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Visa Free area

by Jim
(Minnesota)

According to the St Peter Line web site they say the following:
"Passengers arriving under the VISA FREE regime must stay within the territory defined by the pre-paid excursion program (City Bus Tour program). "
Does that mean that you can only explore just a portion of St. Petersburg or how much of the city can be explored?
I also see a blog here about using your tour services so people can see more of the city?
I am getting an impression that one needs to be with a tour guide if using the Visa Free program.

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Mar 19, 2018
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Russia Visa Free Explanation!
by: Davide

Dear Jim,

Thank you for visiting our website.

If you want to visit the city and qualify for the Visa Free Option you must book a tour. The tour can be booked through the ship cruise or you can book a private tour on your own. Both ways are legally fine and both will provide you the paper work needed to go ashore.

Now, regarding staying with the guide, your impression is partially correct. The thing to know is that if you travel with St. Peter Line you can skip hiring the tour guide, though I don't recommend doing that. While if you travel with any other cruise ship companies like MSC, Oceania,Carnival, Norwegian, etc. then you must be accompanied by a tour guide for the whole time you are ashore.

Why?

Because the City Bus Tour program offered it is just a mere shuttle bus ticket that will take you from the port to the center. From there on you will be left on your own without any guidance. So yes, you can walk freely but nothing to learn. The reason for the wording is to get around the language of the visa waiver program that it applies to cruise passengers.

Please also note that if you arrive from outside the Schengen area, you must have a multiple entry Schengen visa to enter back to Sweden, Finland or Estonia after the cruise. A single visa is valid only for a one way trip.

It can be a little confusing, I know!

For more information I really recommend that you take a look HERE

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