Circumnavigation of the Black Sea

Circumnavigation of the Black Sea

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Centuries of history and architecture come to life as you discover the countries surrounding the Black Sea—Turkey, Georgia, Russia, Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria—and its busy bazaars, archeological treasures, and stunning landscapes.

Trip Name
Circumnavigation of the Black Sea
Vessel Type: Luxury Passenger Capacity: 92 cabins Built: 2017/2018 Featuring innovative and environmentally-friendly equipment, elegantly designed cabins, spacious suites with large windows, and lounge areas that open onto the outside, this new limited-capacity yacht boasting just 92 cabins and suites will offer you a truly unique cruising experience. As the first ship in a new series that remains true to the Ponant spirit, Le Bougainville will embody the unique atmosphere that is the cruise line’s hallmark: a subtle blend of refinement, intimacy and comfort. Aboard this ship that flies the French flag, you will experience the incomparable pleasure of an intimate cruise, with the possibility of exploring an ever-increasing range of destinations in an ethnic-chic ambiance with luxury service. Experience a luxurious setting where the accent is on authenticity and passion for travel. RESTAURANTS As it is an essential part of French culture, gastronomy will naturally have pride of place aboard this new ship. Through its two restaurants, Le Bougainville will invite you on a journey to elegance and epicureanism. In a relaxed atmosphere, a first dining area located on Deck 3 and able to seat 70 will serve grilled meats daily, along with a variety of salads and desserts. To the back of Deck 4, you will find a 260 m² panoramic restaurant which can accommodate all of our passengers in a single sitting. Designed differently to that on our other ships, this dining area, which opens onto the outside, will have a buffet of salads, desserts and cheeses at your disposal. Our discreet and attentive crew will provide table service for hot meals. PUBLIC AREAS Like Le Boréal and its sisterships, Le Bougainville has many common areas that are designed and equipped to meet all of your needs while preserving the intimacy of each passenger. A 140 m² reception area includes: A reception/concierge desk, An excursions desk, The ship’s administrative services, The sales office, manned by our Guest Relations Officer, Our 50 m² boutique which sells clothing, jewellery, beauty products, postcards and various accessories, Toilets accessible to passengers with reduced mobility. A new hydraulic platform with adjustable height provides: Easier boarding than on any other cruise ship, Easier Zodiac embarkation and disembarkation for expeditions, Easier access to the sea for swimming and practising various water sports such as kayaking or paddle-boarding. A pool deck offering: A pool with a panoramic view, equipped with a counter-current swimming system, A pleasant solarium, An outdoor bar and lounge with armchairs and sofas. A 200 m² main lounge which can accommodate all of our passengers to share convivial moments and to host activities organised during the day or evening. Lastly, a theatre that seats 188, equipped with: The latest sound and lighting technology, A LED wall as the stage backdrop, for the projection of high-resolution images and videos.


Day 1 - Day 1 Istanbul, Turkey
Arrive in Istanbul and transfer to the Pera Palace Hotel. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure before our welcome dinner and briefing.
Day 2 - Day 2 Istanbul / Embark Le Bougainville
After breakfast, several guided tours will be available, offering a more in-depth exploration of the city. In the afternoon, board Le Bougainville and cruise toward the Black Sea up the scenic Bosporus.
Day 3 - Day 3 Bartin / Safranbolu
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. Enjoy lunch in a converted Ottoman caravanserai, with free time to explore on your own.
Day 4 - Day 4 Samsun / Amasya
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.
Day 5 - Day 5 Trabzon / Sumela
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. Meet with a local expert who will share details on the extensive project to restore the magnificent interior frescoes to their former glory. This afternoon, explore the 13th-century Hagia Sophia, a Byzantine church with exquisite frescoes, and spend some free time wandering through Trabzon.
Day 6 - Day 6 Batumi, Georgia
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.
Day 7 - Day 7 Sochi, Russia
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.
Day 8 - Day 8 At Sea
Attend lectures today and enjoy the passing scenery during arelaxing day at sea.
Day 9 - Day 9 Odessa, Ukraine
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.
Day 10 - Day 10 Danube River Delta, Romania
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.
Day 11 - Day 11 Histria / Constanta
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. We walk through fascinating seaside ruins, tour the new museum, and spot birds in this wetland environment. Next, explore Constanta and tour the archaeological museum and view one of the largest Roman mosaic floors in Europe.
Day 12 - Day 12 Varna, Bulgaria
This morning, visit Varna’s archaeological museum that chronologically traces the progress of human society in the region over the course of millennia. We also explorethe extensive remains of the 2nd-century Roman thermae, or public baths, which make up the largest Roman ruins in Bulgaria.
Day 13 - Day 13 Istanbul, Turkey / Disembark
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for homeward flights.
Day 14 - Please Note:
Based on the expeditionary nature of our trips, there may be ongoing enhancements to this itinerary.

Trip Dates

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    • 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.