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shudie

Private Tours of St Petersburg & Berlin w SPB Tours w Kids

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Hi everyone,

 

We are doing private tours, 2 adults, 2 kids (9.5 + 11 years old) with SPB Tours next year - 2 day St Petersburg and 1 day Berlin. 

 

We chose them because in my initial inquiries, they came back enthusiastic about the children and suggested a Russian Doll painting experience for them. 

 

Has anyone done private tours on the Baltic with children? 

 

How flexible is the itinerary on a private tour? ie did you add bits and bobs? 

 

Anything else we should think about/include for kids? 

 

Would love to hear your stories about private tours with children on the Baltic - particularly if you have done them with SPB (although it sounds like the top companies are all pretty similar).

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Not knowing the ages of your children are you sure you want to spend the long drive back and forth for Berlin?  Wouldn't a beach day in Warnemunde and a ride on the Molli Train be more fun?  Perhaps a visit to Schwerin and the Cinderella type castle and then an afternoon treat in the restaurant on the grounds or near the castle might be  nice.  I'm just thinking that the Baltic Capitals is a very port intensive cruise and you might want to schedule some down time.

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1024px-Schwerin_Castle_Aerial_View_Islan

By WorldKnowledge0815 - Based on File:Schwerin Castle Aerial View.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=71004553

 

Warnemunde_Harbour_Beach09.JPG

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1 hour ago, Sauer-kraut said:

Not knowing the ages of your children are you sure you want to spend the long drive back and forth for Berlin?  Wouldn't a beach day in Warnemunde and a ride on the Molli Train be more fun?  Perhaps a visit to Schwerin and the Cinderella type castle and then an afternoon treat in the restaurant on the grounds or near the castle might be  nice.  I'm just thinking that the Baltic Capitals is a very port intensive cruise and you might want to schedule some down time.

 

Thank you - that all looks great. 

 

We are coming from Australia and my husband really wants to see Berlin - we doubt we will get back there anytime soon, so it's a must see. 

 

We are doing the Jewels of the Baltic + Viking Passage B2B so every second day is a sea day on the 2nd half (and on HAL, so will be pretty quiet for the children I imagine). 

 

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Posted (edited)

We did this cruise with a 3.5 year old.  We did a private tour for just out family.  They are very flexible with a private tour for just your family but it’s easier if you can tell them ahead of time what you want to do.  Google best guides children’s tour for more ideas in St. Petersburg.  There’s The Russian railway museum that lots of people recommended.  My signature line has a tour review of the whole trip.  We did all independent tours, except for St. Petersburg where we had a private tour for just our family.  The private tour saved us, since we could stop whenever our kid got tired and feed him.  Stolle has quick and delicious sweet and savory pies. My son liked the hermitage, fountains of peterhof, subway and canal tour.  He really loved St. Petersburg, Stockholm an Tallinn.   This is a great trip with kids.  

Edited by kitkat343

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We did a Baltic Cruise just this May and we had 3 children with us. We booked with Anastasia Travel and we also did the Matryoshka Painting class. The kids loved it and we, the adults, enjoyed it as much as the kids did. We loved the private tour because we got the chance to customize it based on our preferences. We also added a visit to the Grand Model Russia that the kids definitely enjoyed. Good luck with your tour planning! 

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We did this cruise with a 3.5 year old, and we did a private tour for just our family.   If you can afford a private tour for just your family in St. Petersburg, that will greatly enhance your ability to maximize the time your children will be able to tour.  You can skip through the lesser rooms of muesums (the middle of Catherine's palace gets a little repetitive, while the start and end is amazing)  and take breaks and feed them whenever your kids get tired.   Stolle is a great place to stop for really delicious sweet or savory pies, and it's quite quick so you can take a break, let the kids eat food they'll like and go back to touring.  The tour companies are very flexible with a private tour for just your family but it’s easier if you can tell them ahead of time what you want to do.  This tour company has very good reviews with children on this site (I booked 6 weeks before sailing so I didn't know about this company ahead of time)   https://www.bestguides-spb.com/children-page.html  and you might get more ideas from their page if you decide to keep spb.  Additionally, there’s a Russian railway museum that lots of people recommended.  My signature line has a tour review of our whole trip.  We did all independent tours, except for St. Petersburg where we had a private tour for just our family.   It's important to research ahead of time exactly what you want to see so you can achieve that  (I wanted to see Renaissance paintings in the Hermitage, and my husband wanted to see the impressionists.  My 3.5 year old made it an hour in the Hermitage while we all looked at the Renaissance paintings, and then my son and I went to the internet cafe on the first floor and he happily ate cake while my husband saw the impressionists) .  In addition to the train museum mentioned above, your kids might like running through the trick fountains at Peterhof (you might want a change of clothes since it might be cold), and the subway and canal ride. 

