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.

Help on Visa if take a boat to Helsinki and fly out to Copen

Newport Beach...
Level Contributor
618 posts
115 reviews
Save Topic
Help on Visa if take a boat to Helsinki and fly out to Copen

Hi everyone - Thanks for the great information on taking a boat and information if you stay for only 72 hours you don't need a VISA.

I have a question and need some help.....

I am coming to Helsinki in July and wanted to visit St. Petersburg.

I have read much on the forum here - and read if you take the boat in to St. Peterburg with one of the tour companies mentioned here you do not need a visa.

My friend and I wanted to take the boat and then can we fly out to Stockholm?? or do we need a full visa for this.

I am thinking that we may just fly in and fly out - and it is my understanding then we will need a full visa - and then will need a travel invitation. Can anyone provide the best tour or agency that you can recommend if flying in and not taking the boat.

and can we buy are flight there from a travel agent in St. Petersburg to Copenhagen?

or is it a better idea to book it before my departure via Kayak or something??

NE Victoria...
Level Contributor
2,673 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Help on Visa if take a boat to Helsinki and fly out to Copen

>>My friend and I wanted to take the boat and then can we fly out to Stockholm?? or do we need a full visa for this.<<

You'll need a visa. The 72-hour visa-free setup only applies when you're arriving and departing by ferry (although they are working on a similar scheme for arrivals by air and train - but that hasn't been enacted yet).

If you're going to get a visa anyway, you still could catch the ferry in and then fly back to Stockholm (or Copenhagen or wherever you're planning to go!). Best to book the flight/s beforehand.

This article has information about how to go about getting visa support documents and applying for a visa:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g294459-s602/Russia:C…

Also, have a look at the right of your computer screen at the Top Questions about St Petersburg (not usually visible if you're on a smartphone!). There are links to some threads about the visa-free visit by ferry rule, which may help you to decide one way or the other.

Newport Beach...
Level Contributor
618 posts
115 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Help on Visa if take a boat to Helsinki and fly out to Copen

Well, that helps. It is expensive to get a visa to be there a couple of days...

so if we do the ferry it is overnight - and same to go back to Helsinki and then have to go to Stockholm from there if we opted not to get a visa.

Is that correct??

Dave

NE Victoria...
Level Contributor
2,673 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Help on Visa if take a boat to Helsinki and fly out to Copen

Yes, that's right.

Check out the ferry fares - I don't know what they are (and I can't get the St Peter Line page to load), but it's worth comparing them with the cost of the Allegro train or a flight to St Pete from Helsinki plus a cheap flight to Stockholm plus the cost of a visa.

You also could consider buying one of the three-year multiple-entry visas available for US citizens if you think there's a vague chance that you'll visit Russia again in the next three years. Not much more expensive than a single or double entry tourist visa and much more flexible.

Moscow, Russia
Level Contributor
11,517 posts
203 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Help on Visa if take a boat to Helsinki and fly out to Copen

> I have read much on the forum here - and read if you take the boat in to St. Peterburg with one of the tour companies mentioned here you do not need a visa.

You mix up several different things into one wrong assumption. There are two kinds of "boats": cruise liners and ferries. If you arrive with a cruise ship then you do need to hook up with a real tour company to get off the ship with no visa. But you can't book one or two arbitrary legs of a cruise, so a cruise ship is not a feasible means of transportation from point A to point B anyway.

Then there are ferries. They run between St.Pete and Helsinki, Tallinn, Stockholm - google up St.Peter Line's website for their schedules. Two important things to understand about ferries are:

1. You don't need to book a real tour with a real tour operator to get away with no visa: you buy the so-called "city tour" from the ferry line which is in reality a shuttle bus that drops you off in the city center, leaves you to your own devices then picks you up when you're done.

2. You don't have to arrive and depart by the same ferry: nothing prevents you from sailing in from Tallinn and sailing out to Helsinki. But check with the St.Peter Line for what's available: IIRC there is a direct ferry from Tallinn to St.Pete but not from St.Pete to Tallinn etc.

Newport Beach...
Level Contributor
618 posts
115 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Help on Visa if take a boat to Helsinki and fly out to Copen

Thank you for your help, and also clarification Marassa. I am not taking a cruise ship.

I will be in Helsinki and seems it is best to take the Ferry there and return in 72 hours to avoid the Visa. I can take one of the Ferries - which I book from Helsinki - to St. Petersburg -

http://stpeterline.com/en/OnBoard/News.aspx

Is there any need to book ahead of time - or can we go there earlier in the day or arrive and just buy a ticket? Do the ferries reach maximum capacity??

And I can buy the "city tour" on StPeterline Ferry correct? Does anyone recommend a "city tour" company over another??

Thanks for all your help. Working through it and have been reading all the other posts on this subject.

Moscow, Russia
Level Contributor
11,517 posts
203 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Help on Visa if take a boat to Helsinki and fly out to Copen

> Is there any need to book ahead of time - or can we go there earlier in the day or arrive and just buy a ticket? Do the ferries reach maximum capacity??

I really don't know - maybe others will advise.

> And I can buy the "city tour" on StPeterline Ferry correct?

Yes, along with your ferry tickets.

> Does anyone recommend a "city tour" company over another??

If you take the St.Peter Line ferry and want to sneak into the city with no visa then I guess you're stuck with theirs. But as I said it's not really a tour but just a shuttle ride into the city center and it costs small change compared to a real tour. If you need a real tour then I guess you'll have to book that on top of the St.Peter Line's formal one.

St. Petersburg...
Level Contributor
2,271 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Help on Visa if take a boat to Helsinki and fly out to Copen

>>Do the ferries reach maximum capacity??

hardly ever but if the money matters cheaper cabins sell quick and you might be left with the expensive ones...

8. Re: Help on Visa if take a boat to Helsinki and fly out to Copen

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 20 June 2015, 06:16