Russia and Turkmenistan plan to launch joint cruise tours in the Caspian Sea in 2020, Trend reports referring to Russian media.
Governor of Russia’s Astrakhan Region Igor Babushkin told RIA Novosti that route options have been developed, including the main one from Astrakhan across the Caspian Sea, with entering the ports of Aktau, Turkmenbashi, Baku and Makhachkala cities.
“I discussed the issue of visiting the Avaza tourist zone and the port of Turkmenbashi with representatives of Turkmenistan,” the governor said in a statement. “An agreement was reached that a tour operator will be determined from the Turkmen side. I’m sure that both Iran and Azerbaijan will enthusiastically support this idea and the possibility of cruise communication.”
In March it was reported that the first cruise called “Treasures of the East” along the Caspian Sea on Russia’s motor ship “Pyotr Velikiy” (Peter the Great) is planned in 2020.
The Association of Tour Operators of Russia noted that in accordance with the plan, the motor ship will complete the cruise program (11 days/10 nights) Baku (Azerbaijan) – Bandar-e Anzali (Iran) - Nowshahr (Iran) - Turkmenbashi (Turkmenistan) - Aktau (Kazakhstan) - Astrakhan - Makhachkala/Derbent - Baku. Then, as it is supposed, the ship will make a cruise to the Black Sea for the winter, performing the program “The Adventure on the Three Seas”.
The cost of cruise tours is estimated at around $227 per person per day. In total, the ship is designed for 310 passengers. Tourists will have access to several restaurants, bars, swimming pool, SPA center and much more.
Tourism industry holds a special place in the strategic plans of Turkmenistan. One example is the Awaza resort being built on the Caspian shores, the country's first free economic zone, where tax and customs privileges are granted to working investors, firms and companies.