Ulyanovsk is a Volga River cruise port (via the tributary Sviyaga River) and city located approx 705 km (438 mi) east of Moscow. By population (around 620,000) the city is ranked Russia's 22nd largest. The confluence of Sviyaga and Volga is approx 200 km (125 mi) north of the city.
The town was founded as a fortress (Simbirsk) in 1648, built on the river's west bank. Its current name honors the born here Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Lenin, 1870-1924) for whom it was renamed in 1924. Kuybyshev Reservoir (aka Samara Reservoir) is located between Zhigulevsk and Tolyatti (Samara Oblast). It was created by the Zhiguli Hydroelectric Station's dam and filled in 1955–1957. This huge waterway has surface area 6450 km2 and water volume 58 billion m3. On its shores are the cities Kazan, Ulyanovsk, Tolyatti, Zelenodolsk, Volzhsk, Bolghar, Tetushi, Novoulyanovsk, Chistopol, and Laishevo.
Ulyanovsk is a major industrial center for Russia's aircraft and auto-building industries. Here are the plants UAZ (automobile manufacturer), Aviastar-SP Aircraft Company, MARS Scientific and Production Association (manufacturing industrial control systems for Russia's Navy), Ulyanovsk Cartridge Works (ammunition manufacturer), UMZ (Ulyanovsk Motor Plant), UMZ (Ulyanovsk Mechanical Plant, defense manufacturer), large food-processing factories, manufacturing facilities of foreign corporations (Mars Inc/confectionery, Bridgestone / tires, Takata / auto parts, Efes / beer, Alfa Group Mexico / foods). Also here is based Volga-Dnepr Airlines - international airline specializing in unique and heavy cargo shipping,
Tourism is a major industry in Ulyanovsk. Premium hotels by Hilton and Marriott were recently opened in the downtown. Undory is located near Ulyanovsk and is famous for its mineral water springs and spas.
The city is served by Ulyanovsk Vostochny Airport (international connections) and Ulyanovsk Baratayevka Airport (domestic flights). Two bridges across the Volga have a railway and auto lanes. Well developed network of railways and roads provide a good basis for the city to become a major hub for logistics as it is able to serve all forms of cargo transportation (river shipping, freight trains, heavy airplanes).
Public transportation is served by 17 tram lines (all on the right-bank part), 7 trolley routes (only on the left bank), 50 bus routes, over 150 fixed-route (mini-bus) taxi lines. There are plans for building a high-speed railway connecting both parts of the city.
Ulyanovsk cruise terminal
Among the Russian cruise ships visiting Ulyanovsk are the VODOHOD-owned boats MS Belinsky, MS Kuchkin, MS Gorky, MS Nizhny Novgorod, MS Suvorov, MS Krylov, MS Korotkov.
- St Petersburg-Samara-Ulyanovsk-Kazan-St Petersburg (17-day cruisetour)
- Novgorod-Samara-Novgorod (6-day cruisetour)
- Novgorod-Samara-Ulyanovsk-Novgorod (7-day cruisetour)
- Novgorod-Ulyanovsk-Bolghar-Novgorod (5-day cruisetour)
- Novgorod-Yelabuga-Ulyanovsk-Novgorod (6-day cruisetour)
- Kazan-Ulyanovsk-Samara (3-day cruisetour)
- Kazan-St Petersburg (11-day cruisetour)
- Kazan-Samara-Ulyanovsk-Kazan (4-day cruisetour)
- Samara-St Petersburg (9-day cruisetour)
- Samara-Ulyanovsk-Volga Cliff Resort-Samara(3-day cruisetour)
- Moscow-Kazan-Ulyanovsk-Moscow (12-day cruisetour)
- Moscow-Rostov-on-Don-Moscow (22-day cruisetour)
- Moscow-Astrakhan-Moscow (19-day cruisetour)
- Astrakhan-Moscow (11-day cruisetour)
- Samara-Togliatti-Tetyushi-Bolghar-Kazan-Sviyazhsk-Ulyanovsk-Volga Cliff Resort-Samara (4-5-day cruisetour)