Posted by: travelrat | February 11, 2013

Time and Tide

Arrival at St. Petersburg

Arrival at St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg: 28th November 2012.

At 4.00 pm, we left Tallinn and sailed to St Petersburg. As the crow flies, it’s a distance of about 200 miles … with a good car and a good road, you could do that in an afternoon. We arrived in St. Petersburg about 7.30 am … in darkness. It was still dark when we set off on our tour; in fact, it was just breaking dawn when we arrived at the Peterhof, our first stop, around 10 am!

The reason was, during the night, we had to put our watches forward two hours.

In theory, you advance your watch an hour for every 15 degrees East of longitude you pass through. Tallinn is 24°E; St Petersburg is 30°E, a difference of only 6°. Therefore, St Petersburg SHOULD be in the same time-zone as Tallinn.

BUT, most of western Russia is on Moscow time. Moscow is at 37°E, therefore an hour ahead … again, in theory, for, since 2011, Russia has kept daylight saving time all the year round, and therefore add another hour. Complicated, or what?

Whatever, I think the Gulf of Finland must be the only place in the world where you can get jet-lagged on a cruise ship!

Before I start launching into the details of our tour (starting next week) I must give details of the ‘fiendish system’ Irina, our guide used. Each of us was given a little radio receiver and an earpiece; Irina had a little transmitter on the same frequency. So, she could speak in her normal voice, and we had no need to cluster round her to hear what she was saying.

I hope this catches on in other places; I still have rather unpleasant memories of six guides trying to outshout each other in an Egyptian tomb!




  1. Great city, Saint Petersburg. I wouldn’t want to drive there myself, though!

  2. Try St Petersburg first, then Tallinn. That was how our cruise did it and it works out better! Btw, all our tours in the Baltic utilized the headset receivers – a godsend in the Hermitage!

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