Azerbaijan and Russia Agree New Cruise Venture
The Chairman of Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company, Rauf Veliyev, and the General Director of Moscow River Shipping Company, Konstantin Anisimov, have signed a memorandum of cooperation in cruise shipping in the Caspian region.
The project aims to attract tourists to Azerbaijan and Russia from the E.U., U.S., Australia, China and other regions of the world.
The agreement provides for joint development of optimal routes for cruise ships in the Black Sea, the inland waterways in Russia and the Caspian Sea including ports in Baku, Moscow Astrakhan, Makhachkala, Anzali, Nowshahr and Turkmenbashi.
The companies cooperate on joint investment projects, including joint operation of the Peter the Great cruise ship and the construction of new cruise vessels. Peter the Great is currently being built in Russia's Lotos shipyard in Astrakhan. The vessel will feature restaurants, spa, gyms, bars, sun decks with a swimming pool and Jacuzzi.
The companies will also work together to develop coastal infrastructure and organize cruise tours - including berths, customs and sanitary control facilities and bunkering and supply services.
The Russian liner Peter the Great is expected to start cruising from Baku, Azerbaijan's capital, in 2019. Initially, the vessel will sail between Astrakhan and Baku, then from 2020 other Russian cities will be included.