2 Sep - 16 Sep 1998, 15 Days, visiting Greece, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine & Bulgaria

Cruise no: 519

During this cruise Minerva explores the shores of that almost-inland sea that is the origin of so much European history and migration, and lesser-known cultures of astonishing antiquity: cities like Varna on the Bulgarian coast with a history as old as Troy, Yalta the site of the momentous meeting in 1945 between Churchill , Roosevelt and Stalin, and Sevastopol a treasure trove of historic monuments. A further highlight of this magical journey will be our call at the fascinating city of Istanbul with its contrasting influences of east and west, ancient and modern.


Wed 2 Sep Fly from London to Kusadasi for embarkation.
Thu 3 Sep Visit the impressive Roman ruins of Ephesus. Afternoon at sea.
Fri 4 Sep From Canakkale take an afternoon excursion to Troy, immortalised by Homer, or to the emotive site of Gallipoli.
Sat 5 Sep-
Sun 6 Sep
A day at sea as we cruise towards the ancient fabled city of Trabzon.
Mon 7 Sep Our morning excursion of Trebizond includes the magnificent Church of St. Sophia, Ataturk's Villa and the impressive Monastery of Sumela.
Tue 8 Sep From the resort of Sochi, at the foot of the Caucasus Mountains, we visit the former imperial tea estate of Dagomyss. Afternoon at sea.
Wed 9 Sep Today is spent in Yalta. We explore the historic palaces and enjoy some free time in this Mediterranean style resort.
Thu 10 Sep Sevastopol. Our tour of this city includes the circular Panorama, the Maritime Museum and the ancient Greek site of Chersonessos.
Fri 11 Sep-
Sat 12 Sep
Arrive in Odessa at Friday lunchtime. During the next day and a half our programme of excursions includes visits to the famous Ptomekin Steps, the splendid Opera House, the Archaeological Museum and some historic Palaces. Sail early Saturday afternoon.
Sun 13 Sep Take a morning sightseeing tour of Varna visiting some of its most notable monuments. Free time at the Golden Sands resort in the afternoon. We sail in the evening.
Mon 14 Sep Take a morning walking tour of Nessebur followed by a visit to the Sunny Beach resort before sampling an authentic Bulgarian Lunch.
Tue 15 Sep Today is spent in the great city of Istanbul. We explore many of the most famous sites such as the Blue Mosque and Santa Sophia.
Wed 16 Sep Our final morning's excursion is to the Sultan's Topkapi Palace and the famous Grand Bazaar. Transfer to the airport for our return flight to London.


DR CHRISTOPHER ANDREW: Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at Cambridge University.
JANE ANGELINI: Specialises in Byzantine and early Russian art and architecture.
PROFESSOR BARRY CUNLIFFE: Professor of European Archaeology, Oxford University.
THE VERY REVEREND R M S EYRE: He had a classical education and has since made a particular study of Bulgaria.
BOB GODFREY: Graduate of the university of East Anglia in Russian history, literature and language.

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