Jump to content

Recommended Posts

If you are planning on taking a tour, the tour provider (for example, SPT) provides visas as part of the tour package.  It’s unlikely that you’ll be doing anything that requires you to obtain a visa on your own.

 

What are your plans?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Doing your own thing is neither advised nor encouraged in Russia. If you choose to, be aware that in St Petersburg, you will dock some distance from the city, shuttle buses are unlikely to be provided and unless you are on a P&O tour, or one pre booked privately, you will need a visa.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Organised tours (ship based or land based) led by a licensed tour guide are visa exempt and thus a visa is not required.

http://www.saint-petersburg.com/russian-visa/for-cruise-ship-passengers/

 

If you want to go ashore on your own, then you do need a visa. However, it seems very complex to get one and I believe the cost is around £100. Details on this link..

http://www.saint-petersburg.com/russian-visa/step-by-step-visa-guide/

 

It is difficult to get around on your own unless you speak Russian. As few, if any, people do this, facilities such as taxis, etc, are not geared up for this.

 

Brian

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, lindyloo22 said:

That’s what I was asking is it easy/hard to get a visa yourself

 

I'm not sure how easy it would be to get around DiY - taxis? buses? language problems - if English not widely spoken?  As someone once pointed out to me that unless you understood Russian even street names would be difficult to follow. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, lindyloo22 said:

That’s what I was asking is it easy/hard to get a visa yourself

I think posts on here suggest the ease or difficulty of getting your own visa is pretty irrelevant because it is not advisable to do it yourself in St Petersburg. I am sure some have ignored sensible advice and gone ashore themselves successfully, but a lot can go wrong. All passengers need to go through passport control to leave the area where the ship will be docked. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, lindyloo22 said:

Thanks Brian1 read the links looks like we will do ships tours.

Lyn

You might like to look at land based tour companies for comparison. Google “st Petersburg tours” Your tour ticket allows you to pass through immigration to meet your tour guide on the other side.

 

Brian

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, lindyloo22 said:

Thanks Brian1 read the links looks like we will do ships tours.

Lyn

He's Brianl I'm Brian1.Don't want to steal his thunder,lol.

Edited by brian1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have obtained a visa for Russia - however apart from the cost (over £100) and having to appear in person in London or Edinburgh, you do need to have some sponsoring tour company - for a day or two in St Petersburg I doubt you would be able to get it nor that it would be worthwhile.  Its not too difficult to get about in St Petersburg, but English is not widely spoken. You can use the CityMapper app which works well for buses etc.  Entry to the major attractions like the Hermitage are via tours so really I think you would be better off doing an excursion.

 

(I did not cruise to St Petersburg but was there as part of a land-based tour - we spent some additional days in St Petersburg at the end of the tour - but the visa was sponsored by the tour company).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi LindyLoo22

 

We did a baltic cruise a few years ago and love to do our own thing and enjoy the freedom that gives.

 

At the time it was pretty easy to get a visa although I think it's slightly more difficult now in that I believe it has to be done in person at the Russian Embassy (we just did it by post). It was quite expensive (around £125 each when we did it, I think).

 

But it allowed us do what we wanted and was definitely worth it. We had a morning at the Hermitage and afternoon at Peterhof and then had a meal in the centre before getting a taxi back. Taxis were easy (available at the port and they gave you the port address written in Russian to show your taxi driver for the return journey,.

 

On day 2 we just stayed in the centre of St Petersburg and saw the usual sights there (Church of Spilled Blood, Peter & Paul Fortress, we did a metro journey and a canal trip amongst other things).

 

We wandered around at our own pace and weren't tied to anyone else's schedules - all in all it was a thoroughly enjoyable city and felt as safe as any other city we've visited.

Edited by minsterman
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Minsterman sounds interesting we do like to do our own thing. You do have to go in person to get your visa so may look at some tour operators and see what they do
or the ships tours. Got a little while yet so don’t have to decide right now.

if anybody could recommend any tour operators that would be good.
Lyn

Link to post
Share on other sites

We went to a wedding in Moscow a few years ago. The visa was over £100. It's a hassle getting it. I wouldn't recommend it. Take an organised tour with a group visa included. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

We had to have a visa for our 16 night holiday in Russia last year.  It is expensive and very time consuming.  You also have to have biometrics taken in one of three bases in the UK (in London, Manchester and Edinburgh).  Not something we would wish to repeat for a two day cruise visit.

