We had a personalized tour for 3 people organized with East West Tours for St Petersburg. Our guide Mariia Ganina was impressive with her knowledge of the city, it's history, architecture and culture and smoothing the way for us to see as much as we possibly could in 3 days. Some of the things we wanted to see and do were outside the usual 3 day visit to St Petersburg. Mariia was a walking/talking encyclopedia and her knowledge extended beyond the common tourist sites to places like the major contemporary art museum ERATA and the artists on exhibition. We also got to visit a couple of metro station sites riding the trains with Mariia to guide us through. A special moment at the Catherine Palace probably would not have happened without her so we got to hear some glorious singing by the male acapella ensemble Anthem. The only downfall is the use of the Moby/St Peters Line to travel by boat to St Petersburg. We lost 3.5hrs getting off the boat at St Petersburg and getting through customs which meant several things planned for 3 days were sacrificed. The disembarkation arrangements are messy and on the morning of our arrival it was frankly dangerous with some people growing frustrated at the time it was taking to disembark and some pushing/shoving/bullying going on. It would be helpful to have written advice clearly available in public places and in individual cabins about the disembarking procedure. Public notices over the loudspeakers were inaudible over the noise of dinner/breakfast etc. If there was a real emergency I have no confidence that the onboard staff would manage the situation effectively. - Susan -