Taking to the Black Sea

This article provided by Thomson

If you’ve always wanted to explore Eastern Europe, it’s time to check off a few bucket list cities in one fell swoop. Sea cruises offer an unrivaled chance to experience an extraordinary diversity of destinations, without the fuss of transfers, checking in and packing. Most Black Sea cruises tend to operate between Greece and Turkey, and there’s a range of different cruise lines to choose from. Here are some destinations to look out for when you’re planning your itinerary…

Marmaris, Turkey

Approaching the brightly-colored coastline from the sea is just one experience on a roster of wonders that Marmaris has to offer. It might be renowned as Turkey’s largest beach resort, but there’s also a significant historical appeal: nearby Dalyan is home to the Tombs of the Kings, a Lycian rock tomb sculpted into a cliff face that dates back to the fourth century. After your history lesson, soothe any weary traveler’s aches with a dip in a traditional Hammam, or flex your muscles by hiring a bike and pedaling off on a bike tour of the city.

Nessebar, Bulgaria


One of Bulgaria’s main resorts, this pretty town has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, partly due to its proliferation of crumbling medieval architecture. Often compared to Dubrovnik, it’s popular with the day-tripper crowd, and a conveniently bite-sized destination for a shore excursion. Visit the old town and wander through its crumbling archways and red brick ruins, then cool off in its giant aqua park — the perfect place to spend a fun-packed family afternoon before re-embarking.

Odessa, the Ukraine


A cosmopolitan, sprawling seaport, Odessa is a popular choice on cruise itineraries, with grand architecture influenced by Western Europe and a bohemian heritage. Make time to chat with one of the citizens — the city is renowned for its sense of humor. With your funny bone finely tickled, explore the underground catacombs, the largest of their type in the world, or clamber up the famous Potemkin Steps, famous for their inclusion in the montage sequences of Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin. Don’t neglect to try some of the cuisine, a hearty bowl of borscht will fortify you for the onward journey!

Exploring these ports on a cruise holiday is an experience to make the most of. And the kids can go back to school with some tales to tell.

Images by Sergey Galyonkin and Taras Kalapun, used under Creative Commons license

12 thoughts on “Taking to the Black Sea”

  1. I dont think I will ever go anywhere llike this. Not that I dont want to mind you, but it isnt in the budget, and I take care of a lot of animals. It always looks so exciting when I see pictures like this. I am glad you all had a great time!

  2. Although I lived in Europe for over 50 yrs, I never felt drawn to Eastern Europe. I have been to Bulgaria and Turkey but mainly spent my time in Western Europe. I remember once visiting the States and on saying that we had come from Germany being asked “East or West” – at the time we still had the Wall ie no travel for those from the East!

  3. I really want to explore Europe at some point in my life. I didn’t think to consider a cruise to do that. We have cruised several times but always near the US. This might be a great way to get my feet wet in Europe.

  4. I would love to visit and to these countries and ports! We love traveling as a family and hope to go to Greece and Italy at some point.

  5. These all sound so wonderful, I really want to travel more, and Odessa, the Ukraine is on my list for sure. Would love to explore that.

  6. Our 20th anniversary is coming up in two years. I would love to go to Europe but he wants Hawaii or the Caribbean. I guess we will have to battle it out – can’t go different directions.


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