72 visa free hours in St. Petersburg

 

In accordance with the decision of the Government of the Russian Federation, cruise and ferry passengers may stay in the territory of the Russian Federation for 72 hours without visa if they arrive in Saint-Petersburg on board a vessel as part of a tour group.

 

There are just 4 steps to visa-free entry: 

1. Purchase an airline ticket to Helsinki
There are more than 10 airlines that provide direct flights from European cities to Helsinki.
2. Book a ferry cabin
St. Peter Line ferries sail from Helsinki every two days according to schedule (at approximately 6 p.m.). Travel time is about 13–15 hours. Estimated time of arrival in Saint Petersburg is 9 a.m. the following day. The ferry sails back from Saint Petersburg 3 days later.
3. Book a transfer from the seaport of Saint Petersburg
The ferry company will provide a transfer service to the city centre and also to some hotels. It is a paid service, but it is mandatory if you would like to purchase a visa-free cruise travel.The transfer fee is 25 euros.
4. Select a hotel to stay in the city centre
After selecting a cabin and booking the transfer service you can select a hotel in the city centre from the list of hotels. Please note that to use the visa-free stay option, you may only choose a hotel to stay from the list of hotels included in your tour group programme. Your travel agent will provide you with the full list of the hotels available for booking and the room prices, or, if you book a St. Peter Line Company ferry online, you can select a hotel online.

Tour prices for departure cities:

City

Low Season
from

High Season
from

City

Low Season
from

High Season
from

BERLIN 268 EUR 349 EUR LISBON 320 EUR 487 EUR
ZURICH 258 EUR 355 EUR OSLO 233 EUR 324 EUR
MADRID 369 EUR 415 EUR AMSTERDAM 323 EUR 390 EUR
PARIS 309 EUR 377 EUR BRUSSELS 314 EUR 378 EUR
VIENNA 308 EUR 371 EUR COPENHAGEN 238 EUR 331 EUR
ROME 330 EUR 382 EUR STOCKHOLM 279 EUR 322 EUR
The estimated cost of travel listed above includes an airfare, ferry cruise, transfer and hotel accommodation fares.
Low season: October through April 
High season: May through September
This is not a public offer, and it is based on the minimal fares of the airline and ferry companies for a specified period.

Purchasing the Cruise

Travel Agencies
You can contact one of the travel agencies representing the St. Peter Line ferry company to purchase a visa-free cruise. After booking the cruise, the travel agent will provide you with the booking confirmation. You can visit the website www.stpeterline.com (St. Petersburg – Helsinki on Princess Maria –> About Us –> Where to Buy) to find the travel agency nearest you.

Online booking system
You can book a visa-free cruise travel without leaving your home using an online booking service via the website of the ferry company. When booking a cruise online, please follow the system instructions and leave the “visa” field blank when filling out the form. Next, the system will automatically bring you to the purchase of a transfer service to the city centre. After that, you will be able to book a city tour and print out the booking confirmation.

Travel Start

How can I get from Vantaa Airport to the Helsinki passenger port — Länsiterminaali?
You can take a taxi or use public transport: first the bus, then the tram:

 

  • Use a regular 615 or 620 bus which runs from the airport to the Helsinki city centre to the railway station (in the direction of the city centre: Rautatientori).
    Fare: 5.00 Euros in the daytime and 7.00 Euros in the night-time (from 2 a.m. to 4:30 a.m.)
  • You can also take a Finnair City Bus, which departs from the airport to the railway station.
    Fare: 6.30 Euros.
    Journey time: about 40 minutes.
    Helsinki bus schedule
    Finnair City Bus schedule

  • Transfer to the number 9 tram from the Rautatientori station to reach the passenger  port of Helsinki -Länsiterminaali.

Ferry check-in

On the day of departure, you should arrive at the terminal in advance for check-in. Check-in starts 3 hours before departure. To check in, you must provide the passport used to book the ferry. Please do not forget your cruise and hotel booking confirmations to simplify the check-in procedure and for your comfort. After check-in, you will proceed to passport and visa control and then get on board the ferry.

On Board

The information counter on board is open 24 hours a day. Cosy cabins, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, casinos and other entertainment will be at your service. For children, there is a specially equipped game room with a pool of plastic balls a maze, and a children's cinema. Children under 12 years have free access to the Aqua Zone upon the condition that they are accompanied by their parents.

 

Arrival in Saint Petersburg

After the ferry arrives in Saint Petersburg, you should leave the ferry and proceed to passport and visa control. In order to accelerate the migration control procedure, it is necessary to make sure that you have the following documents on you before leaving the ferry: your passport, hotel booking confirmation, migration card, and arrival-departure card obtained when checking in for the ferry. Request a migration card onboard the ferry or at the passport control at the marine terminal in Saint Petersburg. Upon arrival in the Russian Federation, and after going through migration and customs control, you should proceed to the hall of the marine station, which is right behind the terminal. Having left the station building, proceed to the minibuses with St. Peter Line logo. Timetable and bus routes are available at www.stpeterline.com (Excursions –> Group Tours in St. Petersburg –> City Bus Tour). The bus makes several stops. With your arrival-departure card, you can use the shuttle an unlimited number of times. Please note that the shuttle bus runs on a schedule and only on the days when the ferry is staying at the quay at the marine station in Saint Petersburg.

Departure from Saint Petersburg

On the day of departure from Saint Petersburg, take the shuttle to the marine terminal, boarding at any of the stops listed on the site www.stpeterline.com (Excursions –> Group Tours in Saint Petersburg –> City Bus Tour). Inside the terminal, first check in for the ferry, providing your passport and the cruise booking confirmation. Then walk directly into the migration and customs control area. At passport control, you will need to provide your passport, migration card and arrival-departure card.

 

We hope this page will be useful for foreign tourists who want to take advantage of a unique visa free regime and enjoy the unspeakable atmosphere of Saint Petersburg.

You can download this page for further use.