The capital of Ukraine has more than 1.500 years of history – since the year 482. In Ukrainian its name is pronounced as 'Kyiv', that is said to derive from the name of Kyi, one of the four legendary founders of the city (brothers Kyi, Shchek, Khoryv, and sister Lybid). A charming city with splendid architecture, ancient golden domed cathedrals and numerous parks on both sides of the mighty Dnieper River, Kyiv is a tourist delight and is one of the most beautiful cities of Europe. It is situated on the picturesque banks of the Dnieper River. Kyiv is a very green city – one half of Kyiv's territory is occupied by parks and gardens. One of the biggest cities of Europe, it has a population of 3.14 million and occupies an area of more than 840 square kilometers / 324.33 square miles. Kyiv was the largest town in the 11th century Europe: fifty times the size of London, ten times the size of Paris. It reached the height of its prominence under the rule of the famous Prince Yaroslav the Wise, who had family connections to the royal houses of France, Norway, Hungary, and Poland. Kyiv's unofficial logo is chestnut. Some say that May is the most beautiful month in Kyiv when chestnuts bloom. But no matter which season the atmosphere there is always vibrant, making the city inviting.
Arrival and embarkation.
Captain’s Cocktail is scheduled for today’s eve. Tonight you might want to start spending time on your own in Kyiv - the ship is docked in the closest vicinities of the city center. In the day time it is great to visit famous Andrijiv Descent, where numerous artists and craftsmen offer their works.
We’re on city-tour around the fascinating Kyiv, and here is the list of sites: the Golden Gate, the remains of a huge wall erected in the 10th century to protect the city; and the Parliament building, situated in a beautiful park. The enormous territory of the city makes it hard at first to find one's way, but luckily there are two helping points - the Dnieper and the Metro. The river crosses the city north to south; the old town is situated on the high right bank, while the new districts occupy the left bank. The old Kyiv (the Upper Town today) is known as the "mother of Russ cities." Although the city has changed its face for a modern one, the ancient monuments and the mighty Dnieper are its pearls.
This day might be a day on your own in Kiev. Still there is a lot to see and to experience together with your group. With this in mind we would especially like to turn your attention to optional tours that are offered for today. Farewell Dinner and Crew Show are on the list tonight.
Sailing, Ukrainian National Day
There will be a lot of fun today while we are sailing along the Dnieper enjoying the beauty of the surrounding nature. We’re having Ukrainian National Day of the cruise during the day today: we’re enjoying the dishes of famous Ukrainian cuisine and Ukrainian language lessons.
The city of Zaporizhzhya is more than 200 years old. Zaporizhzhya is located about 600 km South-East of Kiev on both banks of the Dnieper River; the famous island of Khortytsia is situated between those banks – today it is a part of the city. It was founded during the times of the Russian Empire: the fortress Alexandrovskaya was erected in 1770 to protect the southern territories of the Russian Empire from invasions of the Crimean Tatars. Zaporizhzhya and its vicinities is the land of Cossacks: brave and skillful horseback warriors who ruled these regions from their stronghold, Zaporyzhyan Sich, that was first located on Khortytsia Island. Nowadays Zaporizhzhya is said to be the fourth largest industrial center in Ukraine. The economic potential of the city includes more than 280 industrial enterprises: machinery plants, metallurgy and metal processing, chemical and petrochemical industry, and food industry. Zaporizhzhya is also known for its Hydroelectric Station – the huge construction on the Dnieper River that is giving power to all industrial enterprises there. Zaporizhzhya claims to have the first steam mill in the country – in the times of the Russian Empire.
Island Khortitsa, the biggest island on the Dnieper, and place related to Cossack history, is the part of the city today. City tour of today includes beautiful city center and several main streets of the place. Cossack Glory museum with exhibits dated to 16-17 centuries is visited afterwards.
Kherson is located approximately 60 miles or little less than 100 kilometers from the Black Sea. The city was built in 1778 by the order of the Russian Empress Catherine the Great as a fortress where Cossacks fought against the Tatars and Turks. Shortly after Kherson became the first Russian Imperial naval base and shipyard on the Black Sea. Present day city is a large ship-building center as well. The name Kherson is a contraction of Chersonesos, an ancient Greek colony founded approximately 2500 years ago in the southwestern part of Crimea. One of the interesting facts is that the last tarpan (Eurasian wild horse, now extinct) was caught near Kherson in 1866. One of the main streets of the city – Ushakov Prospect – is not crossed by any other street: all the streets that ‘touch’ the Prospect, take their origin here and run eastwards or westwards. Kherson is a city of two ports, a river and a sea port, that's why it is said that the place is connected with 42 countries of the world. Kherson stretches along the high right bank of the river Dnipro, this is the area where the Dnipro runs into many branches and forms many islands. Many local people have their dachas on these islands – lots of islands have already turned into holiday villages.
After arrival to Kherson we take boat trip to picturesque Dnieper Delta. Having enjoyed the beauty of the nature we dock at small fishing village for a picnic lunch served by local chefs.
This small village really is a pearl of pre-Danube lows. It is located on border with Romania and where the Danube meets the Black Sea. The place is unique as it stands on water – therefore it is often called ‘Ukrainian Venice’. The land that supports the town was artificially built up by man. Instead of the ordinary street roads the blocks are separated by the water channels. The most common transport here is the Ukrainian “gondola” built locally by skilled craftsmen. On the sea coast at the border of Danube and Black Sea there is “0 km” sign, which symbolizes the end of the mighty Danube and beginning the vast Black Sea.
The ship stops at Vilkovo, and after sightseeing around the village wildlife lovers might want to take optional boat trip to Danube Delta - $50 per person. The place is nature reserve with diverse flora and fauna; it is inhabited by more than 240 different bird species among which are pink pelicans, brants, herons. The Danube Delta is great site not only for birdwatchers—the sighs of numerous birds and boundless water are fascinating!
Thanks to its old romantic traditions, Odessa is considered to be one of the world's most fascinating cities. The inimitable coloring of the city is sustained not only by the sea, the aroma of the acacia flowers, and velvety summer nights; it is also enhanced by marvelous monuments of 19th-century architecture. Unique in their beauty — the Opera House, the museum of Western and Oriental Art, the museum of Archeology and, of course, the famous Potemkin Staircase — are the symbols of the city’s splendid past and superb present.
We're having city tour today.
This day might be a day at leisure during which you might have a lot of time on your own in Odessa.
Time to bid farewell to your new friends and to beautiful city of Odessa. Disembarkation.