Every year in September, before the traditional Forum of the Union of Journalists of Russia in Sochi, media representatives from different regions of the country, and now more and more often their colleagues from abroad, go on a kind of “warm-up” on a week-long cruise on the motor ship “Prince Vladimir” in order to learn and tell your huge audience about its beautiful and unique route. But this year a hitch took the place of the warm-up. “Prince Vladimir”, like Prince Igor, was captured, firmly nailed by mooring lines to the concrete wall of the Sochi seaport, and to this day it is not known when he will be released … The strongest news about the capture of “Prince Vladimir”, in theory, should be surprised by his namesake – Vladimir Putin. After all, it was he who opened the way for the ship to the vastness of the Black Sea. At a memorable meeting of the State Council in Crimea, the President instructed the Ministry of Transport and his “daughter” FSUE “Rosmorport” to buy a cruise liner as soon as possible, bring it “to mind” and resume the incredibly popular in Soviet times Crimean-Caucasian cruise line. That should have become a trump card in the development and promotion of domestic tourism, for which the President so zealously stands up.
No sooner said than done. For three years now, the handsome liner “Prince Vladimir” has been gathering more and more guests on all its nine (!) Decks, taking them on an amazing journey along the route Sochi – Novorossiysk (Gelendzhik and Abrau-Dyurso) – Yalta-Sevastopol. It is a genuine necklace of historical, natural and cultural points of attraction. Exactly what is so necessary today to promote and popularize recreation in Russia! It is clear that due to the situation with the coronavirus, almost all tourist programs this year have been sharply sequestered, but the expected relaxation and restoration of freedom of movement, including for recreation, are nevertheless inevitable, logical and justified by an objective improvement in the epidemiological situation.
July … August … Russian regions are opening up for tourism one by one. Like a nightmare, people remember their forced imprisonment within four walls and with a sigh of relief they pack their bags in Sochi and Crimea, to the Kaliningrad seaside and Baikal, to Karelia and Altai … Suddenly pleasant (for tourism professionals!) there are simply no places in hotels, and you need to get a ticket for a plane. And the small towns of Russia – Plyos, Uglich, Suzdal, and many others – were colorfully animated by the many-sided pilgrimage of tourists eager to get out at least somewhere. To book a room for a weekend in a decent hotel somewhere along the Golden Ring route is a great success today!
And only the white ship “Prince Vladimir” is still chained to the pier of the Sochi Sea Terminal. Why? Yes, only because some officials have taken a steadfast position in upholding frankly absurd positions. Let’s not follow the logic of politically verified decisions from high offices, but simple elementary facts. Not without the participation of the leadership of the regions – Crimea and Krasnodar Territory, and of course the “shadow” Rospotrebnadzor yesterday – the following picture has developed:
– both on the Black Sea coast (Krasnodar Territory) and in the Crimea – there is literally nowhere for an apple to fall on the beaches and embankments. In the direction of Sochi and the Crimea, trains run overcrowded, planes fly literally to capacity. Not about any notorious distance of one and a half meters, masks and gloves – neither on the beaches and embankments, nor in the compartment of a train or in the cabin of an aircraft, nor at concerts and festivals held in these regions since August – speech, with sound mind, be can not.
Nevertheless, it was the only motor ship “Knyaz Vladimir” that was brought to the Black Sea with such difficulty – became a hostage of someone’s bureaucratic reinsurance – the transportation of tourists on it between overcrowded tourists (!) Crimea and Sochi is still prohibited. They say that the requirement of the situation to combat COVID-19 is distancing, isolation, restrictions … Even if at least somewhere in the already open resorts these requirements were in fact observed today, to implement them as part of a cruise on a motor ship – there are much more opportunities and conditions, than on beaches and in hotels. And the fresh sea breeze drives any infection away from the deck …
For this September cruise, applications have come from journalists and televisions from 12 European countries! It would seem what luck: millions of people will learn about one of the most beautiful and interesting tourist routes in Russia! And not only in our country. But “Prince Vladimir” is still firmly nailed by mooring lines to the concrete wall of the seaport. What is stronger: this concrete embankment of the Sochi port or the door to the office of an official, which cannot be reached?
member of the Russian Geographical Society