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Maria Eugenia Private Tours | Private Guide Tour in Russia
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Private guided tour for cruise passengers St Petersburg, visa free

Your cruise ship is coming to St. Petersburg - and we can't wait to welcome you! You will have a wonderful chance to see one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Welcome to St. Petersburg!

The cruise ships come to St. Petersburg for 1, 2 or 3 days. The cruise lines MSC and Costa stay for a day. Usually these ships leave St. Petersburg at 7 p.m., so we can do quite a lot in one full day, starting it with a sightseeing tour, and continuing with the Hermitage Museum or Catherine’s Palace in the afternoon. Please have a look at the TOUR FOR 1 DAY.

Most cruise ships stay for 2 days in St. Petersburg. These are Princess Cruises, NCL, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Celebrity Cruises and Oceania Cruises. For these lines we can offer 2 full days itinerary. Please have a look at the TOUR FOR 2 DAYS. Two days tour gives you an opportunity to see the most famous places in St. Petersburg and its suburbs.

Some cruise ships stay 3 days in St. Petersburg. These are Silversea Cruises, Azamara, Crystal, Seaborn, Seven Seas and some other. For these tourists we can offer 3 full days itinerary.

When you book St. Petersburg shore excursions with us, you won't need visas. We provide you with a visa free shore excursion. It will help you save money, time and energy necessary to get a Russian visa. Our friendly and professional team will do everything possible to make your shore excursions in St. Petersburg interesting, useful, bright and unforgettable.

The port where most of the cruise ships stay is not in the city center so a car or a bus is needed. We sort all types of transport (car, minibus, bus). Clean, comfortable and timely - these criteria are the most important for transport services. Our network of drivers and fleet are accredited to work in the port and have official passes to enter and exit the port.

We provide our clients with Russian lunches in local restaurants. These are the places we would eat with our friends and families. To save time, we offer set menus with the most traditional Russian cuisine.

For Sample prices please click here

Itineraries for 2 DAYS

Tour sequence may vary depending on overcrowding at venues, museums’ closing days and traffic conditions.

DAY 1 ->>> Sightseeing tour, The Hermitage, Catherine’s Palace with the Amber Room, Optional evening entertainment – ballet or folk show.

8.00 – 8.30Meeting with the guide
9.00 – 10.30City sightseeing tour covering the major sights and photo stops
11.00 - 13.30A visit and tour of the Hermitage Museum
14.00 - 15.00Lunch at a local restaurant
15.00 – 16.00Drive to Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin)
16.00 - 18.00A visit to Catherine's Palace with the Amber room and a walk in the park
19.00Back to the city for shopping if needed
20.00Back to the ship or OPTIONAL evening entertainment
Variant 1
Classical ballet, starts at 19.30 or 20.00. Back to the ship by 22.30 – 23.00
Variant 2
Folk show. With champagne and caviar, starts at 19.00. Back to the ship by 22.00.
Variant 3
A canal trip. With the guide, duration 1 hour. Back to the ship by 21.00 – 21.30.

DAY 2 ->>> Peterhof – the Grand Palace and the gardens with fountains, Peter and Paul Fortress, St. Isaac’s Cathedral and the Church on the Spilled Blood.

8.30Meeting with the guide
8.30 – 12.00A tour of Peterhof – the most famous summer residence of the Romanovs with fountains
12.00 – 12.30Optional lunch in the park
13.30Back to the city. The tour of Peter and Paul Fortress
14.30 – 16.00Visiting St. Isaac Cathedral and the Church on the Spilled Blood
16.30 - 17.00Back to the port

For Sample prices please click here

Itineraries for 3 DAYS

Tour sequence may vary depending on overcrowding at venues, museums’ closing days and traffic conditions.

DAY 1 ->>> Sightseeing tour, The Hermitage, Catherine’s Palace with the Amber Room, Optional evening entertainment – ballet or folk show.

