I visited Russia with a negative, if as it turned out, a somewhat uninformed view of Russia and as a result a low expectation of our Baltic cruise stop in St Petersburg; well, what a surprise that turned out to be, absolutely stunning!
We booked through St Petersburg Guided Tours and was lucky enough to have Valerie (Valaria) organize, reorganize and then lead our small group of 4. She has patience, perfect English, a genius for context and for painting the picture that gives such colour and realism to the visual experience.
St Petersburg is a seriously great experience. I’ve drawn the deep breath at the Pyramids and the Sphinx, the Terracotta Warriors, Angkor Wat and the Forbidden City etc. I can assure you St Petersburg resides in the top three. The Hermitage, Peterhof Fountain Park and Grottos and the Yusupov Palace plus much more just dashed my preconceptions.
Our 2 day private tour for 4 with Valarie turned out to be a steep discount to even the elite class of 16 from the ship.
Strongly recommend both the city and St Petersburg Guided tours.