Local Life and Heritage
170/140 USD pp
- Experience local life in St. Petersburg by visiting a typical Soviet/modern apartment
- Discover interesting facts about Soviet history, KGB, USSR leaders and modern life
- See iconic buildings on Nevsky prospect (main street) and explore non-touristy areas around
- Visit the top attractions of St. Petersburg: Peter and Paul’s Fortress/Cathedral, Peterhof and the Church on the Spilled Blood
According to the Russian legislation a licensed tour operator has the right to arrange visa-free tours for cruise passengers arriving to St. Petersburg port. TJ Travel is an officially registered tour operator authorized to issue blanket visas. You will receive your free blanket visas (tour tickets) through email once you book a shore excursion with us. Please ignore warnings from your cruise ship company indicating that only a cruise ship company is allowed to operate visa-free tours in St. Petersburg. Warnings/notifications of that kind don’t have any legitimate basis.
To join our tours you must print out blanket visas received via email from TJ Travel and bring it along with your passports on the day of your tour. Blanket visas and your passports should be presented to an immigration officer on duty during disembarkation/embarkation in St. Petersburg.
Payment can be made either upon your arrival to St. Petersburg or any time prior to the date of your tour. In St. Petersburg you can either pay for your package (tour) in cash (only Rubles are accepted) or by credit card.
If you or any other member of your party decides to cancel your confirmed booking you must notify us in writing. All payments are fully refundable 72 hours prior to the date of your tour; payments are non-refundable within 72 hours prior to the date of your tour. In case of no-show, no refund is granted.
Availability and Notes
- Available from selected cruise ships with a two-day stop in St. Petersburg. If your ship stays in the city for 3 days, please contact us to get further details.
- Please ensure to make your booking at least 4-5 days prior to your ship's arrival to St. Petersburg. The port authorities require all passport information in advance, and the bookings sent in less than 4 days prior to arrival will be rejected.
- It's not possible to mix the days from different 2-day group tours.
- Not recommended for people with limited mobility. In case you are traveling with a wheelchair or mobile scooter, please consider taking “Relaxed Excursion”.
Tips and Discounts
- Children (7 - 17 y.o.)/students get 30 USD off the tour price. Students must have an ISIC card, otherwise the discount is not available.
- Gratuities to the guide and driver are not included in the tour price. The sum you wish to give to your guide and driver after a well-done tour should be up to the western standards (approximately 15%). It is a good idea to divide gratuity between your guide and driver and give it separately to them: 10% to the guide and 5% to the driver. Please have some cash with you (USD, EUR or RUB) for this reason, but it is always up to you!
Meeting by the ship (please note the start time of the tour will be adjusted depending on your ship’s arrival time)
8:30 am - 10:00 am
City tour and everyday life
Discover Russian day-to-day life and the most common cultural stereotypes. Learn about the way life has changed since the collapse of the Soviet Union. You will stop at the most beautiful, historical places of St Petersburg and make some memorable photos.
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Guided tour of the Upper Gardens and Lower Fountain Park
A relaxed stroll through the Upper and Lower Peterhof garden is a chance to see the peaceful and picturesque Fountain park. Each path leads to a charming park pavillion or a fountain hidden behind the greenery of the garden. Enjoy sprinkling fountains, elaborate Italian statues, trick fountains and other gems of Peterhof.
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Drive to the city
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Lunch (expenses not included)
2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
A stroll along Nevsky prospect
It’s impossible to feel the local life without seeing the main street. We will pass some iconic buildings including Gostiniydvor (Merchant’s yard), Alexandrinsky theater, Eliseevskiy Emporium (inside visit), Kazan cathedral, Singer Building etc.
3:45 pm - 4:45 pm
Kommunalka tour (typical Soviet apartment) or local apartment tour.
The Soviet Union existed for almost 70 years and left its mark in the world history. We will immerse ourselves in the atmosphere of Soviet times by visiting a communal apartment that shows how people lived back then - and even now.
Return to the ship
Meeting by the ship. Continuation of the city tour
9:00 am - 9.30 am
The local experience will proceed with visiting one of the deepest metro systems in the world where you discover the most ornate metro stations.
10:00 am - 11:00 pm
Inside guided tour of the Peter and Paul’s Fortress, Peter and Paul’s Cathedral.
You’ll stroll among the oldest buildings in the city and see the central square of the fortress that unites Peter and Paul's Cathedral, the Mint, Commandant's House, etc. After a visit to Peter and Paul's Cathedral you will walk through one of the main gates to the Neva river to enjoy picturesque panoramic views.
11:15 pm - 12:15 pm
Visit to a Food Market/Grocery Store. Shopping
Learning about food and culinary traditions is a fascinating way to explore a new country. You will visit a local supermarket/food market with a rich choice of local products.
12:30 pm - 1:45 pm
Shared boat ride along rivers and canals
St. Petersburg is often compared to Venice and Amsterdam due to long waterways and the number of bridges. The boat trip will show you a different perspective of old mansions and palaces, and reveal hidden gems of the city.
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Lunch(expenses are not included)
3:15 pm - 3:45 pm
Inside guided tour of the Church on Spilt Blood
This is not a typical church. It was designed to commemorate the sudden death of a Russian Emperor more than 100 years ago. We will get inside to admire mosaic carpets covering the walls and ceiling of the church. Gigantic mosaics representing biblical subjects create an unforgettable sacred atmosphere.
Return to the ship
- Admission to all the museums in the program, boat ride
- Professional guide for 2 days
- A/C vehicle (Mercedes or VW) with driver for 2 days
- Photo/video permit at the museums
- Subway visit
- All port fees
- All local taxes
- Blanket visa
- One bottle of water per person per day
- Headsets for groups of 5+
Price doesn’t include:
- Tips (recommended tips for guide: 10% of the tour cost, for driver: 5% of the tour cost)