Cruise International Contributing Editor and award-winning journalist Sara Macefield explains the different cruise options for a trip to Russia

Cupola of St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow
Cupola of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow

Q. I’m very interested in taking a cruise to Russia, but would like to be able to stay a few days in Moscow or St Petersburg to see as much as possible. What are my options?

A. First, decide what type of cruise you’d like. River cruises generally take in both cities and stay for a few nights in each. Companies such as Viking River Cruises, Scenic and Uniworld offer sailings between St Petersburg and Moscow. Several ocean cruise lines include St Petersburg on Baltic sailings, docking for up to three nights. Those offering such itineraries include P&O Cruises, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean International. Be aware of the visa situation as passengers on ocean cruises don’t need a visa if they take cruise line excursions, but if they wish to go on shore independently visitors need to arrange their own visas. Regarding river cruises, passengers are required to have visas, which can usually be arranged very easily through the company you’re travelling with.