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Black Sea River Cruises 2024/2025

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Black Sea Travel Guide

Sailing on a Black Sea river cruise is your ticket to a world where historic charm and natural beauty collide. Imagine gliding through waters where continents meet, lined with golden beaches and dotted with cities steeped in tales of antiquity. From the bustling streets of Istanbul, where East truly meets West, to the serene vistas of Bulgaria's coast, a cruise here is a journey through living history. This region is a goldmine for anyone keen on cultural attractions, offering a look into the legacies of empires past. Not to mention, it's a haven for beach lovers, with spots like Bulgaria's Sunny Beach providing the perfect place to soak in the sun. And for the history buffs, the ancient city of Nessebar, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is waiting for you to explore. With river cruise volume buys plus our low everyday prices you can save up to 50% versus the brochure price! Book your Black Sea river cruise today with AffordableTours.com, your discounted river cruise headquarters.

Black Sea Travel Guide
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Showing 1 - 40 River Cruises

Sail Date Operator Ship Departs Returns Length Price
Sep 02, 2024ScenicScenic JasperAmsterdamBucharest23$27,860
Sep 02, 2024ScenicScenic JasperAmsterdamIstanbul30$29,980
Sep 09, 2024ScenicScenic JasperBudapestBudapest23$16,785
Sep 11, 2024EmeraldEmerald LunaBucharestBudapest13$18,101
Sep 14, 2024ScenicScenic JasperBudapestIstanbul18$13,480
Sep 14, 2024ScenicScenic JasperBudapestBucharest15$12,410
Sep 15, 2024ScenicScenic JasperIstanbulBudapest16$13,510
Sep 15, 2024ScenicScenic JasperIstanbulBudapest18$13,980
Sep 16, 2024ScenicScenic JasperBudapestIstanbul16$13,010
Sep 16, 2024ScenicScenic JasperBudapestBucharest13$11,940
Sep 16, 2024ScenicScenic JasperBudapestBucharest9$10,890
Sep 18, 2024ScenicScenic JasperBucharestBudapest15$12,910
Sep 18, 2024ScenicScenic JasperBucharestBudapest13$12,440
Sep 19, 2024ScenicScenic OpalViennaBucharest16$18,090
Sep 19, 2024ScenicScenic OpalViennaIstanbul23$20,210
Sep 19, 2024ScenicScenic OpalViennaBucharest20$19,140
Sep 22, 2024ScenicScenic JasperBucharestBudapest9$11,390
Sep 26, 2024Avalon WaterwaysPassionPragueBucharest20$8,836
Sep 26, 2024ScenicScenic AmberBucharestBucharest23$27,321
Oct 02, 2024ScenicScenic OpalBucharestVienna16$17,090
Oct 08, 2024ScenicScenic AmberBudapestBucharest15$12,010
Oct 10, 2024ScenicScenic AmberBudapestBucharest13$11,540
Oct 10, 2024ScenicScenic AmberBudapestBucharest9$10,490
Oct 12, 2024ScenicScenic AmberBucharestBudapest15$11,510
Oct 16, 2024ScenicScenic AmberBucharestBudapest9$9,990
May 02, 2025Avalon WaterwaysPassionBucharestAmsterdam27$12,047
May 04, 2025Avalon WaterwaysPassionBucharestAmsterdam25$11,297
May 26, 2025Avalon WaterwaysExpressionBucharestMunich19$8,897
May 26, 2025Avalon WaterwaysExpressionBucharestPrague21$9,526
May 28, 2025Avalon WaterwaysExpressionBucharestMunich17$8,147
May 28, 2025Avalon WaterwaysExpressionBucharestPrague19$8,776
May 29, 2025Avalon WaterwaysExpressionBucharestMunich16$7,948
Jun 29, 2025Avalon WaterwaysPassionBucharestAmsterdam27$11,947
Jul 01, 2025Avalon WaterwaysPassionBucharestAmsterdam25$11,197
Aug 06, 2025Avalon WaterwaysExpressionBucharestAmsterdam27$11,947
Aug 08, 2025Avalon WaterwaysExpressionBucharestAmsterdam25$11,197
Aug 26, 2025Avalon WaterwaysPassionBucharestAmsterdam27$12,547
Aug 28, 2025Avalon WaterwaysPassionBucharestAmsterdam25$11,797
Oct 04, 2025Avalon WaterwaysExpressionBucharestAmsterdam27$12,147
Oct 06, 2025Avalon WaterwaysExpressionBucharestAmsterdam25$11,397

