It’s common to think more about central and western Europe when you first think of river cruises, but the east shouldn’t be overlooked. One of the more exciting and beautiful rivers for a cruise is the Dnieper in Ukraine, and it’s definitely worthy of a relaxing escape.
Most voyages travel between the capital city of Kiev and Odessa on the south coast. Odessa is a delightful city with a lot of natural beauty woven amongst the ornate buildings with many landscaped parks. You can see many different sights during your visit including the Opera House, the Potemkin Steps and the Catacombs. The city has many beaches, while you may also head on an excursion to Bilgorod-Dnistrovsky, to see the Akkerman Fortress.
If you’re sailing north, you next port is likely to be Sevastopol, where you can explore the St Vladmir Cathedral and enjoy a concert by the Black Sea Choir. You can even take an archaeological tour of the ancient Greek city that is Chersonese nearby, or travel to Bakhchisarai to see the 16th century palace.
Yalta is likely to be your next port of call, home to many beautiful and intriguing buildings with plenty of history. See the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the White Palace, Aloupka Palace and more as well as the Nikita Botanical Garden and the homes of Anton Chekhov.
There are many ports that river cruise ships can include on cruises on the Dnieper, such as Kherson, a quaint city founded by Catherine the Great, and Zaporozhye which was the home of the Cossacks.
Kiev is of course one of the highlights as the capital, with various influences on the atmosphere and heritage of the region creating an exciting and thriving city. St Sophia Cathedral is a beautiful landmark and worthy of its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, while the Monastery of Caves is a fascinating complex of attractive churches and interesting museums.
Have you sailed on the Dnieper? Let us know what you thought if you have.
By Ian Lewis