DAY 1 | Sept. 21. Depart for Turkey
DAY 2 | Sept. 22. Istanbul, Turkey
Embark on your luxury cruise aboard Riviera in Istanbul, the magnificent city astride two continents and divided by the Bosphorus.
DAY 3 | Sept. 23. Nessebar, Bulgaria
Linked to the mainland by a man-made isthmus, Nessebar presents a welcoming blend of historical splendor and charming coastal atmosphere. Throughout this attractive Byzantine town, you’ll find plenty of time-tested treasures— offering everything you would expect from a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
DAY 4 | Sept. 24. Constanta, Romania
Nestled on the shores of the Black Sea’s western coast is Romania’s largest seaport, Constanta. An ancient metropolis, its 2,500-year-old archaeological treasures scatter about the city, intermingling with its Venice-like winding alleyways and the lingering remnants from Greek, Roman and Turkish rule.
DAY 5 | Sept. 25. Odessa, Ukraine
The lovely city of Odessa claims a captivating past echoed by timeless beauty. A walk through the city recalls cultural gems like the famed Potemkin Steps, rising from the waterfront, the stunning five-domed Uspenski Cathedral and remnants of Catherine the Great’s Odessa fortress.
DAY 6 | Sept. 26. Yalta, Ukraine
On the southern tip of the beautiful Crimean peninsula, along the pebbled coastline and warm waters of the Black Sea, is the legendary town of Yalta— once a favorite with Russian royalty. The town is home to Livadia Palace, which brought Yalta to the world stage in 1945 when it hosted the Yalta Conference, and the Swallow’s Nest, a romantic castle overlooking the sea.
DAY 7 | Sept. 27. Sevastopol, Ukraine
At once, Sevastopol fascinates and delights. Beyond its sapphire bay, are nearly 2,000 monuments, memorials and landmarks documenting the events of the Crimean War while neoclassical whitewashed buildings dot tree-lined streets. Balaklava, today a part of Sevastopol, is a former Crimean city and the scene of the ill-fated Charge of the Light Brigade, immortalized in the poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
DAY 8 | Sept. 28. Sochi, Russia
Considered the “Pearl of the Black Sea,” Russia’s largest resort town claims a mountainous coastline, a delightful seaside promenade, lush botanical gardens and an urban atmosphere among its glitzy high-rises. Today, the port buzzes with excitement as it prepares to host the 2014 Winter Olympics.
DAY 9 | Sept. 20. Sinop, Turkey
On a strip of peninsula jutting into the Black Sea, Turkey’s most northerly city offers golden beaches that parallel the beauty of the Mediterranean and historic fortifications that have protected the city since the 7th century B.C. Once a prosperous Greek colony, mystery abounds here and ancient times come to life in temple ruins and incredible artifacts still being unearthed yet today.
DAY 10 | Sept. 30. Cruising the Dardanelles and Bosphorus Straits
Under the expert guidance of superbly talented artists-in-residence, try your hand at an art form such as watercolor or needlepoint at Riviera’s Artist Loft, retreat to the luxurious lounges, or simply relax and take in the spectacular scenic views.
DAY 11 | Oct. 1. Ephesus / Kusadasi, Turkey
The port of Kusadasi, until recently a fishing and farming village, is today a resort town offering splendid beaches and plenty of shops. Nearby is the legendary ruined city of Ephesus, a veritable museum of Greek and Roman history with impeccably preserved relics from its ancient past. Here you’ll find the Library of Celsus, the incredible Terraced Houses, and the remains of the Temple of Artemis—one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
DAY 12 | Oct. 2. Athens (Piraeus), Greece
Disembark and bid farewell to Riviera.