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Realistically what are the chances that Baltic cruises including St Petersburg will happen next summer?


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I think I read here that Baltic cruises are taking place without the stop in St P.. A cursory search of the internet tells me that Russia's borders aren't open for tourism and you need an essential reason to get in. I have a cruise booked that is supposed to stop in Russia in June 2022. If this stop is omitted that would be a major change to the itinerary and we would push the trip off for a year. I have until Feb for final payment but if we cancel then we need to find a different replacement trip. I think we've found a suitable replacement trip but dates are starting to sell out and I can't book it with a refundable deposit. I'm just wondering if we should pull the trigger and cancel the cruise and book the replacement trip.

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Nobody can tell. Much might change before June 2022. Right now the major cruise line believes that it will be possible to visit St. Petersburg next year. Personally I doubt it will be possible - I would not book a cruise including St. Petersburg right now, but as said things might change,

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On 10/18/2021 at 7:06 AM, hallasm said:

Nobody can tell. Much might change before June 2022. Right now the major cruise line believes that it will be possible to visit St. Petersburg next year. Personally I doubt it will be possible - I would not book a cruise including St. Petersburg right now, but as said things might change,

I heard on NPR that there's a lot of vaccine hesitancy in Russia right now which caused me to start looking into how things are right now. I already had 2023 booked as a back up in case something happened. I'm leaning towards canceling and booking a land based Europe trip in a country that we meet all of the entry requirements. I'd much rather have a guaranteed trip booked than a cruise where we end up deciding to cancel before final payment and have to scramble to find a replacement vacation on short notice.

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While I do not believe you’ll having any issues traveling within EU next year (including cruises) there might still be issues with entry into St. Petersburg, however all major cruise lines think it will be possible.

I’m not a specialist but there might be two issues - vaccines used not covering for mutations and currently very low vaccination rate - might not reach ‘herd immunity’ by next June.

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I came here to post a different question and saw your thread.  
 

 We have a similar concern.  We did put a refundable deposit on a Baltic cruise for July,  2022.  Then I also looked at a few land tours and booked air dates that would work if we decide not to cruise.  We set a deadline of 120 days out to decide to cancel and book something else. You timeline may be less, so I understand your concern. 

Who knows what will happen?  I am not too worried about a booking a land tour, unless it involves the Oberammergau.  Vaccines will most likely be required to travel abroad and on tours.  We witnessed people canceling when discovering the  requirement for US tours. Yes, some companies are requiring vaccines to board their US tours.  It’s too bad the the tour companies aren’t refunding deposits. AFAIK.

 

I want to see what happens this winter. Good luck! 
 


 

 

 

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1 hour ago, milolii said:

I came here to post a different question and saw your thread.  
 

 We have a similar concern.  We did put a refundable deposit on a Baltic cruise for July,  2022.  Then I also looked at a few land tours and booked air dates that would work if we decide not to cruise.  We set a deadline of 120 days out to decide to cancel and book something else. You timeline may be less, so I understand your concern. 

Who knows what will happen?  I am not too worried about a booking a land tour, unless it involves the Oberammergau.  Vaccines will most likely be required to travel abroad and on tours.  We witnessed people canceling when discovering the  requirement for US tours. Yes, some companies are requiring vaccines to board their US tours.  It’s too bad the the tour companies aren’t refunding deposits. AFAIK.

 

I want to see what happens this winter. Good luck! 
 


 

 

 

We have air booked through the cruise so I haven't paid for it yet. If we cancel it just goes away. We only have a small window of time to work with and the fact that 2 of the 4 dates that work for us on the replacement tour have sold out makes me want to just pull the trigger and cancel the cruise and book the land trip. My in laws are going on the cruise with us and they're making comments like they don't want to have to be bothered to test before traveling and don't want to have to wear masks. We don't have those issues ourselves and are mainly concerned about not being able to stop in Russia.

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Oh I see.  It’s hard to tell what would happen.  The testing may be required anyway.  If testing is an issue, probably best to vacation in the US.  
 

