Jump to content

Comparing SPB & Alla Tours in St. Petersburg


Recommended Posts

Just got back from our Baltic cruise. We used SPB and loved every minute. SPB was terrific. Olga got us through the crowds at the Hermitage, and on and off the hydrofoil very quickly. Would not hesitate to use SPB again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is credit card payment in USD as quoted on the tour web site ?

 

It is for Alla too.

 

Last summer I paid for our Alla St. Petersburg tour with a credit card, and the charge was made in rubles. It was fairly close to the quoted US cash price, but currency fluctuations at the time the charge posts to the credit card account may be a few dollars more or less.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Last summer I paid for our Alla St. Petersburg tour with a credit card, and the charge was made in rubles. It was fairly close to the quoted US cash price, but currency fluctuations at the time the charge posts to the credit card account may be a few dollars more or less.

 

Paid for our tour with a CC, the day we were in St. Petersburg. Found out when I returned, we were charged an additional $26 U.S. If you don't want surprises, bring cash.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Paid for our tour with a CC, the day we were in St. Petersburg. Found out when I returned, we were charged an additional $26 U.S. If you don't want surprises, bring cash.

 

We didn't have any surprises with Alla. I used to have surprises since I started using a card that didn't have any foreign up charges.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...
I'm planning my trip to St. Petersburg as well and from reading it sounds like they are pretty much the same. It is just which one you feel fits you better. I ended up going with TJ Travel because they were very quick to respond and answer the questions I was asking about tours vs. customized tours, etc. that I wasn't getting from the other 2. So it just depends on who you click with. I found the prices to be similar as well.

 

Alla tours are fabulous. All aspects were above and beyond expectations. The guide, and her command of English, were FABULOUS.g

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Hello everyone,

 

I just found this old topic and wanted to add some angle and also get some feedback.

 

We are going to St. Petersburg (and the Baltic) on Princess Regal on June 24 2017. I also compared Alla, SPB and TJ and found them very similar in terms of pricing and itinerary. One thing I found different in Alla Tours:

 

All other tours go to both Peterhof and Catherine Palaces. But they visit the Peterhof from outside only (Fountain Park and Upper gardens). Since the time is limited on the 2 days tours, most tours have no free time (just to walk on Nevsky and/or do some shopping).

 

Alla Tours Comfort tour misses the Catherine Palace. But instead Comfort tour includes the visit to the Peterhof palace and gardens (Grand tour includes a walk in the Peterhof gardens only). But it has 2 hours of free time.

 

As someone who visited St.Petersburg for 5 days last year, I feel that I would prefer to skip Catherine Palace, but instead visit Peterhof palace inside plus have some free time. Those palaces are very similar, but Peterhof is much nicer outside. Sure, if you have 5 days, it makes sense to visit both, but in 2 days, I personally prefer to skip Catherine and have some free time to "feel" the city, especially the Nevsky.

 

This is my personal perspective, hope it helps, and any feedback would be appreciated.

 

Kim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Alla Tours & SPB are both terrific. I am leaning towards SPB. I was told that we needed to go to the office to pay by CC, however, because we have a large group, cash would be huge amount. Did you need to pay by CC at the SPB office? How long did it take? Thanks for your replies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello everyone,

 

I just found this old topic and wanted to add some angle and also get some feedback.

 

We are going to St. Petersburg (and the Baltic) on Princess Regal on June 24 2017. I also compared Alla, SPB and TJ and found them very similar in terms of pricing and itinerary. One thing I found different in Alla Tours:

 

All other tours go to both Peterhof and Catherine Palaces. But they visit the Peterhof from outside only (Fountain Park and Upper gardens). Since the time is limited on the 2 days tours, most tours have no free time (just to walk on Nevsky and/or do some shopping).

 

Alla Tours Comfort tour misses the Catherine Palace. But instead Comfort tour includes the visit to the Peterhof palace and gardens (Grand tour includes a walk in the Peterhof gardens only). But it has 2 hours of free time.

 

As someone who visited St.Petersburg for 5 days last year, I feel that I would prefer to skip Catherine Palace, but instead visit Peterhof palace inside plus have some free time. Those palaces are very similar, but Peterhof is much nicer outside. Sure, if you have 5 days, it makes sense to visit both, but in 2 days, I personally prefer to skip Catherine and have some free time to "feel" the city, especially the Nevsky.

 

This is my personal perspective, hope it helps, and any feedback would be appreciated.

 

Kim

 

Hi Kim,

 

see you onboard!