8.00 – 8.30Meeting with the guide
9.00 – 13.00Sightseeing tour with Peter and Paul Fortress, St. Isaac’s Cathedral and the Church on the Spilled Blood. These churches are museums today.
13.00 – 14.00Lunch in Victoria Restaurant (Taleon Club). It is one of the best city restaurants with Russian and European cuisines. Set menu – starter, soup, main course, desert, tea, coffee, mineral water. You can choose your variant. Lunch included.
14.30 – 17.30The Hermitage tour (the Gala Rooms of the Winter Palace, the masterpieces of Leonardo, Raphael, Rembrandt and many others.
18.30 – 19.00Back to the ship or Evening options (shopping, ballet or folk show, boat ride down the city canals with the guide). See evening OPTIONS.

DAY 2 ->>> Peterhof tour and the Yusupov Palace

8.30Meeting with the guide
8.30 – 13.30Grounds of Peterhof with spectacular fountains and the Grand Palace
13.30 – 14.30Lunch at Demidoff restaurant. Russian cuisine.
15.00 – 17.00The tour of the Yusupov Palace where Rasputin was murdered.
18.00Back to the ship or optional evening entertainment. See evening OPTIONS.
Evening OPTIONS (possible for the evening of the first and second days)
OPTIONAL Variant 1Classical ballet, starts at 19.30 or 20.00. Back to the ship by 22.30 – 23.00
OPTIONAL Variant 1Folk show. With champagne and caviar, starts at 19.00. Back to the ship by 22.00.
OPTIONAL Variant 1A canal trip. With the guide, duration 1 hour. Back to the ship by 21.00 – 21.30.

DAY 3 ->>> Tours of Pushkin (Tsarskoye Selo) and Pavlovsk – the summer residence of Emperor Paul.

These two famous residences are not far from each other so it is logical to visit them on one day.
9.00Departure for Pushkin (Tsarskoye Selo). Visit to Catherine’s Palace with the Amber Room and stroll in the gardens.
12.30 – 14.30A tour of Pavlovsk – the palace and park ensemble.
16.00Back to the ship.

For Sample prices please click here

More information on Sightseeing

The best way to do sightseeing is by car or by bus as the city is spread out. The size of the city center protected by UNESCO where the main architectural ensembles are is 4000 hectares (For comparison, in Rome, the protected territory is 1485 hectares; Prague has 866, Paris - 365)

During the sightseeing tour you will get acquainted with the center of the city, its wide streets, spacious squares, famous bridges, majestic palaces, domed churches, grand theaters and numerous monuments.

The tour gives a comprehensive view of the historic city center and acquaints you with the city. Our tour has many photo stops.

More information on the Hermitage

In the afternoon visit the Hermitage museum. This is a must see site when visiting St Petersburg. For sheer grandeur, no other museum can touch it. Wandering around the glittering, gilded, frescoed rooms of the great Winter Palace gives a stunning insight into the astonishing wealth and extravagance of the Romanovs. Some, such as the Throne Room, The Pavilion Hall and The Golden Drawing Room, are simply dazzling - with walls covered in gold leaf, floors inlaid with exotic marble or timber and ceilings corniced, coffered or vaulted and dripping with crystal chandeliers.

But these rooms are just a side show to one of the world's greatest art collections, which ranges from little-known masterpieces from antiquity, such as Scythian gold to some of the most famous works of modern art, including Picasso's great Blue Period paintings. So if you are planning a trip to St Petersburg, you need to make sure that you don't miss out on its greatest sight. The museum is housed in 5 buildings; the most famous of them is the Winter Palace where the Romanovs lived.

The museum has an outstanding collection of 19th- and early 20-century painting with Renoir, Monet, Van Gogh, Gaugin, Cezanne, Matisse and Picasso. There are also many great works from the Italian Renaissance, and a particularly wide and high quality collection of Dutch and Flemish paintings, most notably by Rembrandt. Just to look at the place is stunning but when you know the history of some of the art, your experience becomes way richer. The museum is huge so the best way to see it is with the guide.

The experts say that if you were to spend a minute looking at each exhibit on display in the Hermitage, you would need 5 years before you’d seen them all. That is why during our visit we show the best of the best. We call our tour of the Hermitage – a tour through time and epochs. Even if you are not an art lover you will find this place fantastic as the collections are set in spectacular buildings, four of which were built as palaces. This year the Impressionists collection will be displayed in a newly restored building of the General Staff opposite the Winter Palace.

