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Independent city exploration for cruise passengers

New England
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Independent city exploration for cruise passengers

My wife and I would like to visit St. Petersburg and thought it would be nice to do so as part of a Baltic cruise which spends two days in the city. Because my wife is originally from the city we would like to have the freedom to explore by ourselves, rather than be tied to an "escorted" excursion organized by or for the cruise company. What are the costs and/or procedures associated with this and is it even possible?

Moscow, Russia
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1. Re: Independent city exploration for cruise passengers

I think you should apply for tourist visas in your case. Buying a tour from an accredited company and sneaking away from it does not make much economical sense to me (surely will cost more than a visa), besides the tour company might not like your sneaking away as they are supposed to be responsible for you when they take you on a visa-waived tour.

New York
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2. Re: Independent city exploration for cruise passengers

Unless spouse has a valid Russian passport or one from a country which has a visa waiver agreement w/Russia

St Petersburg Russia
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3. Re: Independent city exploration for cruise passengers

The only two ways to visit is individual visas in your passports for non-Russian Citizens or by being sponsored by one of the authorized tour companies for visa free entry. If you wife has not renounced her Russian citizenship, she must enter with her Russian passport. Many citizens who have not kept up their Russian passports have a problem entering Russia. Even if a citizen of the UK she will need her Russian passport if she is still a Russian citizen.

Assuming she is no longer a Russian citizen and will be traveling on her UK she will need to apply for a Russian visa just like you do.

The alternative is booking a tour with an authorized tour company. That can be a fully planned organized tour or as simple as a vehicle and guide accompanying you as you do your own itinerary or anything in between. That tour company sponsors your enter and no visa is needed, as a UK or Russian citizen.

So you can see there is not enough information to advise you precisely, just enough however to inform you of the options.

New England
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4. Re: Independent city exploration for cruise passengers

Based on our our circumstances, we will likely just get individual tourist visas. Thanks for your help.

New York
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5. Re: Independent city exploration for cruise passengers

This may not be an easy thing to do. Many Russians get so enamored of their shiny new US citizenship they forget all abt mother Russia. When the time comes to visit the embassy looks at their background and says we cannot issue a visa you may be a Russian citizen. But we cannot let you in either - you don't have a Russian passport. So it's Catch-22...

New England
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6. Re: Independent city exploration for cruise passengers

"The alternative is booking a tour with an authorized tour company. That can be a fully planned organized tour or as simple as a vehicle and guide accompanying you as you do your own itinerary"

This could be a good way for us to see St. Petersburg. Anyone have an idea of what this might cost for one seven or eight hour day?

uk
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7. Re: Independent city exploration for cruise passengers

hi - good luck with what you do - went there few years ago on baltic cruise and we were advised to only stay with the official tour - i remember the cruise staff went out on the night and had some problems that particular night - their car got stopped and they had to pay to move on.

The guide on the official tour we went on was a mine of info - she shared some very interesting stories with us of the past and the present time and made it really worthwhile .Well worth visiting .

Moscow, Russia
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8. Re: Independent city exploration for cruise passengers

> The guide on the official tour we went on was a mine of info - she shared some very interesting stories with us of the past and the present time

I bet Duncan's Russian wife can tell him a lot of stories of the Russian past for free :)

uk
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9. Re: Independent city exploration for cruise passengers

lol - am sure she already has - wasn't advocating they take an escorted tour as I realised it prob not needed depending on where they go etc- just reading the post reminded me of when i went so commented about the tour i had as it was one of the more interesting places have been to and the guides personal stories of the way of life there at that time aswell as the general history etc was one of the things that made the tour so good -tbh was more the problem the cruise staff had even tho with local people when they went out 'unofficial' as in tripwise from ship was more the point i was trying to make really - anywey didnt mean to 'butt' in and sorry i wasnt actually seying anything particularly helpful as such : )

St. Petersburg...
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10. Re: Independent city exploration for cruise passengers

Some companies just provide guide+car option - this will help you to avoid visa and to see the city, being totally free. You will be able to have such an option for about 200-250USD pp per day, it is a bit more than just a group tour, but you will be able to do everything you want