Edited by azdmelani
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I chose Alla Tour because of their Comfort Tour option; my group is not interested in a forced march to see as much as possible, so the stop at a stolle (pie shop) steered the decision towards Alla Tour. I would even drop the Church of the Blood (if I had a choice) to be more laidback and be able to stroll and eat leisurely that second day.

 

Can't wander on our own at this port, so this was the best option for us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I chose Alla Tour because of their Comfort Tour option; my group is not interested in a forced march to see as much as possible, so the stop at a stolle (pie shop) steered the decision towards Alla Tour. I would even drop the Church of the Blood (if I had a choice) to be more laidback and be able to stroll and eat leisurely that second day..

 

Don't skip Church of the Blood (Church on Spilled Blood). You will be sorry if you do. The mosaics are just stunningly beautiful :D. We have been to St Pete 3 times and each time I see something there that I didn't see before. Just a drive by doesn't do it. Go inside, you won't regret it.

 

<<<Karen>>>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I usually go on independent excursions, whenever I cruise, and the tour people make it their business to get you back to your ship on time. One missed ship and that is the end of their tour business.

I don't normally worry about getting back to the ship on time. I did full day excursions in St Lucia, Rome, etc. No problems.

If you are really worried, you may need to pay more and take a ship excursion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, they did tell me the same. I just don't like the thought of being a nervous wreck getting to the ship on time. Please take a minute when you get back to let me know how everything went. [emoji4]

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

 

I, along with many, many others on Cruise Critic have used Alla for touring St. Petersburg and none of us has ever been late getting back to the ship. If this were ever a problem, you would certainly read about it on Cruise Critic. The tour companies would lose so much business if they didn't get back to the ships on time.

 

The bottom line is....you have nothing to worry about. (And our Grand Tour with Alla was excellent!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't skip Church of the Blood (Church on Spilled Blood). You will be sorry if you do. The mosaics are just stunningly beautiful :D. We have been to St Pete 3 times and each time I see something there that I didn't see before. Just a drive by doesn't do it. Go inside, you won't regret it.

 

 

 

<<<Karen>>>

 

 

Totally agree. A site not to be missed. The Mosaics are amazing! We were there in 2013, had a great small group private tour over 3 days with SPB. Highly recommend!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think both Alla & SPB Tours are excellent choices for private small groups tours! Both have years of experience with these cruise ship tours and missing the ship is just not a concern with either of these tour companies. Sticking to the cruise ship times in Port is essential to there reputation and staying in business. You can go back and read hundreds of reviews over the years and doubtful you will see any regarding missed ship. They are professional, have excellent guides and both companies follow similar agendas depending if you have 2 or 3 days in Port. Pretty much going to be 6 of 1, 1/2 dozen of another.

I would not fret for 1 second on choosing either of these companies over a cruise ship tour. St Petersburg is beautiful and not to be missed .... you would be most happy to be on a private vs cruise ship excursion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How did you like them? Which tour did you do? Were you worried about getting back to the ship an hour before sail away?

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

 

 

I've been reading the boards for years and I myself formed groups with my Cc Roll Call and used SPB with no problem. That said NEVER have I read either of these tours being late coming back to port. That would be the end of their business if they did that. They have a system in place assuring you'll be back. The first system is all the far away places are visited on day 1 and the closest to ship on day 2. Don't hesitate to use either STP or Alla

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I, along with many, many others on Cruise Critic have used Alla for touring St. Petersburg and none of us has ever been late getting back to the ship. If this were ever a problem, you would certainly read about it on Cruise Critic. The tour companies would lose so much business if they didn't get back to the ships on time.

 

The bottom line is....you have nothing to worry about. (And our Grand Tour with Alla was excellent!)

 

We are with Alli tours grand tour in early july and just wondered whether it was a rush and exhausting by the end of the 3 days?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

We will be cruising in July and I am trying to decide between Alla and SPB. Many of you seem to like Alla. I was looking at there Grand Tour of St. Petersburg and I have a couple of questions/concerns:

 

1. It says on the first day that you receive a packed lunch. How did this work? I don't really like eating in van while it is moving. The whole idea seems rushed and kind of cheap to me. A leisurely sit down meal would be nicer, imho.

 

2. On the second day, you are supposed to meet the guide at 7:30am and have time for shopping. This seems too early. Where will you shop so early in the morning? My mom will really want shopping time in SPB.

 

The SPB Deluxe tour includes two full sit-down lunches and offers an evening tour for shopping and drinking vodka along Nevsky Prospect. So, that is why I am leaning toward them.

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
      • 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...