Helsinki to St Petes - 5 days
VISA FREE RUSSIA TOUR! See the best of Helsinki's neo-classical architecture, art museums, markets and street fairs, before crossing the Gulf of Finland by ferry to St Petersburg - City of the Tsars, home to Peterhof and the stunning Hermitage collection at the Winter Palace on this 5 day tour.
Welcome to Helsinki and the start of your holiday. Resting on the shores of the Gulf of Finland, Helsinki is both historic and modern. In contrast to the city’s 450 years of history, historic architecture and unique Finnish design, the beauty of the city blends seamlessly with high-tech achievements. It is here where old traditions mix with the latest contemporary trends. Arrive early as there is plenty to see and do! This evening you will need to make your way to the ferry port to board the Princess Maria Ferry to begin your cruise of the Gulf of Finland to St Petersburg.
Overnight: Princess Maria Ferry
St Pete's city tour
Welcome to St Petersburg - city of the Tsars! After disembarkation and a stamp in your passport you'll be met by your tour guide to commence a sightseeing tour of this delightful city. Your first stop will be the Peter and Paul Fortress, one of the oldest buildings in St Petersburg dating back to 1703. This fortress was once used as a political prison - containing the likes of Dostoevsky and Lenin’s older brother, Alexander. Within the fortress grounds we will also venture inside the SS Peter and Paul Cathedral, which houses the tombs of the Romanov family.
Later we enjoy a tour of the incredible Hermitage Collection at the Winter Palace. This former home of the Tsars now houses a collection of fine art, collected from the far reaches of the world. View masterpieces from throughout the ages and marvel at the lavish reception halls. After our city tour you're free to explore the city independently.
Overnight: St Petersburg | Breakfast
St Pete's your way
St Petersburg - Helsinki. The next two days are free for you to independently explore St Petersburg. On day 3 there's the option book a half day tour of either Catherine Palace at Tsarkoe Selo (in winter) or the gardens of Peter the Great's Peterhof, which overlooks the Gulf of Finland (in summer). Book and pay locally.
Often referred to as Russia’s ‘Versailles’, the gardens of Peterhof are a wonderland of greenery and flowers, sweeping vistas and ornate architectural decorations. The real highlight are the spectacular gold fountains. At Catherine Palace its the exterior and the interiors of this lavishly decorated building that really catch the eye - and the lavish Amber room is a real highlight.
During your time in St Petersburg there will also be the chance to book optional evening excursions, such as a traditional Cossack performance or a night at the Russian Ballet.
In the late afternoon on day 4, make your own way to the St Petersburg ferry port to board the Princess Maria ferry, returning to Helsinki.
Overnight: St Pete's (1), Princess Maria ferry (1) | Breakfast x 2
An early morning arrival will bring you back to Helsinki. After disembarkation and immigration your tour comes to an end. In Helsinki, everything is nearby, it’s a pocket-sized metropolis easily explored on foot. Today you could opt to visit the Helsinki Cathedral with its rich architecture designed by Carl Ludvig Engel in neoclassical style, Suomenlinna Fortress with its old cannon and submarines, market stores and arty stalls - or perhaps have a coffee at Market Square followed by a scoop of ice cream at Esplanade park.
Visas & the Ferry
In light of the fact that you are arriving to Russia by ferry, are not staying for more than 72 hours and have a confirmed ferry ticket for your departure, you are not required to obtain a Russian Tourisit Visa to enter the country. Not having to obtain a Russian visa saves most nationalities more than $150 in visa costs.
A tourist visa for Finland is required though for most nationalities it is offered free of charge. Please check with your nearest embassy for more information.
This tour includes two overnight journeys on board a ferry travelling between Helsinki and St Petersburg. On the ferry we reserve comfortable single sex, 4 berth, air conditioned inside cabins, equipped with an en suite bathroom and freshly laundered bed linen. You will share a cabin with either fellow On The Go travellers or members of the general public. If you are travelling with someone of the opposite sex and want to share a cabin, you will need to upgrade to a private two berth cabin, please refer to the pricing page for more information.
Prices & Dates
Hotel Moscow, St Petersburg
The spacious rooms at Hotel Moscow are simply furnished, with modern amenities and en suite facilities. Many of the rooms boast wonderful views of the Neva River and Alexander Nevsky monastery. Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel and there are five restaurants on site to enjoy delicious International and Russian cuisine. While the Panorama Bar on the 8th floor offers tasty beverages and incredible views of St Petersburg's historic centre. The Hotel Moscow is centrally located just off Nevsky Prospekt. The hotel is just 2 minutes walk from Alexander Nevsky Square Metro Station.