- Visa-free, no cancellation fees
- No line ups
- Time for shopping
- On-time return
- Welcome gift
You will tour the favorite residence of Empress Catherine the Great - Catherine Palace - which is located 16 miles south of St. Petersburg in the town of Pushkin (ex-Czarskoye Selo). Your journey to Pushkin will take about 1 hour each way. During this time you will pass through the residential and suburban areas of St. Petersburg and see apartment houses of the local citizenry. Upon arrival, you will enter Catherine Palace avoiding line-ups*. You will admire gorgeous baroque architecture and the sumptuous interior decoration: The Grand Hall of Mirrors, The Marble Staircase, Red Pillar Room, Gala Dining-rooms and the world-famous Amber Room with its walls decorated with pieces of real amber. You will next stroll in the Gardens of Catherine Palace. Your guide will take you around the picturesque area surrounding Catherine Palace. You will view the snow-white Cameron Gallery, The Grotto, and enjoy the idyllic views of the French Regular Park and mirror-like ponds.
Remarks: * for groups fewer than 6 people. Bigger groups will sometimes have to wait as the groups are let inside in portions (about 50 people at a time). Tuesday - day off. Catherine Palace is wheel-chair accessible. There are stairs at the entrance. There is an elevator inside but you should inform us in advance. Comfortable footwear is recommended for this tour. It is not permitted to bring liquids into the museum. Food and drinks are only allowed in the museum cafes. Only small bags are allowed inside. Backpacks, umbrellas, suitcases and overcoats should be left in the cloakroom. Flash photography is forbidden. Amateur photo/video permits are included into the tour cost.
Inside visits: Catherine Palace with the Amber Room, Catherine Park.
- Booking terms
My wife and I did a private tour of St Peterburg with Guide-Guru in September of 2013 with Ada as our guide and Surgio as the driver. It was worth every penny. We never had to wait in long lines and Ada was amazing with her knowledge of Russian history and for those of us who are English speaking she was easily understood.
Another plus was working with Natalia to make all the arrangements. Some friends recommended Guide-Guru and we are doing the same to other friends.
Four of us recently toured with Guide-Guru in St. Petersburg, traveling to Pushkin for the Catherine and Alexander Palaces, and to the Alexander Nevsky Lavra. We were on a Viking cruise (more elsewhere) and certainly, Viking did very well within the limitations of guiding a large number of travellers, but the Guide-Guru experience was fabulous. Svetlana is knowledgeable and utterly charming, and Ivan(?), the driver, performed traffic miracles.
Small private touring is really the only way to go in Russia, and well worth the extra price over your primary cruise package.
Is Russian visa required on this tour?
No, Russian visa is not required. Guide-Guru, LLC. is the certified tour operator (MBT 010048 reference number in the Registry of Russian Tour Operators). There is a decree permitting visa-free stay in Russia for cruise passengers who take tours of the local authorized tour operators. Our tour ticket is your blanket visa.
Where do we meet our guide?
Major cruise ships dock at the St Petersburg Cruise Terminal 'Marine Facade'. Our guide and tour leader meet the groups inside the terminal in front of the passport control area. Smaller ships dock in the city center and the guide will be meeting you on the pier in front of the passport control area.
What time do we meet our guide?
The meeting time will be confirmed and mentioned in your tour tickets. The time shifts are possible to match your ship's docking time.
Can the tour be customized?
Yes, the tour is customizable.
What happens if the ship is delayed?
We will be informed of this circumstance and the guide will be waiting for you until you disembark. If the ship arrives in time and you do not show up, the waiting time will be maximum 1,5 hours. Please disembark according to the time specified on your tour ticket.
What if we miss the ship?
We do not plan distant afternoon trips on the day of your ship's departure. Our excursion programs are designed to make sure you stay close to your cruise ship on the sailing date. Our excursions normally bring you to the ship 1,5 hours before the ship's departure.
Can you give us some helpful tips while doing tours in Russia. Is it easier to bring Russian Ruble to buy snacks , or use restrooms or eat at restaurant while you are taking us on tours? Any suggestions for us to be aware of?
You can withdraw some cash rubles from any ATM in the city (there are many). Many stores and restaurants take bank cards (Visa, Mastercard). The guide will help you with money exchange on the day of the tour.
How to book:
- Send a tour booking and passport information (for cruise visitors).
- Receive our Confirmation, payment link and your tour ticket for visa-free disembarkation (cruise visitors).
Cruise visitors to St. Petersburg - 0% prepayment.
Non-cruise visitors to St. Petersburg - 50% prepayment.
Moscow tours (all visitors) - $200US/person prepayment.
The balance payment is made at the beginning of your tour.
European tours - 50% prepayment (if booked with Russia) or 100% (if only Europe).
Theatre tickets - 100% prepayment.
- Credit cards for prepayment - Visa/Mastercard/Amex/Diners/Discover/JCB/Unionpay
- Credit cards for payment in St. Petersburg - Visa/Mastercard/Amex.
St. Petersburg tours: < 24 hours or no-show - NO refund.
Moscow / European tours: < 7 days - NO refund.
Air/train tickets - NO refund.
Theatre tickets (once purchased) - NO refund.
Ship's non-call in St. Petersburg port - 100% refund.
Please inform us as early as possible if you have to cancel your trip via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or 24-hour phone/Whatsapp +7-921-903-28-81.
Child younger than 6 y.o. may travel with 1 parent free of charge. Schoolchildren, students and children over 6 y.o. receive a discounted rate. (Students must provide their international ISIC ID card to our Tour Coordinator upon payment to claim their discount. If they fail to do this, they will be charged the full adult price).
Did you know you can save a lot of cash by finding travel companions to join your tour? You are welcome to find tour mates by placing a message on Cruisecritic/Tripadvisor boards.