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Master thread of St. Petersburg advice and recommendations from cruisers who've been!


trosebery
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Hello. We have a 2 day stop in St Petersburg Aug of 22, if all goes well. I have read most of this thread and haven't seen the topic of staying in a hotel overnight vs returning to the ship. From what I am reading we would need a Visa for this, correct? 

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On 7/23/2021 at 6:53 PM, devlin5 said:

Hello. We have a 2 day stop in St Petersburg Aug of 22, if all goes well. I have read most of this thread and haven't seen the topic of staying in a hotel overnight vs returning to the ship. From what I am reading we would need a Visa for this, correct? 

I believe so. You could not do that with a ship's excursion that provides an alternative to a visa. And on private tours that also provide that alternative to a visa, the guide is supposed to stay with you at all times. So, the only way I could envision you doing that is with a visa.

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On 7/23/2021 at 11:53 PM, devlin5 said:

Hello. We have a 2 day stop in St Petersburg Aug of 22, if all goes well. I have read most of this thread and haven't seen the topic of staying in a hotel overnight vs returning to the ship. From what I am reading we would need a Visa for this, correct? 

 Correct. 

To qualify for a visa-free visit  you must be accompanied ashore by a licensed guide (ship's excursion or an accredited local tour operator such as those mentioned on this thread), and you must overnite on the ship. Hotels will need to see a proper Tourist Visa.

 

JB 🙂

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On 7/19/2021 at 5:10 PM, ontheweb said:

We had a group of 10 put together from our roll call. One couple wanted to see a synagogue that was not on the tour; it was ok with Alla as long as there were no objections, which there were not. My DW is an art teacher and wanted to skip lunch entirely and put the extra time into the Hermitage. That did have objections of course, but there was a compromise to take some of the lunch time away and add it to the Hermitage.

 

When the tour started our guide (who has since opened her own agency SPB tours) asked if there was anything not on the tour that anyone wanted to see. I replied that I had read that the subway stops were interesting. She took us to a few subway stops having our driver meet us.

 

Hi

 

We would like to add the faberge museum there is one place  the second day we are willing to switch out and skip the restaurant lunch.  

 

Do you email them before to discuss changes you would like or do you just do it when they pick you up for the tour?

 

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2 hours ago, K922 said:

 

Hi

 

We would like to add the faberge museum there is one place  the second day we are willing to switch out and skip the restaurant lunch.  

 

Do you email them before to discuss changes you would like or do you just do it when they pick you up for the tour?

 

You e-mail them before to discuss changes.

 

We worked with Alla.

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On 7/29/2021 at 2:22 PM, K922 said:

Thanks 

 

that is who we are looking at using. 

I'm sure you will be happy with Alla's service.

 

Let me add to my previous answer to your question about changes. We were asked as we started if there was anything else we wanted to see that was not on the tour. I replied that I had read that the subways were interesting. And our guide took us to a few stops having the driver meet us. But, that is different than an attraction that they would need to get tickets for.

 

Also if you have a group (ours was 10 from our roll call) it will be asked if the changes are ok with the entire group. So when something is asked like my DW did of skipping lunch entirely for more Hermitage time, that did not go over well with the rest of the group. A compromise was made shortening the lunch time and adding to the Hermitage as opposed to entirely skipping lunch.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Hermitage Museum was very important to me. I originally booked the evening shore excursion lasting about three hours but then decided I wanted more time and booked the shore excursion lasting about five hours during normal business hours.

 

For me, this turned out to be a big mistake. It was chaos inside the museum. It was mass insanity. It was so intense that I fell down on stairs trying to keep up with my group.

 

I was also visiting during the shoulder season, the end of September 2019.  I can not imagine what it would be like in season.

 

I later read reviews of guests who took the evening tour and there was almost no one in the museum but for the cruise guests.

 

If The Hermitage Museum is at the top of your list and most important to you, I suggest that you book the evening shore excursion.

 

 

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

I was wondering if anyone on a 2 night St Petersburg has chosen to go to Moscow. Our currently booked cruise in September 2022 has us in St Petersburg for 2 nights, and although it is expensive, the ship itinerary looks appealing. Can anyone provide any comments.

Thank you

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  • 1 month later...

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