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Q. Do I need Tourist VISA travel to Russia?

A. Yes you do, except for Cruise Passengers booked for St. Petersburg City Tour or Shore Excursion with a Cruise line or with registered local tour operator like Red October Company Red October Company obtains a group TOURIST VISA, thus you do not need an individual VISA. 

The dockside Russian immigration officials will check your passport and consider a Red October Company Tour Voucher to be good to pass the control. You do not need any official letter at all. Red October Company will save you money (VISA costs about $120 USD) without sacrificing the quality. Therefore, that is an excellent chance to save your money for other pleasant things when you are in St. Petersburg.

Here how it works:

Your names and the passport details are on the cruise line passenger manifest which the cruise line sends to Russia (immigration authorities) a couple of weeks prior the ship's arrival and the ship also submits that manifest with all the last minute adjustments to the Russian Authorities who come on board the ship when the ship arrives in St Petersburg. The Cruise Ship's local tour operator also submits to the immigration authorities the excursions programs and samples of the excursions tickets for St Petersburg. This is the required procedure.

RED OCTOBER Company goes the same way. RO sends you the RO Vouchers and the samples of these Vouchers are always in each immigration booth on the pier. Therefore, when you come with these RO Vouchers and show them with your passports to the immigration officer they already know that you take RO tours. Red October Company also signs the required papers with your names and the passport details at the immigration office a week before your arrival.

Therefore, everything is easy and legal. This means RO provides "an immigration umbrella" to all our clients.

RED OCTOBER Representative will meet you on the other side of Passport Control building. (On the Pier and about 150 yards from your ship).

Q. What if I have Russian VISA already? Can I still take your tour?

A. Usually RO does not provide services for the people who have obtained visas through other tour operator.  The whole idea for you to go with Red October Company is to save you money (VISA costs about $120 USD) without sacrificing the quality. Therefore, that is an excellent chance to save money for other pleasant things when you are in St Petersburg.

As for wandering in the city, or is that only possible with our guide? The matter is that you take our tours with RO Shore Excursions Vouchers, which are not for general in-country travel at all. The Russian rules for individual travel within Russia are very different and require much more paperwork.  The Red October excursion Voucher allow our guests to participate in organized tours in the company of a licensed tour guide and car.

RO cannot violate the immigration regulations, but if RO know in advance everything you wish to do and see while in Russia RO can certainly arrange special tours of St Petersburg by day visiting all of the "must see" venues, or by night visits after your dinner on board the ship.  Your guide can take you downtown again and you will have a nice walking tour - this is obviously at an extra charge.  Please let RO know in advance what you wish so we can make all of the necessary arrangements to ease you through the very strict Russian Immigration and Visitation Rules.

Some tips on disembarkation procedure.

Your best bet to disembark efficiently and start your tour as soon as possible is to disembark together as one group.  Going on The Cruise each of you is supplied with: Red October Voucher. Please do not forget them in your cabin!

Disembarkation in St Petersburg: 

Your ship arrives at St. Petersburg early am.

The Ship’s Custom formalities on board usually take 45 minutes max.

They practically start disembarkation in 15-20 minutes after ship's arrival.

Groups. During  the disembarkation you will meet several Groups of your shipmates who signed up with Red October for different tours and venues. Therefore, make sure that you are with your party and are getting disembarked and going through immigration control together.

Sometimes cruise security at the gangway says to wait if you are not from the ship’s tours then you say you travel independently and have a permission to go ashore. Tell them you cannot wait that long to be at the very tail of bus tours and all people who are with private vans go ashore any time when the ship is cleared.  Hope this advice will help you to be ahead of crowds.

Please remember, the earlier you are at the gangway - the quicker you will pass immigration.

After getting outside your ship please stand in any Passport control line as One Group together. 

Immigration/Passport Control.

You will need:

?        Your original passports (with expiration date at least for 1 month after this visit).

?        2-photocopies of the Passport’s first page

?        Red October Vouchers.

?        And a smile.

Stamping passports takes time, they stamp each passport. Happily, they stamp them only on arrival, then in the evening and next day they just see your passports and Vouchers for the excursions.

Please stay together as the group.  That will help your Red October tour guide to meet and greet you as One Group.

Your RO Tour Guide will be waiting to greet you and will be holding a Red October Sign RO staff is waiting for you at the pier from 7am. RO always come by the ship's arrival to leave the samples of your RO Vouchers on each immigration cabin in the terminal. And are ready to start your excursion from the pier any time when you disembark.

In any way – if you have any delays --- RO is waiting for you on the pier after you pass passport Control.

Please take a few minutes and Submit a
Request for Quote < click on it>

For Red October Tour Samples - please Click "Tours and Services"

Red October offers UNMATCHED QUALITY & VALUE.  
 Shore Excursions & Day Trips to St. Petersburg, Novgorod, Russia

Highly qualified RO guides are fluent in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese
Chinese and other languages helping you to have a very memorable and rewarding experience !

The same Red October Guide, Driver and Transport will accompany you through the Tour.
Red October USA will provide you with EXACTLY the same Tour Programs as RO St. Petersburg office.

Red October USA has been successfully working with RO clients over the past 8 consecutive years!


Red October USA, LLC
P.O. BOX 216

Rexford, New York, 12148, USA

(518) 557-1230

Please join Red October Company for your next trip to Russia.
RO staff never misses an opportunity to exceed your expectations.


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