Shore excursions

Shore excursions

Tours in St. Petersburg on the Shore: Getting off the ship and Booking Tours visa-free

HolaRussia company invite you to the tours in St. Petersburg! For those who travel to St. Petersburg by a cruise ship this manual provides all the useful information on how to get off the ship at St. Petersburg passenger port visa free and tour St. Petersburg and the environs with a local English-speaking guide.

In our agency we regularly organize tours on the shore in St. Petersburg. Travelers from the following cruise ships and lines are among our regular customers: Costa Pacifica, Costa lirica, Costa Luminosa, Costa Neoromantica, Costa Deliziosa, Msc Magnifica, Msc Lirica, Msc Opera, Msc Poesia, Norwegian Star, Celebrity Constellation, Brilliance of the Seas, Legend of the Seas, Royal Princess and others.

How do I get off the ship in St. Petersburg (visa or without visa)

  • I have a regular tourist visa to Russia

If you are an independent type and like to travel on your own without sticking to an organized routine you must obtain a tourist visa to get off at the St. Petersburg port and explore the town the way you prefer. To apply for a visa you need to do so through the Russian consulate in your country or through an agency and file the required documents.

Should you have a tourist visa you can therefore get off the ship in St. Petersburg freely and visit the city on the schedule of your choice. Obtaining a visa is linked to extra expenses and effort and exploring the city on your own can be problematic due to the logistics and language barrier.

If your stop in St. Petersburg is only one or two days maximum there is another possibility to consider:

  • Getting off at the port of St. Petersburg visa free

There exists a Russian law regulation that allows cruise passengers staying in St. Petersburg for not more than 72 hours to get off the ship without a tourist visa.
Tour ticket is the special document that travelers are required to present as proof of disembarkation.

This tour ticket is issued only by an authorized local tour operator and permits to get off the ship to go on a guided tour and visit St. Petersburg and the environs accompanied by a local authorized tour guide. We need the following information to organize a guided tour: passport information (name, passport number, date of birth, citizenship). We also need an application to reserve a place on one of our tours for you.

A tour ticket is issued and emailed to you within 24 hours following the reception of the information. The price of the guided tours includes the cost of the tour. This is a hassle-free way of exploring the city with the most comfort without wasting extra time and money on visa matters. You enjoy the benefits of visa free travel combined with an excellent tour-service allowing you to visit more and better!


We know what the cruise passengers need

Our employees have extensive experience in providing guided tours to newly arriving passengers of cruise ships. Most often we are in charge of organization of shore tours with an English-speaking guide. Most of our colleagues are former tour-guides who have had the privilege to work with the companies providing tour services to the passengers of the most prominent cruise lines. Therefore they have the best knowledge and understanding of the needs and demands of the passengers of cruise ships that arrive to St. Petersburg. Our expertise helps us to comprise a tour collection where you visit the most remarkable attractions hassle-free in the company of a knowledgeable English-speaking tour-guide. We are also in charge that the time schedule that we offer gives you enough time to enjoy the sights and to make the best out of your tour with us making it a time to remember and a meaningful experience.

Effortless and hassle-free visits

St. Petersburg is a large mega polis with the population of over 5 million people. The historical centre is located on two banks of the river Neva and the sights are spread out quite far from one another. And of course the city is surrounded by a necklace of majestic imperial residences in the environs. Therefore the number of attractions that you can get to see during the tour becomes important and is a thing to keep in mind when choosing your tour option.

Generally land travelers use 3 to 5 days to see all the main sights. With an organized cruise tour you can visit the same sights in one-two days at most. But it means no rush. It is because we have the knowledge of all the necessary logistics and use the best transport and guides that we are able to draw up a balanced program of your visit to for you to see more but in no rush. We guarantee that you shall visit the attractions quite peacefully and will have the energy for the night program if you choose.

