Bridges - St. Petersburg, Russia Peter Paul Fortress - St. Petersburg, Russia Saint Basil's Cathedral - Moscow, Russia

Shore Excursion – St. Petersburg & Moscow (3-Day)

Sail down the beautiful rivers
Sail down the beautiful rivers

Explore the majestic cities of St. Petersburg and Moscow for three days on an Exeter International Private Shore Excursion.  Enjoy behind the scenes access and expert guiding while you are in port. 

Some palaces are open late in the summer on certain days, allowing for later entry with fewer crowds. If you are open to early evening touring, please let us know and we’ll schedule accordingly.

The itinerary below is merely a suggestion to cover the highlights of St Petersburg in the short time you have. If there are any special interests you have, please let us know well in advance so we can incorporate this into your sightseeing program.

Featuring Extraordinary Experiences:

  • VIP Entrance to Catherine Palace (Optional)
  • Amber Room Workshops of Catherine Palace

Special Touring Notes:

Some palaces are open late in the summer on certain days, allowing for later entry with fewer crowds. If you are open to early evening touring, please let us know and we’ll schedule accordingly.

The itinerary below is merely a suggestion to cover the highlights of St Petersburg in the short time you have. If there are any special interests you have, please let us know well in advance so we can incorporate this into your sightseeing program.

Please contact Exeter International for a custom and tailor designed program. 

Download PDF itinerary here



$3,600 per person, based on two guests traveling together. Please contact Exeter International for specific pricing and availability. 

Day 1
St. Petersburg | St. Petersburg Winter Palace at the Hermitage - St. Petersburg, Russia

This morning meet your guide and driver outside your cruise ship. To get you acquainted with Peter the Great’s “Venice of the North,” you should start with an overview city tour that will start where all tours should begin – Peter Paul Fortress: the birthplace of St. Petersburg. After walking through the many gates and across the bridges and moats, you can begin to feel the late 18th century era that required such fortification. As Peter’s original outpost against the Swedes, St. Petersburg was born from this fortress and its historical significance is felt to this day by the presence of every Romanov tomb from Peter the Great.

Afterwards, your guide will take you into the stately St. Isaac’s Cathedral. Its malachite and lapis lazuli columns are not to be missed! For those with strong legs, you can climb to the top of the cathedral’s dome for the finest views over St. Petersburg’s historic neighborhood.

This afternoon, you will make the short drive to Palace Square. The focal point of this ensemble is the Winter Palace—an architectural masterpiece of the Russian Baroque and the royal residence of all the Russian Emperors (except Paul) until the 1917 Revolution. The existing Winter Palace is based on three earlier versions, the first two of which were rather modest and were erected under Peter the Great. After his death, the palace was repeatedly expanded and redesigned, most notably by the famous architects Domenico Trezzini and Bartolomeo Rastrelli.

Afterwards, make your way across Palace Square to the General Staff Building, which is now a part of the Hermitage. Designed by Carlo Rossi, one of the central architects that conceived St Petersburg, the General Staff Building was the headquarters of the army in Imperial times. At just under 2,000 feet it is the longest building in Europe.

Today the building has been transformed — its five courtyards glassed over, its various levels linked by concrete and glass staircases, which blend sympathetically with the original architecture and provides a stunning backdrop for the art: Monet, Cezanne, Renoir, Degas, Gaugin, Matisse, Picasso and Van Gogh, to name just a few. This is now the home of the Hermitage’s contemporary art collection, including its collection of French Impressionists and Post-Impressionist Art.

Exeter Services: Vehicle, Driver & Guide (8 Hours)

Day 2
Moscow | Moscow Kremlin - Moscow, Russia

This morning your driver and English-speaking assistant will meet you at the dock. You will then be transferred to the nearby train station. Here you will board the high speed Sapsan train to Moscow. Business Class or better tickets have been included for you.

Upon arrival in Moscow you will be met by your private driver & guide.

Today, your guide will take you into the Kremlin and through its expansive grounds. Here you will see the largest bell in the world – as well as the largest cannon. Neither were ever used due to their enormous size! Also on the grounds of the Kremlin are three very important churches and your guide will take you through all that are of interest. We suggest you don’t miss the Assumption Cathedral, where all Russian tsars were crowned.

Later, your guide will take you to the famed Armory Museum, including its vast collection of Imperial Russian artwork. You will have the opportunity to see the Kremlin’s unique and intimate collection of Imperial Faberge Easter Eggs. Also in the Armory are many of the most important Imperial thrones and crowns, including the most historic, Cap of Monomachus.

