Show Trip | ZVB

Circumnavigation of the Black Sea

Wander through a wealth of historic sites and architectural treasures, sample local Georgian wines, and cruise through the winding canals of the Danube delta.

Trip CodeZVB
Duration14 Days
ActivityCulture
Group Size1-160
Minimum Age17
Leisurely / Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate
Prices (excl. flights & transfers) from

R228,862

To book   call us on 074 340 4587 or email info@earthwanderer.co.za

Wander through a wealth of historic sites and architectural treasures, sample local Georgian wines, and cruise through the winding canals of the Danube delta.

Centuries of history come to life on this epic voyage around the legendary Black Sea. This region is renowned for majestic scenery, varied wildlife, and rich cultural traditions. Voyage to all six counties ringing this inland sea—Turkey, Georgia, Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria—and discover busy bazaars, archaeological treasures, and stunning landscapes that are home to a multitude of hidden cultural gems. Our leaders on this tour have visited this region numerous times and will provide valuable insight and commentary on the history, culture, and wildlife of this intriguing corner of Europe. Fascinating lectures, photo presentations, daily recaps, and informal discussions will enhance your understanding and appreciation of the wonders you will see.

Highlights

  • Choose from several tours highlighting Istanbul's wealth of historic sites and architectural treasures.
  • Enjoy an energetic performance of traditional dances in Georgia while sampling local wines.
  • Explore the grand city of Odessa, with splendid examples of elegant 18th- and 19th-century architecture, including a tour of the magnificent Opera House.
  • Cruise through the winding canals of the Danube River Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve, as we search for over 200 species of birds.
  • Wander through a wealth of well-preserved Ottoman architecture in Safranbolu.

Key Information

What's Included

  • Daily activity options including Zodiac cruises, nature walks, and cultural tours
  • All gratuities
  • All accommodations
  • World-class lecture and expedition team
  • All onboard meals and group meals ashore, including soft drinks, beer, and wine with lunch and dinner
  • All entrance fees, taxes, and landing and port charges
  • Arrival and departure transfers on group dates
  • Gift certificates for recommended expedition gear
  • Medical expense coverage and emergency evacuation insurance

What's Not Included

  • Airfare from your home city/Istanbul and Istanbul/home city
  • Excess baggage charges; airport arrival and departure taxes
  • Transfers for independent arrivals and departures
  • Passport and/or visa fees;
  • Travel insurance
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, alcoholic beverages (other than listed above), and other incidentals
  • Email/Internet/fax/telephone charges

Day 1

Arrive in Istanbul and transfer to the Pera Palace Hotel.

Arrive in Istanbul and transfer to the Pera Palace Hotel. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure before our welcome dinner and briefing.
  • Accommodation
  • : Pera Palace Hotel

Meals included: dinner

Day 2

Choose from several tours that reveal the highlights of this legendary city.

Choose from several tours that reveal the highlights of this legendary city, including the Sultanahmet district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. All tours will include lunch, after which, there is leisure time to explore on your own. Return to the Pera Palace Hotel this evening for dinner and overnight.
  • Accommodation
  • : Pera Palace Hotel

Meals included: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 3

After breakfast, several guided tours will be available, offering a more in-depth exploration of the city.

After breakfast, several guided tours will be available, offering a more in-depth exploration of the city. Or, choose a morning at leisure with lunch at the hotel. In the afternoon, board Le Bougainville and cruise toward the Black Sea up the scenic Bosporus, a strait which runs through the center of Istanbul.
  • Accommodation
  • : Le Bougainville

Meals included: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 4

From the port at Bartin, travel inland to Safranbolu, a World Heritage Site.

From the port at Bartin, travel inland to Safranbolu, a World Heritage Site. Once an important center of saffron production and stopover for Silk Road caravans, Safranbolu boasts a wealth of well-preserved Ottoman architecture. A walking tour visits the marketplace as well as a mosque, traditional house, and Turkish hammam that date back to the 16th century. Enjoy lunch in a converted Ottoman caravanserai, with free time to explore on your own before returning to the ship in Bartin.
  • Accommodation
  • : Le Bougainville

Meals included: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 5

From the port of Samsun, drive inland to Amasya, former capital of the kingdom of Pontus during the third century BC.

