Canals and Rivers, Saint Petersburg
This is something I didn't find out about until my last evening, but definitely something to keep in mind for my next visit.
The Aquabus is a relatively recent public transport initiative by the St Petersburg transit company aimed at reducing road congestion. There are four lines, covering the city's main waterways, and the service runs from May until October.
It is primarily designed for locals but seems to be developing in popularity with tourists. At present the single fare is 70 to 170 roubles, depending on distance and is subsidised by the local authority.
It seems this is an A to B service rather than a hop-on, hop-off one but maybe they will consider introducing day tickets at some stage in the future.
Being composed of a mainland as well as islands, St. Petersburg's many parts are separated by the Neva River and its branches the Moika River, and canals connected by an unbelievable number of bridges. Seeing St. Petersburg from a waterside perspective was a great experience. We boarded a river/canal boat which was great for sightseeing with seating inside and out, and perfectly built to slip under the many bridges over the river. Often the people sitting on the upper level outside had to dip their heads to fit under the bridge, the clearance being so low. They would cheer and clap and at first, the guide & the boat crew didn't know what to make of it---were the passengers scared, angry or what. But finally our guide realized that everyone was just happy and enjoying the experience! Our guide did an admirable job of narrating along the way. On the inside portion of these great boats you will find ample tables and chairs and a small bar which creates quite a cozy atmosphere.
We were able to see portions of the Summer Gardens, Stroganoff Palace, Church on the Spilt Blood and many other fantastic sights as well as a number of very elegant bridges. Our boat put us off almost directly in front of the Yusupov Palace which was our ultimate destination and we all agreed this was a great mode of transportation, even if it was specifically geared for tourists!
While we peacefully glided down the river, we picked up a "runner." Often young people will start running on the streets beside the river and along with the touring boats. He or she will criss-cross the river over the many bridges and pause on the bridge to wave at the tourists as they pass under the bridge. They run quite a long way and at the end will be on shore hoping for a little "reward" for their efforts. Most passengers thought this was quite entertaining if not admirable to run such a long way and gave the boy at least some change, if not a dollar or two.
En primavera en barco y en invierno caminando por el hielo es una forma distinta y muy agradable de conocer San Petersburgo
Yo lo conocí en primavera y hay cantidad de embarcaderos donde se puede tomar el barco para hacer el circuito , por eso no es necesario hacer ninguna reserva , sino coger uno a la hora y el sitio que te sea más conveniente
Nosotros lo cogimos por la tarde , casi al atardecer , habíamos pasado un día "muy largo"y nos sirvió para relajarnos y ver todo San Petersburgo desde unos ángulos y con unas perspectivas que no lo habíamos visto antes
Fuimos por los canales Moika y Fontaka , aunque también hicimos un pequeño recorrido por el Neva
Puedes coger un barco para Rusos , en el que no entiendes nada de las explicaciones pero cuesta sólo 300 Rb , si coges uno en Inglés es más caro
Durante Las Noches Blancas , se puede también coger un barco que va por los canales y te lleva a ver los puentes abiertos hasta el amanecer . Aquí tienes para elegir los super caros , con Champagne y caviar y los más normalitos
In Spring by boat and in winter walking on ice are different and very nice ways to visit St. Petersburg
We were in spring and there are plenty of piers where you can take the boat to make the circuit, so it is not necessary to make any reservations, but take one at a time and place that is more suitable for you
We took one in the evening and as we had spent a "long day " , it helped us to relax and see all St Petersburg from angles and perspectives that we had not seen before
We went through the channels Fontaka and Moika, but also we did a small tour of the Neva
You can catch a boat for Russians, in which you understand nothing of the explanations but it costs only 300 Rb, if you catch one in English it is more expensive and they leave with less frequency
During the White Nights, you can also catch a boat going through the channels and goes to see the bridges open until dawn. Here you have a big choice , from the super expensive where you may have Champagne and caviare and the most normal trips
There are 4 lines of aquabuses in St.Petersburg:
1.Primorskaya line (from Staraya Derevnya to Arsenalnaya embankment - Zelenogorsk)
2. Central line (from Sinopskaya embankment to University embankment)
3. Prigorodnaya (from Lomonosov to Kronshtadt)
4. Nevskaya line (from Arsenalnaya embankment to Rybatsky prospect)
5. Kurortnaya line (Finland railway station to Zelenogorsk)
These aquabuses work from 29.05 to 31.10, the interval is 15 minutes. If you want to get a water trip you can take these regular public transport, it's cheaper then a tourist water trip. The price depends on the route and the distance, the middle price in the city is 54 roubles (=1,3 euro).
The maps are here http://prazdnik-event.ru/po_neve_29_maya_poplyivut_katera_akvabusyi.html
The high speed boats are the fastest and prettiest way to go to Peterhof from the city center. You have nice views of the scenery and Finland Gulf along the way.
The main terminal is on the Neva River on the north side of the Hermitage. ( to the right of Nevsky Prospekt) Boats are leaving all day long.
About bridges to cross the city by car or foot-- they are all on slightly different schedules, but cross before 1 am is usually safe. They open in the middle of the night on varying schedules.
During White Nights of summer it is easy to be walking late. You can also hire a prive boat for an expensive $100 an hour to cross the rivers when the bridges are up.
It's very popular to take a boat ride on the canals in the warm season. The comfort of the boats vary a lot and also the tours. Unfortunately, they charge foreigners more (as usual in Petersburg) although there is no reason for it. Because on tours with commentary, this is sure to be in Russian. Personally, I wasn't too impressed with a boat trip as the canals are quite low, it is actually difficult to take good pictures.