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.