Hello everyone, was hoping for some advice on specific shore excursions in St Petersburg. We're going on the Royal Princess and have 14hrs in port. Really want to make good use of our time there. Have pre-reserved 2 Princess excursions for fear of missing out all together as I've heard getting around Russia can be a problem for newbies (no matter whether they're in peachy health or not.)
For the morning I've booked a tour called HIDDEN SCENES WALKING TOUR, then heading back to the Royal for lunch before going out for the PANTORAMIC ST PETERSBURG & WHITE NIGHTS CANAL CRUISE.
Would be pitifully grateful for info and advice from other cruisers. Von
Tours are so darn subjective depending on personal preferences. I have not looked at your itinerary, but its really rare for any ship not to stay in St Petersburg overnight because there is more than enough to keep one busy for two days. The name of your tours doesn't tell us much, and I am trying to imagine a "hidden scenes" walking tour. When we were in St Petersburg, for us, the highlights were Peterhof (this place is amazing if you get good weather) and the Hermitage. It sounds like your tours are going to be simply looking at things from the outside, and from our perspective, you would be missing some of the best parts of this city. But again, this is all very personal.
Downundercruiser: We too are sailing on the Royal Princess (doing the transatlantic) and only in St. Petersburg for 1 day. I strongly encourage you to investigate some of the recommended independent tour operators.
For us, I know it will be 98% sure I won't be able to get back to Russia. So, we are spending a little extra for an indepentant tour (and if we get another couple to join us, it will be VERY competitive to the Princess tour costs). We will be seeing the Peterhof Fountain Park and Monplaisire Palace (too many steps in the big palace for my husband), Catherine Block, Alexander Nevsky Monastery and Lavra, inside visits to St. Isacc's and Spilled Blood Cathedrals and some time to shop and time for a quick lunch at a local's lunch stop.
We are doing simple, self-guided walking tours in Helsinki, Tallin and Amsterdam so we can splurg in St. Petersburg.
Decide what you REALLY want to visit while in St. Petersburg and if you will be returning to St. Petersburg, and then look at the tours offered again and be excited about the wonderful, memorable day you will have.
We took the ship's canal cruise excursion in St. Petersburg when we were there with the Grand Princess in 2004. I don't know if it is the same, but it was a nice way to view the city. Cruised past the Aurora, several of the palaces and got a great view of some of the bridges which are gorgeous.
Mrs007 the hubby and I are already hugely over budget, it's turned into a world trip 'cause we live so far from anywhere down here. We're talking $+7000 just for air fares to hook up with the cruise at FL. Going to do the long haul to NYC (+30hrs door to door)in one hop, then down to pick up the Royal Princess. Then coming back to Oz from Stockholm, via Zurich and Singapore. So we're looking to cut corners as much as possible without ruining the experience.
You've reassured me Jill SC about the cruise excursion in St Petersburg, it does sound good but Mrs007's sounds a whole lot better.
We did the Princess cruise of the Baltic in May 2007. In St. Petersburg we took the two day tour plus the evening ballet. The two day tour was really well worth the money. Despite the somewhat bureaucratic detritus of entering and leaving mother Russia, it was a grand two days. Take some rain gear. Highly recommend the two day trip. Good traveling.
Hello Charlie, and thanks for the info, unfortunately we're not doing the same cruise as you did in 2007. We've only got 14hrs not 2 days in St P. We've heard lots of positive stuff about the shore excursion you took.
You mention wet weather gear, how was the weather over there? Cold, freezing? Von
The weather was mild in May all throughout the Baltic. In Russia the rain was cold, especially if you have to stand around in it waiting to board the ship. Thus the precaution viz a viz the rain gear. C