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St Petersburg Shore Excursions
When Your Cruise Ship Makes a Port of
Call Visit in Russia


Our St Petersburg shore excursions are designed for people who plan to visit Russia's Northern Capital while on a cruise. Are you one of them? If you're, read on...

Nowadays traveling to St. Petersburg on a Cruise Ship has become very popular because anyone can enter Russia visa-free, but for only a very short time and with some limitations.

Regardless of what country you come from, cruise passengers don't have to apply for a Russian visa. According to Russian law, now anyone coming by ship can stay in the Russian territory for three days if you meet a few simple criteria. To visit St Petersburg visa-free you simply buy a private tour and get a tour voucher (also known as a blanket visa) from the tour company.

The majority of people seem to prefer to buy the crowded sponsored package shore tours from the cruise ship companies, but what people don't know is that all cruise ship companies are not certified to do any St Petersburg Shore Excursions; they just resell others' excursions and make money from it. Sometimes they are indeed cheap but when you sign up for their classical tours you know that you will be joining a hoard of people, follow a fixed tour itinerary, and have zero flexibility. 

On the contrary, if you like the idea to be able to customize your tour and visit the city on your own and at your own pace of life, then booking a private tour with a licensed local tour company would be worth every penny, so your best choice. See below the itineraries of our St Petersburg shore excursions

ST PETERSBURG SHORE EXCURSIONS - see our itineraries


If you are keen to book a private shore tour please see below some sample tour itineraries from our St Petersburg shore excursions. Depending on which excursion you choose, the tour itinerary will be different as will the price, the route, and the service. To learn more just click on the links below and feel free to get in touch with us for more info.

ONE DAY CITY SHORE EXCURSION


If you have only one day at your disposal take this essential Action-Packed Shore Tour and get a quick overview of the city. Visit one of the largest and oldest museums in the world together with the most beautiful tsar's residences near St. Petersburg and, immerse yourself into the history, culture, and art treasures of Russia's Northern Capital with an expert local guide.

SAMPLE TOUR ITINERARY FOR ONE DAY

  • One of our professional guides will meet with you at the sea station as soon as the ship is cleared. Then our guide will take you to the vehicle parked just outside the port terminal.
  • For lunch, you'll stop at a local Russian restaurant so that you can taste traditional Russian food.
  • After lunch, you'll enjoy a walk along the busy Nevsky Prospekt to experience a bit of everyday Russian life, do some shopping, and later visit the famous Hermitage Museum.
  • At the end of the tour, you'll return to the port terminal before your ship scheduled departure.

TOUR DETAILS


Pick up: Port Terminal Marine Facade

Drop off: Port Terminal Marine Facade

Departure time: 9:00 am

Returning time: 17:00 pm (Variable)

Group size: Up to 4 People; Up to 6 People; Up to 20 People or more.

Languages available: English, Italian, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Chinese, Bulgarian, Russian.

Inclusions:

  • Pick up and drop off Service;
  • Professional local guide;
  • Transportation by a modern car, minivan or minibus;
  • All port fees and local taxes;
  • Tour vouchers (Blanket visa);
  • Entrance tickets to museums;
  • Headphones for groups larger than 10 people.

Exclusions: Food and drinks; Tips to the guide and driver.

Options: All our St Petersburg shore excursions are customizable, time permitting.

Ideal for: Cruise Passengers (families with kids, couples, friends, small or large groups, and anyone who wants to tour independently).

Price: Ask

Reservation request: From 14 to 60 days in advance

INTERESTED?

Send a Tour Request Today!

TWO DAY CITY SHORE EXCURSION


If you're coming to St. Petersburg and you have only two days, no worries! This comprehensive two days Action-Packed Shore Tour can give you a great introduction to the city and let you see the most sought after sights. You will enjoy the company of an expert local guide who will tell you everything you want to know, taste traditional Russian food, buy Russian souvenirs, and much more.

SAMPLE TOUR ITINERARY FOR TWO DAYS

- Day One -

  • One of our professional guides will meet with you at the sea station as soon as the ship is cleared. Then our guide will take you to the vehicle parked just outside the port terminal.
  • You will start your day tour with a Grand City Tour covering the major sights of the city with photo stops combined with an inside visit to St. Isaac's Cathedral, Church on the Spilled Blood, and Peter and Paul Fortress's and Cathedral.
  • For lunch, you'll stop at a local Russian restaurant so that you can taste traditional Russian food.
  • After lunch, you'll enjoy a walk along the main avenue Nevsky Prospekt to experience a bit of everyday Russian life with a visit to the Hermitage State Museum.
  • At the end of the tour, we will bring you back to the port terminal.

