Balkan Discovery with 2 Nights Transylvania River Cruise (WBOE)$4,252
River Cruise Description
See first-hand the exciting features of beautiful Eastern Europe on this fabulous 2019 12 day Avalon river cruise from Budapest to Bucharest adventure along the beautiful picturesque Danube River! You’ll enjoy having time to kick-back and relax onboard your luxurious Avalon Waterways river cruise ship. As you’ll learn quickly, every stop along this fantastic cruise is the beginning of another adventure when you explore one charming city after another. You’ll marvel at the fascinating expertly guided sightseeing tours in some of the most fascinating cities. You can make the most of your free time with some wonderful guided sightseeing. You don’t want to miss a thing on this magnificent Balkan Discovery adventure!
You’ll begin this exciting European vacation with two fascinating and entertaining overnights in the bustling Hungarian capital city of Budapest. This city exudes a dynamic energy and offers a diverse mix of exciting activities. You’ll see the quintessential statues of historic Heroes’ Square, and with some of your free time, you’ll be able to explore the beautiful lookout towers of sensational Fishermen’s Bastion. When you are on your excursion to charming Pécs, Hungary, you’ll have time to visit the underground burial chambers with their fantastic murals, now considered part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As you cruise through bustling Belgrade, the capital city of Serbia, you’ll experience one of the oldest cities in Europe, where the stunning Sava River meets the Blue Danube. The bustling pedestrian boulevard of charming Knez Mihailova is dotted with historic buildings and popular cafés full of friendly locals enjoying the atmosphere. You’ll see stunningly elegant St. Sava, the world’s largest Orthodox Church. You’ll marvel as your luxurious Avalon river cruise ship slips through the sensational Iron Gates Gorge, and you can visit the astonishing Belogradchik’s fascinating rock formations, and Bulgaria’s ancient capital city of Veliko Târnovo. In charming Arbanassi, you’ll visit the elegant Church of the Nativity, housing an extraordinary collection of frescoes.
To put the finishing touches on this ageless Eastern European river cruise, you’ll enjoy a wonderful overnight stay in Romania’s energetic capital city of Bucharest, known as the “Paris of the East,” a friendly local expert guide will show you many of its historic treasures, such as the iconic Arc de Triomphe, built in honor of heroic WWI soldiers who sacrificed their lives fighting for their country. From charming Bucharest, you’ll take an overnight trip to legendary Transylvania to visit the majestic Bran Castle – of Count Dracula Fame – the quaint city of Brasov, and beautiful Peles Castle. You won’t want this exciting 2019 12 day Avalon river cruise from Budapest to Bucharest vacation to end!
|Departure Date||Ship||Priced From|
|Oct 15, 2019||Avalon Passion||$4,252||Call Us!|
River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive in Budapest, Hungary
Welcome to Budapest, Eastern Europe’s most cosmopolitan metropolis. The remainder of the day is free, so begin exploring Hungary’s exciting capital city that spans the banks of the beautiful Danube.
Day 2 Budapest
Eight ornate bridges – some even famous sights in and of themselves – span the banks of the Danube, which connect ancient Buda on one bank with Pest on the other. You may even want to walk across Chain Bridge, built in 1849, which is considered a symbol of Budapest, one of Eastern Europe’s most bustling cities. Whether you’re sightseeing, shopping for handcrafted embroidery or Herend porcelain, or basking in the coffeehouse culture over a rich cream cake in the renowned Gerbeaud Café, Budapest’s unique energy is positively an allure to visitors. On your included GUIDED TOUR of the city, see Heroes Square as well as the massive hilltop castle complex with its exceptional Fishermen’s Bastion and 11th-century Matthias Church, a coronation spot of several Hungarian monarchs. This afternoon, explore this vibrant city at your own pace, but one recommended stop is at St. Stephen’s Basilica, which offers astonishing views of Budapest from its viewing platform, or stroll along the main shopping avenue, Váci utca. (Breakfast)
Day 3 Budapest (Embarkation)
This morning enjoy exploring Budapest at your own pace. Visit one of the many famous museums, take a walk to see some of the remaining communist statues, shop at the Great Market Hall to purchase paprika and embroidery at one of its 180 vendor stalls, or wander around the Royal Palace grounds. This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at a casual welcome reception. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 4 Mohács. Excursion to Pécs
This morning, enjoy your relaxing cruising before arriving in Mohács, the last stop in Hungary. After lunch, an included excursion takes you to Pécs, which was established by the Romans in the 2nd century. This was a flourishing and important town for Christianity by the 4th century. These early Christians left behind many underground chambers with memorial chapels above ground. With a Local Guide, visit the UNDERGROUND TOMBS – now part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site – many of which have beautifully decorated murals with Christian themes. Later, enjoy an ORGAN CONCERT. Pécs is also a rich showcase of Turkish architecture and home to Turkish mosques, striking churches, and a vibrant atmosphere around its restaurants and cafés. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5 Belgrade, Serbia
