From the Black Sea to the North Sea with Transylvania River Cruise (WOAE)
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River Cruise Description
Welcome to the beautiful Romania! This captivating Central European 2019 26 day Avalon river cruise from Bucharest to Amsterdam is a wonderful adventure. During your time in legendary Transylvania, you’ll enjoy a visit to Bran Castle, made famous by Hollywood’s Dracula productions. Later in the day, you’ll enjoy expertly guided touring of alluring Brasov and a visit to majestic Peles Castle in Sinaia – considered by many as one of the most stunning castles in all of Europe. While in fascinating Romania’s bustling capital city of Bucharest, you’ll see the iconic Arc de Triomphe, and the historic busy Royal Palace Square. You’ll travel to charming Fetesti where you’ll board your luxurious cruise ship and set sail for the picturesque mouth of the Danube River.
A visit the stunning Danube Delta is a breathtaking experience. You’ll quickly understand why the Delta is a popular UNESCO World Heritage Site. During this European river cruise tour, you’ll enjoy some of the greatest guided sightseeing in beautiful Constanta and picturesque Bulgaria’s ancient capital city of Veliko Târnovo. Don’t miss an opportunity to take photographs on your fantastic tour of the world-renowned Ethnographical Museum and the stunning elegance of the Church of the Nativity in quaint Arbanassi. And you’ll also want your camera handy when your cruise takes you past Belogradchik’s eclectic group of nature’s breathtaking rock formations and the sensational scenic beauty of the iconic Iron Gates.
Your fascinating Danube River cruise takes you to the outstanding capital cities of four picturesque countries: beautiful Belgrade, Serbia; bustling Budapest, Hungary; quaint Bratislava, Slovakia; and charming Vienna, Austria, where friendly Local Guides will introduce you to all the must-see sights. You’ll have plenty of free time to explore and discover more amazing treasurers on your own. You’ll find yourself in the heart of the sensational Wachau Valley’s popular wine region, where you can join a wonderful guided stroll of through beautiful Dürnstein, and later you’ll have opportunity to tour quaint Melk’s world-famous intriguing Benedictine Abbey. When you get to historic Germany, there are numerous guided sightseeing opportunities in picturesque places such as: Passau, beautiful Regensburg, historic Nuremberg, quaint Bamberg, and bustling Würzburg. You’ll love cruising through the beautiful Main Danube Canal, considered a true engineering feat, and you’ll pass through the sensational Rhine Gorge – considered by many as the most beautiful stretch of the breathtaking Rhine River where fabulous ancient castles stand on towering cliffs more than 400 feet above the water.
Your wonderful Avalon Waterways river cruise vacation ends in Holland’s popular, modern capital city of Amsterdam where you get an amazing perspective of the city as you enjoy an impressive canal cruise along the exquisite Grachten lined with magnificent homes dating back to the city’s renowned “Golden Age.” You’ll love having experienced this amazing 2019 26 day Avalon river cruise from Bucharest to Amsterdam adventure. You will get to travel through some of the most breathtaking and inspiring destinations on the Danube River like never before. Exceptional experiences and discoveries are awaiting you, from the alluring Black Sea to the North Sea – beginning with the legendary picturesque landscape and dramatic stories of mysterious and beautiful Transylvania, Romania.
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River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive in Bucharest, Romania
Welcome to bustling Bucharest, where you have free time to relax and begin discovering all the amazing things this stunning city has to offer.
