I recently moved from Odessa to Istanbul Turkey. Due to the war in the Eastern Urkaine and the associated economic recession there is no longer a cruise ship connection between Istanbul and Odessa. Otherwise, a sea voyage would have been the fastest and most exciting way to travel. So I had to resort to go by bus. Maximovtours is the most prestigious bus travel company I could find in Odessa. But even they only go as far as Varna in Bulgarian. (From Varna I traveled to Istanbul with the Turkish Nisikli company). Maximovtours charges 500 grivna for the trip which are about $40. For us Americans quite cheap. But the cost of travel became the negative surprise: The manager of Maximovtours looked at my luggage and said you have to pay 900 grivna. This is almost twice the amount for the ordinary ticket!!! Yes, I had lots of luggage. One suite case and 8 bags to be precise. But the bags were small. While I understand that luggage beyond two items bus operators might charge extra fees. But the twice the price of a normal ticket is outrageous! I think the manager figured that since I have no alternative and I am a *rich* American foreigner he can fleece me. And the manager was right. Prior to the trip I have already opted out from other bus operator and traveling by train. So I had no choice and to get ripped off from Maximovtours. Unfortunately, taking advantage of foreigner is a common theme in the Ukraine. So be aware if you ever visit this country. To the credit of Maximov, the bus itself was top notch for Ukrainian Standard (German made Mercedes) and the bus attendant and driver was very nice and helpful. In summary, while Maximovtours employees are nice the company’s owners take advantage of unwitting foreigners.
Odessa, Other Ukraine
+380 482 33-06-46