Black Sea Odyssey (Island Sky)

Black Sea Odyssey (Island Sky)

From GBP £5,995


Join us aboard the MS Island Sky as we explore the shores of the Black Sea, one of the most fascinating and historically rich regions in the world. Our voyage begins in Istanbul and from the Golden Horn follows the Turkish coast to Trabzon (Trebizond) before crossing to Georgia where the richness of its culture reflects the influence of Greeks, Byzantines, Persians, Turks and Mongols. Georgia’s ‘Golden Age’ reached its height between the reigns of David the Builder and his granddaughter Queen Tamara in the 11th and 12th centuries.

From Georgia we follow the coastline to Russia’s premier resort and spa, Sochi. Here the microclimate produces wonderful year round weather and a lush countryside. After a day at sea which will be filled with interesting lectures by our onboard Guest Speakers, we reach Odessa, the historic city founded by Catherine the Great at the mouth of the great River Dnieper where we have the benefit of an overnight stay. We continue to Constanta, Romania, an ancient metropolis and Romania’s largest seaport. Finally, we reach Nessebar, a delightful Bulgarian town with a fascinating history before our cruise ends where it all began, in the captivating city of Istanbul.

Such a journey as this would be totally impractical by any means other than a cruise. Whether your interest lies in ancient or military history, architecture, literature, contemporary politics or just in visiting some of the most atmospheric and fascinating places on earth, the Black Sea has a lot to offer. Local guides and our onboard Guest Speakers will contribute greatly to our enjoyment and understanding of this intriguing corner of the world where East meets West.

Trip Name
Black Sea Odyssey (Island Sky)
Vessel Type: Luxury Small Ship Length: 90 metres Passenger Capacity: 116  Built / refurbished: 1992 / 2010 / 2017 Sister ship to Hebridean Sky. Island Sky and Hebridean Sky are truly sisters. Built in the same Italian Shipyard, both boast spacious, well-appointed suites, stylish common areas, and redundant core technology that allows them to operate smoothly, even under the most challenging of conditions. Both ships are all-suite, all-inclusive small expedition vessels with touches of elegance throughout. The Island Sky is scheduled for additional upgrades in 2017, including the addition of tinted sliding glass doors to all cabins on the Promenade Deck. Services: World-Class Cuisine Complimentary Wine or Beer with Dinner Live Entertainment Complimentary Coffee/Tea station Voyage Photographer On-board MD and Facilities Dedicated Passenger Service Manager Pre-voyage hotel night Complimentary Expedition Jacket Facilities: Elevator serving all passenger decks Upgraded WIFI Internet Library with computers Panoramic Top Deck Observation Platform Bar/Lounge with Live Entertainment Lounge with Audiovisual Facilities DVD Movie Library Tinted sliding glass doors in all cabins on the Promenade Deck World-Class Cuisine: Great expeditions require great food! Our team of world-class chefs offer breakfast, lunch and dinner menus that change daily. They have boat-loads of creativity, so you are sure to experience a variety of remarkable cuisine throughout your voyage. Accommodations: All Suites Feature: Exterior views Your choice of queen-sized or two twin-sized beds Sitting area with sofa and side chair Flat Screen TV with DVD/CD player Telephone Independent temperature controls Mini-Bar Marble-appointed bathroom with fine toiletries Hair dryer 220 square feet or more Sofa can be converted to bed for third person PLEASE NOTE - DECK PLANS CAN VARY.