Day 2 Bucharest. Excursion to Transylvania–Brasov
After a wonderful breakfast, you’ll travel out of the city to your first exciting stop – a visit to intriguing BRAN CASTLE, of Hollywood’s Dracula fame, constructed in 1377 and assumed to be the home of mysterious Romanian vampires. Then you’ll continue on to beautiful Brasov for an exciting night, with some fabulous free time during the afternoon to explore on your own. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 3 Brasov–Bucharest
This morning, after a wonderful breakfast, you’ll join a popular local expert for an amazing GUIDED SIGHTSEEING of charming Brasov. During the afternoon you’ll enjoy a relaxing drive into the majestic Carpathians to quaint Sinaia to visit extravagant PELES CASTLE, considered by travel experts to be one of the most beautiful in all of Europe, before returning to Bucharest. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Day 4 Bucharest–Fetesti (Embarkation)
A great amount of recent history has occurred in beautiful Romania’s capital city of Bucharest. It’s known for its wonderful wide, tree-lined avenues and iconic Arc de Triomphe – built in 1922 to honor the heroic bravery of Romanian soldiers who fought and sacrificed their limbs and lives in the battles of WWI – because of that they are now known as, “Paris of the East.” During your exciting INCLUDED TOUR this morning, you’ll marvel at the many sights including impressive Royal Palace Square, the fascinating scene of riots in 1989, which led to the collapse of the oppressive communist dictatorship. Later a relaxing motor coach ride will take you to quaint Fetesti, where your luxurious Avalon river cruise ship is docked, awaiting your arrival. Before you enjoy a fabulous dinner, you’ll meet your friendly captain and crew at a casual welcome reception. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 5 St. Gheorghe. Danube Delta Excursion
This morning during a wonderful breakfast, your river cruise ship will dock in charming St. Gheorghe, from where your fascinating excursion into the beautiful DELTA will begin. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, and considered the very best preserved of all Europe’s deltas, this area hosts more than 300 species of birds as well as 45 species of freshwater fish. From its source deep in the famous Black Forest to its amazing delta at the Black Sea, the fantastic blue Danube measures 2,845 kilometers in length. You’ll see the Km markings very clearly on the riverbanks the entire length of the river. You’ll leave St. Gheorghe during lunchtime and enjoy a small CELEBRATION to mark reaching Km “0” – the end of your alluring Danube’s journey. This afternoon you’ll have opportunity to kickback and relax as you learn more about this stunningly beautiful Delta during an exciting ONBOARD LECTURE. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6 Cernavoda. Excursion to Constanta
This morning, an excursion from charming Cernavoda, takes you to bustling Constanta, considered the most important and successful commercial center in Romania, located on the Black Sea. A friendly CERTIFIED LOCAL GUIDE introduces you to the must-see sights of this fascinating city and a visit of the amazing NATIONAL HISTORY & ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM is included. This afternoon, you’ll relax onboard your luxurious Avalon river cruise ship as you sail westward toward beautiful Rousse. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 7 Rousse, Bulgaria. Excursion to Veliko Târnovo & Arbanassi–Svistov
Your ship will dock this morning in charming Rousse, Bulgaria’s largest and busiest inland port. You’ll enjoy a relaxing motor coach ride to the ancient Bulgarian capital city of Veliko Târnovo. Located on three majestic hills surrounding the sensational Yantra River, the city was designed as a natural fortress with many ancient stone houses, which seem to be clinging to the steep slopes they are built on. The oldest part is charming Tsarevets Hill, home of the majestic ROYAL FORTRESS, and the stunningly elegant Patriarch’s Church. With your friendly Local Guide, you’ll discover how this town played a vital role in Bulgaria’s sometimes-chaotic history. Then, you’ll journey to quaint Arbanassi. Founded in the 15th century, the fascinating historic village of is best known for its outstanding examples of Bulgarian Revival architecture and its fantastic ETHNOGRAPHICAL MUSEUM, a 400-year-old house preserved as a museum. You’ll visit the awe-inspiring CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY, one of the oldest churches in Arbanassi. You’ll want to see its fabulous collection of amazing frescoes. If you choose not to participate in the exciting full-day excursion, you may decide to remain onboard your luxurious river cruise ship and enjoy an INCLUDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR of charming Rousse after a wonderful breakfast. At lunchtime, you’ll sail for alluring Svistov, where excursion participants will rejoin the ship. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 8 Vidin. Excursion to Belogradchik
