Private Catherine's Palace and the Hermitage
In the morning, your private St. Petersburg tour will start outside of the city to the town of Pushkin. The drive will take you through Moscow Prospect then on Kiev Highway to the Egyptian Gates, the entrance to the Tsar's Village in Pushkin. Catherine's Palace in the Tsar's Village ranks as one of the great world masterpieces of art.In 1710 Peter the Great presented the estate to his wife Catherine. This town was used as the summer residence of the Royal Family. Bartelomeo Rastrelli expanded the palace in 1756 in Baroque style including a grandiose, white-and-gold facade that stretches 978 feet.
The Palace was damaged severely during World War II, but since then it has been restored to its original glory. The palace tour takes you through the series of magnificent rooms, including the famous the Great Hall and the Amber Room. The town of Pushkin is famous for the man it was named after Alexander Pushkin, the most celebrated poet in the country. The lyceum, where he studied, is connected to the palace by an arch.
Your guide will recommend one of the local dining venues for lunch on your own. After the break, you will drive back to the city where your cruise excursion continues with a tour of the Hermitage Museum. The Hermitage museum occupies the Winter Palace, the winter residence of the Russian Czars, and four more buildings: The Small Hermitage, housing Catherine's original collection, the Old Hermitage, the Hermitage Theater, Catherine's private theater, and the New Hermitage. The Hermitage Museum is the largest art museum in Russia and ranks among the most prestigious and fabulous museums in the world. Its collection of Western European art is second to none. The route includes the State Rooms of the Winter Palace, the collection of Western European art, featuring Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titian and others, Dutch and Flemish Art collections, including Rembrandt, Rubens, and Van Dyck. After your tour, you will be returned to the pier.
Note that all of our St. Petersburg tours are operated by authorized guides, and you therefore do not need to secure an independent visa in order to participate in this tour. However, in order to book this tour, you must provide us with full names, dates of birth, nationality, and passport numbers for each tour participant so that our guides can secure the proper tour visas on your behalf. Note also that, if you wish to explore St. Petersburg on your own while not accompanied by one of our guides, you will need to secure an independent visa.
Please be aware that cruise lines occasionally mislead passengers by telling them that they are not allowed to disembark the ship in St. Petersburg unless they are on an excursion purchased through the cruise line. In addition, the cruise lines also sometimes tell passengers that they cannot disembark the ship until the passengers on the cruise lines' excursions have done so first. This is incorrect, and you are free to exit the ship as soon as passengers start to disembark because Russian law states that a cruise ship cannot hold passengers onboard against their will as long as they have the proper documents. In order to clear immigration, you will need to bring along: 1) Your passport; 2) A photocopy of the picture page of your passport; and 3) A copy of your tour tickets. We will provide you with your tour tickets as part of the documents we e-mail to you after you make a tour booking.
Due to administration and immigration restrictions, there will be no refund for programs canceled within 15 days of departure.