This unique nine-day travel program showcases the Black Sea’s most intriguing destinations and seldom-visited ports—Istanbul, Yalta, Sevastopol, Odessa and Nessebar. Cruise aboard the exclusively chartered, Five-Star M.V. Tere Moana
, relaunched in 2013 after a multimillion-dollar refurbishment and featuring only 45 deluxe Staterooms. Discover three countries with more than 26 centuries of culture and history surrounding the Black Sea. Experience the ebb and flow of European history at the confluence of ancient trade routes, from the magnificent landmarks of Istanbul, the Potemkin Stairs in Odessa and the ruins of the sixth-century B.C. Greek-founded town of Nessebar, a UNESCO World Heritage site, to the historic Crimean Peninsula—the impressive monuments of Sevastopol, the masterful 16th-century Khan’s Palace and Livadia Palace, site of the famous 1945 Yalta Conference, which delineated the borders of postwar Europe. The Istanbul Pre-Cruise and Cappadocia Post-Cruise Options are specially designed and exclusive for affinity travelers.Check out our slide show for a photo journey of this cruise!
View photos by click "Next Photo" at the top of the page!Itinerary
Day 1 & 2 — U.S., Istanbul, Turkey
Depart the U.S. and arrive in Istanbul, Turkey. Embark the Five-Star M.V. Tere Moana
and depart Istanbul. Join the Captain for a special Welcome Reception and dinner. (R,D)Day 3 — Amasra
Set on a fortified promontory jutting into the Black Sea, the scenic town of Amasra is a hidden gem along the coast of Turkey. Drive for approximately two hours to the town of Safranbolu, a World Heritage Site
best known for its old Turkish houses and numerous pieces of art. Visit traditional Ottoman Houses, now a museum. Have lunch at a Caravansary. Visit Hidirlik Hill
and have some free time at the Old Bazaar. Drive back to Amasra and have some free time there before returning to the ship. (B,L,D)Day 4 — Yalta, Ukraine
Considering the natural beauty of the historic Crimean Peninsula’s mountainous southern coast
, where majestic, 5,000‑foot peaks rise dramatically from the Black Sea and lower slopes are cloaked in a mantle of Mediterranean oak, pistachio and juniper, it is no wonder that Yalta was a favorite seaside retreat for czars, commissars and literary giants, including Leo Tolstoy and Anton Chekhov. During the late 19th century, the Russian nobility flocked here to bask in the abundant sunshine and breathe the invigorating sea air. Visit the “White Dacha,” Chekhov’s home during his final years
, built to his own specifications and preserved as a museum devoted to his life and work.
Tour Livadia Palace, a Renaissance‑style mansion
of white granite built in 1911 by Czar Nicholas II, the last of the Romanovs, as a summer residence for his family. It was at Livadia, in February 1945, the historic Yalta Conference was held
, where Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin determined the post-World War II status of Germany and Eastern Europe. Continue to the nearby tranquil hamlet of Alupka
, nestled beneath the rugged Ai-Petri mountain range. Here, Count Vorontsov, a 19th-century governor-general of Crimea, spent 18 years and 9,000,000 pieces of silver building and furnishing a summer retreat overlooking the Black Sea—the Alupka Palace—that remained unoccupied during his lifetime. On your tour of the palace, a fanciful blend of Scottish and Moorish architecture, see where Churchill and the British delegation stayed during the Yalta Conference and walk through the beautifully landscaped gardens, known for their palm trees and colorful floral plantings. (B,L,D)Day 5 — Sevastopol
The Crimean port of Sevastopol is built upon terraced hills overlooking a magnificent natural harbor. The former headquarters of Russia’s mighty Black Sea Fleet, which guarded the country’s southern border under the czars and the Soviets, today is an open‑air museum dotted with hundreds of impressive monuments and memorials, recently rediscovered as the port remained closed to the outside world until 1990. Visit the impressive excavated ruins of Chersonesus—a Greek trading settlement established in 421 B.C
Continue to the nearby museum showcasing its artifacts.Visit the expansive Balaklava Naval Museum
, a former underground submarine base used prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The base was about one kilometer inside the surrounding hillside and accessible via a canal system running from a sea opening to the harbor on the other side.
Drive along the scenic Crimean Peninsula to Bakhchisarai—Garden Palace
—the opulent seat of the Tatar Khans who ruled Crimea from 1427 to 1783. Tour the Khan’s Palace, noted for its harmonious blend of Persian, Turkish and Italian architectural elements and its legendary Fountain of Tears, which inspired Aleksandr Pushkin’s great poem The Fountain of Bakhchisaray
. (B,L,D)Days 6 — Odessa
Founded by Catherine the Great in 1789 to guard the southern approaches to her empire, Odessa, “The Pearl of the Black Sea,”
is a graceful city of tree-lined avenues and Franco‑Italian architecture. The city’s iconic feature is the majestic Potemkin Stairs
, extending from the harbor to the city center and immortalized in Sergei Eisenstein’s cinema classic, The Battleship Potemkin
. Stroll down tree‑lined Deribasovskaya Street, the city’s lively commercial heart, and visit the ornate Odessa Opera House and Ballet
, rebuilt by Austrian architects in 1887. Beneath the city, through the sandstone on which Odessa lies, is a vast network of catacombs that were unearthed during the 19th century and have since served as hiding places and smuggling routes during World War II. (B,L,D)Day 7 — Nessebar, Bulgaria
The small port of Nessebar is a sixth‑century B.C. Greek-founded town and a World Heritage site
. Despite covering only one-tenth of one square mile along the rocky coast, Nessebar is a synthesis of centuries‑old civilizations and proudly preserves 11 Byzantine‑influenced churches and many fine 19th-century timber houses. Visit the 13th- to 14th‑century stone and redbrick Pantokrator Church which is the town’s loveliest and best preserved. In the center of Old Nessebar, not far from the Byzantine town gate, are the remnants of St. Sofia Church
, built in the late fifth and early sixth centuries. (B,L,D)Day 8 — Istanbul, Turkey
Arrive in this legendary metropolis straddling the Bosphorus Strait, one of the loveliest cities in Europe and the most splendid in Asia. Its position, where East meets West, the crossroads for trade and cultural exchange over centuries, has filled the city with magnificent architecture and monuments inspired by the region’s diverse faiths. Visit historic Istanbul’s World Heritage site landmarks—the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Hippodrome
. (B,L,R,D)Day 9 — Istanbul
Disembark and continue on the Cappadocia Post-Cruise Option, or depart for the U.S. (B)Pre- and Post-Cruise Options and Optional Excursions are available at additional cost. Details will be included with your reservation confirmation.
All program features are contingent upon final brochure pricing.