Wednesday, July 31, 2019

A Cruise Along the Soviet Dnieper, 1985 Part I: Kiev to Kremenchug

The Dneiper River is either the third or fourth longest river in Europe -- depending on whether or not one counts the Ural River as European -- and it is hard to overstate its significance historically and economically to Ukraine.

While it begins in Russia and flows through Belarus, over 1,000 kilometers of its length runs through Ukraine and connects many of its cities to each other as well as to the Black Sea. During the Soviet era the river was a major transportation corridor for industrial goods and natural resources as well as an important source of hydroelectric power.

It was also a major tourist attraction with the introduction of river cruises along it on passenger ships with names like the V. I. Lenin and the 25th CPSU Congress. 

Published in 1985 this comprehensive promotional book highlights the ships themselves as well as all of the cities and attractions that the ships stopped at on a cruise from Kiev to the city of Odessa. Each community is profiled with an outline of its history, economy, cultural and educational facilities as well as with many photos. It was aimed at both a domestic and non-Soviet audience as it is written in English and Russian.

These cruises, which are now quite expensive, were heavily subsidized by the Soviet government and Soviet trade unions for Soviet citizens.

In this first of two installments looking at the book we start with an overview of the river and ships and then profile the cities of Kiev -- the starting point -- Kanev, Cherkassy and Kremenchug. The second installment will cover the trip from Dnepropetrovsk to Odessa.

"On board the ship, passengers are provided with comfortable cabins, well-stocked libraries, cinema halls, variety music, bars and pinball arcades. They are served tasty meals and offered a variety of entertainment. Ashore, excursions await them, as well as fishing parties, swimming, sunbathing, etc. The cruise begins in Kiev, capital of Soviet Ukraine". 

See also: Visit the USSR - A look at the Soviet Union in the late 1960s from Intourist (w. photos)

and: Soviet Tourist Ads of the 1960s - "Intourist wishes you happy touring in the USSR"

(click on scans to enlarge)

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