Although the season in the Black Sea may be nearing its end for this year, it’s a good time to start planning for a cruise holiday there in 2015.
The Black Sea is an inland sea connected to the Mediterranean by the Bosporus and the Dardanelles Strait. Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine border this large body of water.
Besides stopping at the larger ports such as Istanbul, Odessa and Yalta, let’s take a look at some of the others. These cities should heighten your interest to book a Black Sea cruise for 2015.
The capital of Romania has much to offer for cruise passengers with a wide variety of attractions. Get to know the city beginning with the impossible to miss Parliamentary Palace. It encompasses 12 storeys and 1100 rooms and is recognised as the world’s second largest governmental building.
The National Art Museum contains an extensive collection of Romanian Medieval Art, Modern Art and the European Art dating from the 15th to the 20th century. Religious history is defined at the Biserica Stavropoleos which was built and completed in 1724 and dedicated to the archangels Michael and Gabriel. Learn the story behind the rural people of yesterday and today as exhibited without conveniences at the Museum of Peasant Life.
Constanta is teeming with history as it has been inhabited for 2,500 years. The city was mentioned in the epic myth ‘Jason and The Argonauts’, when it was known as the ancient city of ‘Tomis’.
There are plenty of archaeological finds to discover in the city. The Roman poet Ovid was banished here and a large statue of him sits in the town square. Roman artefacts can be found in The National Museum of History and Archaeology. The museum boasts more than 430.000 objects from settlements beginning from the prehistoric era until the 20th Century.
The region remains temperate most of the year and makes it an advantage to the local vineyards in which tours are given. Bring along a bathing suit as the beach is open for a swim in the Black Sea, which is a rarity in this region.
The Folk Art Museum illustrates the folk culture from all parts of Romania in the form of icons painted on glass and wood, ceramics, costumes, carpets, fabrics, ornaments and tools.
The Greek Orthodox Church also plays a large part in everyday life in Constanta. Visit the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral which contains an abundance of religious art and architecture. Islam is also represented with the Grand Mosque.
Once leaving your ship you will be greeted with luscious green trees that surround the well-maintained boulevards. Start off by visiting Zhovtneva Square, which is located in the heart of the city. The breathtaking majestic Cathedral was built under the orders of Catherine The Great. The History Museum, called ‘The Public Museum of Catherine’s Governorate’ contains objects from Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece, as well as Russian artefacts.
Check out a miniature replica of the world war II battle The Battle of Dnieper River. There are several other churches of interest including one from the 9th century that has been restored on nearby Monastyrsky Island.
Although much of the city was damaged in WWII and under Stalin, some areas are still standing and restored to their former glory. These include the buildings lining Central Avenue, the Globa section and the Shevchenka parks.
Known as the majestic city due to its vibrant scenery, the residents of Sevastopol take advantage of this by strolling under the blossoming chestnut trees, and ending up on the waterfront. The views from the bays and the gardens are impressive. This was a city completely rebuilt by the top architects and civil engineers from the then Soviet Union as it was unconditionally devastated in the last war.
The city also has a large military history, dating back to the Crimean War. There is an eternal flame for all of the lives lost during these conflicts and there are also memorials at several public parks.
The State Historical and Archaeological Museum also has a lot of historical artefacts, some of which date back to 3000 years ago!
On the outskirts of the city are the ruins of the Medieval Greek city of Chersonesus which provides an insight into the ancient history of the Black Sea.
The cruise lines that have some Black Sea port of calls scheduled for 2015 include Celebrity, Cunard, Azamara Club Cruises, Seabourn, Seadream, Silversea and Windstar.
A Black Sea cruise will take you to areas filled with history, unrivalled cultures and Eastern European traditions. There’s no better time to hit some of the less known ports such as these and others before they get more popular and overcrowded.
Written by Veronica Shine