Community Highlights Seafaring VISITING RUSSIA VISA-FREE

The information provided below is a combination of various sources of information in preparation for my own trip and in no way promoting a particular service provider.
If you do have any additional or more accurate information please share it as it will be added to the blog for everyone’s benefit.



In accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation (RF Government Resolution №397), foreign tourists and persons without citizenship or relevant visa and/or proper permission travelling on ferries may arrive to the Russian Federation without a Russian visa for the period of 72 hours being part of an organised excursion group. VISA-FREE journey can last up to 3 days.

There are 3 rules to follow when considering visiting St. Peterburg in Russia on a St. Peter Line Ferry (Moby Line Limited).
1. Ferry booking
2. Accommodation booking
3.'Organised Tour' booking (City Bus)




1. Passenger must arrive at the port of St. Petersburg on board a ferry of MOBY LINE LIMITED company and leave in the same manner.

2. 72 hour period begins from the moment of crossing border control.

3. Various cabin options are available as the sailing to/from St. Petersburg is an overnight sailing.

4. Price of the cabin is directly dependent on the type of cabin selected.


1. Hotel accommodation must be booked via the booking system of MOBY SPL LIMITED. Accommodation booked via the Airbnb service is forbidden in the frame of a VISA-FREE cruise. Passengers who booked accommodation via the Airbnb service will be refused at check-in to the ship. MOBY SPL LIMITED reserves the right to refuse check-in in the port of departure if the hotel is booked through other booking systems not affiliated with MOBY SPL LIMITED.

2. Please note list of hotels* who do not accept VISA-FREE
1) Courtyard by Marriott St. Petersburg Vasilievsky
2) Renaissance St. Petersburg Baltic
3) Ghotel on Nevsky

  • *According to Moby Line Ltd –‘Please do not book accommodation in these Hotels’. I do not have any other information to confirm or dismiss this information.

3. If a passenger stays within the Russian Federation territory for longer than one day the passenger must present to the Border Guard Service a hotel voucher and a confirmation of payment for the booking. Passing the registration formalities at the hotel is obligatory. The cost of the registration formalities will be advised at check-in in the hotel.

4. You need to pay the registration fee upon arrival to the hotel. This fee is not included in the hotel prices shown on the website. Registration fee (governmental tax) is usually 150-200 RUB (€2-€2.70) per stay.


1. You need to be part of an “organised excursion group” (City Bus Tour in this case).

2. All passengers travelling VISA-FREE have to reserve a sightseeing programme in St. Petersburg in advance.

3. For a VISA-FREE trip to St. Petersburg all passengers must buy a shuttle bus ticket for €25 per person which allows passengers to travel to St. Petersburg without a visa.

4. You must buy The City Bus ticket for €25 in advance at the same time that you are making your booking (the system will add it into your booking automatically after filling in the passenger information).

5. You will buy it only once so in effect it is a single ticket, but you can use the shuttle bus on arrival and departure days if you wish.

6. You will receive the tickets on the departure day during check-in.

7. Your VISA-FREE tickets are included in this price and you will receive them on the departure day.

8. Please note that the City Bus tour is not a guided tour it is just transportation from the harbour to the city centre to St. Isaac’s Square and back to the ferry terminal.

1. Sea Station Terminal, V.O.,1, Morskoy Slavy square
2. The Manege, St. Isaac's Square, 1
3. ???
4. ???


All shuttle buses are running on the route according to the schedule below (every 30 minutes):





HEL - Helsinki
STB - St. Petersburg
TAL - Tallinn


1. During the booking process you will notice fields for the visa information. Please leave the visa fields empty. If you fill anything into the visa fields then the system will automatically cancel your VISA-FREE tickets because it assumes that you already have a Russian visa.

2. All rules apply for all nationalities and please remember that all passengers must have a valid passport with them and the passport should be valid six months after the trip.

3. If a passenger arrives from outside the Schengen area, the passenger must have a multiple entry Schengen visa to return to Sweden, Finland or Estonia after the cruise.

4. Documents for registration in Hotels of Saint-Petersburg required by immigration authorities of Russia are provided only if the Hotel is booked via MOBY SPL company. Please note that without registration documents VISA-FREE passenger shall not be accommodated in the hotel due to the effective legislation of the Russian Federation.

5. All passengers travelling on board SPL Princess Anastasia with car (drivers) must hold a Russian visa.

6. Make sure that you have received the “Migration card” before passing the Immigration checkpoint with the validation date indicating the final date of your trip.

7. During excursions and during your stay in St. Petersburg, keep your documents in a safe place.

8. As per Russian Legislation for 72 hour rule, you have to leave Russia only by ferry (sea transport). Do not use other means of transport.

9. Fuel and Harbour fees:
During booking a cruise, you should pay attention to the fuel and harbour fees. These are necessary expenses for the stable and the timely service of the ferries at the entry into the ports along the way.
> Route: "St. Petersburg - Helsinki - St. Petersburg". The fuel charge for a full cruise from each passenger is 17 €.
> Route: "St. Petersburg - Tallinn - Stockholm - Helsinki - St. Petersburg". The fuel charge for a full cruise from each passenger is 34 €.

10. All further information and bookings to be made via

This featured blog entry was written by ToddP from the blog Traveled Far And Wide.
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By ToddP

Posted Fri, Mar 08, 2019 | Russia | Comments