Artemis: Voyage Around the Black Sea Cruise

The Black Sea and its surrounding lands are where West meets East, Europe meets Asia, and Christianity meets Islam. Since the Ottoman invasions of the 16th century, the region has been – and continues to be – a strategically significant region. This 11-day Black Sea cruise was designed to introduce the broad sweep of the region’s history, both ancient and modern, and to provide a glimpse of its promising future. Sail first to Turkey's seldom-visited north coast to explore Amasra, Amasya, and the stunning Sulema Monastery outside of Trabzon. Then it’s on to the Russian resort town of Sochi (host to the 2014 Winter Games), before lingering in Yalta and Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula. Your last two calls are at elegant Odessa and historic Romanian town of Constanta.

Day 1

    Istanbul / Embark

    Arrive in Istanbul and transfer to the Artemis. Settle into your cabin as she sets sail.

    Day 2


      Arrive in Amasra, a small town which shelters two bays. Known as Sesamus in ancient times, Amasra is one of the most beautiful towns on the coast. Founded by Milesians in the 6th century B.C., the city later became an important possession of both Byzantium and Genoa. Visit the Genoese citadel, which crowns one of the promontories with a formidable constellation of towers, battlements, and gates.

      Day 3

        Samsun / Amasya

        Drive to Amasya, which (legend has it) was founded by the Amazon Queen Amasis. Admire its location on the river's narrow gorge and ascent to its cliff-top fortress for panoramic views. Visit the rock tombs of the Pontic kinds and the 15th century Sultan Beyazit Mosque.

        Day 4


          Ancient Trapezus, one of antiquity's greatest cities and commercial centers, was founded by Greek colonists during the early part of the 1st millennium B.C. Travel high in the mountains to the Sumela Monastery, which was founded in the 4th century. Back in Trabzon, visit the Hagia Sophia, a 13th century architectural masterpiece.

          Day 5

            Sochi, Russia

            Arrive in Sochi, one of Russia's favorite resort towns and the site of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Located at the foot of the snow-capped Caucasus mountains, Sochi enjoys surprisingly mild weather. View the many stately sanitoria which still line Sochi's main thoroughfares, along with modern spas and hotels. Visit Dagamys Tea Plantation and enjoy stunning views from its location on Mount Armyanka.

            Day 6

              Kerch, Crimea

              Found at the easternmost part of the Crimea and guarding the narrow entrance into the Sea of Azov, Kerch was founded by Greeks from Miletos in the last 7th through early 6th centuries B.C. Tour the area of Mitridal Hill, where most of the city's ancient remains are found. Visit the acropolis of Pantikapaion, the Melek-Chesmensky Tomb, the mausoleum of Bosporan Kinds, and the church of St. John the Baptist.

              Day 7


                In the mid-19th century, the Russian imperial family chose Yalta for its summer residence. Tour the Alupka Palaca, a stunning 19th-century structure with both English Tudor and Byzantine embellishments. Also worth a visit is the house of Anton Chekhov. Visit the Livadia Palace, which was the famed site of the 1945 Yalta Conference.

                Day 8


                  Arrive in Sevastopol, a beautiful port city and former base of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Drive to Chersonesos, an ancient city founded by the Greeks in the 5th century. Return to Sevastopol to visit the Panorama Museum and enjoy some time at your leisure in town before visiting the imperial Khan's Palace, which was built in 1519.

                  Day 9


                    Stroll through Odessa's elegant leafy streets, which are lined with stately mansions. Discover its prime landmarks, such as the Viennese Baroque-style Opera House, the historic Potemkin Steps, and the Archaeological museum. In the afternoon, meet with local families in their homes or enjoy some free time in the city.

                    Day 10

                      Constanta, Romania

                      Arrive in Constanta, Romania's main port city. A tour of the city includes the ruins of Tomis Danubius, the Archaeological Museum, the Archaeology Park, and Piata Ovidiu, the central square of the old quarter.

                      Day 11

                        Istanbul, Turkey / Disembark

                        Enjoy one last breakfast on board before you disembark the ship and transfer to the airport for your continued flights onward.

                        *Complete program of tours and excursions
                        *Welcome and farewell cocktail receptions aboard ship
                        *All meals aboard ship
                        *Wine with dinner aboard ship
                        *Educational program of lectures and discussions by accompanying study leaders
                        *Professional tour staff
                        *Complete pre-departure materials
                        *Baggage handling and transfers abroad on the designated program arrival and departure dates
                        *Gratuities to guides and drivers

                        Optional Excursion:
                        Enjoy an optional pre or post cruise stay in Istanbul, including two nights at a deluxe hotel, two ½-day sight-seeing tours, and transfers.