Circumnavigation of the Black Sea

October 4, 2016
15 Days
Aboard the Island Sky
100 Guests
From $12,980

Just Announced: $1,000 Air Credit

Enjoy an air credit of up to $1,000 per person for new bookings on this expedition—contact our office to learn more!

Circumnavigation of the Black Sea

Expedition Highlights

  • Archaeological sites, including a cliffside monastery in Turkey and the fabled site of Histria in Romania.
  • Turkey tour, including Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet District, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as the 17th-century Blue Mosque.
  • Sochi, Russia, a mineral-spring resort community with a subtropical climate and site of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
  • The largest Roman ruins in Bulgaria, the 2nd-century Roman thermae, or public baths.
  • Accommodations aboard our small ship allow us to visit remote ports and hidden gems during our Black Sea tour.

The staff was outstanding—planning, explaining, participating, everything worked out with good humor and flexibility. The excursions provided a variety of experiences; the overall expedition was fun and we learned a lot!

Harold & Sarah N.

Expedition Team

Island Sky

Built in 1992 and recently refurbished, the Island Sky is a comfortable and contemporary expedition vessel. Public spaces include a large lounge, elegant bar with piano, library stocked with fiction and reference books along with a selection of games, and a single-seating dining room. Outside decks feature a bar, spa pool, and a sun deck where meals are served in pleasant weather. All suites feature ocean views, a sitting area, en suite bathroom, large wardrobes, small refrigerator, and television.

Additional Exploration

Pre-voyage extension:
Cappadocia & Istanbul
September 27October 5, 2016
From $4,980

Turkey’s Cappadocia region is a land of striking volcanic terrain marked by thousands of pyramid-shaped rock spires. Throughout the centuries, Cappadocia’s inhabitants have carved their homes and churches in these columns and in caves, creating tunnels and chambers in the rock. This pre-voyage extension highlights the region’s cultural treasures, beautiful vistas, and fascinating history. You will also enjoy additional time to explore Istanbul, Turkey’s magnificent cultural, political, and commercial center.

Gear Up!

  • Alpine Softshell Jacket
Adze Alpine Softshell Jacket

Designed to withstand the ups and downs of the mercury throughout your Black Sea exploration—from a windy cliffside monastery in Turkey to the mineral-spring resort of Sochi, Russia—this moisture-wicking, stretchy-for-comfort, wind-resistant jacket just may be your most-worn piece of travel clothing.

Buy Now

Beyond the Destination

Interesting Perspectives from Previous Expeditions to the Black Sea

  • Istanbul, Turkey

    Circumnavigation of the Black Sea Field Report, May 2015

    July 27, 2015 | Field Report

    Tuesday & Wednesday, June 2 & 3, 2015 - Istanbul, Turkey / Embark Variety Voyager: Welcome to Istanbul!

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    Khinkali and wine

    The Supra - A Georgian Feast of Tradition and Taste

    June 2, 2015 | Blog Post

    While sampling the local cuisine is an integral part of any travel experience, you’ll find that partaking in a traditional Georgian supra is much more than time set aside to simply eat.

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    Pygmy cormorants

    On Location: Our Black Sea Finale

    April 25, 2015 | Blog Post

    Circumnavigation of the Black Sea, 2009

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  • Caviar and vodka

    On Location: Happy Hour on the Black Sea

    April 25, 2015 | Blog Post

    Circumnavigation of the Black Sea, 2012

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    Circumnavigation of the Black Sea

    Circumnavigation of the Black Sea 2014 Field Report

    November 15, 2014 | Field Report

    Saturday, September 20, 2014 - Istanbul, Turkey: Converging in Istanbul, our flights touched down at the busy Ataturk International Airport from many different parts of the world. Seven different nationalities were brought together for the start of our odyssey around the Black Sea, and a happy buzz filled the opulent Pera Palace Hotel.

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    Circumnavigation of the Black Sea

    Circumnavigation of the Black Sea 2013 Field Report

    November 1, 2013 | Field Report

    Thursday & Friday, September 5 & 6, 2013 - Istanbul, Turkey / Embark Island Sky: Welcome to Istanbul! On arrival at the historic Pera Palace Hotel, some of us opted to unwind in the luxury of this newly renovated landmark. Others chose to relax at a nearby hamman, the ultimate Turkish bath experience, or to set out to explore the city.

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  • Sumela fresco, Turkey

    Welcome Home to our Black Sea Explorers!

    October 15, 2012 | Blog Post

    Kevin Clement was so inspired by his time circumnavigating the Black Sea, he put pen to paper and crafted a poem to remember.


    The Discharge of the Trite Brigade

    The verse that started it all (my contest entry):

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    European robin

    On Location: The Black Sea

    October 7, 2011 | Blog Post

    A palette of white darkening to slate-grey painted the storm clouds around the ship as we steamed in the direction of Yalta, Ukraine. As it turned out, we weren’t the only ones caught out in the driving rain and wind on this particular day in the Black Sea. Some migrant land birds, on their way to wintering grounds far to the south, had found themselves in a bit of a predicament. 

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    Sumela Monastery

    On Location: Sumela Monastery

    October 5, 2011 | Blog Post

    We stepped out into the cool crisp air of a shaded streamside valley in northeastern Turkey. The temperature here in the mountains was noticeably different than the Black Sea coast from where we came, some 4,000 feet below us. Imbedded in the cliff face high above our heads sat the spectacular Sumela Monastery, its buff-colored stone glistening in the bright morning sun.

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  • Great Blue Heron, Danube River Delta

    On Location: The Danube River

    September 26, 2011 | Blog Post

    With a fiery orange sun rising above the sea to our stern, we maneuvered into one of the main channels at the mouth of the 1,750-mile long Danube River. The delta of this river covers an amazing 5,000 square kilometers and, as we looked out over the ship’s railing, we came to realize that we were completely surrounded by extensive reed beds stretching out to the horizon.

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    Amasra, Turkey

    On Location: Amasra

    September 19, 2011 | Blog Post

    Under a glorious blue sky, we wandered the narrow winding streets of the coastal village of Amasra. From a high bluff above town, we watched a pair of dolphins attend to a small fishing boat, and admired the rugged north coast of Turkey as it dropped off precipitously into the glistening blue waters of the Black Sea.

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    Cappadocia, Turkey

    Distinctive Turkey

    January 19, 2010 | Blog Post

    Zegrahm's Turkey tour partner was born in the Caucasus Mountains. Having covered every mile of his beloved homeland, Yasar Karadag has educated travelers for over 20 years on its cultural, archaeological, and natural splendors.

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