Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The Undiscovered Black Sea

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Special voyages to the crossroads of culture

The magnificent Black Sea region is still new territory for many visitors—an exciting irony, since so many pivotal events of world history have played out here, from the fall of Constantinople to the fall of the Soviet Union.

The great salt-water Black Sea has seen settlements on its shores for nearly 3000 years which along with the wars of the 19th and 20th centuries have all greatly influenced the surrounding lands, making the Black Sea one of the most fascinating and historically rich regions in the world.

Whether your interest lies in ancient or military history, architecture, literature, contemporary politics or just in visiting some of the most atmospheric and fascinating places on earth, the Black Sea has much to offer.

Wild Earth Travel is offering a range of expeditions in 2012 that explore this intriguing destination.

An 11-day 'Black Sea: Crossroads of Culture' voyage on board the Corinthian II starts in Athens, Greece and finishes in Istanbul, Turkey. Highlights include touring the historic monuments of Athens, the birthplace of Western culture; exploring the ruins, archaeological sites and churches of Romania; visiting the landmark cities of Odessa in the Ukraine and Sevastopol, the former base of the Russian Black Sea Fleet from the days of Catherine II until the fall of the Soviet Union; and Yalta, famed site of the 1945 conference between Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin.

The deluxe Corinthian II is an all-suite luxury ship accommodating up to 114 guests, appointed with first class facilities including a sun deck with Jacuzzi; beauty salon; and an elevator serving all passenger decks. The Penthouse Suites and Veranda Suites feature private balconies with sliding-glass doors, as well as white glove butler service. This voyage departs on 17 July 2012. Prices start from US$7895 per person.

Two 11-day 'Black Sea Odyssey' voyages on board the 100-passenger MS Island Sky depart from Istanbul on 9 and 19 October 2012 with prices starting from $7549NZD/$5849AUD per person. Highlights include an in-depth exploration of Turkey including the ancient cities of Paphlagonia and Amasya, which according to legend was founded by the Amazon queen Amasis; Yalta, Sevastopol and Odessa in Russia; and Nessebur in Bulgaria, home of the 5th century Bishopric and 12th century St Stephen's church.

The MS Island Sky underwent a multi-million dollar refurbishment in 2010 to make her one of the finest small ships in the world, where high quality service and attention to detail are the order of the day. The ship has 57 unusually large suites, luxuriously appointed public areas and spacious outside decks. The atmosphere onboard is akin to a private yacht or country hotel.

Two 'Black Sea Treasures' voyages from Istanbul to Odessa on board the 50-pasenger M/Y Pegasus depart in June 2012 with prices starting from $2795NZD/$2199AUD per person. Highlights include the ancient city of Nessebar, a unique exploration upstream of the Danube River and the Crimean historical cities of Yalta and Sevastopol. The newly refurbished Pegasus has 23 luxuriously appointed cabins as well as an outdoor al fresco dining area and platform stern enabling guests to swim when conditions permit.

For further information on the full range of voyages in the Black Sea Freephone 1800 107 715 (within Australia), 0800 945 3327 (New Zealand),  +64 3 365 1355 or visit www.wildearth-travel.com