Boat Trips and Sightseeing Tours

Once the summer comes (usually by the end of April), a boat trip is an essential part of any sightseeing holiday to St. Petersburg. There's a huge choice of boats and operators, ranging from small private launches to multi-level river cruisers, so you can join a timetabled tour or organize your own if you're travelling in a small group. Nearly all boats, however, follow one of a few tried and tested routes along St. Petersburg's rivers and canals, as well as some longer routes out to the city's suburban visitor attractions. Inner-city tours start from around 400 rubles for adults (half-price for children under 12, and free for children under seven).

View of Anichkov Bridge from a tour boat in St Petersburg, Russia
View of Anichkov Bridge from a tour boat

While it may be better to book a boat trip in advance, especially in high season during the White Nights, it is normally quite possible to turn up at one of the moorings in the city center (where Nevsky Prospekt crosses the Fontanka River, the Griboedov Canal, or the Moika River; in the Mikhailovsky Garden; on the Admiralty or Palace Embankments; or around the Peter and Paul Fortress) and join a tour immediately, day or night (after midnight nearly all boats offer trips out into the Neva River to watch the bridges opening). Most trips will be conducted by a tour guide or accompanied with a recorded audio-guide. If you require an English-language guide, many companies offer the service, along with several other foreign languages, but you will need to book in advance.