Black Sea Travel Guide

Black Sea River Cruises Highlights

  • Odessa, Ukraine: Odesa is often your first or last stop on a Black Sea cruise, known as the "Pearl of the Black Sea." This port city boasts grand architecture like the Potemkin Stairs and the stunning Odessa Opera House. The city's bustling port has ample facilities for cruise passengers, including shops and cafes just a short walk from the dock.
  • Constanta, Romania: Stepping off in Constanta, you're in Romania's oldest continually inhabited city. Near the port, the massive Constanta Casino overlooks the sea despite being a relic of a bygone era. The city also serves as a gateway to the historical treasures of the region, including the ancient ruins of Histria.
  • Varna, Bulgaria: Varna's port leads you straight to the heart of this seaside resort. Known for its archaeological significance, don't miss the Roman baths or the Varna Archaeological Museum, home to the oldest gold treasure in the world. The seafront park, with its promenade and views, is perfect for a leisurely stroll.
  • The Potemkin Stairs in Odesa, Ukraine: This giant stairway is a symbol of Odesa and offers a grand entrance from the sea to the city. It was built in the 19th century and gives an optical illusion from the bottom – you can only see the landings, not the steps.
  • Romanian Beaches near Constanta, Romania: Stretching along the Black Sea coast are some of Romania's finest beaches, like Mamaia Beach, known for its soft, white sand and lively summer parties.
  • Istanbul, Turkey: While technically not on the Black Sea, many cruises include this iconic city due to its proximity and the fact it's a gateway to the sea. Istanbul straddles two continents and offers a wealth of attractions, including the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and the Grand Bazaar. The port here is busy but efficient, and it puts you within arm's reach of the city's endless wonders.
  • Varna Archaeological Museum, Bulgaria: Home to the world's oldest gold treasure, this museum in Varna holds artifacts from prehistory to the late Middle Ages, shedding light on the region's ancient civilizations.
  • Sochi, Russia: Sochi is Russia's largest resort city and has a surprising mix of beach holiday vibes with a backdrop of snowy peaks. The port area has been modernized, especially ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics, and provides easy access to Sochi's parklands and Riviera Beach.
  • Batumi Botanical Gardens, Georgia: This sprawling garden near the port of Batumi is home to thousands of plant species from around the world and offers breathtaking views of the Black Sea.
  • The Palace of the Romanian Queen in Balchik, Bulgaria: This quiet seaside retreat was a favorite of Queen Marie of Romania and features a stunning botanical garden with a collection of cacti that is among the largest in Europe.

Black Sea River Cruises Travel Tips

  • Arrive a day or two before your cruise. In the worst-case scenario, you're covered in case of unforeseen flight delays. But mainly, you'll have time to overcome your jet lag and explore the embarkation city before boarding your cruise ship.
  • Bring small denominations of major currencies like the Euro or the US Dollar which are widely accepted in local markets.
  • Comfortable walking shoes for exploring the ports
  • Light layers for daytime adventures. Swimwear and sunblock for those sunny beach stops and a jacket or sweater for breezy nights on the deck.
  • Be sensitive to the region's political and social history. As a visitor you might not be aware of prior wars or ethnic tensions and could offend locals with a loose comment. 
  • A plug adapter for charging your gadgets

Black Sea River Cruises Things To Do

  • Visit Buda Castle in Budapest
    Visit Buda Castle in Budapest

    Completed in 1265, the magnificent Buda Castle, built in the Baroque architectural style, dominates the city with its sprawling complex. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was a royal family residence and now houses the Hungarian National Gallery and the Budapest History Museum. Located on the southern tip of Castle Hill, it's a great place for history buffs and art aficionados to spend a few hours getting acquainted with Hungary. 

    You Should Know

    You can join a guided walking tour of the Castle District, including a ride on the funicular, a walk across the Chain Bridge, and breathtaking views from the river.
  • Watch Outstanding Horsemanship in the Hungarian Puszta
    Watch Outstanding Horsemanship in the Hungarian Puszta

    Leave bustling Budapest behind and head into the countryside for an enjoyable day outdoors. The puszta (Great Hungarian Plain) is home to several large horse ranches where Hungarian cowboys (csikós) demonstrate their equestrian skills on magnificent steeds. The entertaining show includes a horse parade and display of wartime exercises with some comic relief thrown in. 

    Best Time To Visit

    Since this is a warm-weather activity, the best time to do this is from late May to mid-September.
  • Ride a Bike in Picture-Perfect Osijek
    Ride a Bike in Picture-Perfect Osijek

    With nearly 40 miles of bike trails in the picturesque countryside, the Croatian city of Osijek is perfect to explore on two wheels. Ride the bike tracks on the promenade of the Drava River, then cross the Dr. Franjo Tudjman Bridge for beautiful views of the city. Stop for coffee and cake at a terraced cafe or explore one of the many museums, parish churches, castles, and Baroque fortresses on your cycling route. 

