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Thousands of Humorina’s guests visited foreign frigates in the port of Odesa (photo-report)

The news of the possible visit to NATO warships, which today called at the port of Odesa, caused a real pilgrimage to the passenger terminal.


The passenger terminal square gathered many people, especially, tourists who have come today to the Black Sea capital for the official opening of Humorina, the annual festival of humor and satire. Despite the rather strict security protocol, the event organizers have done everything to satisfy as many people as possible wishing to be on board the ships. In particular, several hundred civilians could come on board of the frigate «Toronto» at the same time. Control at the ramp was carried out in two streams. The route of the improvised excursion ran through the wheelhouse of the ship resulting in a real delight among the public.


Thus, the whole afternoon, the berths № 18-19 accepting the frigates of the Mediterranean group of NATO — Canadian FHH333 Toronto and Spanish F81 Santa Maria — were another crowded location of Humorina. At the same time, the crews of these ships were able to visit the main sites of April Fool's Day in the historic center of the city.


Press Service of Odesa Sea Port Authority

















Canadian and Spanish navy ships called at the port of Odesa

On April 1, the frigate of the Royal Canadian Navy Toronto and the frigate of the Spanish Navy Santa Maria entered the harbor waters of Odesa Sea port. Both ships are included to the second permanent naval group of NATO (SNMG2). Besides them, there are the Netherlands Navy destroyer Evertsen, the Turkish frigate Gelibolu and the French Navy auxiliary ship Var. The group sailed into the Black Sea on March 28. To Odesa the ships arrived after patrolling the Black Sea.


Canadian and Spanish frigates are moored to berths No. 18-19 of the passenger terminal of Odesa Sea Port. While in port, meetings with servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, representatives of local authorities are scheduled. On April 1, the ships will be open to the public: Toronto - from 13:00 to 17:00; Santa Maria - from 16:00 to 19:00.


NATO ships are reported to take part in the Sea Shield exercises along with the ships of the naval forces of Ukraine and Georgia.


Reference. The frigate of the Royal Canadian Navy Toronto, displacement of 3,875 tons. Armament, the Harpoon anti-ship missiles (2 launchers), two torpedo tubes, the Sea Sparrow SAM, 57- mm cannon. Helicopter.


The frigate of the Spanish Navy Santa Maria, displacement - 3,610 tons. Armament, the Harpoon anti-ship missiles, SAM-SM-1, torpedo tubes Mk 32. Air warfare group, 1-2 helicopters.


Press Service of Odesa Sea Port Authority








French Navy ship in port of Odesa

On March 23, in the morning, French Navy minesweeper M653 CAPRICORNE called at port of Odesa. The ship is moored to the berth No. 16. The purpose of the visit is to support bilateral cooperation in naval and maritime security. In course of the visit, exercises with ships of Naval Forces of Ukraine under the PASSEX program are scheduled. The ship will leave port of Odesa tomorrow, on the 26th of March.


The minesweeper Capricorne refers to the mine-hunters class Eridan. He was introduced to the French Navy in August 1987. The length is 52 meters. The crew consists of 49 people, including 5 officers.


The ship is equipped with two mobile underwater vehicles for the search and destruction of mines. Armament: 20 mm Giat 20F2 gun mounts and three machine guns. Minesweeper has a radar station and underwater sound system.


The ship entered the Black Sea on the 21st of March. After the visit of the US Navy destroyer URO DDG75 Donald Cook at the end of February, it is the second visit of a NATO ship of a non-Black Sea country to port of Odesa this year.


Press Service of Odesa Sea Port Authority







The Turkish Consulate General invites Odesa residents to visit the Turkish Navy ships in the port of Odesa

On March 6, in the morning, the ships of the Turkish Navy — the frigate TCG BARBAROS and the guided missile boat TCG MARTI — called at the port of Odesa. The frigate moored to the berth No. 16 of the passenger terminal, the guided missile boat to the yachts` floating pier on the left side of the passenger terminal (berth No. 18).


According to the Consulate General of the Republic of Turkey in Odesa, the visit is carried out within the framework of the tactical exercises Blue Homeland 2019. The ships will be deployed in the port of Odesa on March 6-8.

The Consulate General’s Facebook page also says that on March 6-7, the ships will be open for free visit:

On March 6: from 14 to 17 hours,

On March 7: from 9.30 to 12.00, and from 14.00 to 17.00.

‘All residents of the city are invited to visit the ships,’ the diplomatic mission informed.