Today, you’ll certainly enjoy a relaxing morning of peaceful cruising before you arrive in bustling Vidin, considered an important blue Danube port situated in northwestern Bulgaria. Its majestic medieval FORTRESS, Baba Vidin, is considered the town’s most famous landmark. The fortress served as Vidin’s main defensive installation during the horrific Middle Ages and is the only entirely preserved medieval fortress in the entire country. It is now more than a fortress; it’s a museum and has been carefully restored to its former appearance. In nearby Belogradchik, you’ll marvel at the sight of a most fascinating group of ROCK FORMATIONS on the western slopes of the beautiful Balkan Mountains. These formations of a variety of sizes and shapes were sculpted by some 200 million years of the natural elements at work. The Belogradchik Rocks are spectacular. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 9 Iron Gates. Excursion to Lepenski Vir, Serbia
One of the most picturesque spectacular scenery must surely be the sensational gorge of the IRON GATES, a narrow and at one time a very dangerous passage dividing Europe’s majestic Alps in the northwest from the beautiful Carpathians in the southeast, which form a natural border between fascinating Serbia and Romania. After a wonderful lunch your luxurious cruise ship will dock at quaint Donji Milanovac from where a short relaxing drive takes you to the extraordinary LEPENSKI VIR EXHIBITION CENTER housing ancient archaeological artifacts found in this area and from where you also will have exclusive views of the dramatic Danube Gorge. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 10 Belgrade
Early this morning, you’ll arrive in beautiful Belgrade. One of the oldest and most stately cities in Europe, this capital city of Serbia is located where the Danube and Sava Rivers meet. A friendly Local Guide will be proud to introduce to its must-see sights, including stunning St. Sava, the world’s largest quite breathtaking Orthodox church. During your free time, don’t miss the opportunity to check out the city’s festive pedestrian area, with its charming outdoor cafés where the locals gather regularly. Perhaps you choose to visit one of the many amazing art galleries or fantastic museums, or you might just enjoy browsing the popular local shops. You’ll wander through Belgrade’s biggest and considered most beautiful park which surrounds the city’s primary landmark, the majestic Kalemegdan Fortress, and you’ll gaze down at the junction of the blue Danube and Sava Rivers. Built in stages between the 1st and 18th centuries, Kalemegdan Fortress has witnessed many bloody and deadly battles and observed the courage of those soldiers attempting to defend their city from would-be conquerors. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 11 Mohács, Hungary. Excursion to Pécs
This morning, you’ll enjoy relaxing onboard your ship before you arrive in charming Mohács, the first stop in alluring Hungary. After a wonderful lunch, an exciting included excursion will transport you to the village of Pécs. Established by the ancient Romans in the 2nd century; this was considered a flourishing and crucial town for Christianity by the 4th century. These early Christians left behind numerous underground burial chambers with elaborate memorial chapels above ground. With your friendly Local Guide, you’ll marvel at these breathtaking UNDERGROUND TOMBS – now part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site – many of which have elegantly and colorfully decorated murals with a variety of Christian themes. Later, you’ll enjoy an fabulous ORGAN CONCERT. Charming Pécs is also considered a very rich example of ancient Turkish architecture and home to Turkish mosques, stunning churches, and an enjoyable atmosphere around its festive restaurants and cafés. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 12 Budapest
You’ll enjoy a wonderful free day as you to explore Budapest on your own. Check with your friendly Cruise Director, who will have some amazing suggestions for fabulous things to do. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 13 Budapest
Budapest spans the picturesque banks of the Danube and is one of Eastern Europe’s most bustling cities. Whether you’re enjoying the historic and fascinating sights, shopping for locally handcrafted embroidery or Herend porcelain, or merely basking in the alluring coffeehouse culture over a deliciously rich cream cake in the world-famous Gerbeaud Café, Budapest’s sensational energy is positively captivating. On your exciting GUIDED TOUR of this amazing city, you’ll marvel at Heroes’ Square as well as the imposing hilltop castle complex with its incredible Fishermen’s Bastion and elegant 11th-century Matthias Church. Be sure you make a point to take in the city’s iconic eight bridges – many considered world-famous sights in and of themselves, which connect ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. This afternoon, during your fantastic free time you may choose to stroll across Chain Bridge, constructed in 1849 and a vibrant symbol of Budapest; visit stunning St. Stephen’s Basilica with marvelous views of the city from its viewing platform; or enjoy a relaxing walk along Váci utca, the main shopping street where you might discover something you want to take home as a memento of your wonderful river cruise vacation. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 14 Bratislava, Slovakia
