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Need tour company for Moscow and St. Petersburg

Saint Louis...
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Need tour company for Moscow and St. Petersburg

Flying into Moscow on July 11 for 3 nights; looking for guide/tour company to show us key sights in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Leaving St. Petersburg on July 18th. Need transportation between 2 cities.

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1. Re: Need tour company for Moscow and St. Petersburg

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Removed on: 07 November 2013, 16:35
Plymouth, Minnesota
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2. Re: Need tour company for Moscow and St. Petersburg

I would only warn you that while you can get from Moscow to St. Peterburg very affordably via train, paying a tour company to arrange this will I fear be quite expensive. But, maybe if you are already paying an arm and a leg (or more likely 2 of each!) for fully guided tours in each city, the transportation costs might not seem like that big a deal.

I am not trying to talk you out of using a tour company, but maybe consider (check out other opinions here at Moscow forum by doing simple queries), you may be better served by perhaps using an agency or guide in each city for maybe a full day, but otherwise doing more on your own with some preliminary light reading, research...

Saint Louis...
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3. Re: Need tour company for Moscow and St. Petersburg

I understand that you are trying to be helpful by saving us money; however, we are seniors and feel the need to have someone or group to be responsible for us in Moscow, St. Petersburg and travel in between. Can you recommend a tour group that might be reasonable for us. If not, what suggestions do you have for a safe and comfortable way to proceed. Thank you for any assistance you can give us.

Marilyn C

London, United...
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4. Re: Need tour company for Moscow and St. Petersburg

if you think you need to be accompanied by other people to feel safer than a prearranged group tour might be a choice. group tours normally include both Moscow and St. Petersburg and if you have already have a specific date in mind it might be more difficult to find a group tour that would coincide with your arrival. another option - a tailor made prearranged tour

Knoxville, Tennessee
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5. Re: Need tour company for Moscow and St. Petersburg

We are going to do a Moscow-St. Petersburg tour next year. We also don't want to do it on our own and are willing to spend to have someone hold our hand from the time we plan until we get home. We inquired of several companies we found on line and ended up with Travel-All-Russia. This is for several reasons. The first is, while other companies mailed brochures, an advisor called us and offered to answer any questions we had about traveling to Russia. I know this was a "low key" attempt to get business, but this is the only company bothering to make personal contact. We eventually did more research and are booking with them. While we cannot vouch for how the trip will go, I can say that any time we have a question or request, the response has been immediate. We opted for "5 star" hotels and, from what I can find on line, we are booked into two of the most desirable hotels in the two cities. We are also going with an individual tour...private driver and guide. This sounds really extravagant, however the cost is in line with the Russian river tour we had originally booked and decided against. And this way we stay in great hotels and don't tour with a group. The company is based in Russia but has an office in Washington, DC. I felt bad leaving my regular travel agent out of the trip but was told, if I wanted, they would do all the work and pay him his full commission. This has worked out very well as he has spoken with them and is watching our backs. Also, because we included him, he worked to get us some super air fares, something I know a TA does as a pure customer service. I do plan on an extensive trip report after we are done.

Moscow, Russia
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6. Re: Need tour company for Moscow and St. Petersburg

> I do plan on an extensive trip report after we are done.

Please do report. "Russia from the limo window" is a rare genre here.

Knoxville, Tennessee
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7. Re: Need tour company for Moscow and St. Petersburg

I sure hope I don't detect any snark in that reply!

Actually, we're not big on guided tours, preferring to do it ourselves. However, my wife has some health issues where we can be doing just fine and all of a sudden she can't continue. Earlier this year we you exploring a city on foot and were two blocks from our destination when she sat on a wall and said she could not go another step. We could actually see our destination but there was no public transportation nearby and we could not get a taxi. We ended up moving a painful few steps at a time and, by the time we got there, she was in tears and it pretty much ruined the experience. I don't want to do this in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

We had originally booked a cruise, but after looking into it (I'm much more active on Cruise Critic), found it was not going to be our cup of tea. The boats, all similar Russian built models, are not what one experiences in other countries. The day starts and ends with a long bus ride into and out of the city in rush hour traffic. The tour is in a group trotting behind a guide listening to him or her on headphones. The cruise company warns the walking can be strenuous and they reserve the right to leave anyone behind (red flag). And the cost of the cruise is in the same ballpark as this private tour.

On last year's trip to Hawaii, we booked a private tour on one of the islands. We were picked up by a native Hawaiian in a jeep and he drove us all over the island, showing us things that interested us and passing on stuff that did not. He even stopped at the home of a native Hawaiian family he knew where we sat in the back yard talking and looking out over the ocean while eating banana cream pie she had made from bananas grown in her back yard. We also got a good education in history, flora and fauna as our guide was also a college professor. It was one of the great tours we've had and nothing we could have done in a group or on our own.

I realize from reading these forums that many of the posters take great pride in how independent they are and how much money they can save. What's wrong with saying you plan to see a country in luxury as a once in a lifetime experience. Does everyone have to rough it and save money?

Moscow, Russia
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8. Re: Need tour company for Moscow and St. Petersburg

No, please don't take it as a "snark" - I have read your other posts about your wife's condition and I think you are doing exactly the right thing, moreover I applaud her willingness to travel the world when her legs can fail her any moment.

The pride in having taken an independent trip to Russia for most people is not about saving some money but mostly about proving that it IS possible to do it on their own the way they prefer and have a blast despite Western media picturing Russia as a scary and dangerous place.

As a minor correction (not that it matters) most Russian cruise boats (if not all) are German built.

Knoxville, Tennessee
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9. Re: Need tour company for Moscow and St. Petersburg

Sorry if I sounded testy.

We've always wanted to visit Russia. It is an especially "mysterious" place to those of our generation who lived through the cold war, which may account for some of our generation having some trepidation about doing it alone, though it is assuredly not warranted.

10. Re: Need tour company for Moscow and St. Petersburg

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Removed on: 25 November 2014, 05:16