Day 1 - Day 1 London to Istanbul, Turkey.
Fly by scheduled flight. On arrival transfer to the MS Island Sky and embark in the late afternoon. Set sail this evening.
Day 2 - Day 2 Bartin.
From the port of Bartin in ancient Paphlagonia, we have a choice of excursions today. The morning tour will include a drive along the coast to nearby Amasra (ancient Sesamus) which is located on a headland in between two bays. We will explore the attractive old town which was founded by the Milesians in the 6th century BC and later became an important possession of both Byzantium and Genoa. See the Genoese citadel and learn more about its Greek and Roman past. Alternatively join a full day tour to the UNESCO site of Safranbolu, a preserved Ottoman style town named for its prominence in saffron production. On a walking tour we will visit the marketplace, the streets where copper makers, iron makers and Turkish delight makers work, the Mosque and a Turkish Hammam all from the time of Suleiman the Magnificent. Our tour will end at a typical Safranbolu house which is now an ethnographical museum. Enjoy lunch in an Ottoman caravanserai before returning to the MS Island Sky and sailing this evening.
Day 3 - Day 3 Sinop.
Founded by the Greeks in the 7th century BC Sinop flourished as a Black Sea port on the caravan route. On a walking tour this morning we will discover this walled city including the 13th century Alaadin Mosque, constructed after the Seljuk conquest of the Sinop Province. The architecture is representative of the Seljuk period consisting of a rectangular plan featuring five domes. A fountain adorns the courtyard, which also contains ancient tombs. We will visit the Archaeological Museum of Sinop with a collection of objects dating from the Hittite, Hellenistic, Phrygian, Roman and Byzantine periods and the Ethnography Museum located in a typical Ottoman House. Return to the MS Island Sky for lunch and enjoy a relaxing afternoon cruising.
Day 4 - Day 4 Trabzon.
Trabzon is a gateway to Eastern Turkey and Iran which was founded in the 7th century BC. On our morning excursion we drive through the picturesque mountain scenery to Sumela to see the dramatic Byzantine monastery carved out of a sheer rock face in the Pontic Alps. After lunch on board we discover the church of Aya Sofia and the old town of Trabzon, then travel to the outskirts to visit Ataturk’s lovely villa set high on a cliff above the city.
Day 5 - Day 5 Batumi, Georgia.
Enjoy a day amongst the sights and sounds of charming Batumi. On a full day tour visit the ancient Gonio fortress dating back to the first century AD and the Ethnographic Museum that highlights the varied and fascinating history of the country. Continue to the impressive botanical garden ‘Dendrarium’, and see the golden statue of Medea before heading to the bustling farmers market. Lunch will be served in a local restaurant where we will also enjoy a truly exhilarating private performance of Georgian song and dance by the Adjara State Assembly of Music and Dance.
Day 6 - Day 6 Sochi, Russia.
We have a day to explore delightful Sochi, framed by the Caucasus Mountains and famous for its marvellous climate and health spas. On a morning tour we will visit Dagomy’s tea plantation, the most northerly in the world where we learn about the cultivation processes and challenges before having the chance to enjoy a local brew. After lunch in a local restaurant we will visit Stalin’s Dacha, built in 1937 as his summer residence it remains intact as it was in Stalin’s time.
Day 7 - Day 7 At Sea.
Enjoy a day at sea as we cruise to Odessa. Maybe join one of the lectures or relax with a book in the library.
Day 8 - Days 8 & 9 Odessa, Ukraine.
We have two days to explore this fascinating city. Founded by Catherine the Great in 1794 following the Russian victory over the Turks, Odessa today is a busy port and popular resort. On our morning tour we will see the famous Potemkin Steps, Primorsky Boulevard and the Preobrazhensky Cathedral. Explore the city’s Fine Arts Museum before returning to the ship for lunch. This afternoon is free to explore at leisure and we hope to enjoy a concert this evening at the acoustically perfect Opera House (details will be provided approximately 12 weeks prior to departure). Return to the ship and moor overnight. On our second day we recall Odessa’s former splendour by visiting two of the city’s many mansions. First visit the Tolstoy Mansion, built in 1832 in a Russian classical style, which belonged to Count Mikhail Tolstoy, a cousin of the famed Russian writer, Leo Tolstoy. After a short drive we will reach the Gagarin Mansion, designed by Otton in the middle of the 19th century for the nobleman, Prince Gagarin. This now houses the Museum for Russian & Ukraine Literature. Tour the museum before enjoying a superb violin recital in the Golden Hall. Return to the ship for lunch and enjoy a relaxing afternoon at sea.
Day 9 - Day 10 Constanta, Romania.
During breakfast we arrive in Constanta, known as Tomis to the Greeks but named Constanta by the Romans. Choose this morning to stay in Constanta and enjoy a tour to include the excellent Archaeological Museum and a visit to the Treasury to see the gigantic 3rd century Roman Mosaic. Later, stretch your legs with a walk along the Black Sea waterfront promenade. Alternatively join a full day tour to Bucharest. We will explore the main sights of the city and see the boulevards with their decidedly French style. After lunch in a local restaurant we visit the Parliament Palace, the second largest administrative building in the world at 3.77 million square feet and renowned as former dictator Ceausescu’s most infamous creation.
Day 10 - Day 11 Nessebar, Bulgaria.
After a morning at sea we will arrive in the ancient town of Nessebar, a delightful place to spend an afternoon. A guided walk of the town will include the 5th century Bishopric, the 12th century St Stephen’s Church and some of the traditional-style houses with their overhanging first floors above winding cobbled lanes.
Day 11 - Day 12 Istanbul, Turkey to London.
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to London.
Day 12 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
01-09-202212-09-2022GBP £5,995Standard Suite
01-09-202212-09-2022GBP £7,595Columbus Deck Superior Single
01-09-202212-09-2022GBP £7,895Explorer Deck Owner's Balcony Suite
01-09-202212-09-2022GBP £8,895Explorer Deck Island Suite
01-09-202212-09-2022GBP £6,295Superior Suite
01-09-202212-09-2022GBP £6,795Premium Suite
01-09-202212-09-2022GBP £6,995Corner Suite
01-09-202212-09-2022GBP £7,395Magellan Deck Standard Single
01-09-202212-09-2022GBP £7,495Deluxe Balcony Suite


    • Discover Bartin.
    • Explore Sinop.
    • Travel to Trabzon.
    • Visit Batumi.
    • Enjoy Sochi & Odessa.