St. Petersburg (Russia) - Excellent private tour guide matters!
September 5, 2012
Before our one day visit to St. Petersburg we needed to make a decision: take a group bus tour or pay more and take a private tour guide. We decided to spend extra money taking a private tour guide and never regretted it. We found a great tour company that accommodated us (2 adults and 3 children).
Masha, that company's partner, worked with us for about one month and a half before the start of the cruise to plan our itinerary. We had limited time in St. Petersburg, so we wanted to utilize it as much as possible and ensure that our kids would be interested, not bored and not tired. Masha acted as a true concierge listening to all our crazy requests changing our itinerary several times.
When we arrived to St. Petersburg Masha met us just after passport control. She had a Mercedes minivan with a driver waiting for us in front of the port building. After we got into the minivan we started our tour around the city.
Masha made sure that our children were very comfortable and not bored. We stopped at several tourist spots to hear history and stories about them. Masha's stories were targeted at the level that our kids understood and she allowed many questions especially from our oldest son who loves asking questions. Our kids were involved in conversations with Masha from the very beginning and had a lot of fun. They still remember some interesting historical facts that Masha told them. Peter the Great, being the most powerful person in Russia, lived in a very tiny house with his wife and kids. His daughter, Elisabeth, had 15,000 dresses and left only 6 rubles when she passed away. Cats saved the city after World War II eliminating rats...
Masha even brought us to the small yard where kids did Treasure Hunt.
No only our kids learned a lot from Masha while touring Hermitage museum, but they also had a lot of fun. Just after entering the museum Masha gave toy swords to boys and a fan to our daughter. Our kids were playing with the swords outside of Hermitage when we finished. We never would think that our kids would enjoy the overall Hermitage experience so much.
After visiting Science Museum we had some time and decided to go to a book store (it was not planned). Within several minutes Masha found an excellent one near by.
Masha provided a true concierge service to us satisfying all our desires on 'the' fly and being flexible to change plans when we asked. We had such a great experience. I would say that experience was worth all the money we spent. Most importantly kids had a blast and would love to return to St. Petersburg!