I can understand about the tour availability issue as well.   Did  you call the company to verify?  Sometimes booking/availability issues appear over a weekend and correct themselves later in the week. I suppose you would need 4 spots so that would be more difficult.  Many people are rebooking from tours cancelled this year as well.  I have a friend who some in her group traveling to the Oberammergau  believe the vaccine mandate will not be required in 2022.  Who knows?  If it is required you could see cancellations.  But all of this is  “if” 
 

Agree though, at the cost of the cruise, not going to Russia is a dealbreaker, and presents the need to wait yet another year.  Regardless let’s hope this upcoming winter is not anything like last winter.  
 

Thanks for starting the thread. Appreciate the opinions from the locals.  Let us know what you decide. 

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I'm trying to avoid a situation where we end up cancelling at the last minute and can't find anything affordable to do so we just end up going to Disney. That's the only place we've been the whole pandemic and while I love it I really need to do something other than Disney. We've all got fresh passports that need to be stamped. We were thinking about booking a Norwegian Fjords cruise as a back up but I can't find anything that works with our time frame.

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@fluffybunny22 As stated, we are on the same cruise. Also, for the others as well, I have noticed (for Princess), that cruises leaving and/ departing from St. Petersburg are "currently not available" and have been listed as such for many months. This has been a red flag for me.

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On 10/19/2021 at 5:24 PM, fluffybunny22 said:

I'm trying to avoid a situation where we end up cancelling at the last minute and can't find anything affordable to do so we just end up going to Disney. That's the only place we've been the whole pandemic and while I love it I really need to do something other than Disney. We've all got fresh passports that need to be stamped. We were thinking about booking a Norwegian Fjords cruise as a back up but I can't find anything that works with our time frame.

 

We've done both cruises, and they are very different but both spectacular.  I hope you are able to find something that works for you.  Would a Hurtigruten Cruises be an option for your family?  It lacks many amenities of a full cruise line, but can take you to amazing destinations.

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Thanks for asking this question. Trying to decide what to do about our NCL Baltic cruise in May. It is so hard to decide because we have no idea what will happen. Things could be much more open. Or a new variant and loss of vaccine efficacy could cause surges. Who knows? Yesterday,  I was looking at airfare to Copenhagen, feeling optimistic. And then today I see that Moscow is probably going to reinstate lockdowns.

 

Plus, there are unknowns even if we can cruise. Will we have to take a ship excursions at all ports? That would be a dealbreaker for us, and we might not know that until the last minute.

 

I understand that COVID may be endemic and we will just have to learn to live with it. Eventually, we will be cruising despite COVID. However, everything is still new. And many of these countries haven't been accepting cruise ships. Not sure I want to be on the first cruises to a region.

 

Glad to read everyone's thoughts. Nice we can discuss options!

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Yes, nice to have a place to discuss.  Below  is Link to an article from today.  You can scroll down to Russia, plus look at other countries.  I really think we will need to see how things look this winter.  Things change all the time. We have until March 22 to decide.  
 

We booked air to London, so that gives us many options in case we change things.  Additionally, flying to London gives us a few day flight options from NYC, skipping that overnight business. We have had enough of that. 
 

Just wishful wondering but maybe some of the St. Petersburg private tours might be allowed, through some of the companies recommended here, (TJ, Alla, etc.) who seem to already have polices in place for the Russian Federation  Visa authorization. They may be able to work the CoVID -19 safely aspect requirements out as well.  Of course, the cruise lines will have their positions as well.  Probably wishful thinking in my part. 

https://thepointsguy.com/guide/reopening-soon-a-country-by-country-guide-to-coronavirus-recovery/?utm_source=TPG Daily Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=3072848&utm_usr=81cc9bffe6c704f2367ed1b07a0d8bc32631a3940c449feb8a05853247c60af0&utm_msg=a595da093e7247e9a4b8e5a8f45af835&utm_date=2021-10-22

 

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On 10/21/2021 at 4:45 PM, milolii said:

Ok, good luck.  We are NCL Dawn, July 20, 2022.  Will be following  here to see how it goes.  We will decide by final payment.  We aren’t paying anymore until then. 

