Balkan Discovery - Budapest to Bucharest

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Balkan Discovery
2 Nights Hotel Accommodations in in Budapest, 6-Night Cruise from Budapest to Oltenita, 1 Night Hotel Accommodation in Bucharest

Avalon Balkan Discovery

Black Sea Discovery Map

Budapest to Bucharest (WBO) - 10 days

For further assistance call 1-800-526-8539
Ship - Luminary, Illumination, Passion
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Detailed Itinerary: Budapest to Bucharest - Eastbound

Day 1: Arrive in Budapest, Hungary

Welcome to Budapest, Hungary’s lively capital. The remainder of the day is free to start exploring Eastern Europe’s most cosmopolitan metropolis.

Day 2: Budapest

Whether you’re seeing the sights, shopping for handcrafted embroidery or Herend porcelain, or basking in the coffee house culture over a rich cream cake in the renowned Gerbeaud Café, Budapest’s unique energy is positively palatable. On your included GUIDED TOUR of the city, see Heroes' Square as well as the massive hilltop castle complex is a major sight with its remarkable Fishermen’s Bastion and 11th-century Matthias Church, the coronation spot of several Hungarian monarchs. Be sure to take note of the city’s eight bridges - many famous sights in and of themselves - which connect ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. You may even want to walk across Chain Bridge, built in 1849 and a symbol of Budapest. This afternoon is free. Perhaps visit St. Stephen’s Basilica for marvelous city views from its viewing platform, or stroll along Váci utca, the main shopping street. (B)

Day 3: Budapest (Embarkation Day)

This morning you can explore this vibrant city at your own pace. Shop at the Great Market Hall and purchase paprika or 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 welcome reception. (B,D)

Day 4: Mohács. Excursion to Pécs

This morning, enjoy some leisurely cruising before arriving in Mohács, the last stop in Hungary. After lunch, an included excursion takes you to Pécs. 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 burial 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 splendidly 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 an enjoyable atmosphere around its restaurants and cafés. (B,L,D)

Day 5: Belgrade, Serbia

Before arriving in Belgrade this afternoon, attend a fascinating ONBOARD LECTURE on the Balkans to better help you understand this region of Europe. One of the oldest cities in Europe, the capital of Serbia is situated at the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers. A Local Guide will be proud to show you its main sights, including St. Sava, the world’s largest orthodox church. Also visit the city’s principal landmark, KALEMEGDAN FORTRESS, which showcases the history of Belgrade. Built in stages between the 1st and 18th centuries, the fortress witnessed many battles and observed the courage of those trying to defend the city from 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. (B,L,D)

Day 6: Excursion to Lepinski Vir–Iron Gates

After breakfast, dock at Donji Milanovac, where a short drive takes you to the impressive LEPENSKI VIR EXHIBITION CENTER, which houses area archaeological artifacts and from where you have unique views of the 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 formerly very dangerous passage dividing Europe’s Alps in the northwest from the Carpathians in the southeast and forming a natural border between Serbia and Romania. (B,L,D)

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. It 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 the afternoon, drive to nearby Belogradchik to view the eclectic group of ROCK FORMATIONS on the western slopes of the Balkan Mountains. Sculpted by natural elements for more than 200 million years and with a variety of sizes and shapes, the Belogradchik Rocks are spectacular! Before you leave Vidin, a local expert will come on board to demonstrate the technique of ICON PAINTING (B,L,D)

Day 8: Svistov, Bulgaria - Excursion to Veliko Târnovo & Arbanassi - Rousse

A comfortable ride from the river port of Svistov is the ancient Bulgarian capital of Veliko Târnovo. Situated on three hills surrounding the Yantra River, the city was a natural fortress with ancient stone houses clinging to the steep slopes. One of the oldest towns in Bulgaria (dating back to 4300 BC), the oldest part is Tsarevets Hill, home of the Royal Fortress, palaces, and the PATRIARCH’S CHURCH. With your Local Guide, discover this town that played an important role in Bulgaria’s history. Next, journey to Arbanassi, founded in the 15th century, and best known for its Bulgarian Revival architecture and ETHNOGRAPHICAL MUSEUM, a 400-year-old house preserved as a museum. Visit the CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY, one of the town’s oldest churches, and see its outstanding collection of frescoes. Rejoin your ship in Rousse, Bulgaria’s largest inland port. If you don’t wish to participate in the full-day excursion, stay on board, relax, and join a GUIDED TOUR of Rousse in the afternoon. (B,L,D)

