MS Afanasy Nikitin Review and Specifications
Specifications of MS Afanasy Nikitin
|Year built||1959 / Age : 61|
|Builder||SLKB Komarno (Komarno, Slovakia)|
|Class||USSR Russian cruise ship (Project 26-37)|
|Ferry route / homeports||Nizhny Novgorod-Moscow-Astrakhan|
|Operator||GAMA Tours (Russia)|
|Speed||14 kn / 26 kph / 16 mph|
|Length (LOA)||96 m / 315 ft|
|Beam (width)||15 m / 49 ft|
|Decks with cabins||4|
|Sister-ships||Oktyabrskaya Revolyutsiya class|
|Former names||MS Mir|
Review of MS Afanasy Nikitin
MS Afanasy Nikitin cruise ship ("теплоход Афанасий Никитин" круизный корабль) is a traditional Russian river passenger ship built for the USSR (Soviet Union) in Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia). MS Nikitin cruises on Volga River, mainly with roundtrip itineraries from Nizhny Novgorod to Moscow, Kazan, Samara, Volgograd, Astrakhan. Itinerary lengths vary from 1 day to 3-5-6-10-11-14-days.
The vessel is currently owned by Russian shipping company VODOHOD (Водоход) and operated under charter by the Nizhny Novgorod-based Russian cruise company GAMA Tours (established 1994). The company specializes in domestic and inbound tourism, with regularly scheduled river cruises in Russia along the rivers Volga, Oka and Kama. The company also provides bus tours around Russia and Black Sea vacations for foreign tourists. Its boats can be also chartered for business meetings and private parties, proms, group travel excursions.
From the same series (Project 26-37) are a total of 14 boats manufactured in the period 1957-1962. All these ships are in the Oktyabrskaya Revolyutsiya-class and originally designed with a capacity of 312 passengers and 70 crew.
The ship has a total of 95 staterooms, including 2 Two-Room Suites, 3 Junior Suites, 12 Singles, 50 Doubles, 16 Triples and 10 Quads (can be booked also as Triples).
Staterooms as standard amenities offer individually controlled air-conditioning, refrigerator, phone (intercom), radio, flat TV (satellite reception), en-suite bathroom (WC, shower, washbasin, hairdryer, towels, bath products), wardrobe, opening window (excepting Lower Deck cabins which are with portholes). Suites additionally have a double bed, low table with 2 pouffes, double sofabed (3rd-4th person), 2 windows. Quads, Triples and some double cabins are with upper bunk beds.
Due to the vessel's old design, economy class cabins don't have a full bathroom (washbasin only, no WC and shower). Their passengers have to use on-deck public restrooms and common showers. All Lower Deck and Main Deck cabins (Doubles-Triples-Quads in categories 2A-2B-3A) are with washbasin only and without air-conditioners and refrigerators.
Cabin TVs show all-Russian channels, as well as recorded films and cartoons, live views (from a bow camera), ship security channel (instructions in cases of emergency), ship channel (showing itinerary map and current location).
Shipboard dining and entertainment options
Ship's facilities include:
- (Boat Deck) Sun Deck (aft Solarium with outdoor seating - loungers, deckchairs, tables with folding chairs), indoor Theater (Cinema / Conference Room / Concert Hall / Disco Bar with piano), Dining Room Restaurant (forward), Common Restrooms and Showers, Promenade Deck (wraparound outdoor area with chairs)
- (Middle Deck) Reading Lounge (fore-located Music Salon / Library Lounge with grand piano), Bar Lounge (aft-located Bar), Shower Rooms, Promenade Deck (wraparound outdoor area with chairs)
- (Main Deck) Bar-Restaurant (fore-located Dining Room with bar service and a la carte menu), Medical Room (Infirmary), Lobby (Reception / Guest Services Desk, Cruise Director's Office, Tour Desk), Common Restrooms and Showers
- (Lower Deck) Ironing Room (laundry service), Porthole cabins (passenger and crew), Common Restrooms and Showers
Shipboard activities include:
- Theatre is the ship's Cinema that doubles as Conference Hall / Concert Hall / Dance Lounge / Disco Nightclub, and is served by its own Bar. Theater Lounge also serves the cruise company's enrichment program. Here are hosted lectures and media presentations themed on Russia's history and culture. Port talks (by professional tour guides) provide itinerary information (visited ports, shore excursions and tours). Here are also held traditional tea ceremonies, Russian language lessons, music classes, art and craft activities (including nesting doll/matryoshka painting classes), blini and vodka tastings, live shows and musical performances (classical and Russian folk music, concerts), theme parties, nightly disco (DJ).
