Odessa, Ukraine, View from Russov and Libman Houses
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Photo Credit: iStock.com / AlexDoomer | View from Russov and Libman Houses
Odessa, Ukraine, City Garden
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Photo Credit: iStock.com / InnaFelker | City Garden
Odessa, Ukraine, Vorontsov Palace Colonnade
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Photo Credit: iStock.com / tkachuk | Vorontsov Palace Colonnade
Odessa Oblast, Ukraine, Akkerman Fortress
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Photo Credit: iStock.com / oleksandr_katrusha | Akkerman Fortress
Odessa, Ukraine, Borsch
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Photo Credit: iStock.com / arinahabich | Borscht
Odessa, Ukraine, National Opera and Ballet Theater
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Photo Credit: iStock.com / katatonia82 | Odessa National Opera and Ballet Theater
Odessa, Ukraine, Beach
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Photo Credit: iStock.com / lenka_x | Odessa's coastline

Odessa, Ukraine

Odessa, Ukraine, Duke de Richelieu Monument Photo credit: iStock.com / Pshenichka | Duke de Richelieu Monument

Odessa, at the top end of the Black Sea, grew into a major ice-free trading port during Greek occupation and developed into a cosmopolitan city following the arrival of Armenians, Jews, Russians, Romanians, and Turks. Russians favored Odessa’s beautiful coastline as a resort, and it remains so today. Its popularity as a cruising port developed more recently, though, with a lull during the Russian military intervention in Ukraine.

What We Love

Potemkin Stairs: Odessa’s most famous monument starts (or ends, depending on your direction) near the cruise terminal. These 192 monumental steps between the port and the city center make for a dramatic entrance into the city. There are 10 landings along the way for views — and a rest.

Privoz Market: Arguably the world’s largest outdoor market takes place next to the central railway station. Go there to get a taste of the local produce and see the fish caught in the Black Sea.

Best Known For

Grand Boulevards: Start at the top of the Potemkin Stairs and take a walk along several tree-lined thoroughfares to capture the city’s architectural grandeur, with stops at the ornate Passage Galleries, City Gardens, and Shevchenko Park.

Museums: Be sure to visit the Odessa Museum of Western and Eastern Art, which has collections spanning the 16th to 20th centuries, and the more intimate museum dedicated to Alexander Pushkin, Russia’s greatest poet, who lived and wrote here.

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Who It's Best For

Cultural Aficionados: Few cities have the kind of long and complex history as that of Odessa. There have been many foreign influences and significant rises and falls in its economy, especially following the devastation of World War II.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

Be Alert: The city’s economy coupled with the influx of travelers has unfortunately led to a rise in petty crimes. Be extra diligent, and watch out for your possessions — especially when in crowded shopping precincts.

Theodore W. Scull

Theodore W. Scull is a New York-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has written several books on crossings.

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Itineraries Including Odessa, Ukraine
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