The Black Sea is an inland sea in Eastern Europe. It is surrounded by Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Azerbaijan. It is connected to the Mediterranean by the Bosporus Strait, and it separates two vast continents, Asia and Europe. People traveling on a Black Sea cruise get to visit both of these continents.
There are several Black Sea ports, the two most famous are probably Odessa and Yalta in Ukraine. Odessa is the larger port and has excellent clean beaches. Yalta is the past resort of the Russian elite. Among other ports are World heritage Nesebur and atmospheric Varna both in Bulgaria while Constanta lies on the Romanian Riviera.
Most Black Sea cruises depart from Athens in Greece or Istanbul in Turkey, located at the Bosporus Strait. Istanbul's western part is in Europe and the Eastern part in Asia; consequently it is a city where European and Asian cultures meet. Must-sees in Istanbul are the Blue Mosque and the Grand Bazaar.
Russia River cruises are fast catching up as a relatively new cruise destination, especially on the Volga River. Russia is a difficult country to travel on your own, but on a river cruise you have the possibility to discover the grandeur of Russian history, traditions, architecture and landscapes, without having to worry about hotel bookings, transportation and places to eat. Russia river cruises can take you to Moscow and St. Petersburg when you combine a Volga river cruise with other waterways. You may also visit Volgagrad, formerly known as Stalingrad. Among other options you can include a Dnieper River cruise in your itinerary; that will take you to Kiev, Ukraine's capital.
The cruise season for the Black Sea and the Russian rivers is from mid-April to mid-October when temperatures are pleasantly warm. During winters it gets very cold and the rivers as well as the Black Sea are frozen or nearly frozen.