St. Petersburg, Russia
This was the big reason for taking this trip the way we did. I have always wanted to visit the Hermitage Museum (see on links page) and after figuring out the cost for travel, visas and the like, decided that the cruise was the best way to see as much as we could. Unfortunately, we were delayed by strong winds coming into St. Petersburg's harbor by quite a few hours and so missed one of the trips to the museum. We did get in another and really enjoyed the sights.
The good news about being stuck for so long was that we got to see so much of the outer ports and other ships in the bay. The problem was that the channel for the very large ships into the port is only 80 meters wide and our ship was 40. Not much room for error and when the wind blew as hard as it did, we just had to wait it out.
It felt like we passed hundreds of ships on our way into port it was that busy. To see them out in the bay as we circled around waiting for the pilot to allow us into port really shows how much activity goes on here.
Once finally in port at 8:pm in the evening, our first stop was the Yusupov Palace, home to one of the Czar's last supporters. It was here in 1916 that Rasputin was murdered, or at least the beginnings of it as it was reported after being poisoned, stranguled, and shot several times, he actually ended up drowning after they dumped his body in the river. The palace is spectacular.
We had the opportunity to enjoy a gala evening at the Yusupov, beginning with a group playing Russian Balalaika music with dancers. From there, on to the theater (which seats around 200) to listen to opera excerpts from a superb group of singers dressed in19th-century style costumes, accompanied by a 30-member chamber orchestra.
Cruise Log
Saturday June 22nd St. Petersburg, Russia

2:00 am Ship's time goes forward one hour to GMT +4
3:20 am Cancelled the entry of the narrow to St.
Petersburg channel due to Westerly Gale
Vessel riding the seas waiting for the wind to abate.
12:00 nn Wind: Westerly Gale -Force 8 Sky: Clearing
Air Temperature: 58°F 14°C
2:18 pm Pilot boarded, although advised Channel is still closed
5:06 pm Entered the Channel to St. Petersburg
5:40 pm Passing Kronstad Naval Base
8:00 pm Docked alongside Yuzhnaya Damba, Berth 33

So, from here, now On To The Hermitage Museum.

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