A regular cruise line starts on November 26 from port of Sokcho Korea to Vladivostok Russia.
The Korean cruise ship Glory Sea, carring up to 1,300 guests (chartered for 10 months from Diamond Cruise line), will ply the route on a weekly basis and make calls at the Japanese ports of Maizuru and Shimonoseki.
Last year, South Korean tourists visiting Primorsky Krai where Vladivostok is situated jumped over 50% to around 50,000 people. According to Korean National Tourism Organization, the numbers surged again by 80% during the first half of 2017.
Cruise ship transit passengers remain in Vladivostok for up to 72 hours without a visa, while Koreans receive visa-free entry to Russia for a maximum of 60 days.
A new electronic visa regime, allowing tourists from Japan an 8-day stay in Vladivostok, was introduced in the summer.
Image: Port Vladivostok
While large cruise ships from Japan and Korea call at Russian ports, this is the first regular line service and adds to a weekly ferry running between Vladivostok, Donghae and Sakaiminato-Matsue.
The schedule of Glory Sea was confirmed for December and January in order to test demand.