The Ivan Franko-class passenger ship (project 301, in Germany known as Seefa 750) is a class of Sovietocean liners and cruise ships, operated by the Baltic State Shipping Company (BGMP) and Black Sea Shipping Company (ChMMP or BLASCO). The five Soviet ships Ivan Franko, Aleksandr Pushkin, Taras Shevchenko, Shota Rustaveli and Mikhail Lermontov were constructed in 1963–1972 by the East German company VEB Mathias-Thesen Werft, in Wismar. The class was named after the renowned Ukrainian poet Ivan Franko.
The only remainder of the five is the Aleksandr Pushkin – now known as Marco Polo.
The Ivan Franko-class surpassed the earlier Mikhail Kalinin-class as Germany's (in both parts of Germany) largest passenger ships after World War II. With a length of 176 m (578 feet)Marco Polo was 54 metres (177 ft) longer than the prior largest passenger ship, the Mikhail Kalinin and its classmates. Marco Polo also was 7.5 metres (25 ft) wider, and with a gross tonnage of 19,861, almost three times larger.
The construction of this class featured some notable differences from contemporary ships built in the west. Among other things they offered cabins for six people and had three taps in the bathrooms – for hot, cold and sea water – Both of these features had been long abandoned in western liners. The ships also featured certain forward-looking features, such as all outside accommodation for passengers as well as the crew, and an indoor/outdoor swimming pool with a sliding glass roof.
Ocean liners/cruise ships of the project 301/Seefa 750