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Visas to Russia are not needed for DenRus Shore Excursions
  During any Baltic Sea Cruise Season our office receives hundreds and hundreds of letters and phone calls, where deeply concerned future guests are asking our clarification of the alarming information material they have received from their cruise lines. These letters and bulletins claim, that if the cruise passengers do not participate in a shore excursions program sold by the ship, and instead plan of using the touring services of another local Russian shore excursion operator, they must obtain a separate Russian visa. It is understandable that this kind of definite statement coming from a prestigious cruise line would make anybody worried, if they had made arrangements to participate in a better tour operated by DenRus. 
The truth is that the statement is not correct, and it has been specifically formulated this way to mislead the cruise passengers, and to scare them away from even thinking of booking any other tours, except these offered by their own ship. The fact is that the Russian operator, which your cruise line has chosen to be as its tour provider in St. Petersburg has no monopoly in Russia, and the cruise passengers are totally free to choose their own tour providers, provided it is an officially registered and licensed local Russian tour operator company.
Here is an extract from the official Russian Consulate Website page providing instructions for the cruise ship passengers staying in the Russian Federation for less than 72 hours.
In case you wish to see the entire file, here is the link to the entire Russian Consulate website:
In order to avoid any misunderstandings: Any person participating in a DenRus operated shore excursion program, and holds a DenRus issued valid tour ticket to be presented to the Russian Immigration Agent, does not need any Separate Russian tourist visa. DenRus shall make all necessary arrangements with the Russian Immigration Department for this person's entry to Russian Federation. However, if a person wants to disembark totally independently, and has not purchased a DenRus organized tour, or a ship's tour, then this person must have a valid Russian visa.
Sample DenRus Shore Excursion Ticket

Here is a sample of a DenRus Shore Excursion ticket, which each person on our tours is expected to present to the passport control agent at the St. Petersburg port terminal. These tickets are forwarded to you 1-2 days after you processed your booking with DenRus. 
In case you did not receive them, please, check your Junk Mail Box, or Spam Box, and if not found, then either send us an e-mail to or call our office: 1-561-459-5534, or by Skype: denrusltd

Call Us Now  In North America: 1(415) 508-4494    or    EMail for quick response 

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