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Ferry travel into St Petersburg without a visa

Melbourne, Australia
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Ferry travel into St Petersburg without a visa

We just noticed that while we are in Finland in August we could travel from Helsinki to St Petersburg on the Princess Maria and visit for a day without a visa. Is this easy to do? It would be our only chance to see St Petersburg. What sort of cabin should we use? Will we be able to store our luggage on the ship while we explore? Is it easy to book on line?

Oulu, Finland
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1. Re: Ferry travel into St Petersburg without a visa

If you take a one day in St. Petersburg cruise the cabin will be at your disposal throughout the trip, so you can leave your stuff there when you go to town.

It is very easy, just remember to book also the transfers to the centre of St Petersburg and back or sightseeing tours from the ferry company, as they are a precondition for a visa free travel. If you're booked on a sightseeing tour, you usually have priority disembarkation via the car deck. If you only have the transfers, you'll have to queue at the passport control possibly for ages (unless you rush out of the ship among the very first passengers).

If I were you, I would take an A class cabin (with a window), or if you want to save some money then a B class inside cabin. Would not take the E class (below car decks). Book also meals in advance (at least the breakfast).

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: Ferry travel into St Petersburg without a visa

Thank-you for this information. We will go ahead and make a booking as you suggest.

Mason City, Iowa
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3. Re: Ferry travel into St Petersburg without a visa

Sorry for jumping this thread, but my wife and I are planning to travel to Helsinki in June, and we'd like to take the Princess Maria to St. Petersburg. We have open options. One being the round trip. This includes overnight accomodations on the boat both to and from St. Petersburg, transfers, tour guide for part of the time there, two nights hotel room in St.Petersburg? I went to the site, and it was a bit confusing! How much would a package like this cost? Our other option would be to take the ferry, tour St. Petersburg, and fly out back to the States from there. Any and all suggestions would be greatly be appreciated.

Thanks!

Finland
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4. Re: Ferry travel into St Petersburg without a visa

" Our other option would be to take the ferry, tour St. Petersburg, and fly out back to the States from there."

As far as I understand this does not fullfill the prereqs for visa free stay.

Mason City, Iowa
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5. Re: Ferry travel into St Petersburg without a visa

That's good to know. Thanks!

Oulu, Finland
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6. Re: Ferry travel into St Petersburg without a visa

Yes, in order to enjoy the max 72 h visa freedom, you must arrive in and depart from Russia by a ship. Prices of the hotel packages (and online booking) are available at http://www.ferrycenter.fi/index.php?2265 (they cannot be booked directly with the St. Peter Line, but through a Finnish travel agency Nordic Ferry Center.

Mason City, Iowa
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7. Re: Ferry travel into St Petersburg without a visa

Thanks! What cabin would you suggest on the ferry? B, A, A Deluxe, etc. Thanks again for your help. This sounds like a great adventure for us! Also, any suggestions among the three hotels (Hotel Vasilievsky, Hotel Olympia Garden, or Hotel Palace Bridge)?

Oulu, Finland
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8. Re: Ferry travel into St Petersburg without a visa

For cabin suggestions see my post above (reply #1). If you want to invest a bit more, then why not A deluxe (it includes à la carte breakfast in Explorer's restaurant aboard the ship). You can find further info on the hotels at www.sokoshotels.fi/en/hotels/stpetersburg/ . All three hotels belong to the same (Finnish) hotel chain. Location wise the best ones of them are either Sokos Hotel Vasilievsky or Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge, both are located at the downtown end of the Vasilievsky island - the St. Petersburg harbour is in the other end of the same island. From these hotels it's a short(ish) walk e.g. to Winter Palace and Nevskiy Prospekt.

Edited: 05 February 2013, 22:20
Helsinki
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9. Re: Ferry travel into St Petersburg without a visa

You don't have to book a hotel via Nordic ferry center to be able to stay visa free for 72h. Though it could be convenient, all transfers are included etc.

Mason City, Iowa
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10. Re: Ferry travel into St Petersburg without a visa

Yeah, we think we'll just do the package. Now, here's another question. We get back to Helsinki at 8:00 A.M. Would we be able to go from the port to the airport in time to catch the 11:15 flight to Stockholm?

Thanks again for all your help!