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Viking Sineus - Ukraine

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10 hours ago, Glorybe said:

Just wondering in what city a visit was made to the Space Museum/Agency, the cost, and length of time at the sight.

 

Dnipro, cost if booked on board boat was UAH 1370, time allocated from boat was 3h30 in total.

 

Tour called 'Soviet Era Cars and Space Programme'. I didn't go but my friend did. He enjoyed it and said it was two museums, first a small scale private one with a reconstruction of a 1970s Soviet era street with old card, phone box, video game, then Aerospace Museum where they were hosted by a scientist who worked in the space programme in Soviet times.

 

Dnipro was a 'forbidden' city in Soviet times as it was centre of space and defence development, no foreigners allowed and no Soviet visitors without special permit

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On 7/16/2019 at 1:43 AM, Horsedds said:

I am currently on Sineus also, with Pontac, who has turned out to be every bit as elegant, erudite, and charming in person as he has been on this page!!  It has been a wonderful trip from beginning to end. I am traveling with my husband and from the first day we fell in love with elegant Odessa, with its majestic staircase, crumbling opulence, and quirky faded holiday town flavor (ponies dressed as unicorns, and horses made up as giraffes giving rides in the evenings). Once on the Dneiper, we stopped in towns and cities each with their own beauty and focus of interest. In Kherson we learned about Potemkin and in Zaporozhye about the Cossacks. Universally there was pride and love of the Ukraine in every presentation. I especially enjoyed the Cossack horse show, and the visit to the sad, neglected Soviet Space Program building with its host - a still proud and enthusiastic elderly space scientist.  Onboard we had a wonderful concert of Bandura music and singing, and, especially wonderful, the entertaining antics of Oliver, our Cruise Director!   Viking River Cruises are not famous in my mind for memorable Cruise Directors, but everyone will remember him!!

 

This was a particularly memorable and wonderful trip!!  You will love this comfortable and beautiful ship and it’s friendly and competent crew!!  

It sounds amazing. I am really glad to hear your review - and we are off in 6 weeks. Can't wait.

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On 7/4/2019 at 12:21 PM, Peregrina651 said:

 

Frances, one thing to keep in mind is that Russia is one of Viking's oldest markets. Viking's first cruises as a company were in Russia. The company just celebrated its 20th anniversary--so 20 years doing and perfecting this itinerary. It is a very popular itinerary and Viking has multiple ships on the route.

 

On the other hand, Ukraine is a newer itinerary, has only one ship, doing just a handful of sailings each season and, as of 2018,  is coming off a 4 year hiatus. It is not going to be the same polished product that you get in Russia. Still, I loved our time there and am very glad that we had the chance to do this itinerary when we did.

It all sounds wonderful. A bit of adventure, a bit of culture, and some relaxation. 

 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Glorybe said:

*I am wondering how you spent your free time in Kiev and Odessa.   For example, did anyone try to go to the Museum of the Ukraine in WWII?

 

Kiev: First day there we went on included tour, starting with Monastery of Caves. There was a electrical storm and we got soaked, my feet were wet through my shoes, trousers sticking to my legs like a wet sail. What I really wanted to see was the caves with mummies but because of the rain they were closed. We went then to St Sophia Cathedral, which was YABC*, although to be precise it was a museum, then driving tour of Kiev with an optional guided walk. We'd booked for the walk but decided to take coach back to boat.

 

After getting dried, we stayed on boat in afternoon.

 

Next day was also raining. Programme Director tried to arrange a trip to the Caves but they were still closed because of rain. We took included morning tour to Pirogovo Folk Architecture Museum on outskirts of Kiev, with reconstructed buildings from all over Ukraine. Our guide showed us many things we'd have completely missed.

 

Afternoon it was still raining and we stayed on the boat 🙂

 

* Yet Another B Church/Cathedral

Edited by pontac

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On 7/18/2019 at 11:22 AM, Horsedds said:

Hi Nanna Fru - you’ll be happy to hear that in Kiev also the even numbered cabins faced the water, with beautiful views of the island and the lighted bridges. The colors of the closest bridge change constantly and put on quite a show!!

 

To all who have been discussing money issues - one more thing about $$. I had some euros and a 5 pound note left over from previous travel. I added enough US$ to make about $35 worth and exchanged it all for grubinas. Can you believe that was all the cash we spent on the whole trip, including souvenirs, beer, and 2 admissions to the Golden Gate, which we did on our own. On the day we left I had 15 grubinas left, which I left for the room steward.  

