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“Absolutely the Best Tour Company”

Red October Tour Company
Ranked #43 of 369 Tours in St. Petersburg
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Tamworth, New Hampshire
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Absolutely the Best Tour Company”
Reviewed September 23, 2012

I planned a trip to Saint Petersburg, Russia and had a difficult time finding a tour company that would offer me a tour to what I wanted to see as a single person at a price I could afford. I was only in the city for one day, but Red October Tours, right from my first contact with Galina, has been outstanding and took care of all the details. Upon arrival after lengthy passport control lines, I was met by a wonderful guide, Tania, who introduced me to our great driver, Vitaly. Tania is incredibly knowledgeable and kind, her English impeccable. Not only did they take me places I wanted to visit, but they also took me to places that I would have missed. This included canal boat ride, a true highlight, Vitaly stopping so I could take pictures and Tania teling me so many things about the city. Tania was so wonderful, answering questions and showing and telling me things that were meaningful to me. This was my first international trip, and I do not speak Russian, yet I felt safe and welcome. We spent a long day, ending with the Hermitages and Tania tailoring the highlights to my interests as well as a few awesome exhibits that I did not know about. I never felt rushed or questions left unanswered. It was a highlight of my trip, to be in Saint Petersburg accompanied by Tania. Vitaly was an excellent driver, getting us through the traffic safely. I recommend this tour company in the highest regard and hope someday to visit again soon to see more of the city with Tania.

Visited September 2012
9 Thank dooks4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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174 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Hebrew first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Cincinnati, Ohio
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Two Wonderful Days in St. Petersburg!”
Reviewed September 18, 2012

In late August 2012, my husband and I took a 12 night Baltic cruise. Because of our special interest in Peter the Great and St. Petersburg, we had a number of things we wanted to see and experience. We couldn't fulfill our wish list with the offerings from the cruise company so, on the strength of Tripadvisor recommendations, we turned to Red October Tour Company. Mike Finn responded to our request immediately and a tour program was created that included all our desired activities and sights. (Wow!) We had early admission to the Hermitage museum and Catherine's Palace and went ahead of the group tours that had early admission. We took a hydrofoil transfer to Peterhof which was so interesting, walked around St. Petersburg at night (take your camera!), took a canal cruise (you have to do it to get a true sense of St. Petersburg) took a subway ride, visited a local food market and finished the evening off at a vodka bar with blini and piroshiki - what a blast!

Red October furnished all the information we needed to breeze through Russian passport control and get off the ship with the first passengers off the ship. Our guide, Anna, was darling and was so knowledgable and flexible to our wants. Our driver, Vladimir was so friendly and reliable. The van was great.

We had a magnificent experience! Short version - book Red October! You will be grateful and have a great experience in this wonderful, beautiful city! I am a professional in travel and I really recommend Red October!

Visited August 2012
17 Thank 0769katrina48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Petersburg, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
183 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
“a very good way to visit St Petersburg”
Reviewed September 18, 2012

We wanted to visit the Hermitage and spend more time there than any of our cruise tours allowed, so on the advice of a friend we booked with Red October. The experience was very good from start to finish. There is a US contact and we dealt initially with him. He collected a small deposit and took our passport information so the people in St Petersburg could arrange the visas for us. Since this was our first time with them, I appreciated having a modest outlay before we had the tour. We got off the ship early (7:30) with others who had arranged private tours and we met by a RO representative who introduced us to Dimitri, our local guide. We did this as a tour for just two of us. Much more common, judging from all the vans, were small groups of 6 - 8 people. This would make it much more affordable. Since we had asked to spend the day at the Hermitage Dimitri assumed we had been to SP before. We hadn't. Since we were off before our early admission time, we also got a tour of the city and a stop at one of the famous churches. We entered the Hermitage early and were the only people in some of the grand salons. Dimitri, a local university prof, was very knowledgeable and took us through the collection. We were able to spend as much time as we wanted with the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, our primary interests. We saw large groups come and go as we lingered in a room, and we glad we arranged our visit the way we did. After our time at the museum, we took another ride around the city and visited another church and got back to our ship about 6PM. On the way back, we stopped at the RO office and paid the day. We also gave tips to Dimitri and our driver. We are glad we worked with Red October and will do so again if our travels again take us to SP. We definitely recommend them to those who want to structure their own visit. This was expensive, about 2 - 3X what a ship tour would have cost, but it gave us much more time at the places in which we were most interested. Worth the cost.

Visited June 2012
12 Thank Tom O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sudbury, Massachusetts
Level 4 Contributor
11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Two Great Days of Touring in Saint Petersburg”
Reviewed September 14, 2012

In July my wife, 9 ½ year-old daughter and I were sailing on a 14-day Baltic Cruise on the Holland America Ryndam and wanted to see Saint Petersburg – but wanted more flexibility than an average bus tour setup by the ship can offer.

While I was looking into various options my travel agent mentioned “Red October”. Based on their website they seemed to be very credible and competitive with all of the other options; so I used their online form to contact Mike Finn in their US office to inquire about 2 days of private touring. Mike’s responses were very quick - and very detailed - as we iterated back and forth on the sights to see and other details. Since I knew what we wanted to see, and Mike knew how to set it up, setting up the touring was quick and easy.

When our ship docked we quickly passed through passport control (using all of the required documents and information that Mike had emailed to us) where we were met by our guide Anna and our driver Ditmar. From there 2 days of non-stop activity started.

During our visit in and around Saint Petersburg we saw The Hermitage (before all of the crowds entered), took a hydrofoil to the Peterhof Palace, visited Catherine’s Summer Palace in Pushkintown (once again before all of the crowds entered), saw the World War 2 monument up close, took a boat ride along the canals, visited the Church of Spilled Blood, had lunch and dinner in Russian restaurants, and even had time to walk and explore various parts of the city.

All in all the two days of touring with Red October was great. The driver knew just where to go, and our guide was an Art History major in college, so not only did she know about Saint Petersburg’s history she was also very conversant about the art and the palaces that we saw. From our discussions with other people on the ship it was clear that we saw far more than anyone else did and got to do so in a far less stressful manner.

If you go – please do yourself a favor and make sure that you go to Catherine’s Summer palace in Pushkintown – it is stunning. You might also consider having Red October take you there.

Visited July 2012
15 Thank gphillips81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Best St. Petersburg tour anywhere”
Reviewed September 10, 2012

A group of 8 friends booked a custom tour with Red October via Mike Finn while traveling on a cruise ship. I was astounded at extent of the better experience we had over others on the NCL Sun, who booked excursions through the regular channels. The 2 day best of St. Petersburg was cheaper and vastly more efficient. I consider it to be the single best decision I made on that trip.

Visited August 2012
4 Thank rob G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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