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Russian River Cruise Line Vodohod Orders New Ship, Refurbishes Three Others

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IIRC river boat construction in FSU, what had been DDR, etc essentially ceased with the collapse of USSR so the newest of the “Russian” type boats are almost 30 years old. Even with good regular maintenance (which Is probably unlikely) and significant modifications (fewer, larger cabins) those boats are approaching their expiration date. But there are a LOT of the old boats in FSU - 1 or 2 boats will barely make a dent but it is a start.

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Posted (edited)

Let me fill in here about what we know:

 

 

Two ships have been ordered so far, by two different shipping companies - Mosturflot and Vodohod. They are almost identical with only minor differences in design and proposed use.

 

Mosturflot ordered project PV300VD with a capacity for 310 passengers, while Vodohod ordered the PV300, 342 passengers. The Mosturflot ship is a little bit ahead in construction and they expect to make the first cruises in autumn 2019, while Vodohod will make its first sailing in 2020 if everything goes according to plan. Vodohod will name their ship Prince Vladimir while Mosturflot's lead ship will be called Peter the Great. They are being built by the United Shipbuilding Corporation with construction at two different shipyards in Russia: Lotus close to Astrakhan by the lower Volga, and at the Krasnoe Sormovo in Nizhny Novgorod. The engineering bureau is MEB from Odessa.

 

 

 

PV300VD and PV300:



 

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These will be some of the biggest river cruise ships ever built, if not the biggest. Strangely, so far it seems like the construction is going more or less according to schedule.

 

The difference between the two ships and their intended use is that while Vodohod plans to sail the usual Volga route between Moscow and St Petersburg, Mosturflot is intent on opening up totally new routes. That is what is so exciting about all this.

 

Has anyone here ever heard about Caspian cruises? No, because they so far don't exist. Mosturflot are sailing towards new shores and opening up new frontiers. There will be Caspian Sea cruises, including Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan and the isolated, mysterious Turkmenistan. As I am writing this, Mosturflot representatives are negotiating in ports and with the different tourism authorities. The ship will be of river-sea class, and there will also be routes including the Black Sea.

 

i-QSpgDQx-XL.jpg

 

Initially, orders have been made for two ships, but there is already talk about many more. I expect dozens of ships being built. The difference between the Russian and other markets is that nothing can be done without state support, there are grants and subsidies. If that dries up nothing will be done.

 

Golden Ring:

 

i-vcNx24q-XL.jpg

 

Also, two somewhat smaller paddlewheel ships of the Project PKS 180 Golden Ring-class are being built for the GAMA shipping company, also at Lotus shipyards. These will be able to navigate smaller, shallower rivers such as the Oka, Vyatka or the White Sea Canal. We are living in very exciting times.

 

Links:

PV300VD

PV300

Golden Ring

 

Bonus info: there are plans for an even bigger, 500+ passenger ship as well. Link:

PV500VB

Construction in full swing:

 

i-bL9s3LP.jpg

 

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Edited by Caucasus and Mercury
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Thanks for this detailed information! Maybe someday we can sail from Stockholm to Istanbul: "From the Varangians to the Greeks" route.

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Thanks for this detailed information! Maybe someday we can sail from Stockholm to Istanbul: "From the Varangians to the Greeks" route.

 

 

 

On Russian ships with Russian service but European prices??? Thanks, but no, thanks [emoji15]

 

 

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Thanks for this detailed information! Maybe someday we can sail from Stockholm to Istanbul: "From the Varangians to the Greeks" route.
I think that the Varangian journey involved some overland transit to get to the Dnieper River. Is it currently possible to make the journey entirely by boat? From Britannia.com:

 

At the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th, the Dnieper was connected to the Baltic Sea by several canals: the Dnieper–Bug Canal, running by way of the Pripet, Bug, and Vistula rivers; the Ahinski Canal by way of the Pripet and the Neman; and the Byarezina water system by way of the Byarezina and the Western Dvina. These canals later became obsolete.

Does “became obsolete” mean superseded by better waterways or no longer possible?

Interesting that PV500VB links to a site with a Ukrainian country code.

Thom

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I think that the Varangian journey involved some overland transit to get to the Dnieper River. Is it currently possible to make the journey entirely by boat? From Britannia.com:

 

 

 

At the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th, the Dnieper was connected to the Baltic Sea by several canals: the Dnieper–Bug Canal, running by way of the Pripet, Bug, and Vistula rivers; the Ahinski Canal by way of the Pripet and the Neman; and the Byarezina water system by way of the Byarezina and the Western Dvina. These canals later became obsolete.

 

 

Does “became obsolete” mean superseded by better waterways or no longer possible?

 

 

Interesting that PV500VB links to a site with a Ukrainian country code.

 

 

Thom

 

 

 

If I am not mistaken, many of these rivers are now too small for modern ships and only suitable for smaller craft

 

 

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If I am not mistaken, many of these rivers are now too small for modern ships and only suitable for smaller craft

 

Yes, I was aware that the Vikings had to portage their longboats over that stretch. I hope the passengers won't be expected to pitch in! ;)

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Hi there,

 

There wasn't ever really one specific Varangian route. The Vikings sailed to Byzantium and Constantinople by means of the Dniepr, correct, and then when suffering what we would today call profitability problems they started sailing down the Volga to the Caspian Sea, trading with the Persians. The Dnepr route involved many small waterways and portages where the boats had to be carried overland.

