White Nights in St. Petersburg

When The Night Is Short and White

The summer solstice is a fantastic natural phenomenon to observe in the northern regions of our planet. During the few weeks before and after the longest day of the year, the sun drops below the horizon for just a few hours, elongating the day light. This is why people of the North have a special name for this period; the White Night. Different to the well-known Polar Day, when the sun stays above the horizon for 24 hours and night never comes, it is the White Night that enhances the beauty of nature, bathing the land with the ethereal additional hours of twilight.

In the beginning of June, and until beginning of July, thousands of people from all over the world descend upon the Russian city of St. Petersburg to witness this natural wonder. One of the main attractions during this period is to watch the opening bridges on the Neva, one of the most full-flowing rivers in Europe. There are 342 bridges in St. Petersburg, and during this time 13 of these bridges are opened every night with great fanfare to let the caravans of cargo vessels pass between Gulf of Finland and the largest European lake, Ladoga.


With more than 300-years of history, St. Petersburg has rightly earnt its nickname of “Museum under the Open Sky”; with her numerous cathedrals, gorgeous palaces, majestic monuments, parks and squares, it is during those White Nights, especially at 3-4 am when most of the tourists are asleep, that this empty megalopolis is at her most stunning, and feels inimitable in her beauty.

Early summer is therefore the perfect time to enter St. Petersburg on a yacht, to cruise towards the imposing fortress of Peter and Paul, passing the magnificent Vasilyevsky Island, where the Neva splits into two. After navigating through Neva’s main bridges, an experience not to be missed is to take a tender through the river’s small channels and enjoy “The Venice of North” from inside. It takes just a couple of hours to see the old city from the water, but a good few days if you wish to fully discover the unique architectural complexities of the city, initiated by Peter the Great.

To make the most out of the city, and these spectacular White Nights, a rather unique tour can be taken on the rooftops, with local roofers providing a bird’s eye view of the mystical sites from the city’s legends. Those who admire great Russian literature will be amazed by how little the streets and buildings from the novels of Pushkin and Dostoyevsky are little changed, still looking almost the same as 200 years ago. Plans for the day can be made once settle at one of marvellous terraces next to tremendous Saint Isaac’s Cathedral, with a refreshing breakfast while watching orange street sprinklers washing the city. With more than 200 museums in the city, including the unbeatable Hermitage, interspersed with some of the best theatres in the country, St. Petersburg is not to be missed.

Interested to visit St. Petersburg and live the White Nights? Contact our Charter Department to build your ideal itinerary and get ready to take part to an exclusive an worlwide acclaimed event.

Imperial Charter Department
T +377 97 98 38 80
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Article written in close collaboration with MotorBoat and Yachting Russia / Anton Cherkasov-Nisman, Editor-in-Chief

Between fjords of Norway and unknown charms of Russian cities, from St. Petersburg to Gothenburg, there are thousand wonders to explore.


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