Heritage Cruise in 2009
(also known as the Floating
Odessa - Crimea - Kyiv
September 29 to
October 15, 2009
site for passengers booking on the 2009 cruise
The Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) page
for the 2009 cruise may be useful to prospective passengers
What people have said about this cruise. Well over 2,000
pilgrim passengers have participated
New - July 2009 - there are
some program changes
Cruise September/October 2009
|27 September Sunday
||28 Sep Monday
||29 Sep Tuesday
|| 2 Oct
fly from North America
city tour, Mennonite Archive exhibit on the ship, possible music event
free in Odessa, sail to Crimea at noon, Mennonite lectures begin after
a cruise opening event.
Arrival in Sevastopol with day trip to Yalta & Russian Riviera,
evening Black Sea Fleet Revue
|4 Oct Sunday
|5 Oct Monday
|6 Oct Tuesday
|7 Oct Wednesday
|8 Oct Thursday
|9 Oct Friday
|10 Oct Saturday
|Crimea Day 2
Visits to Mennonite villages or
Crimean War Sites
World Communion Sunday is observed on the ship.
Morning walking tours of Sevastopol naval sites plus visit to nearby
ancient Greek Chersonesus
Ship sails after noon
|On the River
Mennonite lectures continue with a break to visit the old historic
section of naval Kherson
Long day of bus and private trips to former Mennonite villages
Long day of bus and
private trips to former Mennonite villages
A final long day of bus and private trips to former Mennonite
villages. Evening music event on the ship
Day 4 Visiting historic Khortitsa-Rosenthal and unveiling of Memorial;
|11 Oct Sunday
|12 Oct Monday
|13 Oct Tuesday
|14 Oct Wednesday
|15 Oct Thursday
Morning visit to urban Mennonite sites. An evening of sharing
|On the river - Relaxing
We sail without stopping to Kyiv. Genealogy seminar
Half day city excursion
Evening Horlytsa folk Ensemble & Captain's Dinner
Half day city excursion. Evening command performance by Boyan
|Cruise ends in Kyiv
with morning and afternoon flights to Europe stopovers
Ship's route - 2008 cruise - starting in Odessa and
ending in Kyiv - map courtesy Kenneth Ratzlaff
old adage says: If you haven’t sailed the Dnieper, you haven’t seen
Ukraine. The Dnieper is Europe’s third longest river, after the Volga
and the Danube. It is the history of the nation immortalized in legend
and song. It is the cradle of the eastern Slavic cultures. Today it is
a cascade of five reservoirs and locks with asymmetrical banks, the
right bank often high and steep, the left bank low and plain. We also
sail the storied Black Sea to Crimea. For the fifth time, the cruise
starts in Odessa and ends in Kyiv.
The cruise itinerary in narrative form
September 29, 2009
Flights from North America
September 30-Oct 2 Odessa
Passengers take buses from the airport to the ship. The 2009 voyage
starts in Odessa, known as the Pearl of the Black Sea which has a
decidedly international feel to it, having been founded in 1794 in
large part by aristocratic emigres from the French Revolution. The wide
boulevards, distinguished mansions and lovely interior courtyards,
which we see in our city tour, give evidence of its former grandeur.
We have opportunity to climb the great Potemkin staircase, walk around
the city to shop for souvenirs. As a Mennonite prologue we see a
special exhibit from the Peter Braun archive, miraculously rediscovered
and the Board of Guardians archive, displayed especially for us on the
ship. As we depart Odessa, the Mennonite historical lectures begin.
October 3-5 Crimea
We are docked for three days in historic Sevastopol, traditional home
of the Black Sea Fleet. We see a high energy musical revue by the Fleet
musicians, singers and dancers.
We are docked within twenty minutes drive to one of the world's great
panoramas - depicting a day in the Crimea War (1853-56). We are
also close to the site of the tragic Charge of the Light Brigade.
Crimea is a fascinating place with its varied geography. Most of the
peninsula is flat, fertile, arable land, much coveted by 19th century
land-starved Mennonites from the Molochna. We visit the former
Mennonite villages. These will likely include Spat, Karassan, Annenfeld
Across the lower centre are ranges of foothills which culminate in a
dramatic range of seaside mountains, creating the "Russian Riviera".
Here are the fabled resort palaces of Greater Yalta, such as Count
Vorontsov’s Alupka Palace and the Romanov’s Livadia Palace, site of the
1944 Yalta Conference..
We make a special bus and walking tour of Sevastopol, historic naval
home of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.
Not far from where we are docked in Sevastopol lie the grand ruins of
Greek & Byzantine Chersonesus. From here Christianity came to
eastern Slavic lands more than a millennium ago.
