Between Russia and Finland will run the ferry
Resolution signed by Russian Government in 2009 “On Approval about residence on the territory of Russia of foreign citizens coming for tourism purposes on ferries with passenger transportation permit”, which allowed foreigners to stay 72 hours in Russia without visas, bore first fruits. The situation dealt with travelers arriving by ferry, and applied on tourists many obligations. They can come only as part of a tourist group, stay only at the hotel according to the tourist program. Tourists, who prefer individual tours, should always receive visa to Russia.
This decision, taken with the support of the Government of St. Petersburg, as well as the opening of the first line of “Marine Façade” was another event aimed at developing the tourism industry of the city.
According to “St. Petersburg Vedomosti”, prior to these events all attempts to establish sea links between Finland and Russia were unsuccessful. Ferries run between the countries in 2003 and 2008, but the projects did not pay off, ferries were not loaded enough.
However, in April 2010 it is planned to repeat the experience, and this time the parties expect to succeed. Ferry “Princess Maria” will run between Saint Petersburg and Helsinki, making five voyages a week. According to “St. Petersburg Vedomosti”, the ferry is designed for 1638 passengers. At the “Princess Maria” are more than six hundred cabins, car deck can accommodate up to 395 cars. Travel time is approximately 11 hours. According to calculations of tour organizers, the average load of the ferry will be 80%. It is planned to transfer about 500 thousand passengers per year.
Ferry “Princess Maria” was built in Finland and for a long time was ruled by the ferry operator of Denmark. Before the beginning, the vessel will be repaired and equipped specifically in accordance with international standards.