A new passenger ship terminal opened in St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko was handed a symbolic key to the port on the city's birthday at the end of last month.
Marine Facade is the first specialized passenger port in Russia to conform to international standards. "This port is a dream gift for St. Petersburg," Matviyenko said at the official ceremony.
Vadim Tyulpanov, speaker of the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly, said that in 2009 there were about 3 million visitors to the city. After the introduction of a new rule in May that year that allows tourists arriving by cruise ship and ferry to stay in the city for up to 72 hours without requiring a visa, that number rose to 5 million in 2010.Total investment into the project amounted to 18 billion rubles ($643 million), including 10 billion rubles of private financing and 8 billion rubles of state money.