I've sailed along the Russian part. It's very beautiful (that's the tail of the Caucasus Mountains which come down to the sea), but there is practically zero infrastructure and almost no place to anchor
. No islands and very few indentations; a bit like the central part of the East coast
Officialdom in Russia
for sailors is a nightmare, as yachts are still treated like commercial
ships for purposes of clearing in and out. I gave a speech on this in Sochi a couple of years ago, which was not well received. Westerners also require visas in Russia
, not hard to get, but an extra hassle and expense.
I don't know about Ukraine; obviously the Crimea is a different geography and probably a much better cruising ground. Don't know whether their official procedures have been reformed or not. Visas not required, a plus.
Abkhazia (the Northeast corner of the Black Sea) is a disputed territory between Russia and Georgia
which is supposed to be a nice place to sail, but probably legally bizarre. It's a subtropical wonderland, in a microclimate formed by the high Caucasus blocking all air masses from the North. There is some kind of yacht haven in Sukhumi, but don't bet on anything we would think of as facilities.
The Georgian coast is very beautiful -- I've seen it from land, but not sailed there. Georgia
does not require visas of Western citizens. Donald Trump is building a tower in Batumi. Batumi is being developed at a huge pace and is a fun place. Georgia is altogether extremely interesting, beautiful, charming place, well worth a visit even if you have to fly there. I was just there last week.
I think a Black Sea cruise
might be lots of fun, but I would probably avoid the Russian part.