Scarlet Sails Festival in St. Petersburg: when will it take place and how much do tours cost


The authorities of St. Petersburg have officially approved the date of the traditional holiday of graduates of the city's schools “Scarlet Sails”. This year it will take place on June 24th. It is the closest Saturday to the shortest night of the year. In fact, a colorful event will take place on the night of June 24-25 with a traditional musical fireworks show on the Neva and the release of the same sailboat with scarlet sails.

The experts of the Russian Express tour operator reminded that only graduates will be allowed to attend the holiday (concert program and other events) by invitation. But tourists also have the opportunity to see one of the largest and most romantic events in Russia, albeit in a different format.


Firstly, traditionally before the holiday there are rehearsals (their schedule has not yet been published), which anyone can attend. The dress rehearsal of “Scarlet Sails” is usually held a day before the event: the brig “Russia” makes one or two circles along the intended route after the bridges are opened. The sailboat passes to the Peter and Paul Fortress and then returns to the pier on the Lieutenant Schmidt embankment. The ship sails with all sails hoisted, so there is a great opportunity to take beautiful photos.

You can see the brig “Russia” with the sails up during rehearsals, photo by PAC Group

By the way, the brig “Russia” has already moored to the St. Petersburg dam and started rehearsing its passage along the Neva. The sails are still lowered.


The second opportunity to see the Scarlet Sails is to purchase a regular or thematic tour from tour operators or an excursion on a ship you can watch festive fireworks and elegant St. Petersburg from the water.

So, the tour operator “Tari Tour” offers a three-day tour “Scarlet Sails” (June 24-26) for booking from 22,690 rubles. per person and a five-day tour, “Romance of Scarlet Sails” (June 22 – 26) costing from 27,830 rubles per person based on double occupancy. The tour programs include a large sightseeing tour of St. Petersburg, excursions to St. Isaac's Cathedral, Tsarskoe Selo (Catherine's Palace with the Amber Room) and Peterhof (the fountains of the Lower Park), as well as a special excursion – fireworks on the “Scarlet Sails” from the ship.

Thematic tours similar in content are also available for sale by the PAC Group tour operator. Tour “St. Petersburg. On the Scarlet Sails” with a departure from Moscow costs from 29,330 rubles. per person, the tour “St. Petersburg: the romance of Scarlet Sails” will cost from 23,190 rubles. for one person. The price includes excursion services according to the program, accommodation in the chosen hotel, breakfasts. Travel to St. Petersburg and back is paid extra.

The Scarlet Sails Festival in St. Petersburg: when will it take place and how much do the tours cost

Tourists will be able to admire the show from the ship, photo by PAC Group

The tour operator “Intourist” does not have special programs for “Scarlet Sails”, but the choice of excursion programs to St. Petersburg for the holidays is large. For example, you can choose the tour “Introduction to St. Petersburg Light” (from 16,162 rubles for two, excluding the road) and stay on the Scarlet Sails on your own. You can choose a tour in the “flight + hotel” format: the cost of such a trip for 2 nights with a departure from Moscow and accommodation in a 3 * hotel with breakfast starts from 20,119 rubles. for two. You can book a package tour to St. Petersburg not only from Moscow, but also from all major cities of Russia, from where there are flights to the city on the Neva.

Finally, you can just buy a one-day excursion from Intourist and look at a beautiful sailboat or a festive city from the water. Cost – from 1 000 r. per person.

Neva Seasons tour operator also offers a boat trip on a festive night.

“We offer our guests who will be in St. Petersburg on the dates of Scarlet Sails to spend Saturday evening on a boat. The cost of such a boat trip for 2.5 hours will be from 7 to 9 thousand rubles. – said the executive director of the company, Kirill Sokolov.


According to tour operators, the demand for tours to St. Petersburg in June is at a very good level. According to Intourist statistics, sales of tours in June are 14% higher than a year earlier. In this federal tour operator's sales rating, tours to St. Petersburg are in the TOP-5 destinations in Russia.

According to Kirill Sokolov, the demand for arrivals on June 24-25 is quite high, so booking tours for those who plan to come to St. Petersburg on the “Scarlet Sails”, you should hurry up.

“The places in the hotels for the holidays are running out. Therefore, for those who do not have time to book a trip in the coming days, after June 10 it will not be easy to find accommodation options,” said Mr. Sokolov.

Elena Myagkova

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