Russia Pushes on with Arctic Cruise Tourism Plans Despite Coronavirus

The Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and the Arctic and the Federal Agency for Tourism (Rosturizm) will be developing cruise tourism in Russia’s Far Eastern and Arctic maritime regions, and the two institutions are already working on a list of laws needed for this, B-port writes.

“The coronavirus pandemic announced by the World Health Organization and the measures being taken in Russia to stop the spread of the virus is no reason to put on hold important decisions, especially when the object must be attained within a month. Cruise tourism is a promising factor of economic development in the Far East and the Arctic. It can boost these regions’ income, which is why we are working on it,” Alexander Kozlov, Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East and the Arctic, pointed out.

According to the Ministry’s press service, they have held the first meeting with representatives of the cruise tourism business and federal executive authorities to discuss legal matters.

The instruction to facilitate the development of cruise tourism in the Russian Far East and the Arctic was issued by the Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District, Yury Trutnev, in February. In mid-March, the Ministry and Rosturizm coordinated the initial set of legal initiatives aimed at lifting the administrative barriers that are hindering the development of cruise tourism.

Last year, the president of United Shipbuilding Corporation, Russia’s largest state-own shipbuilding company, Alexey Rakhmanov, said the Arctic ports of Murmansk and Barentsburg could become vital points for a new series of Russian medium-sized luxury ships aimed for grabbing a share of the booming Arctic expedition tourist market. 

“The expedition cruises, including the Arctic, will become a trend. And we have already seen that this segment shows faster growth than the rest of the cruise market, the tickets are commonly sold out six months ahead of the cruise departures,” he said at the time.

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