Visa Free St Petersburg – 6 nights

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Experience the imperial delights of St Petersburg with this fantastic 5 night escorted tour. Featuring 3 days in St Petersburg including tours of the Hermitage Museum, Peter and Paul Fortress, Faberge Museum and Church on the Spilled Blood. The tour starts in Helsinki, capital of Finland, where you enjoy a one night stay to enjoy this fascinating city before you board the cruise ferry MS Princess Anastasia for the overnight sailing to St Petersburg (accommodation in inside cabin). After your three days in St Petersburg you will once again board the MS Princess Anastasia to return to Helsinki before your flight home to Ireland.

St. Petersburg has provided a historic stage since the day Peter the Great ordained its construction on the banks of the Neva. In its relatively short history – the city is younger than New York – St. Petersburg has witnessed the rise and fall of Imperial Russia, three shattering revolutions, and civil war. The city survived a long and tragic siege during World War II – indeed St. Petersburg became a symbol of Russian resistance to Nazi invasion.

Russia’s “Window on the West,” St. Petersburg remains one of the world’s most beautiful metropolises. Perched on the banks of the Neva, the city is crisscrossed by canals. Two great architects helped bring Peter the Great’s vision of St. Petersburg to life: Rastrelli and Carlo Rossi. The rich architecture that resulted features a mixture of styles from ornate Russian Baroque churches to neo-classical palaces. St. Petersburg has also been the cultural soul of Russia, a repository of priceless art and a home to poets, musicians and composers ranging from Pushkin to Shostakovich.

Peter the Great instilled his near-mania for architecture and building in his successors, making the then capital of Imperial Russia one of the architectural treasures of the world.

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.

Inclusions

  • Flight Dublin to Helsinki
  • All transfers airport – hotel – port
  • 2 nights in a 4* Helsinki hotel with breakfast, one before St Petersburg, one after
  • Cruise ferry from Helsinki to St Petersburg on MS Princess Anastasia – one night on board in an inside cabin. Breakfast included
  • 2 nights in 4-star St Petersburg hotel (Solo Sokos Vasilievsky Hotel or similar) with breakfast
  • English speaking guide to meet you on arrival and on all excursions
  • St Petersburg city tour
  • Entrances to: Peter and Paul Fortress, Hermitage museum, Faberge Museum, Church on the Spilled Blood.
  • Transportation for excursions
  • Harbour fee, Fuel fee & Shuttle bus ticket
  • Cruise ferry from St Petersburg to Helsinki on MS Princess Anastasia – one night on board in an inside cabin. Breakfast included
  • Flight Helsinki to Dublin
  • Taxes & Charges of €180
  • One 15kg check-in bag per person & carry-on bag

Extras

  • Optional Excursion Day 4 to St Catherines Palace €219 pp
  • Any meals, beverages, sightseeing entrance fees not specified in the inclusions
  • Wi-Fi on the ferry (pay locally)
  • Photo and video charges at museums and places of interest
  • Extra personal costs incurred at the hotel

Itinerary

Day 1 - Helsinki, Finland

Fly direct from Dublin to Helsinki, transfer to your 4* city centre hotel for 1 night B&B

Day 2 – Helsinki

After the morning free transfers after lunch to the port for your 19:00 hrs departure from Helsinki Sea Port West Terminal, aboard M/S Princess Anastasia. Enjoy the dining and entertainment facilities on board, as you sail across the Gulf of Finland towards Russia. Overnight on the ferry.

Day 3 – St Petersburg

After breakfast on the ferry, please disembark promptly on arrival at 09.00 hrs. You will be met at the exit of the ferry terminal by our 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. Enjoy a guided visit of this world famous museum and the magnificent collection of art housed 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 also open for visitors. After today’s tour, your guide will accompany you to your 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 Overnight at your hotel.

Day 4 – St Petersburg

After breakfast at your hotel, your day is your own, at leisure to explore independently. Alternatively, you may pre-book to join us on 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: Our guide will meet you in reception 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 approximately 17.00 hrs. There will be time to stop for tea/coffee/lunch (at your own expense, not included) Overnight at your hotel Optional Tour includes: Catherine’s Palace, Peterhof Lower Gardens (or Pavlovsk Palace when fountains are closed) NB: 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 5 – St Petersburg

After breakfast and check out, your guide will meet you in reception at 10am. Today we visit three different locations in the city, Peter and Paul Fortress which guards the city of St Petersburg, and is located on Hare 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 his family. We also visit the exquisite Faberge Museum, (audio guides provided) a private collection housed in a former noble residence, the Shuvalov Palace, in the centre of the city. Included today is a tour of the Church on the Spilled Blood which, with five domes, 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. After todays’ tour, your guide will take you to the ferry port for embarkation at 17,00 There will be time to stop for tea/coffee/lunch (at your own expense, not included). Included Excursions: Peter and Paul Fortress, Faberge Museum, Church on the Spilled Blood. Overnight on the ferry.

Day 6 – Arrive Helsinki

Enjoy breakfast on board before your early morning arrival in Helsinki and transfer to your hotel.

Day 7 Depart Helsinki

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. Free morning before your transfer to airport.

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.

Accommodation

Helsinki: Hotel Glo Art**** or similar
St Petersburg: Hotel Sokos Vasilievsky**** or similar

Extra Information

Booking remarks

  • Inclusive of taxes and service charges as indicated
  • Russian Visa is not required for this trip
  • Non refundable or transferable booking deposit €200 per person
  • Full payment due on confirmation
  • Optional Insurance available (call for details)
  • Upgrade to 5* hotel in St Petersburg €82 pp
  • Single room supplement varies by departure date from €200 – €360 (call for details)
  • Prices are correct at time of going to press, flight supplements may apply depending on availability of negotiated airfares
  • FLIGHT TIMINGS are subject to change at any time until air tickets are issued.

  Cost per person: €1,369pp
  Number of nights: 6

04 April 2018 €1,369
18 April 2018 €1,459
02 May 2018 €1,459
16 May 2018 €1,529
30 May 2018 €1,529
25 July 2018 €1,529
08 August 2018 €1,499
22 August 2018 €1,499
05 September 2018 €1,459
19 September 2018 €1,459
03 October 2018 €1,459
17 October 2018 €1,369
31 October 2018 €1,369
14 November 2018 €1,369
28 November 2018 €1,369
12 December 2018 €1,369

Tour supplied in Partnership with:

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  Call:  (01) 294 1000