Dnieper River Cruise – Photos and Itinerary

Dnieper River Cruise – Footsteps of the Cossacks:

Dnieper River Cruise, Ukraine Follow Me on Pinterest

Dnieper River Cruise, Ukraine

A river cruise in Ukraine means a cruise on the Dnieper River, down to or up from the Black Sea.

Following is the itinerary of the “Footsteps of the Cossacks” Ukraine river cruise that we took in August 2008 with Viking River Cruises.  This 12 days/11 nights cruise starts in Odessa and goes up to Kiev. You can also do this in the reverse direction.

[Note:  The itinerary for 2011 spends one day less in Yalta and is replaced by a day in Dnepropetrovsk.  The General Lavrinenkov, which we travelled on,  has been replaced with the Viking Lomonosov, but looks pretty much the same - no full height opening windows.
Wine (2 glasses) is now included at dinner time.]

The Ukraine was a new destination for us and as such there were a lot of unknown factors before the trip. We hope that the day-by-day activities list, coupled with our comments and Ukraine photo galleries will give potential travellers an insight into this interesting country before they leave.

A few key points to note about this cruise:

  • If you’ve previously done a Rhine River cruise, the Dnieper River is very different.  It is a very wide river and for a lot of the journey you have a very distant view of land.
  • A high proportion of the sightseeing are included as ‘optional tours’ on this cruise.   You’ll need to consider budgeting for these if you don’t want to miss out on seeing what the Ukraine is like.
  • Itineraries change a fair bit, especially in cities where you’re stopping for more than a day, but the nightly information sheet provides the latest programme.
  • The standard of meals was rather disappointing and I still have memories of canned fruit and wilted salads.  We later learned from the chef that the supplies for the entire journey are trucked in from Kiev at the start of the trip and kept in the freezer.  He only purchases small supplies of fruit and salad along the way. 
  • The time in Kiev is insufficient and it’s worth adding a few more days in this capital city.
  • The cruise was lacking in a professional cruise director and professional programme manager and the people who ran the daily activities were the tour guides who spoke English.  A highlight of our Kiev stop was supposed to be a visit to St Sophia Cathedral.  Three bus-loads of passengers arrive at the Cathedral to find it shut and the square was being closed off for their National Day parade. Mistakes like this should not happen on this rather expensive cruise.
  • Special credit go to the restaurant staff.  These girls work very hard to earn their tips.
DAY AND DESTINATION
ACTIVITIES
1    Odessa
Board your ship and free time
2    Odessa
Coach and walking tour;  free time;
Optional evening performance
3    Sevastopol
Coach and walking tour; free time;
Optional excursion featuring Black Sea Choir Concert
4    Sevastopol
Bakhchisarai excursion to Palace and Gardens of
the Khan;  free time;
Optional Balaklava excursion
5    Yalta
City tour and White Palace tour; free time;
Option tour of Massandra Winery
6    Yalta
Free time;
Optional tour to Aloupka Palace and
Optional tour to Anton Chekhov’s House
7    Yalta
Free time;
Optional tour to Nikita Botanical Garden
8    Kherson
Fishermen’s Island visit and scenic cruising
9    Zaporozhye
City tour and Cossack horsemanship show
10  Dnieper River
Scenic cruising
11  Kiev
Coach and walking tour; Monastery of the Caves tour
12  Kiev
Departure from ship to Kiev airport
Can you please comment below? I'd appreciate it.

Comments

  1. avatarSandy says

    We are doing the same Black Sea/Dnieper River cruise and needing to arrange transfers in Odessa and in Kiev. I’ve gotten several suggestions for drivers and transportation companies from internet posts. I have emailed several and have even tried to call, despite being anxious that the language difference will make communication difficult. No replies to email and no answer to phone calls! I’ve tried UkraineFare and a company called NewLogic, as well as a couple of drivers who have been referred.

    Any suggestions? Do fax communications work any better? We may end up taking our chances on taxis or buying Viking’s transfers

  2. avatar says

    Hi Sandy,

    Apologies for the slow response. I didn’t see your query till just now.
    Like you, I had problems getting people to respond to my email. Finally, I got in touch with UkraineFare and Jana was able to help me.

    The first link is their transfer request form? The second link has the contact number for Yana, so you may wish to call her directly.

    http://www.ukrainefare.com/airport-transfer.php
    http://www.ukrainefare.com/contacts.php

    This link below describes our experience with Odessa and Kiev transfers.

    http://www.travelsignposts.com/river-cruises/cruises/ukraine-river-cruise-odessa-2

    Let me know how you go with UkraineFare.

    Kind regards,
    helen@travelsignposts.

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