Private City Highlights and Peter and Paul Fortress (Visas Included)
Your private St. Petersburg excursion begins as you depart the pier with your professional guide, and are given a brief introduction to the history of St. Petersburg as your vehicle brings you to the city center and the Spit of Vasilievsky Island. From here, you will enjoy the magnificent view of the Neva River and the Rostral Columns. This stop will give you a chance to take pictures of the Winter Palace and other buildings of the Hermitage Museum which lies across the river. You will also see the outside of the St. Peter and Paul Fortress, built by Peter the Great to defend his new capital.
The excursion continues inside the Fortress. Within the walls are many buildings from various centuries which included barracks, prisons and administrative offices. You will visit the fort's cathedral where you will admire the beauty of its marble columns, glittering chandeliers, and painted decor combined with carved and gilded icons. This is also the location of the tombs of the Romanov monarchs. In July 1998 the remains of the last Russian Tsar Nicholas II and his family were also buried in this Cathedral.
After the guided tour of the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral, your private cruise excursion continues on a drive along the embankments of the Neva River and along the Nevsky Prospect, the city's "Main Street." The last stop will be at St. Isaac's Square for views of the exterior of this magnificent building, and several surrounding buildings with interesting history. From here, you will return to the pier.
Please Note: 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.
We booked this excursion for a family of four and were extremely pleased with the quality of the tour. Both the driver and the guide were fantastic. Having been on excursions through the cruise line on our first day, with the large groups and strict instructions to stick with the group, this excursion allowed us more free time at each stop to explore at our own pace. In his own words, our guide was there not to lead us though the sites but to provide us as much or as little information as we wanted as we experienced the site for ourselves. It was worth every penny - at half the price the cruise line wanted to charge!