My wife and I desire to schedule a two day tour of St. Petersburg with others cruisers on the HAL Noordam on 7/25 and 7/26. Attached below is the info that I received from Red October. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
if you are interested in joining us. In order to get visas arranged through Red October, you need to sign up about a week before these dates at the latest.
Regarding non-visa participation in tours:
Since we are a professional travel agency and you do not plan to travel or venture on your own and buy all services from us, you do not need individual Russian visas.
The procedure for non-visa participation in tours is the following –
To go ashore without visas you will only need to have our excursions tickets which will be your permit to participate in shore excursions organized by our company. Thus when you take your decision to acquire our services and confirm that to us, I will send you the required tickets by mail. For that I would request your home address.
You will need these tickets each time you go ashore and you will have to show them to the immigration officers along with your passport. Please kindly do not leave them in your cabin and keep them with your passport each time you go ashore.
All other passengers who are buying excursions from shore excursions office on board will also have their tickets for excursions but those tickets are printed by Cruise Lines on board the ship and consequently will differ from ours. Your tickets are printed by our company. To settle down this permit (non-visa participation in shore excursions) with our local immigration authorities I will need all your group members' passport details: Full name, Date and Place of Birth, Passport numbers, Passport Dates of issue and expiry, Nationality and Citizenship. I will have to submit them to the Immigration authorities 5 days prior the ship's call at St Petersburg.
To summarize the above said: if your decision to acquire our services is firm I will send you a number of tickets by mail one month prior your departure from the States and you will give them to your fellow travelers on board. You have a chance to find another couple or two to join you for the tours when you are on board the ship at sea. Definitely the prices for 4 and 6 people are much better than for only two of you. If you do not find other people to join you then you will return us the left tickets when we meet on your arrival date.
Please kindly remember that we need the names and passport details of the new people joining you 5 or 4 days before your arrival. You may send us this information via email from board the ship. As for meeting our clients we meet them at the terminal area. You will see me or another representative of our company with RED OCTOBER LAND SEA TRAVEL sign immediately after you pass the immigration formalities. There is no need for us to come on board because we shall send you excursions tickets to your home address well in advance before you leave from the States.
DAY ONE – 9 ½ hours
July 25, Sunday
07:00 AM Ship’s arrival
08:00 AM Departure for Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin), drive 25km/15 miles south of St. Petersburg
09:00 AM Arrival in Tsarskoye Selo, official residence of Russian Tsars.
09:30 AM Visit to the Catherine Palace founded by Peter I for his wife Catherine I and re-built and enlarged for their daughter Empress Elizabeth by Italian architect F.B.Rastrelli; the striking luxury of the interior decoration of the palace was created by the best artists of XVIII and XIX centuries. The most famous Amber Room with the walls paneled with amber was completely lost during the WWII is restored completely. (Early admission to the Catherine’s Palace on special arrangement included in the cost)
010;30 AM Stroll in the beautiful Catherine park with its numerous pavilions and small palaces, ponds and canals, marble statues and monuments.
11:00 AM - Drive back to St. Petersburg
00:00 PM - Lunch at the “Adamant” Restaurant located on Moika River Embankment within a short walking distance from Astoria Hotel and St Isaac’s Square -
Menu suggestion: Ø Fish Salad “Ladoga”, Ø Russian Soup “Rassolnik” (with pickled cucumbers) or Russian Cabbage soup “Schi”, Ø Fried Pike-Perch or Beef-Stroganoff, Ø Dessert of the day Price = $ 21 p.p.
01:00 PM - A city orientation drive (city highlights): St. Nicholas’s Church, Theatre Square with Mariinsky Theatre, St. Isaac’s Square, majestic St. Isaac Cathedral, “Bronze Horseman” – the most famous monument to Peter the Great, Shmidt Bridge, Vasilievsky Island with Arts Academy, Menshikov Palace, University, Kunstkamera, “Strelka” with Stock Exchange and Rostral Columns and with the most beautiful view of Neva Embankments Winter Palace and other buildings of the Hermitage Museum, Twelve Colleges, Palace Bridge, Palace Square with Winter Palace and Alexander Column, Admiralty, Nevsky Avenue, the central street of the city, Smolny Cathedral and Smolny Institute, “Field of Mars”, drive by the Savior on the Spilled Blood Cathedral, Troitsky Bridge, Peter’s the Great Cabin, Cruiser “Aurora”.
