First cruise-passenger line on Caspian to open in May
The first cruise-passenger line via the Caspian Sea will open on 15 May 2006, Alexander Nevredinov, the deputy minister for economic development of the Astrakhan region of Russia, announced on Thursday.
According to Nevredinov, Baku is one of the big capitals of the region, which has flights to many cities of Europe. It will be very reasonable to attract the tourists. The value of the project is some $15-$20m.
After analysis an independent expert from the Netherlands gave positive estimation to its opening. The first motor ship will run from the Black Sea to the Caspian shortly. It is planned to use one motor-ship which will carry out a weekly-cruise via Baku, Astrakhan, Aktau, and Enzeli. The issue with the Turkmenbashi port is still to be defined. The ticket will cost $70 a day. The motor-ship will be able to carry 250 people. Further it is also planned to use 5-6 vessels in the route.
The marketing researches over the route have been implemented over 3 years, Nevredinev said, adding the talks were currently continued with the Azerbaijan. The route will be managed by Astrakhan-based company Tintur with support from the Ministry of Economic development.