Victor Olerskiy: An Introduction to Vodohod

Presided over by Chairman of the Board Victor Olerskiy, Vodohod is a full-service river cruise tour operator. For more than 18 years, the company has organised river cruises in its home country of Russia, rising to prominence as the country’s largest cruise operator.

Vodohod delivers the highest service, maintaining high quality standards while increasing the popularity of cruises as a comfortable and modern way of enjoying holidays. The undisputed leader of the Russian cruise industry, Vodohod is also a European market leader in terms of passenger capacity and number of fleet units, with 110,000 guests travelling aboard the company’s ships every year.

In 2021, Vodohod was singled out as the ‘Industry Leader’ among Russia’s passenger shipping companies. Vodohod currently operates a fleet of 12 ships serving international guests, its vessels divided into three, four and five-star. Whichever category guests select, they are assured an amazing and memorable holiday experience.

In order to deliver a service of the highest quality, Vodohod has implemented a fleet renovation programme since 2018, upgrading up to three ships per annum and investing in high-quality interior solutions, spacious cabins, modern design, and maximum convenience and comfort for guests.

In 2020, Vodohod launched its river-sea vessel, Mustai Karim. The pinnacle of luxury, the vessel is the first 5-star ship built in Russia in six decades. Featuring an innovative European design, the vessel’s interior has all the style and facilities of a five-star hotel, including an SPA area, floor-to-ceiling windows, and bars and restaurants with menus created by award-winning chefs. Passengers are invited to enjoy outstanding cuisine and a premium wine list in the vessel’s stunning panoramic bars. With first-rate service, exclusive excursions and a comprehensive animation programme crafted especially for guests, the Mustai Karim is a true river cruising masterpiece.

2021 marked the addition of a new vessel to the Vodohod fleet, namely the Biryusa hovercraft. Constructed at the Parma shipyard in Leningrad, the vessel operates on the Baikal Lake. With a cushion height of 0.9 metres, it comfortably navigates water, ice and even land, incorporating comfortable reclining seats for passengers to relax in until they reach their destination.

Vodohod introduces new destinations to its itineraries each year, enabling guests to expand their horizons and visit fascinating and far-flung corners of Russia. Since 2020, it has been possible to visit the Azov and Black Seas aboard the five-star Mustai Karim.

Since 2022, in addition to classic cruses between St. Petersburg and Moscow, international guests have been invited to cruise between Moscow and Kazan or Rostov-on-Don. Such cruises afford passengers a glimpse of cities with fascinating architecture and rich history; they also provide the opportunity to become acquainted with the diversity of Russian nationalities, each with its own traditions, language, food and cultural background.

In 2020, Voldohod was excited to present the first and only wildlife river cruise traversing the spectacular Yenisei River in the heart of Siberia, enabling guests to visit undiscovered regions of the Russian wilderness. The newly renovated five-star Maxim Gorky is described as a ‘luxurious floating paradise’, providing the perfect place for guests to unwind following a day of discovery. Sailing from Krasnoyarsk to Dudinka, and vice versa, the trip encompasses the Putorana Plateau UNESCO World Heritage site.

Vodohod’s mission is to create the highest quality products, put together delightful itineraries featuring destinations that amaze and enthral international guests, and provide a truly unforgettable and authentically Russian travel experience.