MS Leonid Sobolev Review and Specifications
Specifications of MS Leonid Sobolev
|Year built||1985 / Age : 35|
|Builder||VEB Elbewerften Boizenburg (Rosslau, Germany)|
|Class||USSR Russian cruise ship (Project 302)|
|Ferry route / homeports||St Petersburg|
|Owner||Volga Shipping Company (Russia)|
|Speed||14 kn / 26 kph / 16 mph|
|Length (LOA)||129 m / 423 ft|
|Beam (width)||17 m / 56 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||5500 gt|
|Decks with cabins||4|
Review of MS Leonid Sobolev
MS Leonid Sobolev cruise ship ("теплоход Леонид Соболев" круизный корабль) is a traditional Russian river ship of the Project 302 (Dmitriy Furmanov-class). This USSR vessel is currently owned and operated by the Russian shipping company VODOHOD ("Водоход"). MS Sobolev cruises on Neva River, round-trip from St Petersburg - 3-day itinerary (to Valaam Islands / Lake Ladoga) and 6-day itinerary (to Valaam-Kizhi Island-Petrozavodsk).
The shipowner Vodohod is Russia's largest river cruise shipping operator. The company was established in 2004 as Volga Shipping Company. After the merger with Volga Flot Tour, Vodohod now operates over 50 cruise ships along the rivers Don, Volga, Kama, Moscow, Volga–Don Canal, Volga-Baltic Waterway and the lakes Ladoga and Onega.
VODOHOD's predecessor - Volga Shipping Company (translated Volzhskoye parokhodstvo / Волжское пароходство) was founded as a Volga steamship transportation company in 1843. In 2011, the company had in operation over 300 passenger and cargo river vessels and carried over 6,7 billion tons of cargoes and over 368,000 passengers on Russia's biggest inland waterways.
MS Sobolev was named after the Imperial Russian Army general Leonid Nikolayevich Sobolev (1844-1913), a veteran of the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878). The boat was extensively refurbished in 2010.
Accommodations on the ship include 2 suites, 121 twins (2-bed cabin), 6 quads (4-bed cabin) and 10 singles (1-bed cabin). All staterooms are outside (no interior cabins) and with large opening windows (except Lower Deck cabins with round-shaped, non-opening portholes). Each cabin as standard amenities offers central air-conditioning (individually controlled heating and ventilation system), private en-suite bathrooms (WC, shower, washbasin, hairdryer, towels, bath products), flat TV, radio, direct-dial phone, refrigerator, wardrobe, safe (in the closet), vanity mirror, writing desk with chair, bedside table, bed lights, 220 V power sockets. Suites additionally have a double bed, sofa, coffee table, armchairs, cabinet, floor lamps. Ceiling height is 2,2 m.
- Suites (location Boat Deck) are 2-room cabins with separate bedroom-living room, 4x large windows (opening), L-shaped sofa, low table, King-size double bed (plus folding bed), mirrored vanity table with chair, wardrobe. Suites can accommodate up to 3 passengers via folding bed.
- Single Cabins (location Boat Deck) are 1-bed staterooms with 1x large window (opening). Single cabins are conveniently located close to the ship's Main Lounge (dance bar).
- Twin / Double Cabins (location Main Deck / Middle Deck / Boat Deck) are 2-bed staterooms with 1x large window (opening), 1 lower bunk bed and 1 sofabed (pull-out couch).
- Quad Cabins (location Lower Deck) are 4-bed staterooms with 2x porthole windows (non-opening), 2 sofabeds and 2 upper bunk beds. Quad cabins can be also booked as doubles and triples.
Shipboard dining and entertainment options
Dining onboard MS Sobolev features European cuisine specialities with elements of Russian traditional cooking. Breakfasts are buffet-style. Lunches include 1 meal (Russian soup). Dinner is waiter-served and with a traditional Russian food menu. Waiters are dressed in traditional costumes.
Onboard entertainment is focused on pre-scheduled activities and live performances (classical and Russian folk music). Onboard lectures are themed on the country's history and culture. Port talks (by a professional tour guide) provide information on visited river ports, nearby towns, shore excursions and tours available for booking. Passengers also enjoy traditional Russian tea ceremonies, Russian language lessons, dancing and singing classes, vodka tasting, nesting doll (matryoshka) painting classes.
