2 ferry services ply the route between Batumi and Odessa. One is operated by Ukrferry, the other by Ferrysped. The boats take foot passengers, bicycles, motorbikes, cars and rail cars. For more info on other ferry services on the Black Sea, see the Black Sea Ferries overview page.
Schedule, prices and booking
Do keep the disclaimer in mind: delays due to customs, port availability and sea conditions are very common. Call or mail in advance to get an update.
This means the ferry is not for people who are on a tight travel plan. The minimum journey time is 30 hours but it could just as easily take 5 days if the sea is rough. That’s when they ask you to start rationing.
- Batumi: U&G Agency ([email protected] – 34 Kutaisi Street) handles ticket sales. You can e-mail them in advance to get the latest updates on the shipping schedule.
- Odessa: The Ukrferry office is located at 4a Sabanskiy, Odessa (map)
- Online: Ukrferry claims it has installed an online booking service. We welcome your reports.
- Batumi: the Batumi port is located off Gogebashvili street (map). This is a cargo terminal without facilities for foot passengers.
- Odessa: the Odessa port is located in the wealthy beach suburb of Chornomorsk, 20 km out of the city center. Until 2015, Chornomorsk was called Illichivsk.
We do not have a report of the trip with Ferrysped yet. Below is a report of a 2017 trip with Ukrferry.
3 ships ply the route for Ukrferry, the MS Greifswald, Vilnius Seaways and Kaunas Seaways. Built in Germany in 1988, the MS Greifswald is the biggest ro-ro/rail/passenger ferry in the world. 150 passengers, 50 rail wagons and 50 TIR trucks can fit in.
Cabins are spacious with ensuite shower and toilet and plenty of outlets. Most passengers are male truck drivers.
The ferry ticket includes 3 meals per day, served at 8am, 1pm, and 6.30pm. If you are on board at these times you will be fed. Meals are a set menu of Ukrainian flavours. Anyone on a diet barring meat, dairy, gluten, … should self-cater. Bring enough for 5 days, but make sure you can eat it later in case you arrive on time. The onboard shop only sells alcohol.
When docked, drivers remain on board to await immigration. Foot passengers are escorted off and taken in a small yellow bus to the immigration office. Chornomorsk is still 20km from Odessa. Options are to take a taxi, walk to the highway and flag down a passing bus or get a ride with a fellow passenger. No money changing facilites at the port.
Immigration for foot passengers happens onboard. Drivers have to wait longer for customs. Once you are out of the port, you can catch a bus or quick taxi ride to the center of Batumi. You might even walk.
Thanks go to Trevor for pictures and info: his full account can be read at White Monkey Travels.