The winter passenger boat season kicked off on the Moskva River on 15 November. Ten all-season vessels of icebreaker class, with strengthened hulls, will be cruising the main water artery of the capital city. Meanwhile, the nearly 140 summer passenger riverboats that sail between April and November will be moored until spring. The vessels operating over the winter are capable of navigating through broken ice up to 20 cm thick. During severely cold weather when the river freezes to a greater depth, icebreakers will first clear the way.
“Unveiled in Moscow not so long ago, winter river cruises are much in demand. Statistics for November 2017-April 2018 indicate there were more than 200,000 passengers during that period. In winter, tourists gravitate to Moscow in large numbers. For the convenience of foreign visitors, audio guides to the city’s main attractions are on offer. Besides Russian, they come in five other languages – English, French, German, Italian and Chinese,” the Moscow Committee for Tourism reported.
In winter, the riverboats follow the two most popular water tourism routes in the city centre. Passengers can see the main Moscow sights – the Kremlin, St Basil’s Cathedral, Luzhniki Stadium, the central building of Lomonosov Moscow State University and Ukraina Hotel. The tour lasts about 2.5 hours.
Last year, winter boat trips on the Moskva River began on 9 November. This year’s summer season opened on 24 April and involved 150 vessels, of which 100 were pleasure boats and about 50 were the so-called dining cruise ships, hired for special events.