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Mary Louise

Status of Russia port of call

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petsgalore: Wow, last year there were rumors that ship tours had priority but it didn't happen. I can't believe they accomplished it, this year.

Thanks for your report.

It's still better to use a private tour to have a better time, on tour and to save lots of money!! Have your breakfast and take your time. The ship is going no where. ENJOY!!

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Yes they managed. Obviously i don’t know if some people were able to slip through, but as far as i know they checked tour tickets before they let you into the theater for priority departure.

It is definitely worth looking into private tours, we crossed paths with celebrity tour groups a few times in the two days we were there and there were at least 30 people in every group. Too many for my taste. Enjoy, SPB is an interesting place.

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Yes they managed. Obviously i don’t know if some people were able to slip through, but as far as i know they checked tour tickets before they let you into the theater for priority departure.

It is definitely worth looking into private tours, we crossed paths with celebrity tour groups a few times in the two days we were there and there were at least 30 people in every group. Too many for my taste. Enjoy, SPB is an interesting place.

 

Thanks for the info on how things are working this year. We will be in SPB on the Eclipse in a few weeks and I am curious as to where those of us with private tours should line up if we want to be at the front of the line to disembark when they allow non-ship tours to get off.

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I recently emailed TJ tours about my concerns with the time it takes to get off and go through customs. They assured me that they are aware of the situation and will not leave without their tour customers. Very anxious about hearing about all the lines though. We have a one year old that will not be happy to be in one place longer than 5 minutes.

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Just curious, is this just in St Petersburg or all the ports of call

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Does anyone know whether there is a "faster" line/queue through the SPB ship terminal for holders of a Russian visa, or do all foreign passengers go through the same lines no matter what credentials you are using? We have FAN IDs (which I understand act as visas), and I'm wondering if we will have to wait in the same, potentially long line as the tour operator users the first morning that we disembark.

 

I ask because we want to be out at a certain time, and I'm not sure if we should factor in a long line tomorrow (June 22).

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Does anyone know whether there is a "faster" line/queue through the SPB ship terminal for holders of a Russian visa, or do all foreign passengers go through the same lines no matter what credentials you are using? We have FAN IDs (which I understand act as visas), and I'm wondering if we will have to wait in the same, potentially long line as the tour operator users the first morning that we disembark.

 

I ask because we want to be out at a certain time, and I'm not sure if we should factor in a long line tomorrow (June 22).

 

 

We are on Royal Caribbean and left yesterday. There was only a separate line for Russian citizens. It took us about 40 minutes to get through immigration the first day. We were on a private tour starting at 9:00 am.

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Thanks Rosie, that's really good to know. It sounds as though things have improved since last year. Were You on a 2 day Visit? How long did it take on the second day and did you notice how many ships were also in port with you?

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We had a three day visit. We left the ship at 8:45 the second & third day. It only took a couple of minutes. We had 4 to 5 ships with us everyday.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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Does anyone know whether there is a "faster" line/queue through the SPB ship terminal for holders of a Russian visa, or do all foreign passengers go through the same lines no matter what credentials you are using? We have FAN IDs (which I understand act as visas), and I'm wondering if we will have to wait in the same, potentially long line as the tour operator users the first morning that we disembark.

 

 

 

I ask because we want to be out at a certain time, and I'm not sure if we should factor in a long line tomorrow (June 22).

 

 

 

There wasn’t one when we visited- only one line for everyone with several “stalls” once you got to the front of it with agents.

 

We were on a small ship docked on the river- maybe there’s a different set up for the big ships?

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I recently emailed TJ tours about my concerns with the time it takes to get off and go through customs. They assured me that they are aware of the situation and will not leave without their tour customers. Very anxious about hearing about all the lines though. We have a one year old that will not be happy to be in one place longer than 5 minutes.

 

We were in St Petersburg on P&O Azura on 15th and 16th June. It took around 20 mins to clear customs on the first morning, but after that it was pretty quick (we did an evening tour which only took a couple of minutes to get through customs, and only around five minutes on day two).

 

On day one, P&O made it clear that independant tours could not disembark until the ship’s tours had all disembarked, which from memory was around 9.30am. This is policed with passengers needing to show their tour ticket on disembarkation and at the immigration desk. Speaking to other passengers all the private tour companies seem to work around the situation and time their tours to the ship’s/customs’ disembarkation times.

 

On the positive side, we had an amazing time in St Petersburg, and it is certainly worth putting up with the extra hassle at immigration.

