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Italian Moby Lines acquires share in Russian St. Peter Line

Moby Lines, an Italian cruise operator, has acquired a share in the equity of St. Peter Line, a Russian ferry operator. The company's representatives speak of the actual merger of the two businesses. The price of the transaction and shareholding of the Italian company are not disclosed. The Russian operator, however, retains management functions so far.

According to Sergei Kotenov, the CEO of St. Peter Line, his company will retain the possession of the ferries: "Moby Lines will manage the vessels. The ownership structure of the company will change. With the new co-owner joining St. Peter Line, the development concept will change." In particular, a new product offer is planned to be made, e.g. "Italian vacations at the Baltics." A cruise offer with such name may be launched in April 2017.

Due to Ruble devaluation, the demand of the Russian consumers for sea voyages has considerably declined. In such situation, the foreign tourist flow, for which the Ruble fall is beneficial in contrast, is inspiring. Furthermore, foreigners can stay in Russia without visas for 72 hours.

St. Peter Line was founded in 2010. The company's fleet consists of two passenger ferries – Princess Anastasia and Princess Maria. The both ferries run along the Baltics connecting Saint Petersburg, Tallin, Stockholm and Helsinki. It is expected that the expansion of the fleet will become one of the outcomes of the merger. Italian Moby Lines operates Mediterranean cruise lines between Italy and France. The company's fleet comprises 68 vessels.

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