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pantelia Apr 22nd, 2018 12:01 PM

St. Petersburg (on a cruise) Post Excursion Wandering?
I posted this in the Europe forum, got almost 300 views, but no response, so I figured I'd try here on the cruise forum!

I have searched online and found different answers so I'm looking for more personal experience now. We will be a group of 5 Americans, on an MSC Baltic cruise with one day in St. Petersburg in June 2019. We'll be booking an excursion but my question is for after the excursion has ended. Does anyone have experience with wandering on your own, and making your way back to the ship prior to departure? Is this allowed? Or, will we be deposited back at the ship by the tour company? We're trying to decide on a shorter excursion, with self-wander/shopping at the end, or a longer excursion that includes shopping time.

Thanks in advance!

chepar Apr 24th, 2018 08:18 AM

I did a Baltic cruise about 6 years ago with a 2 day stop in Saint Petersburg and am doing another one this July with 3 days in Saint Petersburg so family members can go to a World Cup game.

After your excursion has ended, you will be taken back to the cruise ship by the tour company. Unless you have a separate visa obtained on your own, you are not allowed to travel around independently.

Your best bet is to choose an excursion that includes shopping time.

pantelia Apr 24th, 2018 07:01 PM

Perfect. Thank you!

tenthumbs Apr 25th, 2018 01:02 PM

I had the same experience chepar had~we were met by the tour company at the cruise ship, and they returned us to the cruise ship. My sister, who did all of the research when we went, learned that if you book a tour with a licensed tour company, a visa was not required. You might also post on the Europe forum~it seems to me that one of our posters took a ferry and spent a few days there, but I can't remember if he mentioned obtaining a visa or how he went about it. We used St Petersburg Tours and had a great experience.

fmpden May 3rd, 2018 08:27 AM

You must have visa to wonder around on your own. Our tour guide make a big but serious joke about not getting lost from the group as her life depended on returning all of us to the ship on time.

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