Our day started early as we watched Explorer sail through the tidal surge barrier protecting St Petersburg. We were delayed from joining our private tour by RCI’s officers.
Once off the ship we went to Pushkin to visit Catherine’s Palace for a busy morning and then we had lunch at Pub Khlebnikov.
From RCI Port Information:
“Ship clearance expected at 9:00 am.
Ship will dock at Marine Facade, located at approximately 30 minutes from the city center. There is a local bus #158, every half an hour, which will transport you to the nearest metro station Primorskaya, only a few rubles. Take the metro to Gostiny Dvor / Nevsky Prospekt, the city center. No Shuttles are available in this port.
Guests must have a Royal Caribbean Shore Excursion or privately arranged tour in order to go ashore. All guests will be processed by Russian Immigration both going ashore and coming back onboard.
Guests with own plans / independent tours, kindly follow the departure time and meeting location sent to your stateroom prior to arrival to Russia. (Only guests with Royal Caribbean Shore Excursions are allowed to proceed to immigration during the first 90 minutes upon arrival, these guests need to follow the instructions on their Tour tickets.)”
Our first cruise on Royal Caribbean took us to Oslo, Copenhagen, Helsinki, St Petersburg, Tallinn, Stockholm, Skagen, Stavanger and back to Southampton.
Day 7 Saturday 29th June: First morning in St Petersburg Russia
Outside I could see container ships running parallel with Explorer.
Then we heard the pilot boat beneath our balcony
and ahead of us other cruise ships already in the channel.
Through the flood barrier protecting St Petersburg
Explorer went through the flood barrier at about 4:40 am. I had decided not to go up out on deck to see the Russian Navy ships that would have been moored at the naval base on the port side after the barrier.
Looking back at the fort
Docked in St Petersburg
My alarm went off as planned at 6 am and I went upstairs to the buffet to pick up a breakfast of cereal, fruit and danish pastries to eat in our cabin.
The port looked busy with cruise ships all around us.