A few years ago I took a transatlantic cruise to Europe with the main destinations to include Russia and Finland.. If you have never been on a cruise this might not be the one for you as you will be spending seven days on water before making your first stop. However if you are not afraid you could have a great time with live entertainment, shopping, socializing meeting new friends on board with time to relax and spend some quality time with family and friends. Visiting Russia requires a visa but traveling with a cruise and if participating on one of the cruise tours you can get the visa on arrival arranged by the cruise line. I can only speak of the Princess Cruise line so if you are planning to cruise check with your specific cruise line. This cruise had a two day stay in St. Petersburg and you should know the processing on the first day takes a little time upon disembarkation. If you are planning to go on your own then you must secure your visa prior to departure.
The Hermitage Museum, in St. Petersburg, is known to be the second largest in the world second to the Louvre in Paris. It boasts four hundred rooms of art exhibits which tells you a few hours will only give you a taste. If you are planning to stay in St. Petersburg for a few days you will have the opportunity to explore more. I found some amazing architecture here in St. Petersburg and really impressive.
Whenever you see pictures of St. Petersburg in advertisements or any form of media you will often see the former Orthodox Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood: now a museum. Another amazing architecture and a very popular point of interest
During a stop in Helsinki we visited the church in the rock, Temppeliaukion, with its copper roof and a lovely pipe organ.
we also made a stop at Jean Sebelius, the Finnish composer and violinist who died in 1957 and the monument was opened ten years later..
Sharing a bit around as we toured Helsinki.