Day 9: Oltenita, Romania (Disembarkation Day) – Bucharest

Bucharest, Romania’s lively capital, is only a short drive from Oltenita. Its wide, tree-lined boulevards and Arc de Triomphe - built in 1922 to honor the bravery of Romanian soldiers who fought in WWI - have gained it the name “Paris of the East.” Much recent history has taken place in the city. During the INCLUDED TOUR this afternoon, see the impressive Parliament Building, the second-largest building in the world after the Pentagon, and the Royal Palace Square, the scene of riots in 1989, which led to the collapse of the communist dictatorship. In your free time, discover this interesting city even further. Stroll down Calea Victoriei, “Victory Avenue,” Bucharest’s most historic and alluring street. Initially built in 1692, today it is lined with shops, museums, churches, restaurants, cafés, and fine houses. (B)

Day 10: Bucharest

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

Departures & Pricing


  • A valid passport is required for travel. Passports must be valid at least 6 months after the last day of travel.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.
  • In the event of water level problems on stretches of any river, it may be necessary to operate part of the itinerary by motorcoach.
  • Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change is necessary, a substitute will be offered.
  • For reasons of navigation and passenger safety, the cruise operator and the Captain of the ship reserve the right to modify the itinerary of the cruise.

2018 and 2019 Departures

Start City
Rates are in $ USD and are PER PASSENGER sharing twin cabin
From Budapest (WBO)
Program Start Date
Cruise Embarkation Date (in Budapest)

Cat. E - Lower Deck w/ fixed windows

Cat. D - Lower deck w/ fixed windows
Cat. B - Middle Deck aft w/ french balcony
Cat, A - Middle Deck fwd w/ french balcony
Cat. P - Upper Deck w/ french balcony
Suite -
Upper Deck
w/ french balcony
Apr 25, 2018
Apr 27, 2018
May 11, 2018
May 13, 2018
Jun 6, 2018
Jun 8, 2018
Jul 4, 2018
Jul 6, 2018
Aug 1, 2018
Aug 3, 2018
Aug 22, 2018
Aug 24, 2018
Sep 12, 2018
Sep 14, 2018
Oct 10, 2018
Oct 12, 2018
Oct 17, 2018
Oct 19, 2018
Apr 16, 2019
Apr 18, 2019
May 28, 2019
May 30, 2019
Jun 25, 2019
Jun 27, 2019
Jul 23, 2019
Jul 25, 2019
Aug 20, 2019
Aug 22, 2019
Sep 3, 2019
Sep 5, 2019
Sep 17, 2019
Sep 19, 2019
Oct 15, 2019
Oct 17, 2019
IMPORTANT: Dates, Prices & Itineraries are subject to change.
Port charges: Additional $144 per passenger (2018) Additional $156 per passenger (2019).
For Singe Traveler: Single Supplement applies. Please call to inquire.

Transfers at Start/End of the Program are available for purchase. Inquire for details.

Prices Include:

• 7 nights Cruise from Budapest to Oltenita in selected cabin category
• Full board meals, including Captain's Welcome and Farewell receptions, Welcome and Farewell dinners
• 2 nights deluxe hotel accommodation in Budapest at InterContinental (or similar; hotel subject to change) with buffet breakfast
• 1 night deluxe hotel accommodation in Bucharest at Anthenee Palace Hilton (or similar; hotel subject to change) with buffet breakfast
• Daily guided sightseeing program with Certified Local Guides
• Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; soft drinks with lunch; and regional wine, beer, or soft drinks with dinner are included daily on board your vessel
• Daily Afternoon Tea
• Daily Night Fare
• Special onboard and onshore experiences presented by local chefs, artisans, entertainers,and experts, designed to enrich your cruise
• Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers
• Taxes

Prices Do Not Include:

• Individual arrival and departure (airfare; transfers)
• Travel insurance
• Port Charges
• Gratuities to onboard crew
• Personal expenses

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