We are on Regent Splendor in July 2022.  It's a Baltic cruise, but also a Norwegian fjords cruise.  I will not be too disappointed if St. Petersburg get dropped, that's not my worry, ship happens.  My worry is that Norway is still closed to North Americans, and half the itinerary is in Norway.

 

Our final payment date is early February, so this is a real concern. Luckily our flights are booked through the cruise line, so we don't have money at stake there, but worry about paying a huge amount of money for this luxury cruise and then finding the itinerary either cancelled or substantially changed.

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5 hours ago, Wendy The Wanderer said:

We are on Regent Splendor in July 2022.  It's a Baltic cruise, but also a Norwegian fjords cruise.  I will not be too disappointed if St. Petersburg get dropped, that's not my worry, ship happens.  My worry is that Norway is still closed to North Americans, and half the itinerary is in Norway.

 

Our final payment date is early February, so this is a real concern. Luckily our flights are booked through the cruise line, so we don't have money at stake there, but worry about paying a huge amount of money for this luxury cruise and then finding the itinerary either cancelled or substantially changed.

Agreed.

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6 hours ago, Wendy The Wanderer said:

Our final payment date is early February, so this is a real concern. Luckily our flights are booked through the cruise line, so we don't have money at stake there, but worry about paying a huge amount of money for this luxury cruise and then finding the itinerary either cancelled or substantially changed.

 

This is our concern as well. Our final payment is due Jan 27. If they don't extend the final payment date, then I think we will cancel. Cruises always come with some unknowns, but this would be more than I am willing to risk--such as substantial changes in ports, or required ship excursions.

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On 10/22/2021 at 3:00 PM, milolii said:

Yes, nice to have a place to discuss.  Below  is Link to an article from today.  You can scroll down to Russia, plus look at other countries.  I really think we will need to see how things look this winter.  Things change all the time. We have until March 22 to decide.  
 

We booked air to London, so that gives us many options in case we change things.  Additionally, flying to London gives us a few day flight options from NYC, skipping that overnight business. We have had enough of that. 

 

Thanks for the link to the article! Really appreciate it!

 

Hmmm. . . I love that you found day flights. I would consider flying out of NYC just for that. We are planning to fly into Copenhagen, but have considered London as well. More flexible flight schedules would be great! I am getting to the point where I can't handle the overnight flights as well.

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1 hour ago, Happycrafter123 said:

I am curious, looking at booking a Baltic cruise with ncl for the summer.  St P. Is 2 days of the 9 day cruise.  If it’s not open to stopping does the cruise then add another day in Berlin or one of the other stops?

Hard to say... sometimes it is just more sea days. Hopefully they can be more creative than that, however, ports typically need to be planned way in advance, so maybe they have some backups.

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10 hours ago, Happycrafter123 said:

I am curious, looking at booking a Baltic cruise with ncl for the summer.  St P. Is 2 days of the 9 day cruise.  If it’s not open to stopping does the cruise then add another day in Berlin or one of the other stops?

Port schedules are made years in advance so there's no telling what they may be able to do, A lot of ports are also limited based on the size of the ship. I doubt they'd be able to find something worthwhile to people to keep them from canceling because St P is generally seen as the highlight of these itineraries.

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@rwf1 United, American and  British Airways have day flights.  United departs from Liberty National.  I think American and British Airways depart from JFK.  Glad to share the article as information is hard to find. 

 

@Happycrafter123 More than likely sea days would  be the substitute, because as others have noted,  port schedules are set.  I have seen many port changes/substitutions in the Caribbean sailings.  Those are different however. 
 

@Wendy The WandererI appreciate your comments about Norway as that was not on my radar. We were looking at a trip there as well.  Will hold off.  

 

So we wait. 
 

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