MS General Lavrinenkov Review and Specifications
Specifications of MS General Lavrinenkov
|Year built||1990 / Age : 27|
|Builder||Elbewerft Boizenburg GmbH (Boizenburg, Germany)|
|Class||Russian river cruise ship (Dmitriy Furmanov class, Project 302)|
|Operator||Orthodox Cruise Company|
|Speed||14 kn / 26 kph / 16 mph|
|Length (LOA)||129 m / 423 ft|
|Beam (width)||16 m / 52 ft|
|Passengers||91 - 182|
|Decks with cabins||3|
|Former names||MS Excellence Katharina|
Review of MS General Lavrinenkov
MS General Lavrinenkov cruise ship (теплоход / круизный корабль "Генерал Лавриненков") is a Russian river shipping passenger vessel vessel built for the USSR (Soviet Union) in Eastern Germany. This ship is also exclusivelly chartered (under the name "MS Excellence Katharina") by the German travel company Reiseburo Mittelthurgau.
History and ownership
From the same series are also all the Viking River Cruises ships in Russia and Ukraine - Viking Akun (1990, MS Marshal Koshevoy), Viking Helgi (1984, MS Alexey Surkov), Viking Ingvar (1990, MS Narkom Pakhomov) and Viking Truvor (1987, MS Sergey Kirov). The series included a total of 28 vessels, manufactured in the period 1983-1992. All these ships are with 4 passenger decks, diesel-electric propulsion, each with three Russian diesel engines (type "6ЧРН 36/45" / 6-cylinder, power output 2200 kW) and three propellers. Their original capacity was 332 passengers (max) and 98 crew.
The ship was built in 1990 for the USSR / Russian state-owned company "Volga-Donskoe Retschnoje Parochodstwo" ("Волго-Донское пароходство", today "Азово-Донское Пароходство") based in Rostov-on-Don. Currently, the vessel is owned by the Russian river cruise shipping company Doninturflot (Донинтурфлот) and operated by its subsidiary company Orthodox Cruises (Ортодокс).
The ship is named after General Vladimir Lavrinenkov (1919-1988), an Air Force hero of WW2 (1939-1945). Initially, the ship's passenger capacity was 212, but following the 2016 refurbishment, its capacity was reduced to 184.
MS Lavrinenkov was reborn in 2016 as “MS Excellence Katharina” via complete refurbishment. After the refit, the cruise ship acquired usable and pleasant interior design in warm colors, as well as much more convenience. Now most cabins have balconies, and one passenger elevator serves all decks.
Onboard entertainment programming includes games, themed parties, dancing evenings and live music concerts. From the sweeping sundeck to the spacious lounges, this floating hotel provides unique cruising vacations on the Russian waterways.
There are several different categories of staterooms aboard Excellence Katharina, including Standard Single, Standard Twin, Deluxe and Suites. All cabins are air-conditioned and heated. Each stateroom as amenities offers individually controlled air conditioning, refrigerator, radio, flat TV, en-suite bathroom (WC, shower, single sink vanity), large windows (excepting Lower Deck cabins which are with portholes).
Most staterooms are with two single beds. Panorama Suites are 2-room accommodations with separate bedroom (one double bed, sofa) and spacious living room (with L-shaped sofa). An extra folding bed is available for a third person. Suite bathrooms are with bathtub / shower configuration. Category A1 are single-occupancy cabins, each with one single bed.
Traditionally for this type of Russian passenger ships, MS Lavrinenkov has two bars, two comfortable restaurants (one dining room, one dinner / bar-restaurant), conference hall (meeting room), library (reading room), beauty salon (hair salon), sauna, laundry facility, souvenir shop. sun deck with outdoor seating (loungers, deckchairs and tables).
River cruise itineraries
General Lavrinenkov ship's itinerary program offers regularly scheduled cruises on Volga and Don rivers in Russia, between Moscow and Rostov-on-Don. The list of visited ports along the itinerary routes (northbound and southbound) includes Uglich, Yaroslavl, Kostroma, Plyos, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Uljanovsk, Samara, Saratov, Volgograd, passing Volga-Don Canal, and Rostov.
Part of the crew are Russian government-licensed tour guides who run the onboard and ashore enrichment program. Throughout the voyage, these professional tour guides give lectures themed on the country's culture, art and history, as well as information about all visited ports of call along the cruise itinerary.
Doninturflot Orthodox Cruise Company ships
Orthodox Cruise Company operates a fleet of Soviet-design large river ships and serves mainly foreign tourists. The parent company Doninturflot (established in 1992) is the shipowner and manages the fleet.
- Doninturflot started operations with the ships MS Maxim Litvinov, MS Mikhail Sholokhov and MS Sergei Dyagilev.
- Since 2002, Docturflot charters Akademik Glushkov (currently MS Igor Stravinsky) owned by OOO Rosflotinvest.
- In 2004 was acquired MS Anton Chekhov from Yenisei River Shipping Company (Russia).
- In 2006 were acquired MS Peter Tchaikovsky and MS Ivan Bunin from the Moscow-based cruise shipping company "Passenger Port".
- In 2008 was bought MS General Lavrinenkov from "Ukrrechflot" (Ukraine).
- In 2011 was bought MS Marshal Koshevoy (from Ukrrichflot, Ukraine) , but in April 2013 the ship was sold to Viking Cruises (now operates as Viking Akun).
- In 2016, was purchased MS Tikhi Don from the UK-based Grand Circle Travel company. In 2017, the ship started operations for Orthodox Cruise Company serving international tourists.