The St Petersburg government took the decision to establish Marine Facade as a unified operator for all of its cruise passenger terminals. In 2020, therefore, the company is taking on the 2 terminals and 2 berths at English and Lieutenant Schmidt Embarkment in downtown St Petersburg.
Marine Facade already operates 4 terminals and 7 berths at Port Saint Petersburg and, since 2018, 6 berths and 1 terminal at Morskoy Vokzal (the old passenger terminal).
According to Vadim Kashirin, director-general Passenger Port of Saint Petersburg Marine Facade, that could take some time as those objects had to be "transferred from the federal property to the city and then to Marine Facade." He added they believed the procedure would be completed at the nearest time and they would "operate all objects next cruise season.”
As the city is a 100% shareholder of Marine Facade, all port terminals will belong to the city and will be operated accordingly. The city revenue is expected to be increased from the cruise shipping and ferry operations at the terminals.
On October 1st, a free 8-day E-Visa was introduced for travellers visiting Saint Petersburg and Russia's Leningrad Region. The Russian Federation government plan is to improve the regime (after 2021) allowing visitors to travel visa-free around Russia for a longer period.
Marine Facade, with the assistance of the Saint Petersburg government, has initiated amendments to the 72-hour visa-free regime for ferry and cruise passengers, which will allow them to stay visa-free in the port city for several days pre-/post-cruise.
Turnaround (homeporting) operations are being looked at more closely. Vadim Kashirin said they were already in dialogue with some cruise lines "on the necessary steps for infrastructure development and arrangement issues.”