September 24–October 7, 2015
Admire Istanbul's magnificent Hagia Sophia, then board Variety Voyager for an exciting Black Sea journey. From the Turkish port of Samsun, drive to Amasya, capital of the kings of Pontus from 333–26 B.C. Call at Trabzon, long an important trading port on the Black Sea, to see the stunning frescoes at Sumela Monastery, built into the side of a steep mountain. Stroll through Batumi's peaceful Botanical Gardens, spend a day on the "Russian Riviera" in Sochi, and fly by chartered plane from Constanta to Suceava and marvel at the painted churches in Romania's countryside. From Varna, Bulgaria, travel to Veliki Preslav, capital of the Bulgarian Empire in the 9th century, to visit the ruins of the medieval Round Church. Discover ancient Nessebar, often called the "Pearl of the Black Sea," before concluding in Istanbul. Optional Cappadocia postlude.
Traveling with You: Sarah Graff, assistant curator in the Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art. Explore her 82nd & Fifth episode, "Bricks," about two striking lion panels from Babylon.
Land/Cruise Rates: from $9,995
Download the brochure (PDF).
Get a behind-the-scenes look at a previous Black Sea cruise on the Travel with the Met blog.
Above: Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey