The Pallada, a sailing cruiser from the Far Eastern State University of the Fishing Industry, embarked on a 40-day Orthodox voyage from Vladivostok on Thursday. The ship is being escorted by a flotilla of yachts from Vladivostok and Nakhodka.
A spokesman for the university rector's office told RIA Novosti that the "Bless You, the Far East," a religious and historical mission, marks the 100th anniversary of the heroic defense of Port Arthur in the Russian-Japanese war. (Port Arthur, now the Chinese city of Luishun, was a Russian naval base in the Russian-Japanese war of 1904-1905.)
Orthodox clergymen, 120 cadets from higher educational establishments in Vladivostok and Nakhodka (ports in the Russian Far East) and the icon of Our Lady of Port Arthur, the sanctity of the Russian Far East, are on board the vessel.
During this voyage, the ship will visit Nagasaki, Japan; Yosu, South Korea; Luishun, China; and Dalan (formerly the Russian port of Dalny), China.
The cadets and the clergymen will visit the location of sunken Russian ships and the graves of Russian sailors where religious services will be held.
The program of the cruise also includes meetings with foreign Orthodox communities, visits to museums and excursions.
In Japan, The Pallada will take part in an international sailing ship festival, and in South Korea a group of South Korean naval cadets will board the ship.
During the course of The Pallada's tour of Asian countries, it and the yachts accompanying it from Vladivostok and Nakhodka will travel more than 6,000 nautical miles.