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Balkan Discovery 2019

10 days with Avalon Waterways  Rating: Deluxe

Book this River Cruise Now and Save!


  • Save $500 to $2,500 per couple off this cruise. Expires June 5. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Limited-time offer! Save an additional $200 per couple off this cruise. Expires May 31. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Pay no single supplement in certain cabin categories on select 2019 river cruises. Expires June 5. Click here for eligible departures.

Offers subject to change or withdrawal, availability is limited. Some discounts are not combinable.

River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 BUDAPEST, HUNGARY
Welcome to Budapest–Hungary’s Captivating Capital

The day is yours to relax and enjoy Eastern Europe’s shining city on the Danube.

Day 2 BUDAPEST
The Pearl of the Danube in the Heart of Europe

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 cafés and pubs, or take a hike through the hills above the Danube.

You may choose to enjoy Hungarian cuisine in an Optional Wine–and–Dine Dinner this evening. (B)

Day 3 BUDAPEST (EMBARKATION)
Capture Photographs, Coffee, and Confections

With a free day to explore before your cruise, take time to shop in the Great Market Hall or take photographs on the Royal Palace grounds in this treasure trove of historical architecture. Try Budapest’s famous thermal bath spas, then lunch in a garden or rooftop eatery.

This afternoon, board your Suite Ship®. This evening enjoy a dinner on board.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MOHÁCS (B,D)

Day 4 MOHÁCS
Archaeology, Architecture, and an Ancient Watermill

CLASSIC Join a morning Guided Sightseeing Tour of Mohács–the quiet Danube harbor town with its historical memorial parks, statues, and distinctive churches. Tour the remarkable medieval St. Nicholas Watermill–one of only a few remaining watermills performing stone–ground grain processing, OR:

CLASSIC Take a Guided Tour of nearby Pécs to see its 4th–century Christian underground tombs with fascinating murals, as well as Turkish architecture. You’ll also enjoy an organ concert on your tour.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BELGRADE (B,L,D)

Day 5 BELGRADE, SERBIA
Fortresses and Folklore of Serbia Past and Present

DISCOVERY Attend an onboard Lecture to learn about the rich history, destinations, and culture of the Balkan states.

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.

Spend your free time exploring the city on your own this afternoon on Knez Mihailova Street–Belgrade’s central pedestrian thoroughfare with many lively cafés, shops, and cultural spots.

Later, enjoy live entertainment on board your ship before dinner.

This evening, you might like to join an Optional typical Bohemian Dinner in the Quarter of Skadarlija.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO DONJI MILANOVAC (B,L,D)

Day 6 DONJI MILANOVAC. EXCURSION TO LEPENSKI VIR— IRON GATES GORGE
Ancient Art, Archaeological Artifacts, and Gauntlet of the Iron Gates

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.

After lunch on board, you’ll sail through the spectacular and narrow Iron Gates Gorge–a natural border between Serbia and Romania.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO CETATE (B,L,D)

Day 7 CETATE, ROMANIA
A Bygone Era and New Mountains to Climb

ACTIVE Join your Avalon Adventure Host for a Run along the river bank.

CLASSIC Visit the Danube’s old grain–shipping port on a Guided Tour of Cetate, including a tasting of local specialties.

Sail to Vidin this afternoon.

VIDIN, BULGARIA

Rocks and Ruins–Things of Beauty in Bulgaria

CLASSIC Join a Guided Tour to Belogradchik to see the remarkable rock formations on the western slopes of the Balkan Mountains, sculpted by 200 million years of natural elements.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO NIKOPOL (B,L,D)

Day 8 NIKOPOL. EXCURSION TO VELIKO TÂRNOVO & ARBANASSI
Cliffside Dwellings and Castle Ruins of Bulgarian Kings

CLASSIC Join a full-day Guided Tour to the former Bulgarian capital of Veliko Târnovo–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.

As an alternative, sail with your ship to Rousse.

ROUSSE

Fortresses and Fountains in Bulgaria’s “Little Vienna”

You may choose to stay with your ship today on its way to Rousse–dubbed “Little Vienna” for its baroque and neoclassical buildings.

CLASSIC Join a Guided Sightseeing Tour of Bulgaria’s largest inland port and visit its impressive Holy Trinity Church, OR:

ACTIVE Join an afternoon Run through the park with your Avalon Adventure Host.

Later, enjoy live entertainment on board with a Bulgarian folklore show.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO OLTENITA (B,L,D)

Day 9 OLTENITA, ROMANIA (DISEMBARKATION)—BUCHAREST
A Night in Bucharest–the “Paris of the East”

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.

Spend some free time exploring this fascinating city on your own to discover its trendy shops, cafés, museums, beautiful homes, and churches along Victory Avenue. (B)

Day 10 BUCHAREST
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • Budapest: welcome to Hungary
  • Budapest: guided tour, see Heroes’ Square
  • Budapest (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception
  • Mohács. Excursion to Pécs: choice of guided tourin Pécs, visit the underground tombs; or sightseeing in Mohács, visit St. Nicolas watermill
  • Belgrade: lecture on board; guided tour
  • Donji Milanovac—Iron Gates: visit Lepenski Vir archaeological site; cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates gorge
  • Cetate—Vidin. Excursion to—Belogradchik:visit the cultural port in Cetate; excursion to Belogradchik, see the rock formations
  • Excursion to Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi–Rousse: choice of full day guided sightseeing, visit Tsarevet’s Fortress in Veliko Târnovo and the Ethnographical Museum and Church of the Nativity in Arbanassi; or guided sightseeing of Rousse
  • Oltenita (Disembarkation)—Bucharest: guided sightseeing in Bucharest
  • Bucharest: your vacation ends this morning
All This Included
See the highlights of Eastern Europe on this Balkan river cruise adventure along the Danube River! Enjoy relaxing time on your ship and stops in the most fascinating cities, with free time and guided sightseeing—so you don’t miss a thing!

