Cruise Shipping during the Soviet Era

Cruise Lines offering Cruises in Eastern Europe in the Soviet Era 1945 1989

Cruises in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union began in the post-World War II period. One early example is the company Intourist, which in 1957 started organizing cruises in the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea. Another example is the Black Sea Shipping Company. Soviet Union registered vessels, mostly former liners registered either in CCCP or any of its allies, were engaged in cruises in the Black Sea, offering low-cost cruises as a form of mass tourism. Aiming at maximizing passengers’ carrying capacity, these vessels had smaller cabins and were typically less luxurious than contemporary cruises. The refurbished ex-Soviet liners were withdrawn from world cruising as they reached the end of their economic life.

In the post-1989 period, international cruise lines and modern cruisers started offering itineraries in both the Black Sea and the Baltic.