Private St. Petersburg Through the Eyes of Russian People
On your private St. Petersburg tour you will feel like a Russian this afternoon and see this magnificent city through the eyes of its inhabitants. While touring palatial St. Petersburg, one is dazzled by the beauty of its palaces, cathedrals and parks, but the city offers much more than this and one of the attractions is a ride on a metro.
The metro's stunning stations intended by Stalin to be 'palaces for the people' should be placed high on the itinerary. The Soviet's best architects were employed to design St. Petersburg's metro stations. The first line, opened in 1955 is the most fascinating. You will take a short ride on the train and see two stations which you will notice are decorated differently. Because of the many waterways in the city, stations are buried deep underground, and long escalators lead down to the platforms.
As part of this unique excursion you will also visit a traditional grocery store to see how they differ and to see how they are the same as yours. (Do they have someone in their express lane with more than 10 items?) A peak at St. Petersburg's markets and food stores provides an intriguing insight into local life. Many locals shop for food in numerous markets that sell fruit, vegetables, fresh meat and fish, delicious homemade cottage cheese and wonderful natural honey. Sellers in the market come from all over the former Soviet Union and one can witness quite a variety of personalities there and enjoy friendly attitudes.
The St. Petersburg tour will continue to a restaurant which specializes in Russian food and hospitality. You will be treated to a variety of vodkas together with traditional Russian snacks served to compliment this famous Russian drink. After the vodka sampling and relaxing at the restaurant your vehicle will return you to the ship.
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.