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Cruises to Varna

Varna (Photo:Aleksandar Todorovic/Shutterstock)

About Varna

Located on the Black Sea Coast, Varna is the second-largest city in Bulgaria (after the capital, Sofia). Once the summer retreat of the Eastern Bloc's most powerful players, Varna -- with its broad beaches, spectacular churches and well-stocked museums -- is now a magnet for Western tourists.

The city was founded more than 1,000 years ago as a fishing village and has had a richly chequered history ever since. Christened Odessos (water town) by the Greeks, it was besieged by Alexander the Great in the fourth century B.C. and was later dominated by the Romans and the Ottoman Turks. The end result is that the modern city now sports ancient Roman baths, as well as mosques and Turkish baths.

Today's visitors are most likely interested in Varna's great beaches. The acres of golden sand lining its coast make this city one of the prettiest sail-ins on the Black Sea. Water babies, who want nothing more than to ride the waves and feel the sand between their toes will be in their element. They can find their heart's desire a very short stroll from the dock before enjoying a lazy lunch with a sea view.


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  • 14 Night
    Cruise to Varna

    Leaving:
    Athens
    Visiting:
    Kusadasi, Varna ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Azamara
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    • Ship Details
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    14 Night Cruise to Varna Route (Azamara)
    • Day 1
      Athens (Piraeus)
    • Day 2
      Kusadasi
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Varna
    • Day 5
      Constanta
    • Day 6
      Odessa
    • Day 7
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      Sochi
    • Day 9
      Batumi
    • Day 10
      Cruising
    • Day 11
      Istanbul
    • Day 12
      Istanbul
    • Day 13
      Canakkale
    • Day 14
      Athens (Piraeus)
    • Day 15
      Athens (Piraeus)
    Ship Details

    Azamara Pursuit - Azamara

    Pros

    ** Comfortable home base for exploring unique itineraries, with warm and accommodating service

    Cons

    ** Most cabins, especially the bathrooms, are small and feel tight

    Bottom Line

    ** Pursuit is perfectly sized to sail into more remote ports; onboard atmosphere is quiet and congenial

    Reviews

    Azamara Pursuit Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining4.0

    In August 2018, Azamara Club Cruises expanded its two-ship fleet with the addition of Azamara Purs...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Pboothe
    Sail Date Mar 2020
    Fantastic Captain, Crew, and Ship
    Read More
    SailingSteve77
    Sail Date Mar 2020
    Twilight Zone cruise!
    Read More
    Cabin Comparison

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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 14 Night
    Cruise to Varna

    Leaving:
    Athens
    Visiting:
    Kusadasi, Istanbul ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Azamara
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
    Hide Cruise Info
    • Itinerary
    • Ship Details
    • Reviews
    • Cabin Comparison
    • View All Prices
    • Fare Includes
    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    14 Night Cruise to Varna Route (Azamara)
    • Day 1
      Athens (Piraeus)
    • Day 2
      Kusadasi
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Istanbul
    • Day 5
      Varna
    • Day 6
      Constanta
    • Day 7
      Odessa
    • Day 8
      Cruising
    • Day 9
      Sochi
    • Day 10
      Batumi
    • Day 11
      Cruising
    • Day 12
      Istanbul
    • Day 13
      Canakkale
    • Day 13
      Cruising
    • Day 14
      Athens (Piraeus)
    • Day 15
      Athens (Piraeus)
    Ship Details

    Azamara Journey - Azamara

    Pros

    Unique programming, friendly service and impressive commitment to destination cruising

    Cons

    Limited entertainment options, including a too-small casino, and hit-or-miss theater offerings

    Bottom Line

    Great choice for a truly grown-up getaway with more time in port

    Reviews

    Azamara Journey Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.5/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining5.0
    Service5.0
    Value5.0

    For destination-intensive itineraries, excellent food, a comfortable onboard experience that le...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    flyingron
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Mostly good, some sad, and some ugly
    Read More
    JohnnyBumpo
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Good boat, great cruise
    Read More
    Cabin Comparison

    Compare Cabin Prices

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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 14 Night
    Cruise to Varna

