A sea cruise is a real dream trip. You don’t experience any of the inconveniences of the road and you can relax and have fun, enjoying the fresh sea air and the continuous change of scenery. Sounds tempting, doesn’t it? And it can really come true, because the starting point for this dream trip can be Sochi!

Remember how popular domestic cruises were on board the comfortable ships Russia, Ukraine, Pobeda, Admiral Nakhimov, Ivan Franko, Tajikistan and Dmitry Shostakovich? If you don’t remember, watch the famous Soviet film The Diamond Arm, where the director Leonid Gaidai used the cruise ships Pobeda and Russia. In Soviet times, sea travel on a cruise ship was the most prestigious type of vacation! Unfortunately, after the collapse of the USSR, cruises stopped.

Now there’s great news: popular cruise voyages have acquired a new lease on life!

In 2013, the passenger ship Adriana made 20 cruises with calls to the ports of the Crimea and Sochi. In 2015, cruise liners of an Italian company that organises trips to the waters of five seas, including the Black, Aegean, Adriatic, Ionian and Marmara, began calling on Sochi with an MSC Opera Class luxury ship. Finally, in 2017, there was the first full-fledged domestic cruise tour after many years.

There’s no need to apply for a foreign passport or visa, change currency, or challenge your knowledge of foreign languages. A unique opportunity to make a week-long sea cruise, without going beyond the territorial borders of the Motherland, is offered to Russians on board the Knyaz Vladimir cruise ship.

This renovated nine-deck cruise ship is Russia’s most comfortable cruise liner.

The Knyaz Vladimir boasts four swimming pools, restaurants, a cinema, concert venues, shops, a beauty salon, and can accommodate almost a thousand guests – three time more than the ships making river cruises. Animation programs and live entertainment are held on board, meals are served “Buffet style,” and comfortable cabins are equipped with all the essentials.

With a single voyage, cruise participants can get acquainted with the history of two Black Sea regions at once – the Caucasus and the Crimea.

The Knyaz Vladimir sails the route Sochi–Novorossiysk–Yalta–Sevastopol–Sochi along the Russian coast and stops at each port for one or two days, so tourists can walk around the city and see the sights without haste. Those who wish can book city excursions directly on board the ship, where they can also order the services of a photographer or videographer.

The Knyaz Vladimir 2021 cruise season begins on 13 June and ends on 12 September, but it’s better to book your cruise a few months in advance: there’s a lot people wanting to make their dream trip across the waves and seas!

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Sochi legends

The history of Sochi is inherently linked with ancient times. The ancient Greeks regarded the Black Sea as an inhospitable place because of the bloodthirsty Achaei, Zygii, and Heniochi tribes who not only inhabited the coast from Tuapse to Abkahazia in the 9th Century BCE, but also engaged in piracy and the slave trade. Millennia have passed since then, but the legends that arose during that age continue to this day. Make yourself comfortable as we embark upon a mysterious voyage back through the ages.   The legend of Prometheus In ancient times, people lived in cold, uncomfortable caves, hunted with stones and clubs, ate raw meat and were ignorant of fire. Meanwhile, on Mount Olympus, home of the Greek Gods, life was vibrant, full of passions and intrigue. One day, Prometheus, King of the Scythians, decided to better the lives of the common people. He presented them with a spark from the sacred fire of Olympus. The gift sparked the desire for work and creativity in their hearts, and they pursued art and mastered crafts. Zeus was furious and would not forgive Prometheus for his betrayal. He chained him to a rock in a distant mountain land, where a fierce eagle tore open his chest and pecked out his liver every day. Agura, a local beauty, learned of Prometheus’ torment. Every day, she went to him, giving him spring water, feeding him bread, and singing him songs. Then one day, the fierce eagle saw her. It lifted the girl into the air and threw her violently into a gorge. Striking the ground, Agura transformed into a river.     The legend of Matsesta  Long ago, where the Matsesta health resort now stands, there was a spring with healing waters that could cure any ailment. The local people eagerly used these sacred waters, sacrificing their most beautiful daughters to the evil mountain spirit in exchange. One day, the people tired of this and they stopped making sacrifices, so the evil spirit hid the spring behind a huge rock. Many years later, a man and wife who lived there had a daughter named Matsesta. Everyone who saw her admired her for her beauty, and the older she grew the more beautiful she became. Then tragedy struck – Matsesta’s parents fell gravely ill. An old man told the daughter about the once-existing spring whose waters could save her parents. The girl vowed to find this water at any cost and went to the rock. When the evil spirit saw her, it concluded that the people had come to their senses and it dragged Matsesta away. Her parents and the local inhabitants ran to the rock, but it was too late. The rock split open and a stream of water gushed out, which carried Matsesta’s lifeless body away. The girl defeated the spirit but could not save herself. In gratitude, the people name the healing water after her – Matsesta!   The legend of Dzhegosh A long time ago, in the days of Prometheus and Matsesta, there was a giant named Dzeghosh who lived near a tributary of the Shakhe river. The Adgys people hated him for he devoured the youngest and most beautiful women of their tribe. One day, one of the elders, wanting to save his only daughter from the giant, suggested to his fellow tribesmen that that they poison Dzeghosh with honey. The Adygs presented the giant with a barrel of the elixir as a gift. When Dzeghosh began feasting on the treat with delight, the Adygs released a swarm of wild bees. Fleeing from their fierce stings, the giant ran away, and wherever his feet hit, the earth cracked open and water appeared. Overcome by the bees, Dzegosh fell dead, and in the 33 places where his feet landed, 33 waterfalls appeared. 

Health resort treatment

Sochi is not only Russia’s summer capital, it is also the country’s spa capital. Some 66 health resorts operate in the city year round, including sanatoriums, guest houses and medical and recreational complexes. More than half the health resorts in the Krasnodar region are concentrated in the city.