Yacht transportation from Moscow to Greece via Georgia: personal experience
Theory and practice

Yacht transportation from Moscow to Greece via Georgia: personal experience

Founder of «Exclusive Logistics» describes how he transported a 12-meter boat through a geopolitically unstable country.
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In the spring of 2019 our company was commissioned to ship the motor yacht Sealine SC39 from Moscow to Greece. The experience of this project shows how to create the most advantageous route for a boat owner, what to take into account when creating the route and what are the force majeure circumstances.

Itinerary planning and risk analysis

The standard route passes through Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. Thus it is necessary to issue special permits for 8 countries, including Russia and Greece. And with a boat width of 4200 mm - also to organize police escort on each state. The situation was complicated by strict quota of cargo transportation by foreign vehicles in Poland and Hungary.

Having analyzed the risks and the amount of administrative work, we decided to take the ferry to Bulgaria via Georgia and onwards.

Only 4 countries have to be crossed, a considerable part of the way is done by ferry - one of the advantages. One of the disadvantages is the unstable geopolitical situation in transit regions.

Having agreed on the route with the client and the insurance company, we decided to do this project. Loading has passed quietly, as well as transit to the border with Georgia - border crossing Upper Lars.

Unexpected obstacle

The first obstacle encountered here is concrete blocks in a neutral strip. They separated the oncoming traffic on a narrow six-meter road and it was not possible to pass with a cargo width of 4200 mm. The special permit was agreed with the FSB and the Border Guard Service, so we wrote an application to the head of the customs post and moved the blocks for a while. When we arrived in Georgia, we waited for an escort and continued movement.

Problems of mountain roads

About 30 km from the border we were stopped by the military police. The fact is that the Georgian Military Road, which runs from the border with Russia through the territory of Georgia, is of strategic importance and is guarded and patrolled with reverence. The road passes through the mountainous territory and there are 4 tunnels on it. And the right lane is simply cut down in a rock, and the left lane is removed in a tunnel.

From May to October, the movement is organized in two lanes. We arrived in March, but at this time the right lane is under the snow and transport is moving in reverse through a tunnel with a semicircular vault 6 meters wide and about 5 meters high.

And one of the tunnels also turns 180 degrees.

Despite the presence of all the permits, the police categorically refused to let our car through this tunnel, citing the risk of a complete blockage of traffic.

We promptly made a project for the passage of the car through the tunnel, simulating movement with the yacht turning 180 degrees in the rock. The project showed that there were no risks and that the road train was perfectly dimensioned.

However, the Georgian authorities did not go towards it.

We had to wait for about 2 weeks for the snow to come down and clear the second lane.

After that the road train reached the port of Batumi without any obstacles, took a ferry and went to Bulgaria.

Domino effect.

The latest news came in after the arrival in Bulgaria. Due to the delay in Georgia, the road section with the previously agreed route is closed for repairs and the bypass extends the route by almost 500 km. Special permits in most EU countries are issued in a few days, in this case, the approval of the new route took only 2 days.

The yacht was then delivered to Greece and launched.

The history of this transportation clearly shows that even with clear planning and availability of all permits, the authorities can directly influence the success of the project.

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