    Leaving:
    Athens
    Visiting:
    Kusadasi, Varna ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Azamara
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
    Hide Cruise Info
    • Itinerary
    • Ship Details
    • Reviews
    • Cabin Comparison
    • View All Prices
    • Fare Includes
    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    14 Night Cruise to Varna Route (Azamara)
    • Day 1
      Athens (Piraeus)
    • Day 2
      Kusadasi
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Varna
    • Day 5
      Constanta
    • Day 6
      Odessa
    • Day 7
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      Sochi
    • Day 9
      Batumi
    • Day 10
      Sinop
    • Day 11
      Cruising
    • Day 12
      Istanbul
    • Day 13
      Istanbul
    • Day 14
      Cruising
    • Day 15
      Athens (Piraeus)
    Ship Details

    Azamara Pursuit - Azamara

    Pros

    ** Comfortable home base for exploring unique itineraries, with warm and accommodating service

    Cons

    ** Most cabins, especially the bathrooms, are small and feel tight

    Bottom Line

    ** Pursuit is perfectly sized to sail into more remote ports; onboard atmosphere is quiet and congenial

    Reviews

    Azamara Pursuit Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining4.0

    In August 2018, Azamara Club Cruises expanded its two-ship fleet with the addition of Azamara Purs...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    DalTexDancer
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Hits and Misses
    Read More
    hulter
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    A lot done well, but some big misses
    Read More
    Cabin Comparison

    Compare Cabin Prices

    No Results Found
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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 14 Night
    Cruise to Varna

    Leaving:
    Athens
    Visiting:
    Ouranoupoli, Kavala ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Azamara
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
    Hide Cruise Info
    • Itinerary
    • Ship Details
    • Reviews
    • Cabin Comparison
    • View All Prices
    • Fare Includes
    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    14 Night Cruise to Varna Route (Azamara)
    • Day 1
      Athens (Piraeus)
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Ouranoupoli
    • Day 4
      Kavala
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      Constanta
    • Day 7
      Odessa
    • Day 8
      Odessa
    • Day 9
      Varna
    • Day 10
      Istanbul
    • Day 11
      Istanbul
    • Day 12
      Canakkale
    • Day 13
      Kusadasi
    • Day 14
      Patmos
    • Day 15
      Athens (Piraeus)
    Ship Details

    Azamara Quest - Azamara

    Pros

    Destination-focused itineraries; friendly and fun onboard vibe

    Cons

    Standard cabins are small with tiny bathrooms, despite a high price tag

    Bottom Line

    Destination-immersive, upscale cruising, with not a lot of nickel and diming

    Reviews

    Azamara Quest Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.5/5
    Cabins3.5
    Dining4.5
    Service5.0
    Value3.5

    Editor's Note: A March 2019 dry dock saw the ship's casino converted into ...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Canadian World Travellers
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Azamara Quest vs Oceania R-Class Review - Sophisticated Cruiser over 50+ cruise
    Read More
    soars
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Boutique Six star ! - head office needs to learn how to count stars!
    Read More
    Cabin Comparison

    Compare Cabin Prices

    No Results Found
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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 14 Night
    Cruise to Varna

    Leaving:
    Athens
    Visiting:
    Mykonos, Kusadasi ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Azamara
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
    Hide Cruise Info
    • Itinerary
    • Ship Details
    • Reviews
    • Cabin Comparison
    • View All Prices
    • Fare Includes
    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    14 Night Cruise to Varna Route (Azamara)
    • Day 1
      Athens (Piraeus)
    • Day 2
      Mykonos
    • Day 3
      Kusadasi
    • Day 4
      Cruising
    • Day 5
      Burgas
    • Day 6
      Varna
    • Day 7
      Constanta
    • Day 8
      Odessa
    • Day 9
      Odessa
    • Day 10
      Cruising
    • Day 11
      Istanbul
    • Day 12
      Istanbul
    • Day 13
      Canakkale
    • Day 14
      Athens (Piraeus)
    • Day 15
      Athens (Piraeus)
    Ship Details

