After pickup from your hotel in St Petersburg, your guide will take you to the boat station, located behind the Winter Palace. Then, board a high-speed hydrofoil for an exciting 45-minute ride down the Neva River, seeing St Petersburg from a unique perspective as you coast along the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland.
When your boat docks at the mouth of the Sea Channel, enter Peterhof’s enormous park complex, including elaborate gardens filled with 18th-century fountains, statues, palaces and pavilions built upon the orders of Tsar Peter the Great.
First, stroll through the estate’s Lower Park, which lies between the Grand Palace and the shore and boasts more than 140 fountains, each operated without pumps. Stop at the impressive Grand Cascade with its golden statue of Samson holding open the jaws of a lion.
Once you’ve seen all three cascades, including one with a chessboard design and another featuring Chinese dragons, you’ll understand why Peterhof is referred to as the “Russian Versailles.” Then, continue to the Grand Palace and explore its gorgeous interior, including 30 rooms decorated in an ornate, Baroque design.
From here, stroll through the Upper Garden, a typical French-style formal layout with five fountains, including one depicting Neptune – God of the Sea. Watch out for the whimsical creations designed to soak visitors, such as the umbrella fountain that sheds water whenever someone takes a seat underneath! Your guide will then drop your group off in the city center to explore at your leisure.