The modern motor ship is a real floating hotel, which has everything for a great vacation. The tourist sits down in the port and immediately begins to rest, with pleasure observing the surrounding beauty. But few people realize how difficult it is to manage a motor ship, and in general to organize the entire cruise process. This is not an easy and very responsible business. With the captain of the ship "Vasily Chapaev" Yuri Masharipov we are talking about professional and personal secrets, special tourists, family traditions, routes, new navigation and “sailing stories”.
The Sozvezdie Cruise Company believes that each ship has its own soul. "Vasily Chapaev" is a vivid example of this. He is known in Russia as a pioneer who came to the Vetluga, Vyatka and Sura rivers.
Yuri Matyakubovich, what character traits are important for the captain of a passenger ship and crew members?
- First of all, it is professionalism, endurance, culture of communication with people. This applies to everyone who works on the ship. At the same time, the training of the captain must be higher than that of other crew members, so that he can set the right direction for everyone else.
How do you remember the first voyage on the motor ship "Vasily Chapaev" and when did it take place?
- I came to work on this ship in the fall of 2014, and in the spring of 2015 we went on the first voyage. On this type of vessel, I started working as a helmsman in 1976. Naturally, here it was necessary to immediately include completely different skills for maneuvering the ship. I had to urgently remember old knowledge and put it into practice. For us, the most important thing is for people to feel safe on board the ship, including when locking and approaching the pier.
What are the advantages and differences of your ship?
- This ship is different from all other ships of the company. It has smaller overall dimensions - length, height, width and draft. Thanks to this, the ship makes voyages where other ships cannot pass.
I will say this - without having been on a cruise on the motor ship "Vasily Chapaev", it will not be easy for you otherwise to see those beautiful places that we visit and pass during our travels.
How many people are in your team?
- The ship's command staff consists of 29 people - these are those who are engaged in navigation, maintenance of mechanisms, cleaning cabins, mooring the ship. Another 28 specialists are restaurant employees who are engaged in the preparation of food and cooking.
Which of the crew members do you rely on in the first place?
- For those who are engaged in the management of the ship and the maintenance of its mechanisms. These are the navigators and the workers of the engine room. It is these people who ensure the safety of our travels.
How open are you to communicate with passengers?
- We communicate with tourists at the first meeting, when the ship leaves for the voyage. I tell them about some of the nuances of being on board, and then we meet with them already in the cockpit - on an internal excursion. Everyone is interested in how the ship is controlled, to look at its mechanisms.
In general, I am always open to communication with tourists, and some of them sometimes even get autographs.
Who is your ideal passenger?
- A lot of tourists rest during navigation on the ship, they are all different. For me, of course, those who behave calmly and measuredly - elderly couples, are closer. We try to create silence and comfort for our travelers on the ship so that they can completely immerse themselves in the atmosphere of relaxation. And at the end of the flight, you can see how satisfied the tourists are with the trip and are grateful to us for organizing it.
Do you have a personal signature style for greeting tourists?
- On board, when we hold meetings with tourists, I always tell them that they are traveling on board the best motor ship and the best cruise company in the country. This is not flattery, it is true (smiles).
To whom would you recommend a vacation on your ship, and to whom - not?
- I would recommend a vacation on our ship to everyone who has not traveled on small rivers and wants to see the cherished corners of a large country, which is not easy to get to in another way. This is a real hinterland that has retained its unique flavor.
Who would you not advise? Probably all the same for fans of noisy companies. Large ships will suit them, with plenty of entertainment on board.
What is the easiest / most difficult / favorite route for you?
- There are no simple routes. They are all challenging, especially in bad weather conditions.
The most difficult route for me is along the Oka. We walk along the river in spring and autumn. This route is stressful for us, since the river is rather shallow, and in some sections we have to adapt in order to navigate the ship.
The most favorite route, this one, which we do not carry out on "Vasily Chapaev", but I have passed it for several years in a row on other ships - Moscow-Astrakhan.
What is your favorite parking lot / city?
- As we say, "the worst parking lot is better than a good move." But seriously, I like to visit Volgograd. This city really impresses with its energy, glorious military past.
Among the tourists of "Infoflot" there are many such people who, in an amicable way, fell ill with the river, cruises on motor ships. What's the secret here?
- Yes you are right. There are really a lot of "sick" cruises. On a motor ship for navigation, the same tourists sometimes travel on several cruises in a row. They are saving money to go on a journey again on our ship. Such tourists really inspire us to work. And they enjoy the warm attitude and family atmosphere on board, which is created during the voyage.
Have there been any funny situations in your practice?
- There were many things … For example, one incident - and not very pleasant and funny at the same time. I worked on the ship “A. I. Herzen as captain. A foreign tourist and a Russian woman traveled together in the luxury cabin. I remember - there was a parking lot in Uglich. The tourists returned from the excursion and filed a claim - the money they left on the ship was gone. I asked them to take a closer look, said that I was 100% confident in my crew, and there could be no strangers in the cabin. Nevertheless, they insisted on calling the police. An investigator boarded us, and while we were sailing to Myshkin, he was conducting an investigation on the ship. As a result, the money was found under the mattress, where the tourists themselves hid it. They apologized for a long time, brought gifts as a sign of reconciliation …
What did I want to say with this story? And the fact that I always select people to be my comrades-in-arms on whom I can rely 100%, and this helps a lot in my work, there is a feeling of a "shoulder", a family.
Remember the brightest and most unusual passenger (s) in your practice
- When I worked on the ship "N. A. Nekrasov "as the first mate, the writer Viktor Rozov, the author of the famous play" The Cranes Are Flying ", rested on our cruise. He came to the wheelhouse, managed to talk, - a very pleasant and significant person.
In general, you often meet famous people on the ship as passengers, and this is great.
Do you have an affectionate nickname for the ship? (if it `s not a secret)
- Sometimes we call "Chapik", but more often - Vasily Ivanovich. I try to address the ship to "you" with gratitude, especially when there are difficult maneuvers, for example, strong winds. And then you call out: "Vasily Ivanovich, well, try, please!" And everything always works out …
Do you have a favorite selfie / photo spot on the ship?
- Great landscapes are obtained from the deckhouse. We rarely take pictures of ourselves.
What dishes of the ship's restaurant do you especially like?
- In my opinion and taste, on our ship, in principle, good and high-quality cuisine. I personally love fish dishes, saltwort, cabbage soup.
Do you also have a rest with your family on motor ships or do you prefer other types of rest?
- We do not rest on ships. This is a job.
Is the profession of your wife or other relatives connected with the river?
- Yes. My wife works with me as a team - she is the director of the restaurant. We worked together for a long time, then we had a long break, she went to another company. And now again in the same team. My daughter also worked in a cruise company, and now she is raising her daughter and works at a school.
What do you do in your free time on board when your watch ends? (except sleep)
- Little free time. In addition to the watch, the captain has many other work concerns. Including training of young specialists.
Do you get bored of the uniform during the cruise?
- There is a company rule - we must always wear a uniform on the ship. She doesn't bother me. It is immediately clear that a crew member is walking, and tourists can contact us with questions at any time. This is great practice.
Do you have time for sports?
- There is no time for it, especially in the summer. In winter I go to the pool.
What are your favorite films and TV shows?
- We always watch the news. We are torn off the coast. I love retro - movies and music.
What are your expectations from navigation 2019?
- In the navigation of 2019, you want more tourists - friendly, dreamy, curious, active, different. And we, for our part, will delight them with our unusual travels. See you soon on cruises on the Vasily Chapaev motor ship!