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About St. Petersburg

On cruises to St. Petersburg you will usually stay here overnight; after all the jewel in the Baltic's crown deserves no less, for here - on the broad banks of the River Neva and in the magnificent palaces and churches which characterise the city's skyline - you will find Russia at its most dramatic, flamboyant and captivating.

Put the Hermitage Museum right at the top of your St. Petersburg cruise sightseeing list; its magnificent buildings and palaces contain the world's most comprehensive collection of art and sculpture, including works by Leonardo da Vinci, Gaugin, Rembrandt and Matisse.

Other highlights of all St. Petersburg cruises include the Yusupov Palace (where 'the mad monk' Gregori Rasputin was dramatically murdered in 1916); Catherine the Great's palace (with its breathtaking 978-foot white, gold and blue façade); St Isaac's Cathedral (which has marble walls studded with semi-precious stones); the onion-spired Church of Spilled Blood and the battleship Aurora, whose guns signalled the start of the Russian Revolution.

 

Shore excursions in St. Petersburg

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

An Evening at The Hermitage

Activity highRefreshments included

Duration: 3½ hours

A special opportunity to enjoy the Museum’s collections - without the crowds - further enhanced by an exclusive classical concert.

Your unique evening visit will start after the Hermitage Museum has been closed to the general public. First you’ll explore the Winter Palace, wander through its hallways, stairways and rooms, view a selection of art and treasures, and learn about its history and residents; the Romanovs, rulers of Russia for over 300 years. (Routes around the Hermitage are determined by museum curators therefore we cannot guarantee which works of art will be seen on the day.) Today the Hermitage is considered to be one of the 3 leading museums in the entire world and a highlight of anyone’s visit to St Petersburg.

After the Hermitage tour, in one of the Ceremonial Halls, the full symphonic orchestra of the Hermitage Academy of Music will perform for your pleasure. Enjoy a short concert of classical music by world famous composers. Sip a glass of Russian ‘champagne’ on the landing of the Gala staircase after the concert.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The tour involves approximately 2 hours’ walking, including many steps. Camera and video fees for the Museum are included in the tour cost. Flash photography is not permitted. It is forbidden to take long overcoats, large bags, umbrellas or bottles inside the Museum. The concert and ‘champagne’ reception are exclusive to P&O Cruises; however the Hermitage reserves the right to allow other small groups into the Museum.

Fabulous Fabergé

Activity high

Duration: 4 hours

Explore the newly restored Shuvalovsky Palace to see the largest private collection of Imperial Fabergé eggs.

Sit back and enjoy the sights of the imperial city of St Petersburg as you drive to the impressively restored Shuvalovsky Palace. Located on the banks of the Fontanka River its Neoclassical design makes it one of the most beautiful palaces in St Petersburg. At the heart of the Palace lies the world’s largest collection of works by Carl Fabergé, including 9 of the famous Imperial Easter Eggs.

The story of Fabergé and the Imperial Easter Eggs are intertwined with the lives and loves of the last Romanov, Tsar Nicholas II and his Empress, Alexandra. The eggs were personal gifts between the Tsar and his wife and the series charted the tragic story that led to the end of the Romanov dynasty. Only 42 of the 50 eggs made for the imperial family have survived.

Walls adorned with fine art line your route around the exquisitely restored rooms of the Palace and each one is home to equally impressive exhibits of Fabergé’s contemporaries, including famous Russian jewellers and silversmiths.

Afterwards, there will be a visit made at the Pushkin Art Gallery Shop, where you will have some free time to browse for souvenirs and maybe even pick up your own replica decorative Fabergé egg.

Essential information

This tour will operate by minivan and on foot. This tour involves approximately 1½ hours’ walking at a moderate pace, including many steps. Flash photography is not permitted inside the Palace. Russian Roubles, US Dollars, Euro’s and credit cards are accepted in the Pushkin Art Gallery. It is forbidden to take long overcoats, large bags, umbrellas or bottles inside the Palace.

Grand St Petersburg and The Hermitage

Activity highMeal includedShopping

Duration: 8¾ hours

Combine city sightseeing and a traditional lunch, with an interior visit of Peter-and-Paul Fortress , and the celebrated Hermitage Museum on this grand tour.

An unforgettable highlight of any visit to St Petersburg is the Hermitage Museum. Walk, with your guide, through various display rooms to see a selection of the 2 million objects housed here. Routes around the Hermitage are determined on the day by museum curators, so we cannot guarantee which works of art will be seen during your tour.

This fascinating day will include several photo opportunities as you pass many of the city highlights. With its ornate and brightly coloured exterior, the Church of the Saviour on the Spilled Blood is a photographer's delight. View the main street, Nevsky Prospect, the University Embankment, the Admiralty, the Bronze Horseman, Rostral Columns cruiser Aurora and Peter and Paul Fortress.

The original citadel of St Petersburg, the fortress was founded by Peter the Great in 1703 and built to Domenico Trezini's designs, taking over 30 years to complete. The date that the foundations of the fortress were laid, May 27, 1703, is considered to be the birthday of this fascinating city.

Bargain with local vendors near the various venues and enjoy a traditional Russian lunch with a folkloric show, at a city restaurant.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The tour has around 3 hours’ walking including cobblestones and many steps, particularly at the Hermitage. Camera and video fees for the Hermitage and Peter-and-Paul Fortress are included in the tour cost. Flash photos are not permitted. Early reservation is recommended due to limited places. During peak season, the Hermitage can be crowded and you may be expected to queue outside in all weathers. It is forbidden to take long overcoats, large bags, bottles or umbrellas inside the Museum. The Church of the Spilled Blood is currently undergoing restoration; some of the domes are surrounded by scaffolding.

The Palaces of Catherine and Peterhof

Activity highMeal included

Duration: 9¼ hours

A unique chance to admire the splendid palaces and parks of the former summer residences of the Russian Czars.

The impressive blue Catherine Palace’s façade is nearly 1,000 feet-long with decorative white and gold ornaments, and the grounds comprise acres of manicured gardens. Visit various rooms of the sumptuous Palace, including the Amber Room, and stroll alongside the gallery of Roman and Greek busts designed as a covered walkway for Catherine the Great.

Peterhof Palace attests to the pomp, pageantry and extravagance of Russia’s ruling class with its lovely yellow and white exterior and gilded trimmings. Peter the Great personally drafted the layout of the 300-acre park and its spectacular system of fountains. Most famous is the Grand Cascade, with its gold statue of Samson prying open the jaws of a lion. You’ll have the opportunity to visit the Throne Room, Portrait Room and the White Dining Room.

Lunch will be served in a leading restaurant and includes a glass of ‘champagne’, tea or coffee.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is up to 6 hours’ walking. Time allocated inside the Palaces is up to 1 hour, plus time in the gardens. Crowds are likely and you may be expected to queue outside in all weathers. Protective overshoes are provided, which can make the floor slippery. Camera and video fees are included in the tour cost. Flash photography is not permitted inside the palaces and photography is prohibited in the Amber Room. It is forbidden to take long overcoats, large bags, umbrellas or bottles inside the Palaces. Peterhof fountains are subject to maintenance work without notification.The order in which the palaces are visited may vary.

 

A selection of cruises to St. Petersburg

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