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Adventures Afloat: Cathedrals & Capitals: Scandinavia by Sea

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Road Scholar
Program #19192RJ

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14 Days | 13 Nights
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. Minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding, and rewarding, programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Discussion Board

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Judy Cummins Jul 02, 2015 at 12:48 PM

I have booked 3 excursions with Crystal(not the evening one)in St. Petersburg. So I suppose I will keep those for now. If something else comes up I will definitely consider a non-ship excursion.

Toby and Michael Graff Jul 01, 2015 at 11:25 PM

Anyone planning to take a non-ship sponsored excursion in the Scandinavian capitals, I would love to hear about them.

Judy Cummins Jun 25, 2015 at 09:32 AM

I am booked on the Scandinavia by sea cruise for July 26 and I am considering a St. Petersburg tour with Red October. If anyone would like to be on the tour please let me know. As of now, the tour company has no tours booked for our cruise. After reading reviews, the Red October tour looks very good. Please let me know if interested.
Toby and Michael Graff Jul 01, 2015 at 11:24 PM

I have a proposal from Red O for a private tour with my wife, as she has mobility issues and uses a walker or wheelchair, and it would be cumbersome for all if we went with a group. We also need to avoid sites that are not accessible due to many stairs, I think they are expensive and cannot tell if they are worth the price. Trip Advisor has several other well rated agencies. Of course if the tour was expended the cost p.p. diminishes, but then, at least in our case, others would miss certain non-accessible sites. I do not know how you or others would feel about that. There are many great sites that are accessible; all the major ones, to a point. Boat rides may create issues. Also, the Ship has an Evening excursion to Catherine's Palace that received many raves, and even though I am adverse to paying the premium for the ship excursion, it is the only way, and I am planning to go on that on Sunday evening. What do you think?

Ursula Hahn Mar 12, 2015 at 09:16 PM

Dear Toby and Michael,

I tried four times to post comments, only to have the page go blank each time. I will therefore respond to your e-address and regret that others will not be able to read my additional comments.
Toby and Michael Graff Mar 12, 2015 at 09:54 PM

Toby and Michael Graff Mar 12, 2015 at 09:55 PM

Just go to your account and this trip number and discussion board. Then type in the box beneath this comment.
Toby and Michael Graff Mar 12, 2015 at 09:59 PM

You can also "friend" me on Face Book". Michael P. Graff

Ursula Hahn Mar 11, 2015 at 11:21 AM

After my experience in August last year, which included three full days in St. Petersburg (see my pre-RS program posts), I regret to say that I would never visit this city in the summer again. Every tour venue (Church on the Spilled Blood, Hermitage, Peterhof, Catherine's Palace, Peter and Paul Fortress) turned out to be, literally, wall-to-wall tourists, and we were herded at great speed through the gorgeous interiors. Unless you're content with being able to say you've been to St. Petersburg (with few if any rewards), I wouldn't waste money for a rush job and, instead, plan a multi-day, post-season visit in the future.
Toby and Michael Graff Mar 11, 2015 at 01:06 PM

Ursula, Thank you for your posting. Based upon your earlier posting I was planning to engage Red October in a private tour for 3 days, for my wife and I, and possibly one other person or couple to share the costs. This is partly because my wife has mobility problems and will use a wheel chair, which enables her to keep ace in most cases. Do you think that the experience you describe was due to the being in a larger group? Would a small custom group be any better? If you prefer you can reply to me directly at mediator36@verizon.net.
Toby and Michael Graff Mar 12, 2015 at 07:41 PM

If you do not mind, I would appreciate any comments you may make as to how the visits to other ports can be enhanced.

Suzanne Singel Mar 10, 2015 at 12:20 PM

I am planning to go on the 7/24-8/6 Scandinavia cruise. Is anyone planning to go on the 8/2 Moscow by High-Speed Train (STO-5) from St. Petersburg? I really want to go but would be more comfortable if another Road Scholar traveler was going too? Please put a post on here if you plan to go on that trip. Thanks.
Judy Cummins Jun 22, 2015 at 11:36 AM

Suzanne, I was also planning the Moscow excursion, but after talking with the tour director I decided that it would be a very long day (about 8-9 hours on the train and arriving back on the ship around midnight), so I decided not to go but rather spend the time in St. Petersburg. Judy Cummins

Michael Graff Dec 14, 2014 at 02:32 AM

We are booked for the 7/24/2015 program, and am interested in spending 4 days in London pre-program and doing a tour as a 4 person group in St. Petersburg. We would like to touch bases with others on this program with like interests.

Ursula Hahn Jun 09, 2014 at 12:03 PM

I'm enrolled in the 8/5-17 cruise (St. Petersburg on 8/11, 8/12 and 8/13) and found a highly recommended Russian travel agent, Red October (RO), for land excursions as an alternative to Crystal Symphony-offered sightseeing tours. This agent uses vans to accommodate 10 passengers instead of full-sized buses and ensures early entrance to the most sought-after venues. With 2 or 3 exceptions (special circumstances), all RO clients have posted rave reviews of RO tours on Tripadvisor; they state their experience was superior to that of ship passengers who booked through the ship & who experienced long waiting lines everywhere, which reduces the time available at the venues. RO obtains group visas, and admission fees are included in the stated excursion fees. No prepayment is required. However, per RO website, the deadline for email reservations is June 10 for August tours (I will investigate possible extension). I sent email last night & had responses this morning; have been offered all-day tours for 8/12 and 8/13 with 4 passengers (so far) from another ship. If any Road Scholar is interested, send email to Galina Fedotova at gfedotova@redoctober.ru (US agent Mike Finn is currently traveling & cannot answer questions).

Ursula Hahn
Ursula Hahn Jun 10, 2014 at 12:53 PM

Ursula Hahn Jun 10, 2014 at 01:00 PM

I've been in touch with Galina Fedotova, who responds overnight and has answered all questions. Currently, no tour is available on August 11, but I'm registered for the all-day tours on August 12 and 13 (10-passenger van) at the total cost of $282; hydrofoil to Peterhof is $25 extra, if all participants want to use this mode of transportation (because of the group visa, the group cannot be split between van and hydrofoil). Lunch is not included in the price, but it shouldn't be difficult to get a bag lunch put together by the ship's galley. Hurry if you're interested and shy away from a 30- or 40-person bus group.

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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

at no additional cost on this date ...
12 nights of accommodations
35 meals: 12 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 12 dinners
3 Expert-led lectures
3 Field trips


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