TJ Travel is registered at the Federal Agency of Tourism in the Russian Federation. Our registered license number is MBT#011381. We are a founding member of the Baltic Cruise Association in St. Petersburg. TJ Travel is a member of the Cruise Industry Association in St. Petersburg.
Yes, we are. Our registration number in the Russian Federation of Tourism is MBT 011381.As we are officially authorized by the Russian government we will supply you with a tour ticket which will allow you to easily pass through customs and immigration. In addition, we have a contract with the new St. Petersburg sea port “Morskoy Fasad”, so we can guarantee to meet you directly near your ship. Lastly, we are board members of the “Cruise Industry Association” and “ASTA” (American Society of Travel Agents).
On the morning of your ship’s arrival, we will be there waiting for you! We will meet you after you pass the customs holding the sign of our company (TJ TRAVEL) and introduce you to your private guide and driver. We will be waiting by your ship well before you arrive. If for some reason you can’t find us, you can call us using the telephone number on your tour ticket, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Please, note: meeting times listed in tour programs is given approximately and will be adjusted depending on your ship arrival time.
We strongly feel that your trip’s success depends on your guide’s knowledge, personality, and the ability to create a friendly atmosphere. We take this very seriously and pride ourselves on giving you a truly memorable experience in St. Petersburg. We provide you with full service excursion packages: both inside and outside excursions. As we are a small company, we put special emphasis on choosing only the most experienced guides with an incredible record of success – our guides are the best in the industry, and are natives of St. Petersburg – so you will see our city through the eyes of a local! They speak excellent English, are fully licensed, have a good sense of humor, and create excursions that are flexible – depending on your interests, on your pace, and whether you are with children or not.
All of our drivers are friendly, professional and some of them speak English – which is rare for Russia. Each has great experience working only with cruise passengers.
You can be sure you will never be late to your ship at the end of the last day.
We are always prepared for the unexpected and always have a special extra van on stand by in case of any emergency, to provide you with another vehicle or whatever means necessary to return you to your ship at the appointed time, at our expense. All of our itineraries are insured to take into account unforeseen circumstances which may arise on the way back to the port.
If by any reason you are late and miss your ship we will take the responsibility to deliver you to the next port at our expense.
The situation in Ukraine is definitely a matter of concern for us and we follow all the latest news. We hope that military actions taking place at the moment in the territory of Ukraine will be over soon. The Slavic nation has always been united and we are so saddened that these war actions are creating a distance between our countries. Our relatives and friends in Ukraine are facing hard times now and we are praying together with them for the end of war and for peace. We deeply empathise and condole with anyone who lost their relatives and friends in this war.
We would like to point out that the situation in St. Petersburg is very safe. At the moment we don’t expect any changes with visa policy and we believe that the situation will stabilise soon and it won’t affect travel regulations approved between the Russian Federation and the rest of the world.
Our team is happy to say that we are very children friendly and we are ready to provide your little ones with baby seats absolutely for free (only in St. Petersburg). If you are going to visit museums in St. Petersburg, please be aware that most of them allow strollers with white wheels, otherwise, you need to take a baby carrier with you. Travelling with your children will be real fun with us, as our professional guides will keep your kids interested throughout the whole tour and make your time much more exciting and memorable. We have developed a number of children’s tours that can be interesting both for you and your kids!
NOTE: Our drivers and guides would love to help you out and hold your children, but for liability reasons, they are not allowed.
No, please feel free to wear casual clothes. Churches included in our programs are museums and thus have no dress code requirements.
Booking and Visa info
We will send you a tour ticket (blanket visa) by e-mail and you will need to print it at home and to bring it with you to pass through Russian customs control. The following information is required to issue your Tour Ticket:
- 1.Your full name (as it reads in your passport)
- 3.Date of Birth
- 4.Passport number
- 5.Passport Issue Date and Passport Expiration Date
- 6.Arrival and departure dates in St Petersburg
- 7.The name of your ship
No. We are one of the very few companies in St. Petersburg which can provide you with visa free excursions. This can save you a minimum of $130 per person! According to the Russian Federation legislation, a Russian Visa is not required for shore excursions, if you book your tour through an officially licensed tour company. As we are officially authorized by the Russian government we have the right to issue the tour ticket (also called a “blanket visa”) and we will send it to you via e-mail, which you can print at home and bring along with you to St Petersburg. We will send you instructions on how to pass through customs immigration as well.
