Balchik is about 40 km north of Varna from which there are regular minibus services, roughly every two hours, with a journey time of about 45 minutes. The local bus station is in the town centre from which it is a short downhill walk to the seafront.
This is a pleasant journey as the road follows the hilltop along the coast passing the resorts of Golden Sands and Albena en route. At the time of writing (Jan 2010) the fare was 5 leva each way. Minibuses leave from Varna's Mladost bus station (on the road opposite the main Avtogara) and the journey is simplicity itself - just buy your ticket from the "Kaca" and board the bus when it arrives at the signed bus stop.
On return you once again buy your ticket from the cashier and the minibus drops off at the Varna city bus stop on the main road, opposite the Avtogara.
If you travel on your own take the bus in Varna in the morning. You have to change the bus in Albena. Study the timetable in Albena very well and ask the locals for the best connection back to Varna in the afternoon. I missed the bus and had to take a taxi. It cost 30 leva and the price was not negotiable. I shared with other guys who missed the bus too.
Arriving from Varna you should take the minbus from Varna (about 1 hour) which arrives at the bus station, from here you should turn right and follow the road round to the left to get to the beach front and the ships.
you can get on a shuttle from Varna or Dobrich; usually shuttles wait around the bus stations; most of the time you can buy tickets fron the driver in the shuttle. From Varna and Dobrich there are shuttles running very often, esp. during the summer.
From Dobrich (Boulevard"Rusia" 59 is the bus station address in Dobrich; +359-058-690120)
Buses from Dobrich (39km): 6:45; 7:10; 7:45; 8:35; 8:45; 9:00; 9:30; 10:00; 10:30; 11:00; 11:45; 12:30; 13:00; 13:45; 14:45; 15:00; 15:30; 16:30; 17:30; 18:30; 19:00
Buses to Dobrich: 6:30; 7:15; 7:40; 8:00; 8:45; 9:30; 10:00; 10:30; 11:05; 11:30; 12:00; 13:00; 14:00; 14:30; 14:50; 15:30; 15:50; 16:30; 17:20; 18:00; 18:30 ????
you may a rent a boat - it costs 50 lv/hour = 25 euro/hour for the whole boat
or you may get on to the 'ships', for example to the 'Ship of the Pirates', I think the price was 10-15lv
There is regular boat route: saturdays from Varna to Balchic and back to Varna
and tuesdays to Nessebar, the return is by a bus