Baku, Azerbaijan, May 31
Most of the cruises in the Caspian Sea of the latest Russian cruise passenger ship "Peter the Great" of "river-sea" class, the construction of which is carried out in Astrakhan, are planned to start and finish in Baku, Svetlana Goncharova, Deputy General Director for Tourism of the "Mosturflot" Cruise Company told the website of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR).
She noted that, the construction of the ship at the "Lotus" shipyard is on schedule.
"Peter the Great" is designed for 310 passengers who travel in comfortable 155 cabins of different classes.
Goncharova noted that, currently active negotiations are underway on the possibility of entering the Russian vessel into the ports of the Caspian states.
"We planned to start with the Caspian Sea, as the ship goes down to the water in Astrakhan. According to our plans, the ship will enter the ports of Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. Most of the Caspian cruises will start and end in Baku. We are planning 7-8 day cruises, which we call "short", with an entry into several ports, for example, in the southern part of the Caspian Sea, with a visit to Iran and Turkmenistan, or in the North, with an entry into the ports of Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Russia," she said.
In addition, Mosturflot plans 13-14 day cruises with coverage of ports of all five Caspian countries.
"In the case of commissioning of the berth in Derbent, we will enter it. Derbent as a city with a long history is very interesting from a tourist point of view," she said.
In early spring, the liner will operate on the Caspian Sea, but by the summer it will tide up further along the Volga River to Moscow to reach the route of Moscow-St. Petersburg cruises which are traditional for the company.
Goncharova said, in the future, "Peter the Great" will make cruises connecting three seas.
"We leave Baku in the Caspian Sea, go through Astrakhan to the Volgodonsk canal, go through Rostov-on-Don to Azov Sea, and from there to the Black Sea. Further through the Kerch Strait the vessel follows to Novorossiysk and Sochi, then – to Georgia and Turkey where we finish a route in Trabzon. There are several such cruises on the Black Sea in our plans," she said.
On December 28, last year, Azerbaijani Caspian Shipping Company and Moscow River Shipping Company signed a Memorandum on cooperation in cruise shipping in the Caspian region with the use of a new cruise passenger ship built under “Peter the Great” project.
According to the signed Memorandum, sea tours of "Peter the Great" will start in Baku by the end of 2019. The Memorandum provides for joint activities to study and develop optimal routes for cruise passenger ships, such as the ports of the Black Sea - inland waterways of the Russian Federation - Astrakhan - ports of the Caspian Sea; Moscow - Baku; Astrakhan - Makhachkala - Baku; Baku - Enzeli - Nowshahr - Turkmenbashi - Aktau - Astrakhan and others.