Travel-Learn Program

Black Sea Serenade

When: September 21, 2014 - October 02, 2014 (iCal)


*Please call or email Tufts Travel-Learn office for recent itinerary changes.


“The tours were well planned and the areas visited had lots of historical significance”

Join us and discover a treasure of historic gems in the countries clustered around the Black Sea. We will travel aboard Oceania Cruises’ elegant Riviera, stopping in Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Russia and Turkey. We depart from Istanbul for Bulgaria, and explore the ancient town of Nessebar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take in the historic fortress walls, numerous Byzantine churches and wooden houses from the 18th and 19th century. Then continue to the Romanian city of Constanta to explore the Roman relics and the ruins of Histria. Sail to the Ukraine and stop in Odessa, home to the iconic Potemkin Steps and a stunning five-domed cathedral. Uncover more Ukrainian history in Sevastopol, to view ancient Greek walls and architectural monuments, and Yalta, home to opulent tsarist palaces and the romantic Swallow’s Nest Castle. Continue to Russia and the resort town of Sochi, site of the 2014 Winter Olympics, before cruising to Turkey. Visit Sinop and its harbor and the ancient fortifications that have protected the city for centuries. Head ashore at Kusadasi to explore Ephesus with its remarkable Library of Celsus and Temple of Artemis—one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Our epic Black Sea voyage concludes in Athens, the cradle of Western civilization. A Pre-Program Option in Istabul and Post-Program Option in Athens are available.


Activity Level: Moderately Active

Download the Program Brochure!

*Call for recent itinerary changes.


Price From: $3,999
Includes cruise and air; per person, based on double occupancy.
Itinerary and price are tentative and subject to change.

To avoid the disappointment of a sold out program, Register Now!


Usha Nand Sellers Ed. D., Director Tufts Travel-Learn Program, at or 617-627-5323.


Day 1: Depart for Turkey

Day 2: Istanbul, Turkey Embark

Day 3: 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 Byzantine town, we will find plenty of time-tested treasures—offering everything you’d expect from a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 4: 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 are scattered about the city, intermingling with its Venice-like winding alleyways and the lingering remnants from Greek, Roman and Turkish rule.

Day 5: Odessa, Ukraine *Call for recent itinerary changes.
Odessa claims a captivating past echoed by timeless beauty. A walk through the city recalls cultural gems including  the famed Potemkin Steps bordering waterfront, the stunning five-domed Uspenski Cathedral , and remnants of Catherine the Great’s Odessa fortress.

Day 6: Sevastopol, Ukraine *Call for recent itinerary changes.
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 7: Yalta, Ukraine
On the southern tip of the 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 8: Sochi, Russia
Considered the Pearl of the Black Sea, Russia’s largest resort town claims a mountainous coastline, a delightful seaside promenade, botanical gardens and an urban atmosphere among its glitzy high-rise buildings. Today, the port buzzes with excitement in preparation for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Day 9: 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 ancient artifacts still being unearthed.

Day 10: At Sea

Day 11: Ephesus/Kusadasi, Turkey
The port of Kusadasi, recently a fishing and farming village; is today a resort town with beaches and 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 we can visit 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: Athens (Piraeus), Greece Disembark

*Price and Itinerary are tentative and subject to change