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Celebrity Scandinavian/Baltic Cruise in May 2010 - Excursions and costs

Discussion in 'Celebrity Cruises' started by Margaux93, Nov 8, 2009.

  1. Margaux93

    Margaux93 Active Member

    Hello!

    My fiance and I just booked our honeymoon with Celebrity. It's the 12 night cruise to Berlin, Tallin, Copenhagen, Helsinki, St. Petersburg and Stockholm. We have a few questions and we would really appreciate it if people could help us out! :)

    1.) We are a little concerned about the cost of the excursions since Celebrity won't be listing the tours and prices until a couple months befor the sail date. In general, what are the costs? I know that we have to been in a tour group of some sort in order to see St. Petersburg, but I have no clue what to expect pricewise. There is little information out there on the web.

    2.) Besides St. Petersburg, is it possible to see the other cities without having to pay for an excursion? I'm curious as to how far away ports are from the actual cities. We'd like to save money and tour the the cities ourselves.

    3.) We will be docking in Warnemunde, Germany for a day. When I look at a map, it looks like Berlin isn't very close. Is it possible to get there without paying for an excursion? I assume that we would have to take a taxi or something if not. What is the cost for that?

    Any information really would help us out. Thank you in advance!!! :)
     
  2. BSeabob

    BSeabob Reinststed due to good behavior-Subject to change Staff Member

    Welcome to Cruse @ddicts. I know that you are traveling on =X= and looking for answers related to them but I would suggest that you try the main cruise forum also http://www.cruise-addicts.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=4
    as really the tours are pretty generic as offered by every cruise line and you will have more folks see your questions there.

    Tours by cruise lines are generally a bit more pricey but not always and because they cater to all sorts sometimes fail to meet expectations as you are bound by the slowest/easily distracted persons in the group.

    Perhaps the Europe Forum also ? http://www.cruise-addicts.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=13

    also other mainstream cruise line forums may have some hints.

    Good luck planning..
     
  3. BruinSteve

    BruinSteve Well-Known Member

    It's a LONG answer...
    We'll be on the Eclipse in July...and it is our third Baltic cruise...So, I guess I am about as experienced in this as anyone...

    Excursions in this area DO tend to be expensive...for a number of reasons. First, this is an expensive part of the world--no "Third World" prices here...Second, a lot of the sites are pretty distant from the ports, so transportation costs are high and time required adds to the cost...

    To get an idea of the price of shore excursions, don't wait for the excursions to be posted for your specific cruise...Go to the Celebrity site and, without going into your cruise booking, go to the general shore excursion page and just input the individual ports--you can get the typically offered excursions with prices...(Go to "Plan a Cruise" at the top, then "Shore Excursions", enter Europe, then find the "Destination" drop down menu and go to each port one by one)...You will get a listing of the excursions for that port, complete with prices...You can click on each for further descriptions...

    Your itinerary may differ slightly from ours (Ours goes to Zeebrugge, Warnemunde, Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn and Amsterdam--I think you go to Copenhagen rather than Amsterdam and Zeebrugge...and you start and end in Amsterdam rather than Southampton--the Century, right?)...but, all of these, aside from St. Petersburg, CAN be done "on your own"--it just might not be all that practical to do some of them on your own...

    In general, especially if it's your first time to some of these places, you may not wish to risk getting lost, getting delayed, missing the ship, etc.--escpecially when a long drive from port...

    Here's my port by port rundown:

    Berlin: We're doing a private tour here through SPB...costing us 160 euro per person for a full day, assuming we find 4 to six others to share the tour with us...It's expensive, especially since it has to include that 3 hour drive each way into Berlin...Some will tell you that you can do it on your own--but it is not easy--You need to get from the ship to the train station, then do the ride by train, get around a big city on your own...and make sure to time the train ride back so as not to miss the ship...

    Tallin: In 2001, we did it on our own...Rick Steves, in his Scandinavia book, has a well laid out walking tour which was easy to follow on our own...

    Copenhagen: We've done tours, but we've also found this easy to do on our own...From where our shiop docked (the location may differ), it was an easy walk into town, past the Little Mermaid, the palace, through Nyhavn, down the Stroget, over to the Glyptotek Museum, etc. But, of course, we do know our way around Copenhagen having been there several times, some for multiple days...You still may want to plan on doing a canal boat tour--which does not have to be booked through the ship...

    Helsinki: In 2001, we took a shuttle into town and grabbed the Hop-on-hop-off bus tour...pretty much covered the sights...and fairly cheaply...

    St. Petersburg: St. Petersburg would be a special case...Visas and restrictions create a problem...You can't just wander out on your own. I've done the cruise line excursions, but my recommendation is to find yourself a small group tour. There are several providers...For our cruise, we've organized a group of 8 and the two days are costing us $330 per person plus tips through SPB Tours...

    Stockholm: The ship may dock fairly far from town...But you can get a taxi to the center...from there, public transportation is very good...We were there for several days last summer...Great town...Make sure to go to the Vasa Museum--do not miss it...

    Look, I'm one of those who actually likes to book some sort of tour everywhere...of course, money isn't that much of a concern to me these days...but I do understand the need for many to economize...I'd say that if you are looking to save a little, do tours only in St. Pete and Warnemunde and do the rest on your own--still won't be free, but HOHO buses, a few taxis and some museum entrance fees won't be as costly as the shore excursions...

    If you need some advice on how to hook up with small group tours, email me at bruinsd@aol.com and I'll give you some specific advice that I cannot post here...

    Have fun...
     
  4. bob

    bob Chief Engineer Staff Member

    Steve, if you wish to post information in response to the OP's question feel free to so, as a long time member and very contributing member of the community I think it is safe to realize that you are not providing information because you are connected in any way with whoever you recommend, or that you are going to gain anything personal from the information you provide, just don't recommend the Limo guys from Istanbul..........:whistle:

    This is a case of a direct response to a question by a respected poster within the community, a lot different than some guys first post hooking up a website to a mass tour company saying these guys have great tours and cheap prices.
     

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