We Love —
- Discover St Petersburg on a Visa Free Cruise from Helsinki
- The stunning overnight cruise & Russian experiences on the Princess Maria
- The excellent atmospheric hotels on both cities
Here to Help —
Booking 35 days in advance and spending over £500 per person? No need to pay in full today! Just select the 30% deposit option on our payment page (terms & conditions apply)
For any additional information on this offer or assistance in making your reservation please call one of our dedicated team on 0844 8262099 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening hours are Monday to Friday 08:00 - 21:00 and Saturdays & Sundays from 09:00 - 17:30.
What's Included —
Return scheduled flight(s) from London Heathrow to Helsinki
3 nights hotel accommodation as per itinerary
Lodgings in twin rooms with private WC/Shower
Overnight return cruises Helsinki to St Petersburg
On board ship accommodation in an outside A class cabin
5 Buffet breakfasts (2 on board ship) & 2 dinners (on board ship)
Guided orientation city tour
Optional pre-bookable private excursions in St. Petersburg
Your Tour —
The Czarist flavour to your holiday begins when you leave the quayside in Helsinki with on board Russian entertainment, food and atmosphere. And in St Petersburg you have an array of private excursions to choose from including ones to Peterhof, Peter the Great’s emulation of Versailles with its Palace, Gardens and Grand Cascade. And in the evenings you can take your pick from ballet, opera or exuberant Russian dancing performances.
Your Itinerary —
1st Day UK – Helsinki
Fly direct to Helsinki, self-transfer to the city centre and check in the Hotel Suerahoune
2nd Day Helsinki – St. Petersburg
Take breakfast and then explore the city. Helsinki is an eclectic mix of east and west set on a peninsula in the Gulf of Finland: a neo-classical gem with an art nouveau quarter laced with Alvar Aalto's spectacular modern architecture; smart pavement cafés on Esplanade; gourmet restaurants at less than London prices; concerts and ballet at Finlandia Hall. Late afternoon self-transfer to the south harbour for St Petersburg at 18:00 on the Princess Maria for overnight passage to St Petersburg.
3rd Day St. Petersburg
Your ship docks after breakfast at 10.00 when you disembark for a guided city tour featuring some of St Petersburg’s most iconic sights (and sites) including the Admiralty, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, St. Nicolas Cathedral, Palace Square and Smolny Convent. Check in at your chosen hotel and afterwards explore the city on your own. In the evening you can enjoy dinner in one of our recommended restaurants or go to a folklore, ballet or opera performance.
4th& 5th Days St. Petersburg
As much a work of art as a city, Russia’s one time capital is a captivating cocktail of experiences which you can discover on one our optional guided tours: the Hermitage with its unimaginable store of over 3 million works of art, Yusopov Place, Catherine’s Palace in Pushkin or Peterhof Summer Palace. Catherine’s Palace in Pushkin, otherwise known as Tsarskoe Selo, was Peter the Great’s wife’s summer holiday home: a staggering kilometre in circumference with blue-and-white facades decorated with gilded atlantes, caryatids and pilasters. Peterhof Summer Palace on the Gulf of Finland, built in the 18th century as the summer residence of Russian czars has as its centerpiece the Grand cascade of 64 fountains. Transfer from St. Isaac Square to the ferry terminal for re-embarkation and departure at 19.00
6th Day Helsinki – UK
Arrive in Helsinki at 9.30 with time for some last minute retail therapy for iconic design brands like Arabia and Iittala self -transfer to the airport and your return flight to the UK.
Your Ship —
This offer is based on a stay in an Outside A-Class cabin on a bed and breakfast basis.
Your Hotels —
This offer is based on Standard Room stays in both hotels on a bed and breakfast basis.
Possibly the only hotel in the world with a 5 pillow menu a choice of firm ones with synthetic filling, medium & soft ones with down or synthetic filings. A far cry from 1914 when the hotel opened in its second incarnation to plaudits for having running hot water and telephones in all rooms . Each embellishment though speaks to the hotel’s timeless pursuit of elegance, style and occupant comfort which the most renovation in 2006 carried through, melding Carl Ludvig Engel’s neo classical legacy with contemporary amenity.
Superbly central for a short stay, the hotel is opposite Helsinki’s landmark granite rail station, 300 m from the airport bus terminal and more importantly the Karl Fazer Café. All our rooms come with (of course) private WC/shower or bath tub (your choice), LCD TV, security safe, hair dryer, coffee/tea set WI-FI and a telephone updated from those in 1914.
The Hotel Dostoevsky is situated in the unique historical and architectural area of Saint-Petersburg. It takes five minutes walking through magnificent architectural monuments, from the Hotel to the Nevsky prospect, the very heart and the gala view of Saint-Petersburg.The Hotel building constructed in 1783 is located in the Vladimirskaya square. The modern-styled building front faces the Cathedral of Our Lady of Vladimir. Hotel windows facing the Vladimirsky prospect offer a spellbinding view to the Vladimirskaya square and the historical centre of the city.All rooms have high-speed Internet access, satellite television, telephone, minibar, round-the-clock room service and other facilities.
