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Foreign cruise tourists will no longer need visas to visit Russia
The Russian Federation has introduced visa-free travel for tourists entering the country on ferries. The respective document suite was signed on 7 May 2009 by Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
‘I have signed a number of documents related to foreign citizens entering Russia on ferries as tourists’, - said Putin.
According to these documents foreign citizens and stateless persons visiting Russia as tourists on cruise vessels will be able to stay in the country without visas.
It is assumed that foreign citizens entering Russia on cruise vessels will be able to stay on Russian territory without visas for some time. Possible periods of visa-free regime were not specified. Most likely such visa-free stay will amount to 48 hours – standard period of cruise vessel’s stay in Saint-Petersburg.
The regime will be introduced in the cities with respective infrastructure, namely in Saint-Petersburg and Kaliningrad. In 2008 almost 500 thousand people visited Saint-Petersburg on ferries. Cancellation of visa regime for ferry travelers will allow doubling the number of visitors, particularly in Saint-Petersburg. By this autumn when the active exhibition season opens all necessary advertising materials – both electronic and printed – will be prepared.
Let me remind you that on 3 March 2009 amendments to the act on ‘The Procedure for Exit from the Russian Federation and Entry Into the Russian Federation’ have entered into force. These amendments allowed visa-free entry into Russia for foreign citizens travelling on ferries.
Cancellation of visa regime shall facilitate interest of the world’s leading cruise companies showing the growing interest towards Saint-Petersburg as an international tourism center. Already in 2010 the city passenger port will operate at its full capacity and will be able to simultaneously berth about seven vessels with length of up to 300 meters each.
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