The Black Sea sits in the easternmost corner of Europe and six countries surround this beautiful body of water. It is also connected to Mediterranean Sea by way of the Bosporus Strait and the Dardanelles Strait.
Theories abound as to how The Black Sea came to be known as such. Many assume it is derived from the ancient Greek name, The Inhospitable Sea, due to its difficult navigation and the brutal tribes that resided along the shores. Others suggest that in winter the waters of the Black Sea are very dark and foreboding, while scientists state that due to a microalgae concentration the sea has a blackish tint.
Regardless of where the name actually came from, one thing is certain: this is not a dismal, gloomy location. Actually, it is a veritable treasure trove just waiting to be discovered. Some of the Black Sea’s historical attractions rival those of the Mediterranean. The only thing you won’t find here on your lavish getaway are the crowds.
Cruises on the Black Sea run from the middle of April to the end of October. While it is warmer in the summer, the summer months are also when the ports are the busiest, and if you’re going for a relaxing time away, fighting crowds might not be what you’re looking for. Temperatures in the spring and fall are relatively mild, from 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, making these seasons most pleasant, meaning your visit to the beach will be quite relaxing.
As can happen in times of political darkness, the recent crises between Russians and Ukrainians has caused several cruise lines to update their itineraries to bypass certain ports of call, such as Odessa and Yalta. Instead, they now stop at ports in Turkey and Bulgaria, and many have now increased the amount of time you can spend exploring Greece.
In fact, it has been advised that travel to Crimea and the eastern portion of the Ukraine be halted until further notice. Russian river and oceanic cruises have not been affected; however, it is always a good idea to check with the Department of State regarding any travel bans in force at the time of your desired departure. Cruise line operators are also a great way to find travel advice regarding your chosen destination.