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Visa St Peter's Russia

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May 17th, 2011, 08:48 AM
  #1
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Visa St Peter's Russia

Is a visa required to visit St Peters. I am Australian and the cruise has a 2 days stop. I checked the websites and they are conflicting with Yes and No.
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May 17th, 2011, 09:24 AM
  #2
 
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yup, apple, you need one - BUT, if you stick with the ship's excursions ashore, you'll find that they arrange something visa-wise on board which gets you thru. It's a painless, simple process that, I suppose, costs $$, but it's certainly cheaper than a proper one.

But if you want to explore privately, you'll need to get a visa in Oz.
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May 17th, 2011, 10:49 AM
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If you book with a Private Tour Company in St. Petersbug then you do not need a Visa( or they look after that for you)

I booked with Alla Tours and they were terrific, the whole two days in St. Petersburg wwent smooth as silk !!!
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May 17th, 2011, 12:04 PM
  #4
 
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Percy, that's just incorrect. The O.P. needs a visa of one sort or another. Period. So did you. Your tour company did it for you - just as the ship can do for apple.
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May 17th, 2011, 04:12 PM
  #5
 
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A visa is required to enter Russia. If you are traveling on your own then you need to apply for a visa yourself. If you are traveling either 1) on a ship's tour; or 2) with a private tour company then they apply for a blanket visa which covers you and any other members of your tour group. You are then required to stay with your tour guide at all times when on shore.

Lisa
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May 17th, 2011, 04:41 PM
  #6
 
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dogster

When I went to St.Petersburg I booked Alla Tours.

When I asked about the Visa , she told me:

"YOU won't need one, I will look after everything".

Therefore ,as I mentioned above ("or else they will look after it for you").

1. If you are going and touring on your own..you NEED a Visa.

2. If you do the ship tour then YOU do not need a Visa BUT the cruise ship handles the Visa problem for you, ( that is one of the reasons you turn your passport over to the cruise ship (in many cases).

3. If you book a Private Tour with one of the several Tour Companies in St.Petersbug, like Alla Tours
or
Red October Tours, then YOU do not have to get a Visa in your home country before you leave BECAUSE the Private Tour company does that for you !

That is why when you book with a Private Tour Company ( which I recommend) you have to give them all the particulars of your Passport.

So do you need a Visa to enter St.Petersbug or Russia?

Yes!!!

Whether you get it physically yourself or someone gets it on your behalf.

I wrote a trip Report on my Baltic Cruise and was amazed as to how smooth my going through customs in St. Petersburg was.

I was expecting a little bit of a hassle with the documents..but they were so kind and polite, it amazed me.!

Sorry dogster if anyone misinterpreted what I said the first time ,
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May 18th, 2011, 12:24 AM
  #7
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Great feedback regards visa, Team! Can someone give me Alla tours contact. I like to connected with tavellers wanting to share tours on the celebrity doing the Baltics in Aug 2011,can anyone tell me how to go about it.
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May 21st, 2011, 05:04 AM
  #9
 
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For a second option, I would suggest DenRus tours. Never hurts to compare prices. I would highly recommend that at you plan to spen time at Peterhof in the fountain areas. I thought DenRus was very easy to work with and appreciated that our guide discussed what life was like during the various changes they have gone through.

We cruised with Celebrity in the Baltics last Summer. Would not be concerned about them "holding" you on the ship in St.Petersburg until all their tours cleared. We told them what time our tour left and were given a departure time from the ship that allowed our tour to start on time.

I posted a trip report from my cruise that you might find useful. If you are a comfortable traveler I do not think you need to use guides or excursions anywhere but St. Petersburg.
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May 21st, 2011, 06:15 AM
  #10
 
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This is interesting inre to the visa issue. We used the ships tour and did get a stamp in our passport by the immigration officials at the pier b4 beginning our tour but as I recall we were told we had to stay with our tour group. Leaving it would be against the rules so is the stamp we got some sort of conditional visa good as along as we were escorted? Is there a difference from it and a visa issued by the Russian consulate in your home country B4 leaving? Any ideas?
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May 21st, 2011, 09:12 PM
  #11
 
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I never got a stamp on my Passport.
She took the Passport,( of which I still had a copy) ,then she gave me a Red Card.

Thye said you had to have 4 items when you went through Customs in St.Petersburg

1,Your Passport.
2.A Copy of your Passport
3.Tickets from your Private Tour Company(I had Alla)
4.And they could ask for an Intinerary your tour company has for that day.

I had all Four items and was eager to show her all my documents.!!

She said , "No No, I just need your Passport, Here is a Red Card, don't lose it, and have a nice day" !!!!

