What are the terms of your “Money Back Guarantee” policy?

This guarantee applies to all tours and evening activities except for those including: ballet performances or folk show performances. Tickets for these performances are purchased directly from approved vendors and are non-refundable. Since we do not have any role in the production of these shows, we are unable to guarantee their quality (but there haven’t been any issues to date).

If you are dissatisfied with any part of the tour services provided by ‘Experience Russia’, you must inform ‘Experience Russia’, or your tour guide immediately in order to be eligible for this “Money-back Guarantee”.

If the matter(s) that you are dissatisfied with cannot be resolved to your satisfaction before the tour has concluded and you would like to receive a refund, you should contact customer service at [email protected] within 30 days of the day in which your tour began with a written explanation of the reason(s) you are requesting a refund.

To prevent potential abuse of this policy, refunds will not be extended due to conditions outside of our control, these conditions include but are not limited to: weather conditions, traffic congestion, the number of people in museums, availability of exhibits on display, and the actions or disposition of the general public. Any necessary changes to the itinerary due to the conditions mentioned above are also not covered. Further, refunds will not be issued for errors made by guests at the time of booking or disagreements arising from other members of the tour group.

That being said, we will do our absolute best to ensure that your tour or evening activity is as safe, comfortable, and enjoyable as possible when conditions such as the ones described above arise. If you are dissatisfied with the manner in which ‘Experience Russia’ handles to any unfavorable conditions and proceed as outlined above, you will eligible for the “Money-Back Guarantee.”

How can I apply for a tour ticket? What do I need to do receive one?

The tour confirmation documents (aka tour tickets) which act as your visa for St. Petersburg will be provided to those clients who have entirely completed the booking process. This includes emailing us at [email protected] with your passport information, your ship’s sailing dates, and submitting a deposit.

Once all these steps are successfully completed and your information is processed by the local authorities, we will email you the pdf of your tour ticket that will work as your visa.

What is your policy on tipping?

Gratuities for the tour guide and driver are not included in the tour price.

Tipping is completely discretionary and rewards our staff for making your experience special. However, 15% (of the tour cost) to the guide and 5% to the driver, to be given separately on the last day of your tour is typical.

We are not able to charge any gratuities to your credit card. Please be sure to bring cash with you (USD, EUR or RUB) if you intend to tip your driver and tour guide. Again, note that tipping is not mandatory.

What if I am not arriving to St. Petersburg by cruise ship?

We are glad to be of service to you no matter what means of transportation you will be arriving by.

Our company specializes in day tours for cruise ship passengers and independent travelers, arriving by plane, train, bus, or river cruises from Moscow and other Russian cities.

If you wish to use our services for your stay while you are in Russia, we would be happy to arrange a private tour for you in St. Petersburg. Any of our shore excursions are also available as city tours: we would just start and conclude the tour when it is suitable for you, and will pick you up at your hotel rather than the port.

Please email us at [email protected] for details on how to make such an arrangement.

What is a “tour ticket”?

A “tour ticket” acts as a visa for cruise ship passengers who book tours with us. This service is included in your tour price.

We will issue you a tour ticket after receiving your passport information and tour deposit.

What information do you need to process my tour ticket?

We require the following information from each member of your group in order to complete your Tour Tickets:

  1. Your last/first/middle names exactly how they are written in your passport
  2. DOB (day/month/year)
  3. Passport number
  4. Passport Issue Date and Passport Expiration Date
  5. Country of Citizenship
  6. Name of your ship
  7. Arrival and departure dates in St. Petersburg

After you submit your information, we will email your Tour Ticket to you before you depart for your cruise. Please be sure to print it out and bring it with you.

When you arrive in St. Petersburg, make sure you have it handy and present it to the passport control official along with your passport.

My cruise line said that I won’t be able to enter Russia if I book a tour with a local company. Is this true?

No, this is categorically false! Cruise lines like to use this line to scare you into buying overpriced tours with their tour groups. Cruise passengers fall under a unique category of travelers who are not required to have visas, provided that they will be with a tour group for the duration of their stay in St. Petersburg.

Hundreds of thousands of tourists arrive in St. Petersburg every year by cruise ship and enjoy tours without filling out a single visa document.

If you tour St. Petersburg with a local licensed tour company, you have the privilege to stay in Russia for up to 72 hours, visa-free. You will clear passport control with no trouble at all. Once you book a tour with us, submit your information and place your deposit, you will receive a “tour ticket”, document that replaces visas for cruise passengers, it will grant you a hassle-free 72-hour stay in St.Petersburg.

By booking a tour with the cruise line, your money goes to a huge international corporation. By booking a tour with a local company, besides receiving more personalized service, you help support local businesses and make a bigger impact on the lives of locals.

How do I book a tour with Experience Russia?

Find a shared group tour through our website and use our booking system or contact us directly (contact information here) for personalized assistance.

If you’re interested in a private custom tour, send us an email at [email protected] and we’ll be happy to assist you.

How do I book a tour through your website?

After you’ve found the perfect tour of St. Petersburg for your group, locate the sidebar on the right. Then enter your contact information and tour starting date. Once you’ve done that, place your deposit to secure your reservation with us. We will confirm your reservation within 48 hours.

Can I book a tour via email?

Sure, just send us an email at: [email protected]. Please provide us with your first and last name, the tour you are interested in, your contact phone number, and the number of people in your party.

Is a deposit required?

We require a 20% of the tour price deposit, a minimum 31 days before the starting date of your tour. This way we can reserve you a seat in the van and also timely book all of the tickets needed.

For evening activities, we require full payment before arrival.

Why do you require a deposit?

Beginning in May 2017, The Hermitage State museum and Catherine’s Palace State Museum enacted a new policy regarding purchasing group tickets. Payment for the tickets must be received by the museum a minimum one month before the intended entrance date. After being purchased, cancellation of the tickets is not possible.


As the result of this policy, we require deposits to ensure that your plans haven’t changed after you’ve initially booked a tour with us.

I’d like to go on a custom private tour of St. Petersburg with you, how can I arrange this?

Send us an email at [email protected] with your preferred dates, the number of people in your group, and anywhere that you’d like to include in your itinerary.

Don’t worry if you’re not sure about where you’d like to visit. We’d be happy to help you with crafting the perfect itinerary for you and your group.


Do you offer any discounts?

We do offer discounts for students (with valid ISIC IDs) and children under 7 travel free of charge.

If you form a group consisting of at least 10 adults, we offer a 10 % discount for the entire group. We recommend visiting Cruise Critic to locate fellow guests (https://www.cruisecritic.com/rollcalls/).

Please contact us if you’d like additional information regarding any of these discounts.

What if the Hydrofoil ride that is included in my tour is cancelled due to inclement weather?

If the weather conditions are not appropriate for the commute to Peterhoff by hydrofoil, the ride will be cancelled. Hydrofoil trips cancelled due to the weather conditions are  non-refundable.

What is Experience Russia’s policy on refunds?

100% refund if the ship does not call into St. Petersburg port.

100% refund if you cancel your tour reservation no later than 15 days before your tour begins.

80% refund if you cancel your reservation in writing 15 days to 3 days before the start of the tour.

No refund will be provided if you cancel your reservation within 72 hours of the start of the tour.

No refund will be made in the case of a “no-show” (“no-show” is a guest who never cancelled, and never reported to our waiting guide/manager at the port after their ship’s arrival).

Tours including Ballets, The Russian Folk show, or any other theater performances are non-refundable regardless of the amount of prior notice.