From Russia, with love. Starting in 2011, AMAWATERWAYS will be leasing a newly renovated river cruise ship, the AMAKATARINA, from Russian company Vodohod.
The AMAKATARINA will set sail on May 10, 2011, and will be replacing the company’s existing leased vessel in Russia, the 160-passenger Tolstoy, which will sail through the remaining 2010 season, ending its five-year run with AMAWATERWAYS.
“From the time that we first launched our Russian waterways program, it has proven to be one of our most popular and successful itineraries,” said Rudi Schreiner, president of AMAWATERWAYS. “We are overseeing every detail of the ship’s renovation.”
Schreiner said that the ship was being stripped entirely and is being converted from a 400-passenger vessel to a 212-passenger ship. Of the 106 cabins, 76 will feature balconies. The ship will have 24,025 square feet of interior space. There will be 10 cabin categories, including four suite categories, with suites ranging from 280 to 432 square feet each.
The public areas will include a restaurant, panorama lounge, conference hall, sauna, bar and nightclub and solarium.
The AMAKATARINA will sail 11-night cruises along the Volga-Baltic Waterway, which will include three nights in St. Petersburg and two nights in Moscow. The cruise will also include visits to Uglich and Yaroslavl, and transit across the two large lakes of Onega and Ladoga. The vessel will have 14 departures in 2011.
AMAWATERWAYS did not reveal the financial arrangements of the lease, but said it would be lending Vodohod some capital to refurbish the ship, which was built in the 1980s, and would be overseeing the refurbishment and lending its ship building and design consultancy to the project. AMAWATERWAYS signed a five-year lease agreement with Vodohod with the option to renew.