Originally Posted by chuckr
One more point that seems to be missed. You do need a visa that is good for only 29 days and you need an invitation to get a visa. We are working through all those issues right now.
I did mention visas.
Normally you just need a hotel
reservation for a tourist visa. You make a hotel
reservation and cancel it later -- Russian hotels don't mind; they charge you separately for the document you need for the visa.
But I wouldn't do it that way. You can also do it with an invitation from a yacht club where you will be berthed. If you make your berthing arrangements ahead of time, you can do this directly, but by far the easiest way to deal with this and all other bureaucratic issues in Russia
is to join the Cruising Association, then get in touch with the CA's excellent representative in St. Petersburg, Vladimir Ivankiv, who will cheerfully arrange everything for you.
A couple of further tips about Russian visas:
* The Russian consular people and immigration people are all extremely friendly (unlike ours). HOWEVER, they are very thorough and entirely punctilious. So don't even think about overstaying a visa, or trying to enter before a visa is valid. Don't lose the landing card or any other documents.
* If you are cruising Russian waters, you might very well need to cross the border more than once. By all means, get a multiple entry visa. I don't know about today, but recently they were giving even 3 year multiple entry tourist visas to Americans without any problems. If that's available, just go for that -- you will want to come again and again anyway, once you've been once.
A non-visa related tip for cruising in Russia
-- if you don't speak Russian, why not take Russian-speaking crew for the last leg and entry into Russian waters? Language skills will really lubricate the process.