Crimea's most glamorous resort Yalta with spectacular panorama of irregular mountain peaks, beautiful palaces clustered on narrow ledges and lush green hills serenely profiled against the sky is often compared to the French Riviera. The elegant colonnaded white mansions scattered throughout the city exhale a distinct air of past grandeur. This is where Russian Tsars and the 19th-century aristocrats had their summer residences intended to rival those of Nice or Cannes. Yalta has long been an attraction for celebrities who enjoy its healthy climate. Many world-famous artists, musicians, writers and, more recently, politicians have sojourned here: Chekhov, Tolstoy, Gorky, Tchaikovsky, Chaliapin, Rachmaninoff, Mark Twain, Brezhnev and Gorbachev.
The Southern Coast of Crimea (HD)
Departing from the pier, you will enjoy a pleasant drive through the central area of Yalta. Explore the Livadia Palace, formerly a summer residence of Tsar Nicholas II. You will see the restored White Hall where the historic meeting between Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill was held, the Tsar's Study and Roosevelt's headquarters. After this unforgettable visit you will pause at a vantage point to admire a magnificent view of the Swallow's Nest Castle. Next you will visit the town of Alupka, where under the slopes of Mount Ai-Petri is situated the Vorontsov Palace, a two-faced masterpiece designed by Edward Blore, one of the architects of Buckingham Palace. The guide will accompany you through its lavishly decorated interior and provide informative commentaries about the history of this resplendent building. After this overview, you will return to the ship.
Russian Heritage (HD)
Leaving the port area behind, your coach will make its way to the museum of the great Russian writer Anton Chekhov. In this particular house Chekhov spent the last years of his life and created such masterpieces as "Lady with a Dog", "The Cherry Orchard" and "Three Sisters". The museum displays include photographs, documents, personal effects of the writer and editions of his works published during his lifetime. In the museum hall your will be entertained by a classical Russian romance songs concert. By the winding roads you will return to the downtown to visit Alexander Nevsky Cathedral with its intricate iconostasis and beautiful frescoes, built by the Russian architect Shapovalov in 1898.
The Best of Crimea (FD)
Be impressed by Yalta's beautiful seafront and lovely scenery of green rocky cliffs, mountain vistas, lush vegetation and grandiose mansions on your way to a perfect viewpoint for splendid views of the most unusual castle called the Swallow's Nest. Continue with a leisurely drive to Alupka to marvel at the Vorontsov Palace, the former residence of Count Mikhail Vorontsov and now a museum of the 19th century art and architecture. Here you will see the extensive landscaped grounds and the palace's superb interior with its priceless display. Next you'll visit Alexander Nevsky Cathedral with its intricate 18th-century iconostasis and beautiful frescoes. Sitting down to a delicious lunch featuring local specialities at a leading restaurant, you can expect to be entertained by a colorful show of folkloric singing and dancing. Then explore Livadia Palace which will strike you with its arresting beauty. Your guide will show you the White Hall where the historic meeting between Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill was held and Roosevelt's headquarters. Visit the private rooms of the Romanovs, including Tsar Nicholas' II study, the Empress' living room and the library.
The Romanovs' Holiday (HD)
Savor fine panoramas and explore elegant mansions on this exquisite tour. You'll journey directly to the former palace of Tsar Alexander III in the settlement of Massandra, well-known as the wine-making capital of Crimea. At the main gate a minivan will wait to take you up a narrow road for a visit to the spectacular Massandra Palace surrounded by a lovely park with its century-old trees. Reboard your coach and before long romantic seashore will come into view as you wind your way towards the town of Livadia. The main attraction in the area is the Livadia Palace, summer residence of the Russian Tsar Nicholas II. Your guide will show you the White Hall where the historic meeting between Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill was held. Visit the private rooms of the Romanovs, including the Tsar's study, the Empress' living room, and the library. The highlight of this tour is a tea ceremony which will take place in the Italian patio of the palace. For your enjoyment a classical music performance will be offered during the ceremony.
Mysteries of the Marble Cave (HD)
For those who would like to immerse into the natural beauty this tour provides a unique opportunity. A drive in comfortable minivans will take you eastward outside Yalta along the picturesque Crimean coast to the famous Mramornaya (Marble) Cave. The entrance to the cave is located at 920 meters above the sea level in a block of Upper-Jurassic lime-stone and consists of three parts. This natural wonder is listed among the five most impressive caves open for visitors in the world. Your guided adventure includes a visit to the Fairy-Tale Gallery and Tiger Passage.
