Why go to Yalta?
Yalta boasts an expansive and scenic waterfront with lots of shops and restaurants
Political unrest can affect travel plans in the Crimean peninsula, and many cruise lines forgo it
While Yalta is a beautiful and interesting destination, ongoing issues might keep you from visiting
Yalta Cruise Port Facilities?
The passenger terminal features a tourist information office and facilities, including toilets and refreshment vendors. There are ATM's on the pedestrian-only waterfront area and plenty of shops, restaurants, open-air cafes, fairground rides, street entertainers and pebble beaches, making it easy to enjoy a day close to the port. Historic sights include the statue of Lenin standing in front of a modern fast food chain. A case of the old East meeting the new West?
Good to Know?
Plenty of taxis can be hailed around the port, but make sure you agree on a price before you get in. Don't be afraid to haggle. If you think the price is too high, just walk away and find another taxi down the street and try to negotiate a cheaper rate.
On Foot: Away from the bustling Naberezhnaya Lenina, or Lenin Promenade, the main city center is a 15-minute walk away -- where a top attraction is Alexander Nevsky cathedral. Independent travelers armed with a map can enjoy a stroll from the port to soak up some of the sights, but for the main attractions, you need to take a tour bus out of town.
Public Transport: Inexpensive trolley buses travel in town, and a good bus network runs to outlying areas that are home to attractions such as Alupka Palace and the Crow's Nest. Tell the driver where you want to get off because the stops are a short walk away. Bear in mind that language can also be an issue.
By Taxi: Taxis are plentiful, and drivers waiting outside the port terminal invariably speak English, and they know all the top sights and how to dodge the peak-season traffic jams.
By Ferry: During the cruise season, up to 20 ferries a day run from the pier on the promenade to the Swallow's Nest and Livadia Palace. Tickets are cheap, but be prepared for the climb up to the castle and palace from the landing points. Cruise ships typically arrive at breakfast time and sail late afternoon, so there is plenty of time for travelers to go sightseeing on their own.
Currency & Best Way to Get Money?
The currency is the Ukrainian hryvnia. For current currency conversion figures, check www.xe.com. Some souvenir vendors in Yalta accept U.S. dollars, but it's best to get some local currency; U.S. dollars and Russian rubles represent the two main currencies accepted at banks and money exchanges. Some exchange services accept euros, and the British pound is hard to exchange. Ensure notes are in good condition or they could be refused. A currency exchange is located in the port's passenger terminal, and you'll find plenty of ATM's nearby. Major credit cards are accepted in restaurants and shops.
Ukrainian is the official state language. English is widely spoken in shops, restaurants and at tourist attractions.
Where You're Docked?
Cruise ships dock at Yalta Sea Trade Port, which contains a passenger terminal. The port is situated on the main promenade but, unlike other Black Sea destinations, most of the main sights, such as Livadia, Alupka Palace and the Crow's Nest, are not accessible on foot from the port. Visitors need to sign up for shore excursions or travel independently by taxi. In 2012, plans were announced to modernize the port and extend the berthing facilities to accommodate up to four ships simultaneously.