Short-term Visas for Cruise Passengers
In accordance with an agreement between cruise companies and Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, passengers of cruise ships stopping in the port of St. Petersburg for not longer than 72 hours do not require a Russian visa if they have booked a guided shore excursion with a licensed tour operator. They must have a Tour Ticket, which is provided by the tour company, and a valid passport at customs. Tour Tickets should be sent to a customer to be PRINTED in advance. In accordance with the law of the Russian Federation, passengers arriving under the VISA FREE regime must stay within the territory defined by the excursion program. For the duration of the VISA FREE (or Blanket Visa) tour, from leaving the boat until returning to it, a passenger must be accompanied by a guide from the tour company which provided the tour.
Short-term Visas for Special Sports Events
A special law allows the President to let foreigners enter Russia without a visa for a short period of time with a special decree. It is primarily used for one-off sporting events, such as the Olympic Games, the Football or Hockey World Cup, etc. In these cases, the President can waive visas for fans who have a valid ticket for the game. The ticket needs to be presented instead of a visa at the border and allows a 1-week visa-free stay. This does not allow for free travel around the country, but is a good option if you are going to attend a sporting event as there is no need to get an invitation.