 

On subject of tipping - I did prepay our tips, so the only tipping I did was an additional $20 and the 15 grubinas to the stewards, who silently cleaned and straightened our room every time we left it, and a single US $ to the bus driver every time we had a bus ride as we were told the were not included in shipwide tipping.  

Was it easy to exchange money? Did you get cash at the airport? ( from Australia it appears to be impossible to get Ukrainian money before travel)

Glad to hear our cabin will have a lovely view in Kiev as well. 

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9 hours ago, Glorybe said:

Gosh what was the wait like for toilet use with 4 buses? Did the bus stop at places for restroom use or did passengers have to buy something at a cafe in order to use the cafe's toilets

 

Not an issue for me because I did not need to use the facilities off-boat. I cannot remember any delays caused by waiting for passengers to use facilities. They were pointed out by the guide and, as I recall, most of them were free, for ones that charged the Viking guide had the correct UAH for those that didn't.

 

Mrs Pontac and our friend Sue came back from one visit complaining that it was a squat one.

 

What surprised me about Ukraine was the number of public toilets and large signs pointing to them marked WC with male and female images.

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5 minutes ago, Nanna Fru said:

Was it easy to exchange money? Did you get cash at the airport? ( from Australia it appears to be impossible to get Ukrainian money before travel)

 

I'm not sure you can get UAH from outside. Our guide pointed out places on our first city walking tour.  There are plenty of currency exchanges, banks and ATMs. Our friends and I exchanged some cash on our first city walk.

 

I don't think you need to exchange at the arrival airport, get on the Viking coach and get to the boat. Don't exchange too much.

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On 7/18/2019 at 8:31 PM, pontac said:

Thoughts on Viking Sineus cruise Odessa to Kiev.

 

Note: From 2020 Sineus will cruise between Tulcea and Kiev (with all day bussing between Tulcea and Bucharest with lunch in Constanta)

 

Restaurant: There are many window-side tables for two, also some tables on the deck outside. Unusually, all the wait-staff were female and all local, i.e. Ukrainian. All spoke English good enough to do the job but general conversation strained them. Maitre d’ Tim is from Netherlands.


Executive chef Pawel and Maitre d’ Tim walk the tables chatting with guests

 

Food: Every day for dinner there’s a Ukrainian starter, main and dessert, plus 2 of each course international recipes, and the ‘always available’ choices of Caesar salad, Norwegian Salmon, Sirloin steak, Roast Chicken. Ask your waitress about the Ukrainian dishes as they are all local; some they swoon over because their mum made it, another fancifully named dessert was dismissed as a bit of pastry with cream on it.

 

For lunch every day there’s a self serve buffet choice, plus a waitress serving of soup followed by choice of two main courses and 2 or 3 desserts, plus the ‘always available’ lunch choices of Salad ‘Nicoise’, Cheeseburger, Beef Hot Dog and Chocolate Mousse.

 

Soups are particularly good.

 

At breakfast there’s a large buffet selection with egg chefs and also choices that can be ordered from waitress.

There are two self-serve buffets with the same offerings, with breads, fruit, nuts, porridge along the wall between them. 


Wines: Included wines at lunch and dinner are Ukrainian and are Saperavi (red) and Chardonnay (white). The Saperavi is full bodied and fruity. Too many of the Chardonnay are oxidised to various degrees, some too much to be drinkable. Unlisted but available if asked for is Pinot Grigio which is crisp and dry and far superior. 

 

The sparkling wine served at receptions, Explorer Club & etc is a vast improvement on the house German Sekt served on other cruises. It’s a Ukrainian Brut fizz from Shabo winery, made by the Charmat method, from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
There’s a large wine list; the most expensive which is UAH 1370 (£45), a rare Ukrainian white from Shabo Winery, made from the Telti_Kuruk, grown in the Shabo area and there’s only about 70Ha. Despite their website, it is not available at Kiev airport duty free)

 

Main-deck Rooms: These have two large windows that can be opened. They are not on the waterline as per Longships, but there is a walkway outside. It’s mostly used by the crew. Most of these rooms are separated by the reception, library, computer area and shop. The eight  EX rooms at the front are inexplicably the least expensive yet larger than the rest, though some have a pillar in them.

