A favorite activity of many cruising sailors in the Mediterranean is to lay the mast along the deck and embark on an adventure through the waterways of Europe.
Now this may be possible in Russia, the Russian Government has adopted a series of new regulations that make possible for foreign yachtsmen to visit Russian inland waterways without preliminary authorization of the authorities. Boats allowed to enter Russian inland waterways according to the new simplified procedure should have no more that 18 people on board including no more that 12 passengers and should be used for non-commercial purposes.
Now for those interested to discover Russian rivers and lakes it is only required to have a valid Russian visa, a copy of documents certifying ownership, technical conditions, type and purpose of the boat and several other documents. No special permit is required but one or two crew members, who have rights to control the vessel of this category, has to be a Russian speaker. On some sections of waterway a pilot is necessary for some type of vessels.
Among inland waterways accessible for foreign boats are the Volga, the White Sea -Baltic Canal, lake Onega with Kizhi, lake Ladoga with Valaam, the Neva, the Volga-Baltic Canal, the Don, the Curonian Bayand and many others. You could visit the ports of St. Petersburg, Moscow, Arkhangelsk, Yaroslavl, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Samara and different other.
If your mast height from waterline less then 13,3 meters, you could travel without laying all the main waterways of Russia from White to Black sea.
The legal basis for this decision:
- Federal Law # 203-FZ dated July 11, 2011 «On amendments of the Code of Inland Waterways Transport of the Russian Federation»;
- Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation # 472 dated May 12, 2012 «On Approval of the Rules of Sailing on Inland Waterways of the Russian Federation for sport sailing boats and pleasance boats under flags of foreign states»;
- Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation #734-r dated May 5, 2012 approving a list of entry ports and inland waterways open for sport sailing boats and pleasance boats under flags of foreign states.
- help you to plan your own travel by waterways of Russia according to there facilities, technical characteristics of your yacht or boat
- provide your boat with a Russian speaker skipper, which should accompany and protect you all the way.
- help you in customs paperwork or to communicate with your agent
- supply your ship with all the necessary charts and pilots for the period of sailing