Ferry Line between Saint Petersburg, Baltiisk and German Ports to Open December 27

The cargo-and-passenger ferry Trans-Lubeck will be moored to the newly built ferry dock in Baltiisk (Kaliningrad Region) tomorrow. As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, the ferry's arrival marks the opening of a ferry line between the Russian enclave in the Baltics with the rest of the country. The vessel, which is owned by Finn Line Express, will operate a line between Saint Petersburg, Baltiisk and German ports and is capable of carrying up to 120 heavy articulated lorries.

According to Director of Naval Administration in the port of Kaliningrad Georgy Sebov everything is ready for the arrival of the ferry: the docks, the warehouses, the infrastructure necessary for border control, customs officials and other services. About USD 4.6 million has been spent on the initial stage of the project.

The next stage of the project will involve the construction of a passenger station and while this is being built Kaliningrad will be linked to Saint Petersburg by the passenger ferry George Ots which was recently bought by the Saint Petersburg naval administration from Estonia. This ferry's arrival in the Kaliningrad fishing port is expected on December 29. It is capable of transporting up to 250 passengers, 100 cars and 4-5 heavy trucks simultaneously and will complete two circuits of this line every week. There are also plans to construct a deep-sea port called 'Eastern' not far from Baltiisk and erect a terminal for cargo-and-passenger ferries and train-ferries, which will operate between Kaliningrad and Ust-Luga (Leningrad Region).

The federal programme for socio-economic development in the region by 2010 also foresees the creation of a cargo-and-passenger line between Kaliningrad and the Leningrad Region on the basis of express passenger ferries as outlined by Saint Petersburg design office Almaz [Diamond], which will replace the sluggish George Ots. While the George Ots will take 46 hours to complete the round trip, the express ferries will only take 15 hours and, what is more, these ferries will be capable of transporting up to 800 passengers, 200 cars or 10-12 buses and container lorries.

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