Duration: 18 Days
Sail from the Danube Delta of the Black Sea to Hungary’s capital of Budapest through the Balkans, Hungary, and Austria on your European river cruise. Begin with an overnight stay in Bucharest for a guided sightseeing tour, including the Royal Palace Square. Travel to Cernavodă to embark on your Danube River cruise, beginning with the Danube Delta preserve. Sail through the striking landscapes of the Balkans—Rousse, Bulgaria, Veliko Târnovo, and Arbanassi, one of the oldest towns in Bulgaria.
Guided sightseeing in Vidin is followed by a guided tour of Belogradchik, with its ancient fortress and tremendous rock formations on the Balkan Mountains. After cruising through the narrow Iron Gates Gorge visit Lepenski Vir for a guided tour with ancient archaeological finds. In Serbia, take a guided tour of Belgrade, including one of the world’s largest Orthodox churches, and see the most preserved Croatian fortress in Osijek. You’ll also attend a stirring performance by young students of the Franjo Kuhač music school. Tour the historic town of Pécs before sightseeing in the Hungarian capital of Budapest—the “Pearl of the Danube.” You’ll take a guided walk through Bratislava, Slovakia before cruising to Vienna—the “City of Music.” Enjoy guided sightseeing in Vienna’s historic Habsburg Empire—including the Imperial Palace, Vienna Opera House, and stunning St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Visit delightful Dürnstein and Melk—charming towns in the vineyard-rich Wachau Valley. Take a guided tour and hear the legendary tale of King Richard the Lionheart in Dürnstein, and tour the magnificent Benedictine Abbey high above Melk. Visit Austria’s lovely city of Linz with a tour of the city’s historic sites, then pass through the horseshoe bend of the Danube—the beautiful Schlögen Oxbow—on your way to Passau. Enjoy a guided walking tour of Germany’s “City of Three Rivers before cruising to Deggendorf, Germany, for the conclusion of your Danube River cruise.
Welcome to Bucharest-the "Paris of the East" The day is yours to relax and enjoy Bucharest. Spend some free time exploring this fascinating city on your own to discover its trendy shops, cafes, museums, beautiful homes, and churches along Victory Avenue.
Beautiful Boulevards and Bold History CLASSIC -Take a Guided Tour of the Romanian capital city of Bucharest with its tree-lined boulevards and Arc de Triomphe-honoring WWI Romanian soldiers. See the Royal Palace Square-the scene of the city's 1989 riots to overthrow the communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. Travel to Cernavoda to board your Avalon Suite Ship this afternoon. CERNAVODA (EMBARKATION) Your Balkan Adventure Begins Explore your Avalon Suite Ship this evening and enjoy a dinner on board. DISCOVERY - After dinner, attend an onboard Lecture to learn about the Danube Delta. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO ST. GHEORGHE (B,D)
A Mighty River's Entrance into the Sea Visit the Adventure centre for today's activities with your Adventure Host. CLASSIC - Join a small-boat Guided Tour of the best preserved of Europe's deltas-2,200 square miles of rivers, canals, marshes, tree-fringed lakes and reed islands. DISCOVERY - Enjoy a Special Celebration to mark "Kilometer 0"-the end of the Danube River's 2,845 km journey-from the source in the Black Forest of Bavaria to its delta into the Black Sea. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO HARSOVA (B,L,D)
Romanian Commerce and Cultural Legacies on the Black Sea CLASSIC - Join a Guided Tour to Constanta, the most important commercial centre in Romania, situated on the Black Sea. Visit the Natural History and Archeological Museum to discover the history of early Romanian cultures. AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO ROUSSE (B,L,D)
Fortresses and Fountains in Bulgaria's "Little Vienna" CLASSIC - Join a Guided Sightseeing Tour of Bulgaria's largest inland port and visit its impressive Holy Trinity Church, OR: ACTIVE - Join a walk through the park with your Avalon Adventure Host. Sail to Svistov, OR: CLASSIC - Join a full-day Guided Tour to the former Bulgarian capital of Veliko Tarnovo-with its ancient stone houses clinging to the cliffs above the Yantra River. Discover one of the oldest towns in Bulgaria (circa 4300 BC), as well as the Bulgarian Revival architecture in the 15th-century town of Arbanassi. Later, join your ship in Svistov. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO VIDIN (B,L,D)
Rocks and Ruins-Things of Beauty in Bulgaria Ask about today's energizing or relaxing Adventure Host activities. CLASSIC - Join Guided Sightseeing in Vidin, followed by a Guided Tour of Belogradchik. Marvel at the remarkable rock formations on the western slopes of the Balkan Mountains, sculpted by 200 million years of natural elements. This evening, enjoy live entertainment on board with a Bulgarian folklore show. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO DONJI MILANOVAC (B,L,D)
Ancient Art, Archaeological Artifacts, and Gauntlet of the Iron Gates Before lunch on board, you'll sail through the spectacular and narrow Iron Gates Gorge-forming a natural border between Serbia and Romania. CLASSIC - Join a Guided Tour to Lepenski Vir-an important Mesolithic archaeological site chronicling prehistoric cultures, settlements, and art. Marvel at the ancient discoveries and artifacts, as well as the unique views the site affords of the Danube Gorge. Enjoy a brief sailing to Golubac. Golubac CLASSIC - Visit the Fortress of Golubac, one of the best preserved medieval fortresses in Europe. You'll hear about its tumultuous history as a border control defense in the Middle Ages, and a source of conflict between Serbia, the Habsburg Monarchy and the Ottoman Empire. OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BELGRADE (B,L,D)
