March 8, 2018
(4:50 p.m. CET) -- Russian river cruise line Vodohod has ordered a new ship for delivery in 2019 -- and will significantly refurbish three others, the line announced at the ITB Travel Show in Berlin.
The 338-passenger Prince Vladimir will offer 11-night sailings from Moscow to St Petersburg from May 2020 and will take the line's fleet to 27.
The four-deck vessel will feature all outside cabins with French balconies, as well a pub, a bar, a reading lounge, two reception desks and two restaurants.
Vodohod's Senior Sales Manager Kate Limonova said: "The ship is being built in Russia and this will be the first cruise vessel to be built in Russia for many decades."
Ms Limonova confirmed that the line would exercise an option for a second, sister ship, which will start construction after the launch of the Prince Vladimir.
It will be built at the United Shipbuilding Corporation near Nizhny Novgorod in Krasnoye Sormovo shipyard.
The new ship will have 163 cabins averaging 19 square meters (205 square feet) and six suites of 30 square meters (323 square feet).
The line is also significantly refurbishing three other ships: Nikolay Chernishevsky, Konstantin Fedin and Kronshtadt. The ships will have all their cabins redesigned: turning what was three cabins into two, as well as new contemporary furniture.
Limonova said: "The cabins are narrow on these three ships and the feedback from passengers is they want more space so we have decided to knock down the walls and turn three cabins into two."
The refurbished ships will launch this April.
Limonova added that the UK market had slumped since the country voted to leave the EU, with the pound weakening significantly against the euro; while the North American and central Europe markets had proved buoyant for the line.
--By Adam Coulter, Managing Editor UK