Multi-purpose frigate TCG BARBAROS (F-244) is the main one in a series of four ships of this class of the Turkish Navy. The frigate is named in honor of Khayreddin Barbarossa, an outstanding Turkish naval commander, who became famous in the first half of the XVI century. Commanding the pirate fleet, he became the ruler of Algeria and the Kapudan Pasha (admiral) of the Ottoman Empire.

The frigate was constructed in Germany and joined into the fleet in 1997, with deadweight of 3,380 tons. Its length is 118 meters. Armament: Harpoon missiles, Sea Sparrow, 127-mm artillery, anti-aircraft artillery complex, two torpedo tubes and a multi-purpose helicopter.

The main armament of the TCG MARTI (P-341): Harpoon missiles, as well as artillery and anti-aircraft weapons.

Press Service of Odesa Sea Port Authority





Representatives of the port of Odesa took part in the Second Meeting of the «MedCruise» Working Group for the Black Sea Region

The MedCruise Black Sea Working Group Meeting was held last Friday on the 2nd of February at the headquarters of the National Company Maritime Ports administration S.A. Constanta. The meeting was attended by representatives of administrations of the ports Burgas, Varna, Odesa and Istanbul, as well as the general secretary of the MedCruise Association, Jordi Caballe.


According to the data of Odesa Sea Port Authority representatives (Odesa branch SE “USPA”), the participants discussed the status of implementation of the Action Plan for the Black Sea Ports, aimed at returning cruise tourism to the Black Sea region, under the Minutes of the first meeting of the working group, which took place in Odessa on the 17th of October, 2018. In particular, “participants focused on the marketing strategy of the ports for 2019-2021, new investments in the field of cruise tourism in the Black Sea Region, news announced by cruise companies to the Black Sea region”, etc. A separate issue on the agenda was the proposals of the parties to jointly participate in the most significant event of the international industry of sea travel - the annual exhibition and conference «Seatrade Cruise Global», which will traditionally be held this year in Miami, USA in April.


The Black Sea Working Group within the framework of the Association “Medcruise” was established relatively recently by the initiative of the port of Odesa, however, today we can discuss the first results of its activities, - commented Igor Tkachuk, general manager of Odesa branch of SE «USPA».


- Large passenger capacity cruise liners are already announcing their entry into the Black Sea in the upcoming three years. Thus, for 2019 the Greek and German cruise lines included Odesa in the cruise routes on the AEGEAN ODYSSEY and AMERA ships, in 2020 we expect 10 ship calls, in 2021 - 4 and up to now we have received one application for 2022. It should be noted that the cruise liners of world famous tour operators such as Phoenix Reisen, Azamara Club Cruises, Crystal Cruises are returning to Odesa ...


Reference: MedCruise Mediterranean Cruise Ports Association was founded in 1996. Today it is the world's largest association of ports, shipping companies, tour operators and other structures operating in the cruise tourism industry. More than 70 ports of the Mediterranean, Black and Red Seas, the Middle Atlantic and 35 international companies (107 members in total) act under its name. The port of Odesa has resumed membership in this association since 2008.


Press Service of Odessa Sea Port Authority



US Navy destroyer Donald Cook moored at Odesa Sea Port

Destroyer DDG USS Donald Cook, (DDG75), entered Odesa sea port and moored to the berth No. 16 of the passenger terminal this morning.


Official sources reported that the visit would last until February 27 inclusive. According to the representative of the command of the US Sixth Fleet, the purpose of the ship`s presence in the Black Sea is ‘to conduct operations to ensure safety at sea and increase stability in the region.’


The destroyer crossed the Bosporus on February 19. During the presence in the Black Sea, joint maneuvers with Turkish Navy frigate TCG Fatih (F242) were conducted. The exercises with the Ukrainian Navy ships were provided.


The first call of Donald Cook at Odesa sea port was in 2007. Then, the ship repeatedly participated in Ukrainian and American exercises Sea Breeze in the framework of the Partnership for Peace program of the military cooperation between NATO and the European countries and the former Soviet republics of the Transcaucasia and Central Asia.


DDG75 Donald Cook is an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer. It was put into operation in August 1998. Its length is 154 m, width is 20 m, draft is 9 m. Full DWT is about 9000 tons. Its speed is ​​32 knots. There are 90 launchers of Tomahawk, Asrok and Standard-2 missiles, as well as Harpoon anti-ship missiles on board. The destroyer carries a variety of artillery, anti-aircraft and torpedo weapons.


