Legendary ship restarts river route to the Baltic Sea


After 25 years in hiatus, the Soviet-built hydrofoil ship Raketa departed for its maiden voyage from Lithuania’s Kaunas to Nida on Thursday.

The ship Raketa (Rocket) completed the 250-kilometre journey in four hours. The roundtrip uses up around 1,200 litres of fuel.

The hydrofoil ship, which means the ship rises once it picks up speed, can sail in water less than one metre-deep and needs only 1.5-metre depth to launch. It can reach speeds of up to 65 kilometres per hour.

Operators of the boat – the national Inland Waterways Directorate, local municipalities and private investors – spent around 100,000 euros to revive the legendary ship built in 1963.


Nida and the Curonian Spit

Raketa was due to launch in summer 2019, but had to be delayed due to legal issues when certifying the ship, according to the operators.

The boat will operate regular daily routes Thursday to Sunday throughout the summer. A one-way ticket will set you back 50 euros.

The Rocket became a name synonymous with the hydrofoil boats produced in the Soviet Union until the 1970s. At one point, 10 such boats were coursing in Lithuania, before ceasing regular operations in 1995. By 2010, the boats were no longer in use.


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