Odessa – "Pearl of the Black Sea"

Dnieper River Cruise – Odessa, Ukraine

DAY 2 – Odessa. (Thur.) Included City Tour. After breakfast, begin your tour of Odessa known as the “Pearl of the Black Sea.” It is one of the region’s most beautiful cities with wonderful beaches, shady parks and tree-lined boulevards. Travel by coach through the old part of town and enjoy a walking tour of the historic city centre with its many splendid classical buildings. You will see the Uspenski Cathedral and the Potemkin Steps, with its 192 stairs leading to the harbour. The stairs were the setting for a famous scene in Serge Eisenstein’s epic 1926 film, Battleship Potemkin. Afternoon leisure time. You have the rest of the day to explore Odessa on your own. Ask your Programme Director for suggestions on how you might spend your day today. Optional Performance. After dinner aboard, you may want to attend an optional performance at the recently reopened Odessa Opera House. Full programme details will be available during your cruise (cost of the optional tour is the equivalent of €32, which includes coach transportation, a guide and the performance). (B,L,D)
Odessa Opera House Follow Me on Pinterest

Odessa Opera House

Breakfast starts at 07:00 but early risers can have an early breakfast buffet from the Panorama Bar.  You have a last opportunity to sign up for the “Jewish Odessa” optional tour at 14:30 this afternoon and the Odessa theatre performance this evening. At 09:30 We assemble for our Sightseeing Tour of Odessa.  You’re assigned to a certain coach and guide for the duration of the cruise. You must stick to your assigned coach so that the guides don’t lose passengers along the way. Today we get our first real taste of Odessa, “Pearl of the Black Sea”, so it’s all very exciting. First stop is the Tomb of the Unknown Sailor where you’ll witness very patriotic displays by the young school children.  Then we do an orientation tour of the Old town by coach, followed by a walking tour of the historical city centre, but first we stop for money change.

Exchange for Local Currency

We are brought to the Londonskaya Hotel to change money – supposedly the best exchange rates here for Hryvnias (pronounced griev-nya) the Ukrainian currency (UAH).  Currently, it’s 8 UAH = 1 Euro.  Whether it is the best rate or not, at least it’s safer doing your currency exchange here. There is also an ATM where you can withdraw your cash requirements, although some people have problems with their ATM cards. Consider having another money option to your ATM card. There’s only one machine so it takes time for everyone to finish their transactions.

ATM at Londonskaya Hotel, Odessa Follow Me on Pinterest

ATM at Londonskaya Hotel, Odessa

Tip: As you don’t know where your next money change stop is, there aren’t many, consider changing sufficient cash for a few days.  Any money that you don’t spend can be applied towards your on-board expenses at the end of the cruise. There is no currency exchange facility on the river boat due to local restrictions. The walking tour is a quick orientation of the historical city centre and as the sea terminal is within walking distance of Potemkin Steps, you can easily return in the afternoon to explore on your own. We return to the boat for lunch at 13:00.  Those who sign up for the Jewish Odessa option tour leave at 14:30. At 17:30, Light Snacks are available for those going to the Odessa Chamber Orchestra concert – excellent music. Those not going to the concert will have their dinner at the normal 19:30 time. After the concert dinner is served and the river boat sets sail for Sevastopol.

Dnieper River Cruise: Itinerary

More information on Odessa here: Odessa blogs

Photos of Odessa: Odessa Photo Gallery

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