From the port of Samsun, drive inland to Amasya, former capital of the kingdom of Pontus during the third century BC. Explore the photogenic alleys lined with 19th-century Ottoman-era houses, the ethnographic museum, and an Islamic seminary. Enjoy lunch overlooking the town and Pontic Tombs.
  • Accommodation
  • : Le Bougainville

Meals included: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 6

Ancient Greeks settled in Trabzon along a branch of the Silk Road from Asia.

Ancient Greeks settled in Trabzon along a branch of the Silk Road from Asia. A highlight of our visit is a morning drive in the countryside to see the 13th- and 14th-century Byzantine Sumela Monastery, perched dramatically on a cliff face in the monastic tradition of Greek Orthodox architecture. Meet with a local expert who will share details on the extensive project to restore the magnificent interior frescoes to their former glory. Then take a stroll through this stunning alpine setting that is also a national park. This afternoon, explore the 13th-century Hagia Sophia, a Byzantine church with exquisite frescoes, and spend some free time wandering through Trabzon.
  • Accommodation
  • : Le Bougainville

Meals included: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 7

Today the ship docks in the charming port of Batumi.

Today the ship docks in the charming port of Batumi. Visit the colorful farmers market and take a relaxing walk through the lovely Botanical Gardens. After lunch on board, take a short drive to the ruins of ancient Gonio Fortress, which dates back to the first century AD. Return to Batumi for a dinner of regional delicacies and Georgian wines at a local restaurant, accompanied by a fantastic folk performance of traditional music and energetic dances.
  • Accommodation
  • : Le Bougainville

Meals included: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 8

This Russian mineral-spring resort community with a sub-tropical climate is sometimes called the Russian Riviera.

This Russian mineral-spring resort community with a sub-tropical climate is sometimes called the Russian Riviera. This morning, explore the town with a special visit to Stalin’s dacha. Well-hidden among trees on the outskirts of town, this house was a favorite summer retreat for the infamous leader.
  • Accommodation
  • : Le Bougainville

Meals included: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 9

Attend lectures today

Attend lectures today and enjoy the passing scenery during a relaxing day at sea.
  • Accommodation
  • : Le Bougainville

Meals included: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 10

Odessa’s European-Russian heritage is evident as we ascend the Potemkin Steps.

Odessa’s European-Russian heritage is evident as we ascend the Potemkin Steps to explore cobblestone streets lined with shady plane trees. Explore the compact central district’s spectacular architecture, including monuments, statuary, parks, and ornate 19th-century gems such as the Opera House and Gagarin’s Palace. We also visit one of the country’s oldest archaeological museums, housing an extensive collection of Ukrainian artifacts ranging from the Paleolithic age to the medieval period. Enjoy free time this afternoon to stroll the graceful boulevards, with the option to dine ashore on your own.
  • Accommodation
  • : Le Bougainville

Meals included: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 11

The Danube is Europe’s second longest river as well as a World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve.

The Danube is Europe’s second longest river as well as a World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve. Take a walking tour of the small port of Tulcea and visit the Danube Canal Museum and Danube Ecologic Museum. Then, board a local boat to explore this wetland habitat looking for over 200 species of birds, including pygmy cormorants, purple herons, white-tailed eagles, and Dalmatian pelicans.
  • Accommodation
  • : Le Bougainville

Meals included: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 12

Histria was Romania’s earliest-founded city and flourished as an extraordinary trading center.

Histria was Romania’s earliest-founded city and flourished as an extraordinary trading center, later to be abandoned and swallowed by alluvial deposits and sand. The site has been under excavation since its rediscovery in 1914. We walk through fascinating seaside ruins, tour the new museum, and spot birds in this wetland environment. Next we explore Constanta where we tour the archaeological museum and view one of the largest Roman mosaic floors in Europe. In the late afternoon, enjoy wine tasting and a cultural performance on board.
  • Accommodation
  • : Le Bougainville

Meals included: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 13

The modern port city of Varna was once the Greek colony known as Odessos.

The modern port city of Varna was once the Greek colony known as Odessos. We disembark in the morning and visit Varna’s archaeological museum that chronologically traces the progress of human society in the region over the course of millennia, and includes the oldest worked gold in the world. We also explore the extensive remains of the 2nd-century Roman thermae, or public baths, which make up the largest Roman ruins in Bulgaria. Or take a tour of the Balchik Botanical Gardens and Aladzha Rock Monastery. Reboard the ship for lunch as we sail toward Turkey.
  • Accommodation
  • : Le Bougainville

Meals included: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 14

Disembark Le Bougainville after breakfast.

Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for homeward flights. Tour ends here.

Meals included: breakfast

Trip for You

This tour is operated in partnership with our sister company Zegrahm Expeditions. As such the departures are not exclusive to Exodus and groups may be a mixture of Exodus, Zegrahm Expeditions, and other clients. This trip is booked through Exodus and you will receive the same award winning customer service that you would expect. Zegrahm Expeditions operate with the same core principles used by Exodus and champion the benefits of small group travel. For most activities, a relatively moderate level of exertion is required. You must be able to walk distances of one to three miles, unaided, over sometimes uneven surfaces, such as cobblestones, and climb stone steps that at times may not have handrails. Opportunities will also be available for optional hikes requiring more exertion.
Airfare
You will need to purchase airfare from your home city/Instanbul and Istanbul/home city. Please contact our in-house Air Department for fare quotes, reservations, or other air-related questions.

(Please note, visa information cannot be guaranteed and should be checked with the relevant country's embassy prior to departure.)

Turkey

Office Hours

09h00-11h00

Contact Details

Telephone No

Russia

Office Hours

Pretoria

Contact Details

Telephone No

Bulgaria

Delay

Jan: 01

Requirements

Jan: 01

Tourist Visa

Jan: 01

Business Visa

Jan: 01

Family Visa

Jan: 01

Days Closed

Jan: 01

Office Hours

Mon - Fri

Contact Details

Telephone No

Ukraine

Delay

Jan: 01

Requirements

Jan: 01

Days Closed

Jan: 01

Office Hours

VFS Global

Contact Details

Telephone No

Le Bougainville

Le Bougainville features innovative and environment-friendly equipment, elegantly designed suites, and lounge areas that open to the outside. All suites feature ocean views and private balconies, while public spaces include an underwater lounge, as well as a pool, outside bar and dining area, theater, single-seating dining room, panoramic lounge, sun deck, salon, and a spa and fitness room. Le Bougainville carries a fleet of Zodiacs.
GENERAL

Six decks of guest facilities. - Deck 0 (not pictured in deck plan) – Blue Eye Underwater Lounge.     - Deck 3 – guest suites, reception, main lounge, pool, outdoor bar and dining area, boutique, theater, and doctor’s office. - Deck 4 – guest suites and restaurant. - Deck 5 – guest suites and bridge. - Deck 6 – guest suites, panoramic lounge, and outdoor seating. - Deck 7 – guest suites, sun deck, outdoor seating, salon, spa and fitness room.
Stairs and an elevator service all decks.
The bridge is available to visit most times throughout the day, contingent upon weather, security, and navigation conditions.
Smoking is permitted only on outside decks.
SUITES

All suites feature ocean views and private balconies, with two twin beds that can be reconfigured into one king, a well-appointed   en suite bathroom, closets, desk, IpodTM players, small refrigerator, flat-screen TV, personal safe, hair dryer, bath robes, French toiletries, individually controlled air-conditioning and heating, and
American style outlets (two flat prongs) at 110 volts*.
Category 1, 2, 3, and 4 suites are 19 square metres and have a sliding glass door leading to a 4 square metre private balcony.
Category 5 suites are 27 square metres and have a sliding glass door leading to a 6 square metre private balcony.
Category 6 suites are 32 square metres and have a sliding glass door leading to a 8 square metre private balcony.
Suites are 45 square metres and have a sliding glass door leading to a 30 square metre private patio. The owner’s suite is the same size as the suites and features a Jacuzzi on the private balcony.
DINING

The main restaurant can accommodate all guests at one seating.
Most diets can be catered for on board, but special dietary requests must be made in advance.
Breakfast and lunch are served buffet-style.
Dinner is served in the main restaurant with four, a la carte courses. When weather permits, meals can also be served on deck.  
Afternoon tea is served in the lounge and coffee and tea are available 24 hours a day.
SERVICES

Le Bougainville carries a fleet of Zodiacs.
Laundry services (no dry cleaning) and a small doctor’s office are available on board. Rates are posted.
The Euro is the currency used on board. Traveler’s checks, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are accepted for payment of shipboard accounts.
Wi-fi access is available throughout the ship. Rates are posted.


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Mon 19 Jul 2021 to Sun 01 Aug 2021

Available

R 228,862