Escape the mob cruise line tours and enjoy this incredible two day St. Petersburg tour, complete with inside visits to Peterhof, Catherine's Palace, the Hermitage, Peter and Paul Fortress, St. Issacs and Spilled Blood. The best way to experience St. Petersburg.
On the first day of your St. Petersburg excursion returns back to the ship at approximately 5:30 PM. On the second 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 both days of your St. Petersburg tour. You will receive headsets at the beginning of each day to use during the 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..
Peterhof Palace You will enjoy an interior visit at Peterhof Palace and also see some of the enormous fountains and gardens. Built to rival Versailles in France, the palace design was drafted by Peter the Great who supervised the design of the palace fountains. After your interior 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.
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.
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
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.
Photo stops will be made at the following sites:
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 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.
Note that 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.
Reviewer: Martha Emmons
Our tour guide and the itinerary were excellent. The wait at the port (almost an hour), picking up passengers from another cruise ship, the size of the group and the bus breaking down were negatives.
Reviewer: Jesus Velasquez
Took this tour on recommendation and glad we did. There is so much to see and just beautiful art. Our guide was very knowledgeable and thried the best he could to assist the ADA tourist.
Reviewer: Shirley marr
This 2 day tour was very full our guide was the best ever. People need to be active as there is a lot of walking but so good especially because Ilya was so good.
Reviewer: Sandra Palassis
Our two day tour with Irina was absolutely fantastic!! From the palaces to the churches to the city tour ... we loved all of our stops and had ample time to tour and shop. Our tour guide spoke English very well and was sooo knowledgeable, patient and kind to all of us. It was a lot of walking and two long days but all of the sites were well worth the exercise. Even our lunches were decent and very satisfying. One word of advice though ... DO NOT WAIT FOR YOUR CRUISE LINE TO ANNOUNCE DISEMBARKMENT... we waited but then proceeded to leave before the official announcement and still waited almost 45 mins to get through passport control at the terminal. There were 6 cruise lines at the terminal and way too many people but fortunately everyone was in the same "boat" and the tour bus waited for us!! So try to leave about one hour before your meeting time if possible especially the first day. But wonderfully packed tour and better priced than the ship's tour package!
Reviewer: Sharon Farbstein
The highlight of of our trip was this 2-day tour of beautiful St. Petersburg. The Hermitage, Catherine's Palace, Peterhof, Pushkin, the churches -all great and gold. But what made it special was our guide, Irina. She had a complete knowledge of everything, and added a little humor to the telling., No problems. Everything was on time.