailed back and forth with Best Guides. Their tours look pretty good. We are going to use them next year on our cruise with our grandson. If you are interested, I have a list books for children they recommended and a few others.

You may contact me at scubacruiserx2@gmail.com

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I see. Thank you for your answers. My children are much younger: 3 and 5 y.o. I don’t give up the hope to hear some encouraging reviews from previous cruisers who went on a Baltic cruise with young children like mine.

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My usband and I are booked with Best guides. It is nice to know in the future they tours catered to children.

 

Other than that they come highly recommended intours becuase of there unique

personality to listen and to put your ideas together.:)

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I see. Thank you for your answers. My children are much younger: 3 and 5 y.o. I don’t give up the hope to hear some encouraging reviews from previous cruisers who went on a Baltic cruise with young children like mine.

 

Whitesand,

 

I was looking for children’s books to read prior to St. Petersburg tours and found a beautiful one http://www.amazon.com/Russian-Maiden-Helped-Santa-Claus/dp/0972502742/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1334256160&sr=1-6 . A bit too childish for my 10yo girl, but seems just right for the age of your children. You may enjoy reading it with them though it's not quite Christmas time yet.

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The book looks beautiful, I definitely have to order it. We should probably shift this trip to summer 2013 when our girls are a bit older, which allows us to read the book during Christmas time :)

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Hi Aorinka,

Its been a year since this post but from your other posts I know you and your family enjoyed tour in St.-Petersburg. You never mentioned you had a book to prepare for it. Did this book help ?;)

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Hi, Kerry2travel. I would not say that this book prepared us for the whole trip, but it gave an encouraging introduction to our daughter waking her interest for the new place she was going to see.

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Hi, there.

 

We will be travelling with youngsters who dislike art galleries and can't stand big bus tours.

What is there to do in St Petersburg to make them happy? A tour of metro stations?

Does Best Guides company cater for teenagers' needs?

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We traveled with 4 kids ages 9-15. We did a stop at the Cat Museum - basically a retirement home/rescue home for Hermitage mousers and other interesting breeds of cats. Don't go unless you love cats, but dd LOVED it.

 

None of my kids are huge lovers of museums, but all knew there were going to be times that we'd be doing them. The only one that was visibly disinterested in the Hermitage was 9yo ds. Buck up, buddy, it is what it is! :)

 

Not sure how much history your teens have had, but my 15yos had just finished AP World History. It really put much of what we saw thru out the cruise into perspective for them.

 

We did dinner out in town, at Teplo. All the kids really enjoyed that. And lunch at Tepemok. Three of them are adventurous eaters, so they like trying new things or are at least willing to risk a new dish.

 

We did not do the Metro, so can't comment.

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We traveled with 4 kids ages 9-15. We did a stop at the Cat Museum - basically a retirement home/rescue home for Hermitage mousers and other interesting breeds of cats. Don't go unless you love cats, but dd LOVED it.

 

None of my kids are huge lovers of museums, but all knew there were going to be times that we'd be doing them. The only one that was visibly disinterested in the Hermitage was 9yo ds. Buck up, buddy, it is what it is! :)

 

Not sure how much history your teens have had, but my 15yos had just finished AP World History. It really put much of what we saw thru out the cruise into perspective for them.

 

We did dinner out in town, at Teplo. All the kids really enjoyed that. And lunch at Tepemok. Three of them are adventurous eaters, so they like trying new things or are at least willing to risk a new dish.

 

We did not do the Metro, so can't comment.

 

Thank you, ljandgb.

 

I saw on the Internet that they do a tour of a submarine in St Petersburg. Is it the same as what you refer to as Battleship Potemkin? Did you do it?

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The best way to find a good guide for a tour is find any company you like and ask them for a kid friendly guide. All the guides work for who ever calls them since they are independent agents but book early because when a guide fills up their calendar they are not available. That is not Quite how it works, in reality the companies tell a guide to block off dozens of dates because bookings but in reality those booking are not usually there yet, if ever. Only when the date approaches do they find out they did not have a group so then scramble to find one. So the best time to book is very early and fairly late when a lot of guides have found themselves without a gig that day.

The guides are fighting back, they have a password, invitation only vKontact.ru club(Russian home grown version of Facebook with 100 million members) where they share information and gossip and are taking more control of their own work. By sharing they are finding which companies are trying to lock them in when they do not have a tour for them. There are about 2,500 guides and hundreds of companies. Same with vans, all independent agents.

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I feel that I should update this thread because we toured St Petersburg with two teenagers this past summer and had a fabulous time! We booked a standard tour with Best Guides but not a child friendly one. It was our guide Marina who made it an unforgettable adventure. She was outstanding. She is so good with people. She was able to engage everyone, could immediately adjust her stories to people’s interests, told us a lot of things about life in StPetersburg thirty years ago when she was a teenager. My nephews loved her stories.

 

 

I believe that it is essential to have a tour tailored for kids if you are travelling with really young kids. For older children, there is no real need to take a children’s tour if you are with a guide who is very professional and experienced in guiding youngsters.

 

We had an excellent tour and highly recommend Best Guides.

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We had youngsters in our group operated by Best Guides two years ago.

The guide handled the situation skillfully. We followed the regular itinerary but she mixed in kid-centered approaches and information interesting and understandable for the kids to hold their interest.

It was an excellent tour, and the van was comfortable and clean.

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Does anyone know how different Best Guides’ child friendly tours are compared to standard tours?

We may be travelling with my brother’s family and they have 8 and 13 year old sons. I am concerned that visiting museums and historical sites will bore the kids, but I am also concerned that if we do the children’s tours, we will miss out the history. Are children tours geared for young kids?

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Hi! I would say children tours are quite different. In some cases you even will see different sights. We’ve been on a children friendly tour to Peter and Paul fortress. We entered the fortress through the “secret” underground passage, where Nic found a “hidden treasury” – a toy key. We climbed the ramp and walked on the top. It was very interesting and exciting for Nic, the “golden” key really made her happy. Next night Nic even slept with the key in her hand :) But look, we didn’t visit the cathedral which is the main attraction in the fortress. Our guide said it wouldn’t be interesting for kids. Any way we simply didn’t have time for it. It was OK with us. We wanted our daughter be interested in the tours and she obviously was.

There is another option – you can book regular tours with some elements of children friendly tours. I think it will be the best decision for your party.

Good luck! Jess :)

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TGraUk,

We did a standard tour, and it worked fine for teenagers, but i don’t think a young kid would enjoy standard tours. The Hermitage would be nor only boring but tiring for them.

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