Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook

PassPorter's Disney Cruise Line LIVE! Guidebook
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Making the Most of St. Petersburg, Russia

Making the Most of St. Petersburg, Russia


Your ship docks at Marine Façade on Vasilievsky Island, a recently-built facility with four passenger terminals that hosts up to seven ships daily (though “just” four or five will be there when the Magic visits). You’ll find ATMs, tourist info, cafes, shops, and taxi desks inside the terminals. You’ll go through passport control when you disembark—Have your passport, tour voucher, and a photocopy of your passport info page handy. No visa is needed if you tour with the cruise line or other government-authorized tour operators. However, on-your-own travel requires a visa (more below). Bus 158 stops at Terminal 3, a half-mile or quarter-mile walk depending on where the Magic docks, and connects the port to the Primorskaya Metro station. Taxis can be hired at fixed rates to the Hermitage and other sights. On the Magic's 2017 itineraries All Ashore time is 8:15 am, and All Aboard time is 11:30 pm (15.25 hrs.)


For cruise passengers who want to explore entirely on their own (even if it’s just to visit the cruise terminal), “getting around” in Russia requires a Russian Tourist Visa (http://www.russianembassy.org/page/tourist-visa) and getting that visa requires, among other things, a letter from a Russian tour company, sponsoring your visit. That letter may be purchased, even if you don’t book an actual tour. By the time you add the cost of the visa ($160) and the fee from the tour company... You won’t save money by going it alone. An excursion that includes on-your-own time or a private tour with driver from an authorized provider may be your best bet. Going it alone in this huge city requires more “getting around” info than we can fit on this page. We strongly recommend getting an in-depth guidebook to St. Petersburg, and study it before you arrive. Red Bus does have a hopon hop-off tour here, and a four-port special for cruisers http://www.redbuses.com. Even without the visa requirement, we wouldn’t recommend a car rental in this very large and crowded city.


The government claims a major reduction in crime involving tourists, but top-security measures are still advised. Leave valuables aboard, and secure your purses, wallets, and purchases. Panhandlers can be aggressive, and paying them won’t buy you peace, so they’re best avoided. English is spoken, but you’ll find few signs in English. Dollars and euros are not welcome; use rubles instead. Currency exchange rates for the ruble are volatile, so be familiar with current rates, and note that rubles cannot be taken out of the country.

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