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Russia and Estonia recommendations


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I can highly recommend Red October for Saint Petersburg tour and Ahti Arak for Estonia. The moment we walked off the ship in Russia, through passport control with much efficiency and knowledge by our driver _ Andrew and guide -we toured Saint Petersburg. We had a six passanger van for 6 and our tour guide Helen (Alyonia) was marvelous. She guided us pass lines and through crowds with great efficiency - we are certain we saw more following after her than we would have otherwise. Red October was worth every penny.
Ahti Arak in Estonia meet us on the pier promptly at 7:30 as arranged, and toured us around for well over 4 hours. He is very history oriented (which we like) and was also well worth the money. We had a private tour arranged in Germany with Berlin Starting Point, however, due to weather conditions, we did not put into port, but got to spend a pleasant and relaxing day at sea - weather is not in our hands, so no reason to fuss about it.
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In Tallin there are cabs right on the dock and for $40 we hired one to drive us around to see the sights and then drop us off in the old city. We spent several hours walking around and then returned to the ship. It took us a good 35 minutes to walk from the base of the old town to the ship. Return cabs were difficult to find or we would have taken one back since it was very windy, cold and rainy. There is a shuttle bus that drops you off in the shopping area that costs $4 per person each way, but we decided the cab was better way to go if you want to see the old town on your own.
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Ahri Ahti has his own web site. We had a group of six and the total for 6 per person was $20.00, so cost probably depends upon number of persons. He is less than the ship's tour and he was with us for 4 hours, from pier to pier. Some people prefer to tour on their own, we believe that a native has much more knowledge and is able to answer questions, etc.
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Sounds like a good idea - what is his web site? What form of payment did you use? Thanks!

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Grand Princess, Baltic June 28, 2004
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HAL Maasdam, Alaska, July 1994
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Type in Ahti Arak on a search engine and you should come up with his tours, or check on Estonia tours, aka [url="http://www.hot.ee/tours,"]www.hot.ee/tours,[/url] we paid in US dollars.
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