Circumnavigation of the Black Sea: Turkey, Georgia, Russia, Ukraine and Bulgaria

Detailed Itinerary


Saturday & Sunday, August 30 & 31, 2014 - Home | Istanbul, Turkey
Depart home on August 30th and arrive in Istanbul the following day. Transfer to our hotel for a two-night stay. The rest of the day is free for you to settle in and relax.

Monday, September 1 - Istanbul
AM sightseeing includes the Ottoman Topkapi Palace and the Sultan Ahmet Camii (Blue Mosque). In the PM, explore the Grand Bazaar and/or explore Istanbul on your own. (B)

Tuesday, September 2 - Istanbul | Embarkation
AM visit to the 6th-century cathedral of Agia Sophia, the Underground (Basilica) Cistern, and the Archaeological Museum. PM transfer to the port to embark Aegean Odyssey, our home for the next eleven nights. (B,D)

Wednesday, September 3 - At Sea
Cruise along Turkey’s northern coast, relax, and enjoy lectures and the ship’s amenities. (B,L,D)

Thursday, September 4 - Trabzon
AM excursion to the Sumela monastery, built high in the mountains in the 4th century. PM at leisure to explore Trabzon on your own. (B,L,D)

Friday, September 5 - Batumi, Georgia
AM choice of two excursions, either to the well-preserved Hellenistic and Roman Gonio Fortress, or to the Botanic Gardens that cover 279 acres and feature more than 1,000 varieties of roses. PM at leisure in Batumi. (B,L,D)

Saturday, September 6 - Sochi, Russia
AM visits in Sochi, site of the 2014 Winter Olympics and often referred to as the “Russian Riviera,” include Stalin’s Dacha (summer home). Cruise in the PM, enjoying lectures and the ship’s amenities. (B,L,D)

Sunday, September 7 – Sinop, Turkey
AM visit to Sinop, which was founded in the mid-8th century B.C. and once was once a thriving port on the Upper Euphrates Valley caravan route. Visit Sinop’s oldest building, the remains of the 2nd century B.C. Hellenistic Temple of Serapis, in the garden of the Archaeological Museum; and the 13th century Alaattin Camii (Mosque) with its adjoining college for Islamic instruction. Cruise in the PM, enjoying lectures and the ship’s amenities. (B,L,D)

Monday, September 8 – Constanta, Romania
Cruise in the AM, enjoying lectures and the ship’s amenities. PM visit to the seaside resort town of Constanta (ancient Tomis), whose history can be traced back to the 6th century B.C. See the ruins of Tomis Danubius; the National History and Archaeological Museum, with its extensive collection of Greek and Roman sculpture; and Piata Ovidiu, the central square of the old quarter, named after the Roman poet Ovid, who was banished to Tomis in A.D. 8. (B,L,D)

Tuesday & Wednesday, September 9 & 10 – Odessa, Ukraine
Cruise in the AM on Sept. 9th, enjoying lectures and the ship’s amenities. PM walking tour of Odessa, viewing the Opera House and Potemkin Steps, and visiting the Archaeological Museum. Overnight in port aboard ship. Enjoy more sightseeing and time at leisure on Sept. 10th, departing in early evening for Bulgaria. (B,L,D both days)

Thursday, September 11 – Varna, Bulgaria
Cruise in the AM, enjoying lectures and the ship’s amenities. PM arrival in picturesque Varna, founded in 580 B.C. as the ancient Greek trading colony of Odessos. Visit Bulgaria’s largest Roman Thermae (baths complex), from the 2nd century A.D.; as well as the Ethnographic Museum, housed in a late-19th century mansion. (B,L,D)

Friday, September 12 - Nessebur
AM walking tour of the beautiful old town of Nessebur, known in ancient times as Messembria, including the Byzantine Church of Christ Pantokrator, the 5th century Old Metropolitan Church, and the Archaeological Museum. Cruise in the PM, enjoying the ship’s amenities. (B,L,D)

Saturday, September 13 - Istanbul, Turkey | Disembark | Fly Home
AM disembarkation in Istanbul. Transfer to the airport for flights home. (B)


If you have any additional questions, please email us at aia@studytours.org (and include your full name) or call us toll-free at (800) 748-6262 (toll: 603-756-2884)

 

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