Belgrade, one of the oldest cities in Europe and the capital of Serbia, is situated at the junction of the Danube and Sava Rivers. A LOCAL GUIDE will gladly show you its most impressive sights, which includes St. Sava, the world’s largest orthodox church. Also visit the city’s primary landmark, KALEMEGDAN FORTRESS, which showcases the history of Belgrade. Built in stages between the 1st and 18th centuries, this fortress has witnessed many battles and observed the courage of those trying to defend the city from barbaric conquerors. The surrounding park is the most beautiful and largest park in Belgrade. In your free time, be sure to check out the city’s lively pedestrian area and charming outdoor cafés. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6 Excursion to Lepenski Vir–Iron Gates
This morning, dock at Donji Milanovac, where a brief drive takes you to the impressive LEPENSKI VIR EXHIBITION CENTER, which houses area archaeological artifacts. And as an added bonus, you will have grand views of the famous Danube Gorge. Return to your ship before lunch, then cruise what must surely be the most spectacular scenery of the dramatic IRON GATES gorge, a narrow and once a very dangerous passage dividing Europe’s Alps in the northwest from the Carpathians in the southeast, forming a natural border between Serbia and Romania. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 7 Vidin, Bulgaria. Excursion to Belogradchik
Vidin is an important Danube port in northwestern Bulgaria. Its medieval FORTRESS, known as “Baba Vidin,” is the town’s primary landmark which served as Vidin’s main defensive installation during the course of the Middle Ages and is the only entirely preserved medieval fortress in the country. It is now a fortress museum and has been restored to its former appearance. In nearby Belogradchik, view the diverse group of fascinating rock formations on the Balkan Mountains western slopes. Sculpted by nature’s elements for more than 200 million years, these Belogradchik ROCK FORMATIONS are truly a spectacular sight! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 8 Rousse–Excursion to Veliko Târnovo & Arbanassi
A comfortable ride from the river port of Rousse is the ancient Bulgarian capital of Veliko Târnovo, which was a natural fortress situated on three hills surrounding the Yantra River. Ancient stone houses clinging to the steep mountain slopes are an impressive sight, to say the least. Tsarevets Hill, one of the oldest towns in Bulgaria (dating back to 4300 BC), is home of the ROYAL FORTRESS, and the Patriarch’s Church. With your LOCAL GUIDE, discover this town that played such an important role in Bulgaria’s history. Next, journey to Arbanassi, founded in the 15th century. This ancient village is best know for its Bulgarian Revival architecture and ETHNOGRAPHICAL MUSEUM, a 400-year-old house preserved as a museum. Visit one of the oldest churches in Arbanassi – the CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY – and enjoy its awesome collection of frescoes. Return to your ship in Rousse, Bulgaria’s largest inland port. If you don’t wish to participate in the full-day excursion, stay on board and relax or join a guided tour of Rousse. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 9 Oltenita, Romania (Disembarkation)–Bucharest
After breakfast say goodbye to your crew in Oltenita and take the short drive to Bucharest, Romania’s exciting capital city! It has become known as the “Paris of the East” with its wide, tree-lined boulevards and Arc de Triomphe – built in 1922 to honor the brave Romanian soldiers who fought in WWI. Much recent history has taken place in the city. During the INCLUDED TOUR this afternoon, see the main sights including Royal Palace Square, the scene of riots in 1989, which led to the collapse of the communist dictatorship. During your free time, dig deeper into this fascinating city’s history. Take a walk down Calea Victoriei, “Victory Avenue,” Bucharest’s most historic and alluring street. Originally built in 1692, today it’s lined with shops, museums, churches, restaurants, cafés, and fine houses. (Breakfast)
Day 10 Bucharest. Excursion to Transylvania
Head out of the city to your first stop, Bran Castle, of Dracula fame, built in 1377 and assumed to be the home of Romanian vampires. Then, into the Carpathian Mountains to SINAIA to visit the picturesque monastery of the same name, which was built in memory of Mihail Cantacuzino’s visit to Mount Sinai. This afternoon, head slowly back to Bucharest. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Day 11 Bucharest. Excursion to Transylvania
A day to rest and explore Romania’s vibrant capital city. Your Cruise Director will have numerous suggestions for exciting things to do. (Breakfast)
Day 12 Bucharest. Excursion to Transylvania
While your Balkan Discovery vacation ends with breakfast this morning, take note of the many wonderful memories you will carry with you for the rest of your life. And the colorful photos you took during your cruise will be important reminders of your fabulous trip. (Breakfast)
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