Most of "Peter the Great" ship's cruises in Caspian Sea to begin and end in Baku
Most of the cruises in the Caspian Sea of the Russian state-of-the-art passenger ship “Peter the Great,” which is being built in Astrakhan, are planned to start and finish in Baku, Svetlana Goncharova, Deputy Director General for Tourism of the Mosturflot cruise company, told the Association of Tour Operators of Russia on May 31.
She noted that the construction of the ship is on schedule and it may be fully ready for cruising next year. The cruise passenger ship is designed for 310 passengers who will travel in 155 comfortable cabins of different classes.
Currently, active negotiations are underway on enabling the ship to enter the ports of the Caspian states.
“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,” Goncharova noted.
She added that the company plans 7-8 day “short” cruises with entering several ports in the Caspian Sea. For example, these include cruises in the southern part of the sea, with visiting Iran and Turkmenistan, as well as those in the northern part, with entering the ports of Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Russia.
Goncharova also noted that in the future, “Peter the Great” will make cruises connecting three seas.
“We plan a cruise starting from Baku on the Caspian Sea, going through Astrakhan to the Volgodonsk canal, then through Rostov-on-Don to the Azov Sea, and further to the Black Sea. Then, through the Kerch Strait the ship will reach Novorossiysk and Sochi, and after that – Georgia and Turkey,” she said, noting that the cruise will finish in the city of Trabzon.
It is noteworthy that in accordance with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s decree “On additional measures to increase the flow of tourists to Azerbaijan,” signed in 2017, the Foreign Ministry jointly with the State Maritime Administration, the Caspian Shipping Company and Baku International Sea Trade Port were charged with holding talks with the Caspian-littoral countries to organize sea cruises in the Caspian Sea.
On December 28, 2017, the Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company and Moscow River Shipping Company signed a memorandum of cooperation on cruise shipping in the Caspian region by using the “Peter the Great” passenger ship.
The memorandum envisages joint activities to study and develop optimal routes for cruise passenger vessels, such as ports of the Black Sea – inland waterways of Russia – Astrakhan – ports of the Caspian Sea; Moscow-Baku; Astrakhan-Makhachkala-Baku; Baku-Anzali-Nowshahr-Turkmenbashi-Aktau-Astrakhan and other routes.