In Russia on a yacht
Yachting in Russia

In Russia on a yacht

We spend our vacation on water without leaving the country.
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All over the world, industrial enterprises, including those related to shipbuilding, are gradually returning to work after quarantine. In the Balkans, Spain and the Balearic Islands, on the Atlantic coast of France and in England, ships are slowly starting to sail again.

Restrictions on international travel are also gradually removed. Depending on the epidemiological situation, this happens at different speeds. In the case of Russia, the resumption of passenger air travel with the rest of the countries is projected for mid-summer.

«It is difficult to name the exact date of resumption of flights, but if we look at optimistic forecasts, the restoration of international communication can begin somewhere in mid-summer -»said in early May on Russia TV channel 24 Spivakova «Yulia Spivakova, spokeswoman «for Aeroflot».

According to the Interfax «news agency,»Swiss SWISS (flights from Zurich to Moscow and from Zurich to Moscow) has so far announced the resumption of flights to Russia.St Petersburg from June 1), Finnish Finnair (flights to Moscow from July), Qatar Airways (flights to Moscow from June 15) and Singapore Singaphore Airlines and its subsidiary Silk Air (flights from«Moscow» from July 2).

And yet, the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR) does not expect the resumption of sales of tours from Russia abroad until autumn.

«Renewal of international tourism is always a two-way process. If the restoration of some part of regular flights abroad in summer can still be expected, the prospects for launching charter flights are still vague. According to our preliminary information, we should not expect the lifting of bans on the sale of tours from Russia abroad until September," says Maya Lomidze,»Executive Director of ATOR.

The Foreign Ministry and Prime Minister Mishustin personally urge Russians to give up their holidays abroad this year, arguing that in the conditions of the pandemic, which has not yet ended, it is possible to pay too high a price for a few «days of rest. The authorities are also afraid that active outbound tourism may provoke a second wave of the coronavirus epidemic in Russia.

Inside the country, the tourist season will open on June 1. River cruise navigation is scheduled to start in the third decade of June.

For Russians, who for one reason or another will not go abroad this year, but want to spend their holidays on the water, in addition to cruises are also available trips on a rented yacht. The Black Sea, Azov Sea, White Sea, Sea of Okhotsk, Bering Sea and inland waterways may become an alternative to the Mediterranean Sea and the foreign part of the Baltic Sea.

Moreover, according to Russian laws, boats belong to real estate, so you can isolate yourself and survive the epidemic not only in the apartment, but also on board the yacht. For example, designer Artemiy Lebedev, who spent May holidays on Azimut 55 Fly, traveling from Yaroslavl to Saint-Petersburg, has already managed to use this life jacket.

Which yacht to choose for cruises around Russia

Depending on the wish and possibilities, it is possible to go on a voyage both on a motor yacht and a sailing yacht. Sailboats are likely to be preferable for those who are going to visit protected waters: the noise of engines can frighten off wild animals and birds, which can be watched from a sailboat at close range.

They are also better suited for cruising in the wild, where the infrastructure for refueling is not yet very well developed. As for the level of comfort for passengers, in this respect, with all other things being equal, sailboats most often lose out to motor yachts.

The largest charter yacht in Russia is the 49-metre motor yacht Balu,« based»in Moscow at the Northern Riverside Station. During short walks, up to 42 people can gather on board and up to 12 guests can go on a long journey.Another flagship of the Russian charter fleet is the 35-meter motor yacht New «Star, which»can receive up to 25 people during the day and can accommodate 8 guests.

The charter fleet consists mainly of fiberglass sailing boats 18-23 meters long.

«A smaller boat will be uncomfortable to travel on. It is necessary that there are at least 3 cabins and a flybridge is present, -»explains the head of charter direction Vladislav Kutyurin.

Where to go on a yacht in Russia

The charter market in Russia is most developed in the European part of the country. Through a network of numerous rivers, lakes and canals you can walk from the White Sea and the Gulf of Finland Baltic Sea in the north to the Caspian and Azov Seas in the south. The Sea of Azov, in turn, provides access to the Black Sea and resort areas in the Crimea and Krasnodar Region. Also it is possible to organize rest on water on Baikal and in Primorsky Krai.

