For the first time, Windstar offers the enigmatic, once hidden, wonders of Europe's Black Sea in signature Windstar yachting style with the new Star Pride’s seven-day Black Sea Tapestry voyage. Discover what makes Turkey, Ukraine, Romania, and Bulgaria so special and leave with a broader sense of the world. Here are our top 15 sights to see when cruising the Black Sea:
- Sip wines from the winery that houses some of the oldest wine at the Massandra Winery. Comprised of about a million bottles of wine from different countries, including 150-to 200-year-old bottles secured within tunnels that have been carved into the Crimean Mountains.
- Explore the remarkable medieval atmosphere of the Old Quarter of Nessebar, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is replete with narrow, cobblestone lanes, quaint houses, and churches of various styles and architecture.
- View one of the largest known mosaics in Europe in Constanta. Nearly 2,000 years old, the mosaic was once an immense decorative pavement used by the Romans. Today, a substantial portion remains of the thousands of multi-hued tiles that comprise this beautiful and extraordinary piece of history.
- Take in the extraordinary blue Iznik tiles in Istanbul’s Blue Mosque.
The Blue Mosque in Istanbul
- Walk through the original streets of Histria, considered Romania’s oldest town which was founded in 656 B.C. and lies about 45 miles/72km away from Constanta near the mouth of the Danube River.
- Visit Anton Chekhov's Memorial House, where the Great Russian author wrote his classic plays: The Cherry Orchard and The Three Sisters.
- Discover history at Livadia Palace, once the summer residence of Czar Nicholas II, and the venue for the 1945 historic meeting of Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin, better known as the Yalta Conference.
- Take in the wonders of the Crimean Forest.
- Uncover the Battle of Balaklava and its secret base used during the Crimean War.
- Plunge into the heroic military history of Sevastopol at its museum which boasts original lithographs and photos, paintings, arms and weapons, uniforms, awards, documents, and many other exhibits presented in 23 halls.
- Ascend the 193 Potemkin Stairs, a giant stairway built between 1837 and 1841 and considered a formal entrance into the city from the direction of the sea.
The Potemkin Stairs in Odessa
- Absorb the atmosphere of life as a 19th century Russian noble family and learn the development of literature with a visit to Gargarin’s Palace.
- Enter the labyrinthine underground interior of the famed Odessa Catacombs, stretching impressively underground for almost 5,400 feet. The catacombs were first made to provide the city with limestone. During World War II, the catacombs were an underground fort of the Soviet army.
- Catch a glimpse at the lifestyle of peasants in the Romanian countryside before arriving in Bucharest to visit the Palace of the Parliament, the world's largest civilian building with an administrative function that houses both chambers of the Romanian Parliament.
- Taste traditional Bulgarian specialties, and observe a cooking demonstration of the famous Bulgarian banitsa, a cheese and egg filo pastry which is typically inserted with lucky charms on certain occasions, particularly on New Year's Eve.
Travel to these places and a host of others with Windstar’s shore excursions on board Star Pride’s Black Sea Tapestry voyage which departs from Istanbul, Turkey on June 13, 20; and September 8, 2014, and visits Yalta, Sevastopol, and Odessa, Ukraine; Constanta (Bucharest), Romania; and Nessebar, Bulgaria. Click here for more information about this voyage, as well as Star Pride’s other new itineraries.