That was it. I was amazed , no questions about anything !
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May 21st, 2011, 09:57 PM
  #12
 
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I had a red card AND a stamp - but I'm special.
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May 22nd, 2011, 07:03 AM
  #13
 
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Whatever they stamped is not, I think an official visa. It shows four sets of numbers, three of which refer to the date. The fourth number is a "5" so what that means I have no clue. It also has the image of a ship. It has to be some sort of temp. visa or some such thing.
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May 24th, 2011, 06:00 AM
  #14
 
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So, if you take a cruise and go with their tours, but want to also go it alone for a few hours, do you need to get your own visa?
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May 24th, 2011, 06:37 AM
  #15
 
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Yes Kenav, I believe you would need a Visa. From what I understand, the Visa requirement is "waived" in effect by the tour operator and their application to the Russian Government. We needed to provide DenRus with our passport information when we confirmed our tour. Without that proof, Celebrity would not have let us off, let alone how Russian Passport control would have reacted.

The larger ships are docked well away from central St. Petersburg and the main tourist area. So getting off the ship without a plan to take a taxi would not make sense, regardless of the visa. The area around the cruise terminal is not particularly appealing with the most notable feature being several Soviet era apartment buildings.

However, when we were there a smaller ship from Seabourn, I believe, was docked on the Neva fairly close to the Hermitage. If cruising with them, I could understand the appeal of getting off on your own.

We cruised with Celebrity. On the full night in St. Petersburg their was a Russian musical show in the main theater. For those so inclinded, there were several excursion options for the evening.

If you did book with a tour company, like DenRus, I'm sure you could work out an extended evening program. I found them very easy to work with.
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May 24th, 2011, 10:39 AM
  #16
 
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We were thinking of Viking River Cruises. We thought we could go in with the tour group, but possibly stay longer in the city (Moscow or St. P) or just want to do things without the large Viking group. In other words: independently, without a guide at all (not even one we arranged ourselves). In that situation I wonder if we need a "separate" Visa and how that could work out (as there wouldn't be any hotel or other venue that would help us with those papers).
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May 24th, 2011, 10:41 AM
  #17
 
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I went last summer. Like Percy, we used Alla tours.

The Star Princess is kind of a pain about local guides, they repeatedly scare people into believing only their excursions were visa-free. They also tell you you can't get off the ship until their tours are off, another fib, we went straight to the ramp and got off before the ship tours.

If you bring exactly what your tour guide (whether Alla, DenRus or RedOctober) tells you to bring, you will be fine.

You do want to carry exactly what you are required to have. Russian immigration is worse than the U.S., not at all likely to cut anyone a break.

Russian immigration also slips a little piece of paper inside your passport when you check in. I've heard you get fined if you lose it, we made sure we didn't lose them and had no problem.
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May 24th, 2011, 10:51 AM
  #18
 
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If a) you want to visit St. Petersburg and b) you are cruising there from somewhere else you and c) you plan to do your excursion through the cruiseline, you don't need to worry about it.

If you are planning on being on Russian soil in any other way, you will need a visa, which is a HUGE p.i.t.a. It took me almost 12 hours to fill out the paperwork for our visas to visit Russia a few years ago, and it was quite expensive. We did the Viking river cruise from St. Petersburg to Moscow, which was wonderful and I can recommend it easily, but there is no good way to simplify the visa process unless you want to limit yourself to St. Petersburg with your cruise.
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May 24th, 2011, 11:33 AM
  #19
 
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Just got off the phone with Viking. The lady I spoke to said that you get a Visa for the entire cruise and so if you go on your own to places within the cities you tour, the Visa you get through the cruise company is OK!

In their itinerary there are free days and so I questioned her about this since there is no included tour on those days. But, again, she said no additional Visa was needed.
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Jul 16th, 2012, 09:06 AM
  #20
 
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I am from Canada and we just did a cruise from Helsinki, Finland to St. Petersburg, Russia via St. Peter's Line. We only stayed one day in St. Petersburg, but others were staying for three days. We could stay up to 72 hours without a visa. We had to fill out one tiny little form and show our passport at the customs desk. Our passports got the boat stamp. We paid for a shuttle to take us to the city centre, then we were on our own. Some people bought guided excursions, but we were free to go off on our own, so we did.
The St. Peter's line boat was a little dated (think 1980s), but it was clean and very convenient. We were on a trip to Helsinki and this made it easy to take a sidetrip to visit Russia. We got on the ship in the evening in Helsinki and slept all night - when we awoke we were in St. Petersburg (12 hour trip). We spent the day exploring the city (mostly the Hermitage) then got on the ship again, went to our cabin for the night and awoke back in Helsinki. The cost for return trip on the ship was about 150 euros a person - and we would have spent that much for the hotel in Helsinki (2 people for two nights was 300 euros).
We went in July so the sun only went down for a few hours a day - it was great!
I know this is an old thread but I wanted to get this information out there. When I was researching my trip I had a lot of trouble figuring out what I should book.
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