When you open your tour tickets (blanket visa) you will see it consists of three parts, which correspond with the number of days on which your ship is allowed to stay in St. Petersburg (one, two or three days). Timing of days is divided into day and evening tours. We add the additional evening time just in case you decide on an evening program in less than one week prior to your arrival. Please note (!) that it is not possible to change anything on your tour tickets on short notice as we are required to send them to the customs authorities well in advance.
- A valid passport
- The tour ticket (sent to your e-mail by TJ Travel)
Tour tickets are needed only for your disembarkation in St. Petersburg as it replaces the regular tourist visa and you won’t be able to clear the customs without it. Regarding any other Baltic countries – no tourist tickets are required as they are members of The Euro Zone.
Please, ensure that you make your booking at least 4-5 days prior to your ship's arrival to St. Petersburg. The port authorities require all passport information in advance and late bookings sent in less than 4 days will be rejected.
Payment issues, cancelation policy and discounts
Group tours: We do not charge any penalties for the cancellation of a group tour and we do not ask for prepayment. But the only thing we kindly ask you to do is to inform us about your cancellation as soon as possible.
Private tours: If you book a private tour, a 50% prepayment is required at the time of booking.
Baltic tours: If you don't book St. Petersburg tours with us but choose any Baltic tours (either group or private) we require 100% prepayment. The payment must be made at least one month before your arrival.
Train and theatre tickets: we ask for 100% prepayment for the train and theatre tickets.
1) You can pay us in the morning of the first/second day of your St. Petersburg tour in cash (Rubles only) or by credit card (Visa, Master Card and American Express). If you decide to pay by credit card the amount for the tour will be charged in rubles according to the exchange rate of our Central bank. No transaction fee is taken. If you booked a package tour, please be aware that payment is due to be made in St. Petersburg as well.
2) If you would like to pay for your tour in advance, please fill in your credit card details using the secure form on our website. We accept Visa, Master card and Amex.
If you pay by credit card (we accept both Master Card and Visa), please note that we do not charge any bank fees for the transaction.
Please also note that if you are travelling with children under 7 then the tour for them is for free. Older children and students (7-21 years old) receive a special discount ($15/$30/$50 pp) depending on the length of the tour in Saint-Petersburg; and 10% discount for any Baltic tour from the full adult cost of the whole package.
Students (17-21 y.o.) must have a valid ISIC card – please, let us know about students in your group in advance so that we can book the right tickets for them.
No, we do not accept traveler’s cheques.
If you travel with kids under 7 the tour is free for them. Older kids and students (7-21 years old) receive special discounts ($15/$30/$50 pp) depending on the length of the tour in Saint-Petersburg; and there is a 10% discount from the adult cost of the whole package of any Baltic tours.
Students (17-21 yo) must have a valid ISIC card – please, let us know about students in your group in advance so that we can book the right tickets for them.
Please, be informed that we are unable to provide discounts for seniors.
If you decide to form a group of 10+ participants on your own, we will be pleased to give you an additional 5% discount.
In order to find potential cruise mates you can place information about yourself on http://boards.cruisecritic.com/ ROLL CALL.
For groups exceeding 20 people, please, contact us for further information.
Group tours in St Petersburg and Baltic cities (booked along with a St Petersburg tour): No prepayment, no penalties for cancellation. Please inform us about your cancellation at least 72 hours prior to the beginning of the tour.
Private tours in St Petersburg and Baltic cities (booked along with a St Petersburg tour): A 50% prepayment is required at the moment of booking. This amount is non-refundable in case you cancel the tour in less than 72 hours before the beginning of the tour.
Group and private tours in Baltic cities (booked without a St Petersburg tour): A 100% prepayment is required at the moment of booking. The amount is non-refundable in case you cancel the tour in less than 72 hours before the beginning of the tour.
Train tickets, Russian Ballet, Folk show and Boat Ride tours: A 100% prepayment is required at the moment of booking. This amount is non-refundable.
No refund is possible for any tour/service in case of a no-show.
Gratuities to the guide and driver are not included in the tour price. The sum you wish to give to your guide and driver after a well-done tour in St. Petersburg should be up to the western standards (approximately 15% of the cost of the tour). It is a good idea to divide any gratuity between your guide and driver and give it separately to them: 10% to the guide and 5% to the driver. Please have some cash with you (USD, EUR or RUB) for this reason, but it is, of course, always up to you.
