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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.

Ballet Evening

Activity mediumRefreshments included

Duration: 4 hours

Spend a delightful evening at the Theatre and reflect on the artistic legacy that has given Russian ballet its fame.

St. Petersburg has long been regarded as one of the world’s most famous ballet centres, and the second half of the 19th century was a golden age for ballet, thanks to the musical genius of the Russian composer Tchaikovsky.

At a traditional Russian theatre located in the heart of the city of St. Petersburg, you will have the opportunity to enjoy a classical ballet performance of Tchaikovsky’s world famous Swan Lake.

During the intermission, you’ll be offered a glass of Russian ‘champagne’, juice or water.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The venue is non-exclusive to P&O Cruises. Seating cannot be reserved in advance and tickets with seat numbers will be given on the coach transfer. Photography and video are not permitted during the performance. Casual dress is acceptable. Depending on the theatre used for your tour, there may be up to 60 steps to negotiate.

Boat Cruise and Yusupov Palace

Activity highRefreshments included

Duration: 3½ hours

Enjoy a relaxing boat trip passing many of St Petersburg’s landmarks, before visiting the delightful Yusupov Palace.

A boat trip on St Petersburg’s canals and waterways is one of the highlights of any visit to the city. Join a river boat for a leisurely trip along the Neva, Fontanka and Moyka rivers, taking in the impressive landmarks. A glass of ‘champagne’ will be provided during the boat trip.

Yusupov Palace belonged to the wealthy Yusupov family and is the historic site of the gruesome murder of the peasant and mystic Rasputin. The mysterious circumstances of his death are legendary. The yellow, colonnaded building was acquired by the aristocratic Yusupov’s in 1830 to house their collection of paintings. The unique collections of art assembled by the Yusupovs and their reputation as well-educated hosts attracted the most outstanding representatives of Russian cultural life to the Palace. Tour the cellar, which houses an exhibition on the infamous mystic.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach, boat and on foot. The boat route is subject to change depending on the water level and weather conditions. There are steps at the embarkation/disembarkation of the canal boat. It may also be necessary to cross other boats to reach your specific vessel. Whilst there are sufficient seats for everyone on the boat, we cannot guarantee that you’ll be able to sit in the area of your choice (either inside or on the open deck). There are many steps in the Palace and narrow steep steps into the cellar. Comfortable, non-slip shoes are recommended. Special overshoes have to be worn in Yusupov Palace during wet weather conditions to protect the floors. These will be available on entering the Palace. Crowds are to be expected and you may have to queue outside in all weathers. The Church of the Spilled Blood is currently undergoing restoration; some of the domes are surrounded by scaffolding. The order of visits may vary.

Catherine Palace

Activity high

Duration: 4 hours

The magnificence of Imperial Russian life in the 18th century awaits you in the setting of one of Russia’s most famous palaces.

Situated in the town of Tsarskoye Selo, the grand, blue Catherine Palace was named in honour of Peter the Great’s wife, Catherine I. Built in the mid 18th century during the reigns of Elizabeth and Catherine II, the baroque façade is nearly 1,000 feet long with decorative white and gold ornaments and the grounds comprise of some 1,482 acres of manicured gardens and parklands.

You’ll visit various rooms of the Palace’s sumptuous interior and glimpse part of the vast gardens. One of the many highlights will be the Amber Room with its walls decorated with real amber of different hues. The long, classical gallery of heroic Roman and Greek busts that runs alongside the exterior of the Palace was designed as a covered walkway for Catherine the Great by the Scottish architect, Charles Cameron.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Total time allocated inside the Palace is up to 50 minutes, plus 30 minutes in the gardens. Although an early opening has been arranged for cruise ships, the Palace can become crowded and you may be expected to queue outside in all weathers. There is up to 2½ hours’ total walking on this tour including stairs and gravel pathways. Protective overshoes are provided inside Catherine Palace, which can make the floor slippery and care should be taken. Camera and video fees are included in the tour cost. Flash photos are not permitted inside and photography is prohibited in the Amber Room. It is forbidden to take long overcoats, large bags, umbrellas or bottles inside.

Catherine Palace and Amber Workshop

Activity high

Duration: 5 hours

Explore Catherine Palace and be part of the privileged few who witness the continuous restoration of amber in its workshop.

Sit back, relax and watch the hustle and bustle of busy St Petersburg pass you by, as you head out of the city to the town of Tsarskoye Selo.

Upon arrival, admire the elaborately decorated Baroque façade of Catherine Palace, which stretches out for nearly 1000 feet, and is flanked by ornate white and gold ornaments. Your guide will host you on a walking tour through the various rooms of the Palace’s sumptuous interior. One of the many highlights will be a visit to the Amber Room with its walls decorated with real amber of different hues.

Next, you’ll visit the Amber Workshop, which is housed in one of the outbuildings of the Palace. The workshop was created especially for the reconstruction of the Amber Room. Learn how fine pieces of jewellery are created using the same traditional techniques that were used when resurrecting the Amber Room to its former glory. As a reminder of your unique visit you’ll be given a piece of natural amber, which was meant to be part of the Amber Room decoration, but did not fit in.

This tour is a truly unique experience and needs to be booked early to avoid disappointment.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The Palace can become crowded and you may be expected to queue outside in all weather. There is up to 2½ hours’ total walking on this tour including stairs and gravel pathways. Protective overshoes are provided inside Catherine Palace, which can make the floor slippery and care should be taken. Camera and video fees are included in the tour cost. Flash photos are not permitted inside and photography is prohibited in the Amber Room. It is forbidden to take long overcoats, large bags, umbrellas or bottles inside. The order of visits may vary.

 

A selection of cruises to St. Petersburg

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