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First cruise ship launched in Belarus' Pinsk

You can now become a sailor and even a captain of a white ship. The first cruise ship was launched in Pinsk and 29 April. It has already made a travel with passengers on board. Our correspondent Piotr Butrim witnessed the landmark event.

Vladimir Khudyakov came to the Pripyat River region as a trainee back in 1973. He says back then the river was in full swing: river transport was the basis of the economic life of the Polesie region.

Vladimir Khudyakov, captain of the ship "Kirill Turovsky" of the National Park "Pripyat":
Shipping was very intense on the Pripyat River. You met ships every 30 minutes.

Now Vladimir Khudyakov - the captain of one of the five main ships of the National Park "Pripyat" - believes that the first domestic voyage along the Pripyat has good prospects. The main thing is to have water in the river, which was a problem for the Pripyat for the last two years.

Svetlana Adamenko is a shipbuilding engineer, who has been building vessels for the Belarusian rivers for nearly 40 years. The project "Belaya Rus" was long-awaited for her design office.

Svetlana Adamenko, naval engineer of "Belsudoproekt":
It was interesting. We considered many options. This ship was the first. It boasts decent speed. It will find enough water there.

The route of the first Belarusian cruise liner will span more than 500 km. Within a week, the ship will travel alone the rivers Mukhovets, Pina and Pripyat and make dozens of stops for its passengers - with excursions to museums, business meetings and introduction to the rich culture of Belarus.

Sergey Zubko, deputy director of Dnieper-Bug Waterway:
Yes, now water transport has lost its importance for the transportation of passengers from the point A to point B, taking into account the speeds of other modes of transport. But as for the use of tourist infrastructure, it has irreplaceable capabilities. This is our future. It will be in demand and people will want to use it.

Satellite TV, fridges, air conditioning and wi-fi - the ship is in anticipation of the first tourists.

An employee of the ship "Belaya Rus":
We named "suite" after Belarusian writers Yakub Kolas and Yanka Kupala. We have Belarusian symbols everywhere.

And this is a completely new part of the ship - the upper deck built by Belarusian shipbuilders. From here open wonderful views of Polesie. During the voyage, tourists not only admire local scenery but also plunge into local life - coin money, take a steam bath and taste famous Polesie delicacies.

Vyacheslav Davidchuk, villager, Shebrin (Brest region):
Of course, it would be good to ride on a boat somewhere far away, to Kobrin, to Pinsk. Those are beautiful places, of course.

The first tourists here were all from Russia. In spite of the neighborhood, for most of them the culture of Polesie is still a mystery.

Tatyana and Nikolai Belkovsky, Zhukovsky residents (Russia):
We often travel, so we have something to compare to. We hope that everything will be very good, or even better. In any case, the route is very interesting, not jaded.

Ellina Efimchik, resident of Moscow:
I really like your country, you have very good and bright people. I've never been to this southern region, so I would like to get familiar with it. I read Belarus is planning to organize there national parks. I would like to get to know your region more.

Kira Efimova, resident of Moscow:
The most important thing is the life of the local population and nature itself.

First cruise ship launched in Belarus' Pinsk