Pete Brown is a native of England and has been a travel consultant for over 35 years, 15 of which have been with Bon Voyage Travel. Pete recently shared his thoughts with us on his Black Sea cruise with Crystal, where he hosted for a group of about 40 people.
Pete had a great time exploring the countries that boarder the Black Sea as well as Italy. “These countries are so full of living history” said Pete. “We explored the catacombs in Odessa, where fighting actually took place in World War II.” Pete also enjoyed the mountains of Yalta in the Ukraine: “Everywhere you look it’s beautiful, green, and lush. When Yalta was founded, anyone who wanted to build was required to plant and maintain three trees, which resulted in these gorgeous escalade tree lines.”
Another great experience Pete had was his tour of Pompeii in Sorrento. This is the site of Europe’s only active volcano: Mt. Vesuvius. Pete learned about how the volcano caused the destruction of Pompeii, and how today it’s still regarded as one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world. “Pompeii was so vast it’s impossible to tour it in just one day, but it was like stepping back into ancient Rome! The ash from the volcano preserved everything; I would definitely recommend this as an outstanding experience.” If you are feeling adventurous you can also hike through soft volcanic ash and pumice to the top of the active volcano.
When we asked Pete if he had any advice for clients looking to take a similar cruise he said: “I would just be sure to let them know that it isn’t like Western Europe. There are not as many English speakers, and the locations are not as reliant on tourism, meaning it’s a bit harder to get around on your own. There is a lot of great history to discover, but an escorted tour is probably your best bet.” Pete said that the Black Sea is calm, much like sailing in the Caribbean or the Mediterranean. “It was great getting to see places in Romania and the Ukraine; I would love to go back!”