Knyaz Vladimir Review and Specifications
Specifications of Knyaz Vladimir
|Year built||1971 / Age : 49|
|Builder||Dubigeon-Normandie SA (Nantes, France)|
|Class||cruiseferry (Ro-Pax ship)|
|Ferry route / homeports||Sochi Russia|
|Building cost||USD 12 million|
|Owner||Rosmorport (Russian Federation)|
|Operator||Mosturflot via Black Sea Cruise Line|
|Speed||23 kn / 43 kph / 26 mph|
|Length (LOA)||142 m / 466 ft|
|Beam (width)||22 m / 72 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||9159 gt|
|Decks with cabins||8|
|Former names||MV Roy Star, MV Royal Iris, MV Azur, MV Eagle, Prince Vladimir|
Current position of Knyaz Vladimir
Review of Knyaz Vladimir
MV Knyaz Vladimir cruise ship (formerly "Roy Star") was built in 1971 as a passenger and car ferry vessel in France. In 1981, it was converted/rebuilt as a cruise ship. Since 2017, the ship is owned by Russia (Ministry of Transport) and operated by the newly formed Russian company "Black Sea Cruises".
History - construction and ownership
The 9,159-ton, 1,000-passenger cruise ship Knyaz Vladimir initially sailed as MV Eagle (the first name of the vessel), operated by the British company "Southern Ferries". At first, the ship entered service as a car/cruise ferry. A few years later it was sold to the Paquet Cruises, a subsidiary company of Nouvelle Compagnie de Paquebots (Marseille). In 1981, MV Eagle was rebuilt as a cruise ship, and renamed "MV Azur". During the drydock refit, many passenger cabins were added.
In 1994, the vessel was sold to Festival Cruises and served the company for 10 years (until 2004 when announced bankruptcy). MV Azur had to be arrested by harbour authorities in Gibraltar. The vessel was sold to Mano Maritime for a price of over USD 12 million. After acquiring the vessel, Mano Maritime renamed it to "Royal Iris" and the cruise ship was repainted with a smiling yellow fish on both sides of the hull.
MV Roy Star used to operate on Eastern Mediterranean cruises to ports in Cyprus and the Greek Islands. In 2014, Mano Cruises stopped the operations of the ship.
In late December 2016, Victor Olersky (Rosmorrechflot's Director and Russia's Deputy Minister of Transport) chaired a meeting of the Marine Board of the Russian Government on establishing regular passenger service to Crimea ports. Ministry of Transport experts said that the most effective solution could be establishing a regular cruise line service on the route Sochi-Novorossiysk-Yalta-Sevastopol-Istanbul-Sochi. Since the service includes calls at Crimean ports, vessel's time-charter was excluded as an option. Therefore, the Ministry offered to purchase the cruise ship.
In early 2017, the Russian Ministry of Transport held preliminary talks with Rosmorport and Sovfracht Group to launch regular passenger shipping service to Crimean ports. To implement the project the Ministry intended to deploy the Roy Star cruise ship. Provisional estimates showed that the project's cost is around RUB 700 million (USD 11,7 million), including the vessel acquisition and refurbishment.
This Russian cruise liner offers high-quality comfort and as facilities features:
- Sun Deck (Solarium with 2 swimming pools and 1 Jacuzzi) on deck 6 (aft)
- 1 swimming pool (midship on deck 8 / top deck)
- 1 dining room restaurant, 4 bars, 1 disco, Music Hall (Concert Hall). Free coffee and tea are offered before breakfast, along with tea or free beverages after excursions.
- duty-free shops, Library, Souvenir Shop, Art Salon with a selection of gifts, Guest Services Desk, Tour Desk (onboard booking of shore excursions)
- Sauna, Beauty Salon (hairdresser and barber services), Spa Salon (massages, cosmetic studio)
- Cinema (movie theatre), Karaoke Bar, Bar Lounge
- Kids Club (indoor playground with an inflatable bouncer, toys, art-craft tables, games and contests, doubles as a nursery).
The ship has a total of 360 staterooms in 3 main categories - Suite, Outside (A) and Inside (B).
- Suites are relatively small, each with double bed and sofabed.
- Most Outside cabins are double (with 2 lower beds convertible to Queen). Some cabins are triple and quad (with capacity up to 3-4 passengers) fitted with 2 lower (fixed) beds plus either 1 or 2 upper bunk beds (wall-mounted).
- Most Inside cabins are triple and quad (with capacity up to 3-4 passengers) fitted with lower (fixed) and upper bunk beds (wall-mounted). In some cabins, lower beds are convertible to Queen.
- Each cabin's capacity is shown on the deck plans.
- All staterooms offer as standard amenities writing desk (with large mirror and drawers), chair, bed lights (reading lamps), phone (onboard calls only), flat TV (satellite television and onboard TV channels), complimentary bottled water (0,33L, 1 per person / replenished daily), 220 V power sockets, USB ports, en-suite bathroom (WC, glass shower, washbasin, bathroom accessories), hairdryer, air-conditioning.
- New bed sheets are provided every 3 days in Suite / Semi-Suites, and every 5 days in all other staterooms. A free face towel change is offered in all staterooms by request, while the daily change of face and foot towels is provided at Suites/ Semi-Suites.
- Cribs are available for rent.
Knyaz Vladimir cruise itinerary program offers 7-day Black Sea cruises with roundtrip (Sunday) departures from Sochi (homeport). The ship's cruising season runs May through October. The week-long itineraries visit as ports of call the Russian cities Novorossiysk, Sevastopol (overnight) and Yalta (overnight). There is also a possibility Istanbul Turkey to be added to the ports list. Interporting (roundtrip deals from all itinerary ports of call) are also available.
During winter months, the cruise liner remains docked in Novorossiysk. According to the shipowner Rosmorport, around 60% of all cruise ship tourists embark in Sochi, around 20% in Novorossiysk, 10% in Yalta and 10% in Sevastopol.
Ship's expanded 2020 cruise season (March through October) is Black Sea Cruises company's longest program and has a total of 35 roundtrips (weekly departures from homeport Sochi).
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Estimates showed that a cruise ticket on Russia's new Black Sea cruise liner might cost around RUB 4500 (USD 75) per person per day, compared with the cost of accommodation in 3-star hotels in Yalta and Sochi.
Vessel's christening ceremony was held on May 27, 2017, in Port Sochi. The ship's "Inaugural Cruise" (maiden voyage) was on June 11, 2017. The 7-day itinerary included an overnight in Yalta, plus calls at Novorossiysk and Sevastopol. The maiden voyage was booked by a total of 400 travellers.
During the winter drydock in Novorossiysk (for routine maintenance), the liner received electrical and mechanical works and the hull was repainted. Its HVAC system (Heating, Ventilating, Air-Conditioning) and freshwater systems were also updated.
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