You cannot help but love the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, with its interesting sites and bustling activity. The city sits next to the Dnieper River, below its confluence with the Desna waterway. The city, which boasts a proud history, was once the hub of the first eastern Slavic state, Kyivan, 1,000 years ago. At that time, it assumed the title of the Mother of Rus Cities. Severely damaged during the Second World War, Kyiv was restored by the middle of the 1950s. Gaining its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, the city, once again, became an influential area in Europe.
Best Time To Visit If you plan to visit a number of historic sites, the best time to go is during the shoulder travel seasons of spring and autumn. During this time, the temperatures are milder and you won't feel the crush of the crowds.
You Should Know The Motherland Statue in Kyiv is one of the largest constructions worldwide the construction weights 450 tons overall. Vladimir Cathedral is the main cathedral in the capital city. More than 96 artists have contributed to the paintings inside the church. The Caves of Lava Monastery feature underground passageways that are, on average, 2,625 feet long. St. Sophia Cathedral is well-known in Kyiv. The mosaics inside the temple feature 177 varied hues. The religious structure is a prime example of Byzantine architectural design. Its 250-foot bell tower holds the country's largest bell, weighing in at 13 tons.
Zaporzhye is a Ukrainian city, sitting on the
Dnieper River. It is located in the southeast part of Ukraine and is home to Khortytsia Island, a former Cossack stronghold. The Cossacks, who were mainly from the Ukraine and Russia, represented Tartar groups that were semi-independent who lived on the Dnieper River.
Best Time To Visit Tour the city during the spring or fall so you can observe the sights without any distraction from crowds.
You Should Know The city's Regional Lore Museum reviews Cossack, Scythian and medieval historic periods. The Scythians were ancient warriors who once lived in southern Siberia whose culture thrived from 900 BC to 200 BC. As an entertainment option, consider seeing one of the sensational Cossack horse performances on your Ukraine river cruise. The Boguslayev Museum of Technology features exhibits of motorbikes and jet engines.
Lying where the Dnieper River Delta empties into the Black Sea, Kherson is located in southern Ukraine. Established in 1778 as a fortress, the city became the first shipyard and naval base operated by the Russians on the Black Sea. It was named a provincial capital in 1803 and steadily expanded because of its shipbuilding industry. Currently, Kherson is home to several training and research facilities.
Best Time To Visit Visit Kherson in the spring or summer months to avoid the additional influx of summer tourists.
You Should Know St. Catherine's Cathedral, which was built from 1782 to 1787, features a version of Balkan medieval architecture. It was named for Empress Catherine II who visited the city in 1786, a year before the building's completion. The founder of Kherson is G.A. Potemkin. He was buried in the crypt beneath St. Catherine's Cathedral in 1791.
Odessa is a major city in Ukraine and sits about 275 miles south of the capital of Kyiv. It is culturally and historically significant and is a major port and industrial hub in Ukraine. The city features well-equipped ship docks, including yards for ship repairs. The city's rail system travels to all areas of Ukraine, including Romania and Moldova. While the industrial sector of the city features engineering facilities, its chemical plants produce dyes, paints, and agricultural fertilizers. Founded in 1794, Odessa is also known for its beaches and 19th-century buildings.
Best Time To Visit A spring or fall trip to Odessa will be well worth your while.
You Should Know One of the popular buildings in the city is the Odessa Opera and Ballet Theater. The Potemkin Stairs, which were immortalized in The Battleship Potemkin (a 1925 silent Soviet film), lead down to the city's waterfront. The Vorontsov Lighthouse overlooks the Black Sea. The red-and-white guardian stands almost 90 feet tall. Primorsky Boulevard, which stretches along the water, is a popular place to walk – a promenade featuring stately estates and impressive monuments.
Founded in 1256, Lviv is a nice side excursion on a Ukraine river holiday. It is located in the western part of Ukraine and is near the border of Poland. Its Austrian-Hungarian heritage reveals itself in the buildings in the city. Central and European designs meld with the architectural styles of Germany and Italy.
Best Time To Visit Take a day trip to Lviv during the spring or fall, when the temperatures are pleasant and the landscape is less crowded.
You Should Know The ruins of a castle, built in the 1300s, are featured in the city's High Castle Park. The mountain on which the ruins stand provides a sweeping view of Lviv's surrounding hills and green-domed churches. Underground and panoramic tours are provided of the city.
Khortytsia Island - Isle of the Cossacks
Some river cruise excursions provide a guided tour of Khortytsia Island. The island, which is home to a historic Cossack fortress (now a museum), highlights the Cossack's brief reign. Your guide will provide insight into the former military camp, which displays artifacts from the Stone Age and the period when the Scythians ruled.
Best Time To Visit Plan a trip in March through May or from September to November.
You Should Know During your visit, witness an exciting Cossack horse show where riders show off daring moves and acrobaticLearn how goods were crafted in past generations, and take one of the crafts with you as a keepsake.
This is a good city to visit once you land in Bucharest on your river cruise holiday. Located on the shore of the Black Sea in the southeast part of Romania, Constanta has a long and varied past that goes back 2,000+ years. Exhibits record the area's history at Constanta's National History and Archaeology Museum.
Best Time To Visit Make spring or fall your travel time to visit Constanta. The crowds leave the area and the temperatures are pleasant.
