St. Petersburg, Russia
Catherine's Palace, the Peterhof Gardens & Church on the Spilled Blood
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Approximately 10½ Hours
This full-day outing highlights some of St Petersburg's most cherished and most important landmarks. It's a chance to visit some of the previously off-limits wonders of this marvelous city.
Begin with a drive to Pushkin -- a smaller city not far from St Petersburg. Here, you'll visit Catherine's Palace -- one of the most famous landmarks and former summer residences of the Royal Family. Even though its interior is absolutely jaw-dropping, it is the outside of Catherine's Palace that graces postcards, magazines and posters for its absolutely beautiful blue-and-white façade topped with brilliant, golden onion domes.
Next proceed to Peterhof. A walk through the gardens of this palace complex is your chance to view the amazing collection of fountains designed by Czar Peter the Great. This 18th-century masterpiece of landscape design is an insight into the man who was revered by his subjects and, to this day, is considered an intellectual and architectural visionary.
Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before you travel by hydrofoil back to St Petersburg.
Study the stunning structure and iconology of the Church of the Resurrection (also call the Church on the Spilled Blood). This jewel-like structure is one of the most precious gems in the crown of Imperial St Petersburg. It was built as a monument to the life and death of Czar Alexander, father of the last Romanov to wear the crown of Russia.
Use of an audio headset (included) at Catherine's Palace and the Church on the Spilled Blood will enhance your tour experience. Expect long lines and crowding. Walking long distances is required and Catherine's Palace is not wheelchair accessible due to narrow staircases and no elevators. Not advisable for guests with mobility limitations. The hydrofoil and pier are not wheelchair accessible; hydrofoil operates weather dependent. Tour does not operate on Wednesdays. Special note: Holland America Line pre-pays the required fee for you to use your camera and video camera inside the park at Peterhof and at the Church on the Spilled Blood, so there is nothing additional for you pay upon arrival at either location. This is a convenience and a courtesy we are pleased to extend to all our guests on this tour.