Sochi is the most southern Russian city located on the Black sea coast close to Georgia. The city enjoys humid subtropical climate with abundance of rainfall from November till April and hot days reaching 35 degrees Centigrade in July and August. At the same time the area varies greatly in natural conditions due to the fact that more than 80% of Sochi belongs to Sochi National Park and Caucasus State Biosphere Reserve. Alpine resort Krasnaya Polyana within Sochi city limits provides best in Russia opportunities for alpine skiing and freeride.
Sochi as a health resort was established in early 20 century while it was founded in mid-19 century as a military fortification. At the moment it consists of several districts and townships stretching along Black sea coast for 146 km westwards from Russian-Georgian border. Sochi is a melting pot of the south of Russia incorporating peoples from Central Russia, the Caucasus, Middle Asia and neighbouring countries like Turkey and Greece.
Sochi seaport was built in 1932 to become a major cruise homeport of 1970s in the USSR and one of the only of modern Russia’s cruise destinations until 2010 when Novorossiysk joined the club following Saint-Petersburg, Vladivostok, Murmansk and Sochi. As a resort Sochi is also very popular among boat-owners – 50-boat small but precious marina of the port can host yachts almost of any size including those of the world’s most prominent oligarchs once they decide to stay in one of Sochi’s luxurious 5-star hotels.
On July 4, 2007 at the session of the International Olympic Committee in Guatemala Sochi was announced to be a Host City for 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. That became a new page in the history of the city. Bringing the Olympic flame to a city involves not only building competition venues but also a vast number of infrastructural projects which will become a legacy for the generations to come. Dozens of competition and hundreds of non-competition venues were designed and built from the scratch to host their first test events starting from winter of 2012. The most compact Winter Games ever have already fostered the development of the city and will bring lots of benefits to the citizens and visitors of the resort.
Sochi 2014 will be the most compact Winter Games in the history of the Olympic Movement. It will be possible to get from one venue to another in just a matter of minutes and all Olympic and Paralympic competition will take place in the same venues. It is for this reason that all athletic facilities for the Sochi 2014 Games are being built with the needs of disabled people in mind.
Eleven athletic venues will be built for the Sochi 2014 Games, which will be divided into two clusters—mountain and coastal. The clusters will be located within 48km of each other, which is less than a 30 minute ride along a new railway.
Each cluster will contain an Olympic Village. The travel time from the Olympic Village to a competition venue in the coastal cluster will be no more than five minutes. Additionally, travel time from the Olympic Village to a competition venue in the mountain cluster is less than 15 minutes.
The central focus of the coastal cluster will be the Olympic Park. It will connect up all competition venues, the parking zone and the infrastructure elements. For the first time in the history of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, all ice arenas will be within walking distance of one other. The Olympic Park will be able to accommodate about 70,000 visitors when full.
The Mountain Cluster will include Biathlon and Ski Complexes, a Bobsleigh Track, a Ski Center, a Ski Jump Complex, as well as a Snowboard Park and Freestyle Center.
Before 2013 port was able to accommodate only 1x220 m cruise ship but thanks to the state-funded expansion and investor-funded waterfront development, by the end of 2013 Sochi seaport will be able to accept 2x300 m cruise ships and 1x135 m ferry at a time.
While the cruise ships and ferries will enjoy a well-protected deep-water harbour, the passengers will be delivered to the state-of-the-art terminal on modern low-floor buses suitable for persons with disabilities.
The newly built harbour designed by Russia’s best engineers will serve home for 5 cruise ships and ferries during the 2014 Games which are to become floating hotels for police, volunteers and drivers supporting the Games. Cadets of Makarov’s State Marine Academy who will live on a world famous tall ship “Krusenstern” will help maintain port regular activities during 2014 operations.
One of its kind in Russia cruise terminal possesses a capacity of up to 1200 people per hour. Its numerous retail areas and restaurants will definitely attract not only those who depart from Sochi sailing to Turkey, Georgia or Ukraine, but also those inspired by romantics of sea voyages combined with an opportunity of high-class shopping.
Truck drivers and car-owners will also find the new terminal with its customs clearance area and spacious parking quite comfortable while travelling from Sochi to another port of call aboard a ferry.
The main idea of port’s waterfront was to open for public previously unused and closed-down industrial port territories, former shipyard and Coast Guard premises, while the latter will find a new larger home on a reclaimed land inside the inner harbour of Sochi port. The concept was developed by such architects as Aedas, Elkus Manfredi, Europroject Ziviltechniker GmBH and others.
A huge area of more than 5 hectares will serve for public needs. Main place of attraction will be a 5,000 sq.m shopping centre representing various types of marine accessories from a sail needle to a motorboat.
A multifunctional exhibition center and congress-hall will also incorporate a Port Museum. The open space between the 2 buildings will become a stage for numerous fairs and exhibitions which take place in Sochi every year. It can also be used for various mass events like concerts, building temporary facilities for water sports activities etc.
Sochi Grand Marina is to become the largest and the most luxurious marina on the Russian Black sea coast. It will be able to accommodate up to 200 boats (up to 50 meters in size) and after 2014 can be extended to host up to 300 yachts. Besides top-class services provided at berth (power, water, satellite TV, Wi-Fi) the marina’s security system will meet the demand of the most sensitive clients. Golf caddies will deliver one’s luggage or baskets with food to the very aft of a yacht. And a technical area with its 80-ton boat crane and open storage is to help maintain one’s yacht in order at all times.
Sochi Grand Marina’s facilities can be used not only by private boat-owners but also by teams during any kind of sailing events which are to take place in Sochi. The area around the marina allows placing a Village and a Media Centre at a close proximity to embarkation zone.