Ukraine River Cruise & The Black Sea

LAND OF THE COSSACKS; KIEV, ODESSA, SEVASTOPOL, & YALTA

There are no departures currently scheduled for the Ukraine River Cruise & The Black Sea. Click here to see the other smarTours river cruises and cruises for you to enjoy!

Itinerary at a glance Highlights Your tour includes
Itinerary B: 11-night cruise from Kiev to Odessa

  • Kiev
  • Cherkassy
  • Kremenchug
  • Zaporozhye
  • Kherson
  • Sevastopol
  • Yalta & Livadia Palace Excursion
  • Odessa

Itinerary A: 10-night cruise from Odessa to Kiev

  • Cathedral of St. Sophia (Kiev)
  • St. Andrew’s Church (Kiev)
  • Old Quarter (Kiev)
  • Jewish Quarter (Kiev)
  • Pechor Lavra (Kiev)
  • Cossack Museum (Zaporozhye)
  • Horsemanship Show (Zaporozhye)
  • Panorama Museum (Sevastopol)
  • Livadia Palace
  • Odessa Opera House
  • Round trip airfare from New York (JFK) via Turkish Airlines
  • Airfare taxes, fees & fuel surcharges 
  • 11-nights aboard the tourist class MS Dnieper Princess cruise boat in an outside cabin on the Lower Deck.
  • Port charges
  • 32 meals: 11 full breakfasts (B), 10 lunches (L), 11 dinners (D)
  • Comprehensive sightseeing tours and shore excursions
  • On-board lectures, folklore performances and live bandEnglish-speaking tour guides throughout

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There are no departures scheduled at this time.

Itinerary B

Kiev to Odessa

Day 1
Depart USA.
Your fascinating voyage to Ukraine begins as you depart New York this evening on your overnight flight to the Ukraine.
Day 2
Arrive Kiev (Ukraine.
Arrive in beautiful Kiev, the 1000-year old capital of the Ukraine. You’ll be met and escorted to your riverboat. Enjoy a welcome orientation followed by dinner. MS Dnieper Princess (D)
Day 3
Kiev.
Today, Experience the unique history, architecture and rich culture of the city while docking here for the next two days. A guided tour introduces you to Kiev’s grand monuments as you travel along broad boulevards lined with chestnut trees. Visit the impressive Cathedral of St. Sophia with its golden domes echoing the past glory of Byzantium and view the 18th century baroque St. Andrew’s Church. You’ll also visit the charming Old Quarter where many historic buildings remain. Later, enjoy free time to stroll around, explore the fascinating Jewish Quarter or visit one of Kiev’s many museums. (B,L,D)
Day 4
Kiev/Set Sail.
Enjoy an included excursion to renowned Pechor Lavra, the “Monastery of the Caves” founded in 1051. Here, tour the catacombs that served as religious tombs for centuries. Free time to explore independently. Later today set sail. Over the next several days, sail south along the Dnieper River and onto the Black Sea, then back north to Odessa as you get a close-up look at ancient villages and picturesque countryside. (B,L,D)
Day 5
Kanev/Cherkassy.
Today dock in one of the Ukraine’s oldest cities, Kanev, founded in the 11th Century and successively ruled by Tatars, Lithuanians, Poles, Turks and Russians. Here, visit the museum dedicated to the life and works of Taras Shevchenko, the greatly admired Ukrainian poet and painter. Return to the boat and continue sailing. In the afternoon dock in the historic town of Cherkassy and enjoy a walking tour. (B,L,D)
Day 6
Kremenchug.
This morning dock in Kremenchug, founded in the 15th century as a wooden fortress and embark on a brief guided walking tour. Here, enjoy an excursion to a “Kolhoz “, a typical Ukrainian Village. Set sail this afternoon and savor the passing vista. (B,L,D)
Day 7
Zaporozhye.
Follow the footsteps of the legendary Ukrainian Cossacks, the mighty warriors that defended the empire’s borders, as you visit the town of Zaporozhye, an important stop along the river and part of the ancient trade route that ran from Constantinople to the Baltic Sea. Here, visit the Cossack Museum and learn about the rich history of the city and the fabled Cossacks. You’ll also tour other highlights of the town. You may join an optional horsemanship show of the Zaporo Cossacks. This afternoon set sail and admire the passing scenery. On board activities are centered on “Discover the Ukraine” theme and include lectures, games and local food sampling. (B,L,D)
Day 8
Kherson.
Disembark today in the town of Kherson and board a small motorboat that travels along the narrow canals of the picturesque Dnieper Delta and explore the bountiful fauna and wildlife. Return to your riverboat and set sail onto the Black Sea. (B,L,D)
Day 9
Sevastopol.
Dock in the city of Sevastopol, an important seaport founded in 1778 and best known as the site of a fateful siege during the Crimean War. Since the early 19th century, it served as a base for the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Enjoy a guided tour to view the highlights of gracious Sevastopol, including a visit to the Panorama Museum that features a multi-dimensional artwork representing a twenty-four hour period in the defense of the city during the Crimean War. This evening, an optional concert of the “Black Sea Fleet” Choir is available. (B,L,D)
Day 10
Yalta & Livadia Palace Excursion.
On an included full day shore excursion visit Livadia Palace, a former royal residence of the Czar, built in 1913 in lavish Italian Renaissance style and also known as the White Palace. It was also the site of the Yalta Conference, held in 1945, between Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin. Stop along the route for a photo opportunity of the famous Swallow’s Nest, a striking Gothic-style building resembling a castle that was built on the huge overhanging cliff. Arrive in Yalta, a popular seaside resort that is blessed with temperate year-round climate. It was the retreat of the Czars and Russian nobility and later became the playground of the Soviet leaders. A walking tour of the promenade and seafront also takes in Yalta’s tree-lined streets rising steeply from the coast. Return to the ship in time for dinner and set sail towards Odessa. (B,L,D)
Day 11
Odessa.
Today dock in Odessa, the “Pearl of the Black Sea” and gateway to many of the famous Black Sea resorts. Spectacular Odessa is built on terraced hills rising above the gently curving bay and has drawn the rich and famous for centuries. On a guided afternoon tour explore the bustling harbor, the tree-lined promenade and see some of the graceful historic buildings painted in pastel hues and the beautiful Opera House. (B,L,D)
Day 12
Odessa.
Full day at leisure to explore lovely Odessa independently and to take in the beauty of the city. Optional activities are available. Tonight savor the Captain’s Gala Dinner. (B,L,D)
Day 13
Odessa/USA.
Disembark and transfer to the airport. Your memorable journey ends as you arrive New York later today. (B)

