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Black Sea Cruises

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Cruising around the Black Sea

The Black Sea is a cruise destination with idyllic beaches, enchanting cities and millennia of history. Cruises in the Black Sea often link in with Mediterranean fly-cruise itineraries venturing from Venice; they range from a quick four night dash from Istanbul to fourteen day extravaganzas.

Istanbul is often the starting place for Black Sea cruises. The city is an astonishingly beautiful metropolis, linking Asia with Europe. Top sites to visit on a shore excursion or city break include Topkapi Palace, home of Ottoman emperors, the Hagia Sophia, an incredible Roman basilica turned mosque and now a museum. Other attractions of Istanbul include amazing restaurants and vibrant bars.

Odessa in Ukraine is a great city for a shore excursion, the scene of the 1905 Russian naval mutiny that inspired the classic Soviet silent movie Battleship Potemkin. The old town features historic buildings from the 19th century and early 20th century.

The Crimea is an excellent stopping point for cruise passengers interested in history. The peninsula was ruled by the Venetians and later Genoa, before later becoming part of the Russian Empire. Florence Nightingale rose to fame as a military nurse here during the Crimean War, while Yalta was a favourite holiday resort of Stalin. Here, passengers can visit Livadia Palace, the last holiday home of the Tsar and scene of the vital 1945 Yalta Conference between Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin.

Finally, the Northern Coast of Turkey offers cruise passengers the delightful Sümela Monastery in Trabzon, the last bastion of the Byzantine Empire, lasting into the 15th century. Cruises often stop at the idyllic seaside town of Amasra on Turkey’s Black Sea coast before finishing in Istanbul.

Cruise lines which sail the Black Sea include MSC, Thomson and Silversea. The climate is mild in winter and warm in summer, with the same dry heat as the Mediterranean.

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