Neva River Cruise

Neva River Cruise

The Neva is the main river of St. Petersburg. Much of the town sits along the banks and across islands of the waterway.

The vast water network offers tourists the opportunity to view the city from a different perspective. St Petersburg is home to several cruise companies offering riverboat tours along the Neva.

Neva River Cruise

History of the Neva River

The Neva connects from Lake Ladoga, the largest lake in Europe, to the Baltic Sea. Its location was significant for the purpose of transportation.

Founded by Peter the Great in the 18th century, St Petersburg was to be a seaport to facilitate European trade. Peter the Great decided that the river would be the center of the new Russian capital.

St Petersburg boat trip

The Neva River is one of the most defining points of St. Petersburg. When building the city, architects integrated the river into their plans. The initial embankment construction was rudimental, and the banks edged into the river for three centuries. Granite embankments replaced the wooden to prevent this from happening further. As a result, many of St. Petersburg’s most famous structures now sit along the banks of the river.

When building the city, Peter the Great envisioned the city’s residents using boats to navigate St. Petersburg’s. As the city grew, the need for another form of transport became evident. The city-built bridges to connect the islands, completing the first permanent bridge in 1850. Today there are more than 300 bridges across the city.

St Petersburg boat trip

Russia’s extreme temperatures would often freeze the Neva in winter. During the early 20th century, electric trams traveled over the frozen river. Many of the residents would also partake in ice-skating. The Neva freezes less often today, and ships are still able to sail on the river in the winter months.

The waterways are much busier in summer. A prime sightseeing attraction, almost five hundred tourist boats travel the river.

Taking a Neva River Cruise

Neva River cruises are a popular tourist experience. Tourists can sign up for one of the many sightseeing boat tours available. While on the boat, historical guides will talk you through the city’s history and the sights you pass. A tour of St. Petersburg offers views of almost all major attractions.

  • Peter and Paul Fortress
  • the Spit of Vasilievsky Island
  • the Cruiser Aurora
  • the Winter Palace
  • the Bronze Horseman
  • the Summer Garden
  • the Alexander Nevsky Monastery
  • Smolny Cathedral
  • the Marble Palace
  • the Admiralty
  • the Academy of Arts
  • the Kunstkamera
  • the Kresty Prison

Neva River Cruise

The river is a big part of what makes St. Petersburg unique. Enjoying a river cruise allows tourists to enjoy the sights in a novel way.

Most of the cruises range from 1 to 3 hours. However, not all tours offer the same amenities. Some cruise companies offer tickets for dinner cruises, jazz boats, and night-time tours.

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