Press Service of Odesa Sea Port Authority






BREAKTHROUGH IN THE TOURIST DIRECTION. Cruise liners of world`s famous tour operators return to port of Odesa

According to Igor Tkachuk, General Manager of Odesa Sea Port Authority, this year, at the end of January, two foreign travel companies confirmed applications for their vessels to visit Odesa in 2019. On May 10, the liner AEGEAN ODYSSEY will open the cruise navigation in the port (length —145 m, passenger capacity — 380 people, flag — Malta). Six months later, on October 30, the motor ship AMERA (length — 205 m, passenger capacity — 800 people, flag — Bahamas) will enter the sea capital of Ukraine. These vessels belong to the Greek company Aegean Experience Maritime Co Ltd and the German Phoenix Reisen.


‘The world`s famous tour operators Phoenix Reisen, Azamara, Crystal Cruises and others include Odesa in their cruise itineraries with calling at the Black Sea,’ I. Tkachuk stated. ‘Besides the “first fruit” of this season, we already have 9 applications for ship calls in 2020, 3 for the 2021 and 1 for the 2022.’


This breakthrough in the tourist direction was contributed primarily by stabilization of the political situation in Ukraine, the success of our partners — shipping companies, which had organized a series of Dnieper cruises between Kyiv and Odesa for foreign tourists last year. Finally, the representatives of Odesa sea port played an important role in the work of “MedCruise”, the world's largest association of cruise business entities...


As General Manager of Odesa Sea Port Authority said further, the 3-year Black Sea Ports Joint Action Plan for the restore of cruise shipping in the region had been adopted at the initiative of the Odesa delegation at the 52nd General Assembly of MedCruise, which had been held in Malta last May. Under the plan, the first session of the international “MedCruise” Black Sea Working Group Meeting was held in Odesa in October 2018. Airon Diaz Pastor, the President of “MedCruise”, presented an updated marketing platform to push the interests of the Black Sea ports forward the global sea tourism market.


‘Even during the most unfavorable years, when white steamers stopped entering the Black Sea at all for obvious reasons, we and our partners from Constanta, Burgas and Varna were participating in “MedCruise” activities constantly,’ I. Tkachuk noted. ‘We use the discussion sites of this authoritative association to inform cruise lines about the real situations in our countries, hospitality, safety of the tourists on our streets, improvement of the coastal cruise infrastructure in our ports and so on.’ And still, this work is in progress. On February 22, the second meeting of the international working group will take place in Constanta, Romania, where port of Odessa will also offer its vision of organizing domestic cruises on the Black Sea. Today, this niche is not filled, those operators who take risk to book this first will get good competitive advantages...’


I. Tkachuk added that in 2018, port Authority intensified efforts to update the infrastructure of Odesa Passenger Terminal, ‘for the terminal to be capable of fulfilling its functions for servicing coastal and international passenger lines at any moment.’


For that purpose, the air-conditioning systems of the main hall were reconstructed, ramps for disabled people were equipped, closets were repaired, the first-aid post was reopened and the mother and child room was open. In accordance with international standards, signs will be installed at all facilities in the near future.



Statistics of visiting the Odesa port by the passenger liners under a foreign flag before and after the Russian annexation of the Ukrainian Crimea and the start of hostilities in the Donbas (according to Odesa Sea Port Authority):

2007 year - 69 ship calls,

2008 - 75 s/ c,

2009 - 58 s/ c,

2010 - 72 s/ c,

2011 - 74 s/ c,

2012 - 80 s/ c,

2013 - 106 s/ c.


In 2010-2013, the global operator MSC Cruises has implemented a pilot project of cruises from Odesa to Venice. In 2013, Black & Baltic Seas cruise organized 14 Black Sea cruises along the itinerary Odesa-Sevastopol-Theodosia-Yalta-Anapa-Sochi.

2014 - 28 s/ c,

2015 - 13 s/ c,

2016 - 5 s/ c,

2017 - 1 s/ c,

2018 - 0 s/ c.


Press Service of Odesa Sea Port Authority


Odesa Sea Port Authority got permission to reconstruct the concert and exhibition hall and the square in front of the Passenger Terminal building

Recently, the State Architectural and Construction Inspection of Ukraine has agreed technical documentation for the implementation of works under the project ‘Reconstruction with restoration of load bearing capacity and surface tightness, modernization of power supply networks, conditioning and ventilation systems, fire alarm of the concert and exhibition hall, inv. № 079599, Odesa, 6 Primorskaia Street.’