Included in your Kremlin visit today is entry into the Diamond Vaults. Admission to these extraordinary rooms is by special appointment with the Kremlin and your guide is not allowed to enter with you. Your entry to the Diamond Vaults is with a pre-set group of other visitors, and you will have approximately twenty minutes to browse these rooms on your own. You will see Catherine the Great’s scepter with its famous Orlov Diamond and one of the largest collections of diamonds and gem stones in the world!

Next, your guide will take you on a stroll through Red Square. Be sure not to miss the newly rebuilt church and Imperial Gates at the south end of Red Square – they were both destroyed under Stalin and only recently have been rebuilt in their original splendor. Your guide will also show you the stunning St. Basil’s Cathedral. This magnificent church-museum was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible and was completed in 1561. Rumor has it that Ivan had the architect blinded so he would never be able to design anything as exquisite again! The cathedral is at its most awesome when viewed from the outside and your guide will be happy to explain its history and the significance of each of the domes, each of which contains a separate chapel.

Later, you may want to experience the fascinating interiors of the Moscow Metro stations, ornately decorated with beautiful paintings, carvings and chandeliers! The Moscow Metro was created as complex of monumental

structures featuring designs of the very best Soviet architects. The stations, most built between 1930 and 1960 are underground palaces, featuring exquisite frescoes, statues, mosaics and stained glass. Each station has its own special theme- our favorite is Teatralnaya. Today this massive public transportation system is one of the largest in the world, carrying over 9 million passengers per day (twice as many as London or Paris!). Your guide will be delighted to show you as many stations as you like.

In the evening, you will be transferred to the train station to catch the high speed Sapsan train back to St. Petersburg. Business Class or better tickets have been included.

On arrival in St. Petersburg, you will be met and transferred to your cruise ship.

Exeter Services: Train Station transfers (St. Petersburg; Moscow); Guide (Moscow – 10 Hours);

Day 3
St. Petersburg | St. Petersburg Catherine's Palace - St. Petersburg, Russia

This morning, meet your guide and driver outside your cruise ship.

One option is a visit to St. Petersburg’s first Fabergé Museum located at the Shuvalov Palace on the Fontanka Canal, right in the city center. The palace houses the celebrated Fabergé collection of the Link of Times Foundation owned by Russian Entrepreneur Viktor Vekselberg, which, with its over 1500 choice pieces, now easily outranks the comparatively small collection of the Kremlin Armoury Museum. Please note: there are various ways to see the Fabergé Museum, not just private. Please inquire for options.

Alternatively, you can visit the famous Yusupov Palace on the banks of the Moika Canal. Enjoy a tour of the palace including its famous theater and Arabian Room. You will hear the story of Rasputin’s murder and more history of Russia leading up to the Revolution.

You may wish to have lunch today in the village of Pushkin (home of Catherine Palace) at a local restaurant.

Lunch cost is not included in your tour and is payable locally.

Afterwards your driver and guide will take you to see one of the city’s most elegant and beautiful palaces- Catherine Palace (formerly Pushkin) and its fabled Amber Room. This palace was started by Catherine I (Peter the Great’s second wife and not Catherine the Great) and it bears her name. The baroque design is truly a masterpiece and this palace, with its striking blue and gold exterior, is one of the symbols of St. Petersburg.

Exeter International Extraordinary Experience: VIP Entrance to Catherine Palace (OPTIONAL)

During the busy summer months, we highly advise to arrange VIP entrance to Catherine Palace. Generally, our guides are able to skip the lines with groups of two or less, but we are finding that this is getting increasingly difficult. With VIP entrance, you will enter through the main Golden Gates of the palace with your guide avoiding all the lines. You will then be met by a palace representative. Your guide will walk you to the main entrance from the gates, and take you into the private reception area where you will be able to use the facilities and leave your coats. Your tour of the palace will then begin. Please note that VIP Catherine Entrance is not included in program cost. Please inquire for details if you are interested.

Exeter International Extraordinary Experience: Amber Room Workshops

While visiting Catherine Palace, you will be invited into the Amber Room workshops where craftsmen rebuilt the famous amber panels lost in World War II. This tour is by appointment only and cannot be moved to another time or day.

Exeter Services: Vehicle, Driver & Guide (8 Hours)

Meet a ballerina in St Petersburg
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