MS Sobolev ship facilities include:
- (Boat Deck, Middle Deck) 2 restaurants (Neva and Volga)
- (Boat Deck) Panorama Bar Lounge (Main Lounge / Music Hall)
- (Sun Deck) Conference Hall and Bar (Dance Hall / Cinema / Meeting Room)
- (Middle Deck) Berezka Bar Lounge (Library / Reading Hall), Boutique (Souvenir Shop)
- (Sun Deck) Solarium (sundeck area with outdoor seating/deckchairs and 4-seat tables)
- (Lower Deck) Spa (Sauna Room)
- (Main Deck) Medical Room (Infirmary), Beauty Salon (hairdresser and barber services, massages), Ironing Room (laundry service), Lobby (Reception / Guest Services Desk)
VODOHOD cruise deals
- Departure port (dock/berth), check-in, boarding and landing times are indicated on the company's website (vodohod.com) and on passengers' boarding passes. Ship's exact departure time is clarified on the website the day prior departure.
- Kids discount ticket prices are for children up to 14 years of age (14-yo including), the age being fixed on departure day.
- Kids from 2 to 5 years of age (5-yo including) travel free of charge, but without providing an additional bed (if there are no free beds in the cabin). Shore excursions are also free of charge.
- Toddlers (kids under 2) travel free of charge, but bed, food and tour services are not provided. Extra beds in staterooms (baby cribs, cots) are not available on the ship.
- TWIN (double cabin) single supplement rate is 75%.
- Cabin number is provided 7 days prior departure. Reservation of a specific room number costs EUR 50 pp per cruise.
- Ticket prices are inclusive of 3 meals a day. Onboard dining includes Breakfast (buffet style, water in pitchers, tea/ coffee served, drinks - cocoa, milk, juices, hot and cold dishes), Lunch (buffet style, water in pitchers, tea/coffee served) and Dinner (waiter-served) with 1 Starter, 1 Main course (choice of 3 available / meat-fish-vegetarian), 1 Dessert (choice of 2 or fruits).
- On embarkation day and disembarkation day (voyage's end), meal times depend on landing times. If a land tour coincides with a meal time (lunch), passengers are provided with complimentary food at a local restaurant (cafe) or given "dry rations".
- Ticket price inclusive onboard events are Welcome Aboard ("bread and salt" ceremony), Welcome Cocktail (complimentary 1 glass of champagne or juice per person), "Tea Ceremony" (tea and traditional pies), "Vodka Show" (blini and vodka tasting), Cocktail Party (once per cruise, complimentary 1 cocktail / out of 3 choices per person), Captain's Dinner (gourmet menu, once per cruise), mulled wine or ice tea (weather-depending / upon returning from excursions), complimentary Coffee Station (coffee, hot water, packed tea, milk, cocoa, cookies, opening times 6am-breakfast, 10-12am, 4-6pm, 9-11pm), 1 bottled water (0.33l pp per day in cabins). Tickets are also inclusive of foreign language speaking guide services, onboard entertainment (language class, singing lessons, live music, nightly dancing music, Wheelhouse tour).
- Complimentary excursions are detailed in the ship's cruise itinerary program. Optional tours are available for shipboard booking. For excursion services, VODOHOD charges foreigners with an additional fee per person per day, including children 6-14 yo. This fee is not charged to tourists from the Russian Commonwealth, Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The surcharge varies by cruise tour itinerary length (1-2-days, 3-4-days, 5-days, 6-days, 7-days).
- VODOHOD cruise tickets don't include any land transfers, beverages and snacks (in onboard bars and lounges), phone conversations, sauna visits, optional excursions, travel insurance, gratuities, personal spendings. Ticket prices include 18% VAT.
- Non-cash onboard payments are made via the company's debit card "Vodohod"(received upon registration), which is without any interest or commissions. The card is accepted in all the ship's venues (bars, restaurant, shop, administration). Cash payments for onboard sales are not accepted. International bank cards are accepted for final payments.
- Gift Certificate "Vodohod" (vouchers) can be pre-purchased for any amount. The recipient can choose the itinerary, cruise departure date and cabin category. The amount specified is not fixed and is set by the buyer. If the cruise tour costs less than the certificate's amount, the difference is not refundable.
- Smoking on the ship is allowed only in designated areas (marked with "Place for smoking" signs), located aft on decks Middle and/or Boat (depending on ship). Smoking is prohibited in all interior spaces and on open decks (except at designated areas).
- On all VODOHOD ships are available health gymnastics and morning exercises (led by a certified physician/ship's doctor), oxygen cocktail, dietary food.
- On all VODOHOD ships are provided (free of charge) the following medical services - emergency medical care (assistance required for sudden acute illnesses, conditions, exacerbation of chronic diseases), measurement of blood pressure and body temperature, primary treatment of wounds.
- VODOHOD recommends passengers to arrive in departure port cities at least 6 hours prior to ship departure. Boarding starts 2 hours prior departure. All passengers must be boarded at least 1-hour prior departure. Late passengers missing their cruise tour are not refunded.
- VODOHOD's departure ports are Moscow, St Petersburg, Astrakhan, Nizhny Novgorod, Perm, Samara, Kazan, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Saratov.
