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Canal Cruises in St. Petersburg

River and Canal Cruises in St. Petersburg: A Guide to Water Routes and Unforgettable Views

St. Petersburg is the capital of water tourism, offering numerous river and canal cruises. These include the main and minor branches of the Neva River, the northern islands of the Neva Delta leading to the Gulf of Finland, as well as routes along the Fontanka River, Moika River, Kryukov Canal, and Griboedov Canal.

St. Petersburg is beautiful from any perspective, but the most magnificent views of its classical architecture are revealed from the water. We have prepared a small guide to popular water routes in St. Petersburg.

Navigation on the rivers and canals of St. Petersburg typically opens in mid-April and lasts until early November. The best time for a water excursion in the city is undoubtedly summer. Not only is it warmer, brighter, and more comfortable, but there are also more options available for water tours during the summer season, allowing you to explore different routes and see more.

In St. Petersburg, several major companies offer regular water excursions on the Neva River, Gulf of Finland, rivers, and canals, as well as guided cruises to Peterhof and Kronstadt, and themed cruises during the evening and night hours.

Classic canal cruises

The classic route is a panoramic sightseeing canal cruise along the central rivers and canals of St. Petersburg.

It passes through the Fontanka River, Moika River, and Kryukov Canal, offering views of the city’s most recognizable landmarks, such as the Hermitage, Summer Garden, Peter and Paul Fortress, Vasilevsky Island Spit, Anichkov Bridge, Peter I’s Summer Palace, Chizhik-Pyzhik, Engineer’s Castle, Sheremetev Palace, Field of Mars, and the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood.

In just 1.5-2 hours, you can see 15 bridges and all the main “postcard-worthy” views of St. Petersburg!

Golden Triangle cruises

For those who have already been to St. Petersburg or simply want to see more, we recommend the new “Golden Triangle” route, which goes along the Griboedov Canal.

This will be a wow-walk: the boat passes under 35 bridges, including the Kazan Bridge, the lowest bridge in the city, with a width of almost 100 meters! Experts say that on this route, architectural monuments and attractions appear literally every two hundred meters!

Feel like a local

To feel like a local, take the water route “City – Port Cruise,” which connects two popular public spaces in the city: “Sevkabel Port” and New Holland. Along the way, you will encounter fascinating sights, such as port waters, the central waters of the Neva River, palaces, industrial architecture, and, of course, maritime landscapes.

Romantic river cruises

There is also a romantic option for all the lovers of St. Petersburg. It’s an evening sea walk with a sunset view in the Gulf of Finland. The boat departs from the “Sevkabel Port,” allowing you to capture the industrial silhouettes of the former factory, the tower of the Marine Station, and the fantastically beautiful cable-stayed bridge across the Ship Channel in the rays of the setting sun.

From the center of St. Petersburg, it takes only one hour by high-speed “Meteor” boat to reach Kronstadt. The traditional route by car or tour bus, especially on weekends, can take twice as long.

Kronstadt is worth visiting from the water. You can feel that it is a 100% maritime city in everything: the names, the monuments, the overall atmosphere. The Maritime St. Nicholas Cathedral, Anchor Square, Peter’s Park, Peter’s Dock.

Night Cruises

We can describe a nighttime boat trip in St. Petersburg as much as we want, but it’s better to see it once than hear or read about it a hundred times. During the nocturnal voyage, you can witness the raising of two beautiful bridges – the Palace Bridge and the Troitsky Bridge. There is a belief that a wish made under a raised bridge will certainly come true!

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