June 16, 2012 via Ryndam (overnight)
The ship was docked in the Marine Facade where everything is far. And the day before we conquer St. Petersburg, we did a lot of researching and luckily found a nice tourist information girl in the next terminal were we asked a lot of questions. After finding the best way to get there, then it's time to think about having their local currency. The best way is to buy a souvenir in the port, pay in dollars and get changed in Rubles.
Next day, early morning we walked all the way to Primorskaya metro station- about half an hour walk from the port (if you walk like Marku) :-) It only cost 27 Rubles (not even a dollar) to purchase a metro token and it is really interesting how their subway is reallllly underground. 2 stops from Primorskaya is Gostiny Dvor, which is the station closest to the heart of the city. I love it when I see locals in their natural way of life- you will really see the difference of our behavior and it's fascinating! The long walk starts again when we went to the Russian Museum, Savior of the Blood church and passing through a lot of parks, statues before heading to the Winter Palace where we stop for a quick lunch. So many wedding pictorials that day and the line to the entrance of Hermitage Museum is like a queue to a box office hit movie. In famous landmarks, you'll find a couple asking you to take a picture with them, I asked once and it's 7 euro or 5 euro she said.. thanks anyway!
Going back was easy.. we just walk back to the Gostiny Dvor station on a different route, took the underground train again and waited for bus #158 from Primorskaya to the Marine Facade. It is so much to see in St. Petersburg but unfortunately, we didn't have time. This is my first visit and I am very happy that for $10.. I was able to get to the city, had a ice cream stick and bought a bread.
So be a little bit more adventurous and get an up-close encounter with the Russians!
Just a reminder that to be able for passengers to get off the ship, they will need a visa or a booked tour onboard. For crew members, a seaman's book will be required either issued from your country of origin or a Russian seaman's book. Spare a lot time because immigration inspection in the terminal can eat a lot of your time- leaving and arriving from the ship.
I hate taxi.. no challenge! St. Petersburg..... conquered!
Language- don't expect an English speaking locals.
Currency- Russian Rubles, only shops in the port takes euro or dollar but in the center, they only take euro. you can change rubles in Tallinn or Helsinki for better exchange rate before arriving in St. Petersburg or an ATM-liked machine in the port.
wifi- in the city.. nothing in port.
Crew service center- None