Subject: St. Petersburg - Visa and tour queries
Hi Ziners:

I have been reading the recent St. Petersburg messages with great interest because we are booked on a two week Balkan cruise on Silverseas in July, where Bob will be a guest lecturer. I have also read the Zine archives. My question is: Have any Canadian (or American) Ziners applied for a Russian tourist visa? There is no Russian consulate in Toronto, so I phoned the Embassy in Ottawa and heard a very long complicated recorded message about how to acquire this visa. Among other things, they require that you send them your passport - original, not a photocopy.

We could take the tours offered by the cruise line, without needing a visa, but we will be in St. Petersburg for two 3-day visits and we would like some time on our own to explore. Besides, the tour excursions are very expensive. I have read about the Red October and Denrus tours, where you do not need a Visa, does anyone have any experience with either or these tour companies?

Thanks in advance for any assistance you can give us.

Penny and Bob Toronto, Ontario