    Best Time To Visit

    The spring and fall seasons, in particular the months of May and September, are great for outdoor activities as the temperatures are pleasant (but do bring a jacket for the evenings).
  • Enjoy a Choir Performance in Belgrade
    Enjoy a Choir Performance in Belgrade

    Dominating Belgrade's skyline, the Church of Saint Sava is a grand display of Christian splendor. This monumental building is the largest Orthodox church in the Balkans with an imposing 4,000-ton central dome, more than a dozen gold-plated crosses, and nearly 50 bells in its bell towers. Enjoy a choir performance in the Temple Crypt before taking time to admire the gold adornments, ornate chandeliers, vibrant frescos, and Murano glass mosaics.

    You Should Know

    The Orthodox New Year celebrations are a spectacular event where Serbs welcome the new year with music, dancing, and fireworks.
  • Discover Veliko Tarnovo
    Discover Veliko Tarnovo

    One of Bulgaria's oldest towns, Veliko Tarnovo is a quiet mountain town popular with local university students. The main attractions for visitors are the town's quaint cobblestone streets and fortified castle walls that offer panoramic views. Linger in one of the quirky cafes, explore some of the monasteries, or hike the nearby trails. 

    You Should Know

    Local foods like banitsa (breakfast pastry) or banica (dough, butter, and cheese) are excellent snacks to carry if you're heading for a hike.
  • Explore the Paris of the East
    Explore the Paris of the East

    Romania's capital Bucharest, nicknamed the Paris of the East, is home to the world's largest parliamentary building with more than 3 million square feet of covered area and more than a thousand rooms. But more arresting perhaps are the city's art nouveau places that are reminiscent of Paris. Although decades of communist rule have taken their toll, there are places where the former elegance is still on display.

    You Should Know

    The Cismigiu Gardens in the city center are a haven in the urban jungle with a romantic lake, more than 30,000 trees, and wrought iron benches. The ideal place to spend a summer day boating on the lake or skating in the winter.
  • Watch Traditional Bulgarian Dances at a Folklore Show in Nessebar
    Watch Traditional Bulgarian Dances at a Folklore Show in Nessebar

    Located on a rocky peninsula in the Black Sea, the ancient city of Nessebar is one of Bulgaria's major seaside resorts. The cobblestoned streets of Old Town are home to beautiful churches and monuments. And what better way to experience Bulgarian culture than to watch an energetic traditional folk dance in Nessebar? You'll be surprised at the variety of jumps and twists.

    Best Time To Visit

    The temperate climate in Nessebar means the best time to travel is between June and August, but September and October are also great when sea temperatures average 23 Centigrade and the weather is warm and dry.
  • Travel to the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey
    Travel to the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey

    Looking at the idyllic palm-fringed beaches and tranquil pine-covered forests, you'd never guess Turkey's Gallipoli Peninsula was the site of bloody battles. Australians and New Zealanders, in particular, visit the historic site as a sort of pilgrimage to pay their respects to the bravery of soldiers. The protected national park area, home to dozens of Allied war cemeteries, is fringed by turquoise waters and has well-maintained walking tracks. 

    You Should Know

    If you choose to drive, the roads are clearly signposted and the friendly locals are happy to give you advice and information.

Black Sea River Cruise Packages

Quick Facts

The best seasons to visit the Black Sea are the summer, fall, and winter. These times of the year offer great temperatures, clear skies, and optimal weather conditions. Although some activities might not be available during the winter months, it is still a good time to travel since you'll avoid the crowds. No matter what time of the year you decide to travel, each season will offer you a unique river cruise experience.

  • Getting There

    Starting your Black Sea river cruise is pretty straightforward. Most cruises kick off from major cities like Istanbul in Turkey, which is accessible by plane from many international airports. This city straddles two continents, Asia and Europe, and is the gateway to your cruise experience.

    Once you're in Istanbul, getting to the port is a breeze. River cruise ships typically dock at the Port of Istanbul, also known as Galataport. It's a hub for maritime travel with modern facilities. From the airport, you can take a taxi, a shuttle service, or even public transport to reach the port with ease. With everything so well-connected, you'll find yourself boarding your cruise ship and sailing towards the Black Sea's horizon before you know it.

  • Experience the Flavors of The Black Sea

    A Black Sea cruise will treat you to a spread of flavors as varied as the region itself. From fresh seafood to rich desserts, your taste buds are in for a trip.

    Start with Ukraine's borscht, a beet soup that packs a punch with its combination of sweet, sour, and savory. Moving to Turkey, you can't skip the mezze platters – a selection of small dishes like stuffed vine leaves, eggplant salads, and spicy meats. In Bulgaria, try the Shopska salad, a refreshing mix of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and a generous topping of feta cheese.

