Private Peterhof - Russian Versailles
Built by Peter the Great to rival Versailles, the town of Peterhof is renowned for its opulent palaces, fountains and parks. It lies on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland, 22 miles drive west of St. Petersburg.Your private St. Petersburg tour begins after a short walk from the parking lot as you reach the main entrance of the Grand Palace. Built in the beginning of the 18th century, Peterhof is known as the most brilliant of all the summer residences of the Russian Tsars.
During your interior tour of the palace, you may be overwhelmed at the opulence. As you pass from room after room after room, you will see that no two are decorated the same and reflect not only local tastes of the time but also styles from other parts of the world. Occasional glimpses out the windows will give you a taste of some of the many gardens and fountains you will see after the palace tour.
Construction of the estate took two centuries, and upon its completion it encompassed seven parks and more than 20 smaller palaces and pavilions. The layout of the magnificent 300-acre park and spectacular fountains was designed by Peter himself. During World War II, the estate was occupied by Nazi troops and all the buildings and fountains were completely demolished. Today, Peterhof is a monument to Soviet reconstruction, as the palace was looted and practically razed to the ground by these troops. For many years the Palace and the Grand Cascade were under extensive restoration. Now all guests of the city can enjoy the spectacular views of the palace. After the tour of a small portion of the endless gardens and a photo stop at the Grand Cascade, you will 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.
Reviewer: Karin Dains
AMAZING GUIDE! Wish we'd had him for all 3 tours. He knew his history & was more than willing to adjust the tour so we could visit some areas we had not seen in the past.