The upper surfaces of the CEH serve as the basis of the paved area in front of the main building of the Passenger Terminal. Thus, the project also presupposes the reconstruction of the area itself. According to the contract, the term of execution is 7 months and the total cost of the project is 102.24 million UAH.


According to the specialists of the construction service of port Authority, the CEH was built in 1994. Dynamic loads during the operation of the hall have affected the technical condition of its elements. The construction survey conducted by an independent profile inspection shows that ‘some parts of the building have the plates of coating inside close to emergency condition.’ Taking into account experts' conclusions about the impossibility of further safe CEH operation, port Authority initiated a reconstruction of this facility.


‘Today, the project documentation for the reconstruction of the concert and exhibition hall and its area has passed all stages of approval, examination and obtaining permits from state controlling bodies,’ – Igor Tkachuk, General Manager of port Authority, stated. ‘After the reconstruction, the interior spaces of the CEH will get modern interiors and will be equipped with modern engineering networks. This will allow us to hold international exhibitions and conferences at the highest level again in the hall and, therefore, returns the glory of the center of Odesa cultural and public life to the Passenger Terminal. At the same time, the project is planning some changes in the design of the Terminal`s square to make it more attractive for the citizens of Odesa and city guests.’


As I. Tkachuk stated that according to the results of the procurement procedure, an agreement with the company Tehbudcentr LLC was concluded... The contractor's employees are now obliged to instruct on labor protection and fire safety. The procedure for issuing passes for the equipment delivery to the Passenger Terminal comes to an end…


On November 6, the fence of the construction site will be installed on the section of the Terminal`s square where the reconstruction of the complex begins. In the near future, the dismantling of overhead structures will start.


Press Service of Odesa Sea Port Authority



Port of Odesa improves the system of control over the navigation safety

The Odesa Branch of the State Enterprise Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority (OB SE USPA) and the State Enterprise Odesa Sea Commercial Port (OSCP) are establishing a joint permanent working group on the maintenance of the proper safety level of the navigation system in the harbor. One of the first tasks of the new advisory body will be the coordination of efforts to prepare the port fleet ships of these enterprises for the precise fulfillment of production tasks in the autumn-winter period of 2018–19, considering the requirements of the order of the Ministry of Infrastructure on the rules of vessels` ice channeling.


This and the other issues were reached by the agreement at the joint brief meeting held in October, this year, participated by the heads of the relevant departments of the OB SE USPA and the SE OSCP. The port Authority explains the necessity of meeting holding by the need to improve the system of control over the navigation safety that emerged in 2013 after the entry into force of certain provisions of the Law on Ukrainian Sea Ports.


‘According to this Law, the functions, technical means and funds directly related to the navigation safety were distributed between two economic entities,’ Igor Tkachuk, General Manager of OB SE USPA, commented. ‘In a result, the issues of port operation in the context of ice channeling, cure of emergency situations` effects environmental pollution of the harbor, organization of special staff training and everything that was once solved by a single order of the port General Manager needs some time for correspondence between the services of two enterprises or for conclusion of relevant agreements. However, there are situations when the decision must be taken immediately, because the navigation safety means the protection of human lives and expensive material values. In our opinion, establishment of the joint working group comprising the specialists of two state-owned enterprises will improve the port`s efficiency and mobility in this area, respecting the legal framework...


As I. Tkachuk stated, the working group included responsible officials of the departments of navigation safety and environmental safety, as well as units of the port fleet of the two state-owned enterprises. The advisory body was headed by Vitaly Gorobchuk, Deputy General Manager on security services of the OB SE USPA. Mikhail Chernykh, Head of the port fleet of the SE OSCP was appointed his deputy. During their absence, their duties will be performed by the other specialists. The port Harbor Master was also involved in the activity of the working group.


Press Service of Odesa Sea Port Authority




Black sea is safe for tourism development — the participants of the international meeting in Odesa addressed a letter to the leaders of the cruise ship industry

“MedCruise”, the world's largest association of cruise business entities, is ready to provide a marketing platform for promoting the interests of the Black Sea ports on the global market of sea tourism. This was stated on October 17 in Odesa by “MedCruise” President Ayram Diaz Pastor in his speech at the first meeting of the international working group on the revival of cruise shipping in the Black Sea, “MedCruise” Black Sea Working Group Meeting. The meeting was organized in accordance with the Action Plan adopted by the Odesa Sea Port Authority at the 52nd General Assembly of “MedCruise” (Malta, May 2018) and was held under the patronage of the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine, the Odesa City Council and two international organizations — the non-governmental “MedCruise” Association and the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC). The representatives of the authorities of the passenger ports of Ukraine, Bulgaria and Romania, the general managers of the travel and shipping companies, and other experts in the cruise tourism industry took part in the discussion at the round table.


