Where2Next? Travel, LLC took clients to St. Petersburg, Russia on a Baltic Capitals Cruise. Below are a few highlights of our visit to the city. All photos by Where2Next? Travel, LLC.
Who wants to go to Russia? WE DO! Where2Next? Travel, LLC took clients to St. Petersburg as part of a Baltic Capitals cruise. We sailed from Amsterdam, with ports of call in Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Berlin (Warnemunde), Germany; Helsinki, Finland; St. Petersburg, Russia; Tallinn, Estonia, Stockholm, Sweden and Copenhagen, Denmark.
The St. Petersburg port of call included three days and two nights in port. We decided to tour the city over two of the three days with Dancing Bear Tours (ask me about them - I have RAVE reviews!). Our guide Tatiana was absolutely wonderful and she and our driver took excellent care of us! Our first stop was the Neva River and then on to the Grand Church of the Winter Palace, an unconsecrated exhibition hall of the State Hermitage Museum. We then moved over to the Hermitage, and since we were a private group with an early start, we were among the first to enter that morning. The Hermitage is a must-do while in St. Petersburg, but go EARLY - the museum is very large and crowds build fast which leads to long lines and less time to actually enjoy the beauty of not just the artifacts but of the former palace itself. A private tour can get you ahead of bottlenecks of tourists. Virtual Visit
The artworks on display are exquisite - you won't see the exhibits anywhere else in in the world. There is also an entire Egyptian artifact museum on the lower level!
After lunch at a local restaurant (Kafe Veha - (Cafe Vienna) ask me about it!), we headed back to St. Petersburg for additional sights and shopping.
One of the most beautiful places to visit is Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood that sits above and alongside the Griboedov Canal - I took this shot as our private canal cruise was passing by the cathedral - absolutely stunning! The church's name reflects it's purpose - a shrine to the spilling of Tsar Alexander II's blood during his assassination.
On March 13, 1881, a bomb was thrown at Tsar Alexander II's carriage. As the tsar was dealing with the first attacker, a second attacker threw another bomb, seriously wounding the tsar. Bleeding heavily, he was taken back to the Winter Palace, where he later died. A temporary shrine was erected on the site of where the assignation took place, to include the section of road on which the tsar had been riding, while plans for a permanent memorial were undertaken. A ciborium (column-supported canopy) shrine was constructed on the exact place of Alexander's assassination. It is embellished with topaz, lazurite and other semi-precious stones, making a striking contrast with the simple cobblestones of the old road, which are exposed in the floor of the shrine.
When the time is right, I highly recommend a trip to the Baltic Capitals of northern Europe. I definitely plan on going back, sending and accompanying more clients to the region. The white nights when we went made coming back to the ship to relive our day's adventures fun - just enjoying one another's company and staying up until 3:00 a.m. before we knew it! If you're interested, let's have a conversation and start planning.
This video has some additional highlights, as it is the same cruise I took, just in reverse. I can give you details about some of the items you'll see.
Helping you see the WORLD, one experience at a time.®