In mid-2014, Viking River Cruises canceled its itineraries in Ukraine because of political tensions in the region. Azamara, Cunard, AmaWaterways and Windstar all did the same. But next year, Viking will be one of the first to re-enter the market, with a new 11-day cruise on the Dnieper River.
The trip aboard the 196-passenger Viking Sineus is a journey through the country’s most important cultural centers and ends with a four-day stretch in the Black Sea. It includes three days in Kiev and four days in Odessa, as well as stops in Kremenchug, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, and Kherson—cities largely unknown to the Americans and Western Europeans who make up the majority of Viking’s customers.
In Kiev, activities include visits to the 11th-century St. Sophia Cathedral and the Pirogovo Museum of Folk Architecture; in other cities there are opportunities to tour the famed Odessa Catacombs, take in a Cossack horsemanship show, and share a snack with locals.
The cruise was launched due to a “resurgence of interest in the region,” a Viking spokesperson said. Rates start at $3,780 and include all on-board meals.