Princess Anastasia ferry provides berthing amid Coronavirus outbreak at Novatek's Belokamenka yard

   May 8, 2020 ,   Cruise Industry

The cruiseferry Princess Anastasia arrived at a new shipyard facility outside Port Murmansk (Arctic Russia) in order to provide extra housing for local COVID-19 response efforts. Nearly 2000 workers (out of total 11000) at Novatek's Belokamenka Yard tested Coronavirus-positive, and the number has been increasing rapidly.

Princess Anastasia is a passenger ferry that normally operates in Baltic Sea, on the Sweden-Russia route Stockholm-Helsinki-Tallinn-St Petersburg (crossing time 62,5 hours).

The ship operator (Moby SPL, subsidiary of MOBY LINES) announced in a statement it had suspended the cruise ship's normal schedule due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) intercountry travel restrictions. MOBY "decided to temporarily use MS Princess Anastasia in another commercial project in Murmansk as a floating hotel," it said on Wednesday, May 6. 

One of the primary contractors of the yard, Velesstroy (Moscow Russia-based construction company), said it had partially suspended its operations at Belokamenka Yard because of the pandemic. Construction workers will carry out a 2-week self-quarantine, and after testing negative 3 times, they will be allowed to return home.

Belokamenka is where Novatek (Russia's largest private-owned natural gas company) is building the Kola Yard supply base that will support the upcoming Arctic LNG-2 project (Yamal LNG vessels / ice-breaking gas tanker ships) in Ob Bay, Siberia.

Thousands of construction workers are currently living in barracks at the remote construction site (located north of Murmansk).