 

The Baltic trip review in my signature line has a lot of stuff for kids, although mine was only 3.5 so it's a little different.  Of the museums, I'd highly recommend the vasa, the terribly named Seaplane Harbor in Tallinn (wander around the gorgeous old town first, and then go to this really interesting hands on museum in which your kids can fly a simulated plane), if they like animals they might like the open air lemur exhibit at skansen, and this summer they are continuing the viking for a day program at the Historika museum in Stockholm but check the dates at https://historiska.se/home/ .  In Helsinki, I didn't know about this ahead of time but there's a reindeer park outside of the city.  I can't personally vouch for that but others have recommended it on this forum, plus Helsinki itself isn't the absolute highlight of this trip.  

 

 

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sorry for the almost double post - I thought the website ate my first post, but only held it for admin approval.

 

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On 7/12/2019 at 5:58 PM, flowslow said:

We did a Baltic Cruise just this May and we had 3 children with us. We booked with Anastasia Travel and we also did the Matryoshka Painting class. The kids loved it and we, the adults, enjoyed it as much as the kids did. We loved the private tour because we got the chance to customize it based on our preferences. We also added a visit to the Grand Model Russia that the kids definitely enjoyed. Good luck with your tour planning! 

 

Wonderful - thanks so much!

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On 7/13/2019 at 3:14 AM, kitkat343 said:

We did this cruise with a 3.5 year old, and we did a private tour for just our family.   If you can afford a private tour for just your family in St. Petersburg, that will greatly enhance your ability to maximize the time your children will be able to tour.  You can skip through the lesser rooms of muesums (the middle of Catherine's palace gets a little repetitive, while the start and end is amazing)  and take breaks and feed them whenever your kids get tired.   Stolle is a great place to stop for really delicious sweet or savory pies, and it's quite quick so you can take a break, let the kids eat food they'll like and go back to touring.  The tour companies are very flexible with a private tour for just your family but it’s easier if you can tell them ahead of time what you want to do.  This tour company has very good reviews with children on this site (I booked 6 weeks before sailing so I didn't know about this company ahead of time)   https://www.bestguides-spb.com/children-page.html  and you might get more ideas from their page if you decide to keep spb.  Additionally, there’s a Russian railway museum that lots of people recommended.  My signature line has a tour review of our whole trip.  We did all independent tours, except for St. Petersburg where we had a private tour for just our family.   It's important to research ahead of time exactly what you want to see so you can achieve that  (I wanted to see Renaissance paintings in the Hermitage, and my husband wanted to see the impressionists.  My 3.5 year old made it an hour in the Hermitage while we all looked at the Renaissance paintings, and then my son and I went to the internet cafe on the first floor and he happily ate cake while my husband saw the impressionists) .  In addition to the train museum mentioned above, your kids might like running through the trick fountains at Peterhof (you might want a change of clothes since it might be cold), and the subway and canal ride. 

 

The Baltic trip review in my signature line has a lot of stuff for kids, although mine was only 3.5 so it's a little different.  Of the museums, I'd highly recommend the vasa, the terribly named Seaplane Harbor in Tallinn (wander around the gorgeous old town first, and then go to this really interesting hands on museum in which your kids can fly a simulated plane), if they like animals they might like the open air lemur exhibit at skansen, and this summer they are continuing the viking for a day program at the Historika museum in Stockholm but check the dates at https://historiska.se/home/ .  In Helsinki, I didn't know about this ahead of time but there's a reindeer park outside of the city.  I can't personally vouch for that but others have recommended it on this forum, plus Helsinki itself isn't the absolute highlight of this trip.  

 

 

 

Fantastic - such great information - thank you! Will take a look at your links over the weekend x

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The kids in our group loved the Matryoshka painting and the ride with the hydrofoil. Once we got to Peterhof gardens you couldn't stop them 🙂 Great way for kids to use some of their energy. The Gardens are huge and beautiful, and so worth seeing! Our agency was Anastasia Travel as well and we were a mixed group of 8, with 2 very energetic kids 🙂 that would have been so bored if we went to the Hermitage, for example.

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My kids are 9 and 12 and we just came back from our cruise. We used SPB for a private tour and did their 2 day Russian treasures with Faberge museum. I modified slightly by taking out Peter and Paul to spend more time at the Hermitage. Private tour is definitely the way to go and you have freedom to adjust tour accordingly to your own interests and can move at your own pace. 

 

Honestly, I would also think about your kids interests as well. The Russian doll painting is something my daughter would enjoy - but not my son. So I opted not to do this, even though it was originally suggested as an option. Their favorites were the Faberge museum, riding the metro, followed by Hermitage and Peterof. My son enjoyed the trick fountains. They also enjoyed the Russian lunches. It’s a lot of walking - so again, private allowed us flexibility. 

 

I would also suggest showing the kids videos of the various sights. This helped generate excitement and helped plan what we wanted to see. 

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The last time we were in St Petersburg with the kids, we had a private tour arranged with Anastasia Travel. When the days are filled of touring it’s nice to have a private tour that is specifically arranged for you. So when the kids get tired, you can just adjust the schedule. That was the case with us. Our tour guide suggested going an area where they were selling those nesting dolls and other souvenirs. The kids picked one out and we were good to keep on touring!

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