Your private St. Petersburg excursion begins with about a one hour drive to reach Tsar's Village (Pushkin). The drive will take you to Tsarskoye Selo (Tsar's Village in Russian) where you will visit the infamous Catherine's Palace. This palace is without a doubt one of the masterpieces of world art. Peter the Great presented this estate to his wife Catherine in 1710, and on it a small palace was built by the architect Braunstein. From this time until the time of the last Russian Tsar, it was used as the summer residence of the Royal Family. In 1756 it was expanded in the Baroque style.
During World War II, the Palace suffered severe damage, but since then has been restored and stands now in its original glory. The Palace contains a series of magnificent rooms, including the famous Picture Gallery and, of course, the Great Hall and the famous Amber Room. The parks of the estate add to the splendor of the palace, and several are embellished with a number of charming pavilions. The town of Pushkin is famous not only for its remarkable palace, but for the man it was named after. Since 1937, it has been named after Alexander Pushkin, the most celebrated poet in the country. From here, you will return 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.
The guide was knowledgable and thorough. She took Her time and guided us through Cathrines palace with much enthusiasm and answered all of our questions. We had a wonderful tour and would definitely use Shore Excursion group in the future and highly recommend them to other travelers.