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14th August, 2019

St Petersburg

Just before 06:00 on Wednesday morning, we passed through the impressive port gates (and flood barrier) of St Petersburg, and a few hours later after transiting the narrow channel leading to the outer port, we snuggled alongside at 08:00 with just a few other cruise ships nearby.

It was a sunny morning, setting the scene for what we hoped to be a spectacular few days alongside here. This relatively young city has packed masses into its 300 years or so of civilisation, and there is simply too much to do to mention here in a mere blog (and, besides – I have already told you all about the place on a number of occasions during our previous visits!).

Every time we visit Russia’s second city, our selection of tours on offer seems to expand even further – we literally have a trip leaving every 30 minutes or so all day and into the evening…and then again on our second day. If trips in groups aren’t for you, then why not book our Bespoke Car service – with very reasonable prices offering a private driver and luxurious vehicle at your own order?!

One of the trips on offer which I had not noticed previously was the Soviet Era Railway Engines & Machinery jaunt – it has a fascinating write-up. The Russian Railway museum only opened in 2017 and occupies a 19th-century engine shed next to Baltiysky Railway Station, one of St Petersburg’s busiest commuter terminals. Apparently, the world’s first successful diesel locomotive (built 1924) and the very last passenger steam engine built by the USSR in 1956 are both on display here.

One of my favourite-sounding trips here also is the Exclusive Hermitage Experience, which basically means that this amazing venue is open only to Saga guests in the evening, avoiding the masses who normally visit during the daytime. Enjoy a glass of bubbly as you roam around taking in the incredible architecture, artwork & treasure on display without being bothered or bumped into by hundreds of others. Perfect!

Our second day alongside brought ideal weather conditions of sunshine and temperatures in the low 20’s; ideal for exploring the city. Evening came around and exhausted folk shuffled back up the gangway before we slipped our lines to head back into the eastern Baltic Sea again, and out past the city gates where a number of unfortunate ex-Soviet Navy relics lie alongside rotting but make for great viewing.

Our sea speed is increased to maximum overnight in order to get to Estonia on time in the morning…on what is forecasted to be another fine day.

Captain Kim Tanner

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

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