Private Imperial St. Petersburg
Your private St. Petersburg tour starts with a transfer to Peterhof, the town of palaces, fountains and parks, which was built by Peter the Great to rival Versailles. It lies on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland. The Grand Palace is known as the most brilliant of all the summer residences of the Russian Tsars.
During your interior visit of the palace, you may find yourself overwhelmed at the detail and the scale. The layout of the 300-acre park and spectacular fountains was designed by Peter himself. The Grand Cascade consists of three waterfalls, an avenue of 64 fountains and 37 gilded statues. During World War II, the estate was occupied and all the buildings and fountains were completely demolished. For many years, Peterhof was under extensive restoration. Now all guests can enjoy the spectacular view of the fountains and the palace. You will admire the numerous fountains of the Grand Cascade and then depart the palace and walk down the steps past the Grand Cascade offering you photos from bellow. Next, you will follow the canal that leads to the hydrofoil dock. where a hydrofoil boat will transfer you from Peterhof back to the city center. It will take you 30-minutes to ride across the Gulf of Finland. Time will then be taken for lunch on your own.
After the lunch break, your private excursion will continue on to the Spit of Vasilievsky Island, where you will enjoy views of the city across the river. Then, you will have a tour of the St. Peter and Paul Fortress. Built in 1703, by Peter the Great to protect his new capital, it never saw warfare and became a place for imprisoning politically harmful people. You will visit the Peter and Paul Cathedral - the traditional, ornate church that houses 18th century paintings, icons and the tombs of many of the Romanov Dynasty Tsars and Tsarinas, including Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, and also the last Tsar, Nikolai II and his family members.
The St. Petersburg tour continues along the Neva embankment, and a drive along Nevsky Prospect, the city's main street, before returning to the pier.
Note that all of our tours in St. Petersburg 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.
Reviewer: Dileep Prabhakar
Wow. The private tour and our guide was outstanding. We were able to n!avigate the city and see much more then a typical tour in this busy port city. Our guide knew the ins and outs of all the various musuems. We saw much more then anyone on a more public tour through the cruise line. Private St Peterburgh is the only way to go!