How Plane, Sea, River, Ferry, or Train Arrivals Effect Your Itinerary
Many of my guests realize that St. Petersburg is rich in culture and history, but don’t realize how large the city is.  This often becomes apparent when a tour itinerary order and amount of driver time needed is very different if my guests are arriving by a river cruise ship, staying on a sea going cruise ship, arriving by ferry and staying in a hotel, or staying in a hotel after arriving by train or plane.   There are the two most commonly used train stations, two airport terminals in different locations, and five different ports that are used for various types of ship arrivals such as cruise, river boat and ferry.   We are a city of at least 5 million people and are spread out over a very large area.  This is because St. Petersburg is not a very vertical or tall city, so we have spread out horizontally over a large geographic area.  

This is a list of the different arrival types and how it effects the need for a driver that I can arrange as part of your tour.

Pulkovo Airport - In February 2015 the new Pulkovo airport was opened.   It is new and modern and you can expect to quickly pass through passport control and security.  The previous airport terminals are currently closed and the main terminal is now the only terminal that is opened for both international and domesitc flights.

Marine Façade Port - This is the port location of the majority of sea going ships that arrive in St. Petersburg.  The port gate can be several KM just to the gate and many more to the area of the downtown.  This port is on Basil Island so the driver will take 20 minutes or so from the ship.  Port access will be required for the driver and me to enter the area of the port to pick you up from the ship.  I can use my resources to organize all these details so you can be met the moment you pass through passport control.

Embankments Port – This is a popular port for some of the smaller ships that arrive in St. Petersburg.  Ships such as the Crystal Serenity, Azamara and several others often dock here.  There are a few locations for the ships to dock in this port and all of them are in the downtown and do not require port access for the driver and I to meet you after passport control.  The actual distance to the attractions will depend on which of the several docking locations you will have.  Before your arrival we can discuss the distances depending on your ship and decide if it is better to have a driver or if it is OK to walk.

River Ports - These ports are some distance from the downtown and you will need a driver for transfers to and from the ship at a minimum.  Usually a driver for the day is a better option as it enables you to see more.

Ferry Port - Most guests that arrive by ferry arrange for a transfer with the ship to and from the ship on one of the ships buses.  I then meet them in the downtown for 1, 2 or 3 days of touring.  Very often driver time is not needed as you’ll be staying in a hotel in the heart of the downtown and not on the River Boat. In 2016 St. Peter Line, the ferry company the provides visa free entry to St. Petersburg for those arriving from Finland, was purchased by a company called Moby.  As a result the schedule for when ships would be in port changed.  This is a link to the new schedule for the 2017 Season .  

Commercial Port - Prior to the construction of the Marine Façade, this was the most commonly used port.  Very rarely do cruise ships dock at this location any longer.

Finnlandy and Moskovsky Train Stations - Both of these train stations are in the downtown, but almost definitely a transfer to your hotel should be arranged.  I am happy to do this for you.  The distance will not be far in a car, but unless you speak Russian and can call an authorized city taxi it can be a hassle (and expensive) to get to your hotel.  Don’t forget you’ll likely have bags. There is a lot of peace of mind in knowing a driver will meet you at the train and take you directly to the hotel without needed to think about any details.  There are a few hotels in walking distance to the Moskovsky Train Station, however, the result of staying in one of these hotels is that you’ll need a lot more transport to get to the area of the sites.