Questions about St. Petersburg & Baltic Shore Excursions

  • 1. Do I need a Russian visa?

    Tour De Force is one of a few Russian companies in St. Petersburg authorized by the city government (in accordance with immigration laws) to arrange services for cruise passengers who do not have Russian visas. You will not need a Russian visa if your stay in St. Petersburg is no longer than 3 days and you book tours through an appropriately licensed company like ours.

  • 2. Do I need a Russian visa if I would like to combine organized tours with Tour De Force and independent sightseeing?

    Yes, in this case you will need a Russian visa which must beobtained prior to embarkation. We will provide you with the necessary visa support papers (Invitation and Tour Voucher) for obtaining your Russian visa at the Russian Consulate in the country where you live. You will find the forms to print and to fill out here on our web site as you complete the booking process. Simply send or present these to the nearest Russian Consulate. Contact them for further visa details.

  • 3. Do you provide visa support papers if I would like to explore the city on my own?

    Unfortunately, according to the agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, tour companies cannot assist travelers in obtaining Russian visas if tourist services (tours, accommodation, etc.) are not booked through these companies.

  • 4. If I do not have a Russian visa what papers do I need to present to immigration officers upon arrival in St. Petersburg.

    • Tour Ticket
    • Your passport

    Remember, each passenger must carry these papers at all times when going ashore.

  • 5. Is it true that passengers without Russian visas can only tour St. Petersburg through arrangements the cruise ship company?

    While your cruise ship company is likely to offer you tours of the city, they will be doing so through one of the specially licensed companies like ours. Neither Tour De Force, nor any other licensed travel service company holds exclusive rights for providing travel services. You are encouraged to compare prices and options. Tour de Force has been introducing cruise passengers to our city since 2000.

  • 6. Do you include any meals into packages?

    Our shared minivan small group tours do not include lunch as we aim to not to limit the choice of our guests. Please budget 10-15usd per person for a lunch. On our private and custom tours - we offer an opportunity to book for meals in advance and choose the cuisine the customers prefer.

  • 7. Where do I meet my guide?

    Your guide will meet you with a sign Tour De Force at 9:00. You should not worry if you can not see a person with a sign ahead of the appointed time.

    If for any reason you can not see your guide at 9:00 you are requested to reach us by phone. Our contact phone numbers are printed in your Tour Ticket. We must inform you that the payment for the tour is not refundable without your phone call.

  • 8. How long will the guide wait for me to depart from the ship on the first day of the tour?

    The maximum time that the guide will wait to depart the ship is 5 minutes for a group tour and 30 minutes for private tours.  Thank you for understanding that it is not possible to extend this time as it is inconsiderate to the other members of the group tour.

    If you cannot make your tour, please, contact us as soon as possible.  In the event that you do not appear, the tour will have to leave without you, and there will be no refunds or other compensation.

  • 9. Can I bring a wheelchair or motorized scooter?

    Wheelchairs and certain types of motorized scooters can be accommodated if you book a private tour. Contact us by e-mail to arrange any special needs and requests or leave a message to us during the booking process.

  • 10. I e-mailed Tour De Force but have not got any response.

    In case you have not received a reply within 72 hours it means our email has been probably blocked or removed by your spam filter. Use our On-Site Messaging system - a smart tool allowing messaging us on site.

    Create an account, sign in and click “Messages”. Feel free to leave your message and click “Submit”. Receive an automatic notice and follow up further correspondence on your personal account. Messages are private and visible only to you and your Tour De Force consultant.

  • 11. Will we have time for shopping?

    There are plenty of local arts and crafts in a variety of small shops around the center of town. You can also find paintings, ceramics, wooden Matryoshka dolls, lacquered boxes, finepieces of amber made into jewelry, woolen scarves and much more. Most of tours allow for short shopping stops. Most merchants accept rubles, dollars, Euros and major credit cards.

  • 12. Are gratuities included?

    Tips are at your discretion, but always appreciated by our guides and drivers. Gratuities may be offered individually or as a group.

  • 13. What weather should we expect when in St. Petersburg?

    In Russia the weather tends to change rapidly and you truly can experience four seasons in a single day.

    Summer: (Mid - May to early September.) In the weeks close to the summer solstice, there is no real darkness. Its the period known as the White Nights.

    Autumn: Autumn is quite brief and by the end of November winter sets in, bringing with it lots of snow and extremely low temperatures.

    Winter: Pack very warm clothes if arriving in winter, as temperatures from the end of November through February drop well below zero degrees Celsius. You will need to dress in layers when heading outdoors.

    Spring: Spring arrives with the great thaw in late March and April.

  • 14. What's on during my visit?

    You can book tickets for the best available ballet, opera and folk performances beginning 45 days before your tour date online at our web site. 

    To check what is on proceed to the "Customize Your Tour" step during the online booking procedure or click "Book Extra Options" when viewing your tour details at our web site.

  • 15. Special request / Dietary requirements

    Please fill in the Special Request field during the online booking procedure or inform us by e-mail of any dietary requirements or special needs allowing us to make all the necessary pre-tour arrangements.