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Visa Required in Russia if booked thru local company


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I have received an email from Royal Caribbean that if I do not book a Russia Tour thru them, I will need a visa to disembark if I book thru a local Company.

Has anyone had any issues?

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You will need a visa to enter Russia regardless of who you book with.  You can arrange the visa independently or through a tour company.  

 

I visit Russia for 3 weeks (not cruise) and obtained the visa myself through a company called 3G.  

Edited by iWillSailAway
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1 hour ago, micruiser2002 said:

We did Russia last year on rcl and booked all private tours.  The main tour companies arrange the visas for you.  Contact your tour company and find out the specifics.

 

3 minutes ago, njkruzer said:

Unless its changed when we did Russia and used a tour company,  Alla tours, they got the visa.

 

Correct.  Whether a ship sponserd excursion or private tour they will obtain the visa.

 

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We booked thru Alla tours too, but we have been getting emails from RCCL. Must be a intimidation technique telling us we need to have Visa in hand before getting off the ship if we don't book thru them.  

 

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1 minute ago, Amysaca said:

We booked thru Alla tours too, but we have been getting emails from RCCL. Must be a intimidation technique telling us we need to have Visa in hand before getting off the ship if we don't book thru them.  

 

 

Interesting.  Alla tours have an excellent reputation, they know what they're doing.  But I would still confirm with them that they will take care of the visa.

 

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13 minutes ago, Amysaca said:

We booked thru Alla tours too, but we have been getting emails from RCCL. Must be a intimidation technique telling us we need to have Visa in hand before getting off the ship if we don't book thru them.  

 

 

It is a scare tactic to get you to book a cruise line excursion. They have no idea you have already booked a private tour.  As you have booked with Alla you have no worry. They will obtain the Visa for you. All the private tour operators do that. 

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2 hours ago, voyager70 said:

 

Interesting.  Alla tours have an excellent reputation, they know what they're doing.  But I would still confirm with them that they will take care of the visa.

 

Alla confirmed with us when we toured.   We also got those emails from RCCL.

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10 hours ago, Amysaca said:

We booked thru Alla tours too, but we have been getting emails from RCCL. Must be a intimidation technique telling us we need to have Visa in hand before getting off the ship if we don't book thru them.  

 

 

This will likely be the first of many scare tactics.

 

There was announcement after announcement when we cruised that we would have to wait on board for the Royal tours to leave first as independent tours would not be processed by the immigration officials.

 

Our tour operator TJ Travel told us to ignore all this and get off as quickly as possible which we did with no issue.

 

 

Edited by Tin can
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8 hours ago, Tin can said:

 

This will likely be the first of many scare tactics.

 

There was announcement after announcement when we cruised that we would have to wait on board for the Royal tours to leave first as independent tours would not be processed by the immigration officials.

 

Our tour operator TJ Travel told us to ignore all this and get off as quickly as possible which we did with no issue.

 

 

 

Actually, this one is now true. The cruise lines have worked with immigration to enforce that ship's tours get priority now.

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54 minutes ago, 1025cruise said:

 

Actually, this one is now true. The cruise lines have worked with immigration to enforce that ship's tours get priority now.

That was supposedly the rumor last year also and we did not have to wait.  We had no issues at all.

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4 hours ago, wwjd1947 said:

Do we need a visa if we are staying on the ship?

 

You will not need a visa if you stay on the ship but I would seriously advise against this as there is so much to see and experience.

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On 7/6/2019 at 5:08 PM, micruiser2002 said:

That was supposedly the rumor last year also and we did not have to wait.  We had no issues at all.

I think this was tried out because of the World Cup. The tour coaches were being allowed into the port, before the smaller vans. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you how things worked out, as our ship, Celebrity Silhouette was not allowed into St Petersburg on 1/2July 2018, due to high winds. We had booked tours via Celebrity and our refund was in our OBA later that evening.

In 2015 we toured with SPB and our tour ticket was our visa., which was looked at along with our passport by immigration. We got off the ship without a problem, there were at least 6 immigration officers in the hall we were in and the passengers on Celebrity tours were taken in to another hall.

it would be a good idea to look at the Northern Boards for more detailed information regarding tour companies.

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There is an exemption from visa requirements for cruise ship passengers staying less than 72 hours so long as you are accompanied by a licensed tour guide - either through the cruise ship or another local guide.

Be aware that you must be accompanied at all times. This wasn't a problem for us even though I am inclined to want to have time to myself to wander.

I wanted to go to the Mariinsky Ballet and I arranged with our guide, TJ Travel, to take my husband and I one evening after our all-day tour. They dropped us at the door and picked us up - the only time we were allowed to be on our own.

When you leave the ship, stern-looking immigration officers will check your passport and the paperwork your tour company will provide you.

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I would not hesitate to use one of the big private tour companies again. They handle everything and give you all the info you need for disembarking. 

We had been told the ship’s excursion people would get if first, so our group of 8 went down the the gangway area and when they opened it, we were told to stand back for a group coming through. 

I just said “No”, and we walked right past the lady. 

Now, if it had been a Russian official that said that, I’d have complied!

St Petersburg is amazing....historic, beyond beautiful, and very comfortable to be in.

I hope that everyone with port days there takes full advantage of them.  

 

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