Our detailed guide to European destinations.

Those who have cruised to St Petersburg say all the paperwork is well worth the effort. The visa process is lengthy, and requires you to provide an itinerary. Facilities for yachts on the coast are being developed, but slowly. Also, new routes in the interior are opening up to leisure boating.

EU member?

No.

Visas?

Each person must have a visa. To obtain one you must have an invitation, by name, from a Russian person, or a yacht club. The RYA booklet C1 has details of Russian yacht clubs which are friendly to foreign visitors and may issue you with an invitation. Make sure you consult the 2000 edition (£5.10 from RYA publications), as many telephone numbers have recently changed. Contact the Russian Embassy Visa section, (address below) on 0906 550 8960, or Intourist (219 Marsh Wall, London E14 9FJ) on 020 7538 8600, several months before you leave in order to complete the paperwork in time.

Ship’s papers

Ship’s registration papers.

Crew papers

Passports.

Visas for each person onboard. See above.

Report to Customs?

Yes. You must enter at the port of entry listed on your itinerary submitted for visa applications. Notify Customs of all valuable items on board eg cameras, watches, radios, etc, as these may be checked later against receipts and money-changing dockets. Keep a record of all your financial transactions in the country, and all bills and receipts.

Diesel

Difficult to obtain. You will need to ask yacht club officials, who may be able to organise a supply.

Water

At St Petersburg yacht clubs.

Shore power 220V AC

At St Petersburg yacht clubs.

LPG

Refilling propane cylinders may be possible.

Camping Gaz

Not widely available.

Berthing fees

Cheaper than UK.

Currency

Rouble (100 kopeks).

Take low denominations of US dollars to pay taxis etc, and to change into roubles as and when you need them.

Credit cards

Not accepted, except in hard-currency tourist shops. Visa cards can be used to obtain currency in some banks.

Travellers cheques

Take low denominations of US dollars to obtain roubles or hard currency at exchange bureaux in large hotels.

Emergencies ­ VHF

According to The Baltic Sea Russian patrol boats listen on Ch 10 rather than Ch 16. In an emergency, call on Ch 10, then Ch 16.

Emergencies ­ phone

Police 02

Ambulance 03

Fire 01

Pets?

Contact embassy in London for information.

Dialling code to UK

1044 then the number, omitting the first 0.

Telephone boxes

System yet to be modernised. No direct dialling to UK from call boxes. Calls can be made from post offices and large international hotels.

Weather forecasts

No VHF or broadcast services known.

British Embassy

Smolenskaya Naberezhnaya 10, Moscow 121099. Tel: 007095 9567200. Visit www.britemb.msk.ru or e-mail moscow@britishembassy.ru

British Consulate St Petersburg

Proletarskoy Diktatury 5, Smolninskiy Raion, 193124 St Petersburg. Tel: 007812 3203200. Visit www.britain.spb.ru or e-mail bcgspb@peterlink.ru

Embassy in UK

The Embassy of the Russian Federation, 5 Kensington Palace Gardens, London W1. Tel: 020 7229 2666. Visit www.russia-travel.com or e-mail info@russia-travel.com

Charts and books

Admiralty charts.

The Baltic Sea. RCC Pilotage Foundation. Imray.

www.ybw-books.com

Language

Russian. English not widely spoken.

September 2001