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Ferry/Visa/Tours

Scottsdale, Arizona
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Ferry/Visa/Tours

Hello all, I'm planning a trip next summer to Finland, St Petersburg and Stockholm. I've been researching for days now and I still have questions regarding the ferry, visas and tours.

1- what way would be best to see these cities, visa-free? I was thinking fly into Helsinki, Princess Maria ferry to St Pete's, and then ferry to Stockholm.

2- I would prefer the high speed train to St P but if I understand correctly I would need a visa, correct?

3- what is the ferry like from St P to Stockholm? Ive heard wonderful things from the Helsinki-Stockholm ferry (and I like that it goes by the archipelagos), does the St P- Stock ferry go by the archipelagos also? Or what would the best way be to go to Stockholm?

4- on the Princess Maria ferry it offers tours, however one of those days it says "on your own", therefore would that mean it will be more difficult to travel visa-free that day, since I'm not with a travel group?

Also to note: I'm on a budget (aren't we all!). Thanks so much in advance. :)

Moscow, Russia
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1. Re: Ferry/Visa/Tours

2 Correct

4 The ferry company has stretched the law to the extreme - they bus you to the city center and drop you there, and that's their "tour". But thousands of people have been traveling like this, so it seems to be approved by the authorities.

Coventry, United...
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2. Re: Ferry/Visa/Tours

You know what they say about assumption, perhaps at the very least it would be better to visit the ferry company's website before dishing out advice.

St Petersburg Russia
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for St. Petersburg
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3. Re: Ferry/Visa/Tours

Peterline does have some city tours through a local tour operator but the "city tour" they require you to buy is just the shuttle bus that Marassa correctly describes. Any tour operator can create a private tour for you but the vast majority arriving via ferry go it a lone because it is really easy to fill up a couple days without needing a guided tour.

You can buy day or 1/2 group excursions right from the street if you want a sightseeing tour or vising Catherine Palace or Peterhof so there is no reason to get tied into one of the more expensive ferry tours.

Peterline IS ambiguous about some aspect of their program because it does skirt the law. There is no mention of those questionable aspects on the Russian version of their sight.

Scottsdale, Arizona
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4. Re: Ferry/Visa/Tours

Thanks for all the input everybody. So from what I understand: staying without a visa is not a problem as long as I provide proof of my ferry ticket leaving St Petes, and proof of my hotel stay. Going through customs with those documents (plus my nonexpiring passport) should grant me entrance, correct?

Scottsdale, Arizona
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5. Re: Ferry/Visa/Tours

Oh, and as long as I'm only there for 72 hours maximum, I forgot to add that part before :)

Coventry, United...
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6. Re: Ferry/Visa/Tours

To take advantage of the the 72 hour visa free rule when using the the ferry need to purchase a return shuttle bus ticket from the ferry company and if you want to stay overnight you must have a confirmed hotel booking. My only complaint is that the ferry company implies that you need to book this with them.

St Peterline have been operating this ferry route for the best part two years now and its been so successful they started another from Stockholm. You could argue there bending the rules a little, but its not exactly uncommon in Russia.

New York
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7. Re: Ferry/Visa/Tours

The only problem I see is you want to leave by a different ferry than the one you came in on. Would you get away with that? Talk to the co or a travel agent

Coventry, United...
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8. Re: Ferry/Visa/Tours

There is only the one ferry company and they only have two boats, I just can't see what difference it would make as to which you arrived on and which you left on.

9. Re: Ferry/Visa/Tours

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