Setting sail from Ukraine's sophisticated capital Kiev, Dnieper River Cruises follows an ancient trade route that is peppered with historic treasures and spectacular scenery. On a vacation that can be as busy or as leisurely as you want, sit back and enjoy charming riverside vistas from your stateroom balcony or put on your walking shoes to explore medieval cities steeped in tradition. Originating in the glaciers of the Valdai Hills near Smolensk, the Dnieper River flows 1,400 miles through Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine before emptying into the Black Sea. For an extended holiday, spend a few days exploring enchanting Bucharest or add a post-cruise stopover in Istanbul, a magical place where the East and the West meet. With river cruise volume buys plus our low everyday prices you can save up to 50% versus the brochure price! Book your Dnieper river cruise today with AffordableTours.com, your discounted river cruise headquarters.Dnieper Travel Guide
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Dnieper Travel Guide
Dnieper River Cruises Highlights
- Kiev, the capital of Ukraine is one of the oldest cities in Europe. It overflows with ancient architecture and exquisite churches, not to mention some killer street food like shashlik (grilled lamb or pork on a skewer).
- Kherson, often referred to as the Pearl of the South because of its decidedly Mediterranean design, is a relatively undiscovered part of Ukraine with an amazing history, something you won't find in the guidebooks.
- Odessa, a decadent, energetic port feels like something out of a book with its neoclassical pastel buildings and the famous Potemkin Steps sweeping down to the Black Sea.
- Constanta, Romania's busiest port, is a gateway to several seaside resorts. There is a great assortment of museums scattered around the port where your Dnieper River Cruise ship will dock.
- Gothic architecture, street performers, and the inimitable Charles Bridge make Prague a great stop on longer Dnieper River Cruises itineraries.
- The towering white-marble Trinity column and Austria's largest medieval square make Linz a beautiful city to explore, available on lengthier Dnieper River Cruise itineraries.
- Ilok is a town steeped in Croatian history and culture, an ideal place to become acquainted with a thousand-year-old winemaking tradition.
- From the Grand Palace of Parliament to elegant belle époque villas tucked away in hidden corners, Bucharest is a great place to spend a few days at the end of your Dnieper River Cruise.
Dnieper River Cruises Travel Tips
- Search the internet for what's going on in each port on the day you'll be there to make the best of your Dnieper River Cruise.
- Talk to the crew to find out which stretches of the river are the most scenic. Position yourself on the open-air deck, observation lounge, or your stateroom balcony well in time for the best views.
- Breakfast and lunch are generally quick, informal affairs, but dinner is usually a two-hour service, so bring some semi-formals to wear in the evenings on your Dnieper River Cruise.
- Check if there's Wi-Fi in the staterooms. River cruises typically offer complimentary, albeit sometimes spotty internet access. It's useful when you want to search Google for information about ports or stay in touch with family and friends.
- Don't count on getting exercise on the ship. The fitness centers on river cruise ships tend to be pretty basic. Plan on working off those four-course dinners when you're out and about in the ports.
Dnieper River Cruises Things To Do
- Visit the Monastery of the Caves in Kiev
The Kiev Pechersk Lavra (Monastery of the Caves) is a stunning complex of domed churches and museums dating back to the 11th century. It's been called the cradle of Russian monasticism and is a sacred historical site which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A must-visit for tourists in Kiev for its unique underground caves, buried monks, and spiritual atmosphere.
You Should KnowThe Kiev Pechersk Lavra is an active monastery dedicated to Christianity but welcomes visitors of all faiths to experience its rich atmosphere.
- Admire Saint Sophia Cathedral
An outstanding example of Kievan architecture and one of the city's most recognizable landmarks, the Saint Sophia Cathedral was designed to rival the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul (then Constantinople). Located in the historic center of Kiev, the cathedral has immaculately preserved interiors and an astounding collection of frescoes and mosaics.
You Should KnowJoin a guided group tour to enjoy the cathedral to the fullest. Private guides provide narrated tours during which you can learn about the rich history of this holy place of worship.
- Explore Exciting Zaporozhye
A former Cossack stronghold, Zaporozhye has one of the deepest river locks on the continent which will raise your ship a dizzying 11 stories. Zaporozhye is also home to one of the biggest hydroelectric dams in Europe. There's lots to do in town. Don't miss the chance to watch Cossack horsemen show off their acrobatic equestrian skills. Or head over to Khortytsia, a large river island teeming with animals, birds, and plants, as well as a reconstructed Cossack fort.
Best Time To VisitIf you love the outdoors and want to enjoy warm-weather activities, the best time to tour Zaporozhye is from late May to mid-September.
- Discover Kherson, a City Founded by Catherine the Great
Named after the ancient settlement of Chersonesus, Kherson is a riverside port city and hub of Ukraine's shipbuilding industry. For visitors, it's the ideal place to explore quaint villages and get a glimpse into rural life. The Askania-Nova wildlife reserve harbors antelopes, zebras, and dozens of bird species. Another interesting attraction is the Ochakovsky Gate, a remnant of the 18th-century Kherson Fortress.
