St Petersburg, Russia Federation

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 faade); 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.