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Ukraine River Cruises 2024/2025

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Ukraine Travel Guide

Ukraine's river cruises offer an unbeatable mix of scenic beauty and cultural richness. Imagine gliding along serene waterways, with views of rolling hills and historic cities unfolding before you. These cruises take you through the heart of Ukraine, showcasing everything from bustling riverbanks to tranquil countryside. What sets Ukraine apart as a cruise destination is its blend of natural and man-made wonders. You're not just passing by; you're invited to explore. The beaches along the Dnieper River are perfect for an afternoon dip or a leisurely stroll. And when it comes to cultural attractions, Ukraine doesn't hold back. You'll get to witness living history in cities like Kyiv, with its age-old architecture and vibrant street life. But it's the historical significance that truly captivates. Every stop tells a story, from ancient rituals to pivotal moments in European history. Ukraine's river cruises don't just take you to a place; they take you through time. So, come aboard and set sail on an adventure that's as enriching as it is relaxing. With river cruise volume buys plus our low everyday prices you can save up to 50% versus the brochure price! Book your Ukraine river cruise today with AffordableTours.com, your discounted river cruise headquarters.

Ukraine Travel Guide

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Ukraine Travel Guide

Ukraine River Cruises Highlights

  • St. Sophia's Cathedral, Kyiv: This UNESCO World Heritage site, with its stunning mosaics and frescoes, is a masterpiece of 11th-century architecture and a testament to Kyiv's role as the historical center of Eastern Orthodox Christianity.
  • Kyiv Pechersk Lavra: Known as the Monastery of the Caves, it dates back to the 10th century and holds a network of underground tunnels housing mummified monks, along with a collection of religious art.
  • The Motherland Monument, Kyiv: Towering over the city, this colossal statue is dedicated to the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany and is part of the Museum of The History of Ukraine in World War II.
  • The Odessa Opera and Ballet Theater: An architectural gem in Odessa, this theater is renowned for its opulent baroque interior and exceptional acoustics, making it a perfect place to experience a performance.
  • Potemkin Stairs, Odessa: As a formal entrance into the city from the sea, these iconic steps offer a grand perspective of the harbor and are a symbol of Odessa.
  • Khortytsia Island, Zaporizhzhia: This is the largest island in the River Dnieper and is known for its connection to the Cossacks. It hosts a historical and cultural complex where you can learn about this fascinating chapter of Ukrainian history.
  • The Dnipro National History Museum: Here, you can explore exhibits spanning from ancient times to the present day, offering insight into the region's evolution.

Ukraine River Cruises Travel Tips

  • Carry some local currency, the hryvnia, for small shops or markets that might not take cards.
  • Arrive at your city of embarkation early – preferably two days before departure. This gives you time to rest and acclimate yourself to the differences in time zones.
  • The weather can be unpredictable, so layering is key. Pack a waterproof jacket for damp days and comfortable footwear for walking tours.
  • Evening attire should be smart-casual, especially if you plan to visit cultural sites like theaters.
  • Don't forget swimwear for those sunny moments on the deck or by the river.
  • Keep all your travel paperwork in close reach.
  • Carry a universal plug adapter to charge your devices.

Ukraine River Cruises Things To Do

  • Kyiv

    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.
  • Zaporozhye, Ukraine
    Zaporozhye, Ukraine

    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.
  • Kherson, Ukraine
    Kherson, Ukraine

    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.
  • Odesa, Ukraine
    Odesa, Ukraine

    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.
  • Lviv, Ukraine
    Lviv, Ukraine

    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
    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.
  • Constanta, Romania
    Constanta, Romania

    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.
  • Bucharest, Romania
    Bucharest, Romania

    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.

Ukraine River Cruise Packages

  • Getting There

    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.

Ukraine River Cruises Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Are Ukraine River Cruises?

    Ukraine river cruises allow you to explore the sights and historical attractions of the Ukraine up-close. Not only can you see historical sites, but you also get to learn more about the interests and pursuits of local residents. Most river cruise adventures last about 12 days and include ports-of-call, such as Kyiv, the capital, Odesa, and Bucharest, Hungary. River cruise providers offer luxurious amenities and a chance to see one-of-a-kind attractions and sites.

  • What’s Included on Ukraine River Cruises?

    Contact your tour representative about customizing your river cruise with a trip extension, such as a journey to Istanbul. During a Ukraine river cruise, you can also enjoy all your daily meals onboard free and have access to coffee, soda, or tea anytime you please. River cruise companies offer luxury suites and onboard amenities too, including Wi-Fi and culturally related activities.

  • What’s the Best River Cruise of Ukraine River Cruises?

    Ukraine river cruises that meet your travel criteria with respect to activities and sightseeing are the best river cruises to take for what you wish to spend. You will find several river cruise lines offering these trips. One of the best river cruises featured is the trip featured by Viking River Cruises online – 12 days, 9 guided tours on a journey that starts in Kyiv and ends in Bucharest, Romania.

  • How Much Do Ukraine River Cruises Cost?

    All-inclusive prices for Ukraine luxury river cruises, spanning 12 days and featuring 9 guided tours, begin at $3,899 per person when the trip is taken in the fall.

Learn More About Ukraine Cruises

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