Cruise ShipsPast and Present

MV Kazakhstan – Past and Present

IMO: 7347536

MV Delphin

ex Kazakhstan II, Belorussiya

© Brian Fisher

Belorussiya – © Brian Fisher

Steel twin screw motor (Belorussiya class sometimes also referred to as the Gruziya class) vessel built in 1975 by Oy Wartsila Ab. Abo, Finland (Yard No 1212) for Black Sea Shipping Co, Odessa, Soviet Union

Technical Data

  • Original Cost: $25 million
  • Length on deck: 156.24m (512.5 ft)(overall)
  • Breadth of hull: 22.02m (71.8 ft)(extreme)
  • Draught: 6.20m (20.3 ft)(maximum)
  • Tonnage: 16,331 gross, 13,251 (1980), 16,214 (1993)/,865 net (1993)/2,251 deadweight (1975), 2,697.70 (1993)
  • Engines: Two 18-cylinder Pielstick -Wartsila 18PC 2-2V diesels
  • Propulsion/Propellers: diesel (13,250kW)/2
  • Speed: 21.50 knots
  • Capacity: 505 passengers (1974), 650 (1986), 590 (1993), cars 256 (1974),0 (1986).
  • Passenger decks: 8
  • Crew: 191, (1975), 234
  • Call Sign: 9HVI4, C6VV2 (2006)
  • IMO: 7347536
  • Registry: Ukraine 🇺🇦, Valletta/Malta 🇲🇹, Nassau/Bahamas 🇧🇸.
  • Sister Ships: Azerbaijan (1221), Gruzziya (1213), Kareliya (1223), Kazakhstan (1222)


“The Belorussiya-class cruise ferries (sometimes also referred to as the Gruziya class) were built by Wartsila Turku Shipyard, Finland in 1975–1976 for the Black Sea Shipping Company . The five ships in the class were originally used in ferry service around the Black Sea. During the 1980s all ships in the class were rebuilt into cruise ships. The end of the 1990s all ships in the class were sold to other operators. As of 2008, at least four ships in this class were in service”.

October 1st 1973: Keel laid.

March 6th 1974: Launched as the prototype of the Gruziya class.

January 15th 1975: Delivered to Black Sea Shipping Co.

© Brian Fisher

Belorussiya – © Brian Fisher

February – May 1986: Refitted as a cruise ship at Lloyd Werft, Bremerhaven GmbH.

1991: Registered under the Ukrainian flag.

October 25th 1992: Rolled over in dry-dock in Singapore.

January 1993: Recovered and towed from dock to Bremerhaven.

© Robert J Smith © Robert J Smith 

Belorussiya – © Robert J Smith (both)

May 17th 1993: Arrived at Lloyd-Werft, Bremerhaven for complete rebuild. Refitted and refurbished throughout (when she was named BELORUSSIYA). Her original car decks were converted into useful public rooms and additional cabins and the former car loading ramp on the vessel’s stern was “aesthetically modified” and the bow doors sealed.

December 1st 1993: Rebuild completed.

December 9th 1993: Renamed KAZAKHSTAN II.

December 12th 1993: Chartered to Delphin Seereisen, Offenbach and entered service cruising between Genoa and Africa.

June 1995: Registered to Lady Lou Shipping Co., Limassol

May 1996: Registered to Sea Delphin Shipping of Valletta, Malta and renamed DELPHIN.

© Jen Boldt

Delphin – © Jens Boldt

© Aleksi Lindström  

Delphin – © Aleksi Lindström (both)

2003: Continued to cruise Europe, Mediterranean and Baltic with port of call being Dover.

© Nigel Thornton

Delphin – © Nigel Thornton  (Dover)

September 23rd 2010: Arrested in Villefranche. 

January 2012: Sold to Vishal Cruises PVT Ltd, Hamburg, Germany. 

2015 (Summer): She served as hotel ship for the US Navy. 

December 11th 2016: Laid up in Rijeka, Croatia and abondonedsince the bankruptcy of Vishal Cruises.

2018: Planned operation for the Argentinian Alteza Cruises did not materialize.


Delphin – 🆕 ©Dragec (Rijeka, Croatia 30/08/2021)

March 4th 2022: In order to recover at least a part of the money owed by the operator, the yard offered the ship at auction, using a closed letter system. Sold at an auction to scrap dealers in Aliaga.


All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Jens Boldt, Dragec, Brian Fisher, Robert J Smith and Aleksi Lindström for their assistance in producing this feature.

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)

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