Fortresses and Folklore of Serbia Past and Present Join your Adventure Host for today's special activities. CLASSIC - Join a Guided Sightseeing Tour of Belgrade-where the Danube and Sava Rivers converge- and see the city's many fascinating sights, including Saint Sava, one of the world's largest Orthodox churches. You may choose to join an Optional Guided Biking Tour, or spend remaining free time in Belgrade exploring Knez Mihailova Street-Belgrade's central pedestrian thoroughfare with many lively cafes, shops, and cultural spots. OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO NOVI SAD (B,L,D)
History and Culture of Croatia CLASSIC - Join a Guided Tour of Novi Sad, the second largest town in Serbia. Admire its Austro-Hungarian old town, with its baroque buildings, and ancient fortifications. Enjoy a brief cruise to Ilok while having lunch onboard. ILOK, CROATIA CLASSIC -Join a Guided Tour of Ilok, with its 1,000-year-old winemaking tradition still thriving and its medieval fortress protected for its Croatian cultural heritage. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MOHACS B%
Underground Tombs and Soaring Music CLASSIC - Take a Guided Tour to nearby Pecs to see its 4th-century Christian underground tombs, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with fascinating murals. You'll also enjoy an organ concert on your tour. AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BUDAPEST (B,L,D)
Welcome to Budapest-Hungary's Captivating Capital CLASSIC - Enjoy a Guided City Sightseeing, including the iconic Heroes' Square. Take in the beauty of Budapest while enjoying a free afternoon exploring such famous sights as the Chain Bridge. Get to know the city's cafes and pubs, or take a hike through the hills above the Danube. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN BUDAPEST (B,L,D)
The Pearl of the Danube in the Heart of Europe Visit the Adventure centre for today's activities with your Adventure Host. This afternoon choose among a wide offer of Optional Guided Excursions or take a free day to explore, with time to take photographs on the Royal Palace grounds in this treasure trove of historical architecture. Try Budapest's famous thermal bath spas, then dine in a garden or rooftop eatery. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BRATISLAVA (B,L,D)
Castles, Vineyards, and Cosmopolitan Culture CLASSIC - Join a Guided Walking Tour of Old Town's cobblestone streets to Town Hall. Visit the gothic halls of St. Martin's Cathedral-Hungary's centuries-old coronation church, OR: DISCOVERY - Follow your Avalon Adventure Host on a hike to lofty Bratislava Castle. Alternatively, in your free time take a bicycle and a picnic from the ship to explore the local sights along the Danube. Later, enjoy live entertainment onboard. OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO VIENNA (B,L,D)
Strauss, Schnitzel, Strudel, and Sachertorte CLASSIC - Venture into the Habsburg empire with a morning Guided City Tour of Vienna's gilded landmarks. See the Imperial Palace complex- Winter residence of the Imperial Family, the historic Vienna Opera House and stunning St. Stephen's Cathedral. You may decide to take a Guided Optional Excursion to Schonbrunn Palace-the former imperial summer home of the Habsburg monarchy. In your free time why not stroll through Karntnerstrasse-the most famous shopping avenue in central Vienna, or take a bike ride to a local cafe for Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel. Later this evening, you may choose to attend an Optional Excursion to a Royal Waltz Concert. OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO DURNSTEIN (B,L,D)
Fairytale Castles, Kings, and Cobblestones CLASSIC - Join a Guided Walk, and hear the legendary tale of King Richard the Lionheart-who was imprisoned in the castle during the Crusades, OR: ACTIVE - Join a Guided Hike up to the castle ruins to take in the spectacular view of the village, Danube, and the Wachau Valley below. Later, stretch out on the Sky Deck as you sail through the Wachau Valley past vineyards, castles, and charming villages on your way to Melk. MELK Striking Frescoes and Breathtaking Views of the Wachau Valley CLASSIC - Take a Guided Tour of Melk's magnificent Benedictine Abbey to marvel at its frescoed ceilings, statues, incredible library, and ornate pipe organ. DISCOVERY - Enjoy the flavors of the Wachau Valley at a Wine Tasting on board. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO LINZ (B,L,D)
Legendary Art, Music, and the Linzer Torte! Ask about today's energizing or relaxing Adventure Host activities. CLASSIC - Take a Guided Walk through the city's historic and beautiful sites along the shore of the Danube and see Hauptplatz-Austria's largest medieval square-and the towering white-marble Trinity Column. Consider a full-day Guided Optional Excursion to Salzburg-the city of Mozart-or to the picturesque Bohemian town of Cesky Krumlov. Alternatively, feel free to enjoy the afternoon on your own to bike along the banks of the Danube with a picnic from the ship, or hike through Linz's beautiful nature trails to Postlingberg for a bird's-eye view of the city and river below. Later, enjoy live entertainment on board. OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN LINZ (B,L,D)
Go for Baroque in Passau-Where the Danube, Inn, and Ilz Rivers Meet This morning, cruise through the Schlogen Oxbow, a particularly beautiful horseshoe-shaped bend of the river. CLASSIC - Join a Guided City Walk to learn more about Passau, the beautiful "City of Three Rivers." ACTIVE - Follow your Avalon Adventure Host for Hiking from Oberhaus along a trail down to the valley and along Ilz River. Spend a little free time before sailing to Deggendorf to walk the cobblestone streets and galleries of Artists' Alley or peek into St. Stephen's Cathedral to possibly catch a concert rehearsal. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO DEGGENDORF (B,L,D)
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)