Itinerary A

Odessa to Kiev

DAY 1: Depart USA.
DAY 2: Arrive Odessa
DAY 3 & 4: Odessa
DAY 5: Sevastopol
DAY 6: Yalta Excursion
DAY 7: Kherson
DAY 8: Zaporozhye
DAY 9: Kremenchug
DAY 10: Cherkassy/Kanev
DAY 11: Kiev
DAY 12: Kiev
DAY 13: Kiev/USA

MS Dnieper Princess

The tourist class (3-star) MS Dnieper Princess was built for cruising the Ukrainian Waterways and can accomodate 240 guests. All cabins are river facing and cosy, with two lower beds and a private bath/shower. Single cabins have one single bed and are smaller. Cabins on the lower deck have portholes and no views, while those on the main, middle and upper decks have large picture windows. On-board activities include nightly entertainment, lectures and concerts. The ship’s facilities include a restaurant serving typical local and continental cuisine, a gift shop and observation lounge. 

UK Boat 1

 

 

UK Boat 2

Deck Plan for MS Dnieper Princess

UK Boat 3

 

Optional Tours

To enhance your Ukraine river cruise experience, there will be several optional tours for your enjoyment. Optional tours are subject to a minimum number of participants and may therefore be cancelled if this minimum is not met. Rates are subject to change.

Kiev
Open Air Museum ($35 per person)
A half day tour of the Open Air museum featuring authentic replica’s of Ukraine old world architecture from centuries past. Motor coach, English speaking guides and entrance fees included. 
Kiev
Night Cruise with Folk Show ($48 per person) 
A romantic cruise along the Dnieper offering magnificent views of a lighted Kiev at night, cradling the  hills along the river. Your cruise will include aperitifs, snacks and a lively performance of one of the cities renowned folk ensembles featuring costumes and folk music from around the country.

