St Petersburg Adds Dolphins As Visa Initiative Progresses

Passenger Port St Petersburg ‘Marine Facade’ is increasing docking possibilities at berths 6 and 7. In total three mooring dolphins will be constructed which will make it possible for the simultaneous berthing of two 333m-long vessels.

At present one cruiseship of up to 340m in length can come alongside. The construction of the first dolphin and the first phase of the project will be completed in time for the 2017 cruise season. This will increase the quayage of 375m-long Berth 7 by 33m. By the end of 2017 one vessel of up to 330m and one of 294m will be able to dock. Berth 6 is 288m in length.

As yet there is no timeframe in place for the construction of the additional two dolphins which will result in a total increase in quayage at the berths of 100m.

The depth of the water area is 10.7m and the channel 11m. The maximum draught that can be accommodated is 8.8m. The investment by the port for stage one, which includes dredging in the second phase, is Roubles 300m (E4.25m).

This year the port has created a safe and comfortable environment in all four terminal buildings for passengers with limited mobility. Berths 2 and 3 are equipped with mobile gangways connected to Cruise Terminal 3 via walkways. Fast-track servicing of wheelchair passengers and transportation services from the cruiseship to passenger terminal by electric car can be ordered. A first aid station is also due to be completed in Terminal 3.

Funds are now in place for the 2017 construction of a sporting centre within the port territory for the use of the port employees and the crew.

In an initiative to encourage the use of St Petersburg as a turnaround port, the Passenger Port of St. Petersburg and Northern Capital Gateway LLC, which manages Pulkovo St Petersburg Airport, signed an agreement on October 14 to develop a joint initiative. This is aimed at facilitating a 72-hour visa-free stay for tourists arriving by aircraft and departing by cruiseships (and ferries) and vice versa. The city government supports this decision as well as a project to introduce electronic visas which will contribute to increasing foreign tourist numbers to St Petersburg.

This year there were 209 calls bringing 456,495 passengers to the city. These included 14 maiden calls compared with 12 last year. Next year is expected to be a record one with 250 calls and 542,510 passengers scheduled, marking a 20% increase. The nine maiden calls include one from MSC Fantasia which, at 333m in length, will be the largest vessel to call so far.

(Cruise Europe)