The development of navigation in the European part of Russia became possible due to the development of yachting infrastructure. It is here that the densest network of floating gas stations in the country.

«Fuel consumption depends on the driving mode. Of course, it is necessary to plan places of refueling before the cruise, there is no need to carry a petrol truck with you. There are no obvious problems in this sphere, -»assures Vladislav Kutyurin, speaking about a trip on water in the European part of Russia.

According to, there are about 750 yacht clubs in this part of the country. The largest concentration of stops (118) is in Moscow region. The second place in the rating is occupied by the Leningrad Region (81 yacht-clubs). The third place is occupied by the Saratov Region (71).

Route options

Short routes:

If you have only a few days in reserve, starting from Moscow, you can cover several nearby reservoirs, as well as reach Tver, Uglich, Myshkin, Yaroslavl, Kostroma and Plyos.

In St. Petersburg are actual travels to Vyborg and Ladoga skerries.

In the South, in the same time you can explore the surroundings of Rostov-on-Don by visiting Azov and Taganrog.

From Sochi are actual trips to Tuapse, Gelendzhik and Novorossiysk, and in Crimea you can move between Sevastopol and Yalta and the New World.

«In the Black Sea routes are designed for less than a week. Good, a few hours, daylight, 2-3 days. In some exceptional cases, a week. But it's a stretch of the route: stops, repeat of the route, -»says Vladislav Kutyurin.

In the future, the Black Sea yachting will probably become more popular in Russia. Back in spring 2019 experts submitted to the government proposals for the development of yachting in the Crimea. They suppose construction of new marinas and berths, adaptation of existing ports for yachts reception and creation of a network of filling stations. One of the key locations, according to these plans, will be Balaklava Bay.

Routes of average length

It takes a week to travel from Moscow to St. Petersburg (or vice versa). At the same time, leisurely cruises from St. Petersburg on Lake Onega are designed.

For Muscovites, as in the case of short-term trips are available travel on the Volga River in the cities of the Golden «Ring to the border of the» Ivanovo region. The difference is that having travelled the same distance to Kostroma or Plyos, you can afford to make more stops on the way.

Long routes

If desired, short and medium routes in the European part of Russia can be connected to each other as parts of the designer. From St. Petersburg and Moscow you can reach Volgograd and Astrakhan, from Astrakhan and Volgograd through the Volgo-Don Canal to Rostov-on-Don.

And what is outside the European part of Russia?

About a week and more it is necessary to take on trips on Baikal. In the south of the lake are available routes from Irkutsk to the famous island of Olkhon. In the north, yachts are available in the environs of Severobaikalsk.

In Kamchatka you can not only explore the coast of the peninsula or the Commander Islands. Going north, you can walk to Chukotka, to the south, along the Kuril Islands - to Sakhalin and Vladivostok.

What does the charter price consist of?

The cost of the charter is primarily calculated based on the size of the boat and the duration of the journey.

«In Russia, the charter is not yet as tired as in the world, so there are different formats. There is a format when the price is given for a day of rent, and there is already fuel in the minimum cruise mode. For hourly rentals, fuel is also usually included.

If the boat is delivered for a week, the fuel is calculated for the final route. As we walk on rivers, it is easy to calculate a specific amount of fuel to go one way or, if necessary, to go back, or to drive an empty boat to its base.

Besides fuel to the price of the boat charter you need to add food, excursions. Tips are traditional, but they are at guests' discretion. In general, this adds 20-30% to the charter price",»says Nikita Gorchakov, founder and creative director of itBoat.

According to Vladislav Kutyurin, marina parking may also be considered separately (but it is a small part of the cost).

When planning the lease, you should take into account the size of the insurance deposit. It is returned to the client after the end of the trip, if the property is not damaged.

In addition, some companies charge an additional fee for chartering in the vicinity of Sochi. This is due to additional administrative difficulties for the organizers due to the proximity of the water area to the border with the Republic of Abkhazia and Georgia and the popularity of the Black Sea coast among the state's top officials.

In case of the 49-meter Ballou, «»the largest Russian charter yacht, the basic cost of rent is 750 000 roubles per day. An 18-meter yacht of Azimut 55 type, for example, will cost 3.5 times cheaper - about 210 thousand per day. These are indicative prices, which are specified depending on the charter duration, the need to supply the yacht to the point of departure, back empty «run» and other conditions.

