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Picturesque History


Ports and Excursions of Northern Europe

St. Petersburg, Russia-port

St. Petersburg was the capital of the Russian Empire for over 200 years. Peter the Great’s “Window on Europe” is known as Russia’s artistic and intellectual center. Tour the many cathedrals, including St. Isaac’s Cathedral, with floors of different-colored marble and a remarkable array of frescoes; and the iconic Church of the Savior of the Spilled Blood. Noteworthy historic sites include The Peter and Paul Fortress, the first edifice built in the city and final resting place of the Romanovs; and, further afield, the remarkable Peterhof palace. For cultural perspective, take in a ballet and the world-class Hermitage Museum. To complete your Russian experience, take a day trip to Moscow or a half-day trip to Catherine’s Palace in the countryside.

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Below is a list of those shore excursions previously offered in this port. For information on which shore excursions will be offered on a particular cruise, please reference the specific itinerary of that cruise.

Free Excursions

Regent Choice Excursions

  • Light Activity /Walking Light Activity /Walking
  • Seated Tour Seated Tour
  • Moderate Activity/Walking Moderate Activity/Walking
  • Most Active or Strenuous Most Active or Strenuous
  • Minimal Activity Required Minimal Activity Required
  • Regent Choice Regent Choice
  • Meal Meal
  • Evening Tour Evening Tour
  • Canal Cruise and Shopping
    Light Activity /Walking
  • Catherine's Palace in Pushkin
    Moderate Activity/Walking
  • Evening of Russian Song and Dance
    Seated TourEvening Tour
  • Highlights of St. Petersburg
    Light Activity /WalkingMinimal Activity Required
  • Jewish Heritage of St. Petersburg
    Light Activity /Walking
  • Metro Ride and Shopping
    Light Activity /Walking
  • Peter the Great's Grand Palace - Peterhof
    Moderate Activity/Walking
  • Revolutionary St. Petersburg
    Light Activity /Walking
  • St. Petersburg Cathedrals
    Moderate Activity/Walking
  • The Fabulous Faberge Museum
    Light Activity /Walking
  • The Hermitage, a Wealth of Art and History
    Most Active or Strenuous
  • The World of Russian Art and History
    Moderate Activity/Walking
  • Yusupov Palace and Canal Cruise
    Light Activity /Walking

Canal Cruise and Shopping

Light Activity /Walking

Duration: 3 hours

Tour Code: LED-003

St. Petersburg is built around a network of canals and rivers, with a total length of about 186 miles. They contribute to the unique atmosphere creating a glittering mirror in which the golden domes and fairytale palaces of the city are reflected. A cruise along the Moika and the Fontanka Rivers is another chance to appreciate history and splendid architecture of this beautiful city. In the beginning the city's bridges were usually known by their color: Red, Blue, Green. The Blue Bridge at 328 ft. wide is the widest.

The area around the Moika River boasted a number of riverside mansions and was one of the city's most fashionable addresses. One such mansion on the Moika is the Yusupov Palace that belonged to one of the wealthiest families in Russia. It is famous for being the murder scene of Rasputin, the Siberian peasant who exerted his malign influence over the Russian court. Your cruise along the Moika has you passing such notable landmarks as St. Isaac Cathedral, a famous gambling club that Pushkin, the eminent Russian poet, described the club in his novel "The Queen of Spades". Also seen is a group of yellow buildings that form the Teachers' Training University. At the time of Catherine the Great it used to house the orphanage instituted by the empress. Before leaving the Moika, you'll pass by the Stroganov Palace, a baroque masterpiece of Rastrelli. Count Stroganov who owned the palace in the late 18th century was the president of the Academy of Arts and a noted collector. The Stroganovs amassed their huge fortune through the monopoly they held on salt, which came from mines in their vast territories in the north.

Your boat cruises under the Choir Bridge, which takes its name from the Choir Hall located nearby and then turns onto the Fontanka or Fountain River. Its name goes back to the early 18th century when the water of the river used to feed the fountains of the Summer Gardens. On the right bank of the Fontanka stands the Summer Palace of Peter the Great. Peter had his rooms on the ground floor and his wife's rooms on the first floor. The Summer Gardens and the Summer Palace used to be the center of the city's social life. On the left bank you'll see the former Law School which counts Peter Tchaikovsky as one of its first graduates.

Continuing on, you'll pass the "Salt Town" - a former warehouse for storing salt which dates back to the 18th century. The present day building was erected in 1870 for an All-Russia industrial exhibition. Further along, St. Panteleimon's Bridge across the Fontanka is Russia's first chain bridge. It is decorated with double-headed eagles perched on laurel wreaths. At this point, your boat turns back onto the Moika River where you will the Engineers' Castle built for Paul I. The castle originally had drawbridges and moats since Paul was afraid of assassination. Unfortunately, soon after moving in he was killed by a group of his courtiers. On the right is the Swan Canal leading into the Neva. It is named after swans that were once drawn to its peaceful waters. Next is the Field of Mars square. It used to be a military parade ground for Russian troops.

One of the last landmarks you will see is considered one of the most beautiful churches in St. Petersburg - the Church of the Spilled Blood. This marvelous Old Russian-style church was built on the spot where Emperor Alexander II was assassinated on March 1, 1881. Built in 1883-1907, the church is designed in the spirit of the sixteenth and seventeenth century Russian architecture, inspired particularly by St. Basil Cathedral in Moscow's Red Square. The best Russian painters, masters of stone carving, ceramic and enamel took part in the decoration of the Church and it is truly magnificent.

Following your canal ride, there will be an opportunity for shopping at some local souvenir stores and a break to enjoy a complimentary cup of tea or coffee before transfering back to the pier.

Please Note: This tour is not wheelchair accessible. There can be from 5 to 10 steps to negotiate at the boat pier. Canal boats are NOT wheelchair accessible. Depending on tidal rise and fall there are times when guests may have to walk across dockboards to embark the boat. Boat ride route may vary due to technical reasons, e.g. high water level, bridge repairs etc. Canal routing may vary; routing can be changed to the Neva River if tidal conditions do not permit entry to the canals. Due to the security reasons it is necessary to be seated on the upper deck of the boat when passing under the bridges.