site.btaNumber of Cargo Ships on Danube Decreasing Despite Good Sailing Conditions

Number of Cargo Ships on Danube Decreasing Despite Good Sailing Conditions
Number of Cargo Ships on Danube Decreasing Despite Good Sailing Conditions
BTA Photo

The number of cargo ships visiting the Bulgarian ports on the Danube river is decreasing despite the favorable navigational conditions for sailing,  said an BTA interview Ivan Zhekov, Director of River Supervision at the  Ruse Maritime Administration.

Zhekov, pointed out that for the first four months of this year, the number of cargo ships that visited the Danube ports of Silistra, Ruse, Svishtov and Nikopol decreased by about 25% compared to the same period last year.

"From the beginning of January to the end of April this year, our four ports were visited by 2,400 cargo ships. For the same period last year, they were 3,200," Zhekov explained.

He did not undertake to comment on the reasons for the decrease in the number of cargo ships, but suggested that this may be due to the ban on grain imports from Ukraine.

"Even the export of coal to Serbia did not increase the number of cargo ships on the river," Zhekov said.

Cruise ship visits near Ruse are increasing

Zhekov  added that at the same time, an increase in the number of cruise ship visits near Rousse was registered by 10%  for the past two months - April and May, compared to the same period last year.

Zhekov explained that the planned visits for this year of cruise ships near Ruse are 510. So far, 127 cruise ship visits with a total of 15,800 tourists have been registered on the Ruse coast. Most visitors were  Americans - over 5,000, followed by Germans - 4,900, tourists from Great Britain were1,700, and Australians were  1,000.

Last year was difficult for Danube shipping

Zhekov recalled that due to the low level of the Danube, last year was one of the most difficult for navigation on the river.

"During about five months, because of the low level, there were rapids along the river, which made it difficult, and at times shipping completely stopped," Zhekov explained.

He added that this has had an impact on cruise tourism as well.

"Part of the cruise ships passed through the thresholds between Ruse and Nikopol. Others did not reach the river delta, as there was a risk," Zhekov said.

River levels are normal for the time of year

Sailing conditions are now ideal. The river level is high, which is normal for the period {so-called "cherry waters}.

According to data from the Executive Agency for Exploration and Maintenance of the Danube River , the level of the Danube River near Ruse on Thursday is 570 cm compared to the conditional zero point.

Zhekov urged ship captains to be careful.

"When there is a sharp rise in the water level, river logs can damage to the propeller-rudder complex of the vessel," said Zhekov.

/DT/

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By 21:30 on 01.10.2023 Today`s news

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