We have enjoyed extraordinary access to the city's rich cultural offerings—from early entry into the State Hermitage Museum (where we had the staterooms and galleries to ourselves to explore without the usual crowds), to a performance of The Nutcracker at the Mariinsky Theatre, the very stage on which it premiered in 1892. Our day has been full of masterpieces, from da Vinci to Matisse, with a few imperial Fabergé eggs added for good measure!
We were particularly lucky to see the Hermitage's celebrated collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, which are newly installed in the General Staff Building—a wing of the Hermitage that had opened just a few weeks earlier. Matisse's Harmony in Red was especially resplendent in its new quarters.
You can see more of my photos from the trip on Instagram.