- Both Restaurants are with bar service and a la carte priced menus. Onboard dining is not included in cruise tour prices. Both restaurants offer Russian cuisine-themed menus, including dietary and vegetarian dishes. European cuisine is offered on longer itineraries. Two dining packages are available for pre-purchasing - 3-meals (breakfast+lunch+dinner) or 2-meals (lunch+dinner). Only porthole cabins (triples and quads on Lower Deck) can be booked without onboard dining, and only in July-August.
- The ship provides Wi-Fi (in both restaurants).
- All shore excursions are guided and optional (not included in cruise tour prices).
Note: You can see the CruiseMapper's list of all river cruise ships and riverboats in the "itinerary" section of our River Cruises hub. All companies and their fleets are listed there.
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Built as Mir, MS Nikitin is one of Russia's "Project 26-37" river cruise ships.
Oktyabrskaya Revolyutsiya-class Russian river ships
"Oktyabrskaya Revolyutsiya" (aka "Project 26-37") is a series of Russian river cruise ships built in Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia) for USSR (Soviet Union) in the period 1957-1962. The vessel class name honours Russia's October Revolution (aka Red October, and Socialist Revolution) of 1917.
A total of 14 units (max output 4 per year) these Russian river ships were all produced by "Narodny Podnik Skoda Komarno" - now SLKB Komarno Shipyard in Komarno (Slovakia). They were used for cargo-passenger (cruise) shipping on Volga River, serving the routes Nizhny Novgorod-Astrakhan and Moscow-Astrakhan. All boats were operated by "Volga Shipping Company" (Волжское пароходство). Following the USSR's collapse (1991), all riverboats were acquired by private Russian companies.
"Project 26-37" ship technology
"Project 26-37" ships have the following details:
- LOA length 96 m (316 ft)
- width 15 m (49 ft)
- draft 2,4 m (8 ft)
- DWT tonnage 1473 tons
- V-shaped hull, 4 decks (3 passengers)
- Originally, each boat had capacity 312 passengers and 70 crew (now between 110 and 250 pax), all-outside cabins (1-2-4-bed), 2 restaurants (63-seat and 50-seat), 2 salon bars / lounges (18-seat Music Salon and 30-seat Cafe), Reading Room (25 seats), Hospital (first-aid room), wrap-around Promenade decks.
- All staterooms were with wash basins. Only Suites had full bathrooms.
- Powerplant includes three marine diesel engines (model 6L275B) with combined output 1,2 MW.
- Propulsion consists of 3 pitch propellers (4-blade) with diameter 1,7 m (5,5 ft).
- All these traditional Russian ships were modernized, completely refurbished and rebuilt for both domestic and foreign river cruise companies. During their multi-million dollar drydock reconstructions and refits were introduced larger cabins, thus reducing the vessel's passenger capacity to improve travel comfort and safety.
Project 26-37 ships
From Project 26-37 series are the boats
- Oktyabrskaya Revolyutsiya (1957, Октябрьская Революция)
- Komarno (February 1959, now Volga Dream)
- Mir (July 1959, now Afanasiy Nikitin)
- Druzhba (April 1960, later Kapitan Rachkov, and Sergey Abramov) - scrapped in 2012
- XXI S'ezd KPSS (July 1960, now Kapitan Pushkarev)
- Yakov Sverdlov (September 1960, now Aleksandr Benua)
- Andrey Zhdanov (November 1960, now Ivan Kulibin)
- Sergo Ordzhonikidze (March 1961, now Nikolay Nekrasov)
- Klement Gotvald (March 1961, later Professor Lukachev, and Yekaterina Velikaya, now Rodnaya Rus)
- Klara Tsetkin (August 1961, Клара Цеткин) - scrapped in 1998
- Vatslav Vorovskiy (September 1961, Вацлав Воровский)
- Valeriy Chkalov )October 1961, Валерий Чкалов)
- Sergey Lazo (November 1961, now President)
- Nikolay Shchors (July 1962, now Mikhail Tanich)
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