Cruising Report On Ukraine

Published 16 years ago, updated 5 years ago

We visited Ukraine with our sailing yacht “Hirondelle” in the summer of 2006. We have Dutch nationality and carry the Dutch flag. We also brought our big black dog, Murphy.

I recommend Ukraine to everybody I meet. It is beautiful and special. We sailed from Sinop to Balaklava (160 miles). We had been told Balaklava was a port of entry. This is not true. But the people in Balaklava are very friendly and helpful. It is the safest natural harbour I have ever seen and the Russians knew that too. A big part of their rusty marine fleet can still be admired there. Very nice and safe marina. For our boat(12 mtr) we paid 10 euros per night.

We were allowed to take Murphy for a walk and then we left for Yalta. Impressive coast! All this architecture! Worth seeing.

When we arrived in Yalta we were treated very nicely but could not avoid hiring an agent. The charge was 100 euros. He made all the arrangements very well. We went into the city harbour but now I would recommend the commercial harbour. The city harbour is crowded, not safe and very noisy and expensive. No services at all.

The commercial harbour is empty and clean and cheap. Not close to the town but taxis are very cheap.

We stayed 4 days then a south wind was announced and the harbour master warned us that Yalta is not a safe place to be with a yacht with a south wind.

We left for Balaklava and stayed one week there. Perfect time. 3 loud concerts in front of our boat. Dancing and drinking. Interesting museum.

Then Sevastopol. No problems at all at the Russian navy yacht club. Again we stayed one week. Also there very helpful people. Necessary because we had a lot of paperwork to do before we were allowed to leave.

Then Djevpatoria. Easy.

We anchored 3 days in the Delta of the Djnpr. Haven’t seen a soul. Then Odessa. Perfect marina. Lots of paperwork but no charge and no agent. Marina 10 euro per night. Magic! We stayed 10 days, Explored Odessa on the bicycle! Went to the opera and had a very good time.

Then we went up the Danube to Ismail. They tried to force another agent on us but after 3 days suddenly the officials came out and gave us all the stamps we needed.

I would go again. You need patience but it is worth it. The authorities are not as bad as they want to be.

Pauline, “Hirondelle”

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