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City news, 24.09.2008 07:33

Ship Passengers Visa-Free to St. Petersburg from December

Russia plans to allow passengers on scheduled ship services to spend up to 72 hours in St. Petersburg without a visa. The new rule comes into effect from the beginning of December.

At present, only passengers on international cruise ships have been allowed into Russian port cities without visas. Now Russian officials want to extend the practice to regular scheduled services.

The move is expected to considerably increase the number of tourists visiting the Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad. Tourism to St. Petersburg is expected to triple.

Some Russian ports are to remain closed to travellers without visas for security reasons.

Currently, only one shipping line, Stella Lines, runs cruises between Finland and St. Petersburg. Stella Lines has departures to the Russian city every second day.

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