According to Alexei Rakhmanov, president of USC-United Shipbuilding Corporation (Russia's largest state-own shipbuilding company), expedition cruises (including Arctic) would become a travel trend.
Speaking at an Expert Council meeting under State Duma Committee on the shipbuilding industry and marine engineering, he adds the segment "shows growth, faster than the rest of the cruise market, the tickets are commonly sold out 6 months ahead of the cruise departures."
USC revealed 3 different designs for ice-classed cruiseship design projects (Almaz, Vimpler, Iceberg) which are currently in the initial phase. Just like several of the newbuilds to navigate in the Arctic Ocean in the years ahead, the USC cruise ships target the well-paying luxury travel market with a variety of onboard activities and a fleet of smaller boats and helicopters for shore landings. However, unlike the others, the Russian vessels will have casinos "in hope for boosting the return of investments."
With a capacity of up to 350 passengers, the new Russian cruise vessels are in the upper-end of expedition ships, but still medium-sized in comparison to the larger ships navigating north to Svalbard Norway carrying thousands of guests.
Estimated building costs are up to USD 300 million per unit.