DELUXE Visa Free St Petersburg – 5 Days – MS Princess Anastasia

Our DELUXE VISA FREE ST PETERSBURG tour offers a great opportunity to enjoy a 3 day (2 night) stay in the beautiful city of St Petersburg, in true style.  Starting with an overnight ferry journey in a Suite, Deluxe or Commodore Cabin, from HELSINKI and concluding upon return by overnight ferry to HELSINKI (on Day 5). Benefits of our Deluxe tour include; Luxury cabin type, VIP lounge onboard, Priority Disembarkation, VIP lounge in St Petersburg terminal (Suite and Deluxe passengers), 2 nights in a 5 Star Deluxe Hotel in St Petersburg, daily breakfast (ferry and hotel) and an inclusive itinerary.  To enjoy the delights of St Petersburg, you will be part of an exclusive group of no more than 8 persons for your sightseeing programme. To make the most of your time in this breath-taking city, we have an action packed programme: our professional, English speaking guide will meet you on arrival and will introduce you to our beautiful city, starting with a panoramic city tour and guided visits to the Hermitage Museum, General Staff Building (Impressionist collection), Peter and Paul Fortress, Church on the Spilled Blood. There is time to visit the Faberge Museum (pay locally). You may also pre-book our optional full day tour to Catherine Palace, where you will visit the Amber Room, and Peterhof Lower Gardens or enjoy a full day to explore independently. We strongly recommend that you arrive in Helsinki the day before, to see Helsinki and to be in the city in good time to check in for the ferry to St Petersburg. For a supplement, include in your tour package, 1 night in Helsinki pre-tour at one of Helsinki’s 5 star properties. Please ask for details.

We strongly recommend that you arrive in Helsinki the day before our tour starts, both to enjoy the visiting Helsinki and to be on time for your trip to St Petersburg. For a supplement, add to your tour package 1 night pre-tour at the 4 star Radisson Blu Seaside or Aleksanteri Hotel, with free WiFi and conveniently located by the ferry port or near the Design Area of the city centre 1.8 km from the West Terminal Sea Port. Easy access by public transport make these perfect choices for one night pre-tour. Our visit to St Petersburg was most enjoyable. Good comfortable cabin on the voyages from Helsinki and back. Good choice of restaurants and cafes on board. In St P we were very happy with our guide who was a History graduate with excellent English. Very friendly and informative. Also gave us good advice about visiting Peterhof palace and gardens in our spare morning. She also arranged us a discount on our entry tickets. In the Hermitage museum she wafted us past the queues. She told us fascinating backgrounds and history about key paintings and sculptures. Our driver was very polite and drove safely through St P’s challenging traffic, always finding a park close to our destinations. The hotel was comfortable and a good standard. It was reasonably located just off Bolshoi Prospect, not too far from the centre. Avoiding the need for a Russian visa was a boon. Before discovering Select a Cruise we had investigated applying for a visa and had been overwhelmed by the bureaucracy, and decided not to go. Thanks, a great trip and memorable experience. IG, United Kingdom – June 2015

Itinerary – 5 day DELUXE Visa Free St Petersburg

Our DELUXE VISA FREE ST PETERSBURG tour starts with your overnight ferry journey from HELSINKI today and concludes upon return by overnight ferry to HELSINKI OR TALLINN arriving on Day 5 ( depending on ferry schedule). To make the most of your time in this breathtaking city, we have an action packed programme, which includes 3 nights’ accommodation in St Petersburg, daily breakfast (ferry and hotel), panoramic city tour and visits with our professional English speaking guide to Peter Paul Fortress, the Hermitage museum and General Staff building (the Impressionists Collection). You may also pre-book our optional full day tours.  Our guide will meet you on arrival and will introduce you to this beautiful city. We strongly recommend that you arrive the day before, to enjoy the opportunity to see Helsinki and to be in the city in good time for your trip to St Petersburg. For a supplement, include in your tour package, 1 night before the ferry at the 4 star Radisson Blu Seaside Hotel in the port area or Radisson Aleksanteri Hotel, conveniently located in the Design Area of the city centre.

Day 1 – Depart Helsinki

You may check in from 15.00 hrs, so please arrive in good time for your 19:00 hrs departure from Helsinki Sea Port West Terminal, aboard M/S Princess Anastasia.  After settling into your selected superior cabin or suite, enjoy the dining and entertainment facilities on board, as you sail across the Gulf of Finland towards Russia. Overnight on the ferry.

