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Old 10-08-2019, 01:10 PM   #18
Strange Brew
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Join Date: Sep 2011

Originally Posted by bizaro86 View Post
The cruise line will tell you this to try and push their tours, but if you have a pre-arranged tour with a licensed operator that works as well. It also saved us hundreds and hundreds of dollars, and we had a smaller group, so got to see more stuff.
Definitely avoid the cruise line's tours whenever possible, but my point was you can't leave the ship and explore on your own. You have to be part of a tour group to avoid getting a visa.

When we went, the private tours were not yet an option IIRC. But now as I understand it, you can do those and you may get a little free time to roam but you're still generally herded around. I just can't stand that. We went to the Winter Palace which was beautiful but the crowds and the lines were awful.
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