Another highlight is the Jewish Exposition of the Ethnography Museum, which highlights the Ashkenazi Jews and holds a collection illustrating the Eastern European Jewish culture. These donated and found artifacts will bring you back in time to everyday life as well as the struggles as a Jew in Russia.
A second day of touring highlights the general sightseeing that everyone craves. You will find yourself touring inside the Hermitage for a 2-hour guided tour where you will visit a series of rooms containing over 3,000,000 artworks including paintings by Da Vinci, Rafael, Monet, Rembrandt and Renoir. The Baroque Winter Palace is a background of patterned parquet floors, ornate staircases, molded, decorated ceilings. The Winter Palace is exquisite and it is suggested that though you may see paintings by some of the artists in the collection in other cities, you are unlikely to see a building such as this.
Your tour will also include the Peter and Paul Cathedral, the city's tallest structure during the days of Peter the Great. Even today only the television tower reaches higher to the sky. Inside are the tombs of many of the Tsars and Tsarinas, including Peter the Great and Catherine the Great. Also see the Peter and Paul fortress, which was built to protect the city from Swedish attack. It ultimately became a place for political prisoners.
The day is completed with a stop at St. Issac's Cathedral, whose massive gold dome is a dominating vision against the city skyline.
Your third day of touring will begin with a visit the suburbs of the city to see Pushkin to the south and Peterhof to the west. You will pass the Stalin-esque designed buildings and hear narration during your ride. You are on your way to see the 18th century splendors built by the Russian tsars. The famous Catherine's Palace designed by Rastrelli, is over the top Baroque 1,000 ft. long and has a blue façade. You will see the White Vestibule, the Grand Hall, the Portrait Hall, the Crimson Pilaster Room and of course, the Amber Room.
Nearby sits the Palace of Paul, another example of great interiors and art arranged on one of the premier landscape parks in Europe. The rooms are elegant of the Emperor Paul I and grand rooms of his wife Maria. Peterhof in its glory will need no introduction. Set amongst magnificent gardens, it looks like Versailles and has been restored to its original design after the desecration by the Nazis. The gardens are heaven with fountains, pavilions, and summer houses. Make sure you find the one fountain that sprays on anyone who steps on one particular paving stone.
If the weather permits, you will enjoy a hydrofoil ride across the river and if not, you will return to your vehicle for your transfer to the Metro for a ride in the underground system. The stations are beautiful with their decorative interiors, many adorned with chandeliers, marble vestibules, and lovely frescoes.
Your tour complete, it is time to return to your ship.
Departures: 09:00 AM,
Meeting instructions: Specific pick up or taxi instructions will appear on your voucher after you purchase your trip.
Special instructions: 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 that is 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 tour includes standard admission to all museums listed in the itinerary, guide's services for 3 days, driver's services for 3 days, car or minivan (Mercedes), permit for photo and/or video use in palaces and museums, and all port fees.
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.