Just what is it about the Black Sea region and in particular the Crimea that intrigues travellers so much? This relatively small peninsula of land that juts out into the Black Sea provokes great interest well beyond that which might be expected. True, the Crimean War put it on the international map, but ever since then it has punched above its weight. The building of aristocratic palaces and the famous Yalta Conference of 1945, its attraction to higher echelons of Soviet leaders. So for 150 years or so the Crimea has popped in and out of the news, but anyone interested in the area also appreciates the fascinating ancient history of the region. The Crimean Peninsula with its prominent geographical position has been an intersection of influences between east and west. Early Greek colonies, Constantinople and the movements along the great Danubian route, combined with influences from the Caucasus and Central Asia with the arrival of the Khazars in the 8th and 9th centuries, have made Crimea what it is today.
The Black Sea itself has seen settlements on its shores for nearly 3000 years. It is an area that has witnessed many empires and more than its fair share of wars and invasions, from the time of Herodotus to the fall of the Soviet Empire. Scythians, Greeks, Persians, Romans, Goths, Huns, Vizigoths, Arabs, Khazars, Vikings, Poles, Seljuk Turks, Crusaders, Venetians, Mongols, Tartars, Genoese, Russians, Cossacks and 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.
We are indeed fortunate in having the 44-passenger MV Harmony to explore this fascinating region. Such a journey as this would be totally impractical by any means other than a cruise. In just ten days we will have seen and learnt so much. 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 a lot to offer. Local guides and our onboard guest speaker will contribute greatly to our enjoyment and understanding of this intriguing corner of the world where east meets west.