What kind of tour on the shore we provide

Stopover in St. Petersburg is usually 24 or 72 hrs for the most cruise lines, although there are some that stay for 3 days. Most cruise ships stop at the port of St. Petersburg for one or two days, some of them for three days. Depending on the times of arrival and departure of the cruise ships we perform the following types of shore excursions:

  • Custom-made tours on the shore: Custom-made tours are made for those who travel alone, couples, small groups and family groups. Such tours are drawn according to your specific demands and requests. Please inform us of the title of your ship, the dates when you arrive and the sights that you would like to see to book your custom-made tour.
    We will send you an exclusive proposal based on your time schedule.
    • Organized tours for small groups of travelers: One day tour or two day tours. On these tours you visit the most remarkable places of interest that are a must see in St. Petersburg in the limited time span that you have. The number of travelers per group does not exceed 16 persons.
    • The prices of organized tours are fair prices for the comfort of exploring the city in a smaller group.

In our work we value the quality of the guided services more than the ambition of attracting masses of tourists. Our advantage is exclusivity and devotion towards an individual customer. A tour-guide can make personal contact with each traveler and give them the attention that one cannot receive in a large group of people. A group of 8-16 travelers moves faster and easier and makes more out of their visit of the attraction. Our knowledgeable and well-educated guides highly proficient in English tell the story to you personally, explain all the details and answer questions in a natural manner as opposed to the mechanical recital of the tour in a large group.  Our tour leaders guide you through the day giving you an opportunity to feel local in the city. They help you with all everyday issues that may arise. Kids under the age of seven years old go on tours for free. Teenagers under 16 years old enjoy a 20 percent discount off the price.


There is a page on our website where you can order tours for cruise passengers. Please choose an option for one or two days for the time you have to stay in St. Petersburg.  To check the price of the tour you can calculate the price using the calculator on the page. You can also send your tour request for tour right from the website or the feedback page.  Please provide the following information with your tour request:
• Name (last and first name)
• Email address
• Contact phone number
• Your cruise ship
• Dates of stopover in the port of St. Petersburg
• How many people are going on the tour, children and their age if children are going.
You shall receive a timely response that will confirm the booking and the price of the tour.

Should you like to participate in a tour on the shore, please send in the following information so that we could issue a tour ticket (a document that allows you to get off the ship:
• First name and last name
• Date of birth
• Passport number
• Nationality (citizenship)
• Contact number
When we receive this information you shall receive your tour ticket for getting off the ship and the program of your tour by email. This email shall serve as order confirmation.


Prepayment is not required. Payment is made once the tour is completed. You can pay cash or credit card to the agency employee right on the spot.


Our tours start early in the morning. In thirty minutes after the official arrival of the ship to the port it is possible to get off the ship. It is best to present yourself to the check point 15-20 minutes before the time specified in the tour ticket to avoid standing in line. You should have the following documents to pass the check point:

  • Valid passport. There will be an identity check and your passport will be stamped upon entering Russia.
  • Immigration card: a paper form you shall receive from the border authorities.
  • Tour tickets that are received from the local tour-operator. We will email the tour ticket to you. The tour ticket is a document printed on one side of an A4. It is a document that we provide for you via e-mail. It should be printed out on a single sheet of A4 paper, one-sided. The tour ticket is the proof that you booked the tour at a local tour agency. It is also the equivalent of a visa for cruise travelers allowing you to get off the ship and cross the border to join a tour on the shore. This is stipulated by the Russian law. According to the law of the Russian Federation it proves your booking at our tour agency and serves as the official disembarkation visa for cruise passengers. If you participate in the tours for more than one day, or have an evening tour you do not have to fill the immigration card again. To get off the ship again present your passport and tour ticket to the passport control.


It is very easy to find our representative at the port. In the arrival hall our staff will wait for you with a sign «HolaRussia». They will introduce you to your guide and you will start your discovery of St. Petersburg. Do not hesitate to contact us should you need more information to make a decision to book your tour or if you need any clarification regarding the disembarkation.
Please contact us at or write us from our contact page using the feedback form. We will answer you promptly!