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Summer35

Looking for Tour Companies Tallin/Riga/Stockholm etc...

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Hi,

 

we are looking for tour companies in Stockholm, Copenhagen,Tallin, Riga and Helsinki.

 

Any advices?

 

Have a nice day,

 

Ute

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I have been to all of those ports except Riga and it was easy to do self-touring (especially with the Rick Steves Guide to Northern European Ports).  If you’d like some sort of guided walking tour, look at the “Free Walking Tours” in Stockholm and Copenhagen.   If you want some sort of bus tour, there are HO/HO buses in most, if not all, of these cities. 

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It's a personal choice, but I'd agree with GradUT that these cities can easily be toured by yourselves without a guide (I also have not visited Riga).  We were able to easily tour all of them with a 3 year old in tow thanks to the excellent public transportation system available in each city.    

 

Tallin is the one city I'd recommend against using a HOHO tour unless you are planning on leaving the Old Town since cars and buses are restricted within the Old town.  You can either walk or take a cab to the top of Toompea Hill and walk down (or take a pedicab tour if you have limited mobility).  There is also a small tourist train we took for our 3 year old, but wound up quite enjoying and got a lot of nice photos.  

 

In Helsinki, the 2/3 tram goes to almost all major tour sites.  Depending on where you dock, you might need a cab to get to Market Square to pick up the tram.

 

In Stockholm, the public transit is outstanding and took us all over the city.  However, you need to be careful about where you dock.  The larger ships - Regal/Royal Princess and NCL Breakaway and other large ships do not have much clearance through the Stockholm archipelago, and often are scheduled to dock in Nynashamn or diverted there at the last minute.  If you are sailing a mega ship, it might be worth considering a tour simply because of the travel time (there's a train that goes directly there, so it is absolutely possible to DIY but a little harder than if you were simply docking directly in Stockholm).

 

The review in my signature line describes how we toured all of the cities independently, except St. Petersburg.  It's a great cruise and I hope you have a wonderful time.

Edited by kitkat343

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For our Baltic cruise, we did the free walking tour of Copenhagen, which was enough to give us the lay of the land to explore on our own. We spent 3 days prior to the cruise, so had quite a bit time to explore.

 

Stockholm and Helsinki would be easy to do on your own, as it's easy to get around.  We did ship excursions, though went back into Stockholm afterwards on our own.

 

Tallinn would also be easy, as old town is very central.  That said, we really enjoyed our food walking tour.  I would not have learned nearly as much about the town or country on our own.  I think that can be said for any time you get a good guide as opposed to a book with a walking route.  We enjoyed the variety of food, and our guide was exceptional, both for her personality and expertise, but simply had a fascinating life story as well.  She was a teen when Russia withdrew, and grew up hearing about the initial invasion from her grandmother, who was the only family member to survive that time.

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Thank you for your advices.

 

We are cruisin with the Serenade otS, I would say it is a smaller ship, but untill now I am not sure, where we will dock in Stockholm.

 

We normally like the guided tours with someone, who can tell us a lot about land and people and history.  It is like ljandgb said.

 

Have a nice day,

 

Ute

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We are booked with TJ Travel for next June for Berlin, Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallinn and St. Petersburg.  If you book a St. Petersburg tour with them, you get a discount for the other cities, and you get an additional discount for being a member of Cruise Critic.  While I am sure the other cities are doable on your own, it is much less stressful for me to just disembark the ship and find a guide who is waiting for me, instead of trying to find our way around by ourselves.  We, too, are on Serenade of the Seas, the June 20, 2019 sailing!

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On 10/24/2018 at 10:52 AM, Summer35 said:

Thank you for your advices.

 

We are cruisin with the Serenade otS, I would say it is a smaller ship, but untill now I am not sure, where we will dock in Stockholm.

 

We normally like the guided tours with someone, who can tell us a lot about land and people and history.  It is like ljandgb said.

 

Have a nice day,

 

Ute

If you want guided tours, there are quite a few excellent companies that offer tours in all your Baltic ports of call: Alla Tours, TJ, Best Guides, etc. We used Alla Tours and her tours are wonderful.

As has been said, these ports are easily done on your own & Rick Steves Northern Europe Cruise Ports will guide you through each of these cities. You can also check the ratings for the various tour companies online at TripAdvisor - the top 10 all receive excellent reviews. https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g298507-Activities-c42-St_Petersburg_Northwestern_District.html

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If you are looking to book a private tour in St Petersburg, where you need a tour or a visa to even get off the ship, almost all the tour companies that do tours there also do tours in most of the other ports you will be in. Usually, the more you book, the bigger discount they will give you, and they all do a wonderful job.

