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Balkan Discovery with 2 Nights Transylvania 2019

12 days with Avalon Waterways  Rating: Deluxe

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  • Avalon Waterways Journeys Club members save $150 per person off trips. 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 dine 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 Church.

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. VELIKO TÂRNOVO & ARBANASSI EXCURSION
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. EXCURSION TO TRANSYLVANIA—BRASOV
Depart Bucharest for Bran Castle of Dracula lore. Take a Guided Tour of the 1377 legendary home of the famed Romanian vampire. Continue to Brasov for the night. (B,L,D)

Day 11 BRASOV—BUCHAREST
Join a morning Guided Sightseeing Tour of Brasov, followed by an afternoon drive into the Carpathians to Sinaia to visit Peles Castle. (B,L)

Day 12 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 tour in 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 Târnovo and Arbanassi–Rousse: choice of full day guided tour, visit to Tsarevet’s Fortress in Veliko Tarnovo, and the Ethnographic Museum and the Church of the Nativity in Arbanassi or guided tour of in Rousse
  • Oltenita (Disembarkation)–Bucharest: guided tour in Bucharest
  • Bucharest. Excursion to Transylvania–Brasov: guided visit of Dracula’s Bran Castle
  • Brasov—Bucharest: guided tour in Brasov; visit to Peles Castle
  • 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! This vacation has something for everybody—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. 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. The lively pedestrian boulevard of Knez Mihailova is dotted with historical buildings and charming cafés and you’ll see St. Sava, the world’s largest Orthodox Church. Continue your river cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates Gorge, visit Belogradchik’s fascinating rock formations, and Bulgaria’s ancient capital of Veliko Târnovo. In Arbanassi, visit the Church of the Nativity, housing an impressive collection of frescoes.

To round out this timeless 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. From Bucharest, take an overnight trip to Transylvania to visit the Bran Castle—of Dracula Fame—the city of Brasov, and beautiful Peles Castle.
  • Ship Amenities - Avalon Illumination:
    • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows
    • Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs, whirlpool, shade awnings, & outdoor deck game area
    • State-of-the-art fitness center
    • Non-smoking staterooms & ship interior
    • Convenient Elevator Service
    • Elegant, contemporary design
    • Outside viewing deck
    • Headsets for guided shore excursions in Europe
    • English-speaking friendly crew, staff & professional Cruise Director
    • Sightseeing with Expert Local Guides
    • Onboard lectures, activities & entertainment
    • Room service for Continental breakfast & beverages (service fee applies)
    • Sky Deck whirlpool
    • Complimentary computer use in public areas
    • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
    • Onboard Adventure Center with active gear, bikes, Nordic walking sticks, watercraft & maps
    • Biking excursions available in Amsterdam and Durnstein
    • Light lunch & casual 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
    • Onshore & Onboard experiences with regional customs, cultures & tastings with local artisans, experts & entertainers
    • Flatscreen satellite TV with English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
    • Onboard assistance is available to recommend, reserve and further personalize your cruise
    • Linger over several selections from the Panorama Bistro's tasting menu for a less formal "sit-down" atmosphere
    • Sky Deck game area
    • Self-serve beverage station with complimentary tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees, including decaf options
    • Well-stocked library with books, cards, and board games
    • Complimentary bottled water, fresh fruit, and cookies 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
    • Welcome & farewell cocktails 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
    • Al fresco lunch in the Sky Grill
    • 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
    • Chef-prepared onboard meals with regional cuisine and familiar favorites
    • 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)
    • Panorama Lounge & Bar with premium spirits, cozy seating, panoramic windows & dance floor
    • Night Fare served at 10:30 pm
    • Healthy meal options
    • Light lunch & casual dinner in the Panorama Bistro
    • Linger over several selections from the Panorama Bistro's tasting menu for a less formal "sit-down" atmosphere
    • 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 
Brasov: Kronwell Brasov Hotel 
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.
  • 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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