I have been looking at Rick's guides and the website for Moby St. Peter Line ferries into St. Petersburg to try to understand how they and the visa free rule works.
From what I understand, if you travel with them to St. Petersburg, you do not need a visa. They talk about a 25 Euro shuttle service from the ferry to the city center. It seems like that shuttle counts as the "organized tour" that you have to take for the Russia no-visa rule. Is that correct? If I go with them, am I free to travel around the city by myself?
Also, their website does not tell sailing times very clearly. I can see, for example, that I would leave Helsinki on a Wednesday at 19:00 and then return to Helsinki on Friday at 08:00. How long are you actually on the ferry? How long do you actually have to spend in St. Petersburg? You rent a cabin, so are you sleeping on the boat on Wednesday night and/or Thursday night or do you need to reserve a hotel room for night(s) while in St. Petersburg? Their website sends you to booking.com so I am thinking you need a hotel for at least one night.
I'd love to go to St. Petersburg as an offshoot of following Rick's Scandinavia itinerary, but I really don't want to pay for a visa for a very brief visit.
Anyone who has traveled with Moby/St. Peter Line and knows more of how it works, please help. Thanks.