    Seafood lovers, you're in for a treat. The Black Sea is known for its mussels, so don't pass up the chance to try them, whether in a garlic-laden stew or fresh off the grill. And for something sweet, Romania's papanasi – fried doughnuts with sour cream and jam – will satisfy any sugar cravings.

    As for where to eat, every port has its hidden gems. Look for bustling local markets – they're often the best spots to sample a variety of dishes. Many cruises also offer food tours, which can lead you to the best local eats.

    Don't forget the local drinks, either. Sample fine Bulgarian wines or a glass of raki in Turkey. Remember, it's not just about the food but the whole dining experience. Sitting down to a meal by the sea, with the sounds of the waves and the bustle of the port, is something truly special.

  • Immerse Yourself in Black Sea Culture

    Taking a Black Sea cruise isn't just a vacation; it's a cultural deep dive. You'll encounter a variety of traditions that have been shaped over centuries.

    The Black Sea region is home to rich cultures. In each port, different customs and traditions are waiting to be discovered. In Romania, you might stumble upon a lively folk dance, while in Turkey, the soulful sounds of traditional music could draw you into a night of cultural exploration.

    One of the can't-miss experiences is the array of festivals. From the bright costumes and energetic dances of the Kaliakra Folk Festival in Bulgaria to the exciting buzz of the Sinop Biennial in Turkey, which showcases contemporary art, there's always something happening.

    During your stops, keep an eye out for local workshops where you can try your hand at crafts like pottery and weaving. It's a fun way to connect with local artisans and take a piece of culture home with you.

    Also, make time to chat with locals – it's the secret to unlocking the true spirit of the places you visit. Whether it's learning a few words in another language or uncovering the stories behind local customs, these interactions often become the most memorable part of your journey.

  • Why Book a Cruise on The Black Sea?

    Booking a cruise to the Black Sea is a smart move for savvy travelers. Why? It's the comfort and value all packed into one. You unpack once, and your floating hotel takes you from one fascinating port to another. You wake up in a new place almost every day without the hassle of coordinating travel plans or hauling luggage around.

    From the deck of a cruise ship, you'll get views that are simply out of reach by land. Imagine sipping your morning coffee as you glide past sprawling coastlines and hidden coves. Plus, cruising can be kind to your wallet, with meals, transport, and accommodation all included in one price.

    River cruise lines often have exclusive activities or private tours just for their passengers, giving you experiences you might not find if you were traveling independently. With these perks, cruising is not just a journey; it's the easiest way to dip into the rich history, culture, and natural beauty of the Black Sea.

  • Ready to Book Your Black Sea Cruise?

    Ready to book your Black Sea cruise? Imagine a vacation where every new day brings a different horizon. You'll wake up to the buzz of a busy Turkish bazaar one day and the serene beauty of a Bulgarian beach the next. Each stop along the Black Sea coast offers its own unique charm, from the rolling hills of Romania to the historic sights of Ukraine.

    Cruising the Black Sea is an unbeatable way to see this part of the world. It packs a variety of experiences into one trip without the hassle of constant packing and unpacking. You'll enjoy the comfort of your ship and the excitement of exploring. Plus, there's the added bonus of meeting fellow travelers from around the globe.

    So, what are you waiting for? Get ready to sail through history, culture, and natural beauty. Your Black Sea adventure is just a booking away!

Black Sea River Cruises Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are Black Sea River Cruises?

    A Black Sea River Cruise is your very own floating hotel from where to discover an enviable lineup of fascinating places. You'll be treated to awe-inspiring scenery, ancient archaeological sites, magnificent fortresses, and some of the most impressive sights in Europe. You're guaranteed a memorable vacation with spectacular sights, five-star service, fine dining, and a host of onboard amenities.

  • What’s included on a Black Sea River Cruise?

    Your accommodation, transportation, and all meals onboard are included in your cruise fare. Some river cruise lines include soft drinks and bottled water. Many of the top attractions and most interesting excursions are also included in your Black Sea River Cruise.

  • What’s the Best Black Sea River Cruise?

    The services on your Black Sea River Cruise will make you feel like royalty. All the cruise lines are great. Simply choose a cruise that matches your time off from work. Remember, river ships are nothing like the gigantic ocean liners that cruise the high seas. They are limited in size because they need to fit under bridges and in the various locks on the rivers. And unlike ocean-going ships, there are no inside cabins. Everyone has a view of passing scenery from their stateroom. However, the size of the windows and balconies can vary greatly, so choose carefully.

  • How much do Black Sea River Cruises cost?

    Prices start at under $300 per person per day. Keep an eye on our website for discounts and offers on Black Sea River Cruises. 

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