Visa Free for cruise ship passengers
I offer Visa free shore excursions for cruise passengers staying for less than 72 hours in port.
Please see my Visa Free page for more details of the visa exemption scheme.
Russian Visa and Registration
Visitors not arriving to Russia by cruise ship must have a visa. It gives much more flexibility than the Visa-Free scheme, but unfortunately it is somewhat complicated and costly.
I can help you through the process of getting a Russian visa.
Obtaining a tourist visa consists of 3 steps:
- Firstly you need to obtain a so called "invitation" or "tourist
voucher". I can provide this by email.
- Next you apply to the Russian embassy. In many countries you can
do this online/by post without actually visiting the embassy in person.
You will need to submit a fairly basic application form, passport style
photographs and the embassy fee.
- Finally if you spend more than 3 business days here you are
Russian law to register with the migration authority. I can
do that for you too.
Usually after getting an invitation it takes 2 weeks to process a visa
at Russian Consulate. You may process it also quicker but the cost will
increase immensely. That is why the receipt of Russian visa usually
takes about 2½ weeks.
can process your visa far in advance of your trip and that is what I
advise you to do. Nobody knows what new requirements Russian
bureaucrats will invent tomorrow, but once you have your visa no one
will cancel it.
An invitation without registration costs €25 per person.
At €50 per person you will get both invitation and its registration
from a 4-5 star hotel:
If you plan to stay at 4-5 star hotel, you will probably get both an
invitation and the registration service for free.
Other, cheaper hotels, will most likely charge for the invitation and
Please consider that when you order an invitation from me, you can get
it for any period of time up to 30 days and then plan your stay in
Russia the way you like it. Hotels will only issue you the
invitation for the days you paid to stay in their hotel. This means you
won't be able change you plans. For example if you wanted to arrive a
day earlier on a cheaper flight you would need to apply for another
visa. Additionally should your departure from Russia be delayed,
perhaps by ill health or missing a flight connection, you will likely
face a mountain of bureaucracy, hassle and costs to leave the country
if your visa has expired.
If you plan to visit other cities after St. Petersburg you will need to
register again in each of the cities.
I offer a registration ONLY in St. Petersburg. But if you order visa
from me I will provide you with details of partner companies in other
cities that can assist with registration.
for invitation letter:
If you plan to use my services to order an invitation I need to know
the following about each person:
- Passport number
- First name (as it is written in your passport!)
- Last name (as it is written in your passport!)
- Date of birth
Please name the month with a word
because "03/04/1953" might be understood as either 3rd of April
or 4th of March. You will be refused a visa if your date of birth
in the invitation is incorrect.
- Place of birth
- Dates you want your Russian visa for
I do advise you to add several days before and after actual dates of
your stay. Imagine that something happens to force a change in your
plans at the last minute. There is NO CHANCE to change the issued
invitation and/or visa - you will have to restart this complicated and
expensive process from the beginning.
The Russian Embassy may have a website in your country. Listed below are some of the popular ones.
If you can't find the link for Visas, please check under Consular services.
United States of America
Please email me if your country isn't shown and I will send you the address, phone number and website link.
The usual requirements for the embassy are shown below, but do vary
from country to country so I strongly suggest that you checkout the
Russian consulate website for your country before applying.
- Your passport (Attn! Must be valid 3 months beyond intended
- Three matted finish passport-size photos
- Invitation you have got from me
- Consular fee
- Proof of medical insurance
- Filled in application form
In many countries you can complete the whole process by post without
ever going in person to the consulate.