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v i k i n g c r u i s e s . c o m . a u 27 opulent Catherine's Palace, about 30 kilometres south of the city; Peterhof Palace – actually a collection of palaces, plus its elaborate, fountain-studded gardens; the chillingly named Church of Our Saviour on Spilled Blood; the Fabergé Museum; Peter and Paul Fortress; and the renowned Mariinsky eatre. You'll have to make some hard choices here as it's impossible to see everything. Over the next five day our spacious, comfortable river ship Viking Ingvar transports us along hundreds of kilometres of rivers, e two magnificent cities of St Petersburg and Moscow that bookend our 13-day Russian river cruise have both been the capital of this vast nation at one time or another. St Petersburg took over from Moscow in 1712, having been established in 1703 by the ambitious, well-travelled Tsar Peter the Great; Moscow, which dates back to the 12th century, was named as the capital again in 1918 and today is Russia's most populous, cosmopolitan city. Viking offers a comprehensive array of guided tours and it's worth signing up for as many as you can pack in – an evening ballet at the Hermitage eatre is just one of many included in your fare. For an overview of the city, you can't beat the half-day boat trip along the intricate network of Venice-like canals and rivers; it gives a wonderful perspective of peaceful waterfront parks, golden-domed churches, stately mansions and fabulous palaces. Probably the best-known of many dazzling sights along the waterways is the spectacular Winter Palace on the Neva River. e former royal residence is now part of the Hermitage Museum complex, and houses one of the world's biggest collections of art and antiquities. Other must-sees on your whirlwind St Petersburg itinerary include the extraordinarily Peterhof Palace and Gardens, St Petersburg

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