Greaves - Answered a Question by fahey (01 Feb 09 15:32)

Not when we went in 1995. You had to have a valid Visa.

- Was this comment useful or 0 of 0 found this useful
Comment | Report
Jean Whittle - replied to Greaves (01 Feb 09 17:02)

We were there in September 2008 and we were covered by the group visa organised by Alla Tour. We just had to show our passports and our tour tickets (as proof of the group visa) to the Russian immigration officers and we were allowed through. Things have probably relaxed a little since 1995.

- Was this comment useful or 0 of 0 found this useful
Comment | Report
Jean Whittle - Answered a Question by fahey (01 Feb 09 15:28)

It is possible but not adviseable. Ships dock in a large commercial port and taxis are not allowed inside the port. The port gates are some considerable distance from where the ships berth. Also, if you 'go it alone' you would need to apply for a visa (not sure of the cost, but not cheap). If you go on a tour organised by the ship or by an independent tour operator, you are covered by a group visa. We did a two day tour with Alla Tour ( which was excellent and which cost less than the ship's tour. Other operators in St Petersburg are Denrus and Red October, so I would advise you to check their website. Hope this helps - St Petersburg is fantastic.

- Was this comment useful or 0 of 0 found this useful
Comment | Report
HANSON - Answered a Question by fahey (01 Feb 09 17:09)

It depends on the ship and the dock! Larger cruise ships dock a long way out of the city which would make independent touring difficult I would imagine. We travelled on the "Black Watch" whose size and (presumably) docking space allowed her to dock up river. We were a short 5 min taxi ride from the Hermitage or a 20 minute (easy,flat) walk. We had organised Russian visas prior to cruising as we had an overnight in St petersburg - yes we did have to pay but it was worth it. We were able to avoid the tour queues and strolled off the ship at 8am - no fuss - 1 minute through customs. This enabled us to go to the Hermitage independently - for as long as we wanted and we also used the Metro to visit the graveyard where the Russian composers were buried - again easy with a map. We visited several of the cathedrals at our own pace and took a canal tour round the city (albeit in the rain). I would recommend the visa option if you are confident to explore on your own and really want to see things at your own pace in the city. If you want to go further afield e.g St Catherine's palace then you are as well off taking the ship's tours. We got our visa on the offchance that we would dock close - it worked for us. I would guess ships smaller than 1000 passengers dock close to the centre. You might be able to check this with the cruise line. Hope this helps.

- Was this comment useful or 0 of 0 found this useful
Comment | Report

Daily Top 10 Deals

  • EXCLUSIVE – Bruges, Paris & Amsterdam - MSC Cruises – MSC Magnifica - 8 Oct 18 - 7nts

    Southampton : Paris (Le Havre) : Bruges ( Zeebrugge) : Amsterdam : Hamburg : Southampton

    Now from £449pp Was £799pp

    • New Low Price
    • Exclusive Free Wifi Package Worth £35pp

    View More Exclusive MSC Cruises From Southampton

    Click here to see offer

  • BIGGEST SHIP IN THE WORLD - INAUGURAL SAILING - Royal Caribbean - Symphony of the Seas - 21 Apr 18 - 7nts

    Barcelona : Palma De Mallorca : Provence (Marseille) : Florence/Pisa (La Spezia) : Rome (Civitavecchia) : Naples : Barcelona

    Now from £1099pp Oceanview

    • Includes Flights & Transfers from London Gatwick
    • Up To $400pc Free Onboard Spend
    • Also Available Apr to Nov 2018
    • Plus Book With for...
    • Free Airport Parking, or Free Wi-Fi Package, or Free Fast Track Security Pass

    View All Symphony of the Seas Offers & Information >>

    Click here to see offer

  • School Holidays No Fly with Exclusive On Board Spend! - Princess Cruises - Crown Princess - 22 Jul 17 - 7nts

    Southampton : Stavanger (Norway) : Olden (Norway) : Hellesylt (Norway) : Geiranger (Norway) : Bergen (Norway) : Southampton

    Now from £799pp Was £1119pp

    • Exclusive $50pc On Board Spend
    • Free Port Parking On The Highest Grade of Balconies & Above 

    View More Top 10 Princess Cruises >>

    Click here to see offer

More daily top 10 deals >>>

Why Talk To A Consultant

  • Alternative Cruise Suggestions

  • They Can Tailor The Cruise To Your Needs

  • They Have Access To All The Latest Deals

  • Your Own Personal Consultant From Start To Finish

  • Essential Advice On Cabin Selections

  • Benefit From Their First Hand Experiences

  • A More Personal Service Than Booking Online

  • Advice On Shore Excursions And Extras

You can contact one of our consultants by calling:

0800 408 6228