As the meeting participants noted, the growth of political tension in the Black Sea region suspended the development of the cruise business five years ago. However, today the security has stabilized and it is time for the leading passenger ports of the Black Sea to pool their efforts to return the “white ships” to the northern routes of the Bosporus.


‘Of course, the issues of tourists` safety are in the first place for us,’ Yuri Lavrenyuk, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine stated in his speech. ‘Today, the Ministry has worked to ensure that every port, every terminal has its own plan to protect port facilities ... In addition, this year, Ukraine has undergone an audit of IMO, the International Maritime Organization. Following the audit, we received only two considerations and nine recommendations. We have the best indicator in Europe. Improvement of the security level in the port cities is carried out in an integrated manner by both law enforcement agencies and the authorities. Take a look at Odesa today. Thousands of video cameras are installed in the city, the police constantly patrol the historical center, street crime is revealed literally hot on the heels. Today, the sea capital of our state is somewhere between second and third place in terms of security among the major cities. And we must bring this information to the attention of our partners — shipping companies that are planning cruise itineraries in Europe.’


Raivis Veckagans, Acting CEO of Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority (USPA), said in his speech that the tourist season 2018 would go down in history as a starting point in restoring cruise shipping in Ukraine. According to the official, during this season, port of Odesa received 17 and the port of Ust-Dunaysk accepted 36 ship calls of the river-sea passenger liners that is 14 ship calls more than last year and 40 ship calls more than two years ago. Such an increase in the number of river cruises clearly confirms the interest of foreign tourists in visiting Ukrainian cities.


‘In my opinion, it is time to raise an issue of the restoring of sea cruise ships visits, especially, to Odesa,’ R. Vetskagans said. ‘Moreover, we are watching significant success of Odesa Sea Port Authority, the authorities of the Danube region ports and the local authorities in modernizing the urban tourism infrastructure, creating conditions for servicing the cruise fleet at a high international standard level.’


In the context of the discussion on the problems of restoring cruise shipping, the meeting participants drew attention to the breakthrough of Odesa in the field of tourism services.


Thus, according to Odesa Deputy Mayor Pavlo Vugelman, today the Black Sea capital of Ukraine is able to attract tourists with interesting events such as exhibitions, concerts, festivals, etc., 365 days a year. 30-50 facades in the historic center are being renovated annually, new promenades were built, monuments of garden and park art were reconstructed, and the recent amendments to the legislation adopted by the Verkhovna Rada open up opportunities for improving the situation with the availability of tour buses parking.


Continuing this topic, Igor Tkachuk, General Manager of Odesa Sea Port Authority, slightly unveiled the development program of the passenger terminal. In particular, it concerned the implementation of investment projects for the reconstruction of the concert and exhibition complex of the passenger terminal, the station square, negotiations with the French company to resume the work of the hotel Odessa, which has been idle since 2011. General manager of the port suggested the meeting participants to discuss the possibilities of expanding the range of tourist programs in the region because today the market demands services focused not only on the needs and on preferences of Western tourists.


‘I would like to draw attention to the growth in the number of cruise travelers from China. This, in our opinion, opens up additional opportunities for the Black Sea ports, which could remove the problem of an excessive number of tourist groups from the Middle Kingdom in the traditional centers of cruise tourism on the northern coast of the Mediterranean Sea,’ I. Tkachuk said. ‘The annual growth of cruise tourists in the world, due to the Chinese factor as well, should stimulate all of us to be more active, to convey to the governments our arguments about the need for joint action and the creation of a long-term policy of developing cruise business, which brings large profits, above all, to communities of coastal cities. I hope that this meeting will give an impulse for coordinated work in this direction of our partners from the “MedCruise” Association, port authorities of the Black Sea countries.’


The participants of the “MedCruise” Black Sea Working Group Meeting in Odesa approved the program of further activities of the international working group aimed at attracting the tour operators to the Black Sea market and signed a joint letter addressed to the cruise companies. In particular, the letter states that the Black Sea basin is safe for the cruise business development and today no factors would adversely affect passenger vessels visiting the Black Sea ports.


The minutes of the event recorded the parties' desire to make the meetings of the working group of the Black Sea cruise ports annually.