 

However we spent two days in St Petersburg on Arcadia in August and did a P&O trip which allowed free time in three different places.  The trip cost £44pp before loyalty discount and was for 7.5 hours, so well worth doing.  Good idea to do a bit pf research before you go, but we had a great time and would say SPB was actually very tourist friendly, though our use of the metro was done when there on a land trip and that was much easier as my husband had taken the time to learn the Russian alphabet to allow us to recognise the name of our destination.  Apart from the metro, free time should be fine and that is a very good trip for anyone wanting some independence.  Will need another trip for the other day, but not worth bothering with a visa for one day.

 

Edited by tring
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, tring said:

We had to have a visa for our 16 night holiday in Russia last year.  It is expensive and very time consuming.  You also have to have biometrics taken in one of three bases in the UK (in London, Manchester and Edinburgh).  Not something we would wish to repeat for a two day cruise visit.

 

However we spent two days in St Petersburg on Arcadia in August and did a P&O trip which allowed free time in three different places.  The trip cost £44pp before loyalty discount and was for 7.5 hours, so well worth doing.  Good idea to do a bit pf research before you go, but we had a great time and would say SPB was actually very tourist friendly, though our use of the metro was done when there on a land trip and that was much easier as my husband had taken the time to learn the Russian alphabet to allow us to recognise the name of our destination.  Apart from the metro, free time should be fine and that is a very good trip for anyone wanting some independence.  Will need another trip for the other day, but not worth bothering with a visa for one day.

 

 

We have been to St P several times but never had the opportunity to have free time in the city so I'd be really interested to know which excursion you did giving free time and grateful for any info you can give me.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, kruzseeka said:

 

We have been to St P several times but never had the opportunity to have free time in the city so I'd be really interested to know which excursion you did giving free time and grateful for any info you can give me.  

 

It was one of P&O's own excursions.  It seems they offered it last year as well, but I do not know about previous years and of course no guarantee they will do the same again next year.  I do not think all cruise companies offer that one, it presumably depends on which Russian tour provider is used by the cruise line and also if the cruise line actually wants to offer it.  I do not think Fred Olsen offer it.

 

I would certainly do it again If I had chance.  We had about half an hour by St Isaacs (St Isaacs itself was not open at that time of day though) about 45 mins by The Field of Mars and almost two hours in Nevsky Prospect.  We were given a good map with a suggested walking route, but you can go anywhere or even catch a river boat tour as they leave from near the Nevsky Prospect drop off point.

 

Personally I think the private tour companies offer their tours at very high prices - but if people want to dash around like mad trying to do everything in 2 days, then seems to be what they want, though the cruise lines offer similar sort of thing.  We had a river cruise to Moscow last year and spent 3 days free time in SPB.  We also did the main places with Viking as well as a walking tour and the ballet (all included Viking tours)  and some other places (e.g. Stroganoff Palace, river boat tour and Faberge), during our free time, but also spent time just wandering around and popping into the odd church etc.  We had two nights in hotels in both SPB and Moscow as add ons to the Viking river cruise and were very glad we did.

Edited by tring
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, tring said:

 

It was one of P&O's own excursions.  It seems they offered it last year as well, but I do not know about previous years and of course no guarantee they will do the same again next year.  I do not think all cruise companies offer that one, it presumably depends on which Russian tour provider is used by the cruise line and also if the cruise line actually wants to offer it.  I do not think Fred Olsen offer it.

 

I would certainly do it again If I had chance.  We had about half an hour by St Isaacs (St Isaacs itself was not open at that time of day though) about 45 mins by The Field of Mars and almost two hours in Nevsky Prospect.  We were given a good map with a suggested walking route, but you can go anywhere or even catch a river boat tour as they leave from near the Nevsky Prospect drop off point.

 

Personally I think the private tour companies offer their tours at very high prices - but if people want to dash around like mad trying to do everything in 2 days, then seems to be what they want, though the cruise lines offer similar sort of thing.  We had a river cruise to Moscow last year and spent 3 days free time in SPB.  We also did the main places with Viking as well as a walking tour and the ballet (all included Viking tours)  and some other places (e.g. Stroganoff Palace, river boat tour and Faberge), during our free time, but also spent time just wandering around and popping into the odd church etc.  We had two nights in hotels in both SPB and Moscow as add ons to the Viking river cruise and were very glad we did.

 

Thank you so much for that information.  As I mentioned we have been to St P a several times, always on a cruise and always doing the ship's trips.  It's perhaps 3 or 4 years since we were last there and during our visits have 'done' most of the sites,  but never given any freedom to just wander.   In fact I'd go as far as to say the guides were almost paranoid about keeping us in check! 