Legal nuances of yacht charter in Russia

Yacht owners are more willing to charter their boats for a day, a few days or a week. A family cruise, an event for a small circle of people, less wear and tear on a yacht than a one-off party for several hours.

But a long-term charter in Russia is always an individual service.

«There is no such thing as someone on the stream to offer such a service,"»says Vladislav Kutyurin.

This is due to the peculiarities of Russian legislation.

«When renting a vehicle without a crew (what is called a bareboat charter worldwide), the Inland Water Transport Code regulates that the agreement comes into force only after it is registered with the relevant authorities. To simply rent a boat out at bareboat charter for a week, you have to go and register this rental agreement with the registry,"»says Nikita Gorchakov.

The legal framework for chartering a ship with a crew is even more complicated. In Russia, transportation of passengers by water (including small ships) and inland waterways, and by sea is a licensed activity. To engage in transportation, you must obtain a permit from Rostransnadzor. Requirements for obtaining a license are regulated by the relevant government decree.

The law does not set any restrictions on obtaining a license for passenger transportation on small vessels (boats no longer than 20 meters long, which can accommodate up to 12 people at a time). Except that in order to use small size vessel for commercial purposes it may be required to re-register it from the register of small size vessels to the Russian Open Register of Ships. At the same time, a small vessel that has previously been used for non-commercial purposes can be registered in an open registry initially (although it is more expensive and complicated).

Some of the requirements for a licensee do not apply to carriage using small vessels.For example, this condition does not apply to them: «the applicant has an official responsible for ensuring safe operation of vessels on inland waterways who has at least 3 years of service as captain of the vessel, senior assistant captain or senior mechanic forinland waterways or on seagoing vessels, secondary professional or higher education in the specialty "navigation" or "operation of ship power plants", as well as certified for the right to occupy a position in accordance with the established procedure.

But for yachts ready to take on board up to 12 passengers (these are boats of 20 meters or more) it is very difficult to obtain a license for passenger transportation. Firstly, such yachts, which are classified as«pleasure boats in the Inland Water Transport Code of the Russian Federation, must be»re-registered - otherwise a license for passenger transportation cannot be obtained. Moreover, by law, boats registered in the register as pleasure «boats cannot»be used for commercial activities. This creates an additional barrier to obtaining a license for passenger transportation on yachts longer than 20 meters.

«[Getting a license for passenger transportation] is very expensive and difficult. It is necessary to maintain the appropriate crew, to execute a number of papers. 20-25 meters boats do not make any economic sense at all, -»states Nikita Gorchakov.

pleasure boats are registered in the Russian Open Register, while according to the Code «of Merchant Shipping of the Russian Federation, sizeable»vessels owned by Russian individuals or legal entities and used for passenger transportation must be registered in the Russian International Register of Vessels.

According to Article 19.20 of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation, violation of the rules of state registration of ships shall be subject to an administrative fine in the amount of 1500 to 40000 rubles. The amount depends on whether the violator is a common citizen, official or legal entity.

As is often the case with Russian law, the legal regulation of yacht charter in Russia is like «Schrodinger's cat, alive»and dead at the same time.

A de jure charter in Russia is certainly possible. The Civil Code allows for chartering with and without crew. The above Government Resolution on the licensing of passenger transportation by water has specified the possibility of using small size vessels.

No de facto legal framework for long-term charter of yachts in Russia is extremely limited and does not meet the industry requirements.

«The requirements imposed by the Russian legislation (passenger license and so on) on virtually all boats, starting from small size, in terms of volume, complexity of obtaining, executing and expensive maintenance all over the world apply to yachts from about 500 GT and above. These are decent boats of 55-60 meters with a professional crew and a large annual maintenance budget. Naturally, in Russia all this does not have any economic sense. It's just not profitable.

It would be correct to do at us, as all over the world. To make small vessels with hull length to 24 meters. At us small size vessels with total length to 20 meters, i.e. hull length of 19 meters are considered. For small size vessels there should be the simplest commercial requirements at all. The second, intermediate group is from 24 meters to 500 GT. For it, the requirements are more complicated, but also quite feasible and economically meaningful. We don't have any of these yet,"»concludes Nikita Gorchakov.

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