The Port of St. Petersburg is the largest port in northwest Russia, serving as one of the world's most popular cruise destinations and the primary gateway between the Baltic Sea and Russia. Ships docking in St. Petersburg do so in the heart of the city, at Vasilevsky Island.
Cruisers docking at the St. Petersburg cruise port who book a guided shore excursion tour can enjoy up to 72 hours of visa-free travel in Russia, while those who want to travel independently must secure a Russian tourist visa in advance. Tours usually take travelers out to explore the city and the region's numerous historical and cultural highlights, including the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, St. Isaac's Cathedral, the Hermitage Museum, Peter and Paul Fortress, Catherine Palace, and Peterhof. Many cruise ships spend at least one night at the port, allowing visitors to explore further afield, perhaps even hopping on a plane for a quick day trip to Moscow.
- Book a shore excursion to avoid the hassle of securing a Russian tourist visa in advance of your trip.
- Most St. Petersburg shore excursion tours include pickup and drop-off at the St. Petersburg port.
- Tours to the royal palaces outside the city center can take upwards of 8 hours given the travel time involved.
- Private guided tours of St. Petersburg ensure you won't miss any of your must-see sights.
How to Get to St. Petersburg from the St. Petersburg Cruise Port
Large cruise ships dock at the Marine Facade passenger port on Vasilyevsky Island, a 15-minute taxi ride from the historic city center. Shore excursions generally include port pickup and drop-off, but there's also a local bus (#158) that departs the port to the nearest metro station, Primorskaya, every half an hour.
The local currency is the ruble, and the local language is Russian. English is not widely spoken, so if you venture away from the port on your own, try to get the location written for you in Russian to give to a taxi driver when returning. ATMs can be found at the cruise terminal and will likely provide the best exchange rate. The port also boasts a tourist information booth, WiFi, vending machines, and souvenir shops.