 

That said, and as others have already said, almost all the other ports are very easy to do on your own. You can get Rick Steve's book or even email the tourist bureaus of each city and they will send you all sorts of stuff, walking tours, attractions etc. We certainly aren't the 'adventuress type-but we did all the ports, except St Petersburg, on our own and never regretted it for a minute.

 

Cheers

Len

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We toured most of the ports on our route with one company, and we took their tour of St Petersburg as well. They did an excellent job in each city. All the Baltic ports are pretty easy to explore, but I just didn't want to waste time figuring out the way through each city, so we booked tours for convenience. Also, I prefer knowing what I am looking at, and the guides tell you the story behind each street or building, and most of these stories cannot be found in guidebooks.

As other posters said, most companies who run tours in St Petersburg would operate at least in Helsinki, Stockholm and Tallinn. We also did Copenhagen, Berlin and Kiel.

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Tahank you all for your help. We booked Alla for St Petersburg and I think we will book the other port with them, too.

 

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I agree with some of the other people here. In some cases, you can do a walking tour of the city yourself. It's a great way to meet new people. Just be sure to stop and ask questions along the way. The local people always know the hidden gems in the cities - the places you won't want to miss.

However, there are times you will want a guide. You will learn more about the city and the culture - more about the history of where you are visiting. There are some amazing places out there and your guide can fill you in on the little things that you would otherwise miss. I set up my tours with one company (Anastasia's Travel) and they were able to take me through the various cities and share the little details that are not in the guidebooks.

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19 hours ago, cansas.piligrim said:

I certainly prefer to explore a new city with a guide. I love their stories! When you walk on your own you can see just beautiful houses but a good guide would tell you all the stories behind  each of the building. It makes the difference.  We were in Helsinki and Tallinn with Best Guides and their guides were really great . But the best guide we ever had was our guide in St. Petersburg. She was fantastic!

I could not agree more! On your own you just enjoy the beautiful cityscapes and appreciate the architecture, but when you know the stories of the things, they really become alive to you. Besides, you will never find all these facts, legends and gossips in guidebooks, they usually have just facts and figures. The guides in St Petersburg seem to be very passionate about their city, and they speak about it with true love and lots of respect. I loved the tour of St Petersburg, and will definitely have a guide when I come back, as there is just too much to see and learn.

Edited by Lagerta

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On 12/7/2018 at 11:06 AM, Lagerta said:

I could not agree more! On your own you just enjoy the beautiful cityscapes and appreciate the architecture, but when you know the stories of the things, they really become alive to you. Besides, you will never find all these facts, legends and gossips in guidebooks, they usually have just facts and figures. The guides in St Petersburg seem to be very passionate about their city, and they speak about it with true love and lots of respect. I loved the tour of St Petersburg, and will definitely have a guide when I come back, as there is just too much to see and learn.

I'm on board this train as well. We used Anastasia's Travel  in St. Petersburg, and, oh, the stories the guides can tell. As you said, these are not available in the guide books, and were definitely worth hearing. They made me fall in love with the city even more!! I can't wait to go back.

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Not disagreeing with those that say a guide is a necessity in some ports. We just found that most Baltic cruises are very port intensive and, at my age, all those facts and date seem to get all jiggled together and I come away remembering very little. 

Again, not saying it isn't an option, but we just prefer to go at our own pace, see what we want and find things out as we please. Less remembering that way.

 

Cheers

Len

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We are doing the same ports and we narrowed it down to these 3 shore excursions in Copenhagen. Haven't looked at the other cities yet. We were recommend by friends to look at Viator (which is a trip advisor company) under their 'shore excursion' section.

 

1. Hop on/hop off which departs right by Langelinie; i.e. it will be convenient and we can get off where we want to explore further

 

2. Segway tour; their shop seems to be located at Langelinie so we would start and stop from here. We would go for the 2-hour tour which would cover quite a lot of sights according to the write-up. Very good reviews from other ship passengers.

 

3. Wonderful Copenhagen walking tour; this is 4 hours long (!) and is probably the best value for your money and assuming you can go pretty far in 4 hours. The reviews seems to say that the stories are not dry and boring on this, but if the weather is not good then 4 hours in the rain might not be so much fun.

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It has been discussed in other threads that Viator charges more for the tours, being a third party, who offers tours by local tour operators. Generally, it is better to contact the operator directly and arrange the tour that is more flexible and usually cheaper. At least this is true for St Petersburg, but may be for other Baltic ports.

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Thanks so much for the tips! I will check this forum and try to contact the suppliers directly

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I would actually suggest contacting a few local operators, as many of them have different discounts for early booking, or for booking tours in several ports. Choose an offer that's more interesting to you!

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