 

Is this route possible to sail today? Yes and no, but definitely not with big ships. There are some enthusiasts, though, who have sailed from the Baltic to the Black Sea.

 

But - these things are about to change:

 

The Pripyat is very much navigable, as is the Bug river on the Polish side of the border. The problem is the state of Dnieper–Bug Canal connecting the two waterways. There are huge investments going on with the European Union in cooperation with Belarus, and very soon hopefully we will have a working waterway from the Baltic coast to the Black Sea. Exciting indeed.

Info here.

 

When we're at it, I just can't help myself from telling you that there are indeed Belarusian river cruises, who would have known? The MS Belya Rus is doing eight-day cruises along the Pripyat river. Premiere was last year in 2017, and as I understand it went pretty well. The Belaya Rus is a converted former faecal-waste transporter rebuilt into a cruise ship, in other words a former toilet-waste-transport ship, which is a bit funny. Kudos to the Belarussians for breaking into the cruise business! Link here.

 

Interesting that PV500VB links to a site with a Ukrainian country code
- Well yes, that's the construction bureau, they're based in Odessa.

 

 

 

i-MVQhRLR-L.jpg

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WOW! I never cease to be amazed what I learn on CC (and even more that much of it is true ) I have a god-child in- law in Belarus (if that term is possible) and am thinking of visiting there. All the more reason. THANKS

 

Thom

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Thanks Caucasus and Mercury for this detailed and interesting information! My post about 'From the Varangians to the Greeks' was based on the college course on Kievan Rus that changed my major to Russian and East European History, although I have yet to travel east of Budapest. My father's parents came from near Lviv [actually at that time it was called Lemberg, and while I was growing up it was Lvov -- so I was never sure whether we were Ukrainian, Polish, or Austrian!]. It would be nice to visit this area, but the cruise ship in the link is perhaps a little below the standards we expect on European river cruises [all cabins on the lower deck: "no bathroom facilities" – huh?] I guess I will have to keep waiting for Crystal to dredge out the Dnieper for my dream cruise :D

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Thanks Caucasus and Mercury for this detailed and interesting information! My post about 'From the Varangians to the Greeks' was based on the college course on Kievan Rus that changed my major to Russian and East European History, although I have yet to travel east of Budapest. My father's parents came from near Lviv [actually at that time it was called Lemberg, and while I was growing up it was Lvov -- so I was never sure whether we were Ukrainian, Polish, or Austrian!]. It would be nice to visit this area, but the cruise ship in the link is perhaps a little below the standards we expect on European river cruises [all cabins on the lower deck: "no bathroom facilities" – huh?] I guess I will have to keep waiting for Crystal to dredge out the Dnieper for my dream cruise :D

 

 

 

I am Ukrainian and just been to Lviv last European autumn [emoji262];) you would be much better off doing this part as a land tour. ;)

 

 

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Oh how nice that there are a few of us interested in those rivers in the East!

 

Lvov? You mention Lvov? Oohh, Lvov, Lvov... of all the places in the world, Lvov and Odessa are my absolute favourites. Memories of sitting at Armenian street at the Black Cat cafe, that is happiness.

 

As we're speaking of odd rivers and Lvov here: the closest you can get to Lvov by means of river must be on the Tisza River, a tributary of the Danube. The only ones I know that are sailing there are Croisieurope, their cruise includes the Sava river as well.

 

i-ShCVcCS-M.jpg

 

And someone mentioned sailing the Dnepr? Oh, you absolutely must. Viking Sineus is doing her last season this year on the Dnepr, after that she will transfer to the Volga as far as I know. That leaves only Prinsessa Dnepra on the Dnepr after that. I used to work on that ship for many years, the finest memories.

 

Captain Aleksashim, the finest captain in the world:

 

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She does cruises Between Kiev and Odessa, and also some between Kiev and all the way up through the Danube delta, truly unique itineraries. She sails a lot with Swiss and Germans but there is some US company onboard also.

 

But anyway, nothing beats Siberian river cruises on the Lena River in Yakutia, East Siberia...

 

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i-wznxWTq-L.jpg

 

i-h2BP6qQ-L.jpg

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Oh how nice that there are a few of us interested in those rivers in the East!

...

And someone mentioned sailing the Dnepr? Oh, you absolutely must. Viking Sineus is doing her last season this year on the Dnepr, after that she will transfer to the Volga as far as I know. That leaves only Prinsessa Dnepra on the Dnepr after that. I used to work on that ship for many years, the finest memories.

....

But anyway, nothing beats Siberian river cruises on the Lena River in Yakutia, East Siberia

Definitely interested (even if is unlikely to happen). A MOST interesting thread. I feel like I have river cruised more than most (including the Dnepr when the Sineus under a previous name still went to Crimea) but you are mentioning rivers I had never considered. THANKS for bringing all this info to this board.

 

Thom

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