People that have a desire to visit Russia often face the problem of obtaining Russian visa. Of course it is possible to get it but over the last few years this has become more and more expensive. For US citizen it may cost something between $250-$300 and even more.
But what if you don't plan to stay in Russia for long and just want to take a first glance at major highlights? What if you you want to make your Russia visit to be a part of your European journey? The solution is Visa-free Russia regulations for those who come to St Petersburg on board of cruise or ferry.
So basically you have two options:
1. Take a cruise that has St Petersburg as one of ports of call. Due to its unique visa-free status over the past few years St Petersburg has become the most attractive among all ports of Northern Europe. All major cruise companies include St Petersburg in their itineraries as a true highlight. It's the only port where cruise ships usually choose to stay longer than 1 day taking the opportunity of visa-free stay up to 72 hours.
We always advise to choose the ship that stays in St Petersburg for 3 days / 2 nights - this way you will be able to see the most of the city and its environs and also take a one-day trip to Moscow. It's a law that you have to stay at your ship during the night (no hotels). See Visa Free St Petersburg and disembarkation briefing for details.
2. Hop on on of those ferries that go to St Petersburg from Helsinki or Stockholm. This line is being operated by St Peter Line.
Overnight voyage from Helsinki on Princess Maria ferry would be the cheapest choice for you. Make sure you book your St Petersburg Shore excursions with MaxiBaltTours when you plan your trip. You can stay at the hotel for maximum 2 nights and HAVE to go out of the country by ferry after that. We can suggest nice and affordable hotel right in St Petersburg downtown - 3 Mosta.
Please Check with us about special rates. Again, your stay should be not longer than 72 hours.