 

Middle and Upper deck Rooms: Rooms on the middle and upper deck have verandas. These are much larger than on Longships and thus have room for proper chairs and table.

 

Ship: The Sineus is decorated up to Viking standards, with livery, crockery, cutlery and wine glasses the same as used elsewhere.

 

Public Rooms: There were 120 people on our cruise, the ship can take 196, yet the Sky lounge on the top deck where daily dock talks and Chefs dinner descriptions, and entertainments take place, was full. I don’t know how a full ship would cope.

 

There was also the Panorama Bar at the front of the ship with a narrow seating area outside on the upper deck.

 

Lift: there is a lift to all passenger room floors plus the sun deck/Sky lounge bar.  This was installed by Viking in the ‘vikingisation’ of the boat. Its sister ship, Dnieper Princess doesn’t have a lift.


Stairs: There are stairs by reception that go up to upper passenger room deck, and steps at rear of boat that go to up to the top deck sun deck and Sky Lounge bar. The stairs are steep with narrow steps and I often used the lift, which I have never used on Longships.


Mobility: I don’t think this trip would be suitable for those who couldn’t walk up stairs and who wanted to take tours as some moorings required use of stairs, some not in the best condition.

 

Rooms: The rooms are larger than Longships, and look similar. Missing is the night light in the shower room and instead of a glass partition is a shower curtain. The shower room was equipped with L’Occitane shower gel, shampoo etc. The in-room safe is smaller and I don’t think would take a lap-top sized computer. Bed was extremely comfortable and we slept well.


River: The Dnieper is wide most of the way, thanks to lake formed by dams along the way. At its widest it’s 35km; the stretch near Kiev is the narrowest. 

 

Locks: Five along route, deepest is Zaporozhye at 108 metres.

 

Bridges: There are two low double deck bridges that have the lower section in the middle raised so boat can pass under. Cruise is timed around when they are opened.

 

Mooring. Most time, including the long stay at Odessa and the two night stay at Kiev, the port side was against the bank. Two stops moored starboard side but tours left minutes after mooring and the boat departed minutes after tours returned. There was no ‘rafting’. There is only one other ‘hotel boat’ on the river – the Dnieper Princess which is used by several tour companies and is a sister ship to Sineus –   that was moored on the same dock at Odessa but departed before us and we didn’t see it again. Which side boat is moored at Odessa will depend on which jetty they have to use.

 

You can see Potemkin steps from boat and its a short walk using a bridge and underpass under a roadway. There’s a funicular is you don’t want to climb up the steps. The walking tour guide will show and explain the steps optical illusion and its meaning.

 

Steps are now known as Potemkin after Segei Eisenstein’s 1925 movie ‘Battleship Potemkin’ about the 1905 mutiny that set of the Russian revolution. It’s supposed to be one of the world’s greatest movies. We bought DVD to view before cruise, but we found it hard going as it’s a silent movie and it illustrates a story the audience would have known. The sequence shot on the steps is what made the film famous. 

 

Boat departs Odessa at midnight. Canapés and large glasses of brandy are served on sun desk in celebration.

 

Included Tours: I think they struggled to find places, lots of cathedrals. The Akkerman Fortress tour from Odessa is scheduled at 5 hours, but the journey takes a minimum of two hours each way on very bumpy roads. One can sign up to an extended time at the fortress and get a packed lunch but general consensus was that a longer time wasn’t needed. From 2020 seems there’s an optional tour to the Akkerman which includes a visit to and lunch at Shabo winery. 

 

Tour groups were split into 4 but were too large to get everyone into places.

 

Optional Tours: Those with spaces available may be booked on board, they are priced in UAH, between UAH 1370 – UAH 2490. 

 

Tour Guides: There are 5 and they are part of the ship’s crew so we have the same guides every day. They live onboard and will join guests at meal times.

 

Coaches: The same coaches are used every day with the same drivers. The drivers travel each day along the river side. Thus only need to tip at end, as they are not included in on-board gratuities.

 

Gratuities: All apart from the bus drivers are covered by on-board gratuities. If not included or pre-paid the recommended amounts will be added to your account and can be paid for by cash or card in UAH or in your own currency (which is probably not as advantageous as paying in UAH and at the card company exchange rate.)