We continue the lectures as we leave Crimea, updating our knowledge of
Russian Mennonite history with historian Paul Toews and architect Rudy
October 6 On the river, Kherson
We continue from the Black Sea up to the Dnieper to make a short stop
Kherson to enjoy a rustic outdoor picnic lunch and crafts
sale on a Dnieper delta island.
The Mennonite lectures conclude.
October 7-10 Zaporizhia &
The heart of the Mennonite Heritage Cruise experience then finds us
docked four days at Zaporizhia, formerly known as Alexandrovsk.
During our Zaporizhia stay, everyone sees famous Khortitsa-Rosenthal,
now a suburb of Zaporizhia, including the oak tree, the
Mädchenschule and other well known sites. From Zaporizhia we visit
the parent Khortitsa and Molochna colonies via bus routes reflecting
passenger requests. Individual trips can also be arranged to specific
villages and outlying daughter colonies.
The Zaporizhia visit ends with a number of special activities
dealing with the Memorial commemorating the disappearance during the
Soviet terror of 30,000 Mennonite men, women and children. .
The ship arrives overnight at Dnipropetrovsk, formerly Ekaterinoslav,
an Imperial Russian centre well known to our ancestors. A walking tour
of the old city centre reminds us of the influence of entrepreneur and
mayor, Johann Esau, politician Hermann Bergman and other Mennonites in
this region. We also see sites associated with the anarchist, Nestor
Makhno. An emotionally charged room in the local museum is devoted to
the millions of people who perished under Stalin.
As we sail from Dnipropetrovsk, we enjoy an evening of sharing and
October 12 On the River
As we sail non-stop to Kyiv, Alan Peters conducts a computer assisted
genealogy seminar, we visit the Captain’s bridge on the ship, see a
preview of the cruise DVD.
October 13,14 Kyiv
The cruise ends in Kyiv with a population of over 3 million. We visit
Old Kyiv Hill, strategically located above the Dnieper; St. Sofia
Basilica, the Jewish holocaust site at Babi Yar and the complex of
monastic buildings known as Pechersky Lavra. There is some free time
Our Kyiv cruise epilogue includes an on ship performance by the
Horlytsa Ukrainian Folk Ensemble, the gala Captain’s Dinner, and a
command performance in the city by Ukraine's outstanding Boyan Male
October 15 Cruise ends in Kyiv
Passengers take morning or afternoon flights to western Europe for
stopovers or fly home
Boyan Male Chamber Choir at the University of Kyiv
Black Sea Fleet
Ensemble in Sevastopol
Notes on Individual Arangements
We can help you with your individual travel needs.
A. Private Excursions in Ukraine.
In due time we will publish a bus schedule, reflecting passenger
requests for villages in the former Khortitsa, Molochna and Crimea
These are included in the cruise price. We can also book private trips,
at modest extra cost, to more distant destinations within Ukraine such
as villages in the former Volhynia, Sagradowka, Fürstenland,
Schlachtin-Baratov, Memrik & Ignatievo colonies or remote places in
Crimea. Please have a look at how we organized bus and private trips
for the 2008 cruise
B. North American connecting flights.
We use the best possible fares offered by scheduled airlines.
Note about post-cruise stopover options:
C. Transatlantic Flights & European Stopovers.
Our two major air carriers are Lufthansa and Austrian
Airlines for Canadian departures and Austrian Airlines for U.S.
departures. Vienna is the cultural centre of central
Europe. In mid October the
concert and opera seasons are in full swing. There are wonderful
museums and art galleries. Marina has long standing contacts with a
family owned hotel in the historic Vienna city centre. If you are
flying with Austrian Airlines your European stopover would
start in Vienna. It is also the gateway to may interesting eastern
European cites such as Prague, Budapest, Venice etc. Walter has
special hotel and cultural contacts in Germany, including Berlin,
Dresden (city centre recently and magically rebuilt) and the Bach city
of Leipzig. Flying with Lufthansa your stopover would begin in
Frankfurt or Munich.
Please visit this page from time to time to learn more about
scheduled events in Europe in mid to late October, 2009
For further information contact
You can also find out directly from Germany and Vienna on the web. The
recommended supplier of day tours from Vienna to Budapest, Prague, etc
is Royal Tours.
Deutsche Bahn (German Rail) has a very useful search
engine for European trains.
Marina Unger, Cruise Organizer: toll free 1-800-387-1488 ext
2827 or direct
office line 416-915-2827 e-mail:
Jane Clemens, Cruise Administrative Assistant: toll free
1-800-387-1488 ext 2243 or direct
office line 416-915-2243 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
for both Fax (416) 221-5605
Conference World Tours/Vision 2000
1200 Sheppard Avenue East Suite 201
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M2K 2S5
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