We visited St. Petersburg on a Carnival Legend cruise 27th/28th June, 2013.
I desperately wanted to experience a trip on the river during the night when all the buildings are lit up along with the bridges and see them rising to let the water traffic through.
I went on line before leaving for the cruise but was unable to find any Russian company who could oblige until Alexei of MaxiBaltTours approached me himself and was able to fullfil my request. Alexei arranged our visas to allow us to go ashore (you cannot do this unless you go on an organised trip, through a cruise ship shore excursion or get your own visas before leaving the UK, which I was told by fellow passengers, is very expensive).
We disembarked the ship at midnight and Alexei met us and took us in his own car into the centre of St. Petersburg where we boarded a Russian River Boat. He was very attentive and stayed with us during the whole trip and explained everything we wished to know. His knowledge of English is perfect and he was even able to understand my 'jokes'. Obviously his local knowledge is also pretty damn good.
A lot of our friends did the 'White Knights' trip thru the cruise and they were taken out at 7p.m. although the sun did not set that night until 11.30 p.m. They were all very disappointed and did not see any of the bridges being raised. Alexei is a gem of a person, he is also young and pretty good looking!!!. After a 2 hour 30 min trip on the river (it was a bit cold, although it had been 80 degrees during the day, so take a light coat or sweater) he returned us, in his own car, to the ship and waited to make sure we safely got through immigration.
If you go to St. Petersburg and wish to do any type of trip ashore please do not hesitate to contact him. He gives very good value for money. If we are ever lucky enough to visit the Baltic again we will have no hesitation in contacting MaxiBaltTours.
St.Petersburg is a fabulous city so do not visit there on a cruise a stay on board - you will seriously kick yourself later if you don't do it . We were so lucky that Alexei was able to give us such personal attention. There were many people around in the city during the night and the atmosphere was electric.
Well done you, and thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Janet and Doug Harrold
We have been home now for a couple of days and are just getting around to doing our chores after the laundry etc. It is now very hot in England and hope your weather is great too.
We had a really lovely trip with you on the river and were really charmed to meet such a lovely young gentleman.
I will get around to doing your Tripadvisor report (read here!!!) within the next couple of days. In the meantime please find one or two of the photos I took - sorry I am not a better photographer. Please give our best regards to your 'boating' friend and thank you for a lovely trip and being so caring.
We did tell lots of people about you when we returned to the ship so lets hope you get more business.