Ferry line Rajin-Vladivostok to be launched in April 2017
The Man Gyong Bong (Passenger/Cargo Ship, flag of North Korea) will launch the first regular link between the ports of Rajin (DPRK) and Vladivostok (Russian Federation), Vladimir Baranov, Director General of InvestStroiTrest (general agent of the ship), told IAA PortNews.
The head of the agency company says all the parties have agreed on deployment of the Man Gyong Bong, designed for transportation of passengers and different types of cargo, at Rajin-Vladivostok line starting from April 2017. The ship is supposed to make six voyages per month. At the port of Vladivostok passengers will be serviced at Berth No1 of Vladivostok Passenger Terminal with cargo to be handled at Berth No 5 of Vladivostok Commercial Sea Port. The agent believes all the procedures will later be performed at the passenger terminal when required crane equipment is installed at the berth of Vladivostok Passenger Terminal.
The bulk of the voyage is the 90-mile night run (9-10 hours). The ship will leave the port of Rajin at 19:00 (local time), customs procedures to be completed in Vladivostok at 10:00 (local time). After a two-day stay in the port the ship will leave the port according to a mirror-schedule. When staying at both ports the passengers are provided with accommodation and catering services on board the ship. The cost of cruise has not been revealed yet. The agency company says it will be comparable to the cost of travelling via road/railway checkpoints while the sea route is shorter and more comfortable.
The Man Gyong Bong was built in DPRK in 1971. The ship’s length is 97 m, cargo capacity – 3,317 t, deadweight – 1,802. Chartered by RosKor last year the ship underwent technical upgrading and special retrofit in compliance with the new tasks. The ship was out of operation for a long time after it had been used as a training vessel. According to the agency company, the ship is in a good technical condition complying with the international shipping standards.
The Man Gyong Bong is able to accommodate 193 passengers in 40 cabins of different types. It offers a restaurant, two bars, a store and other facilities including a sauna. Three cargo holds have space enough for 1,500 t of cargo, 24 containers of 20’ standard (including 16 refrigerated containers) and vehicles. The crew fully consists of DPRK nationals.
According to the agreements, the passenger flow will mostly consist of Chinese tourists willing to visit the Korean city of Rason and to travel to Vladivostok and back. As foreign partners insist, one third of places will be booked for seasonal workers from North Korea. About 60 places will be booked for Russian businessmen and tourists. The entry to the trade economic zone of Rason is visa-free. If necessary, Russian tourists can stay there unlit later calls of the Man Gyong Bong.
In the future, the line is to be extended to Wonsan, the largest seaport of DPRK and a part of the tourist area of international level.
InvestStroiTres was registered in 2013. Key profile of the company is forwarding of cargo at the port of Rajin (cargo delivered from the South-East Asia to Europe by Transsib via the stations of Hasan (Russia) and Tumen (China)).