The vast majority of cruise lines spend 2 days in this jewel of the Russian Empire. Azamara club cruises extends your stay for a 3rd day allowing even more time to immerse yourself in city and the history that is so evident.
Our first day started with a river cruise through the city giving us the perspective that the initial city planners had envisioned- long before the advent of the car.
Our next stop was the Hermitage. Set on the grounds of the Winter Palace it is home to the works of da Vinci, Rembrandt, and several other masters. This museum brings a fabulous variety of painting, sculpture, furniture, and even Egyptian antiquities. Our two hours in the building only serves as a sampler of what there is to see.
After an authentic Russian lunch including vodka and caviar, we move on to the site of Rasputin' s demise - Yusupov Palace and close the day at the famous Peter and Paul Cathedral.
Our day begins with a drive to Pushkin and a visit to the Summer Palace of Catherine.
After a walk through of the spectacularly refurbished rooms we move outside to walk through the palace gardens
Our tour returns to St Petersburg and after lunch we visit the Church of the Spilled Blood and marvel at both the stunning exterior and the magnificent moasic interior.
Our day concludes at St Isaacs Cathedral and we receive an explanation of both the history and the construction of the city's largest church with a capacity for over 10,000. It houses the only stained glass window in the Russian Orthodox.
The final day has us visiting the Peterhof Palace and the most spectacular gardens. After a one hour ride from the ship you arrive at the Palace.
Photographs are not permitted on the inside but the highlight of the visit is on the outside where the fountains which were modelled after Versailles will surely impress you.
At 11am the fountains are activated and you can enjoy the grounds in all their beauty
In the peak summer months the lines for tickets and the sheer number of people visiting makes your tour selection critical. Ask your agent about excursions that offer VIP and/or early access to these sites. Picking a smaller cruise ship or a private tour group can certainly help you get the most from your time in St. Petersburg.