Set out from the pier for your private St. Petersburg excursion and drive to the Spit of Basil Island, where you will enjoy the magnificent view of the Neva Embankments, the outside of the St. Peter and Paul Fortress and the Winter Palace across the river. During the city tour, you see all the remarkable places of interest such as the Synagogue, the Smolny Cathedral, Nevsky Prospekt, the Bronze Horseman, and the Mariinsky Palace. The most picturesque places are chosen as photo stops en route.
The next stop on your St. Petersburg tour is a visit to St. Isaac's Cathedral. Designed by the French architect Montferrand between 1818-1858, it is the biggest church in St. Petersburg with the capacity of 10 000 people. Even after the Cathedral was finished, constant repair work was done on it for many years. It is believed, these repairs were prolonged due to a superstition among circles of Romanov dynasty. This superstition says, as soon as the repairs are finished, the dynasty shall fall. The interior of the cathedral is richly decorated with different kinds of marble, malachite and other semiprecious stones.
Your tour guide will recommend a place for lunch at a nearby restaurant before the afternoon program. Following a brief driving tour through St. Petersburg, you will head for the countryside to Tsarskoye Selo (Czar's Village). The noted Russian poet Alexander Pushkin studied there, hence, the other name of the place - Pushkin. In 1710, this estate was presented by Peter the Great to his wife, Catherine I. Originally, a small palace was built according to the design of a famous German architect Braunstein. From this time an until the revolution of 1917, it had several additions. Today, the palace exceeds all the other Russian palaces with its gigantic size and its unique decorations.
You will have a tour of all the rooms open to the public, including the stunning 'Amber Room' and the Great Hall. After the tour of the palace, you will a small portion of the more than 1,500 acres of park and gardens that surround the palace. You will then return to your transportation for the drive back 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.