You Should KnowCraving some McDonald's? Fabrika, Kherson's single-story mall features a range of international and local brands and plenty of fast-food joints and coffee shops.
- Spend a day exploring Odessa.
Often called the Pearl of the Black Sea, Odessa is a city of elegant parks, leafy streets, and sandy beaches. Walk along Primorsky Boulevard, stop at the famous Potemkin Steps (there are 192 of them!), or take a guided tour of the Odessa Art Museum, housed in the grand Potocki Palace.
You Should KnowIf you've grown tired of the same old excursions with boring historical facts, visit the Odessa Catacombs, a maze of fascinating abandoned mines and underground tunnels used by Soviet partisans during World War II and later by smugglers.
- Enjoy Vibrant Constanta
Located on the west coast of the Black Sea, 185 miles from Istanbul, the ancient city of Constanta is more than just Romania's largest seaport. Tracing its history back 2,500 years, Constanta was founded by Greek colonists, but later conquered by the Roman Emperor Constantine and named after his sister. Now, historic monuments and ancient ruins vie for attention with a grand casino and touristy shops.
You Should KnowConstanta is the focal point of Black Sea coastal tourism, so you'll be spoilt for entertainment choices with plenty of nightclubs, cabarets, and open-air restaurants.
- Visit the Stavropoleos Monastery in Bucharest
Home to the largest collection of Byzantine books in Romania, the Stavropoleos Monastery in Bucharest is an Eastern Orthodox Monastery built in the Brancovenesc style. Taking its name from the Greek word Stauropolis, meaning the city of the cross, the monastery also has a large collection of music books.
You Should KnowJust across the road from the Stavropoleos Monastery is Bucharest's most popular eatery, Caru' cu bere (the beer wagon), housed in a historical building. Stop for lunch and sample some authentic Romanian cuisine like skinless sausages (mici) or a rustic stew.
- Sail the Spectacular Iron Gates Gorge
Sailing through the magnificent Iron Gates Gorge is an exhilarating experience. Here, the river is forced into a narrow channel that forms the border between Serbia and Romania. The tranquil beauty of the gorge is interrupted only by monuments like a marble tablet erected in memory of the Roman Emperor Trajan and an imposing sculpture of Decebalus, his opponent.
You Should KnowIf you absolutely must see the Iron Gates Gorge, a top attraction in Europe, choose one of the longer Dnieper River Cruise itineraries, such as the 18-day cruise starting and ending in Prague.
- Relax on the sundeck
The best part about the Dnieper River Cruises is that you don't have to be active every day. Sit back and relax on the sundeck of your river cruise ship or in the privacy of your stateroom balcony as you sail past picturesque lakes and tranquil Ukrainian countryside, with sunflower and fruit fields adding a splash of color to an otherwise monochromatic green landscape.
You Should KnowA Dnieper River Cruise is a great choice for people looking for a relatively quieter vacation. No barges, tankers, or boatloads of tourists. All you'll likely encounter are some fishing boats.
Dnieper River Cruise Packages
The Dnieper River freezes in the winter. Severe winter storms can interrupt navigation, and therefore, the Dnieper River Cruise season runs from May to September. The weather is nice and warm in the summer months, so bring lightweight clothes and comfortable walking shoes to wear on your Dnieper River Cruise.
Dnieper River Cruises Frequently Asked Questions
- What are Dnieper River Cruises?
As a guest on a Dnieper River Cruise, you'll have the chance to discover some of Europe's best-kept secrets. Sailing through a maze of tributaries, you'll encounter colorful folk traditions influenced by the Greeks, Mongols, Ottomans, and Cossacks. Legendary cathedrals, awe-inspiring monuments, and ancient villages are only some of the highlights of a Dnieper River Cruise. If thoughts of immersing yourself in old-world charm, hearty cuisine, and lively dance and music sound appealing, this is just the vacation for you.
- What’s included on a Dnieper River Cruise?
All transportation, accommodation, and meals on board are included in your cruise fare. Breakfast and lunch are typically served buffet-style with extensive selections. Most tours and excursions are included in your cruise price, as are drinks and Wi-Fi, but check with your travel agent before booking as inclusions can vary from cruise line to cruise line.
- What’s the best Dnieper River Cruise?
Choose the itinerary that most appeals to you. Ships that cruise the Dnieper River offer a more intimate cruising experience with only a few hundred guests compared to enormous ocean liners that carry thousands of guests. As a result, you'll enjoy small-group sightseeing excursions in every port, giving you the chance to experience the culture in-depth. There's daily evening entertainment, sometimes with local folk groups performing onboard. The crew will make you feel like royalty, remembering your name, your favorite beverage, and your dining preference after just one night onboard.
- How much do Dnieper River Cruises cost?
Prices for Dnieper River Cruises start at around $300 per person per day, a great value for an all-inclusive vacation. Call AffordableTours for current promotions and discounts.
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