St. Peter Line, a shipping company registered in the EU, will commence a new ferry connection between Helsinki and St Petersburg in April 2010. The passenger ferry Princess Maria will operate five times a week between the two cities, accommodating up to 1638 passengers and carrying up to 395 vehicles.
Thanks to changes in Russian legislation, ferry passengers of all nationalities can travel to St Petersburg without a visa for 72 hours. According to Igor Gluhov, Director General of the Russian company Inflot World Wide which is behind the St. Peter Line, passengers can also enjoy onboard duty-free shopping which is not possible within the EU. He believes that the completion of infrastructural work at the port of St Petersburg also makes it a good time to open the new ferry route.
The price of the crossing will be kept competitive, according to Gluhov, with the lowest fare around EUR 40. St. Peter Line is expecting to serve half a million passengers from Finland and the Scandinavian countries, as well as international passengers from as far as the United States.
Sources: Kauppalehti, St Peter Line