Geoff Brock & Bruce Gamble

2008: Ukraine

In June 2008 we went to Ukraine for a cruise on the "Viking Lavrinenkov", which would take us from Odessa to the Crimea and then up the Dnieper River to Kiev. We booked the trip through Noble Caledonia, a company we had used several time before. We loved the holiday. It was well organised, the standard of food and accommodation aboard the ship was excellent and the crew looked after us very well indeed. The ship was only about two-thirds full, which gave us a good sense of space and comfort. Our fellow travellers were very pleasant and really helped to make the trip even more enjoyable. The places we visited were in many ways surprising, especially to see how they appeared to be prospering. Perhaps we had expected the country to be a little more like our visit to Russia ten years previous, when the cities along the Volga all looked rather deprived.

Above: Our plane at Prague airport for the second
leg of our journey from London to Odessa.

Below: The airport at Odessa

We were met at the airport by two representatives from Viking River Cruises and quickly escorted by coach to our ship
After our early start and two flights, we were especially pleased to see the ship and to be shown to our spacious cabin
               The "Programme for Today", which we found in the cabin, was to become a familiar source of information in the days that followed              
After settling in, we were invited up to the sun deck for a welcome drink with the captain. From there, we could see the smart terminal building.

A toast and some snacks with the ship's team

             After dinner, we took a short walk to get our bearings. It was a clear night and our ship looked beautiful in the moonlight.            

Another couple of pictures, taken from more or less the same place, the next morning. The impressive opera house can be seen on the hill.
©Geoff Brock and Bruce Gamble