We recommend to give the following amounts in other cities: Helsinki (5 EUR guide, 3 EUR driver); Tallinn (5 EUR guide), Stockholm (5 EUR guide, 3 EUR driver); Berlin (10 EUR guide, 5 EUR driver), Copenhagen (10 EUR guide, 5 EUR driver). But these are only our recommendations, it’s entirely up to you to decide whether to give tips or not!
On your request, it is possible to include a meal into the cost of your tour, and we usually highly recommend that for groups of more than 10 people, as it is a great time saver. The cost of lunch in a small local café is on average $20 per person for a three course meal in The Russian style; if you prefer an upscale restaurant, the cost of the meal is on average $30 per person.
Two-day All St. Petersburg Highlights tour has two lunches included. The Two day exclusive standard group tour has one lunch included. The Three day all highlights group tour has three lunches included.
Traditional Russian lunch usually includes a meat dish (f.e. beef-stroganoff, pozharsky cutlet, or beaf pot), Russian traditional soup and dessert (for example, Russian pancakes with various fillings).
We don’t include the cost of lunches in our private programs for small parties / groups because we want to give you more freedom and flexibility. Our guides will recommend a restaurant or cafe where local Russians frequent, rather than “touristy” restaurants. We want our guests to experience real Russian life with Russian people! The cost of an average lunch is $10-$15 per person in such places like ”Stolle” / “Lindforce“ Cafe (where there is a wonderful variety of freshly-baked pies, salads, and soups) / Blinny Domik (famous Russian pancakes, or crepes, tasty soups such as Russian Borsch; and Chicken Kiev). Please, note that it is more difficult to find inexpensive cafes when you travel to the Summer Palaces in the countryside (in the Tsars Village or Peterhof, etc.).
In all souvenir shops they accept Euros and US Dollars, or you can pay by credit card. Regarding lunches, you should have some cash in Rubles in case it’s not included in tour cost. Please either exchange money at home or use an ATM in your ship’s terminal. The average cost of lunch: 15-20 USD per person (approx. 1000 RUB). We kindly ask you to bring clean, crisp, un-torn US Dollars and Euros, as our banks do not accept notes with even the slightest damage.
The majority of gift shops and restaurants are pleased to accept euros, dollars and most major credit cards, but should roubles be requested, your tour guide is able to exchange some money for you. Or you can be taken to the nearest ATM to pick up some roubles. You don’t have to worry about this: we will take care of everything.
Yes, and, in fact, we recommend you to take advantage of this unique chance. Don’t miss the opportunity to see a Russian ballet or to enjoy an evening of Russian opera in one of the best theatres in St. Petersburg. We also highly recommend a visit to the Folk Show or a night boat trip along the famous canals. Or, perhaps you would like to feel yourself as a Russian aristocrat and enjoy an extravagant dinner in one of the former royal Russian palaces. Upon your request, we will send you additional information about our “optional evening” programs.
Actually there is no official dress code for the theatres in St. Petersburg, so, please feel free to wear casual clothing. People like to dress up for theatres, but more and more people simply ignore any kind of dress codes nowadays and simply wear jeans and T-shirts. If you would like to bring a change of clothes with you, you can leave them in the back of your car while you are on your day tour.
Info about St. Petersburg museums
If you travel with us you don’t have to stand in long lines – unlike those tourists who are on their own. This, as you’ll see, is a big time-saver in Russia! The exception could be Catherine’s Palace and the Grand Palace in Peterhof. Sometimes tourists have to wait about 15 minutes to enter the Palace because the guards limit the entrance.
We update and adjust our programs according to the working times of local museums. If you stay in St. Petersburg on Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday, or on one of these days, please be assured you still see all the sights listed in group/private itineraries. We send adjusted itineraries, which match and reflect the museums’ days off in our final confirmation letter and it can also be sent to you upon request.
St. Petersburg is generally becoming friendlier to travellers with disabilities, but there are some difficulties we would like to let you know about before your arrival.
The Hermitage and the Russian museum have improved their conditions to host disabled visitors. Both are equipped with elevators and special platforms to carry a wheelchair to the upper floors. However, please note that elevators are not conveniently situated and it takes time to get inside.
There is a special elevator in St. Isaac’s Cathedral that was recently introduced.
Talking about summer residences, two most important sights visited are the Catherine palace and the Peterhof residence. The Catherine palace is wheelchair accessible and it’s possible to get to the second floor using an elevator. The Grand palace in Peterhof doesn’t have any elevators so it’s not possible to access the first floor. Instead of the Grand palace we can recommend visiting one of the small palaces on the territory of the Lower Fountain Park (it could be Monplaisir or The Bath pavilion).