More information on Peter and Paul Fortress

The Fortress was the first building constructed in the city. The fortress was founded on a small island in the Neva delta on May 27, 1703 and that day became the birthday of the city of St Petersburg. The Fortress houses the Cathedral of Peter and Paul where all the tsars are buried from Peter the Great to the last Tsar Nicholas II. The bell tower of the cathedral makes it the tallest building in St. Petersburg. On top of the cathedrals’ gilded spire stands a magnificent golden angel holding a cross. This weathervane is one of the most prominent symbols of St Petersburg.

More information on the Church on the Spilled Blood

The magnificent Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of St. Petersburg's most memorable landmarks. The church, built at the end of the nineteenth century, is constructed in a classical Russian style decorated with colorful domes and glazed tiles. It was built to honor Tsar Alexander II of Russia, who was assassinated at the site where the church now sits, hence the reference to "spilled blood". The church contains over 7,000 square meters of mosaics (more than any other church in the world) each representing a biblical scene. It is truly stunning to see both from the outside and inside, and it's located in the center of the city so there's basically no excuse to not fit it into whatever itinerary you have!

More information on St. Isaac’s Cathedral

St Isaac's Cathedral is one of the most impressive landmarks of the Russian Imperial capital and dominating the skyline of Saint Petersburg. It is the third largest in the world. St. Isaac's was designed by a French architect Auguste Montferrand as the city's main church and the largest cathedral in Russia. The cathedral is surrounded by 100 massive red granite columns. The interior is adorned with incredibly detailed mosaics, icons, paintings, and a stunning iconostasis decorated with 8 malachite and 2 lapis lazuli columns. St. Isaac's was closed in the early 1930s and reopened as a museum. Today, church services are held here only on major church holidays.

More information on Catherine’s Palace

30 kilometers south of St. Petersburg lies the town of Pushkin known as Tsarskoye Selo. It was the summer residence of the tsars from the beginning of the 18th century to the end of the monarchy. Catherine’s Palace is one of the best examples of Russian Baroque architecture. Sparkling above the palace at the northern end are the golden cupolas of the Palace Church.

The famous Amber Room which is considered the eighth wonder of the world plundered during the World War II, has now been restored and should not be missed. The former country residence of the Russian emperors is now the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Saint Petersburg.

More information on Peterhof

Peterhof is called the “Russian Versailles” and is a jewel of the Russian art, a town of parks, palaces and fountains. The residence started by Peter the Great is more than 300 years old. This summer residence of the Romanov’s is right on the Baltic Sea, some 30 kilometers west of St. Petersburg.

During the tour we visit the Grand Palace and the spectacular park with fountains.

Peterhof is the kingdom of fountains. There are 144 fountains, all operating without the use of pumps by a combination of naturally generated water pressure and magic. Each fountain is unique and once you step in the area of the kingdom of fountains you will be surprised by this splendid oasis, a reminder of the beauty that man can create.

More information on Yusupov Palace

This is a very mysterious palace. It was the scene of one of the most dramatic episodes in the Russian history - the murder of Grigory Rasputin. The story of this historic event will enfold before your eyes when you visit the Rasputin exhibition, included in your tour of this fascinating palace.

The Yusupov Palace is one of the few aristocratic homes in the city to have retained many of its original interiors. The private theater inside the palace is a real jewel. This is the only palace that is in the catalogues of UNESCO as one of the best preserved private houses in Europe.

More information on Pavlovsk

During the tour you will visit the Emperor Paul’s Palace with its classical interiors and afterwards you will have a nice walk in the picturesque landscape park with small classical pavilions and marble statues. This park ensemble, which is considered to be one of the largest in Europe, gives an impression of a wonderful combination of nature, architecture and art. If you are tired of luxury of the Catherine’s Palace and pomposity of Peterhof, or just from the city rush, Pavlovsk is the best place where you can forget everything and immerse into the world of beauty, harmony, good taste and grace. This palace has a mysterious power as it has survived for more than 2 centuries through fire, war, and almost total ruin. Its story began in 1777 when Catherine the Great gave her son a present – a piece of land (977 acres) to build his own summer residence. This place makes you believe the famous phrase of Dostoevsky 'Beauty will save the world'.

