Originally posted by cruisewest:
I would be interested to see your itinerary. What do you think about the "Value" 2 day tour? I am not sure how many are on that tour as opposed to a custom tour. Do you know if we would be traveling around in a mimi-van or what? I wonder if it will accomodate 7 people, a guide, and driver. Are you concerned about being able to get off of the ship in time to meet the van? I have read about it taking a hour to get off the boat when you are booked on an individual tour. i'll go to the cruise critic and check it out.
Hello: We also have looked at the DenRus's Value Tour and may end up booking that if we can't find any others to join us on the custom tour to bring the price down a bit. The one thing that we wanted to see was St. Catherine's palace and none of the bigger tour groups include that as they can't fit it in as apparently the larger groups can't move through lines and things as quickly. We also would prefer not to spend a lot of time in Resturants and taking the larger group breaks. Apparently you can even bring box lunchs from the ship to save time on the custom tours but we are open to what others would want. All the reports I have read have said that if you can get a group of 7-8 together for a custom group it is very worth it. Yes they tell us it is a van once we get to the 7-8 group with our own driver and guide. I think that even with DenRus the larger groups are 15 plus unless they don't have enough to fill it. As there are several big ships in on our days I think they will have enough to fill their group tours.
Re getting off the ships, again I only know what I have been reading on the boards and all this is new to me but it sounds like even though the cruise line tells you that you can't get off until their tours have departed in fact if you are at the gangplank they can't stop you from departing and most report that you get away several hours before the cruise ship tours. In DenRus's reply to us they gave us instructions to arrange to meet with our group at the gangplank and disembark as soon as the anouncement that the ship has cleared.
At this point DenRus has sent us 2 sample custom tours and if we are interested we can work with them to fine tune it. Both of them look good to usbut we haven't started to work out the details until we know if others will join us. We were going to give it another week or so. The prices are approximately 439.00 US each for 3-4 people group but goes down to 321 each for 7-9 people which is the same as the Princess 2 day.
Here's a summary
Day One+Day Two
Catherine Palace at Pushkin
Peter-and-Paul Fortress and Cathedral
The State Hermitage Museum
Peterhof Grand Palace
Peterhof Fountain Park
St Isaac’s Cathedral
Yusupov’s Palace+Rasputin basement
There are other additions such as a metro ride through the most beautiful stations and the hydrofoil from Peterhof
IF you are able to jpost an email contact I will forward their email which has all the details (it seems that is how other have done it) and if you are interested we could start to contact them to work out the details. The custom tours have to be booked 30 days prior so we only have a few more weeks. Good luck with your planning and let us know if you are interested in joining us.