A boat trip in St. Petersburg is a must if you are traveling here during the sailing season!
First of all, it’s a great opportunity to discover St. Petersburg from a different angle without getting too tired, and secondly, it’s a great travel souvenir: the charm of the canals, the mighty Neva and the architecture of St. Petersburg! In this article, I will give some practical information to make a boat trip in St. Petersburg.
Sailing period: when is it possible to take a boat trip in St. Petersburg?
Visiting Saint-Petersburg by boat is possible only during the navigation season. However, there are no specific dates, as it depends on when the Neva River and canals will be unfrozen. The dates vary from one year to another, but I can give you an approximation: from mid-April to mid-October. Outside the season, it is not possible to boat on Neva, the canals or the Gulf of Finland.
- Sailing season in St. Petersburg: from mid-April to mid-October.
If you go to St. Petersburg during the White Nights period, you can read this post: White Nights in St. Petersburg: what to see, what to do?
Flyboats in St. Petersburg: tours, prices and duration
Several companies offer boat trips in St. Petersburg. Cruise departures are then made from more than ten places in St. Petersburg. All in all, they are located on the quays of the Neva, Fontanka and Moïka rivers.
Practical information for a boat trip in St. Petersburg
- There are many routes. I will mention here the 4 most interesting and popular walks.
- Fares do not vary much between companies. Children under three years of age travel free and there are reduced fares for children under 12 years of age.
- All flyboat excursions are accompanied by a commentary (usually in Russian or English).
- Payment can be made in cash (roubles) or by credit card directly on the quay or on the boat.
Fontanka, Moïka and Neva excursion
It’s more of an inland walk. It allows you to discover the city centre, with the Hermitage, and the districts further away from Nevsky Avenue: towards the Mariinsky Theatre and New Holland Island.
- Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Approx. price: 800 RUB
The boat goes through places that are a little bit out of the way and less easy to access (for the moment, no subway station nearby), but are still very interesting to discover.
Boat trip to Peter and Paul Fortress of St. Petersburg
It is a mini-cruise or a Boat trip in St. Petersburg that passes through the canals of downtown St. Petersburg, the Summer Garden, the Mikhailovsky Palace (read more about in St Petersburg palaces), then crosses the Neva River and goes around Zayatchy Island. It’s a longer trip which can be tiring at the end, if you don’t feel comfortable in a boat.
- Duration: 2 hours
- Approx. price: 1200 RUB
Boat trip St. Petersburg during the opening of the bridges during the White Nights
You can take a boat trip in St. Petersburg in the evening or at night, for example during sleepless nights. There are specially designed routes to go on the Neva during the bridge opening hours – a great sight to see!
- When is the departure? 23h45
- When to buy the tickets? In high season (summer), preferably in advance, at the latest in the morning.
- Duration: 2 hours
- Approx. price: 950 RUB
Boat trip in St. Petersburg to visit Peterhof Palace
The Peterhof Palace in St. Petersburg is THE palace to visit during the navigation period. The fountains of the palace are in operation almost the whole time and are beautiful to see. During this period it is possible to go to Peterhof Palace by boat. So it is a combination of business and pleasure: a boat trip in St. Petersburg, but also a trip to Peterhof Palace. However, the route passes mainly through the Gulf, so you can’t see the canals of St. Petersburg.
- Duration: 40 minutes
- One-way fare: 950 RUB // Return fare: 1700 RUB
- For more information about Peterhof Palace, you can read this blog post: Peterhof: tickets, opening hours, what to see?
The other routes are longer (at least 2 hours). Most of the time, they include trips to the Gulf of Finland or explore the islands north of the city. They can be interesting if you enjoy boat tours, or if you want to get out of downtown Saint Petersburg.
Our tips for a boat trip in Saint Petersburg
Weather. Saint Petersburg is a city where there is quite a bit of wind. Even in summer a scarf would not be too much. This is all the more true if you take a boat trip in Saint Petersburg on Neva river or the Gulf. Most of the companies have plaids which are distributed free of charge. In addition, there is also room inside if it rains. However, I would still advise to watch the weather before leaving so as not to be surprised by the weather (and the wind).
Boats. Before boarding the boat, check whether it is fairly full or not. This can save you from waiting! Indeed, some boats do not leave at fixed times, but according to the filling. A quick look before going up will save you a little time!
Enjoy your boat trip in St.Petersburg! 🙂