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St Petersburg

Welcome to one of the world’s most incredible and fascinating destinations.  The majority of cruises sailing into St. Petersburg will stay overnight here to allow passengers more time to take in the amazing sights.  When booking a cruise to this port of call, we would always advise an overnight stay, so be sure to look at this when choosing an itinerary.  There are even certain cruise lines now that provide three day calls here to really give guests a taste of the Russian gem.  The area deserves time and this jewel of the Baltic is absolutely superb from the moment you step ashore.  The city of St. Petersburg presents Russia at its finest; the dramatic skyline is dominated by spectacular churches and palaces that combine beautifully with the glistening River Neva flowing along the city.

Peter the Great founded this city in 1703 and set about taking inspiration from such cities as London and Paris to create his own masterpiece design.  You could almost find yourself falling in love here with the amazing history it portrays.  The city’s major highlights remain intact today as they once were which pays testament to the native pride and the incredible strength to withstand the violent experiences it has seen.  The city has many waterways and flowing canals which lead to it drawing comparisons to the beautiful Venice. 

Awe inspiring architecture is absolutely tremendous and the city is almost reminiscent of a living museum.  There have been so many famous names associated with this charming city including Dostoyevsky, Tchaikovsky and Tolstoy.  The alluring charisma exudes around every corner. 

When you arrive, be sure to place the Hermitage Museum at the top of your sightseeing wish list.  This amazing structure contains the world’s most incredible collection of art and sculptures.  Exhibits showcasing the works of Rembrandt, Gaugin and even Leonardo Da Vinci feature here and the spectacular buildings, palaces and architectural extravagance are in enough to take your breath away.  If you have enjoyed the Louvre in Paris, then you will most certainly love the Hermitage Museum.  The multitudes of famous landmarks continue with the exquisite sight of St Isaac’s Cathedral renowned for its golden dome dominating the skyline of the city.  The Hermitage and Palace Square glistens with historical influence from the Czars residence.  Once the hub of Russian power, this notorious location is famous for the state offices and Alexander Column.  The Yusupov Palace is an excellent highlight of the city to experience as it was the scene for the murder of Gregori Rasputin in 1916.  Continue onwards to the palace of Catherine the Great to soak up the impeccable sight of the 978 foot façade.  The Church of Spilled Blood is also an unbelievable sight with its onion spire features.  It is this famed onion spire that represents the pseudo-Russian architectural genius in its true glory.  The Church of the Saviour on the Spilled Blood is where Alexander II was assassinated.

The River Neva boasts its own historical heritage in the form of the Aurora Cruiser famous for signalling the start of the Russian Revolution.  The cruiser is now berthed towards the north bank of the river and is now deployed as a museum.

Excursions here are unlike any other port in the world.  The opportunities for sightseeing are fabulous and the scenery is absolutely breath taking.  Cruise lines will usually run several different types of city highlight tours to allow for varied levels of activity.  Walking tours will often be in place along with the chance to do a panoramic coach tour for those preferring a more leisurely experience.  Along with the fully city highlight there will be opportunities to visit individual areas of interest such as the Hermitage Museum.  Each excursion booked in St Petersburg will include the organisation of a Russian Visa through the cruise line.  By booking a tour through the cruise operator this is taken care of for you and included in the fare, choosing to head ashore yourself is not a problem at all but it will require an independent Russian Visa to be organised.  The choice is entirely up to the individual but worth considering for peace of mind.

Ships docking here for overnight stays provide passengers with a unique opportunity to spend a delightful evening at the ballet.  A form of entertainment renowned in this region, the ballet experience will take place at the Aurora Theatre, reflecting on this notorious Russian legacy. Enjoy a scintillating evening of Tchaikovsky’s famous Swan Lake and the enchanting sounds of the State Governor’s Symphony Orchestra.  This particular excursion will book up incredibly quick so be sure to place it at the top of your to do list if it is something you wish to see.

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