St Petersburg, visa-free boat trip from Helsinki (04.11.2016-08.11.2016)
- Departure 04.11.2016
- End date 08.11.2016
- Availability Sold out
- Price from 255€
Explore Saint Petersburg on a visa-free ferry trip! Experience top quality culture, go on tours to outstanding palaces and sights, enjoy great parties and have a lot of fun, Russian style! Visa-free for all nationalities, guided tours in English.
TRADITIONAL RUSSIAN EVENING — SHOW & DINNER
Duration 2h, from 30€
Definitely one of our most popular, fun-filled programs! The highlight of the evening is the colourful folk extravaganza with Russian songs, dances and party games. By the end of the night, you’ll know everything there is to know about celebrating Russian style! And all of this while enjoying a traditional Russian dinner and drinks! Vegetarian option is possible. Russian Evening Trip available November-April only.
THE CATHERINE'S PALACE — PUSHKIN
Duration 5h, from 25€
The gorgeous baroque-style Catherine Palace in Pushkin, formerly Tsarskoye Selo (Tsar’s Village), was a favourite summer residence of the Russian royal family. The highlight of the tour, which takes you around the house and grounds, is a visit to the famous Amber Room, destroyed by the Nazis during WWII and lovingly restored in 2003. On the 45-minute drive to Pushkin you’ll notice the juxtaposition of modern urban development and important historic sites – in stark contrast to the world-heritage protected city centre. A walk around the Catherine Palace park is a wonderful way to relax and escape from the cares of modern city life.
OPERA OR BALLET
Duration 3,5h, from 50€
Saint Petersburg is known as the cultural capital of Russia. So, what better place to attend a world- famous ballet or opera? You can book tickets through us for the performance scheduled for your trip – the theatres often offer student discounts and transport is included. If you’re interested in any other theatrical event, check out theatre’s website or try your luck at the box office. But don’t delay – tickets tend to sell out pretty fast!.
NIGHT FEVER — LIMO TRIP
Duration 1,5h, from 25€
Discover Saint Petersburg by night in glamourous style! A limousine ride takes you to the city’s most spectacular places, with plenty of stops for taking pictures on the way. Eventually, the limo drops you off at one of the trendiest night clubs in town, where you go straight to the front of the queue. Limousines are fully loaded with sparkling wine.
CATHEDRALS OF SAINT PETERSBURG
Duration 2,5 - 3h, from 25€
A tour that takes you to three cathedrals from three different centuries. We start with St. Nicholas Cathedral – built in the beautiful baroque style in the18th century. Next it’s St. Isaac’s – one of the largest domed cathedrals in the world and a true demonstration of Russia’s imperial ambitions. And finally, the Cathedral on Spilled Blood – so named because it was built on the site where the beloved Tsar Alexander II was assassinated. You'll marvel at the beautiful architecture and find out about the vital role of religion in the history of this fascinating country.
State Hermitage museum
Duration 2h, included for students / from 20€ for non-students
The third largest art museum in the world – based on the collections of the Russian royal family, starting with Catherine the Great in the 18th century. Located in a number of former imperial residences, the Hermitage Museum houses millions of artworks in hundreds of rooms. The tour takes you to the most important exhibits and the most interesting parts of the museum, with a running commentary (in English) provided by a professional local guide. And, as a Timetravels’ clients, you don’t have to queue to get in!
RIVER AND CANAL CRUISE
Duration 1,5h, from 15€
A definite must-do when in Saint Petersburg! The so-called Venice of the North has a 300-kilometre network of rivers and canals, 800 bridges and 16 kilometres of embankments lined with many of the city’s most beautiful palaces and mansions. On a river and canal cruise you travel back in time to the heart of the imperial city. Breathtaking views are accompanied by beautiful music and of course by Soviet “Champagne” (Russian sparkling wine)! Cruises operate from late April until the end of October..
Preliminary trip program
DAY 1 – FRIDAY
15:30 Meeting at Helsinki West Terminal (Länsisatama). Boarding
18:00 M/S Princess Maria departs from Helsinki
21:30 Night club folk and variety show in the 7th floor “Columbus” bar (until 23.00) FREE ENTRANCE
22:30 Night club on the 7th floor. Crazy party until late!
DAY 2 – SATURDAY
07:00 Breakfast on the 8th deck restaurant (extra cost)
09:30 Arrival in St Petersburg. Debarking from the ship. Passport control.
11:00 Guided city tour
16:00 Check-in at the hotel, double room accommodation.
20:30 Night cruise on Rivers and Canals (October) / Traditional Russian Evening - Dinner & Show (November)*.
DAY 3 – SUNDAY
10:00 Departure to the Hermitage Museum. Guided tour of the State Hermitage Museum. Duration app. 2 hours. After the tour you may stay in the museum or return to the hotel.
14:30 Cathedrals of St Petersburg tour*
18:00 Meeting at the hotel lobby, departure to the theatre. Ballet or Opera in some of the St Petersburg theatres (trip specific)*.
21:30 End of the performance transportation to the hotel (estimated time).
23:00 Limousine tour with sparkling wine*. Duration 1,5 hours. If the program will get very popular, we may have to do two departures – one at 21:00–23:00 (for those not attending the ballet) and the second one at 23:15–01:15 (for those attending the ballet). Afterparty in a night club.
DAY 4 – MONDAY
07:30 Breakfast (until 10:00)
10:00 Check-out from the hotel. All luggage in the bus. Departure to Pushkin. A guided bus excursion to Pushkin, the Catherine´s Palace tour*. If you are not attending Pushkin tour you have to check out till 12:00! Luggage could be left in a luggage room. Free time in the city.
