We did a two day private tour with SPB. This was an excellent way to see a lot in a short period of time. We hydrofoiled to Peterhof, lunched near the estate, drove to Czars Village, bypassed the lines into the main event. Then drove back to the ship, seeing city sites, the fort, the squares. Day 2 we visited Ysuspov, the churches, Hermitage, a boat ride on the canals (recommend this! Duck under the bridges!!) and a subway, as well as shopping. We were able to take breaks for snacks and coffee and Katerina helped us tranlsate and buy things with our rubles and made sure our change was correct. Highly recommend this as we could see what we wanted (French impressionists at the Hermitage) and get ahead of all the large tour groups.
Last port of Gothenburg we did a RCI tour of country esttea TJoelhoelm, which allowed us to see the countryside of sweden and some fjord-like lakes. Lovely!! And a beatiful 1900 era estate, perfect for us. It was just in the afternoon.