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dronnygirl

SPB local tour companies

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Does anyone know how far in advance to book local tour companies? We were going to book a Baltic cruise and hire a local guide, however due to the Coronavirus outbreak we are going to hold on. Hopefully we will be able to book a last minute cruise but would it be too late to arrange a tour?

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We booked a tour with TJ Travel for July and don't have to pay until we take the tour. 

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19 minutes ago, dronnygirl said:

Does anyone know how far in advance to book local tour companies? We were going to book a Baltic cruise and hire a local guide, however due to the Coronavirus outbreak we are going to hold on. Hopefully we will be able to book a last minute cruise but would it be too late to arrange a tour?

You should be fine - there will definitely be some tour operators in Saint Petersburg that are not fully booked regardless of when you book. You need not rush.

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As schmerl pointed out, many companies will allow you to book without paying a deposit, and especially if you would like a private tour, I would suggest booking with plenty of lead time. Our tour with Red Sun Tours last summer didn't require payment until after the first day of the tour, and booking in advance gave us lots of time to ask all the questions we needed to tweak our itinerary just the way we liked it.

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15 minutes ago, trosebery said:

I would suggest booking with plenty of lead time

Yes, most companies allow you to book with no required deposit - in fact most of the top tier companies require no deposit at booking.

Ordinarily I would suggest booking with plenty of lead time as well. However, with the concerns regarding covid19, many people are cancelling their european flights, cruises and tours. There will be plenty of time for the OP to book a tour close to sailing date this year!

The cruise lines are really taking a drubbing - prices for Baltic cruises are unbelievably low. I just found a 14 day Baltic cruise on the NCL Escape (commencing May 15th) at the insane price of $494 (inside cabin) - truly unbelievable.

Edited by dogs4fun

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I agree that most local tour operators can allow you to book the tour even without pre-payment. But if you made a deposit or made a full payment, you can also ask for a refund if you decide to cancel the tour. I suggest asking about their cancellation policy to ensure that you are able to cancel within the allowed time so that you can get 100% refund in case you decide to not take the tour. 

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Many companies offer now great discounts. We are planning our tour for 2021 and were impressed with prices drop.  Anyway I would arrange the tour in advance since all agencies now are very flexible in terms of deposit and cancelation policy

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I agree that now is the best time to book for your future tours. Those who rescheduled their cruise for next year should plan ahead and book for their shore excursions as well. Travel companies have the lowest rates now and when everything gets back to normal, prices will certainly go up too.  

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8 hours ago, flowslow said:

I agree that now is the best time to book for your future tours. Those who rescheduled their cruise for next year should plan ahead and book for their shore excursions as well. Travel companies have the lowest rates now and when everything gets back to normal, prices will certainly go up too.  

 

You have to still be in business to raise prices.

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14 hours ago, duquephart said:

 

You have to still be in business to raise prices.

 

True. That's why you have to choose a well-established tour operator. A company that has been around longer would definitely still be in business after this crisis. 

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On 3/29/2020 at 12:02 PM, duquephart said:

 

You have to still be in business to raise prices.

Exactly - and many companies may not successfully weather a year with no income.

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Exactly - and many companies may not successfully weather a year with no income.


We used Anastasia and no deposit was required. We did a private, customized (as all of their tours can be) so we booked over a year in advance. We were thrilled with the service we received. If your provider offers it, the canal tour at the end of the first day was wonderful, evening sun on the beautiful Church on Spilled Blood with a glass of champagne and good chocolate. Ahhhh!


76 past cruises
Upcoming:
CCL Dream 8/22/2020. Western Caribbean
NCL Breakaway 1/10/2021 Western Caribbean
CCL Dream 5/16/2021 Western Caribbean
NCL Star 6/27/2021 - Scotland, Norway & Iceland

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Heading to the Baltics July 2021, and would like to know how far in advance should we book a private tour for SPB?

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4 hours ago, dog555 said:

Heading to the Baltics July 2021, and would like to know how far in advance should we book a private tour for SPB?

I would check the ship's roll call to see if there is already someone with a private tour looking for others to join. You would of course have to be comfortable with the choice of tours. Or, if there is a particular tour or tour company you would want, you could post and ask for others to join.

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Many agencies provide early booking discounts, so it is a good time to start searching an offer!

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On 6/4/2020 at 4:10 AM, dog555 said:

Heading to the Baltics July 2021, and would like to know how far in advance should we book a private tour for SPB?

 

A lot of local tour companies are offering affordable rates now so you can start asking around. Make sure to ask about their refund policy if you decide to book as early as now. 

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