Exclusive St. Petersburg Two Day Program (Visas Included)
Sale Price: $299.00
Escape the mob cruise line tours and enjoy this incredible two day St. Petersburg tour, complete with inside visits to Catherine's Palace, the Hermitage, Peter and Paul Fortress and Spilled Blood with a walking tour in the Gardens of Peterhof. The best way to experience St. Petersburg.
Board your motor coach for a narrated drive to the suburbs of St. Petersburg. To the south you will see the Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin) and to the west to Peterhof, passing Stalin-era buildings, modern residential apartments and dachas (country houses). Driving west to Peterhof you will see the industrial and residential areas of St. Petersburg, former mansions of Russian Nobility, Alexandria Park and the Peter and Paul Cathedral in Peterhof.
This comprehensive two-day tour gives you a unique opportunity to admire the most splendid palaces and park ensembles of the 18th Century that belonged to the Russian Tsars. One of the world's most magnificent cities, St. Petersburg stretches over forty-four islands. The city was built by Peter the Great in the 18th Century to rival the splendor of Paris and combines a wealth of palaces, churches and museums.
Catherine's Palace The 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. Designed by Rastrelli, the ornate Baroque Palace features an ornate blue facade and gold onion domes crown the palace's north end, the site of the chapel. Your tour visits the White Vestibule, Grand Hall, the Amber Room, the Portrait Hall, the Crimson Pilaster Room and more. Please be advised during the high tourist season, Catherine's Palace welcomes tours every day except Tuesdays. However, this may also apply to certain 'events' also taking place in St. Petersburg. In these instances, the Palace of Paul may be visited alternately.
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. Originally built to protect the city from Swedish attack, the fortress soon became Russia's Tower of London, a place for political prisoners, including Peter the Great's own son.
Hermitage The 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. Your 1.5 - 2 hour guided tour visits the display of rooms plus the Baroque Winter Palace that boasts patterned parquet floors, ornate staircases, molded and decorated ceilings.
Church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood Built 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. This location is where the Emperor was mortally wounded. The interior of the church is decorated with incredibly detailed mosaics designed and created by the most prominent Russian artists of the day.
Peterhof Park Travel to another former summer Imperial residence. Set within magnificent gardens, Peterhof is reminiscent of Versailles. It was almost destroyed by the Nazis in World War II but has been restored to its full splendor. The gardens are dotted with countless fountains, charming pavilions and summer houses. The fountains of Peterhof are one of the most famous tourist attractions. The diversity of fountains in the park is surprising, from monumental ensembles like the Samson Cascade to the ever-popular Joke Fountains, including one which sprays anyone who steps on a particular paving stone. Please note, this tour does not include an interior visit of the Peterhof Palace.
Lunches: The first day features a traditional Russian lunch, served in one of the better restaurants and the second day lunch will be in a restaurant specializing in international cuisine. Both 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 china and porcelain, nesting dolls, jewelry, lacquered boxes, pins, handicrafts, military memorabilia of the Soviet Union, Russian coffee table books, and much more.
Please Note: The Hermitage Museum is closed on Mondays as a result, the itinerary's order is subject to change. All of our tours in St. Petersburg 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. 4) An immigration form passed out to all guests on the ship. 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: Timothy Sylvester
This tour was one of the best tours that we have taken. It was very well paced, covered so many important places and even had an ethnic lunch each day. Our local guide was very good. He gave a lot of information and answered all of our questions.
I have an arthritis disability that prevents me from doing prolonged walking without constant stops. My wife & I took this tour and on the first day we didn't take the electric scooter that I use when traveling. I'm afraid I caused delays to the group so I talked to the tour guide. He said on the following day to bring my scooter. I wouldn't be able to use it at all the stops but there were certainly different locations that it would be usable. He & the bus driver loaded and unloaded the scooter into the luggage compartment every stop it was usable. I was able to keep up with the group and not miss out on the most fabulous sightseeing tour of this cruise. (we scheduled a total of 5 shore excursions). We have used Shore Excursion Group for the last 3 or 4 cruises and will be using them again on our 40 day Pacific cruise in 2019.
Took us efficiently to several fascinating sites. Guide was knowledgeable and spoke fluent English.
Reviewer: Cheryl van Leeuwen
Excellent tour - money very well spent. Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and very engaging. He was happy to answer any of our questions. I would highly recommend this tour.
Reviewer: Claudia Sorensen
We enjoyed our tour and learned many things. Our guide was very knowledgeable about Russian history as well as giving us insight into past and present Russia life.