1/2 Day Focus on the Hermitage and Winter Palace

1/2 Day Focus on the Hermitage and Winter Palace

1/2 Day Focus on the Hermitage and Winter Palace

Tour includes a guided visit of the best collections of the Hermitage.

This tour is operated in the afternoon of your ship's second day stay in St. Petersburg and it is also suitable for mobility restricted passengers.

After a short drive from the port will bring you to the historical Tsarist Winter Palace complex, which also houses the State Hermitage Museum. The entire complex consists of a total of six separate buildings, all connected to each other along the panoramic River Neva embankment. The buildings are the Winter Palace, the Small Hermitage, the Old Hermitage (also called the Large Hermitage), the New Hermitage, the Hermitage Theater, and the Auxiliary Building.

St. Petersburg was founded in 1703, and it soon became the capital of Russia. As the new capital needed a suitable residential palace for the ruling royal family, Tsarina Elizabeth Petrovna (a daughter of Peter the Great) approved the plans of an Italian architect, Bartolomeo Rastrelli, and the construction started in 1754. After eight years the palace was completed, and the first ruler to actually live there was Catherine II (also called Catherine the Great), who moved there in 1763 right after her coronation. After Catherine's death, all the later Tsars of the Romanov Dynasty lived in the Winter Palace until the Russian Revolution in 1917.

Catherine II was a modern liberal lady for her times. She instantly ran into a conflict with the conservative Rastrelli since the Baroque style was going out of fashion during the construction, and Catherine favored the new and modern Neoclassicism. The new palace was still empty, so Catherine needed art around her, and she started to purchase entire collections from famous European collectors. However, because her collections did not fit into the Winter Palace, she started adding separate buildings to the palace all along the Neva River embankment: The Old Hermitage (1771), The Small Hermitage (1775), and the Hermitage Theater (1783). They were all built in the new Neoclassical style.

Today the museum contains 460 rooms, and about 3 million exhibits. A visitor easily moves from one building to another through inside passages and bridges, as if he would be just touring inside one huge palace. - An inside visit to the State Hermitage Museum.

In addition to viewing the unbelievable wealth of the Hermitage art collections. It is impossible to see the entire museum during a visit of a few hours, our guides are well trained to find their way to any part of the palace and to show the most desired collections, productions of specific artists, or art periods.

Needless to say, in the Hermitage Museum you can admire the works of such famous artists like Titian, da Vinci, Raphael, Caravaggio, Giordano, Velazquez, El Greco, Rubens, Rembrandt (one of the world's best collections), van Dyck, all the way to Degas, van Gogh, Matisse, Monet, Cezanne, Picasso and others.

The north side of the palace faces the Neva River, and the south side has a huge empty square in the shape of a semicircle, called the Palace Square. In the center of the square stands a huge granite pillar called Alexander's Column, which has an angel at the top. Both the Winter Palace and the Palace Square have witnessed many of the decisive historical events and conflicts related to the Russian Revolution, including the "Bloody Sunday" demonstrations and shootings in January 1905, as well as the actual Russian Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.

Departures (Local Time)

9:30 AM (Hours: 3.5)

   No Days Available.


Hours: 3.5

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  • Russian Cruise Visa processing
  • Transportation
  • English speaking Guide
  • Admissions to the Hermitage Museum
  • Welcome package


You do not need a separate Russian visa to take this tour from your ship. Our tour operator is authorized by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to arrange services for cruise passengers who do not have Russian visas. In order to guarantee visa-free participation in this tour, we need to receive a Tour Authorization Certificate for you and each person in your traveling party. We must request this Tour Authorization Certificate from our operator no later than two (2) weeks prior to your sail date. We will email you your excursion tour voucher for your traveling party, and one tour authorization certificate for each member of your traveling party. It will be your responsibility to print and carry with you 1) the tour voucher, 2) the Tour Authorization Certificate, one for each person traveling with you, and 3) a valid passport for each person in your party. These documents will be required to participate in your St. Petersburg excursion. Failure to have these documents to present to Russian immigration officials and your excursion leader may result in you not being allowed off the ship in St. Petersburg, and may not entitle you to a refund. Please refer to the full terms and conditions listed on our website.

Departure Location

At the cruise ship pier. The specific meeting location at the pier will be listed in your confirmation email and voucher for this shore excursion. See the 'Redemption and Voucher Details' section below.

Redemption and Voucher Details

  1. After you complete your booking, your credit card will be charged and our expert Shore Excursion Concierge agents will 'hand'-review your shore excursion selections against your cruise itinerary to confirm compatibility. Your credit card statement will list the merchant for the charges as Port Promo Cruise Tours.
  2. You will receive an email within 72 hours of booking from info@portpromotions.com which confirms your booking and contains the vouchers required for your shore excursions. Please print these vouchers and bring them with you on your cruise. You will be required to turn the voucher(s) in to the corresponding shore excursion supplier(s). The vouchers feature information regarding how to meet up with the tour leader upon arrival to a port and other important details.
  3. Your tour is completely refundable if your ship is unable to get into port or due to weather cancellations. See our terms and conditions for complete details.
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