 

Programme Director: We were extremely lucky to have the fantastic Oliver Groszer. He is a bundle of energy and has talents that include juggling, amazing magic tricks, funny stories, singing and dancing. Not to mention serving tacos at the buffet. When the Cossacks need a volunteer to hold a reed to be broken by a Cossack with a bull whip, Oliver was there. I could say much more about him but I don’t want to spoil the surprises to those lucky enough to have him. The crew are tight-lipped about his background because he will reveal all on the last day.

 

Airports: We flew from London on Lot Polish airlines. We were concerned about making the 90 minute connection at Warsaw but we did and our bags arrived at Odessa. (Make sure you follow signs for transfers – don’t follow other passengers through immigration). About a dozen people on pre-cruise extensions didn’t receive their bags till the second afternoon. I don’t have details; I think some came from Vienna on Austrian air.

 

We left from Kiev airport. This is unpleasant. It took 50-55 minutes to get to airport from ship. Then to get into airport you have to queue to lift your bags onto X-ray machine and go through security scanner. Viking have staff there and they directed the coach to the far entrance where the queue was much less. 

 

After checking in you have to go through security. Then you get to passport control. There were 10 desks open with such long lines that they took up the entire call and it was hard to find the end of a queue. The lines moved at a glacial pace. Although the lines were wide with groups, people – even kids – had to go separately to the desk. Reason seems that for Ukrainians a passport is not enough; they need supporting documentation. Some have it ready in their hands; others have to search for it when they get to desk. Then officer has to read the certificates etc. 

 

 I strongly suggest that the Viking bus group sticks together in one queue. The first person won’t be seen any quicker, but the rest will because foreigners just need to get a stamp in their passport.


There is a fast line both here and the preceding security, sponsored by Mastercard. But you can only pay for this with a Mastercard issued by a Ukrainian bank. Business Class flyers can’t use fast line.


Once you’ve wasted so much time hopefully you won’t have missed your flight. Airside is quite good, with a selection of restaurants and shops


I used Bucharest airport a few weeks before and that was a dream compared with Kiev. If I do this cruise again, I will go the opposite way; I won’t depart from Kiev.

 

Odessa or Odesa? One or two ‘s’s? Both are correct, the Cyrillic Russian language spelling of Odessa uses two, the Cyrillic Ukrainian language one. Both Latin spellings  are used on signs. 

 

What have I missed? Ask away!!
 

Wonderful summary - thank you.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Glorybe said:

I am not clear if the Opera in Odessa is included as a Viking excursion (ie no additional charge), or is the night at the Opera an optional excursion (need to pay for it).

 

The Opera House Performance is an optional excursion and it cost UAH 2490 if booked on board. 

The performance was 'Swan Lake' ballet by Radu Poklitaru. It's a modern version with a 'completely changed plot'. Running time with interval 2h.

 

Viking provide an early tea of sandwiches and desserts on board before the performance and a buffet dinner on return.

Edited by pontac

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11 hours ago, Glorybe said:

I am wondering how you spent your free time in Kiev and Odessa.

 

Odessa - 

Included orientation walk of city on first morning

Included visit to Odessa Art Museum on second morning.

Included tour to Akkerman Fortress on third morning

 

Free shuttle busses to/from city centre in afternoons

 

Odessa is easily and pleasantly walkable from the boat, so that's what we did in the afternoons.

 

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13 hours ago, Horsedds said:

Wow Pontac!!  What a great review!!  For me, one of the best things about the trip was meeting you!!

 

Ditto. It was great to meet such an enthusiastic traveller with such energy! All thanks to CC

 

13 hours ago, Horsedds said:

 

Bandura concert on board with four lovely lady players, plus bass and drums. Just excellent!!

 

Home hosted visit in Kremenchug was a window into Ukrainian history. The family we visited had been “collectived” and Decollectivized. 

 

Yes, the banduras made such beautiful music. Could have done without the drummer on the modern kit. We sat at the front nad his grim bashing all but drowned out the banduras. If one sits at the back its better balanced as the drums aren't amplified but the musician are.

 

Home visit for us was bit of a washout, not enough chairs for everyone to sit, and no interaction with host. Our guide told us a bit about her, but she had a huge garden growing all sorts and I tasted some delicious plums and she hunted out some raspberries for me. I didn't look inside her house, just seemed tacky.

