DAY 1: Kiev.
Fly to Kiev, where you will be met and transferred to your ship, MS Dnieper Princess, for embarkation. This evening enjoy a cocktail party and dinner on board. (D)
DAY 2: Kiev.
Ukraine’s 1,500-year-old capital is one of Europe’s oldest cities. Today join the included city tour, driving along chestnut tree-lined boulevards to its charming old quarter. Later, why not join the optional excursion to the golden-domed, UNESCO-protected Saint Sophia Cathedral and Pirogovo Museum? This open-air park showcases traditional Ukrainian rural life with wooden houses, costumes and handicraft displays. Tonight perhaps join an optional boat trip, seeing Kiev by night and watching a folklore show. (B, L, D)
DAY 3: Kiev.
Today brings a real highlight – an optional excursion to Pechersk Lavra or Kiev’s ‘Monastery of the Caves’. This remarkable complex of onion-domed monasteries and churches was built in the 11th century and sits above a vast web of underground corridors dug by monks. Delve into the museums within the complex and the spooky subterranean tunnels, which are filled with tombs and saintly relics. Alternatively, you join the optional trip to a stirring performance by the Ukrainian National Choir. (B, L, D)
DAY 4: Kaniv.
This morning arrive in Kaniv, an historic port town, best known as the burial place of revered 19th century Ukrainian poet and artist, Taras Shevchenko. Today’s included excursion to Taras Hill takes in the museum celebrating the life of this extraordinary man, who is regarded as the founder of modern Ukrainian literature and was imprisoned by Tsar Nicholas I. (B, L, D)
DAY 5: Kremenchuk.
Today, cruise to Kremenchuk, an industrial town on the Dnieper. Believed to date back to 1571, this pleasant, park-filled place was a trading post between Moscow and the Black Sea, becoming a prosperous Cossack town in the 17th century. Enjoy a city tour and later, perhaps join the optional excursion to a local village to witness traditional Ukrainian life. (B, L, D)
DAY 6: Zaporozhye.
This morning, admire the passing scenery as you cruise to Zaporozhye, ancestral home of Russia's Cossacks. Here, enjoy the included city tour around the graceful squares and tree-lined Lenin Avenue. There is also an optional excursion to the Cossack Museum on Khortitsa Island. Home to Cossacks during the 16th-18th centuries, this island is now a fascinating museum charting the lives of these legendary warriors. Enjoy a breathtaking Cossack horse, music and dance show before returning to your ship for a fascinating Ukrainian language lesson and food tasting. (B, L, D)
DAY 7: Kherson.
Today cruise to Kherson, a naval town just 19 miles from the Black Sea. On arrival, join a touring boat for an included cruise around the peaceful Dnieper Delta. Woven with picturesque channels and fishing villages, its waters and marshlands attract a huge variety of animal and birdlife. (B, L, D)
DAY 8: Sevastopol.
Site of the Crimean War’s famous ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’ in 1854, Sevastopol was founded in 1783 and, during the Soviet era, was ‘closed’, only opening to visitors in 1992. See the city’s highlights on our included tour before perhaps joining the optional trip to the Khan Palace at Bakhchisarai. This exquisite 16th century garden palace housed the Crimean khans and consists of decorative minarets, courtyards and fountains. Tonight why not attend a concert by the Black Sea Fleet Ensemble? (B, L, D)
DAY 9: Sevastopol.
Spend today exploring Sevastopol at your own pace or perhaps join the optional excursion and head for the neo-Gothic, neo-Moorish Alupka Palace, where Churchill stayed during the 1945 Yalta Conference. Also visit Yalta itself, now a popular Black Sea resort backed by the Crimean Mountains and perhaps venture on to see the decorative Swallow’s Nest castle, perched on a clifftop overlooking the sea. (B, L, D)
DAY 10: Odessa.
Called the ‘Pearl of the Black Sea’, Odessa mixes elegant 19th century architecture, wide boulevards and leafy parks. Today admire its handsome Opera House, impressive Art Museum and famed Potemkin Steps, which lead up to the city from the Black Sea, on the included tour. Tonight, enjoy an optional excursion to a ballet, concert or opera performance. (B, L, D)
DAY 11: Odessa.
Today brings a choice of optional excursions around the beautiful Odessa region. This morning, perhaps admire the Russian and Ukrainian artworks displayed in the Fine Arts Museum, and this afternoon, why not head to the stunning, 2,500-year-old fortress at Belgorod-Dnestrovsky? (B, L, D)
DAY 12: Odessa - Kiev (overnight train)
Disembark your ship after breakfast and enjoy a day at leisure to discover Odessa independently. After meeting for dinner at a local restaurant this evening, board your overnight train to Kiev, accompanied by an English speaking guide. (B, D)
DAY 13: Kiev
On arrival in Kiev, transfer to the airport for your flight to Ireland.