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Entering St petersburg by Ship and Visa Requirements

by Betsy

We are taking a private tour of the Hermitage by an outside company-not one offered by our cruise line. Do we need a visa to go from the port to the Hermitage by taxi. Once we get to the hermitage, we won't need the visa since we are with a guide.
Please one can answer this.
thank you


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Apr 28, 2015
Visa Tour Vouchers for Cruise Passengers visiting St Petersburg Russia!
by: Davide

Dear Betsy,

This is Davide's writing!

If you have booked a private tour guide, the company or guide in question should provide you with a visa tour voucher for each guest, also known as Blanket Visa.

For your information, the guide should also come to pick you up at the port terminal and then bring you back to the ship. Honestly, you can't take a taxi on your own to reach the Hermitage.

Cruise passengers can tour St Petersburg for no more than 72 hours if they book a tour with their ship or they book a tour with a private company as you have done. However, this does not mean that you can take a taxi on your own or tour the city on your own. You can do that only if you hold a Russian tourist visa.

Thus, the guide you have hired for your tour must provide you a document "Tour Voucher" to allow you to get through the passport control at the port. Plus he/her has to come to collect you at the port terminal and stay with you until you are not brought back to the ship.

If your tour guide is not providing all these services but just a 3 hours tour at the hermitage, then you are in trouble.

So, make sure you double check these things with your tour guide before you come.

Read more here

As I am writing this, I would like to inform you that we also provide private shore tours. If you are interested feel free to contact me privately at


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