The Black Sea is one of the latest and coming-up cruise destinations. The sea is sited between Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine. It is said that it got its name from the warlike tribe called the Scythians, who used the skulls of unwanted visitors as wine goblets, and whom the Greeks found very difficult to battle. Others say that the name came from tiny and unusual organisms which live in the sediments at the bottom of the water with a type of coloured ink. A Black Sea cruise has now become on the top of the cruise enthusiasts list.
Black Sea There are a number of cruise companies operating in the area, such as RCI cruises (Royal Caribbean), Azamara Club Cruises and Silversea Cruises, as well as bigger companies such as P&O and Cunard. Most cruises last between 11 to 14 days. Itineraries vary, but all nearly include the incredible city of Istanbul, plus places, such as Odessa and Valta, in the Ukraine. You may also visit Batumi in Georgia and Sochi in Russia. Danube River cruise Another way to visit the Black sea area is as part of a cruise along the Danube river which has its delta in the Black Sea. The Danube cruises, however, will only cover a couple of Black Sea sights such as Constanza in Romania, with excursions to Bucharest. European river cruises There are other river cruises which you might like to look into, which travel on the Dnieper river, and then cover a couple of Black sea resorts such as Odessa and Sevastopol.
What you need to know about Black Sea cruising
Booking your cruise
You can do this either directly via the Internet or through a travel agent. Prices will vary as depending on the location of your cabin - those on the sea-side cost more. The ships tend to be smaller than those that cruise fanatics may be used to, and won't have as many facilities as the larger liners of the Caribbean cruise, for example.
Obviously, you will need your passport and it must have at least, six months left to run on it.
Check with your cruise companies as to what visas you will need. Very often, the cruise company will organise these for you. Remember that at the Ukranian and Russian ports, the Customs and Immigration officials are likely to be very officious, so don't be tempted to joke with them. It is likely that all off -ship tours will be organised and you will not be able to wander freely. Final word If you love cruising and have 'done' the Med, the Nordic fjords etc., then have a look at a Black Sea cruise as an interesting new alternative.