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ferry to st. petersburg, russia

we are planning a trip in august. I just read the RS book re visas to Russia. the book says if one arrives by cruise ship or the st. peter line ferry, there is no need for a visa, if stay is 72 hours. tho' RS says to confirm as requirements may have changed.

is the 14.5 hours ferry to st. Petersburg comfortable enough? has anyone done it?

and has anyone gone to Russia by this ferry without a visa? if so, did you stay overnight, or take the ferry back that same night? it seems a shame to pay $150 per person to go on the ferry, plus $25 transit from port to downtown, and only stay about 8 hrs in st. P.


Posted by
2779 posts

Yes, I've done the entire St. Peter Line trip from Stockholm via Tallinn to St. Petersburg and back to Helsinki. There also is a ferry that only shuttles between Helsinki and St. Petersburg. The ferries are all Western-built (but in the 1980s), clean, comfortable and the evening entertainment is.... you have to see it. Really. It's so bad that it's actually good - it really shows you what Russians like. And they even bring their children to this type of evening entertainment.

The entire sailing into St. Petersburg is amazing. You'll see the summer palace from the boat and plenty of the city already. St. Peter Line's pier is much closer to the old town than any other cruise company's. They shuttle you directly to St. Isaac's Cathedral where there also is a very nice Rocco Forte hotel with free wifi and very clean bathrooms. You are absolutely free to roam around the city. You do not have to stay with the group. It all works really well.

Posted by
3 posts

I am in St. Pete right now - got in on the ferry yesterday with a visa. The ferry is really a party boat, but lik the other person said, it is clean and comfotable. There is another option for getting to town from the dock - the taxi. It costs about $6 by taxi The lovely girl at the St.Petersline info desk called and got me a taxi - but you need to pay with rubles (310 rubles is the official price).

The ATM at the ferry dock is wacky. It will not take a 4 digit password. The lovely girl that you need to put in your 4 digit number (if that is all you have), click Continue, put in the 4 digit code again (without starting over) and click Continue again. Then you will get your money. I did not try it because 3 bad tries and the ATM was going to keep my card. I was not willing to take the chance since it would have been my 3rd try, so I do not know for sure that it works.