River and canal cruise. St. Petersburg is rightfully called the “Northern Venice”, as it was built on the marshy area on the delta of the Neva River. Because of its location the architects had to design a major, complex system of canals for drainage to surmount the environment – more than 100 canals spanning 300 kilometers were built in total, a trademark of the city today. Cruising along the canals and rivers in St. Petersburg is undoubtedly both the best way to get acquainted with the unique spirit of the former imperial capital and to admire the facades of the city, along with its pink granite embankments and several of its 350 bridges, each with a specific name and history. The most beautiful bridges have decorative wrought-iron railings and ornamental sculptures.