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

Detailed Itinerary

Wednesday & Thursday, September 2 & 3, 2015 - Home | Istanbul, Turkey
Depart home on September 2nd 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.
Friday, September 4 - 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)
Saturday, September 5 - Istanbul | Embarkation
AM visit to the 6th-century cathedral of Hagia 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)
Sunday, September 6 - At Sea
Cruise along Turkey’s northern coast, relax, and enjoy lectures and the ship’s amenities. (B,L,D)
Monday, September 7 - 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)
Tuesday, September 8 - Batumi, Georgia
Choose from two AM excursions today: either the well-preserved Hellenistic and Roman Gonio Fortress, or the Botanic Gardens with 279 acres and more than 1,000 varieties of roses. PM at leisure in Batumi. (B,L,D)
Wednesday, September 9 - Sochi, Russia
AM visit to Sochi, site of the 2014 Winter Olympics and often referred to as the “Russian Riviera,” including Stalin’s Dacha (summer home). Cruise in the PM, enjoying lectures and the ship’s amenities. (B,L,D)
Thursday, September 10 - Feodosiya, Ukraine
AM visit to the remarkable Genoese fortress at Sudak, built in the 14th and 15th centuries and perched high along a cliff top above the sea. PM at leisure to explore Feodosiya on your own. (B,L,D)
Friday, September 11 - Yalta
AM visit to the Chekhov House-Museum and the Livadia Palace, site of the 1945 conference between Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin. PM at leisure to explore Yalta on your own, or take an optional excursion (additional cost) to visit the 19th-century Vorontsov (Alupka) Palace and see Swallow’s Nest Castle, perched on a cliff-top 130 feet above the Black Sea. (B,L,D)
Saturday, September 12 - Sevastopol
AM visit to the Panorama Museum, whose circular painting and displays depict the 349-day, 19th century siege of Sevastopol; and drive to Balaklava battlefield, site of the “Valley of Death” Charge of the Light Brigade. PM at leisure to explore Sevastopol on your own, or take an optional excursion (additional cost) to ancient Chersonesos, founded by the Greeks in 422 B.C. and later the birthplace of the Russian Orthodox Church. Overnight aboard ship in Sevastopol. (B,L,D)
Sunday, September 13 - Sevastopol
AM visit to the underground Balaklava Naval Museum, once a Soviet nuclear submarine base, built into a natural cave in the harbor. PM at leisure to explore Sevastopol on your own, or take an optional excursion (additional cost) to the imperial Khan’s Palace at Bakhchysaray, the Tartar stronghold from the 16th to the 18th centuries. (B,L,D)
Monday, September 14 - Odessa
AM walking tour of Odessa, including the Opera House, Potemkin Steps, and Archaeological Museum. Cruise in the PM, enjoying lectures and the ship’s amenities. (B,L,D)
Tuesday, September 15 - Nessebur, Bulgaria
Cruise in the AM, enjoying lectures and the ship’s amenities. PM arrival and walking tour in Nessebur’s beautiful old town, including the Byzantine Church of Christ Pantokrator, the 5th-century Old Metropolitan Church, and the Archaeological Museum. (B,L,D)
Wednesday, September 16 - Istanbul, Turkey | Disembarkation | Fly Home
AM disembarkation in Istanbul. Transfer to the airport for flights home. (B)

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