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donaldsc

Questions about Black Sea and Greek Ports

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I am looking at a cruise that stops at the following ports.  I am familiar with some of the more popular ports but I have not even heard of some of them.  Any thoughts about them including what there is to see would be appreciated.  The cruise opens for booking in a few days and I suspect that it will fill up fairly quickly so while I plan to do as much research as I can in the next few days, I don't have a lot of time.

 

Day 1,  Board in Istanbul

Day 2.  Nessebur, Bulgaria.  8 AM - 6 PM

Day 3,  Constanta, Romania.  6 AM - 6 PM

Day 4.  Odessa, Ukraine.  9 AM - 11PM

Day 5.  Cruising the Bosphorus Strait and Dardanelles

Day 6.  Bozcaada (Troy), Turkey.  8 AM- 6 PM

Day 7.  Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey.  8 AM - 11 PM

Day 8.  Bodrum, Turkey.  8 AM - 11 PM

Day 9.  Santorini, Greece.  8 AM - 11 PM

Day 10.  Mykonos, Greece.  8 AM - 7 PM

Day 11.  Athens, Greece.  8 AM - 9 PM.

Day 12.  Santorini, Greece.  8 AM - 7 PM.  This is a return to Santorini.  Wonder why.

Day 13.  Rhodes, Greece.  8 AM - 5 PM.

Day 14. Paphos, Greece.  8 AM - 4 PM

Day 15.  Jerusalem (Ashdod) Israel.  6 AM - 10 PM

Day 16.  Jerusalem (Haifia), Israel.  6 AM -

Day 17.  Jerusalem (Haifia) Israel.  -10 PM.  

Day 18.  Cruising the Mediterranean Sea

Day 19.  Heraklion, Greece.  8 AM - 6 PM

Day 20.  Gythion, Greece.  8 AM - 6 PM

Day 21.  Zakynthos, Greece.  8 A M - 6 PM

Day 22.  Cruising the Ionian Sea

Day 23.  Catania, Italy.  7 AM - 5 PM

Day 24.  Sorrento/Capri, Italy.  8 AM - 6 PM.

Day 25.  Rome.

 

Thanks

 

DON

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I am glad to see that Black Sea ports are on the cruise schedules again.  That is a terrific itinerary.  All of it.  I have been to all those ports except Paphos (Cyprus), Haifa and Ashdod.  There are interesting things in Nessebur and Constanta, but Odessa is a must.

Sign up and look for specifics later.  

Santorini is there twice is because this cruise can probably be done as two segments: Istanbul-Athens and Athens-Rome.

 

 

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12 hours ago, donaldsc said:

I am looking at a cruise that stops at the following ports.  I am familiar with some of the more popular ports but I have not even heard of some of them.  Any thoughts about them including what there is to see would be appreciated.  The cruise opens for booking in a few days and I suspect that it will fill up fairly quickly so while I plan to do as much research as I can in the next few days, I don't have a lot of time.

 

Day 1,  Board in Istanbul

 

Day 2.  Nessebur, Bulgaria.  8 AM - 6 PM .  The old city of Nessebur/Nessebar is a UNESCO World heritage site and has a lot to see; not far from the ship. Ancient ruins, a good archaeological museum, traditional wooden houses of the region (Black sea) dating from 18th c., beautiful old churches.

 

Day 3,  Constanta, Romania.  6 AM - 6 PM . Founded by the Greeks as Tomis and later a Roman colony where Ovid was exiled (and lamented that it was basically the armpit of the world). In town there are a few pretty areas, including the marina, the old art-Nouveux Casino (hopefully they are doing something to preserve and re-use it by now) and promenade, and a very good archaeological museum. About 30-45 minute drive is a well-preserved Roman site (Istria or Histria) well worth visiting if you are into Roman sites.

 

Day 4.  Odessa, Ukraine.  9 AM - 11PM

 

Day 5.  Cruising the Bosphorus Strait and Dardanelles

 

Day 6.  Bozcaada (Troy), Turkey.  8 AM- 6 PM .  I think this is the new port used for visiting Troy (the ancient site of the Trojan War) and the new museum of artifacts from the site. I haven't been there, have only docked at Canakkale but I assume this port is probably also reasonably close to Galipoli as well.

 

Day 7.  Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey.  8 AM - 11 PM  The ruins of ancient Ephesus are some of THE most impressive you'll see. If you've already visited Ephesus, other wonderful options are nearby: some tours offer Priene, Didyma and Miletus (3 Greek/Roman sites worth seeing). The new museum in Selcuk is also very nice.

 

Day 8.  Bodrum, Turkey.  8 AM - 11 PM .  Charming Turkish town on the coast, nice museum of underwater archaeology (located in the local castle) where you can view ancient remains. If you're a history buff you can take a tour to nearby Halicarnassus to see the site of the tomb of Mausolas, although not much is left (the stone was robbed for other uses) it was a byword for grandiosity in ancient times and gave rise to the word "mausoleum".

 

12 hours ago, donaldsc said:

(Deleted some that I assume you already know...)

