Ukrainian Danube Shipping Company (UDP) intends to organize a new tourist route on River Danube from Romania to Central Europe next year. UDP’s Board Chairman Dmytro Barynov announced this in an interview with the CFTS portal.
"Another experimental trip is being planned. We have been able to convince the partners that believed that it was better not to go lower than Budapest to extend the tourist program to the lower reaches of River Danube. Tourists will fly to Bucharest or Constanta and we will transport them to Tulcea and further to Europe in vessels. On the return journey, the vessels will travel to Romania and tourists will continue their journeys home on airplanes," Barynov said.
UDP introduced a new operating format in this transport segment in the past tourist season. Previously, the company operated only as a ship owner leasing vessels to travel companies. Now, the company itself organizes trips.
"A major German company, the FTI Group – to be precise, its Munich division, BigXtra Touristik – decided to try new cruise routes on River Danube. We became partners. They only sell tickets while we organize the tourist program and excursion services in every port of call. We were ready organizationally and technically by the spring of 2016, and vessels began performing trips on the route Passau-Vienna-Bratislava-Budapest (and back),” Barynov said.
According to him, UDP and BigXtra Touristik have already concluded contracts for 2017 for the "Ukraina" and "Moldova" vessels, and the two sides will hold partnership talks regarding one more vessel.