Reviews › Private excursion from Jewel of the Seas with MaxiBaltTours
Expectations for a 2 day cruise stop in St. Petersburg, Russia? As high as they get! But the reality of visiting Russia is very confusing for a U.S. citizen. The cruise ship's solution was to take a tour with them. Their very expensive tours would put our group in a bus full of people with a guide, but U.S. citizens would not have to obtain a Russian visa. Much internet research led to the fact that U.S. citizens who want to have a private St Petersburg shore tour without a visa are required to book with a licensed Russian tour company. But, it doesn't have to be a company associated with the cruise ship, just a licensed Russian tour company.
This led me to MaxiBalTours and Alexei Volkov. A series of timely and informative email exchanges led to my booking a tour for my group of 9 Spanish speaking people with Alexei's company. We were promised a private tour with a Spanish speaking guide. Everything went exactly according to schedule and far exceeded our high expectations. For much less than the cost of the cruise's tours we had two days of guided tours with guide Maria, a driver and a private (very comfortable) van.
Maria is a young St. Petersburg native, a university professor of linguistics (Spanish) and history and she dazzled us with her knowledge of St. Petersburg, it's history, it's palaces and museums. We visited all of the sites advertised on MaxiBalTours site. Every thing was as agreed with Alexei in the emails prior to booking the tour. I am sure we had the best tour value of any one on our cruise ship!