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Thanks Simon-t for your info. That certainly is not a hassle. Last year, the wait for immigration was horrible! I was exhausted before we even started. I'm happy the cruise ships found a better way to do it. Of course, the Russian tour companies, would be able to work around the situation. The new system sounds so much better than, what we endured last year.

SPB and the Baltic cruise was so awesome, I'd love to do the cruise again!!

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I was quite worried about all of this, due to the experiences of other people. We were on the Tui Discovery and did SPB at the end of June. I asked at reception to find out what the procedure was and she told me to just debark when we wanted. I was still a bit dubious but that's exactly how it worked. We just went down to the gangway and walked off the ship, up to immigration and straight through. Five minutes from ship to shops, as it were. Of course, we'd allowed plenty of time so were very early but that gave us time to chat to others on our tour and do a bit of window shopping in the duty free.

It looks very much as if it depends on the cruise line how it's handled.

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We were on RCCL SOS and had no problem either. The cruiseline posted that we would not be able to disembark until 8:30 because tour operators can not be there until 8:30. That was false information. Tour operators were there at 7:30.

 

ML

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Did you need your passport (I'm US) to get through the Russian immigration?

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Please keep posting updates so I know if I need to be early or late. Doing an Alla tour on the 21st In St. Pete . Regal Princess starting on July 15

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Did you need your passport (I'm US) to get through the Russian immigration?

 

 

Yes, you do, at least for the first day in St. Petersburg.

Any subsequent days do should not need do take it because Russian immigration will have taken all the details they need on the first day. Be prepared for a fairly long wait as they seem to be inordinately slow in obtaining ones details. Last time we went in 2017 a printer malfunctioned. One just has to grin and bare it.

Have a great trip it is worth all the hassle.

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Did you need your passport (I'm US) to get through the Russian immigration?

 

You need both your passport and a copy of your visa or visa waiver. The second day is much faster, as they just check the paperwork for their stamp that ensures they cleared you previously.

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Visa?

 

Are we supposed to get one ahead of time or does Princess provide if we are on a private tour?

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Visa?

 

Are we supposed to get one ahead of time or does Princess provide if we are on a private tour?

 

If you are on a private tour, the tour company will need to get your visa sorted. All of the major tour companies should include that in the package price.

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Visa?

 

Are we supposed to get one ahead of time or does Princess provide if we are on a private tour?

If you have booked a tour through Princess, they will provide the necessary ticket to get you through immigration. If you book through an independent operator, they will provide you with the necessary documents.

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Visa?

 

Are we supposed to get one ahead of time or does Princess provide if we are on a private tour?

Technically it’s a visa waiver... Anyone on a ship’s tour or private tour will be provided with a tour ticket which substitutes for a visa. you need your passport as well. you are not supposed to stray. This has been discussed about a zillion times.

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Visited SPB via celebrity silhouette on june 1and 2. Tours booked through celebrity had priority to disembark, everybody else had to wait in public areas. A pre-recorded tape was periodically played informing passengers that the ship had not been cleared by authorities, while anyone who bothered looking over the railing could see groups disembarking below. They were let go from the front of the ship via the theater while it appeared that the rest of us were kept at the back. When the announcement was finally made that the ship was cleared = those of us with private tours could leave too, a large group from michael’s club was hustled to the elevator by the concierge who basically blocked anyone else from getting on as well, taking them to deck 2 to get off.

We had a private tour for 4 of us booked with TJ travel, meeting time 8:30. We hung around the public area starting at 7. There was a looong line snaking from deck 5 to where i am not sure. Celebrity folks were stationed at staircases to keep people from cutting in line. The ship was “cleared” for us shortly before 8 and the line started moving surprisingly fast and orderly. We exited the ship and there were many lines open to go through immigration = several buildings with approx 6 to 8 booths each. Celebrity people were directing pax to various lines. We had 6 people in line ahead of us and it took about 15 to 20 minutes to get through. There were no other people waiting behind us in the line = pax were distributed well across to available agents. We met our tour guide at 8:35. It was much faster than anticipated, the real wait was on the ship for the ship tour people to get off.

When we returned to the ship in the evening, there was no line, same on the second day leaving and returning. We went through in a couple of minutes.

 

Be thankful that you were able to dock.

The port authorities prevented us from docking on July1/2 nd due to us being too large for the wind conditions, meaning we couldn’t turn in the channel.

We had booked our tours via Celebrity and our money was back in our OBA by the evening of 2 nd July.

I asked Guest Relations if they would take my roubles, which they converted to US $ and was it credited to our OBA.

Port fees were credited by 4 th July.

I am still very unhappy that we missed the port. Celebrity suggest we claim on our insurance, I can’t see any joy there as weather conditions are considered an act of god.

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