Knyaz Vladimir Review and Specifications
Specifications of Knyaz Vladimir
|Year built||1971 / Age : 46|
|Builder||Dubigeon-Normandie SA (Nantes, France)|
|Class||ferry cruise ship|
|Building cost||USD 12 million|
|Operator||Black Sea Cruise Line|
|Speed||15 kn / 28 kph / 17 mph|
|Length (LOA)||142 m / 466 ft|
|Beam (width)||21 m / 69 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||9159 gt|
|Passengers||720 - 770|
|Decks with cabins||8|
|Former names||MV Eagle, MV Azur, MV Royal Iris, MV Roy Star|
Review of Knyaz Vladimir
MV Knyaz Vladimir cruise ship (formerly "Roy Star") was built in 1971 as passenger and car ferry vessel in France. In 1981, it was converted / rebuilt as a cruise ship. Since 2017, the ship is owned by Russia (Ministry of Transport) and operated by the newly formed Russian company "Black Sea Cruises".
History - construction & ownership
The 9,159-ton, 1,000-passenger cruise ship Knyaz Vladimir initially sailed as MV Eagle (the first name of the vessel), operated by the British company "Southern Ferries". At first, the ship entered service as a car/cruise ferry. A few years later it was sold to the Paquet Cruises, subsidiary company of Nouvelle Compagnie de Paquebots (Marseille). In 1981, MV Eagle was rebuilt as a cruise ship, and renamed to MV Azur. During the drydock refit, many cabins were added.
In 1994, the vessel was sold to Festival Cruises. The cruise ship served Festival Cruises for 10 years until in 2004 the company announced bankruptcy. MV Azur had to be arrested by harbour authorities in Gibraltar. The vessel was sold to Mano Maritime for a price of over USD 10 million. After acquiring the vessel, Mano Maritime renamed it to "Royal Iris" and the cruise ship was repainted with a smiling yellow fish on both sides of her hull.
MV Roy Star used to operate on Eastern Mediterranean cruises to ports in Cyprus and the Greek Islands. In 2014, Mano Cruises stopped the operations of the ship.
In the beginning of 2017 the Russian Ministry of Transport held preliminary talks with Rosmorport and Sovfracht Group to launch regular passenger service to seaports of Crimea. To implement the project the Ministry intended to deploy the Roy Star cruise ship. Provisional estimates showed that the project's cost is around RUB 700 million (USD 11,7 million ), including the vessel acquisition and refurbishment.
Estimates showed that a cruise ticket might cost around RUB 4,500 per day, comparable with the cost of accommodation in 3-star hotels in Yalta and Sochi.
In late December 2016 Victor Olersky, Deputy Minister of Transport and head of Rosmorrechflot, chaired a meeting of the Marine Board of the Russian Governement on establishing regular passenger service to ports of Crimea.
The Ministry of Transport experts said that the most effective solution could be the regular cruise line on the following route: Sochi - Novorossiysk - Yalta - Sevastopol - Istanbul - Sochi. The ship flies Russian flag. Since the service includes calls at Crimean ports (now under sanctions), time-charter was excluded as an option. Therefore, the Ministry offered to purchase the cruise ship.
MV Knyaz Vladimir offers high quality comfort with many vacation options: 3 swimming pools, 1 dining room restaurant, 2 night clubs (Azure, Monte Carlo), a discotheque, sauna, Jacuzzi, Gym, sports facilities, a casino, duty-free shops, hairdressing salon, movie theater, bar lounge (Tahiti Club), sun deck.