The Church on the Spilled Blood has several steps up, but there is a ramp.
Unfortunately, the second floor of the Yusupov’s palace with the main exhibition is not accessible by wheelchair.
We can arrange a special van with lifting mechanism upon your request. Please, note that group tours are not recommended for wheelchair users.
The Gold and the Diamond rooms are not part of the regular Hermitage tour, but they can be arranged upon your request. The cost of a guided tour to the Diamond/Gold room is 165 USD per room per party of its visitors. Maximum size of one group is up to 15 guests. You may see a short description of both rooms below.
The Gold Room presents works from Eurasia and the Black Sea region. During this tour you will see the collection of Scythian works from the 7th-4th centuries B.C., including gold adornments for clothing and headwear, rich decoration for horse harnesses, gold shields, ritual bowls and vessels. On display you will also find diplomatic gifts presented by Persia. It includes gold vessels, enamelled trays and boxes as well as a miniature table.
The Diamond room shows the development of the jeweller’s art from the 3rd millennium B.C. to the beginning of the 20th century. This collection includes rare exhibits of jewellery produced by various European craftsmen during the 16th and 17th centuries. You will see refined luxury items commissioned by the imperial court and Russian aristocracy: watches and clocks, bouquets, rings, brooches and snuffboxes, the fashion for which endured in Russia for over a century. More than that the display shows works of Carl Fabergé and of his workshop.
For those who have already visited St. Petersburg and have an intention to see something new, we have made up a list of venues which you may find interesting to explore:
1. The Summer Gardens – the first public garden in St. Petersburg, which was founded more than 300 years ago. It has been recently renovated and reopened in 2013. This park is beautifully decorated with fountains and statues.
“It is an oasis in the middle of the city…”
“Beautiful garden worth strolling”
“lovely any time of the year”
2. Pavlovsk palace and park – the royal residence of Paul I located in the suburbs of St. Petersburg. Designed at the end of the 18th century it still carries the spirit of the age. The palace demonstrates both parade life of the court and the private rooms of the royal family. It is located close to the Catherine palace.
“If You Don’t Go to Pavlovsk, You Have Not seen Russia!!!!”
“A Palace You Could Live In”
3. Cottage palace and Alexander park – this small palace was designed in The English style and concealed behind It’s English gardens. The palace was a snug residence for Nicolas I and his beloved wife Alexander. It is located next to The Peterhof residence.
“Strolling in a kingly way, away from the crowds“
4. Oranienbaum (Lomonosov) palace and park – royal summer residence which retains it’s original design of the 18-19th cent. It is located 40 km away from St. Petersburg.
“Undeservingly rarely visited ensemble”
“And time stood still”
5. Faberge museum – It was opened in the Shuvalovsky palace, which was specially restored to house one of the largest collections of Faberge works in the world. This unique collection numbers over 4000 exhibits, including the world famous nine Fabergé Imperial Easter eggs that belonged to the royal family, artistic jewellery, tsar’s gifts, enamel artworks, items in Art-Nouveau style, paintings of famous Russian artists and even icons!
“Spectacular Museum, small venue – MUST SEE”
6. Russian vodka museum – the first museum in the country fully dedicated to Vodka. The display tells the story about this famous drink in details, it’s origin, history, drinking traditions. At the end of the tour you will have a chance to taste some kinds of vodka with traditional snacks.
“A different type of museum!!!! – a different slant on Russian culture”
“Happy People invented Vodka”
7. Blockade of Leningrad State Museum – this museum is dedicated to the history of The 900 days siege of Leningrad city during 1941-1944.
“Old fashioned presentation but still worth a visit”
“do not miss this small museum”
8. Dostoevsky memorial apartment – the museum of Fedor Dostoevsky organized in one of his former apartments. Dostoevsky wrote his Karamazov novel while living here.
“A must-see sight for lovers of Dostoyevsky’s novels”
9. Pushkin Museum and Memorial Apartment – the last apartment of Russia’s famous poet and writer Alexander Pushkin, where he died.
“a very emotional visit”
“Dedicated to Russia’s most loved poet”
10. State Russian Museum – has a wonderful collection of Russian icons, paintings of Russian artists of the 18th and first half of the 19th century, contemporary art, including paintings of world famous Malevich, Kandinsky, Shagal, Petrov-Vodkin, Old Russian Decorative and Applied Art, graphic art and sculptures.
“Best collection of Russian art in the world”
“Excellent for art lovers”