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Balkan Odyssey with 2 Nights in Transylvania 2021

11 days with Avalon Waterways  Rating: Deluxe

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River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 BUCHAREST, ROMANIA
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, cafés, museums, beautiful homes, and churches along Victory Avenue.

Day 2 BUCHAREST–SINAIA–BRASOV
Drive into the Carpathians to Sinaia to visit Peles Castle. This afternoon continue to Brasov for the night. (B,D)

Day 3 BRASOV
Join a morning Guided Sightseeing Tour of Brasov followed by free time. In the evening enjoy a tour of Bran Castle of Dracula lore followed by dinner. (B,D)

Day 4 BRASOV–BUCHAREST–OLTENITA (EMBARKATION)
CLASSIC Join a Guided Excursion in Bucharest, see the Royal Palace Square—the scene of the city 's 1989 riots to overthrow the communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. 

Join your Avalon Suite Ship® this afternoon, for embarkation in Oltenita.

DISCOVERY After dinner, attend an onboard Lecture to learn about the Danube Delta. 

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO ST. GHEORGHE (B,D)

Day 5 NIKOPOL. VELIKO TÂRNOVO & ARBANASSI EXCURSION
Cliff Houses and Revival Architecture

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. 

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO VIDIN (B,D)

Day 6 VIDIN, BULGARIA
Rocks, Ruins and Beauty in Bulgaria

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.

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

Day 7 IRON GATES GORGE–DONJI MILANOVAC. EXCURSION TO LEPENSKI VIR–GOLUBAC
Ancient Artifacts and the Iron Gates

Join your Adventure Host for today’s special activities.

Sail through the spectacular and narrow Iron Gates Gorge—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.

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)

Day 8 BELGRADE, SERBIA
Fortresses and Folklore

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 free time in Belgrade exploring Knez Mihailova Street—Belgrade’s central pedestrian thoroughfare with many lively cafés, shops, and cultural spots.

DISCOVERY Before dinner, attend an onboard Lecture to learn about the Danube Delta.

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

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO NOVI SAD (B,L,D)

Day 9 NOVI SAD
A Capital of Culture

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

Croatian Heritage and Hilltop Vintages

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 OSIJEK (B,L,D)

Day 10 OSIJEK (DISEMBARKATION)–ZAGREB
A Night in Zagreb

Disembark your ship this morning and travel to Zagreb.

CLASSIC Take a Guided Tour of the Croatian capital city of Zagreb and discover its rich history dating from the Roman times to the present day.

Spend some free time exploring this fascinating city on your own to discover its Austro-Hungarian architecture. Do not miss pedestrian-friendly Tkalciceva Street, lined with outdoor cafes. (B)

Day 11 ZAGREB
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • Day 1 Bucharest: welcome to Bucharest
  • Day 2 Bucharest–Sinaia–Brasov: visit Peles Castle
  • Day 3 Brasov: guided tour of Brasov; guided visit of Dracula’s Bran Castle
  • Day 4 Brasov–Bucharest–Oltenita (Embarkation): guided sightseeing in Bucharest; transfer to ship; onboard welcome reception
  • Day 5 Nikopol. Excursion to Veliko Târnovo and Arbanassi: full-day excursion, visit to Tsarevet’s Fortress in Veliko Târnovo and to the Ethnographical Museum and the Church of the Nativity in Arbanassi
  • Day 6 Vidin. Excursion to Belogradchik: guided tour in Vidin, excursion to Belogradchik, see the rock formations
  • Day 7 Iron Gates–Donji Milanovac–Golubac: scenic cruise through the Iron Gates Gorge; visit to Golubac fortress; visit Lepenski Vir archaeological site
  • Day 8 Belgrade: guided tour; lecture on board
  • Day 9 Novi Sad–Ilok: guided tours
  • Day 10 Osijek (Disembarkation)–Zagreb: guided sightseeing in Zagreb
  • Day 11 Zagreb: your vacation ends this morning
All This Included
Begin your Balkan Odyssey before your cruise with an overnight stay in Bucharest—the “Paris of the East.” See the Romanian capital’s the WWI Arc de Triomphe and the Royal Palace Square, and spend free time browsing the lovely shops and cafes of Victory Boulevard. Continue to Transylvania and spend two nights in Brasov to visit Peles Castle and Bran Castle—inspiration for Bram Stocker’s Dracula.

Embark on your Suite Ship® in the town of Oltenita to begin your Danube River cruise through the Balkans, and cruise for Nikopol. See the incredible ancient architecture in Veliko Târnovo and Arbanassi, and sail to Vidin Bulgaria to marvel at the remarkable rock formations of the Balkan Mountains in Belogradchik. Cruise through the Iron Gates Gorge, explore the amazing archaeological site of Lepenski Vir, and visit the fascinating Fortress of Golubac. Sail to Belgrade, Serbia, where the Danube and Sava Rivers meet, and discover ancient architecture in Novi Sad. Sail into beautiful Croatia, where a 1,000-year-old winemaking tradition lives on in Ilok. Disembark in Osijek and spend the night in the Croatian capital of Zagreb—dating back to the Roman Empire. This Danube River cruise through the Balkans reveals the beauty of its people and culture across a land of beauty and inspiration.

Ship Amenities:
  • 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
  • English-speaking friendly crew, staff & professional Cruise Director
  • Sightseeing with Expert Local Guides
  • Onboard lectures, activities & entertainment
  • Complimentary room service for Continental breakfast
  • Sky Deck whirlpool
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • Biking excursions available in Amsterdam and Durnstein
  • Onboard Adventure Center with active gear, bikes, Nordic walking sticks, watercraft & maps
  • Casual dinner in the Panorama Bistro
  • Behind-the-scenes galley tour
  • Choice of Classic, Active or Discovery excursions so that you can experience your cruise your way
  • 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
  • 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 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
  • Spacious, open-seating Panorama 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
  • Complimentary room service for Continental breakfast
  • Panorama Lounge & Bar with premium spirits, cozy seating, panoramic windows & dance floor
  • Healthy meal options
  • 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
  • Light lunch in the Panorama Lounge
  • FlexDining flexible dining times with menu & venue options
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: Cabin onboard Avalon Passion
Bucharest: Athenee Palace Hilton 
Brasov: Kronwell Brasov Hotel 
Zagreb: The Westin Zagreb
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades are available. 
  • In the event of technical or water level issues, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or alter the program, including hotel overnight when necessary.
  • Guided Tours, Optional Excursions, activities, sailing and docking schedules may be contingent on weather conditions or other issues outside of our control and could therefore be subject to change at any time.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.
  • Port charges: $168
  • Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included.
  • 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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