Optional - BOAT RIDE

Get a different impression of the city from the water; go down the numerous city rivers and canals. Find out why the city has a reputation as the ‘Venice of the North’. You will see the most impressive bridges of St. Petersburg, the lacework of the railings; hear some enigmas of the Russian history of the days of Tsar Peter the Great, Tsarina Catherine the Great and Tsar Nicholas II. Our boat will float by the Winter Palace, Peter and Paul Fortress, the Church on the Spilled Blood and the medieval Michael’s Castle and many other famous buildings of the city. The length of the boat ride is about one hour.

Optional - FOLK SHOW

The famous Folk Show "Feel Yourself Russian" is definitely one of the best. The show is hold in a Royal Palace. It is a taste of Russia in one evening. The show is performed by a professional dance company. The dancers are the graduates of the leading schools of choreography in Russia. You will hear the most charming Russian songs and the skillful musicians will be playing traditional Russian instruments like balalaika and accordion.

You will enjoy the beautiful Russian young ladies and gentlemen dressed in national costumes that will sing and dance in front of you for an hour and a half in spectacular interiors. Everybody is impressed by their voices, energy and incredible jumps. After the show you will feel yourself Russian. It is worth seeing. This professional group prepared a wonderful program. Their repertoire comprises lyrical dances of Northern Russia, dances of the Cossacs from the Don, and the dancing miniatures of the Urals and Siberia. They are changing their costumes ten times. Colorful dresses help you to perceive each dance more vividly and add to the atmosphere of Russian dances.

On the grand staircase of an Imperial palace you will be welcomed by a string quartet playing classical music. During the intermission you will be served vodka and champagne, canopies with red and black caviar, ham and salami, fruit and soft drinks. The length of the show is 2 hours.

Optional – BALLET

Russia is famous for its ballet. St. Petersburg has the reputation as the ballet capital of Russia. Few cities in the world can boast such an incredible cultural heritage.

Like the city itself, the art of Russian classical ballet having absorbed foreign traditions, created its own prominent world-renowned style. Russian rulers and aristocracy took a deep interest in ballet, encouraging and supporting construction of theaters in St. Petersburg. In old times, the nobility often used to have their own private theaters in their palaces. A good example of that is the Yusupov Palace. Today the city has a large number of exquisite 19th century theatrical buildings. There are more than 100 theaters in the city, and every day dozens of them give performances. Several theaters in St. Petersburg are world famous, such as the Mariinsky Theatre, Imperial Theater on the Fontanka River, Alexandrinsky Theatre, the Hermitage Theater, Musorgsky Opera and Ballet Theatre and many others. Prestigious theatrical festivals are held regularly in St. Petersburg.

Ballet is an integral part of Russian cultural tradition. The development of Russian choreographic art began more than two and a half centuries ago. Brilliant choreographers such as Marius Petipa and Mikhail Fokin staged here the best of world ballets. The talents of many generations of ballet dancers were revealed in St. Petersburg theaters - Anna Pavlova and Vaslav Nijinskij, Mathilde Kschessinska, Galina Ulanova and Rydolph Nureyev, George Balanchin and Mikhail Baryshnikov to mention just a few. The World-famous composers such as Tchaikovksy, Glinka, Mussorgsky and others wrote heavenly music to accompany ballet performances. All ballets in St. Petersburg go with live orchestra.

This wonderful tour affords you the opportunity to experience the marvelous theatrical world of St. Petersburg.

Arriving at the theater, you will be escorted to your seats. Soon the curtain will go up and you will enjoy one of the greatest romantic ballets of all times. The repertoire of St. Petersburg theaters consists mostly of world recognized outstanding ballets like Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Giselle or Sleeping Beauty. All of these ballets have enjoyed an enduring popularity for over a century and half and can be found in the repertoire of virtually every classical ballet company in the world. During the performance, you will no doubt be deeply moved by a timeless love story told in the mysterious language of classical dance.

We promise you the best seats available and we’ll easily arrange a transfer for you to the theater and back.