Russian river cruise operators plan to introduce at least three new ships into service for the 2024 navigation season, including two river vessels and one river-sea class, according to the Russian Union of Travel Industry (RST) on Monday.
“In the 2023 navigation season, Russian cruise operators deployed up to 15 ships on Russian rivers, previously mothballed. As a result, the total number of vessels exceeded 100. In 2024, the appearance of three more liners can be expected,” the statement said.
RST reports that the company Vodokhod will launch the ship Zosima Shashkov in 2024.
“After two seasons of being ‘on vacation,’ it will operate routes from Yaroslavl, Nizhny Novgorod, Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Kazan in the coming year. The Nizhny Novgorod cruise company Gama plans to launch a new ship called Aurum. Similar to its predecessor, the Golden Ring, which entered the market in the 2023 season, Aurum will follow a route along the Volga, Moscow Canal, Moscow River, and Oka,” the union noted.
As Dmitry Galkin, the CEO of Gama, mentioned, the preparations for Aurum for the 2024 navigation season are progressing as planned. The outfitting of cabins and internal spaces is nearing completion. Thanks to its dimensions, the liner will be able to pass under all bridges along the Moscow River from the Northern to the Southern river stations, allowing passengers to see the capital’s main attractions.
The market is also anticipating the arrival of Peter the Great. This river-sea class ship, construction of which has been underway since 2016 and is nearing completion, is expected to begin cruises on the Caspian and Black Seas next year. The Moscow River Shipping Company is the client. The comfort of the liner will correspond to a five-star hotel – it is designed as a floating hotel with full-fledged balconies, a forward observation lounge, a sun deck, and a swimming pool.
Currently, Peter the Great is not listed in the cruise schedule for the coming year of the tour operator Mosturflot, which is part of the Moscow River Shipping Company and will operate this ship.
“We don’t know exactly when we will receive the ship, but we expect it to happen in 2024,” said Svetlana Goncharova, the Deputy General Director of the tour operator.