I am thinking about booking a cruise to St. Petersburg that arrives at 8 am on one day and leaves at 8 pm the next day. I want to visit the following sites: hermitage for 3-4 hours or so, peterhoff inside and gardens for 2-3 hours, Catherine palace inside for 2-3 hours, church on the spilled blood for 1-2 hours and st Isaac’s for 1 hour or so. Is this doable with a tour company so that I don’t have to get a visa? How much daylight will we have in early May?
Sunrise on May 1 in St Petersburg is 4:55am.
Sunset is 8:57pm.
Hi Scot! I think it's possible in 2 days. We have been blessed to be able to visit the Baltic twice already. We are vivid cruisers and we prefer not to take the ships tours. In every city, we look for a local travel agent and see what they have to offer. I was so lucky to have found Anastasia Travel with whom we booked a 2-day customized private tour. (both times). So If you are thinking of the possibilities you should contact them. I am sure they can answer all the questions you might have. Another tip, if you are going to book tours in the other Baltic cities you will be visiting, ask them. We had a discount when we booked Berlin, Copenhagen en Tallinn with them. And for me the planner, it's nice to have only 1 contact for all these tours in different countries.
You will love St Petersburg! we are looking at our next cruise going there as we speak!
I don’t know about those times in each attraction. You will have to see what each tour operator offers. One I am considering is spb-tours.com
Do not expect to last more than 3 hours inside the Hermitage. They don't have many (almost any) benches to sit on, so you will be walking/ standing the whole time, your feet will be dead. Also, 1 hour inside the church on the Spilled blood is plenty. In Catherine's palace you will not be able to spend more than an hour as well. They have draconian rules. If you spend more than 5 minutes allotted for you to enjoy a room you will be yelled at by the museum employees. Anyway, we had not the most pleasant experience inside Catherine's palace in 2018, though I should add that it was very beautiful.
You should have a lot of daylight at that time. I would look into what days/times the Hermitage tends to be less crowded (if there is such a time); we were part of a tour group in May and it was a zoo in there - was not able to see much without being surrounded by other groups all wanting to take selfies in front of the art and not too shy about shoving their way to do that :(. That being said, if you like French Post-Impressionist painting and especially Matisse, the Hermitage has one of the world's finest collections in a separate building, and when we went, we had it almost completely to ourselves. Another highlight for us was the Russian Museum, also not extremely crowded.
For myself, I found the Peter and Paul Fortress's cathedral more interesting than St. Isaac's which for me was one of the less interesting churches I visited in Russia.
You may be able to pull this off. I would try to do Peterhof and Catherine's Palace on the same day if you can. Both are away from the city. You can probably do the Hermitage, Church of Spilled Blood and St. Isaacs in one day.
Go as early as you can. Guided tours are allowed in the Hermitage earlier than the general public.
It’s doable. You can start in Hermitage, take a break for lunch and visit the Church and St. Isaac’s in the afternoon. Do Catherine’s and Peterhoff the next day.
You’ll need to have a roundtrip plan for your transportation on day two. The local tour companies can be of great help to foresee and avoid any slowdowns.