Zaporozhye
Cossack Equestrian Show ($37 per person) 
This delightful open air performance will highlight the skills of the infamous Cossak’s and their talents with firearms, whips and horse riding! Followed by vodka and “kulish” (local goulash) tasting.

Kremenchug
Classic Ukrainian Village Tour  ($37 per person) 
Visit to a typical Ukrainian village including a local school and children’s performance.
Sevastopol
Excursion to Bakhchisarai ($45 per person) 
Excursion to the “Garden Palace” of the Tatars, a fairy tale of 1001 nights, the capital of the Crimean Khanate of XVI century. Situated 50 km from Sevastopol, its construction began in 1502 and lasted for several centuries. The Khan’s Palace is a gorgeous example of Tartar architecture accented by colorful gardens featuring unique flora and fauna. During your tour, you will visit the rooms of the palace – divan, harem and Mosque as well as the cemetery with Tatars’ graves, 2 mausoleums and a Friday Mosque.  
Sevastopol
Concert of the Black Sea Fleet Ensemble ($45 per person) 
An exhilarating performance of song and dance brought to you by  the 30+ members of the Black Sea Fleet ensemble. Lively and entertaining! 
Odessa
Fine Arts Museum ($31 per person) 
Located in Pototosky’s ancient palace, the Odessa Fine Arts Museum houses one of the largest collections of Russian, Ukrainian and Soviet masterpieces in Ukraine. The collections boast magnificent and artistically unique works of great masters reflecting the development of national art from icon-painting of the 15th-18th centuries to contemporary painting, graphic art, sculpture, and decorative and applied art.
Odessa
Opera or Ballet Performance ($70 per person) 
A performance of either a ballet or opera held at the beautiful Odessa Opera House that took over 2 years to remodel and was re-opened in 2010. Includes premium seats and guide escort.

Trip Preparation

FLIGHT INFORMATION

Your flights from New York’s JFK Airport to the Ukraine and back to JFK are on the following airlines with the corresponding schedules:

Departure Date

Airline

Depart

Return

 There are no departures scheduled at this time.

Please make sure to allow sufficient time for clearing immigration and customs if you are planning a connecting flight.  We recommend at least 3 ½ hours.  Please keep in mind that flight schedules are always subject to change.

ADVANCE SEAT ASSIGNMENT

Please note that the above airlines do not assign seats in advance. Seat assignments can only be arranged upon check-in at the airport. Please note that smarTours is not involved in your seat assignment. It is between you and the airline!

PASSPORT AND VISA INFORMATION

You must be in possession of a passport valid for at least 6 months after the date of travel. American citizens do not require a visa to enter Ukraine. Non U.S. citizens should check with the respective consulates of the countries visited on this tour as to the most current visa requirements. Please remember that it is your responsibility to obtain the necessary travel documents before the trip. 

TICKETS AND FINAL DOCUMENTS

Your airline tickets along with final instruction and some additional travel tips will be sent to you 10 – 7 days before the scheduled departure of your tour.  Please advise us in writing should your address change.

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS

Immunizations are NOT currently required; however, you may wish to consult your personal physician or local public health authorities as to their suggestions. 

CLIMATE

You may expect day time temperatures averaging in the 50’s and 60’ in May, June and September, 60’s and mostly 70’s in July through August. Nights will be cooler. 

CREDIT CARDS AND LOCAL CURRENCY

The currency used aboard the ship is the Grivna.  You will have an opportunity to exchange US dollars to Grivnas at the beginning of your trip.  The ship does not have currency exchange facilities.  Traveler’s checks are not accepted aboard the ship nor are they widely accepted in the smaller towns and villages along the route.  For incidental expenses onboard (excluding optional tours which must be paid for in Euro or US dollars at the current exchange rate), you may use Visa or Mastercard but a small service fee will apply.  During visits to major cities and on shore excursions, you will find that many of the small souvenir vendors may accept US dollars or Euros as payment.

BAGGAGE

Each passenger may bring one piece of checked-in luggage (suitcase) max. 44 pounds and one carry-on piece. Carry on must not exceed 18”x10”x8”. We recommend that you do not over-pack and that you take a variety of separates with climate and comfort in mind.

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