14:00 Departure from Pushkin back to the hotel. Arrival to the hotel 15:00-15:30.
16:30 Bus departure from the hotel to the harbor.
18:00 Passport control and boarding.
19:00 M/S Princess Maria departs to Helsinki
DAY 5 – TUESDAY
08:00 Arrival in Helsinki. Debarking, Finnish customs and passport control
* Extra Activities
**This itinerary is a preliminary one. Trip specific changes are possible. Final order of the program and museums depend on group sizes, national holidays, travel dates and playbills of St Petersburg theatres.
What is included
- Ferry trip Helsinki-St Petersburg-Helsinki
- Accommodation in 4-person economy-class cabin on the ferry
- Accommodation in a centrally located 3* hotel 2 nights (shared double room basis)
- 2 x hotel breakfast
- Guided city sight-seeing tour by bus in English
- Guided tour of the State Hermitage Museum (FREE FOR STUDENTS ONLY)
- Guided tour of the St. Peter and Paul fortress
- Transportation sea terminal-hotel-sea terminal in St Petersburg
- Services of a tour leader in St Petersburg
- All mandatory fees (port fee, fuel surcharge, passport registration)
- Tourist map of St Petersburg
For extra cost
- Connecting bus transfers to Helsinki
- Single room supplement
- Optional guided excursions and activities
- Travel insurance
On our student trips we use three star hotels for accommodation. All of the hotels we use are located in the historical city centre and provide good services and easy access to local sights. Due to difficult vacancy situation in the hotels, we confirm the name of the hotel usually 1-2 weeks prior to the departure. The most usual hotels we use are listed below.
Common features to all hotels
- Location in the historical city centre, max. 3 km distance to the main sites and action
- TWIN rooms with conveniences: twin bed, bathroom, tv in all rooms
- Full buffet breakfasts
- Free wifi
Moscow hotel is one of the largest in St.Petersburg and thanks to its good location and services our default hotel for student groups.
Ibis St Petersburg Centre is a 3 star hotel offering 221 comfortable rooms. Located in the centre of St.Petersburg, it is close to Nevsky Prospekt (the main avenue of the city)
Hotel Dostoyevski is a rather new hotel in the heart of the city, opposite to the Vladimirsky Cathedral. Nevsky prospect 0,5 km.
Good to know
Passport and visa issues
Travelling by ferry to Russia with staying 72 hrs in the destination is visa-free for absolutely ALL citizens, as long as the following conditions are met. A) Passenger has a travel passport valid for at least 6 months after the end of the trip. Please note! An EU ID card or any other national ID card will not do! B) Passenger has purchased a package tour, including at least accommodation and a city tour. C) Passenger arrives and leaves Russia using the St Peterline ferry connection (it is not possible to arrive by ferry and leave by train, for instance). D) Passenger has sufficient travel documents for leaving and returning to Finland. If you need visa for arriving to Finland, make sure it has enough entries left! If you have arrived to Finland with a single-entry visa, you cannot travel to Russia.
Can I travel to Moscow during my visa-free stay?
It is recommended not to leave St Petersburg area during your visa-free stay, however travelling within Russia is not prohibited. Please inform your tour leader if you have such plans. You do not need to stick to the group after arriving to St Petersburg, but the travel agency is responsible for your stay in Russia and will get into trouble, if you do not show up to the port by the departure of the visa-free ferry. For violating the visa-free rules passenger has to pay high penalties +issue an exit visa from Russia through his own consulate, which is a both money and time consuming process.
Russian currency is rouble (RUR). While cards are widely in use Russia still has a lot of places where only cash is accepted. Current rate is about 1 € = 73 roubles. Roubles can be withdrawn from ATM or changed in numerous banks in the city. We recommend to exchange some money in advance in FOREX, because it will save your precious time in the destination.
You are allowed to bring alcohol to Finland if you are older then 18 years old (20 for alcohol stronger then 22%). You can take not more then: 1 liter of alcohol more than 40 % of alcohol (e.g. Vodka) OR 2 liters of aperatifs (eg. Champagne, long drinks or other beverages less than 22% of alcohol) + 4 liters of wines + 3 crates of beer (16 liters) + 1 carton of cigarettes
The weather in St Petersburg is much alike in Helsinki. Typical temperature in Summer is 15-25 Celcius, in Winter anything between +5 and -30 Celcius. Due to closeness of the sea, weather can change rapidly.
Normal European standard plugs and 220 V sockets. No adapters are needed.
English is not widely spoken in Russia so it could be useful to learn some basic sentences in Russian. Your tour conductor will assist whenever you need help.
St Petersburg is no more or less dangerous than any European metropolis. We recommend to use your common sense, take care of your belongings in crowded places, watch out for traffic and to know your limits for alcohol.
If compared to Helsinki or Stockholm, St Petersburg is relatively cheap. This applies to groceries, alcohol, cigarettes and public transportation. Eating out and clubbing represent about the same prices as in Finland.
In a case of emergency, sickness or accident, contact your group leader immediately. He will contact the medical care, and you will receive help as soon as possible. Doctors will arrive straight to the hotel. Your travel insurance covers all the medical costs and the medical treatment is free of charge. If the group leader is not available, contact the hotel reception. Remember to save all the receipts and doctor’s statement for medical treatment and medicine. Insurance company will refund all the expenses to your bank account.
ATTENTION! Insurances do not cover self-inflected cases, such as anything involving the consumption of alcohol or drugs.