Now is time for boat trips to explore Kyiv’s Dnipro River, Desna River
The Dnipro River used to be a main waterway for public transport and freight. Today, the public transport role is going through hard times, and operates only locally within Kyiv city limits and its suburbs.
Nevertheless, diesel-powered motor vessels leave from Kyiv’s river port offering trips that feature panoramic views of the ancient city. Passing under the bridge over the Dnipro, cruising past the Percherska Lavra and Vydubychi monasteries and Trukhaniv Island, these trips usually take an hour or 90 minutes, and cost Hr 100 and Hr 120, respectively.
Where and when: Ships leave port daily from the 7th and 8th piers at Naberezhno-Khreshchatytska Street near Poshtova metro station. 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
A two-hour upstream cruise passing Kyiv’s outskirts as far as the mouth of the River Desna costs Hr 100. A bar onboard serves drinks and snacks.
If there’s more time to spare, take a Desna River trip with a picnic for Hr 200. The fare includes a round trip to Velyky Island, but it doesn’t include any meals. Instead, bring a picnic basket and blanket and relax for a while on the island’s beach, where one can also play football or basketball, and roast meat on a grill.
Another route past the mouth of the Desna goes to the Kyiv reservoir, built for the hydroelectric power plant near the village of Vyshhorod. This four-hour cruise takes you through the shipping lock to the reservoir and back to the pier for Hr 250.
Where and when: Trip to Desna River – on weekends and holidays from the 7th pier. Noon, 5 p.m. Trip to Kyiv reservoir – on weekends and holidays from the 7th pier. 1 p.m., 3 p.m.
To view fugitive ex-President Viktor Yanukovych’s former opulent country estate, Kyivrichflot shipping company offers a seven-hour cruise to Mezhyhirya for Hr 300. Sailing past Kyiv’s Podil and Obolon districts, and the village of Vyshgorod, the ship then enters the Kyiv reservoir to reach the residence known as Mezhyhirya. The entrance fee of Hr 50 lets visitors see all the sights on the 140-hectare complex complete with lakes, a waterfall, golf course, and yacht pier. For an additional charge one can visit the retro car exhibition, the zoo with its now-famous ostriches, the so-called Putin House, and a spa complex. Guests can rent a bike to peddle around the sights for Hr 50 per hour.
The most impressive building, the Honka, where Yanukovych resided, will shock visitors with its crass opulence, but the tasteless furniture and decorations will take more than an hour to fully take in, and it costs an extra Hr 200 fee.