This best of St. Petersburg shore trip
includes two full day (nine hour) tours, for those cruises which are in port overnight. This allows you to see the top sights in St. Petersburg plus the Hermitage Museum, Peterhof with the Grand Palace and Catherine's Palace.
Day 1- St. Petersburg Highlights & Peterhof with the Grand Palace
After passing through customs at the port you meet your private licensed guide and your day begins with a city driving tour which includes photo stops at major attractions. During the tour you see the Square of Arts, the Russian Museum, the Cathedral of Our Savior on Spilled Blood, Griboedov Canal, Nevsky Prospect, the Palace Square, the Winter Palace, the spit of the Basil Island, the Menshikov Palace, the Senate Square, the Bronze Horseman, St. Isaac's Cathedral, Peter and Paul Fortress, the Palace Embankment, the Field of Mars, the Summer Garden and Smolny Cathedral.
Following the city tour is a lunch break (meal not included).
Next you depart the city for the famous Peterhof including the Grand Palace and the Lower Park with it's fountains. Built to rival France's palace at Versailles, you are sure to be impressed.
Peterhof is St. Petersburg's most famous and spectacular estate, a jewel of Russian art. This town of parks, palaces and fountains was called Petrodvorets in the past. The Grand Palace was built by Peter the Great and became the exquisite summer residence of the Russian tzars. The location on the shore of the Baltic Sea made it an ideal place in the warm summer months. From the Great Palace three monumental cascading fountains lead to the Lower Park, a real masterpiece in itself, with 173 fountains on its grounds.
Day 2- Pushkin with Catherine's Palace and Hermitage Museum
Your second day begins with a tour of the Imperial estate at Pushkin, including the famous Amber Room. The Palace and Parks of Tsarskoye Selo (known as Pushkin) are a former country residence of the Russian emperors and a fascinating monument of the world's architectural and gardening arts of the 18th and 19th centuries.
The three parks occupy an area of almost 1,500 acres where you find over 100 architectural wonders ranging from magnificent palaces and grand monuments to intimate pavilions and park sculptures. The center of which is Catherine's Palace, named after the second wife of Peter the Great. This blue, white and gold palace contains exquisite decorative objects, furniture, Russian and Western European paintings, unique collections of porcelain, amber, arms, decorative bronze and sculptures. In all the collection of the Tsarskoye Selo museum has about 20,000 items. Your tour includes a visit to the unique Amber Room whose amber panels where stolen by the Nazis in WWII but have now been rebuilt.
Following your tour at Pushkin is a break for lunch (meal not included).
After lunch you drive into St. Petersburg to visit the State Hermitage Museum. This massive museum is located in six historical buildings of St. Petersburg. The buildings themselves are architectural beauties and many think the most impressive part of the museum. These buildings include the Winter Palace, which is the former residence of the Russian emperors, the Small Hermitage, The Old Hermitage, the New Hermitage, the Hermitage Theater and the General Staff Building.
The Winter Palace was erected between 1754 and 1762 for Empress Elisabeth, the daughter of Peter the Great. It is the largest edifice built in the high Baroque style.
The Small Hermitage was constructed between 1764 and 1767 and the Old Hermitage between 1771 and 1787. These buildings were meant to be used by Empress Catherine the Great for her own apartments and for her personal collections of art which she purchased in Europe.
The New Hermitage was built between 1839 and 1852 and became the first building in Russia designed to contain and exhibit museum collections.
The collections of the Hermitage includes over 3 million items from prehistoric to modern times. Magnificent works of art embracing prehistoric culture, Egyptian art, the art of Antiquity, Scythian gold, and great collections of Western European sculptures and paintings (Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, Raphael, Rembrandt, Poussain, Manet, Renoir and others) are displayed in the 400 halls of the museum. Luckily, with your private guide you will see the most important pieces.
Russia Visa-Free Entry Voucher Information
With these private St. Petersburg shore excursions,
our partners in Russia provide everything you need to satisfy Russia's entry requirements. You will NOT
need to purchase a separate Russian Tourist Visa.
Russian law requires that cruise passengers taking Private Shore Trips have the following documentation:
1) A valid passport
2) A photocopy of your passport
3) Proof that you have purchased an escorted tour arranged by a government licensed agency authorized to receive foreign cruise passengers inside the St. Petersburg port area. Our partners in Russia provide a Visa-Free Entry Voucher as proof of your tour.
To process your Visa-Free Entry Voucher we will need the following information for each person in your private party at the time of your reservation. -Full name as listed in the passport
-Passport Expiration Date
-Date of Birth
Your cruise line may tell you that you must purchase an expensive Russian tourist visa to get off the ship if you are not taking their big bus tour. This is not true. The visa they refer to is only for passengers who plan to go ashore unaccompanied by an authorized guide. With the Visa-Free Entry Voucher our partners in Russia provide, you are required to depart and return to the port with the tour we have organized for you. You do not have the option to stay in St. Petersburg and return to the ship on your own. Visa-Free Entry Vouchers are sometimes called a "blanket visa".
Four Week Notice-
To obtain the needed Russian Tourist Visas we can only accept reservations with a minimum of four weeks notice.