Day 2 – St Petersburg  

After breakfast on the ferry, you will be entitled to Priority Disembarkation on arrival at 09.00 hrs, to avoid the queues.  You will be met in the ferry terminal by your guide to commence your panoramic tour of the beautiful city of St Petersburg.  Today, whilst passing by some of the highlights of the city, the true highlight is our visit today is the world famous State Hermitage Museum: A guided visit of the Hermitage museum and the magnificent collection of art in the winter palace of Catherine the Great. One of the largest museums in the world, founded in 1764; its collection includes over 2.7 million items, including masterpieces of Leonardo Da Vinci, Raphael, Rodin, Rembrandt and Rubens. The Gala rooms of the Winter Palace, a former royal residence, are open for visitors.  We also include the General Staff building, adjacent to the Hermitage museum which now houses the fabulous Impressionist Collection. After todays’ tour, your guide will accompany you to your 5 star hotel (at around 17.00- 17.30 hrs) where you check in for 2 nights. At leisure to enjoy your first evening exploring this magical city. Included Excursions: Hermitage Museum and General Staff Building Overnight at your hotel.

Day 3 St Petersburg:

After breakfast at your hotel, your day is your own, at leisure to explore independently. Alternatively, you may pre-book our OPTIONAL tour (not included) to Catherine Palace and Peterhof Lower Gardens:  Departing at 09.30 hrs, today we visit two of St Petersburg’s dazzling highlights: Your personal guide and driver will collect you for a tour which includes a visit out of town to Catherine Palace, in the town of Pushkin (formerly Tsarskoye Selo), 29km south of St. Petersburg. The construction of the palace for Empress Catherine started in 1717. A park in the French style was laid out around the palace and in the middle of 18th century Tsarskoye Selo became the official royal residence. This palace is famous for the ‘Amber Room’, now completely restored to its former glory and for the mirrored hall. We also visit Peterhof Lower Gardens* (or Pavlovsk Palace when fountains are closed).  This magnificent estate on the Gulf of Finland is remarkable for the sheer variety of styles encompassed in its garden layout and features. Representing nearly two centuries of European aristocratic fashion executed to the highest standards, Peterhof is like an encyclopaedia of park design through the age of empire. Particularly impressive is the fact that the master landscapers and garden designers who worked on the estate at Peterhof managed to overcome the extremely inclement conditions of the northern climate to create a wonderland of greenery and flowers, sweeping vistas and ornate architectural decorations Return to your hotel at approx 17.00 hrs. There will be time to stop for tea/coffee/lunch (at your own expense, not included) Optional Tour includes: Catherine’s Palace, Peterhof Lower Gardens (or Pavlovsk Palace when fountains are closed) n.b.: *Please note that the fountains in Peterhof Gardens are not operational before May and from October, at these times, Peterhof Gardens will be replaced with a tour to Pavlovsk Palace.

Day 4 St Petersburg:

After breakfast and check out (with your luggage), *your guide will meet you in reception. Today we visit three different locations in the city, Peter and Paul Fortress which guards the city of St Petersburg, and is located on the island, facing the Hermitage museum. The Cathedral here is the oldest building in St Petersburg and now houses the remains of the last Romanov tsar and family.  Also included today is a tour of the Church on the Spilled Blood, with five domes, it is St Petersburg’s most elaborate church with a classic Russian Orthodox exterior, and an interior containing 7000 sq m of mosaics.  Its colloquial name refers to the assassination attempt on Tsar Alexander II on the same spot in 1881.  Time is allowed for you to visit the exquisite **Faberge Museum, the worlds largest private Faberge collection housed in a former noble residence, the Shuvalov Palace, in the centre of the city. Pre-booking is no longer possible, payable locally. After todays’ tour, ***your guide will take you to the ferry port for embarkation. There will be time to stop for tea/coffee/lunch (at your own expense, not included) n.b. 1) *Tour starts from your hotel at 09.00 hrs on Saturday, 10.00 hrs on Sunday 2) **Visitors to the Faberge museum will be provided with individual audio guides by the museum (pay locally) 3) ***Embarkation at 17.00 hrs on Saturday (ferry departs 19.00 hrs), 16.00 hrs on Sunday (ferry departs 18.00 hrs) Included Excursions: Peter and Paul Fortress, Church on the Spilled Blood. Overnight on the ferry.

Day 5 St Petersburg-Helsinki (Sunday)

Enjoy breakfast on board before your early morning arrival in Helsinki. Your DELUXE VISA FREE ST PETERSBURG tour concludes on arrival in Helsinki this morning. Notes: The 72 hour Visa Free St Petersburg tour is the perfect way to enjoy a city break to St Petersburg without the cost or time required to obtain a Russian visa. This is a Russian government initiative and only applies to visitors travelling by ferry from Helsinki on the visa free St Petersburg programme. IMPORTANT: It is essential that visitors on our 6 day group programme do not attempt to disembark the ship earlier than mentioned in the programme, as this will contravene the terms of the scheme. IMPORTANT: If you require a visa to enter Finland, it must be multi-entry type. Your passport must be valid for minimum 6 months after exit date from St Petersburg.