MS Mikhail Sholokhov Review and Specifications
Specifications of MS Mikhail Sholokhov
|Year built||1985 / Age : 35|
|Builder||VEB Elbewerften Boizenburg (Rosslau, Germany)|
|Class||USSR Russian cruise ship (Project 302)|
|Operator||Orthodox Cruise Company, Imperial River Cruises|
|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||3|
|Former names||Leonid Sobolev|
Review of MS Mikhail Sholokhov
MS Mikhail Sholokhov cruise ship ("теплоход Михаил Шолохов" круизный корабль) is a traditional Russian river passenger ship built for the USSR (Soviet Union) in GDR (Eastern Germany). The vessel is currently owned and operated by the Russian shipping company Doninturflot ("Донинтурфлот"). MS Sholokhov cruises on Volga River, between St Petersburg and Moscow (10-day southbound itinerary and 11-day northbound itinerary). The list of visited ports along the route includes Mandrogi, Kizhi Island, Goritsy Monastery, Uglich, Yaroslavl.
From the same series are a total of 28 boats manufactured in the period 1983-1992. All these ships are with diesel-electric propulsion (three propellers) and originally designed with a capacity of 332 passengers (max).
The ship was built in 1985 for the USSR / Russian state-owned company "Volga-Donskoe Retschnoje Parochodstwo" ("Волго-Донское пароходство", today "Азово-Донское Пароходство") based in Rostov-on-Don. Currently, the vessel is owned by the Russian company Doninturflot (Донинтурфлот) and operated under charter by the Russian companies "Orthodox Cruise Company" and "Imperial River Cruises Russia".
The ship is named after the Russian winner Mikhail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov (1905-1984), winner of Nobel Prize in Literature (1965). He is best known for its novel "Lazorevaja Step" (about Don Cossacks during the Russian Revolution in 1917). The boat was completely refurbished in 2001.
Traditionally for this type of Russian cruise ships, MS Sholokhov ship facilities include:
- 2 restaurants (dining room, and bar-restaurant / dinner-only
- 3 bars, small Boutique (Souvenir Shop)
- spacious Lobby (Reception / Guest Services Desk), Coffee Station (coffee, hot water, packed tea, milk, cocoa, cookies)
- Bar Lounge (piano bar)
- Conference Hall and Bar (Music Hall / Cinema / Meeting Room)
- Reading Lounge (Library)
- Sun Deck (Solarium with outdoor seating/deckchairs and 4-seat tables), outdoor swimming pool (metal-frame above ground pool located aft), covered fitness area (outdoor Gym with exercise machines)
- wrap-around Promenade (outdoor deck), outer deck sitting areas
- Medical Room (Infirmary)
- Beauty Salon (hairdresser and barber services, massages)
- Ironing Room (laundry service), Sauna
- Wi-Fi on the ship costs $5 per device per day.
Onboard entertainment programming includes games, traditional tea ceremonies (with pies), themed parties ( folk shows, dancing evenings), daily live music performances (grand piano and concerts), Russian language lessons, dancing and singing classes, blini (pancake) and vodka tasting, lectures. Dining Room's menu also features local food specialities (based on the itinerary's regions and ports).
Ship's crew includes resident, Russian government-licensed tour guides (speaking fluent English or German) who run the cruise company's onboard and ashore enrichment program. Throughout the voyage, these professional tour guides give lectures themed on the country's culture, art, history, current politics, as well as information about all shore excursions and visited river ports along the cruise tour itinerary.
The ship offers several different categories of staterooms, including 6 Triple, 4 Dedicated Single, 126 Standard Twin, and 2 Suites. Standard amenities in all cabins are individually controlled air-conditioning (thermostat-controlled heating and ventilation), wardrobe, bedside table, mirrored dressing table with padded stool, Mini-refrigerator, radio, flat TV, safe deposit box (in the closet), en-suite bathroom (WC, shower, single sink vanity), large opening windows (excepting Lower Deck cabins which are with portholes).
Most staterooms are with two single beds. Suites are 2-room accommodations with a separate bedroom (double bed) and living room sofa and armchairs). Suites can accommodate a 3rd person via folding bed.
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 Leonid Sobolev, MS Sholokhov 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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