You’ll begin with two overnights in the lively Hungarian capital of Budapest. This city has a unique energy and offers an eclectic mix of activities. See the iconic statues of Heroes’ Square, and with free time, explore the lovely lookout towers of Fishermen’s Bastion. On an excursion to Pécs, Hungary, you’ll visit underground burial chambers with fascinating murals, now part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, is one of the oldest cities in Europe, where the Sava River meets the Danube. Cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates Gorge and visit the cultural port of Cetate. Visit Bulgaria’s Belogradchik, where you’ll see the fascinating rock formations sculpted by natural elements for over 200 million years. On an excursion to the ancient Bulgarian capital of Veliko Târnovo, you’ll visit Arbanassi’s Church of the Nativity, housing an impressive collection of frescoes.

To round out this timeless Eastern European river cruise, a stay in Romania’s vibrant capital of Bucharest is a must. Known as the “Paris of the East,” a local expert will show you many of its historical treasures, such as the Arc de Triomphe, built in honor of WWI soldiers.
  • Ship Amenities - Avalon Illumination:
    • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows
    • Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs and shade awnings
    • Fitness Center
    • Non-smoking interior and staterooms
    • Elevator
    • Elegant, contemporary design
    • Outside viewing deck
    • Headsets for guided shore excursions in Europe
    • Friendly, English-speaking crew and Cruise Director
    • Sightseeing with Certified Local Guides
    • Onboard lectures, activities & nightly entertainment
    • Room service for Continental breakfast & beverages (service fee applies)
    • Sky Deck whirlpool
    • Complimentary computer use in public areas
    • Hair salon
    • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
    • Bicycles available onboard for complimentary check-out
    • Biking excursions available in Amsterdam and Durnstein
    • Alternate light lunch and dinner in the Panorama Bistro
    • Behind-the-scenes galley tour
    • Choice of Leisurely, Traditional or Independent sightseeing pace options
    • Nordic walking sticks available onboard for complimentary check-out
    • Local FavoritesSM onboard experiences to bring the customs, cultures and tastes of your destinations to life, including local entertainers, artisans & experts
    • English-speaking TV channels with over 100 free movie options
    • Onboard assistance is available to recommend, reserve and further personalize your cruise
    • Delectable petite portions of regional specialties, with wines, in the Panorama Bistro
    • Sky Deck game area
    • Self-serve beverage station with complimentary tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees, including decaf options
    • Well-stocked library
    • Fresh fruit available throughout the day
    • Full-size closet mirror
  • Ship Dining - Avalon Illumination:
    • Avalon FreshSM healthy cuisine options at every meal
    • Self-serve beverage station with complimentary tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees, including decaf options
    • Captain's reception with sparkling wine & canapés
    • Welcome dinner
    • Five-course farewell dinner
    • Spacious, open-seating dining room
    • Daily early-riser breakfast
    • Daily late-riser breakfast
    • Full buffet breakfast with sparkling wine and made-to-order egg station
    • Lunch buffet with carving and pasta stations
    • Sky Bistro lunch option on the Sky Deck
    • Cocktails with a view on the Sky Deck
    • Healthy Corner options including low calorie, low fat, high fiber, low cholesterol, and high energy choices
    • Vegetarian options at every meal, as well as vegan and allergy-free selections
    • Afternoon Tea featuring tea, coffee, and sweet treats
    • Happy Hour every evening including featured drink specials
    • Seasonal cuisine featuring the freshest local ingredients
    • Delectable regional & Western cuisine with all onboard meals
    • Four-course dinners with choice of appetizers, soups, salads, entrées and desserts or cheese
    • Complimentary wine, beer, or soft drinks with lunch and dinner
    • Room service for Continental breakfast & beverages (service fee applies)
    • Upscale bar serving premium spirits
    • Night Fare served at 10:30 pm
    • Healthy meal options
    • Alternate light lunch and dinner in the Panorama Bistro
    • Delectable petite portions of regional specialties, with wines, in the Panorama Bistro
    • Tastings - sample the destination's famous delicacies
    • Coffee or tea after dinner
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: Cabin onboard Avalon Illumination, Avalon Passion
Budapest: Hotel Sofitel Chain Bridge 
Bucharest: Athenee Palace Hilton 
Pre and Post Add-ons
Extra nights per person in Budapest:
in single room from $263 to $361, in twin room from $148 to $197

Extra nights per person in Bucharest:
in single room from $153 to $240, in twin room from $82 to $139
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • In the event of water level problems or any problems of a technical nature, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or to alter the program.
  • Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change is necessary, a substitute will be offered.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.
  • Port charges: $156.
  • Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included.
  • Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.
  • Cruise-Only Available: This vacation can also be taken as a Cruise-Only option starting at the embarkation city and ending at the disembarkation city, and does not include overnight land stays.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.



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