 

But she and the others will lose this source of income because Viking won't be stopping here in 2020

 

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1 hour ago, Nanna Fru said:

It sounds amazing. I am really glad to hear your review - and we are off in 6 weeks. Can't wait.

 

I think you'll love it.

 

We'd been prepared by this board to expect a sub-standard experience on board but that was so. Many of the wait staff had been with Viking for years and they were polite, cheerful, enthusiastic and efficient. The boat was up to Viking standards (better with a lift to all floors, but worse with steep stairs).

 

Food was good and plentiful, and if you subscribe to the adage of not trusting a skinny chef then you can place yourself in the hands of Executive Chef Pawel Ussorowski without out a worry! (Guess what dish you get in Kiev!)

 

We too were impressed with Captain Andrey Kuzmenko, who was wiry, alert and seemed very capable. When we took the wheelhouse tour we read his list of instructions for when he wasn't on the bridge, including when to call him and to call him earlier than later to allow him time to assess the situation.

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5 hours ago, jpalbny said:

 

Wow, we just saw Don Giovanni too - at the Opera House in Lviv! It was in Italian of course, with a marquee screen over the stage flashing the Ukrainian translation. Chris was fine of course, but neither one helped me... She kept me up to speed with what was going on, and it was quite enjoyable.

 

I was struck by how similar your picture looks to mine - there must be a standard design for opera houses. This is Lviv. Looks like it could be a mirror image!

 

2019_05%20Ukraine-304-L.jpg

 

They are of a similar age. I think there is a rule that says that opera houses have to have plush red velvet seats. Wikipedia described the interior of one of them as "French rococo."  But interestingly enough, when Lviv went to build its opera house, it rejected the design of the firm that had built the Odessa OH; it was too international and eclectic.  After looking at the two auditoriums, I am going to say that "international and eclectic" was a polite way of saying "not ornate enough." Doesn't matter. They are both buildings to be proud of.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Some pix from the trip

 

Viking-Sineus-Odessa.png.93aa4b5aed7cec319667b89b31018a11.png

 

Ukraine flag and Viking Sineus moored. Gangway at lower right corner. That floor is the main deck, with two windows per cabin and walkway outside.

Floor above is middle deck, rooms here have private veranda, as does upper deck above that. Top deck above that has Sky Bar Lounge and sun deck. And bridge, with the Viking logo.

 

 

bridge-visit.png.1e82fd455603a15827f47dc9bb011400.png

 

Inside the bridge while cruising. Captain is at back of shot, Guide Olga in red polo shirt is explaining equipment and translating captains answers to questions when necessary

 

HMS-Duncan-Odessa.png.5fb6aa414209cdcdd5b5072ace8ae392.png

 

Port at Odessa opposite Potemkin Steps. This side has HMS Duncan, a Type 45 Destroyer behind a Canadian warship. Boats at Odessa for a Nato naval exercise. There's an exclusion zone around the ships with the public kept from getting close on the harbour. Viking Sineus is moored on other side, to the right. Hotel is unoccupied.

potemkin-steps-odessa.png.42c35711b5789a1e5260bb18c1e76586.png

Potemkin Steps, a short walk from boat. Deliberate optical illusion means from here you can't see the wide landings on the steps. To left is funicular

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Entering reconstructed Cossack Fort with village inside, at Zaporohye

dnipro.png.d3da75ba90cdc1dba477a6eba6064711.png

 

 

cimbalon-player-pirogovo-museum-kiev.png.d48c48d51333c6f30afc7ca1c4bb199d.png

 

Cimbalon player at Pirogova Folk Architecture Museum. Many of us bought his 54m CD for UAH 50 (£1.50) and I'm listening to it while posting these pix.

 

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Dasha was our main waitress, looked after us well, and gave us a hug at the end.

 

Chef-Pawel-Ussorowski.png.22be6878e31a09ba2a1975ac2e3d1006.png

Executive Chef Pawel Ussorowski dances out onto the sun deck with even more canapes

Prog-Director-Oliver-Groszer.png.4731aec8bdea4c69d4d07224a658a794.png

 

Programme Director Oliver Groszer in yet another costume

Edited by pontac

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On 7/18/2019 at 3:31 AM, pontac said:

Thoughts on Viking Sineus cruise Odessa to Kiev.

 

Note: From 2020 Sineus will cruise between Tulcea and Kiev (with all day bussing between Tulcea and Bucharest with lunch in Constanta)...

