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Prior to visiting St. Petersburg I began a search for who we would use for our tours. In all I found about five or six companies in St.Petersburg all of which had good reviews and fairly comparable prices for what we were wanting. Ludmila Tours was one of them. I sent emails to all companies directly and as emails were exchanged with different people, I got a sense of honesty and genuine concern from Ludmila to make our visit memorable. Other operators were very good in their presentations and offers, some were a little 'pushy' to get us to sign up with them; many made a point that they were the 'largest' or offered more tours to more people than any others and so on. Fortunately, we realized what an honest person Ludmila was and booked her tour on Viator. As for guides we could have been given, we certainly must have had the absolute best in all of Russia. Inna was a delightful person, was willing to adjust and schedule things to our wishes, easy to talk with and understand. She was very knowledgeable and kept things moving along smoothly for both days we had her. She was the one that really made the trip so special. The driver Vladimir was equally good at his responsibility of maneuvering throughout the city in the best and quickest routes. The vehicle was very clean and comfortable and the driver stayed close to it when we were touring so there was never a worry about the safety of things left on the bus. The meals we had arranged for us were very well priced and enjoyable - very clean restaurants with excellent service. The potentially negative part was large crowds in the Hermitage and Catherine's Palace, but somehow Inna was able to avoid all the lines and easily get all 15 members of our group through the crowd. The smallest details were all taken care of. This was definitely five star service and I'd have no hesitation to book with this company again.
We had a 2-day tour with Tatiana. It was the ideal tour. Her English and general knowledge was impressive. She was the best guide that we have ever had on any tour.The group was small (6 people) and we kept seeing all of the cruise tours at the same locations as us but we went straight to the front of the line, had 6 people in the group instead of 40, and paid 1/3 the price. Talking to people on the ship who took cruise sponsored tours made us realize that we actually saw more than they did! They were prompt, easy to find in the terminal, and highly reliable.My only bit of advice would be to clarify the night program in the email confirmation. You definitely want to plan that before you get there because we wanted to see the ballet and it was sold out because we didn't realize that you need to pre-plan the night option. Overall great and a highlight of our cruise.
Viator had contracted with Ludmilla Tours in St.Pete. The price of the tour was significantly less than the Oceania Cruise tour. We only had 12 people on our very comfortable mini bus compared to the 30+ on the big buses. Our guide was Olga who spoke perfect English and absolutely had an incredible knowledge of all things Russian and the local St Pete area. In a nutshell the tour was well worth the cost and we would highly recommend it.
I have the highest praise for the local company, Ludmilla Tours- tour guide Mariya and assistant Constantin, even the driver. They went out of their way to help us and make this a good experience. We were the 2 late people the first day, because of immigration delays. They met us and brought us to catch up w the rest of the group, apologized (it wasn't even their fault), and made things right. My husband had a wheelchair from them, and Constantin was the "pusher." So nice and personable. Mariya was so knowledgeable, so very nice, and made sure all the wheel chair detours were handled properly. The Hermitage was crowded beyond belief; and Mariya moved us along to at least see what we needed, w good explanations in the time constraints. I can't say enough good things about these people and their company. Thank you!!!! (PS Re the Hermitage, I would suggest that people set up a tour for that alone, or first thing in AM--this has to do w the # of tourists in St Pete and how they're let in- not the tour company.)
We spent two full days seeing the major sights of St. Petersburg and its suburbs with Ludmila Tours. Our driver Yuri and English speaking tour guide Eugenia were outstanding. They were very organized and had every stop well planned out to optimize our time at every Cathedral, Palace, Garden and Museum. All of our admissions were included, and we were able to bypass the long lines waiting to enter each place we visited. Beverages were provided as well as a nice Russian lunch.
We visited numerous sited in St. Petersburg and the suburbs in a 15 passenger van, with 14 clients on the first day and 6 the second. Despite the city being thronged with football fans, we visited two amazing churches and a fabulous park (Peterhof) and an incredible castle at Pushkin over two days, and enjoyed a boat ride on the river to start off. The guide, Olga, spoke excellent English and was very patient with our questions. Our group was small enough that no one got lost or mixed up with other groups, of which there were many. The walking was well-paced, so we all could keep up. The lunches, one of which was included, were tasty and filling. These two days were a highlight of our cruise. And the price was better than the ship's tours (a nice bonus).
Me, my husband and our 33 year old son took a 12 day Baltic capitals with Princess Cruises and decided to book thru Viator this tour since we had used Viator in the past with good exprience. We were contacted by their supplier, Ludmila Tours. Since the first contact, everything went smooth, specially the visa issue to visit Russia. But the highlight of our tour was Inna, our tour guide for the two days. What a charming, nice, well informed young lady!! She was on top of any need we had, taking care of the group. We were 16 adults. She spoke perfect English, knowleadgeable, practical, trying to cover as much as there is to see in such a fantastic city as St. Petersburg. Thank you Inna for making our visit a memorable one. We hope to return in the future.
The Abbott Paiewonsky family
Our 2 day St Petersburg experience exceeded our expectations in every way. 4 people with Maria, our guide from Ludmilla tours and her obliging driver, so much better than a coach full of tourists. Maria gave us an insight into St. Petersburg and Russia past and present and we couldn't possibly have fitted more into our 2 days. Her knowledge and enthusiasm were amazing and she engaged with us throughout the tour, we couldn't have had a better guide.We will definately use Viatour in other destinations.
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