Subject: Re: St. Petersburg - Visa and tour queries
Hi Penny and Bob:

Several years ago we went to St Petersburg via Baltic Lines and stayed on the boat while sightseeing. Did not need a visa. The ship's staff kept our passports and we were given daily chits that allowed us on shore, with or without tours. So you might check with your shipping company.

Subsequently, we went to Russia for a Volga cruise, staying over in St Petersurg. I filled out their forms and FedExed our passports to the Embassy, with return Fed Ex enclosed. No problem. In fact, here to get anybody's visas, you send in the passport to whereever. Never had a problem. but I use FedEx.

Alternative is to use a Visa service, but you still have to send in your passport, they then work with the appropriate embassy. And charge you accordingly. I had to do this for my May China trip for the local people are paranoid about stuff being mailed in.

Good luck - and enjoy your trip!

Cheers! jo, still in sunny Sunnyvale.