LOS ANGELES, Feb. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With Crystal Serenity spending three consecutive days in St. Petersburg on each of five Summer 2013 Baltic/Northern Europe cruises, Crystal travelers will have ample time to fully indulge in Russian treasures. Whether one is a first-time sightseer, repeat visitor, an adventurer seeking more unexpected sites, or a traveler who prefers to arrange a more private, custom experience, Crystal's Land Programs team can recommend compelling Crystal Adventures ashore, such as:
FIRST-TIME VISITOR TO RUSSIA:
Spend Day 1 seeing city highlights, including the Hermitage and Winter Palace, followed by an opera or ballet performance at Mariinsky Theatre. Day 2, board a high-speed train for Moscow's Red Square, the Kremlin, more train-riding on the magnificent metro, and traditional dinner at a prestigious restaurant before heading home. Live royally on Day 3, visiting Peterhof Palace, the "Russian Versailles," and tsarist summer home, Catherine Palace.
Spend your days exploring St. Petersburg's religious and artistic side, with one day exploring Russian Orthodox cathedrals St. Isaac's and St. Nicholas Naval, a second learning about local Jewish heritage with visits to synagogues and a Jewish home, and a third inside the homes of Dostoevsky and the Stroganovs—while, at night, find yourself entertained by an exclusive performance of the State Hermitage Orchestra at the Winter Palace, then, the next eve, being escorted to Catherine Palace by the Royal Guard for a gala champagne reception, Russian dinner, and traditional song and dance.
OFF-THE-BEATEN PATH TRAVELER:
A jam-packed first day includes riding through artfully-decorated subway stations, getting to know locals over tea at their home, going inside the Church on Spilled Blood, and cruising waterways, past riverfront mansions like Yusupov Palace. On your second day, create your own Russian art with a Master Class in painting at Russia's largest private modern art gallery, followed by a White Nights performance and celebration on the river. Spend your last day biking through the picturesque Park of Alexandria, then seeing Russian military armaments up close, from rifles to ships, at the Artillery Museum and Cruiser Aurora.
For those who prefer privacy, Crystal can arrange a custom three-day itinerary with private sedans, English-speaking guides, and more flexibility in schedule. Day 1 could include a private version of the First-Time Visitor's day, with Yusupov Palace added. Day 2 could take you to the newly-restored Fountains & Pavilions of Peterhof, and give you a real "taste" of Russia with traditional lunch, including caviar blinis, in Pushkin, and dinner and a performance at the famous Troika Restaurant. Day 3, the Jewish heritage tour could be customized just for you, with a river cruise through St. Petersburg afterward, and shopping and lunch on your own, car and guide at your disposal throughout.
"St. Petersburg is one of the world's most fascinating cities, so we have designed our cruise itineraries to offer more overnights," says John Stoll, vice president of land and port operations. "Guests can spend a full three days exploring in whatever fashion suits them best, with the comfort and luxury of Crystal as your home and tour guide throughout. "
Special bonus: If Crystal arranges the land itinerary, either through an organized Crystal Adventures shore excursion or via a custom arrangement, the line handles all Russian visa requirements for your time ashore with Crystal.
Crystal Serenity's 2013 St. Petersburg cruises are each 10 days; depart June 15, June 25, July 20, July 30, and August 9, from either Stockholm or Copenhagen; and visit such additional ports as Warnemunde, Germany; Helsinki, Finland; Tallinn, Estonia; Visby, Sweden; and Dover, England, depending on the departure. All-inclusive, "Book Now" fares start at $4,580, with up to $1,500 in savings if booked by February 28.
Crystal's passion for taking care of guests in an inviting environment of extraordinary space, quality and choices has earned the company more "World's Best" awards than any other cruise line, resort, or hotel in history.
For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com.
SOURCE Crystal Cruises