Russia’s Ministry of Transport is planning to acquire a cruise ship and run services to Crimean ports.
The ministry has held preliminary talks with Sovfracht Group and Rosmorport. Local media indicate the move has been instigated by President Vladimir Putin.
The Panama-flagged cruise ship Roy Star (formerly the Royal Iris, The Azur and Eagle) is expected to start operation this year sailing on the route Sochi - Novorossiysk - Yalta - Sevastopol - Istanbul - Sochi. The ship will fly Russian flag.
Last year, media reports indicate that Turkey agreed to receive Russian cruise ships that will also enter the ports of the occupied Crimea, despite the E.U. maintaining sanctions against such an arrangement.
Year Built: 1971
Tonnage: 14,717 GT
Length: 142.12m (466 ft)
Beam: 21.90m (72 ft)
Speed: 18 knots