We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

No-visa 72- hour St Petersburg travel

Seattle
4 posts
Save Topic
No-visa 72- hour St Petersburg travel

I understand that we can stay in St Petersburg for 72 hours with no visa if we take the ferry from Helsinki and their "tour" bus from the dock into town. Here's my question:

Do we have to take the ferry round trip? Would it be possible with no visa to arrive by ferry from Helsinki, but take the express train back to Helsinki 3 days later?

Mentioned in this post
Helsinki
Helsinki
Uusimaa, Finland
91 replies to this topic
Kennebunkport, Maine
Level Contributor
83 posts
236 reviews
Save Reply
11. Re: No-visa 72- hour St Petersburg travel

we left two hours late from St. P and still go to Helsinki on time! (had to wait for a late tour group)

Mentioned in this post
Helsinki
Helsinki
Uusimaa, Finland
Berlin, Germany
Level Contributor
1,058 posts
Save Reply
12. Re: No-visa 72- hour St Petersburg travel

That is also my experience, we were 1,5 hour late from StP and arrived on-time in Helsinki. There's much margin in the schedule and it seems St Peter Line will do all they can to find passengers who haven't come to the ferry on time. Possibly also because I can imagine they would soon get into trouble with the authorities if people regularly were found breaching the visa free rules in the harbour of StP.

Mentioned in this post
Helsinki
Helsinki
Uusimaa, Finland
Kennebunkport, Maine
Level Contributor
83 posts
236 reviews
Save Reply
13. Re: No-visa 72- hour St Petersburg travel

One thing that was unusual happened with the shuttle: We did not take the shuttle on arrival since we were met by a guide. When going back to the ferry we arrived at St. Issacs early enough so we could find out where the shuttle location was (in front of the church across the street). the only reason we found it was because there were other passengers waiting. So we waited and we waited. Finally, we figured out that a van that had been sitting there was the shuttle (no sign). At 3:45 the guy rallied, put up a sign and then it seemed like he was going to leave without passengers. my husband ascertained this was the correct van and when the people waiting for it got in line he turned off the engine, we boarded and then we sat there for another 45 min. the driver was hanging out behind the van chatting with someone. my husband asked when he was going to leave and with the help of someone translating it appeared he planned to leave at 4:45. so we figured we just had to wait. About 5 min later, he got on board, started the engine and he flew over to the terminal-- not stopping at any of the other shuttle stops. Strange, to say the least

Boston...
Level Contributor
1 post
13 reviews
Save Reply
14. Re: No-visa 72- hour St Petersburg travel

is the "city tour" more or less just a bus pass? Thats what it looks like. Do they leave you alone for the 72 hours to explore the city on your own or is it organized tours?

Moscow, Russia
Level Contributor
11,800 posts
203 reviews
Save Reply
15. Re: No-visa 72- hour St Petersburg travel

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g298507-i707-k5493…

Kennebunkport, Maine
Level Contributor
83 posts
236 reviews
Save Reply
16. Re: No-visa 72- hour St Petersburg travel

it's just a shuttle taking you to and from the ferry terminal. last stop is st. issac's and then you're on your own. you don't even have to use it

Banbury
Level Contributor
521 posts
Save Reply
17. Re: No-visa 72- hour St Petersburg travel

<<it's just a shuttle taking you to and from the ferry terminal. last stop is st. issac's and then you're on your own. you don't even have to use it>>

Actually, to be allowed to leave the port without a visa you will need to take the shuttle bus unless you've booked a tour with an official tour guide.

Kennebunkport, Maine
Level Contributor
83 posts
236 reviews
Save Reply
18. Re: No-visa 72- hour St Petersburg travel

we did have a tour booked but nobody ever asked, checked anything or paid any attention to us. Since we got thru customs fairly quickly, we just wound up sitting in the terminal, pretty much by ourselves- and nobody said anything to us.

Banbury
Level Contributor
521 posts
Save Reply
19. Re: No-visa 72- hour St Petersburg travel

You did go through passport control and present your documents which were checked by the border control official?

Kennebunkport, Maine
Level Contributor
83 posts
236 reviews
Save Reply
20. Re: No-visa 72- hour St Petersburg travel

Of course!! in fact, there was a bit of traffic jam as everyone first got in that area- there were no real lines there just a crowd of people. We sort of edged around the back of the throng and discovered that the passport "booths" at the left only had a few people. Hence- it didn't take so long.

by the way, my husband only filled out the arrival side of the document so the passport control lady had to fill out the other side for him. And, as per the lady who checked us in in Helsinki for the St. Peterline ferry told us, we only put down St. peterline as our sponsoring party or whatever they call it, and there was no problem. I did have a copy of our receipt for our paid two-night hotel stay in St. P.

Mentioned in this post
Helsinki
Helsinki
Uusimaa, Finland
Reply to: No-visa 72- hour St Petersburg travel
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted