One on my favourite stops on the Baltic Cruise was St. Petersburg in Russia. We had two days there and I was very excited to finally see this city.
Eight years previous I had been there but could not go ashore! So I made the most of my two days and went on tour to see Catherine’s Palace, the Hermitage museum, the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood and St. Isaac’s Cathedral.
The only way to go ashore as a cruise passenger is to either go on the ships organised tours or apply for a Russian visa before hand. You can book with outside tour companies, but check you can 100% get through the Russian immigration first with the company you book with.
If you do neither the Russian immigration with not let you in the country. So keep this in mind if you are planning on going on a cruise around the Baltic.
Spending two days in St. Petersburg was fantastic as we could really do a lot. I was exhausted at the end of it, but I was very pleased to finally get there! Catherine’s Palace and the Hermitage museum were out of this world.
St. Petersburg only sees 60 days of sunshine a year and the days we were there, we did not see any sunshine! Shame, but you cannot control the weather!
Catherine’s Palace was built-in 1756. It is beautiful inside and out. But I must warn you it is very hot inside!
The day we were there it was cold and wet. So it was nice to warm up! Also, you can not take a backpack inside, so just bring a handbag and not too big.
The palace is painted pale blue, white and gold and looks very grand from the outside. Inside every room is glorious, with lots of gold and ornate patterns on the walls.
There were lots of rooms to walk through, all very beautiful, especially the ceilings that were nearly all painted.
My favourite room was the amber room. The walls were covered in the gemstone amber, but you could not take any photos!
Whilst we were walking through we had to wear these trendy shoe covers! The gardens were lovely, but wet the day we were there.
The Hermitage Museum is fascinating and huge. It has been open to the public since 1852.
As we were on a cruise ship tour we were allowed to enter the museum an hour before the rest of the general public.
This helped a lot as we were one of the first groups and we got to see a lot of the rooms empty. So book the morning tour for the Hermitage!
Each room was amazing and so different. It took 3 hours to walk around the museum and see everything and this was with our very knowledgeable guide.
The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood
We only had time for a photo stop and it was raining! So my photos are not the best. The colours of the church were beautiful and in real life, it looks ten times better!
It was such a shame as this is what I was really looking forward to seeing, it would have been a lovely photo in the sunshine.
The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood was built between 1883 – 1907.
St. Isaac’s Cathedral
St. Isaac’s Cathedral was another quick photo stop and it was pouring with rain so I ran off the tour bus took a quick photo and ran back on the bus!
It took 40 years to build between 1818 to 1858 and is the largest Russian Orthodox cathedral the city.
The weather was not great while I was there, in July. It was cold and raining, 13C – 15C, but the week before it was hot and sunny at 27 *C.
My packing tips for St. Petersburg are to bring comfortable walking shoes to see all the sites, rain jacket, layers (just in case it warms up!), trousers, T-shirts, light weight jumpers and an umbrella.
- Weather: Summer months between 11*C – 23*C
- Language: Russian (some people speak English)
- Currency: Russian Ruble (US Dollar/Euros are excepted in some shops)
- Here are my recommendations for two days in St. Petersburg; walking shoes, rain jacket, umbrella, a small bag (no backpack), camera and foldable water bottle as it easier to carry your own water:
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Love Lucy x
See the full article here: The Art of Packing for a Colder Cruise: How to Pack a Capsule Wardrobe
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