From the Black Sea, experience the different cultures of eastern block countries like Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine or explore the north coast of Turkey. The Black Sea is a more off-beat destination offering the chance to visit areas that are now rapidly changing. Although there are Mediterranean cruises from the UK that include the Black Sea in the itinerary, most are fly/cruises sailing from Athens or Istanbul and many will also include some Greek Islands in the itinerary.
Black Sea ports like Nesebur, Varna, Constanta, Yalta and Odessa will almost certainly be visited. These places are changing quickly as some these countries expand their tourist resorts and prepare for EEC membership. World heritage Nesebur and atmospheric Varna are both in Bulgaria while Constanta lies on the Romanian "riviera". In the Ukraine you can visit Yalta, past resort of the Russian elite, Odessa where you will find the famous Potemkin Steps or Sevastapol in the Crimea site of the valley of the "Charge of the Light Brigade".
A few cruises will follow the southern coast of the Black Sea and visit ancient ports like Trabzon (ancient Trapezus) and Sinope in Turkey - in antiquity the foremost ports on the northern coast of Asia Minor. Further east is Batumi - an opportunity to explore south-west Georgia.
Black Sea cruises will also visit the Eastern Mediterranean visiting the Aegean Sea islands and ancient sites like Ephesus in Turkey, Olympia in Greece or Knossos on Crete.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office provides information about visa requirements and up to date travel advice. Visit: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice