Leave your central St Petersburg hotel or cruise port by private, air-conditioned car and hear tales of the UNESCO-protected Peterhof from your Russian history-expert private guide as you travel to the nearby estate.
On arrival, admire the baroque exterior, and, ahead of the main crowds of the day, head inside with your early-access ticket to explore the Grand Palace. Learn how this opulent residence, founded in the early 1700s by Peter the Great, was originally intended to rival Paris’ Versailles, and then expanded and embellished by Peter’s successors over the following two centuries.
Admire the lavish Throne Room, White Dining Room and other chambers; and ogle the magnificent Ceremonial Staircase as your guide provides enlightening commentary on the lives and lavish tastes of the imperial rulers who lived here.
Afterward, walk outside to stroll around the spectacular fountain- and palace-studded gardens that surround the palace and line a Gulf of Finland seafront. Marvel at the Grand Cascade, the central complex of more than 140 fountains; and see other showpieces, such as Peter’s outwardly humble Monplaisir retreat, the Marly Palace and English-style Alexandria Park.
Following your visit, return to your private vehicle and enjoy a hotel or port drop-off.
Please note: no fountains run and no early admission is available at the Peterhof during the low, winter season (October-April). At these times, regular admission is included in the tour cost.