Yalta to Sevastopol Overland (FD)
Explore the highlights of Sevastopol, the city of glory of the Russian Navy. Leaving Yalta behind, your coach will make its way along the picturesque coastline of Crimea. In over an hour you will reach Sevastopol, founded in 1787 as a naval fortress and a firm stronghold in the south of the Russian Empire. A large square and the impressive Monument to Admiral Nakhimov are the first to be observed as your coach travels through the central downtown to Historical Boulevard. The first stop will be made at the circular Panorama Building, celebrating the valiant history of Sevastopol in the Crimean War. Marvel at the intricate details of the monumental painting depicting the major episodes of the Malakhov Kurgan Battle. The first part of this delightful tour will end with a delicious Crimean-style lunch in a leading local restaurant. After the relaxing break, you will arrive in Chersonesus of Tauri, the last Greek colony founded on the northern coast of the Black Sea. Walk through the evocative ruins including a theater, temples, statues and mosaics. From the ruins, you will proceed to the Archaeological Museum, which proudly displays its numerous valuable findings. After this fascinating overview of Sevastopol you will reboard your motor coach and go back to Yalta.
Walking Along the Tsar's Path (HD)
Start your tour with a visit to the Exaltation of the Cross Church situated on the grounds of Livadia Palace where burial service for the Tsar Alexander III was held and Nicholas' II wife Tsarina Alexandra Fedorovna was converted to Orthodoxy. Next venture along the so-called Tsar's Path paved for Tsar Nicholas II in 1901 with the purpose of improving his health. You will have an opportunity to walk 1.5 km along the path admiring the lush vegetation and hearing tales of the Romanovs' life in Crimea. To end the excursion, explore the Virgin Mary Church built as a mixture of Byzantine and Georgian architectural styles. The church is famous for its elaborate mosaics, including the unique image of young Jesus Christ, one of the three of its kind in the world, created by Italian artist Antonio Salviati on the Island of Murano near Venice.
Boat Trip to Swallow's Nest (HD)
Take a boat for a scenic trip to the Swallow's Nest Castle. En route you will be impressed by the beautiful sea front and lovely view of green rocky cliffs, mountain vistas, lush vegetation and majestic mansions. On reaching Cape Ai-Todor, ascend to the most unusual architectural monument dubbed the Swallow's Nest whose turrets and spires convey a sense of unapproachable grandeur. This "Castle of Love", designed by the architect Sherwood and completed in 1911, has become a true symbol of Crimea. Here you can relax and enjoy complimentary refreshments in a welcoming cafe. At the end of your visit browse through souvenir stalls, time permitting, and take a coach back to the port.
Visiting the Vorontsovs (HD)
Board your coach for a scenic drive along Yalta's beautiful seafront. The first stop will be made at a perfect viewpoint offering wonderful panorama of Cape Ai-Todor with the most unusual castle called the Swallow's Nest. Continue with a leisurely ride to the town of Alupka where under the magnificent slopes of Mount Ai-Petri stands the Vorontsov Palace, constructed between 1828 and 1848. Your guide will take you through its lavishly decorated interiors and provide informative commentaries about the history of this resplendent building. Next there will be a walking to the Alupka wine tasting hall where you will have a unique opportunity to taste delectable Massandra wines.
Yalta on Foot (HD)
For the adventurous, what is a better way to see this charming seaside town than to walk in its streets, which still retain their original beauty? After coming ashore, you will be introduced to your guide and head off on a walking tour of Yalta. Take a pleasant stroll in Chekhov Street to the Lutheran Church of St Maria, built in the late 19th century. Continue with a leisurely visit to Alexander Nevsky Cathedral with its typically Russian onion domes and Byzantine interior. Then stroll to the impressive Oreanda Hotel for refreshments. En route to your ship you will see the Embankment lined with beautiful trees, inviting open-air cafes and shops. There will be time to browse for local handicraft.
Yalta Panoramic with Less Walking (HD)
For guests who wish to get acquainted with the highlights of Yalta mostly from the comfort of an air-conditioned coach, this excursion is ideal. Explore the Livadia Palace in its garden setting, formerly the summer residence of Tsar Nicholas II, where the historic meeting between Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill was held. After this unforgettable visit you will pause at a vantage point overlooking Cape Ai-Todor to admire a magnificent view of the Swallow's Nest resembling a fairy tale castle on top of an inaccessible cliff. A leisurely drive along the beautiful Crimean Riviera will allow you to admire the beautiful sea front, lovely scenery of green and rocky cliffs, mountain vistas and lush vegetation. You will reach the town of Foros where Gorbachev's Dacha is located and where he was put under house arrest during the 1991 coup attempt. Here you will have another photostop opportunity before a ride back to the port.
Folk Performance (HD)
Ukraine is a multinational country with diverse cultural heritage and folk traditions that have been cherished through many generations to nowadays. National performers are internationally known for their breathtaking Cossack dances and folk songs. Departing from the pier, you will make a short drive to the concert hall to savor a memorable evening of excellent entertainment. Colorful costumes and unrivalled talent are the key to this impressive folk performance which will be surely enjoyed by all.