Among the seven passenger ships chartered for use as accommodation ships at the Winter Olympic Games in the Russian Black Sea city of Sochi are five cruise ships. The first of the pair to arrive at in Imeretinskaya Bay, Port Sochi, was Thomson Spirit on 29 January, and she was joined a few days later by fleetmate Louis Olympia. Both of these ships would normally be in winter lay-up, so this is clearly a boost for Louis Cruises, whose fleet has shrunk significantly in recent years.
The other cruise ships to offer accommodation for the games, which ran from 5 to 24 February, were Iberocruceros’ Grand Celebration, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Jade (2006/92,250gt) and Carnival Group’s Grand Holiday (1985/46,052gt).
During their stay the vessels berthed in Sochi’s Central Sea Port or next to the accommodation site for the international sports delegations. The new cargo port was built specifically to handle material required for the Olympic site and once the games are over it will be converted into a marina with berths for around 600 yachts. Sochi has become a regular port on Black Sea cruises in recent years.