John Lim

Originally, we like most people, have already booked all our 5 tours with the cruise ship , simply because we all want a peace of mind as it is a VERY frightening thought to be left behind or be entangled with a Russian visa issue. We were not too bothered with prices as we thought it should not be too much a difference for a stress free vacation. However after prompting from friends , raving how good TJ Travel has performed, we decided to do our own research and found our fears are truly unfounded.

Our findings are as follows:

1. based on numerous reviews and visiting their web site, we found TJ to be a well established and most importantly to be AUTHORISED Russian travel company with all the imp. credentials .All our email queries and worries were promptly and fully addressed.We have no issues with immigration at all with the visas issued in advance .

2. Also if you think logically, the places we visited are all within a small distance,so how far can you get stranded beyond help. If a vehicle breaks down , no reason to be unduly worried as they have a standby vehicles, mostly Mercedes Benz coaches .No wonder they can guarantee that we will be back to the ship on time. Can you imagine if they failed in this critical promise, their invaluable reputation built over the years will be ruined to bits!

3. prices were not an issue as we thought cruise rates would be SLIGHTLY more expensive but after getting TJ quotes, the cruise price differential is huge , almost 80 % more . In our case , it works out to be US 654 per person or US 1308 more per couple {based on an apple to apple comparison }for the same 5 onland excursions ie Oslo, Rostok, Germany, Helsinki, St Peters, and Stockholm .For eg. the 2- day St Petersberg alone is US 270 per person while Cruise charges US 450 per person!!

4.Worse till, after comparing both the itineraries, we were surprised to find out that besides paying more , you are seeing less ! For eg, the cruise ship's tour did not include magnificient Catherine Palace !!

5. This cd be due to their large nos, time and logistic issue as TJ's St Petersberg group is max of 16 while cruise buses is abt 30 . So not surprising that while hundreds of passengers were all waiting in dining halls for their turns for their allocated buses , we were already on our way to the tourist sights.Besides, because of their nos, they have to get up much earlier in the mornings while we were still have time for our breakfast!!!

As a result , we were very glad that we cancelled and re-booked with TJ Travels who is efficient and organised. Guides and coaches were all ready waiting at the piers to meet us once we disembark from the ship. Indeed all our perceived fears are unfounded , not mention the substantial savings for our wives indulgences!

We can't assure it will be the same for other travel coys, but do check out TJ . And if you want to play safe, just book the cruise tours and later can always cancel the cruise tours once you are satisfied how TJ have answered all your queries and / or you have been issued with the visa. This is all made possible as TJ Travel does NOT need you to pay anything upfront at all until your ship arrive and when you start the St. Petersberg tour.!!! Whatever it is do early as you cannot expect visas to be issued by the govt within a few days if you want the visa on hand .Cheers !

John Lim

TJ Travel is registered at the Federal Agency of Tourism in the Russian Federation. Our registered license number is MBT#011381
We are a member of the Baltic Cruise Association in St. Petersburg
TJ Travel is a member of the Cruise Industry Association in St. Petersburg
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