Tour of Odessa, the Cathedral, and the Museum of Fine Arts
En route to the start of your walking tour, you'll pass the national university, the railway station, and Kulikovo Pole Square. During the walking portion of this excursion, highlights include the Potemkin Steps, the Pushkin Monument, the Richelieu Monument, and the (1887) Opera House. You then drive to the Preobrazhensky Cathedral, referred to as “the Pride of Odessa.” This cathedral, destroyed by Stalin in 1936, was rebuilt recently. You will then see Shevchenko Park near the Black Sea before visiting the Museum of Fine Arts. Housed in a former palace, this museum boasts 26 hallways of Ukrainian, Russian, and Soviet art dating back to the 1400's.
Price: Adults expect to pay around $50 for this 4 hour tour.
Booking Advice: These tours are rated as moderate with respect to physical exercise. Cruise line prices appear to be competitive. However, based upon comments from past cruise guests, it is our understanding that many of the city's highlights are within walking distance of the cruise terminal.
Elegant Tour: the Palace of Count Tolstoy, the Gagarin Palace, and Recitals
You first visit the Novikov Mansion, which depicts the history and lifestyle of this prominent Odessa family with many furnishings dating back to the 1800's. Then, you see the mansion built for Count Tolstoy who was cousin of the famous novelist. This museum houses the Count's pictures and furnishings, and it is here that you will be served a traditional Russian tea. The Gargarin Mansion is next. This palace has caves and tunnels reportedly used for clandestine affairs back in the day, and you will be treated to a classical music concert here. Following your walking tour, which highlights the Pushkin Monument, City Hall, and the Potemkin Steps, you'll have opportunity to shop on Deribassovskaya Street. Then, you'll have lunch at a restaurant as you are treated to a concert by musicians from the Odessa Opera and Philharmonic.
Price: Adults expect to pay around $160 for a 7 hour tour that includes lunch and champagne.
Booking Advice: While you can certainly go on an on your own tour, there are many perks to this particular cruise line tour which seems to be competitively priced. This excursion is rated as moderate in terms of physical exertion due to the walking involved.
A coach drive through Odessa and into the countryside brings you to the village of Nerubaiskoye, where you'll then go underground to the tunnels originally constructed when villages dug into the earth for limestone to build their houses. These tunnels were initially hideouts for outlaws, and then were used by revolutionaries before ultimately becoming the shelter for those who fought against Nazi's when the city was occupied during World War II. The tour ends after your tour of a museum that honors the city's heroes.
Price: Adults expect to pay from $51 to $100 for a 2.5 hour tour.
Booking Advice: This tour is considered to be physically arduous. Cruise line prices do appear to be quite competitive.
The Ballet in Odessa
One way to completely experience Odessa is the ballet! This excursion takes you to the Opera House, where you will see a performance by the famous Odessa State Theatre Ballet Troupe. Your intermission comes with champagne!
Price: Adults expect to pay from $51 to $100 for this 2.5 hour excursion.
Booking Advice: This tour is rated as easy in terms of physical exercise. Cruise line prices appear to be competitive.