- Day Two -

  • One of our professional guides will meet with you at the sea station as soon as the ship is cleared. Then our guide will take you to the vehicle parked just outside the port terminal.
  • You will start your second day with a visit to the small town of Pushkin, known also as Tsarskoye Selo. There you will be walking through the famous Catherine Palace and its amazing park complex.
  • For lunch, you'll stop at a local cafe nearby, and soon after we will take you to Peterhof for a short visit to the Grand Palace or the Park Complex (Lower/higher parks and gardens).
  • At the end of the tour, you will return to the port terminal before your ship scheduled departure. This is one of the most popular St Petersburg shore excursions among our clients in the past few years. Highly recommended!

TOUR DETAILS


Pick up: Port Terminal Marine Facade

Drop off: Port Terminal Marine Facade

Departure time: 9:00 am

Returning time: 17:00 pm (Variable)

Group size: Up to 4 People; Up to 6 People; Up to 20 People.

Languages available: English, Italian, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Chinese, Bulgarian, Russian.

Inclusions:

  • Pick up and drop off service;
  • Professional local guide;
  • Transportation by a modern car, minivan or minibus;
  • All port fees and local taxes;
  • Tour vouchers (Blanket Visa);
  • Entrance tickets to museums.
  • Headphones for groups larger than 10 people.

Exclusions: Food and drinks; Tips to the guide and driver.

Options: All our St Petersburg shore excursions are customizable, time permitting.

Ideal for: Cruise Passengers (families with kids, couples, friends, small or large groups who wants to tour independently).

Price: Ask

Reservation Request: From 14 to 60 days in advance

INTERESTED?

Send a Tour Request Today!

THREE DAY CITY SHORE EXCURSION


Let us introduce you to our beautiful city and its most important historical sights with this three day complete Action-Packed Shore Tour. Take in as much as possible of the city's history, culture, and secrets with an expert local guide and have fun. See all the best St Petersburg attractions in a very short time and experience a bit of local life by visiting a local market or by taking the metro.

SAMPLE TOUR ITINERARY FOR THREE DAYS

- Day One -

  • One of our professional guides will meet with you at the sea station as soon as the ship is cleared. Then our guide will take you to the vehicle parked just outside the port terminal.
  • You will start the day with a Grand City Tour covering the major sights of the city with photo stops, combined with an inside visit to St. Isaac's Cathedral, Church on the Spilled Blood, and Peter and Paul Fortress's and Cathedral.
  • For lunch, you'll seat at a local Russian restaurant so that you can taste traditional Russian food.
  • After lunch, you'll go for a walk along the large Nevsky Prospekt to experience a bit of everyday Russian life, do some shopping, and visit the famous Hermitage Museum.
  • At the end of the tour, we will take you back to the sea station.

- Day Two -

  • One of our professional guides will meet with you at the sea station as soon as the ship is cleared.
  • You will start your second day with a visit to the small town of Pushkin, known also as Tsarskoye Selo. There you will see the famous Catherine Palace and the park complex.
  • For lunch, you'll stop at a local cafe nearby, and soon after we will take you to Peterhof for a short visit to the Grand Palace or the Park Complex (Lower/higher parks and gardens).
  • At the end of the tour, we will bring you back to the sea station where your ship is docked.

- Day Three -

  • One of our professional guides will meet with you at the sea station as soon as the ship is cleared.
  • You will start your third day with a visit to the local food market Kuznecniy on Vladimirskaya combined with an inside visit to the Our Lady of Vladimir Church situated nearby.
  • Then you will take a subway ride to get a glimpse of the Metro with a stop at Gostiny Dvor Shopping center, and Kupetz Eliseev Food Hall (A beautiful Art Nouveau specialty food shop with live piano music), time permitting.
  • Quick lunch at a local cafe such as Cafe Stolle or Teremok, and soon after return to the sea station before your ship scheduled departure.

TOUR DETAILS


Pick up: Port Terminal Marine Facade

Drop off: Port Terminal Marine Facade

Departure time: 09:00 am

Returning time: 17:00 pm (Variable)

Group size: Up to 4 People; Up to 6 People; Up to 20 People.

Languages available: English, Italian, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Chinese, Bulgarian, Russian.

Inclusions:

  • Pick up and drop off service;
  • Professional local guide;
  • Transportation by a modern car, minivan or minibus;
  • All port fees and local taxes;
  • Tour vouchers (Blanket visa);
  • Entrance tickets to museums;
  • Headphones for groups larger than 10 people.

Exclusions: Food and drinks; Tips to the guide and driver.

Options: All our St Petersburg shore excursions are customizable, time permitting.

Ideal for: Cruise Passengers (families with kids, couples, friends, small or large groups who wants to tour independently).

Price: Ask

Reservation Request: From 14 to 60 days in advance

INTERESTED?

Send a Tour Request Today!

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THE TRUTH ABOUT SHIP SPONSORED EXCURSIONS


If you are thinking about taking a cruise ship sponsored tour, that's fine as long as this is your choice and not the choice of the cruise operator or any travel agent.

What do we mean?

Nowadays a lot of cruise ship companies or travel agents will desperately try to sell you their St Petersburg shore excursions because they make a big profit from them.

To achieve their goals, they will try to make you believe that if you are not on an excursion purchased through them you must have a Tourist Visa from a consulate in order to go ashore. To persuade you they may even tell you that you cannot leave the ship until you have done an excursion with them, or that you cannot disembark as early as the passengers taking their sponsored cruise ship tours.

Well... All of this is not true but unfortunately, it happened!

For your information, you can freely choose to tour the city with a ship sponsored excursion or with a licensed local tour company. Up to you! And, according to Russian law, a cruise ship cannot hold passengers onboard against their will as long as they have the proper documents to go ashore.

This means that you are free to exit the ship as soon as other passengers start to disembark. But in order to do that, you need to hold a valid tour voucher which is a sort of legal document that temporarily replaces the need for the visa.

Wondering what documents you need?

In order to go ashore and clear immigration at customs you need the following documents:

  • Your passport (Valid up to 6 months or more);
  • Photocopy of the picture page of your passport and/or your ship cruise ticket;
  • A copy of your tour vouchers bought from a local tour guide or a tour company of your choice before you arrive.

With that in mind please don't let your ship company mislead you. Now you know you have a choice!

TIPS AND RECOMMENDATIONS


Our Tips and Recommendations

If you're looking for a great alternative to the touristy on-board sponsored ship company tours please consider booking one of our St Petersburg shore excursions listed above. With us you can enjoy the convenience of being picked up at the port, having all the documents for disembarking the ship arranged, and, best of all, you can explore the city with a friendly local guide without rushing.

  • Remember, cruise ships do not give tours, they contract with local specialty tour companies to sponsor and supervise their passengers who sign up for their ship-sold shore excursions.
  • Book our St Petersburg shore excursions a few months ahead, so you can find a good local guide and better customize your itinerary.
  • Make sure you return to the ship on time or earlier. Usually, there is a long line at customs, both when leaving the ship and when getting on.
  • When taking a tour that is not organized by the ship cruise company, remember that your cruise ship may not wait for you if you get back to the sea station late. By law, they are not required to wait for you unless you buy a tour with them. So returning to the ship two hours before is recommended.
  • If you have only one day, go for a panoramic tour. If you have two days, spend the first day touring around the city and the second day visiting the imperial estates near St Petersburg. If you have got three days, try to see as much as you can and do something different like going for an Alternative City Tour or taking a Canal Boat Tour.
  • The tour voucher is a document arranged by a licensed tour company along with the Russian authorities. On the document is shown your complete tour itinerary for your chosen travel dates along with your full name, and the name of the tour guide assigned to you. To arrange the tour voucher takes a number of days, so we recommend booking your private shore tour well in advance.
  • Remember, as a cruise passenger you cannot walk freely in the city but you must always be accompanied by a local tour guide for the whole time you're in the Russian soil. However, if you come on a ferry with St Peter Line Ferry, things are slightly different.
  • Our St Petersburg shore excursions offer you a customizable private shore tour for one, two, or even three days at a reasonable price. Please read also what other people have told about our private tours on Tripadvisor.

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