Today, you’ll arrive in beautiful Bratislava, located at the picturesque foothills of the majestic Carpathian Mountains and the sensational capital of fabulous Slovakia. Join a friendly Local Guide for a fantastic tour of the city, including an exciting GUIDED WALK of its fascinating Old Town, where winding cobblestone streets and narrow alleyways twist and turn to reveal the beauty of Town Hall, one of the oldest stone buildings in the city. You’ll also marvel at a visit at extravagant gothic ST. MARTIN’S CATHEDRAL, coronation church for the Kingdom of Hungary from the 16th to 19th centuries. Later, you’ll enjoy some relaxing free time as you explore more of the city on your own. Tonight, you don’t want to miss your ship as it departs for charming Vienna. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 15 Vienna, Austria
Vienna, considered the center of the once mighty Habsburg Empire, Austria’s sensational capital city located on the blue Danube is a wonderful showcase of gilded architecture. This is home to the extravagant Hofburg Imperial Palace complex with its world-famous Vienna Boys’ Choir and impressive Lipizzaner stallions; the fascinating neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House; and breathtaking St. Stephen’s Cathedral – plus, countless other must-see sights you’ll enjoy on your included GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR. You can stroll through the festive pedestrian Kärntnerstrasse, and be sure to take a break and enjoy a piece of decadent Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in one of the traditional Viennese coffee houses, considered historic institutions that helped shape the amazing Viennese culture! A wonderful optional concert is available to you tonight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 16 Dürnstein-Melk
Quaint Dürnstein, situated in the very heart of the sensational Wachau wine region, is known for the magnificent ornate, blue Stiftskirche built in the 1700s. The main street of this small town –with a population of less than 1,000 people—is lined with 16th-century residences and charming cobblestone streets. A Local Guide will take you on a WALKING TOUR and tell you the tale of England’s King Richard the Lionheart, who was imprisoned in the castle whose ruins still stand above the town. Then, cruise through the beautiful Wachau Valley to reach Melk after lunch and visit the magnificent 11th-century BENEDICTINE ABBEY. Melk’s abbey towers over the town and is one of Europe’s largest. It houses an ornate library with over 80,000 printed books and 2,000 manuscripts. Words cannot describe the splendor of its church with its frescoed ceilings, stunning high altar, marble statues, and 210-foot-high cupola. This evening, you’ll be able to sample some of the FAMOUS WINES of this region. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 17 Passau, Germany
Today, you have the between full-day optional excursions: to charming Salzburg, taking in some world-famous Sound of Music sights, or to fascinating Český Krumlov in the Czech Republic, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll rejoin your luxurious Avalon river cruise ship in beautiful Passau in the early evening. Or, you may choose to remain onboard ship and just relax as you cruise peacefully to Passau, strategically situated where the picturesque Inn, Ilz, and Danube Rivers meet. Fascinating Passau is a busy maze of narrow cobblestone streets lined with fabulous patrician houses and dominated by the stunning excellence of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, considered a masterpiece of Italian ornate architecture. You’ll have opportunity to take in all the most famous sights on the exciting included GUIDED WALK. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 18 Regensburg
Regensburg, which dates back to the ancient time of the Celts around 500 BC, is one of Germany’s most impressive and best-preserved medieval cities. Architectural highlights of your GUIDED WALK include the historic Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), built in the 13th century, and majestic Porta Pretoria, gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. You’ll stroll across the ancient 12th-century Steinerne Brücke (Stone Bridge), said to be the oldest of its kind in Germany. You’ll have time to enjoy some of Germany’s most famous beers and even receive an included SNACK at the historic Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany’s oldest and most popular restaurants. You can bask in the bustling atmosphere and marvel at the breathtaking views along the picturesque river. Before a wonderful dinner, we’ll introduce you to some of Germany’s FAMOUS BEER. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 19 Roth-Nuremberg
This morning, you can relax onboard your home away from home, your luxurious cruise ship before docking in charming Roth. After a wonderful lunch you’ll join an exciting GUIDED SIGHTSEEING of this fascinating Bavarian town, with its quaint half-timbered houses and busy market square, is also a special industrial center for world class textile manufacturing. Make sure you don’t miss taking pictures of Schloss Ratibor, an amazing ancient hunting lodge built in 1535, and with a most picturesque inner courtyard you’ve ever seen. Or, maybe you’ll prefer to choose one of the popular GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR of nearby Nuremberg. Although 90% of historic Nuremberg’s Old Town suffered devastating damage during the allied bombings of WWII, much of it has been completely restored to the glory it once knew when it was considered the unofficial capital of the ancient Holy Roman Empire. You’ll marvel at this thousand-year-old city’s massive medieval fortifications, sensational gothic churches, and the majestic Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle). Or, you might just join a more specialized NUREMBERG RALLY GROUNDS tour. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 20 Bamberg