Optional Excursions —
Our guides are all English speaking and University educated in a discipline relevant to the excursion, e.g. Russian history. They are also qualified as general guides for St Petersburg and for specific museums and palaces. Excursions are arranged privately for from 1 to 10 people and for that reason must necessarily be booked at the same time as booking your main holiday.
THE HERMITAGE (2 hours )
The largest museum collection in the world is spread throughout four buildings. You enter the Winter Palace from the Neva Embankment; the next building to the east is the Small Hermitage; further east lies the Old Hermitage (facing the river) and the New Hermitage (facing Palace Square). An arched gallery spans the Winter Canal and leads to the Hermitage theatre. There are literally a billion things to see in the Hermitage and it is well worth making more than one visit. The overwhelming richness of the museum is all the more enhanced by the incredible splendour of the buildings, inside and out: ornate and regal facades, huge frescoed halls; marble, wood and mosaic floors; and statuettes, figurines, and antique furniture all on such a grand scale that it fascinates the mind. The Hermitage houses a tremendous collection of Western European art, including such masters as Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael. Its collection of Spanish art may be compared only with that in Prado Museum in Madrid; the collection of French art is the largest outside France, displaying works by Degas, Renoir, Cezanne, Monet, Van Gogh, Gaugin and Matisse. Price £85pp. Departures10.00 &13.00.
YUSUPOV PALACE (2 hours inc transfers)
The most sumptuous non-imperial palace in St. Petersburg was the home of rich and powerful Yusupov family, who from the mid-18th century (when the first version of this palace was built) until the revolution, moved in the most powerful circles in Russia. The Yusupovs were great collectors of art, and their collection was known well beyond Russia. After the revolution most of the collection was moved to the Hermitage, though traces of the incredible wealth that once kept this palace pulsating with life still remain: the various sitting rooms, the intricate chandeliers and candelabras that adorn every room and corridor, and the beautiful private theatre that looks like a cosy version of the Mariinsky. The palace has been registered in the catalogue named “European Private Mansions of Interest” by the British “Weidenfeld and Nicholson” Company. Recently the palace opened an exhibit concerning an event that occurred in the palace in the winter of 1916. It is in this palace where the assassination of Rasputin, one of the most scandalous figures in Russian history, took place. The exhibit shows two rooms where it all happened. In the first room one can see wax figures of the conspirators – the Russian noblemen who participated in the drama. In the cellar where the assassination took place there are two wax figures at the table – the young count Yusupov and Rasputin. Price £82pp. Departures10.00 &13.00.
CATHERINE'S PALACE IN PUSHKIN (5 hrs inc lunch)
Located twenty-five kilometres south of St. Petersburg, the town of Pushkin originally called Tsarskoye Selo, came into existence when Catherine I built a little surprise palace here for her husband, Peter the Great. The Empress Elizabeth had the palace (named Catherine’s Palace) expanded and renovated in 1752, and work continued through Catherine the Great’s reign. The palace, a combination of white and gold, looks magnificent; a huge ballroom called the Grand Hall, ornately decorated drawing rooms, studies and dining rooms. The most famous room here is the Amber Room, the walls of which were covered with amber panels given to Peter I by Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia and taken back by the Nazis during World War II. Now the Amber room is being restored by the palace restoration workshops. Surrounding the palace is a park covering more than 570 hectares with bridges, terraces, fountains and small galleries. Of note is the Agate Pavilion, a bath-house of semi-precious stones just southeast of the palace. Price £123pp. Departure 09.30
PETERHOF PARK & GRAND SUMMER PALACE (6 hrs inc lunch)
Petrodvorets is the place to visit especially during summer when the fountains are operating. In good weather it is well worth spending an entire day here, enjoying the various palaces, the parks and the sea view. The history of Petrodvorets (called Peterhoff until 1944) begins in 1704 when Peter I built a wooden house on the Gulf while overseeing the construction of the nearby Kronstadt Fortress. In 1713 he began transforming the area into an imperial residence. The palace was inaugurated in 1723 and later expanded by Empress Elizabeth. The Grand Palace dominates the estate. It is filled with lavish rooms and galleries. Most of the emperors and empresses used the palace for functions and official purposes. Petrodvorets includes several other mini-museums of interest: Monplaisir Palace, which Peter preferred to the Grand Palace; the Chateau de Marly, on the western edge of the park, is the former guest house in the Louis XIV style; the nearby Hermitage Pavilion, which also has nice views and artwork. Price £147pp. Departure 09.30
Your Journey —
Flights: From London Heathrow
Outbound 7.30 - 12.20
Inbound 16.50 - 17.55
All flight times are local.
Transfers: are not included with this offer.
Please note: flight details are given as a guide only and may change. We will however notify you in advance if flights are more than 2 hours outside the time range given. Flights are non-changeable and non-refundable at time of booking.