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Anyone go on a Dnieper River Tour?

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My Mom and I are considering a cruise of the Dnieper River next summer, to visit places like Bucharest, Odessa, Yalta, Kiev, Sevastopol, and a few others spots. My father was from near Kiev but we have no relations there other than in the ground at Babi Yar, I would think. Still, the region holds a certain curiousity for me but I know little about it. The cruise is with an alumni group. Anyone go on a similar trip? If so, what was it like?

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    This information is probably outdated but here goes: Three years ago my daughter, son-in-law and myself booked a Dnieper river cruise with smarTours (Friendly Planet). The tour was actually sublet to, I believe, Value Tours. The Dnieper is dammed up into huge lakes and we were often on the water for many, many hours. These huge reservoirs were like being in the middle of the Great Lakes, unable to see either shore, with very little do do on the boat itself. Lectures were all in three languages, Russian, English and German, so got tiring to sit through. The food was pretty boring. Our tour guide was not at all interested in his job.We were there in May and it rained for about the first ten days.

    Most of the shore excursions were okay; some should have been skipped. There's not much to see at Babi Yar, but was a very sobering experience.

    I've said I'd love to return to Ukraine sometime, only this time would like to do strictly a land tour. Fortunately, I'm going to be able to do just that in July. A few years ago a young man from Ukraine made his home here and several of us are going to visit him. Hopefully I'll return with a much more favorable recollections.

    I truly hope you have a great trip and that my story doesn't discourage you.

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    Wow! Thanks for the info. Very interesting. We decided not to do the trip, as my Mom's health is not so great, and the rooms have very little space, even to stand in. Our real interest is some of the towns along the way. I think, if we ever do the trip, it will be a land trip.

    My father's family has a story of trying to escape the Ukraine, being captured and being forced to walk into the frozen Dnieper River (At least I believe it was the Dnieper). People were falling through the ice and dying. The story is that my Grandfather refused to walk onto the ice with his wife and two small children (including my father). He told the soldiers to go ahead and shoot them on dry land. They were sent to jail instead. This must have been around 1921. The family wound up separated - mother and tiny son (my father) in Romania, while father and daughter were back in the Ukraine. Daughter nearly died of typhus and they were starving. Father and daughter escaped finally, hiding under hay in a wagon. Relation in US sent money for them to come here.

    Lots of stories of pograms, murder, prior to their escape, all in the Ukraine, under the Czar and then the communists. It was a horrible place, but holds some fascination.

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