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Russia to launch round-the-world trip.
On May 20 May, the ship Sedov will set out on a 14-month circumnavigation from St. Petersburg. The ship is entered into the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s biggest sailing vessel. Built in Germany in 1921, the legendary Sedov is taking this latest voyage to celebrate Russia’s 1150th anniversary. The first tribal union under the Rurik dynasty is believed to have emerged in 862 in the north of Russia. The ship will cross three oceans and visit 21 countries.
There will be 200 people on board, half of whom will be cadets from the Murmansk State Technical University, who will work on shifts during the voyage. The cadet groups, which are made up entirely of second year students will change twice: in Casablanca, Morocco, and in Vladivostok, in Russia’s Far East.
“To tell the truth, I’ve never been abroad. This will be a huge experience for me, as well as a great opportunity to see the world,” said Dmitry Stolpovsky, an 18-year-old cadet.
Stolpovsky, who will join the project in Casablanca and stay on board as far as Vladivostok, says his parents are very proud he was picked for the project. Yet the desire to see the world is not the only reason motivating Stolpovsky: His favorite rock band Mumiy Troll will also be on board.
“The main idea of this voyage is to show the flag. Russia is the world’s biggest naval power, and we must show to the world that we are open to everyone and pursue peaceful goals,” said Alexander Savelov, spokesman for Russia’s Federal Agency for Fishery. The Sedov, which is owned by the agency, will be its first circumnavigating the globe for the first time.
“I am a fan of Mumiy Troll. It’s great they will be with us. They are real stars and, I hope they will remain on board until the end,” Stolpovsky said.
The members of Mumiy Troll, which was formed in Vladivostok in 1983, promise to fulfill the cadet’s dream. “The idea of recording an album during a sea voyage goes back to my childhood. It began to take real shape more than a year ago, during our Navy Tour voyage, when we staged concerts on Russian warships,” said the band’s lead singer Ilya Lagutenko
Mumiy Troll is extremely popular in Russia and many of its songs are about the sea. They hope that through the voyage they will attract more fans around the world.
At the 30 ports where the Sedov will drop anchor, the sailors will welcome locals on board. “In cooperation with Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, embassies, consulates and other representatives of Russia, various cultural and entertainment events will be staged on the ship,” Savelov said.
Lagutenko said that the events could be used to show locals a new side of Russia: “The ship’s arrival in any country shows not just our flag but also our friendliness.”
It will be the fourth round-the-world tour for the Sedov’s captain, Nikolai Zorchenk, yet he says the journey never gets old. “Brazil, Chile, Peru – these are all new, exotic places for me, and I very much want to visit them,” Zorchenko said. The countries the Sedov will visit include Germany, Sweden, Norway, France, Morocco, the United States, South Korea, Japan, China, Singapore, Mauritius, South Africa, Senegal, Spain, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Peru.
“It was not very difficult to organize the trip, only it isn’t so cheap. The project will be bankrolled by the state budget and private companies, including [Russia’s second-largets natural gas producer] Novatek,” said Savelov.