 

Day 14. Paphos, Greece.  8 AM - 4 PM .  Some stunning Roman mosaics worth visiting in this town in Cyprus.

 

Day 19.  Heraklion, Greece.  8 AM - 6 PM .  Best bets are Knossos and the new Archaeological museum.

 

Day 20.  Gythion, Greece.  8 AM - 6 PM . Not much in Gythion itself. Many people take a tour to see Sparta (little is there) and Mystras, a pretty Byzantine town.  Alternatively you could also go to Monemvasia, one of the prettiest walled seaside towns I've ever visited. Twice I've been there when our small ship dropped anchor and tendered us practically to the gate, but from Gythion it is about an hour, While I loved it, not sure I'd drive an hour to get there. It's worth about a 2-3 hour wander.

 

Day 21.  Zakynthos, Greece.  8 A M - 6 PM . Mainly for the beaches and natural scenery.

 

Thanks

 

DON

 

Some thoughts above. I assume most of the ones I deleted you'd already know about....

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41 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

 

Some thoughts above. I assume most of the ones I deleted you'd already know about....

 

Great help.  Many thanks.  

 

DON

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7 minutes ago, donaldsc said:

 

Great help.  Many thanks.  

 

DON

 

What's the cruise line?

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55 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

What's the cruise line?

 

Oceania.

 

DON

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Posted (edited)

Firstly, because you're flying, not cruising, into Turkey you will need to pre-purchase an e-visa. 

The fee for Americans is $20 and it's very easy to do on-line, but ensure that you do it only on the Turkish govt's website https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/

Other websites  may look official but are visa agents who will charge you a fee on top. 

 

The Bosphorus

You'll cruise up the Bosphorus from Istanbul into the Black Sea, and back down after Odessa. 

Check what times you cruise it - don;t want to miss it in daylight, only to find that the return is at night.

 

Nessebur (or is it Nessebar ? Or mebbe two correct spellings), 

This ancient town is on a promontory & you berth (or is it tender?) in the town. Quite small but very interesting and no need for any transportation.

All I know about the hinterland is that the nearest place is Sunny Beach - a tourist honeypot with cheap accommodation, cheap booze, late night music.  Probably best to stick to Nessebar :classic_wink:

 

Odessa

Fascinating old city, quite grand, superb elevated promenade. 

We took a private tour of the network of tunnels under the city. Originally dug for the stone to build the city, the tunnels used by partizans in WW2. Very extensive tunnels - a group of teenagers went into them for a saturday night rave some years back. They've never been found :classic_ohmy:

 

Dardanelles Straits

Much wider than the Bosphorus, but still interesting.

Watch out for for Canakkale on the southern shore, opposite Eceabat on the northern shore, and beyond them some Turkish insignia carved into the hillside. 

Eceabat is on the Gallipoli peninsula on the northern side - Anzac Cove, bloody WW1 battlefield where an Aus/New Zealand invasion went badly wrong  is on the other side of that peninsula, not visible on your route but it's worth reading up the Gallipoli Campaign. British & French warships struck mines in the Dardanelles Straits, all part of the same fiasco - hopefully there's not one left lurking in your ship's path :classic_ohmy::classic_biggrin:  

 

Bozcaada

This is  new one on me.

Googlemaps & Wiki & everyone else says it's a small island.

Really doesn't make sense to me - as per cruisemom's post Canakkale is the usual port for both Troy and Gallipoli.

What does your cruise line say about excursions to Troy? "We start with a ferry crossing ....." or "You will need your swimming costumes....." ?? :classic_biggrin:

 

JB :classic_smile:

Edited by John Bull

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Thanks to everyone for the help.  My cruise opens up for booking on 21 August.

 

DON

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6 hours ago, donaldsc said:

Thanks to everyone for the help.  My cruise opens up for booking on 21 August.

 

DON

Will that be for their 2022 bookings?

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This is certainly a very interesting itinerary. Best of luck booking and please come back after this amazing trip with your experience's..it will be quite the read as have the other's that have posted above.

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Oh what an amazing itinerary! Now I am thinking about booking it too! 🙂

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39 minutes ago, Kate P.C said:

Oh what an amazing itinerary! Now I am thinking about booking it too! 🙂

 

When my TA went on the Oceania site the morning of the first day that the cruise was released, all the category C2 cabins were already gone.  I took a C1 cabin.  I know that people cancel at all times but I suspect that this one will sell out.

 

DON

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3 minutes ago, donaldsc said:

 

When my TA went on the Oceania site the morning of the first day that the cruise was released, all the category C2 cabins were already gone.  I took a C1 cabin.  I know that people cancel at all times but I suspect that this one will sell out.

 

DON

Thank you for letting  me know. I know with these types of cruises I should be booking well ahead! Better luck next time for me 🙂

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Just now, Kate P.C said:

Thank you for letting  me know. I know with these types of cruises I should be booking well ahead! Better luck next time for me 🙂

 

There may be other category cabins available.  I was just interested in C1 and C2 cabins as the cruise is sort of expensive.  As of a few days ago, there were C1's available.

 

DON

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