Caspian Sea cruises: development of nautical tourism in Azerbaijan

Until the middle of the 19th century, people viewed sea travel only as a way of transportation, not suspecting that during the voyage they could enjoy the beauty of the opening landscapes.

But nowadays the situation has changed and sea cruises have gained increasing popularity among tourists from all over the world. More importantly, they have become more affordable for a wider range of travelers.

The Caspian Sea, the Earth’s largest inland body of water, has good potential to be among the most popular destinations on the cruise tourism map.

A new wave of luxurious ships coming on stream will add on to the cruise offerings in the coming years. Therefore, Caspian countries, in particular, Azerbaijan given their favorable geographic location with access to the Caspian Sea, do not want to miss this opportunity as well.

The project of a cruise between the Caspian countries is at the development stage, the Kazakh Tourism Industry Committee of the Ministry of Culture and Sports told Trend.

The relevant departments of the Caspian Sea countries participate in the elaboration of this project and also in the implementation of the decisions of the heads of the Caspian states adopted at the end of the Fifth Caspian Summit.

The committee added that the work on the project is also carried out in accordance with the instructions of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev to launch a program of tourism projects in order to develop tourism in the Caspian region.

Two types of cruises on the liner – short (seven to eight days) and long (13-14 days) – are planned. Short cruises will cover calls to several ports in the northern and southern part of the Caspian Sea, while long cruises will include calls to the ports of all five Caspian countries. Approximate commissioning of the liner is scheduled for next year.

Most of the Caspian cruises are planned to begin and end in Baku.

Earlier, the memorandum was signed by Director General of Moscow River Shipping Company OJSC Konstantin Anisimov and Chairman of the Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company CJSC Rauf Valiyev.

The sides noted that these tours will attract tourists not only from the Caspian countries, but also from the U.S., Australia, Europe and China.

Under the memorandum, the first visit of tourists to Baku will be organized on the Pyotr Velikiy (Peter the Great) ship, which is currently under construction, until the end of 2019. These cruises will connect the three seas – the Caspian, Azov and Black.

It will have a fitness room, swimming pool, restaurants, cinema and others.

At the first stage, trips will be organized on the Astrakhan-Baku route, and the route will be expanded until 2020.

For this purpose, the parties will conduct research to organize round trips on the Moscow-Baku, Astrakhan-Makhachkala-Baku, Baku-Enzeli-Noushehr-Turkmenbashi-Aktau-Astrakhan and other routes.

Later at the Fifth Caspian Summit, held on August 12, 2018 in Aktau, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that the sea liner Peter the Great is being built in Russia, where it will be possible to make circular cruise trips around the Caspian Sea to all five Caspian states.

All these plans will develop the tourism sector and strengthen close economic relations among the riparian countries.

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