So it would be something quite different to be able to just explore.  Did the excursion include a visit to any sites or was it just a series of stops for you to spend time? 

We're going again next year and as we've done most of the trips now (some twice!) we're keen try something new.  Friends did the Faberge visit last year and enjoyed it so we think we might try thst one - I don't remember that being offered in the past either.  We've never made the Metro although I believe the stations are quite special but I think you probably have to do private tours for those to be included.

Thanks again for the information - good to gather ideas and recommendations.

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, kruzseeka said:

 

Thank you so much for that information.  As I mentioned we have been to St P a several times, always on a cruise and always doing the ship's trips.  It's perhaps 3 or 4 years since we were last there and during our visits have 'done' most of the sites,  but never given any freedom to just wander.   In fact I'd go as far as to say the guides were almost paranoid about keeping us in check! 

So it would be something quite different to be able to just explore.  Did the excursion include a visit to any sites or was it just a series of stops for you to spend time? 

We're going again next year and as we've done most of the trips now (some twice!) we're keen try something new.  Friends did the Faberge visit last year and enjoyed it so we think we might try thst one - I don't remember that being offered in the past either.  We've never made the Metro although I believe the stations are quite special but I think you probably have to do private tours for those to be included.

Thanks again for the information - good to gather ideas and recommendations.

 

The trip was as I have described, so entrance fees not included to anywhere.  Also our land visit was at the very begining of May and not many tourists around, so I do not know about queues etc.  I did get the time in Nevsky wrong though - it was stated as 3 hours, with 1.5 hours in each of the other two stops, but it was adjusted on the day to less time by St Isaacs and more time in Nevsky.  You can get help with details of SPB from TA forums (e.g. if you need to book ahead, which could be very difficult if you do not know exactly when you will be there), but looking at a map on the net will give you a good idea of what is where - you can get quite a distance in 3 hours, depending on if you stop for lunch.  Maybe not mention the free time trip there though as I have seen it suggested there that if authorities find out that is happening it could be pulled.  A lot of TA forum posters replying to questions there are guides and will be somewhat unhappy if that is being offered, whilst they obey other rules.  We kept our passports and a spare CC in a body belts worn under our trousers.  No British consul in SPB after Salisbury, so would need a trip to Moscow if passport lost and I have read that you cannot travel on public transport if no passport - so a taxi all the way to Moscow and accommodation to pay for as well as onward travel!

 

We go away in a few days so need to get packing done

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, tring said:

 

The trip was as I have described, so entrance fees not included to anywhere.  Also our land visit was at the very begining of May and not many tourists around, so I do not know about queues etc.  I did get the time in Nevsky wrong though - it was stated as 3 hours, with 1.5 hours in each of the other two stops, but it was adjusted on the day to less time by St Isaacs and more time in Nevsky.  You can get help with details of SPB from TA forums (e.g. if you need to book ahead, which could be very difficult if you do not know exactly when you will be there), but looking at a map on the net will give you a good idea of what is where - you can get quite a distance in 3 hours, depending on if you stop for lunch.  Maybe not mention the free time trip there though as I have seen it suggested there that if authorities find out that is happening it could be pulled.  A lot of TA forum posters replying to questions there are guides and will be somewhat unhappy if that is being offered, whilst they obey other rules.  We kept our passports and a spare CC in a body belts worn under our trousers.  No British consul in SPB after Salisbury, so would need a trip to Moscow if passport lost and I have read that you cannot travel on public transport if no passport - so a taxi all the way to Moscow and accommodation to pay for as well as onward travel!

 

We go away in a few days so need to get packing done

 

Wow!  Thanks for that very important info.  Some wise advice.  I'm not surprised about allowing allowing free time - that was the impression we'd gathered in the past.  We'll have a good think about what you've said, do some research and have a careful look at the ship's excursions when they are available before making a decision on what to do.  Thanks again for your input.   

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, lindyloo22 said:

Thanks Minsterman sounds interesting we do like to do our own thing. You do have to go in person to get your visa so may look at some tour operators and see what they do
or the ships tours. Got a little while yet so don’t have to decide right now.

if anybody could recommend any tour operators that would be good.
Lyn

We were there for 3 days and did a 3 day tour with Alla which was excellent. It was in a minibus of 14. The visa was supplied by Alla.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with Barbara Muckermann, CMO Silversea Cruises
      • ICYM Our Cruise Critic Live Special Event: Explore the Remote World with Hurtigruten!
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...