Visa requirements for Russia?

Old Dec 7th, 2011, 10:25 PM
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Visa requirements for Russia?

My wife and I are planning a Baltic trip in the spring and we had originally planned to include a trip into Russia to visit St. Petersburg.

However after doing some research I have found out that the Russian Visa process is rather involved. Unfortunately I think I am leaning towards taking St. Petersburg off the plan.

Am I understanding the Visa process is as much of a pain as I think it is or is there an easier way to get into Russia?
Markaphx is offline  
Old Dec 8th, 2011, 12:40 AM
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Isn't it supposed to be easy to get a visa for St Petersburg as part of a Western-based cruise? And that there are lots of short cruises from Tallinn and Helsinki?
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Old Dec 8th, 2011, 01:42 AM
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As flanneruk says, if you book a cruise starting from a Baltic state or Scandinavia (except Finland) and Russia isn't the only port of call, then you don't need a separate visa. The rules are that in Russia you only go on the organised shore excursion by the cruise company, it's not longer than 72 hours, you don't stray off on your own and that you don't stay on shore overnight but return to your ship. Same process applies if you use an independent tour company in St Petersburg - they will see to your visa requirement.

If you do want to venture on your own, you have to get a tourist visa in advance in your country.

There is a good discussion in Fodors cruise forum:
http://www.fodors.com/community/crui...ers-russia.cfm
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Old Dec 8th, 2011, 01:57 AM
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seat61.com/russia

great info on Visa notworth the hassle for me usually

for short stays for me savefor TransSiberian or Mongolian

atruly awesome journey.
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Old Dec 8th, 2011, 03:38 AM
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Presently people arriving on cruises into SPB are exempted from visa for stays up to 72 hrs as long as they buy a tour from a registered tour operator and stay overnight on the ship (not in hotel). Otherwise visa can be usually arranged thru 3rd party visa service or travel agency that sells travel to Russia. No need to visit the consulate.
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Old Dec 8th, 2011, 06:48 AM
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Not needing to visit the consulate doesn't make the visa process easy! The best info on applying for a visa if you want to visit St. P. on your own is here: http://www.waytorussia.net/

If you're traveling on your own and make it to St. P. I urge you to consider adding at least Moscow as the two cities are very different (and you'll get more value out of the visa!). I preferred Moscow, but then I'm not a fan of baroque. I took the train and stopped off in Novgorod, also recommended, as it's a smaller town, with a nice old quarter and a good outdoor museum. For my trip see http://wilhelmswords.com/rtw2004/index.html
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