Russia is the largest country in the world so unsurprisingly offers a diverse canvas on which to travel, explore and soak up the atmosphere. Outside the cities you’ll find rolling landscapes with the wow factor boasting impressive mountain ranges and glassy lakes.

The cosmopolitan cities of St Petersburg and Moscow offer a treasure trove of cultural delights with world-class museums, theatres and cathedrals vying for attention. With a good balance of contemporary, historic and rural pursuits alongside distinctive cuisine, this destination offers sensory delights aplenty.

moscowPopular Ports in Russia

St Petersburg

Dazzling St Petersburg, Russia’s great imperial city, is sure to make a lasting impression. With glittering palaces, museums and a vibrant café culture , this colourful city surprises and enchants. No trip is complete without spending time at the Peterhof Palace, an impressive collection of gardens and palaces. St Petersburg is definitely the place to try authentic cuisine during your Russia cruise with delights such as pyshki, a traditional dessert served with coffee. Other delights include hearty and rich beef stroganoff and rassolnik, a pickled-vegetable soup. Most meals are served with a Russian salad featuring dill pickles, carrots, meat, boiled potatoes and dressed with rich mayonnaise.

st petersburgWhat are the best cruise ships for a cruise to Russia?

Marella Discovery

Stop off in St Petersburg, during the Baltic Discovery itinerary on-board Marella Discovery. This is one of the biggest ships in the Marella fleet and features a five-storey atrium, outdoor cinema and seven restaurants across her 11 expansive decks. Those who want to stay active during their cruise holiday can head to the jogging track, mini golf course and rock-climbing wall.

Marella Explorer

You could also stop in St Petersburg during the Baltic Explorer cruise onboard the Marella Explorer. With an extensive range of restaurants, you’ll be able to enjoy everything from sushi and pizza to tapas and Mediterranean delights. If you want a spot to enjoy the views head to the Indigo Bar which offers panoramic views of the horizon. As night falls, this action-packed ship offers an array of entertainment – head to the casino for a flutter or dance till the early hours in the disco.

MSC Meraviglia

St Petersburg also features in many of the MSC Cruises itineraries with many of its Northern Europe cruises sailing with MSC Meraviglia. This spacious and contemporary ship will be the ideal base for your Russian cruise adventure with two wide promenades and oceanview gym. In the evening, head to the Champagne bar for a glass of fizz before heading to the restaurant for some fine dining.

Shore Excursions Ideas

Russia cruises offer a variety of opportunities for exploration and discovery, so make sure you plan ahead. Shore excursions will vary depending on the cruise line you choose to sail with but expect museum trips, cultural exploration and more.

Panoramic St Petersburg City Tour

To ensure you see the main attractions in the city an organised tour can be the way to go. Taking in highlights such as Menshikov’s Palace, the Academy of Sciences and the 12 Ministries of Peter the Great, this delightful city will not fail to impress. Most tours include a stop at the Aurora Battleship and the splendid Church of Resurrection on Spilled Blood which was built on the site where Alexander II was assassinated. Its colourful domed exterior is a fine example of classic Russian architecture and is one of the country’s most iconic sights.

st petersburg russiaMoscow & the Kremlin

Boarding the high-speed train to Moscow and enjoying the fantastic scenery before reaching the famous Kremlin. Once a wooden fortress, this iconic building has been home to Tsars and presidents, it’s also where you’ll find a priceless collection of Faberge eggs and other priceless artefacts. The impressive gold-domed cathedrals of Cathedral Square are another must-see.

Catherine Palace and Park

An excursion to Tsarskoye Selo will reveal an array of glittering palaces and parks. The highlight is Catherine’s Palace, an impressive building with an elegant baroque facade and incredible gardens. As well as browsing the opulent interiors, you can enjoy the outstanding park and gardens which are dotted with enchanting features such as a Chinese pagoda, Turkish bath and immaculate lawns.

catherine palace


Often referred to as the crown jewel of St Petersburg, the Hermitage is a must for art lovers and history buffs. Showcasing a staggering three million pieces of art, this stunning attraction is sure to impress. With galleries featuring work by big hitters such as Titian, El Greco and Rembrandt, this excursion is sure to be a highlight of your St Petersburg cruise experience.

Top ports of call in this destination