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Get closer to St. Petersburg with Fred. Olsen

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Fred. Olsen’s Braemar is dedicated to taking you closer to the heart of some of the most awe-inspiring destinations across the globe. She’s one of our smaller, friendly cruise ships offering a traditional British cruising experience delivered by our attentive and helpful staff, who will make sure that you enjoy a welcoming, home-from-home atmosphere wherever you sail with Fred. Olsen.

One of the most spectacular destinations where Braemar can dock closer to the city centre than larger vessels is St Petersburg. You could enjoy a memorable visit to this beautiful city as part of Fred. Olsen’s Voyage to the Heart of the Baltic; the sailing takes a scene-stealing route across the Baltic, taking you closer to the heart of five diverse, distinctly different destinations including St Petersburg. Find out a little more about this elegant Russian city and the thrills that await our guests below…

Sailing into the heart of St. Petersburg

Braemar docks right in the centre of the city’s hubbub. Many of St Petersburg’s architectural splendours stand on the banks of the Neva River, which can be seen from Braemar’s deck as the ship approaches port. St Petersburg is often referred to as the ‘jewel in the Baltic crown’, with its wide elegant streets and winding canals, and sheer grandeur that holds a revolutionary spirit. Due to its European aesthetic, it has subsequently been labelled the ‘Venice of the North’ too.

Church of the Spilled Blood, St. Petersburg

The History

For those who love history, St Petersburg provides a spectacular arena of several iconic eras blended together into a mixture of significant buildings and landmarks. As the second largest city in Russia and one of the world’s major cities, St Petersburg has played a vital role in Russian history since its founding in 1703. For two centuries, it was the capital of the Russian Empire and during Communist rule was formerly known as Leningrad. With nearly every stone in the downtown part of the city breathing history, St Petersburg provides a plethora of beautiful scenes that are sure to catch the eye.

St Petersburg’s historic district is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and there are several buildings that are a must see in this area. Undoubtedly the Saviour on the Spilled Blood Church is one of St Petersburg most beautiful and significant structures. Vibrant and lavish in design, the five-domed cathedral is covered in jewellers enamel and stands tall marking the spot of the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881.

Winter Palace

Another of St Petersburg’s most famous buildings is the Winter Palace. Painted a beautiful hue of green, the palace reconciles the very different Baroque and pure neoclassical styles of architecture. Doubling also as the Hermitage Museum, the palace not only offers an interesting insight into its varied past but also epitomises Russia’s love affair with art and culture, with the Museum being home to the largest collection of paintings in the world.

Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Mariinsky Theatre

Often referred to as Russian’s cultural centre, St Petersburg boasts an abundance of theatres, museums and art venues, including the Mariinsky Theatre. For more than two centuries, the Mariinsky Theatre has provided a stage for some of the world’s greatest artists and ballet dancers, including the likes of Anna Pavlova and Ivan Yershov.

Russian Eateries

After visiting such sites, it is worth popping into one of the traditional eateries where you will be served a local favourite snack called pyshka. Pyshechnaya has a great reputation and definitely worth visiting on a stroll through the centre of the city. If you’re lucky enough to stop overnight in St Petersburg and have time to sample the nightlife, perhaps head to Dumskaya Street, famously known for its array of bars, and indulge in the famous ‘Boyarsky’ shot.


If you’ve got your heart set on cruising to St Petersburg but are unsure of which season to go in, take a look at our post which explores the best time to cruise the Baltic.

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