Reviews about ALEX'S Tours & Travel
Dina and friends
18 09 2018
May We Please Give 10 Stars?
This is a much delayed review, but a very well-earned one. In August of 2018, we traveled to Saint Petersburg (by air, not cruise ship). In planning this trip we realized that we would need a guide. Ordinarily, we travel very independently, but our lack of any knowledge of the Russian language suggested to us that we couldn't do this on our own. Great decision! First we emailed numerous tour companies with our wishlist of things to see and do. The response were rapid and mostly uniform. Every single tour company except Alex's Tours and Travel said, "NYET (No)! This is the tour we will provide to you." Amazingly, Alex replied, "DA (Yes)! We will arrange any tour you wish!" And he did! Among other things, we said that we wanted two 4-hour visits to the Hermitage and one 3-hour visit to the Hermitage Storage Facility. Other tour companies would provide only one 3-hour visit to the Hermitage and none to the Storage Facility. We had all three of the visits we requested. Alex worked with our itinerary, always mindful that we were the customers and he wanted to satisfy us. By the time we had everything arranged, we felt like Alex was part of our family. Then he assigned our guide and driver. Top! Top! Top! Kristina (our guide) and Boris (our driver) were nothing but the best ever. Courteous, personable, knowledgeable, engaging, prompt. Name any good quality, and they had it! It was a wonderful, interesting trip and a true learning experience. We will definitely return to Saint Petersburg, but we would be devastated if we couldn't have that team again. Look no further. They are the best. And don't take NYET for an answer. Alex will arrange any tour you want.
11 01 2018
We booked all our tours for Baltic Cruise with Alex tours. Loved that the groups were small and tour guides spoke English well! Always someone waiting at each port just as promised. Only way to do St Petersburg in 2 days.
We had an opportunity to use EXCOOR TEAM and Travel while on a Baltic cruise with my brother and his wife. We knew we wanted to see as much as possible on our two day visit to St. Petersburg. From the moment I began to communicate with managers via email, I knew I had found the right company for us. Excellent communication skills and flexibility in meeting our desires made him stand out. We packed it in during those two days but that’s exactly how we wanted it. Our guide was exceptional and so was our driver. I have recommended him to others and they have all been delighted with his services.
10 01 2018
We wanted the best tour possible for our group of 8 from Canada. Friends recommended Alex's Tours as they hired him privately when their cruise stopped at St Petersburg.
We had an outstanding tour. All was set up by Email and everything Alex promised was delivered. We had the same Mercedes Van with driver for two days, bottled water and an intinerary we could adjust if we wanted.
I was worried that we get the best guide possible and I asked Alex if he would lead us but he said Anna would lead us and that we would not be dissappointed. He was right
Anna was outstanding and by far the best guide we have had in all our travels. Firstly she is totally fluent in English, but not just working daily words in English, but totally fluent.
We could ask Anna questions about anything we saw and she would know about it. We ended up telling her that there is something better than Wikipedia called AnnaPedia!
But most of all, she is not just a teller of facts and history, she has a sense of what it is important for a tourist to know. We learned much more about St Petersburg and Russia than the history.
Alex has excellent guides and he delivers. Top marks and I recommend him
Garth and Darleen Treude Scottsdale, AZ, USA
23 01 2017
Visiting St. Petersburg and Moscow is truly a wonderful and exciting event. Our trip was a huge success and produced lifetime memorable moments thanks to our guide Luda and newly found good friend Alex Polenov.
Alex is an honest, straightforward, wonderful person that provided insight into the historic and personal side of St. Petersburg and the surrounding countryside. He and his colleagues are extremely knowledge, friendly, and helpful. We had contacted Alex while still in the USA, discussed details of the trip, and met him at our hotel the day we arrived. The trip could not have been better - private guide, honest and reasonable that provided us with an experience that will never be forgotten. Additionally, Alex helped us with arrangements in Moscow. Again, the experience was great.
What is unique about being with Alex's Tours & Travel is that besides seeing the sights in the cities and surrounding areas, you learn about the history, culture, current events, and the people of Russia. Our trip was a fun educational and cultural event. If you go to St. Petersburg and meet Alex, you will have a wonderful trip that will never be forgotten.
Susan Shanley, Sacramento, California
23 01 2017
I was introduced to Alex's Tours & Travel by very good friends about two years before I actually traveled to St. Petersburg. During that time my seemingly never-ending e-mails with questions about travel to Russia were answered quickly, thoroughly, and accurately (as time would tell!).
My trip to St. Petersburg was off to a fabulous start when Alex Polenov (the "Alex" of Alex's Tours & Travel) personally met us at the St. Petersburg Airport. He made us feel like long-lost friends immediately. Our drive into St. Petersburg was the beginning of wonderful sights and learning the fascinating history of this beautiful, cultured City. We had pre-arranged for an apartment in the heart of the City that met our needs perfectly.
Our driver from Alex Tours was at our apartment the next morning ready to begin the adventure! With Luda, our personal guide extradinaire, we visited these many truly remarkable St. Petersburg sights:
Fortress of Saints Peter and Paul
The State Hermitage
Peterhof (via hydrofoil on the Gulf of Finland!)
Imperial palaces at Pushkin and Pavlovsk including:
Catherine Palace (showcasing the stunning Amber Room)
Church on the Spilt Blood
St. Isaac's Cathedral
Plus innumerable museums, monuments, parks, rivers, canals, and bridges!
In addition to the fabulous touring we did during the day, we were privileged to attend the ballet at the Catherine Theatre in the Hermitage for a performance of Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet" and another evening at the Mariinsky Theatre for performances choreographed by Balanchine. We felt as though Nicholas II and Alexandra could have been in attendance!
Alex planned a delightful excursion to the countryside for us on our last day in St. Petersburg. He personally escorted us to Russian dacha near Lake Ladoga. We toured the dacha, the garden, saw the family banya and the greenhouse. Beautiful fall, flowers were still in bloom and the trees were producing apples in late September. They prepared and served us the delicious, traditional shashlik (Russian BBQ) with all the trimmings.
Alex's Tours and Travel made my trip one of the best ever, and one I will never forget. And, a bonus: I made a life-long friend!
Nancy Wingelaar, SLC, Utah, USA
23 01 2017
We consider ourselves very lucky to have met Alex Polenov when he was on a business trip to the US. Having expressed an interest in visiting Russia, he invited us to come to see him in St. Petersburg. We were delighted and took him up on it. It turned out to be our most memorable trip ever.
With Alex as our trip planner and host, we experienced Russia in a most personal way. Our private guide Julia showed us the public St. Petersburg and also the City from a local point of view.
On our trip to St. Petersburg, we were most fortunate be able to go to an authentic Russian country house. It was warm, cozy and the feel of the country was so different from the city. We had a wonderful time enjoying the flowers, vegetable gardens and eating a delicious Russian barbecue. We hear so much about the grueling Russian winters that this pastoral scene was a contrast to how most people picture Russia. It was something most tourists do not get to experience. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for an "off the beaten path" experience.
Alex and his company took the very best care of us and made our visit interesting and unique. We have not stopped talking about our experiences since our return to the US. We count Alex's Tours and Travel as wonderful hosts and dear friends and would not hesitate to recommend their services.