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We are booked on a 10-night Baltics cruise that will spend 3 days in St Petersburg (June 2016). When we booked, my husband was hesitant to go because of all the anti-gay laws/attitude in Russia. However, I convinced him after reading through everyone's past experiences here that we'd be fine. I thought this issue was settled but now a Russian lawmaker is proposing to make it illegal to come out. Now we are questioning if we should still go on the Baltics cruise or if we should cancel and find something else.

 

What would you do?

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Yes, but you won't be arrested. That said, if you go just don't show affection or do anything two straight men wouldn't do. I've been twice and St. Petersburg is a stunning city but that was before the current wave of h homophobia. Now I wouldn't spend one red cent (pun intended) there.

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We just had this conversation today with our Danish friend who was urging us to go because of the incredible architecture and art. I'm sure you will be safe if you are reasonably discreet. But I am of two minds about my own travel there and support of a particularly homophobic city government and culture. Maybe someday, but only for the architecture.

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Hi, our ship stayed overnight at St. Petersburg a few years back, so we had 2 days of tours and sight-seeing. Catherine's Palace, the Winter Palace, Peter and Paul Fortress, the Church of the Savior on Blood are incredible. I would visit again, and I urge you to choose to go as well. True, Russia is not friendly to us, but unless you are making out on the street, who will know. It's the same in many places in the US.

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Don't miss it! St Petersberg is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. We were there on Oceania in August. I would return again when I can. Just be on a tour, however I would recommend a private one, so much more efficient and effective to maximize what you can see while you are there. It is as if Peter the Great merged Paris with Venice. Amazing! Yes it is Russia, but you only live once and we never know if relations will get better or worse.

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Absolutely......go!!!!! We were in St Petersburg as part of a Baltic cruise twice and we did a river cruise St Petersburg to Moscow. Truly a wonderful and amazing trip. The govt might not be pro-gay, but the "regular folk" were friendly, accommodating, and added to a most enjoyable trip. The art, architecture, history and culture is amazing.

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I hardly think that taking a $100 day tour in Russia is supporting a homophobic country; that kind of support is generated by corporations and governments not travelers. We too highly recommend you take the cruise and enjoy an incredible city. We found our tour guide very informative, understanding of our cultural differences, and reached out to help us all enjoy the tour. I think that it is important to remember that all the Russian people you will interact with on your visit are not the government that has extreme views, but rather they are just average working people trying to make ends meet. On our tour and on free time we were served by several gay workers in shops and bars and we left a little extra tips along with a wink. Just keep political views out of sight and no problems will be experienced.

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Me and my husband are booked on a Baltic cruise next summer. We stop for 2 days in StPete and will be taking a private tour with friends who are also going. I'm not concerned at all about our safety. I'm looking forward to seeing all the wonderful history and architecture esp the Hermitage. Not all people share the views of the their govt

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Cruise ships almost never sail with empty cabins. If you choose not to sail on a voyage, that cabin will be bought by someone else. Your not sailing will have absolutely no effect on the country, city or port. All you would have done is deny yourself a chance to see one of the great cities of the world. I do not see how not sailing would in any measureable way support our brothers and sisters in St Petersburg, and on the contrary, perhaps you going ashore there could give support to locals, either through contributing to their earnings or moral support in knowing things could be better.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Cruise ships almost never sail with empty cabins. If you choose not to sail on a voyage, that cabin will be bought by someone else. Your not sailing will have absolutely no effect on the country, city or port. All you would have done is deny yourself a chance to see one of the great cities of the world. I do not see how not sailing would in any measureable way support our brothers and sisters in St Petersburg, and on the contrary, perhaps you going ashore there could give support to locals, either through contributing to their earnings or moral support in knowing things could be better.

 

couldn't agree more :)

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Definitely go. St Petersburg is a wonderful place to spend a few days. The architectural sites are incredible. Try to see both the Catharine Palace and Peterhof (probably over two days).

 

My partner and I spent a week there a few years ago. Consider hiring the professional guide we worked with. He has the required documentation and credentials to take tourists through all of the sites including the Hermitage. He's very well informed, well travelled and speaks excellent English. http://www.gay-tour.ru And, he's gay and out (rare for Russia).

 

Have a great trip!

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