You Should Know The Roman Mosaics complex across from the National History and Archaeology Museum features a tiled floor that dates back to the 300s AD. Visit the Great Mahmudiye Mosque, furnished with a beautiful Persian rug. You can find it by its minaret, which towers above the city.
The largest city and capital of
Romania, Bucharest is the ideal place to end a river cruise holiday. Full of interesting contrasts, the city is home to landmarks, such as the Palace of the Parliament, which was built during the 1980s, and established during Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu's rule.
Best Time To Visit Plan to visit Bucharest during shoulder season, or from March to May or September to November.
You Should Know The Triumphal Arch was modeled after Paris' Arch of Triumph, and was built in its current rendition in 1935. Calea Victoriei was the first road established in the capital. It was paved with planks and tree trunks. The city is home to a large number of recording studios, so musicians often make Bucharest their home.
Starting your Ukrainian river cruise is straightforward. Ukraine is nestled in Eastern Europe, and the cruises typically begin in Kyiv, the capital city perched on the banks of the Dnieper River. Most international travelers fly into Kyiv's Boryspil International Airport, which is well-connected to cities across the globe. From there, it's a short journey to the river port, where your cruise ship awaits.
The port itself is designed for easy access, accommodating cruise ships of various sizes, ensuring a smooth start to your journey. Just hop on a quick transfer from the airport, and before you know it, you'll be on deck, watching Kyiv's skyline drift into view as your river adventure begins.
Immerse Yourself in the Culture of Ukraine
Ukraine's culture is a vibrant tapestry woven from centuries-old traditions, spirited folk music, and colorful festivals. Ukrainian customs often revolve around hospitality, with shared meals and lively storytelling at their heart. When you visit, you might encounter locals dressed in vyshyvanka, an embroidered shirt that's a symbol of national pride.
Festivals are a cornerstone of Ukrainian culture, with celebrations like Ivana Kupala Night, where people leap over fires and float wreaths on water for good fortune. In autumn, the Sorochyntsi Fair brings traditional arts, crafts, and music to life. During your cruise, you'll likely witness dance performances, where dancers in bright costumes perform high-energy routines to the accompaniment of accordions and balalaikas.
By taking part in these cultural experiences, you're not just observing; you're stepping into the rich, ongoing story of Ukraine's heritage.
Experience the Flavors of Ukraine on a River Cruise
Ukraine's culinary landscape is a hearty feast for the senses, offering a blend of rich flavors and traditional cooking that tell the story of the country's history and culture. As you sail along its rivers, you'll have the chance to indulge in famous dishes like borscht, a beetroot soup that's both vibrant in color and taste, and varenyky, delightful dumplings often filled with potato, cheese, or cherries. Savor the taste of Ukraine's robust garlic-laden dishes and the comfort of their slow-cooked stews.
Aboard the cruise, you'll likely find these dishes and more but don't miss out on dining shoreside too. In Kyiv, look for cozy bistros where you can taste authentic Ukrainian cuisine. Odesa's eateries, often with Black Sea views, offer fresh seafood along with local specialties. For an immersive experience, seek out a traditional Ukrainian feast or 'zabava,' where food and folk music provide an evening of cultural delight.
And let's not forget drinks—Ukraine is home to horilka, a potent spirit often infused with chili pepper for an extra kick. For a softer beverage, try kvass, a lightly fermented drink made from bread.
Each meal is an opportunity to understand a part of Ukraine's soul, with flavors as rich and varied as the landscapes you'll cruise through. Whether onboard or on land, Ukraine's culinary offerings are not just meals; they're memories in the making.
Why Book a River Cruise in Ukraine?
Booking a river cruise in Ukraine is a decision that offers a bounty of rewards. It's a cost-effective way to see the country, as your floating hotel delivers you from one fascinating city to the next without the hassle of packing and unpacking. With meals and accommodations bundled together, it represents great value for money. The cruise affords you exclusive coastal views that you simply can't get from land, showcasing Ukraine's beauty from a unique vantage point. The ease of travel is unparalleled; you'll dock in the heart of historic cities and quaint towns, stepping straight into new adventures each day.
Moreover, river cruising in Ukraine often includes exclusive experiences such as private tours, cultural performances, and entry to attractions before the general public arrives. There's also an intimacy to river cruising, allowing for a deeper connection with fellow travelers and a more personal service from the crew. From the comfort of the cruise ship to the access it provides to Ukraine's rich tapestry of culture, history, and natural beauty, a river cruise here promises a journey as enriching as the destinations themselves.
Ready to Book Your Ukraine River Cruise?
A Ukraine river cruise is your ticket to a journey filled with historical discovery, cultural richness, and natural beauty. Glide along Ukraine's lifeline rivers, where each bend reveals a new chapter of the past and a snapshot of vibrant city life or serene landscapes. With the ease of travel and the comfort of your riverboat, you'll have the opportunity to explore historic sites, engage with timeless traditions, and savor the local flavors, all while making unforgettable memories.
Now is the time to book your Ukrainian river cruise. Whether you're a history buff, a culture enthusiast, or simply in love with the idea of a relaxing voyage through the heart of Eastern Europe, this trip has something for everyone. Secure your spot on this remarkable adventure today and ready yourself for an experience that promises both the charms of leisurely river travel and the excitement of new discoveries.