For cruise ships with a shallow draft, the Lieutenant Schmidt Embankment is one of the two berths on the River Neva before Annunciation (Blagoveshchensky) Bridge blocks shipping.

Lieutenant Commander Pyotr Schmidt of the Imperial Russian Navy was a leader of the Russian Revolution of 1905. Unlike the revolution of 1917, this one failed and Schmidt was shot.Highslide JS

At one time the bridge was also named after him. When communism fell, that name was changed back, but they let him keep his embankment.

Cruise ships moor by pontoons. There is a terminal for customs and passport control, a public phone and souvenir shops. The view from the pier here is wonderful, as this panorama by Dmitriy Krasko shows.Highslide JS

Along the embankment is the St. Petersburg Naval Institute and, at its end, the Mining Institute. Opposite it is the English Embankment and, visible beyond the bridge, the great golden dome of St Isaac's, Russia's largest orthodox cathedral.

The Hermitage, in the centre of the St Petersburg, is across the river from here, but the river is so wide that it's 4 km (2½ miles) away.Highslide JS

The bridges across the river are opened at night, to let cargo shipping pass, but guides make sure that passengers get back to their cruise ship before they are cut off.

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