One of the best Saint Petersburg attractions during the white nights period is, without doubt, a Drawbridges and canals Midnight cruise. This tour is offered practically on every corner of the city center. We didn’t try to find the best deal and agreed to the one closest to our hotel, departing from Anitshkov bridge.
Drawbridges and canals Midnight cruise
A typical Drawbridges and canals Midnight cruise is a combination of sightseeing cruise, boat ride and drawbridges viewing in the end. The event takes place every day and is not a tourist attraction, but a pure neccessity. There is a total of 9 bridges raised on a regular basis to let the cargo vessels into the city.
The season for such cruises is from April to November, the schedule is set by the government. The most beautiful and famous bridges, that most cruises aim to see, are The Palace (Dvortsovy) bridge and The Trinity (Troitsky) bridge. When the time is right, the river is full with cruise boats waiting for the big event.
The best seats on the boat
A typical cruise is departing from a pier in the city center around midnight or later. We were able to pick our seats upon reservation during the day time, which was great. I recommend taking the back row! We were, so to speak, in the first line to see the bridges! Getting good seats is not only great for the photos, but for the general sightseeing, as you will be passing many famous attractions. I made great photos of the Avrora, Peter and Paul fortress, etc thanks to good sitting position.
Duration of the cruise is approximately 1,5 hours. The itinerary differs and can include more or less of the city. Our trip included a trip around Peter and Paul fortress, as well as Avrora. Finally, we were in the epicenter of the action – right in front of the bridge, in the first row. For the price of 900Rubles (14$) this is a fantastic opportunity to create great memories.
Things to keep in mind
One thing to remember, even if you are taking the cruise on a hot summer night, is to bring something warm. The wind is much stronger on the water, and once you are out on the Neva river, it gets a lot colder. The crew will hand you blankets, but they don’t help much. I was wearing a wind jacket and felt pretty comfortable for the whole duration of the trip.
The cruise takes place during the night, so be prepared to arrive back at your hotel anywhere past 2AM. This time of the day is special in St.Pete – the white nights are incredible to experience. The sun does set, but not for long. In fact, you can tell by the pictures I took, that it was already getting lighter by the time the cruise was about to end.
Other ways to see the drawbridges
While we were passing by, we saw lots of viewers on the banks of Neva enjoying the event. Lot’s of people come to see the drawing from the shores – Palace (Dvortsovaya) embankment – close to the palace bridge – is probably the best place. However, this spot will only allow you to see one of the two bridges, as the time difference is only around 10 minutes! The trick is to stay exactly between the two – this way you will be able to see them both. Beware that the good spots get taken about an hour in advance! Another great option is to go on a roof tour and watch from the height.
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