STP-05 / TSARSKOE SELO (PUSHKIN) & CATHERINE’S PALACE
– from $ per person –
Departures: Daily, except Tuesdays and the last Monday of each month / Duration: 9 hours
Your tour starts with the excursion to Tsarskoe Selo, a former country residence of the Russian emperors. It is a fascinating example of the world’s architecture and gardening. Peter the Great ordered to construct the small palace for his wife, future empress Catherine I. The palace, completed in 1756, is embellished with blue and white facades featuring gilded atlantes, caryatids, and pilasters. It took over 100 kg of gold to decorate the palace exteriors. The interior of the Catherine Palace is in the same degree spectacular. The Golden Enfilade of grand suites, designed by Rastrelli, starts at the spacious airy ballroom, the “Grand Hall” or the “Gallery of Lights”, and comprises numerous distinctively decorated smaller rooms, including the world-famous Amber Room. Originally designed in 1701 in Prussia and decorated the Berlin City Palace at one point, the Amber Room was gifted to Peter the Great by Frederick William I who sought for a Russo-Prussian alliance. The treasure of 13,000 lb of amber and gold was installed at the Catherine Palace, where the Russian Imperial family typically spent their summers. The room decor disappeared during World War II and was recreated in 2003. Before the room was looted by the Nazis, it was known as the “Eighth Wonder of the World”.
Free time for lunch (not included).
After lunch, return by coach to St. Petersburg for a Metro (Underground) ride – the stations are worth seeing for their beautifully decorative interiors; many are adorned with crystal chandeliers, marble vestibules and beautiful frescoes.
Then, enjoy a relaxing cruise by boat along the Neva River and some other waterways out of the 66 rivers and canals of “Northern Venice” (as St. Petersburg used to be called). The main river of the city is the Neva, which is one of the youngest rivers in Europe. The magnificent architectural ensembles, churches, cathedrals and monuments seem to exist in astonishing harmony with the watery element. All the St. Petersburg embankments are faced with granite and each has its own distinctive character.
You will also have some free time for shopping on Nevsky prospect.
Return to the ship.
• Private English speaking guide
• Entrance fees to Catherine’s Palace
• Private air-conditioned car/mini-van/coach
• Canal boat ride on Neva river (40 minutes), regular tour
• Token for the Metro ride
• Visa-free entry formalities
• Port fees
– Catherine’s Palace (Pushkin) is closed on Tuesdays and the last Monday of each month
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