There aren't enough superlatives for St Petersburg. The city is amazing. besides Stockholm, this was the city I spent the most time studying before we left. The information that you receive infers that unless you book with a Princess shore excursion you won't be able to disembark unless you obtain a tourist visa. The reality is that you can book with any tour operator in St Petersburg and they have a group visa already. I spent a lot of time before we left talking with the couple who didn't make the tour deciding on which company to choose. We decided on Anastasia and I cannot say enough good things about them. We arranged a smaller group tour. We requested no more than 10 people and it turned out to be 5 of us. This allowed each of us ample time to ask questions of our guide. Svetlana was extremely knowledgeable and answered every questions we had. As near as I can tell, we were the only group whose canal tour included Russian champagne, caviar and blinis along with Russian chocolates-YUM! I can only recommend that you try to pack as much into your two days as possible and then there is still too much to see. We asked if we could see the subway system which wasn't on our tour and she accommodated us with a brief ride. Anastasia as used the hydrofoil from Peterhof to avoid traffic jams. we would have used it in both directions but there was a problem in the morning and they weren't running. Your amazement at the wealth and buildings only increases when you realize that these structures were all but totally destroyed by the Nazis in WWII and have been completely rebuilt. Our tour (2 day)included the Hermitage, Peterhof, Church on Spilled Blood, St Issac's, subway, all entry fees, lunch both days, canal tour, city tour and all for less than the Princess 2 day shore excursion. It pays to shop!