Russian Cruises has spent almost USD 1.5 million on revamping four ordinary meteor boats for the transportation of heads of state during the anniversary celebrations. This was announced by Director of Russian Cruises Olga Kargina during an interview with a Rosbalt correspondent. 'This is the first time we have revamped meteor boats for heads of state. We don't think it has ever been done anywhere,' she said.
The Russian president signed a protocol that the passenger capacity of the meteor boats be reduced. Now the front and middle salons intended for the heads of state will only accommodate 32 people while the salon at the back of the ship, which is intended for other guests, will accommodate up to 46 people. Meteor boats can travel up to 65 kilometres an hour. The journey from the Neva embankment in the city to Strelna or Peterhof will take 30-40 minutes. The same journey takes twice as long by road. The other 7 meteor boats of Russian Cruises (they have 11 in total) will operate on their usual routes during the anniversary celebrations and will accommodate federal security forces and the president's press office. After the celebrations the special meteor boats will continue to operate for VIP guests and corporate clients.
Russian Cruises is a filial of North-Western Shipping company. The company manages 27 passenger boats on the Neva and Fontanka rivers.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had had a few fights and used strong language because of the Ukrainian crisis in 2014