03:00 PM - Tour of the Hermitage Arts Museum . Excursion to the West-European Masters’ collection (Rembrandt, Rubens, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, El Greco, Murillo, Van Dyck etc.)· Living and gala halls of the Winter Palace,· French Impressionists and art of XX century.Optional visit to the Gold Rooms (Treasury) of the Winter Palace for additional $ 15 per person (min 10 persons in a group). This visit should be reserved well in advance.
05:30 PM - Return to the ship
The per person cost of the program without lunch and Gold Room:
If you are 2 is $ 232 pp, if you are 4 is $ 161 pp, if you are 6 is $ 131 pp, if you are 8 is $ 124 pp, if you are 10 is $ 114 pp.
The above costs include car transportation, highly qualified English speaking guide services, entrance fees to the museums and early admission to the Catherine’s Palace on special arrangement as mentioned in the program.
DAY TWO – 8 ½ hours
July 26, Monday
08:30 AM Departure for Peterhof. Drive 30km/19 miles west of St. Petersburg.
10:00 AM Arrival in Peterhof: “Russian Versailles”, official Summer Residence of RussianTsars.- Stroll through the wonderful “Lower Park” with its 150 fountains, cascades and various pavilions, palaces, among them the small and cozy “Monplaisir” of Peter the Great on the very coast of the sea.
10:30 AM Visit to the Monplaisir Palace (small palace), the favorite of Peter I on the very coast of Baltic Sea preserving the memory of the greatest of Russian Tsars and illustrating his private life style.
11:45 AM - Drive to the city center for lunch
00:45 PM - Lunch at the city restaurant “Our Petersburg” Menu suggestion: USD 17 ppØ Greek Salad, Ø Russian beet root soup "Borsch", Ø Stroganoff "Russian style" with rice or Pike-perch "a la Polonaise" with sauce and boiled potatoes, Ø dessert.
01:45 PM Shopping opportunity at the biggest and best souvenir shop of St. Petersburg – Red October (wooden dolls of various dimensions and quality, authentic lacquer boxes from Palekh, Mstera etc., splendid amber, china, Russian shawls etc.)
02:30 PM Inside visit of Peter-and-Paul Fortress, place where the city was founded in May of 1703, incl. the Peter-and-Paul Cathedral (1712 1733), burial place of the Romanovs
03:15 PM Visit to the Savior on the Spilled Blood Cathedral built in 1907 as memorial church to honor Russian Emperor Alexander II murdered on the spot by the terrorists. It is a sample of "Russian style" architecture and decorative art of the edge of the XIX-XX centuries. Mosaic attire of the church (over 7.000 sq. m) was created by the most famous Russian artists of the epoch.
04:00 PM - Visit to St Isaac's Cathedral (architect Montferrand), one of the finest architectural monuments of the XIX century, the former principal Cathedral of the Russian capital, the largest cathedral in town able to accommodate about 10,000 audience. The cathedral is beautifully decorated inside: marble of 13 colors, malachite, lapis-lazuli, paintings and mosaics made by the most famous Russian artists, impressive stained-glass image of Christ seen through the open doors of the magnificent Icon-Stand etc.
04:30 PM - Drive back to the pier
05:00 PM - Return on board
06:00 PM Ship’s departure
The per person cost of the program without lunch:
If you are 2 is $ 259 pp, if you are 4 is $ 172 pp, if you are 6 is $ 138 pp, if you are 8 is $ 129 pp, if you are 10 is $ 117 pp.
The above costs include car transportation, highly qualified English speaking guide services, entrance fees to the museums as mentioned in the program.