 

 

 

 

Programme Director: We were extremely lucky to have the fantastic Oliver Groszer. He is a bundle of energy and has talents that include juggling, amazing magic tricks, funny stories, singing and dancing. Not to mention serving tacos at the buffet. When the Cossacks need a volunteer to hold a reed to be broken by a Cossack with a bull whip, Oliver was there. I could say much more about him but I don’t want to spoil the surprises to those lucky enough to have him. The crew are tight-lipped about his background because he will reveal all on the last day....

 


 

I cannot concur more with @pontac on program director Oliver Groszer!  Before moving to the Sineus, he was our program director on the Viking Sigyn (Passsage to Eastern Europe, 12 May 2019) and on the night of the big reveal mentioned he was transferring to the Viking Sineus at the beginning of June.  He is all that Pontiac mentions above, as well as being positive, cheery, and kind, all day and every day.  Viking is lucky to have him on staff!

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5 hours ago, pontac said:

Free shuttle busses to/from city centre in afternoons

In Odesa  shuttle buses. Do you remember the drop off/pick up address in the center of the Odesa,  or the proximity to a building or attraction? I would find that helpful in order to see what the attractions are around the drop off/pick up point. 

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Man oh man wish I could do this trip . Very booked right now but it’s on my radar . The pictures and reviews have wetted my appetite 

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Sure wish I had had all these great posts before our Odessa to Kiev cruise last July! Lots of helpful info here about excursions, money, food, etc. We enjoyed our Ukrainian cruise and Viking. We even had our own Shabbat service aboard the Sineus!

C7D6380D-9FB2-45DF-963A-E48B91E6FB7A.jpeg

F254DD61-456F-4311-9315-098678F0E7FB.jpeg

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2 hours ago, Glorybe said:

In Odesa  shuttle buses. Do you remember the drop off/pick up address in the center of the Odesa,  or the proximity to a building or attraction? I would find that helpful in order to see what the attractions are around the drop off/pick up point. 

Pickup Drop off point was by outdoor flea/art market around the Orthodox Church. But you could have walked from there also. We changed our $35 and had some coffee in “the Jewish cafe” right by there.

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12 minutes ago, racknlube said:

Sure wish I had had all these great posts before our Odessa to Kiev cruise last July! Lots of helpful info here about excursions, money, food, etc. We enjoyed our Ukrainian cruise and Viking. We even had our own Shabbat service aboard the Sineus!

C7D6380D-9FB2-45DF-963A-E48B91E6FB7A.jpeg

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We venture out early alone on the first morning armed with a map!!  We found both synagogues and morning minyan was just beginning at the Chabad. My husband was welcomed there and was able to say Kaddish for his mother, whose family was originally from Odessa. It was a big high spot in the trip for us!!

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43 minutes ago, Horsedds said:

We venture out early alone on the first morning armed with a map!!  We found both synagogues and morning minyan was just beginning at the Chabad. My husband was welcomed there and was able to say Kaddish for his mother, whose family was originally from Odessa. It was a big high spot in the trip for us!!

My dad was originally from around Odessa, and that's why we did that cruise. What a special Kaddish for your husband to recite for his mom...so nice.

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1 hour ago, racknlube said:

My dad was originally from around Odessa, and that's why we did that cruise. What a special Kaddish for your husband to recite for his mom...so nice.

 

Hmm, maybe we need to start a "Jewish Dnieper" thread. I would bet that Viking could fill an entire ship with people who want to see where their families came from. When we did this sailing, it did not take us to Kremenchug but that is one of the town names that comes up in our family history, along with Kanev (sailed through but not a stop), where Grandma was born. We found one of the synagogues in Kiev, but it was built after the family emigrated so it doesn't figure into the family history.

 

In any case, there is a lot of information that we could share about our visit and where to find various things, little things that don't appear in the guide books but that we found along the way.

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On 7/19/2019 at 5:28 PM, Glorybe said:

Do you remember the drop off/pick up address in the center of the Odesa

 

@Glorybe I'm replying because you quoted my post, but I didn't use the shuttle busses however @Horsedds has answered.

 

The ship is moored by the centre thus it's a short walk to the opera house, main shopping street etc.

 

The nine main sights shown on the map given out by Viking are all close to the boat. The bus could be useful if you don't want to walk up Potemkin steps or use its funicular. 

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