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Costa Serena becomes largest cruise ship to visit Vladivostok

Costa Serena, chartered by South Korea's Lotte Tours, the largest cruise ship to visit Vladivostok
Vladivostok, the nearest European cruise port to Asia, received the maiden call of Costa Serena with more than 3,000 passengers from South Korea aboard, making it the largest cruise ship ever to visit the Russian port.  

The ship, which called on May 12, was chartered by Lotte Tour. The cruise started in Busan, and visited Sokcho in Korea and after Vladivostok, departed for Muroran, on Japan's south coast.

Costa Serena’s passengers and crew were greeted by a welcome ceremony, organized by cruise terminal operator Vladivostok Sea Terminal, in partnership with the local shipping agency and tour operator and included drummers, singers and dancers.

Shore excursions included city highlights, the Trans-siberian railway experience, a visit to Vladivostok Fortress, a ballet performance and trip to Primorsky Aquarium and dolphin show, among others.

Due to the quantity of passengers a record number of 79 tour buses and 79 Korean speaking guides, 128 volunteers and staff were arranged by local tour operator.

Free city maps, guidebooks and advice was offered by the Tourist Information Center of Primorsky Region.

Passengers and crew had the opportunity to take photo's with artists in Russian national costumes.

While passengers enjoyed their tours, a delegation from Primorsky Territory headed by provisional governor Andrey Tarasenko which included regional, city and port and terminal authorities and local media were welcomed onboard Costa Serena by the master Captain Andrea Bardi.

CEO of Vladivostok Sea Terminal,  Valeryi Nagornyi presented Captain Bardi with a framed picture of the ship docked in the terminal.

Another large ship MSC Splendida is scheduled to visit the port in August and after dredging works alongside the cruise piers are completed in 2019, the city plans to be able to accommodate Royal Caribbean Interntaional's Quantum class ships. In fact, RCI has just announced Quantum of the Seas will call in Vladivostock in September 2019.