- Round trip transportation from the cruise ship pier
- English-speaking driver and guide
- Blanket visa
- Standard admission to all museums listed in the itinerary
- Hydrofoil to Peterhof
- Opportunity to design the balance of your day according to your interests
- Great Choral Synagogue
- Restaurant and shop with kosher food
- St. Petersburg Conservatory
- Downtown St. Petersburg
- Ginzburg and the Polyakov palaces
- Nevsky Prospekt
- Vavelberg Bank
- Hesed Avraam
- Fountain Park
- Tsars Village
- Catherine Palace
- Amber Room
- Hermitage Museum
- Jewish section at the Russian Museum of Ethnography
- Jewish Cultural Center
- Subway ride and farmers market
Extra fee options:
- Gold Room--guided tour of this world famous exhibit within the Hermitage Museum
- Diamond Room--guided tour of Russia’s most spectacular collection of rare jewels
- Faberge Museum--guided tour of the museum that was once open only to the world’s richest and most famous
The Jewish portion of your tour may be done on either day. Your guide will suggest which day would be best based on what is happening in the city. Your tour begins in the old district of Kolomna, which was the center of Jewish life in the 19th century. It was here that the Great Choral Synagogue was built and, amazingly, functioned continuously throughout WWII. The second largest synagogue in Europe, it contains a main hall for Sabbath services, rooms for the rabbi and cantor, a lovely wedding hall, a meeting hall for community members, a library, and a mikva in the basement. Next to the main building is a small synagogue for daily services. Outside, there is a stunning feature: a lifesize photograph of the Jerusalem Wailing Wall that has been transferred to fabric and hangs on a long brick wall.
Next to the synagogue is a restaurant and shop with kosher food, as well as beautiful Russian-made souvenirs. The St. Petersburg Conservatory, founded by Anton Rubinstein in the 19th century, claims many outstanding Jewish graduates such as Heinrich Veniavski, Leopold Auer, Yasha Heifetz, Yefrem Cimbalist, and Misha Elman, to mention just a few.
Downtown St. Petersburg also has some historical sights associated with the first Jews of the 18th century. You will see the ornate palaces of the Ginzburgs and the Polyakovs--the two powerful dynasties of Jewish bankers and industrialists. Nevsky Prospect, the city’s central shopping street, boasts the Vavelberg Bank building constructed for the Vavelberg family, the wealthiest bankers of Poland, along with other famous structures.
During this tour you will learn a lot about Jewish organizations, of which there are 40 in this city. One of them is the well known Hesed Avraam, the Jewish Cultural Center, which features a range of activities, including social programs, medical care, a foreign language club, a handicrafts club, and more. Your guide may not be Jewish, but will have connections to the Jewish community.
This portion of your day will take up to three hours, depending on your interests. Much of the cultural aspect of St. Petersburg will overlap with the regular introduction to the city. You will work with your guide to arrange to see those attractions that are of most interest to you. The order in which you will do them will be different than below.
You'll travel by hydrofoil along the Neva River, where you'll disembark in Peterhof for a visit of Fountain Park, often called the Russian Versailles. It is here that we will share some options for a quick and reasonably priced lunch with enough time to rest your feet and perhaps ask some questions about daily life in Russia.
From here, you'll travel to the Tsars Village, with its lavish imperial palaces, and Catherine Palace, which houses the famous Amber Room, included in your tour.
You'll find the balance of the day easy and not overwhelming, and you'll return to your cruise ship after an amazing day of discovery.
The familiar face of your guide will again greet you at the ship and begin your immersion into the city. Today, you will tour the Hermitage Museum (one of the largest museums of art and culture in the world), the Jewish section at the Russian Museum of Ethnography (which will give you a comprehensive life of the Jewish people on the territory of Russia).
Your guide will also take you to see everyday life in the city, including some shopping, a subway ride and visit to the farmers market if you like. A late afternoon return to your ship will find you satisfied that your time was wisely spent, as well as wondering when you might be able to return to this city of energy and magic.
If you wish to add an evening activity, such as a theatre performance, a folkloric show, a boat trip, or even a typical Russian dinner experience, we can arrange that per your request at extra cost.
Departures: 08:00 AM,
Meeting instructions: Specific pick up or taxi instructions will appear on your voucher after you purchase your trip.
Special instructions: - There is a discount for one child per two adult spaces. If you are traveling with a child 17 years and younger, contact ShoreTrips for a discounted rate.
- This excursion is a non-visa tour for cruise ship passengers. According to Russian Federation law, visas are not required for shore excursions if you book through companies that are officially licensed and authorized by the Russian government to receive foreign cruise passengers and to operate inside St. Petersburg port areas. We will supply you with the tour ticket, called a blanket visa or booking confirmation, which you will pass to the customs/immigration offices. Due to the length of time needed to acquire these tour tickets, we ask that you please MAKE YOUR BOOKING NO LESS THAN 2 WEEKS BEFORE THE DAY YOU LEAVE HOME. Thank you.
- We will need the following information at the time of booking: Each passenger's full name as it appears in their passport; Citizenship; Date of birth; Passport number; Passport issue date; Passport expiration date; Arrival date into St. Petersburg; Departure date from St. Petersburg.
- Any information forwarded to Shoretrips necessary to obtain a visa must be exact. We will pass on a $10 processing fee if corrections are necessary after we receive the visa. This is a per person fee, charged for each visa that requires changes.
- This includes standard admission to all museums in the program, guide's services for 2 days, driver's services for 2 days, car or minivan (Mercedes), all port fees.
- Though we have included admissions, there is often an optional charge for photo and/or video use in palaces and museums. It is a nominal fee and must be paid upon entry. The Jewish community centers also expects a donation for all who choose to enter it. A $20.00 minimal per person donation is expected. Since some opt to donate more, this cost is NOT included in your tour cost.
- Cost of food and beverage is not included. Suggestions will be supplied by your guide for lunch that will be quick and typical.
- Gratuity is not included. We suggest a 10% gratuity to your guide and 5% to your driver.