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Is Russian Visa Required if Not Getting Off Cruise Ship in Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka

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I will be on a Transpacific cruise on Celebrity Millennium departing April 26, 2018. There is one stop in Russia. I do not plan on disembarking. Does anyone know if I still have to purchase a Visa if I am not leaving the cruise ship? I am getting conflicting information. Thank you.

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I can't give you a conclusive answer, but I would say "probably".

 

In a similar situation, a Chinese national studying in the US with all the appropriate paperwork wanted to take an Alaska cruise out of Seattle that had a single Canadian stop in Victoria. He didn't want to bother getting a visa for Canada, and thought he would simply stay on the ship. The answer was a definitive "no", and he wasn't allowed to board.

 

The problem is that you need a passport to enter Russia, and Celebrity must ensure that you meet this requirement. Even if you remain aboard, technically you have still entered the country.

 

You don't say who the sources are for your conflicting information, but the two that I'd recommend you speak to are your nearest Russian consulate and Celebrity.

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Hmm, good question, seeing that when ships go to St. Petersburg if you don't have a visa, you won't get through immigration, but all you need is a tour ticket.

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We did that cruise in 2014 with the stop in Petropavlovsk and it did not require a visa. A visa was specifically excluded from that port.

Maybe has changed since then.

We got off and walked around. It was a Sunday, so not much open, but the locals were out in force and that was interesting,

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You do not need a visa. We knew a couple that actually got off the ship without a visa. More adventuresome than I. Very remote location. Doubt they enforce any laws about visas

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There are special rules for that port. Dont generalize from other locales

It was precisely because of the possible existence of an exception to the general rule that I started my post by saying "I can't give you a conclusive answer". Perhaps you missed that.:D

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We were there in April 2012 on Millennium on a Transpacific. We did not have a visa as we did not plan to get off the ship. If you book a ships tour, your visa will be covered as part of the tour. Same goes if you work with a private tour company, they will secure the group visa.

 

If you look at other travel forums, there have been reports that a Russian visa is not required for Petropavlosk for cruise travelers. That was not the way Celebrity interpreted it, nor the Russian authorities that came on board. No tour or visa, no tendering. Disembarkation was also a disaster with tours leaving several hours late due to the Russian authorities approving/stamping passports. We also left several hours late due to a prolonged bunkering.

 

That said, what a BLEAK place! I was glad we didn't get off. We did a spa day instead. :cool: And from conversations with other passengers who did, no glowing reports....

 

Joe

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Cdidnt miss it, i was basically confirming it. This port is an exception to the general rule about Russian visas

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I will be on a Transpacific cruise on Celebrity Millennium departing April 26, 2018. There is one stop in Russia. I do not plan on disembarking. Does anyone know if I still have to purchase a Visa if I am not leaving the cruise ship? I am getting conflicting information. Thank you.

 

When we stopped in Petropavlovska in 2015, no visa was required even for going ashore. Rules change frequently but check details carefully and do not assume that a visa will definitely be required.

 

Having said that, staying on board is a wise move IMHO.

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Could you not check with the Russian consulate/website for up to date information?

 

As others note, rules can, and do change.

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This topic arises in many Roll Calls and it causes confusion because passengers incorrectly extrapolate their experiences in St. Petersburg and apply them to Petropavlosk. Passengers who have only been to St. Petersburg make the assumption that the visa requirements are the same in Petropavlosk, which causes the confusion.

In St. Petersburg, yes, you need a visa. In Petropavlosk, No, you do not need a visa on or off the ship. You will have to surrender your passport to the ship staff even if you remain onboard. Russian officials will want to see it, in between their visits to the buffet ;)

 

This is based upon my experience from a couple of years ago. Have things changed since then? Maybe, but seems unlikely to me.

I have no idea why Russia is inconsistent in their visa regulations.

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For one thing, this port is so remote that if someone happened to wander off without a visa, it would be darn hard to access the rest of the country, unlike St. Petersburg where you could just hail a cab and be out of the city in a short time.

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Could you not check with the Russian consulate/website for up to date information?

 

 

It is ALWAYS easier for Consulate/Visa Companies to say YES - you need a Visa, it is a good Money-earner!! But for a simple Stop of a few hours - it often is just an added hassle with Authorities

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People pay a fortune to go fishing in Kamchatka, do they offer an excursion to do that?

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14 hours ago, dundeelass said:

Any up to date info on visa needed or not thanks

 I have been twice through Petropavlovsk - and never had a Visa .... and it was NO Problem

(The last time in Spring 2018)

 

Edited by awinkl

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11 hours ago, pspercy said:

People pay a fortune to go fishing in Kamchatka, do they offer an excursion to do that?

Check with the Cruise Line - in the first instance - and if they don't offer something like that, perhaps try to find a LOCAL Tour Operator

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We just had the same issue with Vladivostok. The easy solution: for now we booked a walking tour with the cruise line for 49 USD. A visa is not required for cruise passengers as long as you are doing a tour with a certified tour operator (as the cruise lines use them). 

If we feel like going on shore, we will. If not, we´ll cancel the tour and get a refund. Any possible questions during embarkation are answered by prooving that we booked a tour.

Edited by Miaminice

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1 minute ago, Miaminice said:

We just had the same issue with Vladivostok. The easy solution: for now we booked a walking tour with the cruise line for 49 USD. A visa is not required for cruise passengers as long as you are doing a tour with a certified tour operator (as the cruise lines use them). 

If we feel like going on shore, we will. If not, we´ll cancel the tour and get a refund. Any possible questions during embarkation are answered by prooving that we booked a tour.

On my both visits at Petropavlovsk (2017 & 2018) I did NOT take  Tour - just walked around by myself. Found a good Hotel within walking Distance from the Ship - and they let me use their WiFi to do my Internet work....

 

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58 minutes ago, awinkl said:

 I have been twice through Petropavlovsk - and never had a Visa .... and it was NO Problem

(The last time in Spring 2018)

 

 

58 minutes ago, awinkl said:

 I have been twice through Petropavlovsk - and never had a Visa .... and it was NO Problem

(The last time in Spring 2018)

 

 Were you asked upon boarding the ship if you had a visa for Russia or not. Called celebrity and they said they don’t offer advice on visas, crazy considering you are trying to go on a cruise thru them.

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49 minutes ago, awinkl said:

On my both visits at Petropavlovsk (2017 & 2018) I did NOT take  Tour - just walked around by myself. Found a good Hotel within walking Distance from the Ship - and they let me use their WiFi to do my Internet work....

 

Did you have to give your passport to the Russian immigration in advance, as someone said that. I don’t plan on getting off ship anyway, but worried about not having visa and if it could be a problem

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51 minutes ago, awinkl said:

On my both visits at Petropavlovsk (2017 & 2018) I did NOT take  Tour - just walked around by myself. Found a good Hotel within walking Distance from the Ship - and they let me use their WiFi to do my Internet work....

 

 

51 minutes ago, awinkl said:

On my both visits at Petropavlovsk (2017 & 2018) I did NOT take  Tour - just walked around by myself. Found a good Hotel within walking Distance from the Ship - and they let me use their WiFi to do my Internet work....

 

Thanks 

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10 hours ago, dundeelass said:

 

 Were you asked upon boarding the ship if you had a visa for Russia or not. Called celebrity and they said they don’t offer advice on visas, crazy considering you are trying to go on a cruise thru them.

Dundeelass, I also was on Celebrity - but found that since they are "part" of the ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISE LINE Group - and RCCL is NOT the very good with their "Customer Relations". Had some very NASTY Experiences with them .... "BEWARE of RCCL"

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