Day one of your private St. Petersburg tour begins immediately after your ship has been cleared by the St. Petersburg Port Authority and Immigration.
On the first and second day, the St. Petersburg tour returns back to the ship at approximately 5:30 PM. On the third day you return one hour before your ship is scheduled to sail. All the sites and destinations listed below will be visited inside, be seen during an exterior photo stop, or seen in passing. Due to museums, palaces or other sites being closed on alternate days throughout the week, the order in which they are visited is not given. Each departure is arranged around these closings so that all sites mentioned are seen as described. You will have the same guide for all days of your St. Petersburg tour.
You will enjoy interior visits at:
Catherine's PalaceThe grand Baroque style palace was built for the wife of Peter The Great in the village of Pushkin. It exceeds all the other palaces with its gigantic size, the stunning facade of the palace extends for almost 1000 feet, and its unique decorations. You will have a tour of all the rooms open to the public, including the stunning "lost Amber Room", and the Great Hall. You will also view a few selected parts of the more than 1,500 acres of park and gardens that surround the palace.
Peter and Paul Fortress Built in 1703, by Peter the Great to protect his new capital, it never saw battle and became a prison for 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 the last Tsar, Nikolai II and his family members.
HermitageThe former residential Winter Palace of the Romanov rulers, today houses one of the world's most prestigious museums where the rooms rival the art within them. Your guided tour includes both the Winter Palace and the Hermitage display rooms, which house some of the museums more than three million art works, including works by DaVinci, Rafael, Rembrandt - to name a few. If nothing else, this is the must see place in St. Petersburg.
Church of the Savior on the Spilled BloodBuilt on the site of the 1881 assassination (spilled blood) of Tsar Alexander II. It sports a fantastic ornate "Russian-style" exterior of traditional colorful onion domes, ceramic tiles and colored glazed bricks. Inside you will view large works of colorful mosaic of different religious themes.
Yusupov Palace Built in 1760, the Yusupovs, a wealthy Russian noble family, acquired the palace in 1830. The palace was the site of the assassination of the monk Rasputin. Visit the palace's magnificently restored apartments and see an exhibition of photographs, and the actual cellar room where Rasputin was poisoned then shot.
St. Isaac's Cathedral The cathedral's massive central gold dome, one of the largest in the world, is covered with 220 pounds of pure gold and dominates the city skyline. The Cathedral was commissioned in 1818 and took more than three decades to complete. After the October Revolution of 1917 the cathedral was turned into a museum.
Canal Cruise St. Petersburg is also called the Venice of the North, and that is why your tour also includes a 60 minute cruise on the River Neva and the picturesque downtown canals by small open-air boat.
Metro RideVisit the magnificent "palaces of the People" as the Metro used to be called during the Soviet Union years. All the stations are totally different and individually designed. Some are luxurious with art work, statues, sculptures, mosaic walls, and chandeliers, some are simpler looking. The trains are always crowded, as if there was a constant rush hour.
You will enjoy an exterior visit at Peterhof Fountains & Grounds. Unlike most tours, you will enter the palace compound through the unbelievable Upper Park, which is very seldom visited by hurried tourists. Built to rival Versailles in France, the palace design was drafted by Peter the Great who supervised the design of the palace fountains. Walking from the front of the palace to the back side during your exterior visit, you will look down upon the Grand Cascade, the most famous fountain group, stroll through the lower parks and view and experience some of Peter's surprise creations.
Photo stops will be made at the following sites:
St. Isaac's Square Surrounded by the Cathedral, and nearby Mariinski Palace.
The Palace Square between the Winter Palace, the General Headquarters.
Rostral Columns One of the most photographed locations in St. Petersburg.
Lunches: The first day features a traditional Russian lunch, served in one of the better restaurants. On day two and three lunch will be in a restaurant specializing in international cuisine. All lunches will consist of three course meals.
Shopping: In addition to local vendors at most of the stops during your excursion, a stop at one of St. Petersburg's souvenir shops will be made where you can barter for traditional Russian goods as lacquered boxes, jewelry, pins, nesting dolls, handicrafts, china and porcelain, military memorabilia of the Soviet Union, beautiful coffee table books about Russian topics, and many others.
The difference was the unique guide, she make the time excellent