This morning, you’ll arrive in the impressive medieval village of Bamberg, former residence of one of Germany’s most powerful imperial dynasties and today a vibrant UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your exciting GUIDED WALKING TOUR takes in Bamberg’s bustling historic center, including the extravagant 13th-century Romanesque cathedral and the impressive Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) – built on an island in the middle of the Regnitz River when the stubborn Catholic bishop refused to give the citizens land for a town hall! This afternoon, you’ll cruise peacefully along the fabulous Main River as you head for charming Würzburg. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 21 Würzburg
Charming Würzburg is surrounded by lush green hillsides of wine grape vineyards, known as the “Pearl of the Romantic Road.” This amazing town makes an immediate impression with massive Fortress Marienberg perched high above the town and the iconic 15th-century Alte Mainbrücke (Old Main Bridge). On your included GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, you’ll visit the sensational ornate BISHOP’S RESIDENZ, home to what experts refer to as the largest ceiling fresco ever painted. This afternoon you are free to explore more of this fascinating place on your own, or perhaps you might choose to join an exciting optional excursion to charming medieval Rothenburg. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 22 Main River Village
Along the picturesque banks of the beautiful Main River you’ll discover cultural gems of small villages, many are tucked away behind massive defensive walls and impressive towering gates. With fascinating half-timbered houses, quaint narrow streets, and bustling medieval town centers, these scenic Bavarian villages are a photographer’s delight. You’ll join your friendly Local Guide to experience one of these charming towns on an exciting GUIDED WALK. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 23 Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge
Today, your cruise ship arrives in quaint Rüdesheim, the ultimate Rhine Valley wine town. You’ll enjoy visiting fascinating SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM, where you’ll observe and listen to a huge collection of self-playing calliopes and old-time music boxes from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. You’ll enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT, and then sail downstream from Rüdesheim, through the sensational RHINE GORGE, considered by many travelers as the most beautiful stretch of river they’ve ever experienced. Here, majestic ancient castles stand sentry on lofty cliffs rising some 400 feet high above the waters. You’ll cruise past the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where storytellers say echoes of enchanted siren song lured unsuspecting sailors to their doom. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 24 Cologne
You’ll arrive in wonderful Cologne this morning. This is one of Germany’s largest and vibrant cities and capital of the Rhineland. Cologne straddles both sides of the beautiful Rhine River and is known for its towering, elegant twin-steepled gothic cathedral. You’ll choose between an exciting included GUIDED CITY WALK or a fascinating JEWISH HERITAGE WALK. Later, during your free time, you might choose to look in on the world-famous Romano-Germanic Museum, home to a fabulous collection of artifacts from the ancient Roman settlement on which modern Cologne is built. If you’re a history buff, this stop is a must-see for you. The historic Old Town abounds with festive cafés, charming shops, and popular taverns. Be sure to try a Kölsch pale lager, locally brewed in Cologne for more than a hundred years! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 25 Amsterdam, Holland
Day 25 Amsterdam, Holland
Amsterdam, Holland’s modern and sophisticated capital city boasts a rich and fascinating history. This charming 700-year-old city with its simple elegant and classic architecture, festive cafés and restaurants, and a bustling marketplace produces a distinct ambiance – one you will certainly enjoy. With more than 60 museums, Amsterdam has the record as the highest museum density in the world. You will get a exquisite perspective of the city on an included CANAL CRUISE, floating peacefully along the elegant grachten lined with opulent homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” You’ll have a chance to relax during your free time this afternoon as you enjoy the city, or perhaps you’ll decide to join one more optional excursion before your vacation ends tomorrow. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 26 Amsterdam (Disembarkation)
While your fabulous river cruise vacation ends with a wonderful breakfast this morning, you will certainly take great memories and hopefully outstanding photographs home with you. (Breakfast)
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