Days: Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun
Departure time: 08.30
Duration: 10 hours
Prices are in USD per person per tour
Discount for kids (3-12 yo) - 15 USD
Infants (0-3 yo) are free of charge
All port fees for one day and all local Russian taxes; Visa-free formalities; Private vehicle; English/or German/or Spanish/or Italian/or French local Guide; Entrance tickets to the museums; This tour doesn’t include visit to Impressionist collection of the Hermitage as this collection is exhibiting in another building; Lunch in local restaurant (3 course menu, tea/coffee, mineral water); One pass for the camera per person in the museums; 2 bottle of mineral water per person in the vehicle.
Gratuities to the guide and driver.
Witness the wealth and extravagance of the Russian imperial family and visit the three main and most marvelous Tsar's residences in one day!
The shore excursion "Imperial Estates" starts at 8:30am. Your tour guide will meet you at the pier and take you to The State Hermitage Museum. Beat the crowd and start touring the world-famous museum one hour before the general public admission. Then, embark a comfortable hydrofoil boat for a 40-minute ride to magnificent Peterhof, sometimes referred as the "Russian Versailles". Take a stroll in the park and awe the biggest system of water cascades, fountains and sculptural elements in the world. After the walk, we will take you to lunch at a restaurant where you will enjoy traditional Russian cuisine and hospitality. In the afternoon, visit the Catherine Palace, the summer residence of the Russian tsars, located in the town of Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin), 30 km south of St. Petersburg. The palace is best known for The Great Hall, or Light Gallery, and the Amber Room that disappeared during World War II and was recreated in 2003. Before the room was looted by the Nazis, it was known as the "Eighth Wonder of the World". You will be back to the ship at 6:30 pm.
The State Hermitage Museum (Early Admission)
For those seeking a greater insight into Russian culture and history, the Hermitage's extensive collection of artworks literally paints a picture of the nation's captivating past. In fact, it is one of the largest and oldest museums in the world!
The museum was founded in 1764 when Catherine the Great purchased a collection of 255 paintings from Berlin. Nowadays, the Hermitage has about 2.7 million exhibits and displays a full range of world art from ancient Egypt to early 20th century Europe. It includes works by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, unique collections of Rembrandt, Rubens, French impressionists, and sculptures by Rodin.
Hermitage is not just a place full of treasures, but the museum itself is a real jewel, a piece of antiquity, a house of mysterious Russian history.
A Hydrofoil Boat Ride
A high-speed and comfortable hydrofoil boat with panoramic windows will bring you to Peterhof in less than 40 minutes. Your waterway runs along Finnish Gulf and Neva River passing the naval city of Kronshtadt and Vladimir Putin's official residence – Konstantinovsky Palace in Strelna.
Peterhof Park and Gardens (The Peterhof Grand Palace is not included)
The Peterhof Park and Gardens is the one excursion you can't miss while beeing ashore in Saint Petersburg. This is one of Russia's landmarks and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Peterhof ensemble is a series of palaces and gardens laid out on the orders of Peter the Great in the beginning of the 18th century and later expanded by Peter's daughter, Empress Elizabeth.
A splendid park on the shore of the Baltic Sea is decorated with more than 4 big cascades, including the truly spectacular Grand Cascade, 150 smaller fountains, beautiful palaces, and blooming flowers.
Inspired by The Palace of Versailles in France, Peterhof has surpassed its French prototype in beauty. The focal point of the ensemble is the Grand Cascade, a breathtaking composition of over 140 fountains and canals partly engineered by Peter the Great himself. From the Grand Cascade, the park spreads out along the coastline and entertains its visitors with trick fountains, the pyramid fountains, and marble sculptures.
As of today, the Peterhof is the biggest system of water cascades, fountains and sculptural elements in the world.
Catherine Palace and The Amber Room
The Romanov Imperial Estate built in Tsarskoe Selo (Tsar's Village) illustrates the extravagance and wealth of the Romanov family. The palace far surpasses famous French palaces and gorgeous Italian villas in terms of luxury and indulgence.
The palace grounds are almost 1 km in diameter. The palace, completed in 1756, is embellished with blue and white facades featuring gilded atlantes, caryatids, and pilasters. It took over 100 kg of gold to decorate the palace exteriors.
The interior of the Catherine Palace is in the same degree spectacular. The Golden Enfilade of grand suites, designed by Rastrelli, starts at the spacious airy ballroom, the "Grand Hall" or the "Gallery of Lights", and comprises numerous distinctively decorated smaller rooms, including the world-famous Amber Room.
Originally designed in 1701 in Prussia and decorated the Berlin City Palace at one point, the Amber Room was gifted to Peter the Great by Frederick William I who sought for a Russo-Prussian alliance. The treasure of 13,000 lb of amber and gold was installed at the Catherine Palace, where the Russian Imperial family typically spent their summers. The room decor disappeared during World War II and was recreated in 2003. Before the room was looted by the Nazis, it was known as the "Eighth Wonder of the World".