    Azamara Journey - Azamara

    Pros

    Unique programming, friendly service and impressive commitment to destination cruising

    Cons

    Limited entertainment options, including a too-small casino, and hit-or-miss theater offerings

    Bottom Line

    Great choice for a truly grown-up getaway with more time in port

    Reviews

    Azamara Journey Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.5/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining5.0
    Service5.0
    Value5.0

    For destination-intensive itineraries, excellent food, a comfortable onboard experience that le...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    veggieonboard
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Pumpkin, pasta and more pumpkin!
    Read More
    BetsyT
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Lovely, comfortable ship, excellent service and wonderful ports
    Read More
    Cabin Comparison

    Compare Cabin Prices

    No Results Found
    Loading...
    View All Prices

    Compare Prices

    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
    Loading...
    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

More about Varna

Why go to Varna?

Pros: Varna is a dynamic city with expansive beaches, stunning churches, plentiful museums and even Roman baths.

Cons: Most shops do not accept credit cards, so you'll need to make sure to have local currency on hand.

Bottom Line: Though you'll go for the beaches, Varna is an interesting and culturally rich city to explore.

Where You’re Docked

The Varna port terminal lies very close to the beaches and leafy walkways of Varna's Sea Garden Park, which stretches several miles along the waterfront. The terminal itself is a small, two-storey building with a couple of souvenir shops and a cafe but no Internet facility. You can change money at an ATM on the wall, just outside of the main exit.

Varna Cruise Port Facilities

It's about a 500-yard walk from the port terminal to the start of the Sea Garden Park area and beaches -- and because it's hot and unshaded, that walk feels long. You can climb a rusty ladder up to the top of the sea wall to get a better view and a bit of a sea breeze.

On the main drag, you'll see some beautiful embroidery and lacework draped on the walls, as local women offer it for sale. Tip: Only buy on the way back, when you know how much local currency you want to get rid of and are more likely to barter for a last-minute bargain.

For lunch and a bit of shopping, walk right along the waterfront through the Sea Gardens, past an Olympic-scale swimming pool (used by the locals for competitions, so not a tourist facility) and Gossip and Atmosphere Beaches. You'll soon see market stalls on a shady path to your left. Take the path and, straight ahead, you'll find a broad plaza with the Hotel and Cafe Odessos on the left and a large shopping, leisure and restaurant complex on the right -- with lots of open-air restaurant tables.

Good to Know

Visit an ATM as soon as possible, and carry plenty of local currency, as hardly any shops accept credit cards.

And, if you're spending the afternoon on the beach, wear plastic flip-flops down to the water's edge, as the sand gets so hot that even a short walk with bare soles will burn your feet (unless you're a professional fire-walker).

Getting Around

There are taxis right at the terminal entrance, but be prepared to negotiate hard; 20 leva should take you pretty much anywhere you'd like to go in downtown Varna. But, do establish (before you get in) that this is the agreed fee per cab, not per person.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money

The local currency is the lev, which generally is about 2.4 to the British pound and 1.4 to the U.S. dollar. But, Bulgaria is scheduled to adopt the euro, beginning in 2014. Do get local cash at an ATM machine when you arrive because hardly any shops or restaurants accept credit cards. You can find current exchange rates at www.oanda.com or www.xe.com.

Language

The official language is Bulgarian. Although some locals speak a smattering of English, don't count on it. Be prepared to use the universal language of smiles and signing. Useful phrases include da (yes), ne (no), molya (please) and blagodariya (thank you).


Varna Cruise Reviews

Celebrity Summit
mojoracer
Sail Date: Jan 2016
Awesome beach near the port....Read More
Carnival Liberty
Beach&Snorkel
Sail Date: Jan 2016
It was a nice day at the beach, but the beach was littered with trash. Take a taxi to a beach and save some money....Read More
Seabourn Odyssey
SimonM
Sail Date: May 2015
Not the most exciting place to visit but we had a pleasant walk around the town...Read More
Pacific Princess
Calvin Hobbes
Sail Date: Aug 2010
Note that we also heard several complaints from people who took tours from Easy Varna to Nessebeur (sp?)....Read More
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