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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MS Sobolev is one of Russia's signature "Project 302" river cruise ships.
Dmitriy Furmanov-class Russian river ships
"Dmitriy Furmanov class" (aka "Project 302") are 4 series of Russian river cruise ships built in GDR (Eastern Germany) for USSR (Soviet Union) in the period 1983-1992. The vessel class name honours the Russian writer Dmitriy Andreyevich Furmanov (1891-1926) who also served as Bolshevik commissar (Red Army officer).
These Russian river cruise ships (a total of 27 units) were all produced by VEB Elbewerft Boizenburg and represent an upgraded (larger) version of Project 301 (Vladimir Ilyich-class) riverboats. These ships were used for passenger (cruise) shipping in Northwestern USSR - on the rivers Volga, Belomorkanal, Lake Onega, Volga–Don Canal, Kama and Amur rivers, as well as on Dnieper River (Ukraine), Black Sea (coastal cruising) and Yangtze River (in China). Following the USSR's collapse (1991), all these boats were acquired by private companies (Russian and foreign).
"Project 302" ship technology
"Project 302" ships have the following details:
- LOA length 129 m (423 ft)
- width 17 m (55 ft)
- DWT tonnage 3852 tons
- V-shaped hulls - differ by series as external elements, window shape (rectangular or rounded), wheelhouse headlights
- 5 decks (4 passengers)
- Originally, each boat had capacity 332 passengers and 98 crew, all-outside cabins (1-2-3-bed), 2 restaurants (180 seats plus 80 seats), Cafe Bar (79 seats, with dance floor), 2 bar lounges (common rooms), Cinema (102 seats), Music Hall with Bar (75 seats), Observation Lounge with Bar (75 seats), Sauna Room, Souvenir Shop, Hair Salon, Massage Salon, Library, Hospital (first-aid room), 360-degree Promenade Deck (with outdoor seating / 100 seats, sports area).
- Powerplant includes three marine diesel engines "Viertakt-Dieselmotor " (4-stroke, model 6ЧРН 36/45 / aka ЭГ70-5) each with a turbocharger.
- Propulsion consists of 3 bow thrusters.
- The powerplant consists of 3x diesel engines (4-stroke 6ЧРН 36/45, aka EГ70-5) with turbocharger and total power output 2,2 MW.
- Staterooms are single, double and quads (originally 1-2-3-bed cabins) with en-suite bathrooms.
- After reconstruction, to the ships were introduced larger cabins (including suites) and quads (with 2 upper bunks / wall-mounted Pullman beds).
- 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 refits, the vessel's passenger capacity was considerably reduced to improve travel comfort and safety.
Project 302 ships
From Project 302's first series are the boats
- Dmitriy Furmanov (1983, Дмитрий Фурманов)
- Akademik Viktor Glushkov (1983, now Igor Stravinsky / Игорь Стравинский)
- Novikov-Priboy (1983, now Sergei Rachmaninov)
- Aleksey Surkov (1984, now Viking Helgi)
- Konstantin Simonov (1984, Константин Симонов)
- Leonid Sobolev (1985, Леонид Соболев)
- Mikhail Sholokhov (1985, Михаил Шолохов)
From Project 302's second series are the boats
- Aleksey Vatchenko (1985, now Ivan Bunin)
- Yuriy Andropov (1986, Юрий Андропов)
- Zosima Shashkov (1986, Зосима Шашков)
- General Vatutin (1986, Генерал Ватутин)
- MS Russ (1987, Русь)
- MS Lenin (1987, Ленин)
- Sergey Kirov (1987, now Viking Truvor)
- Marshal Rybalko (1988, now Zirka Dnipra / Dnieper Princess)
- Marshal Koshevoy (1988, now Viking Akun)
- Georgy Chicherin (1988, Георгий Чичерин)
- Leonid Krasin (1989, Леонид Красин)
- Nikolay Bauman (1989, now Knyazhna Anastasia)
- General Lavrinenkov (1990, Генерал Лавриненков)
- Narkom Pakhomov (1990, now Viking Ingvar)
From Project 302's third series are the boats
- Gleb Krzhizhanovskiy (1990, Глеб Кржижановский)
- Maxim Litvinov (1991, Максим Литвинов)
From Project 302's fourth (last) series are the riverboats
- Taras Shevchenko (September 1991, now TG Shevchenko)
- Konstantin Stanyukovich (October 1991, now Princess Jeannie / Xian Ni) Regal China Cruises
- Arkadiy Gaydar (November 1991, now Princess Sheena / Xian Na) Regal China Cruises
- Aleksandr Grin (December 1991, now Princess Elaine / Xian Ting) Regal China Cruises
- Vladimir Vysotsky (planned, hull built in 1996, launched in 2003 as "Ocean Diva Original")
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