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Enchantment of Eastern Europe 2020
(Budapest to Bucharest)

9 days with Emerald Waterways  Rating: Deluxe

Book this River Cruise Now and Save!


  • 2 for 1! Companion cruises for free on this sailing. Expires November 25. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Fly for free from select gateways or save $2,000 per couple. Expires November 23. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Save an additional $250 per couple off this cruise. Expires November 23. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Save an additional $500 per couple when you book a suite on the Horizon Deck. Expires November 23. 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
When you arrive in Budapest, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your Emerald Waterways Star-Ship, where your friendly captain and crew will be waiting to greet you.

This afternoon, enjoy free time to explore Eastern Europe’s liveliest city at leisure. The “Paris of the East” is a truly breathtaking sight, where dozens of lights adorn the stone bridges that cross the mighty Danube, separating both sides of the city.

This evening, join your fellow guests for dinner on board, before a night-time cruise along the Danube delights. Be left feeling inspired by the illuminated façades of some of Hungary’s most iconic buildings. (Dinner)

EmeraldPLUS: A Budapest evening cruise

Day 2 Kalocsa
In the morning, we’ll sail out of Budapest towards Kalocsa, best known for its vibrant paprika festivals. Traditional folk art and culture are yours to discover here, as you sail through one of the oldest towns in Hungary.

This afternoon, you’ll venture to the Puszta, or Great Hungarian Plain, for a traditional performance showcasing the exceptional equestrian skills of the Magyar cowboys. Relax as you watch their spectacular horse parade and witness their exercise drills, most of which were readily practiced for wartime. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Today, enjoy a gala dinner on board.

EmeraldPLUS: A traditional Hungarian horse show

Day 3 Osijek
Cruise into the border region of Croatia and into Osijek, a historic university town full of leafy boulevards and promenades. Damage from the Homeland War is still visible across the city, but it is easily forgotten when you immerse yourself in the peaceful surrounds that can be found here.

Today, you will be able to meet students from a local village who will be delighted to perform for you during your EmeraldPLUS excursion, before embarking on a walk around Osijek Fortress, nestled in the centre of the romantic old town. This ensemble of well-preserved Baroque buildings is laid out like a traditional star fort, with bastions, armouries, a guardhouse and a military hospital all protected within its walls.

Later, sail further down the Danube and into Serbia, where remnants of recent conflicts can be seen on the riverbanks. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

EmeraldPLUS: Visit the home of a local Croatian family

EmeraldPLUS: Meet the local village students

EmeraldEXCURSION: A guided tour of Osijek Fortress

Day 4 Belgrade
The capital of Serbia awaits you today, as a city tour introduces you to the highlights of one of Europe’s oldest cities, including Belgrade Fortress. Relax as your coach takes you through the centre of the city, where remnants of a chaotic past look out of place among peaceful surrounds.

Witness the symmetrical façade of the Church of Saint Sava, one of the world’s largest church buildings, and stop for a tour of the Museum of Yugoslavia. Enjoy learning about the life of the leader of the Partisans, Josip Broz Tito, and the way that they became one of the most effective resistance movements in occupied Europe. Alternatively, learn about the history of Belgrade during a guided bike tour of the city.

This evening, relax in the Horizon Lounge and watch a traditional Serbian folklore show. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

EmeraldPLUS: A Serbian folklore evening show

EmeraldACTIVE: A guided bike tour

EmeraldEXCURSION: A guided tour of Belgrade

DiscoverMORE: A tour of the National Opera Theatre (extra expense)

Day 5 Golubac – Donji Milanovac
In eastern Serbia, within the Majdanpek municipality, the town of Donji Milanovac sits on the right bank of the Danube. Today, you will have the opportunity to visit the Palaeolithic site of Lepenski Vir on an included excursion. Enjoy learning about the importance of this archaeological site and its illustrious history, spanning more than 8 millennia. Archaeologists have used this site to track the development of prehistoric culture in Europe, and numerous Stone Age settlements have been found in the area.

The day ends as we sail through the Iron Gates, a scenic narrow gorge that meanders between the Carpathian Mountains and the European Alps. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

EmeraldEXCURSION: A visit to Lepenski Vir archaeological site and museum

Day 6 Vidin
This morning, we’ll arrive in Vidin, a beautiful town in north-west Bulgaria. Situated on the right bank of the Danube, it is one of the oldest along the Bulgarian Danube bank, prospering from the surrounding countryside, renowned for producing wines. Your included tour will introduce you to the best of Vidin’s viticulture, as you stroll through a local vineyard and enjoy a tasting of their produce.

Later, venture to Baba Vida, a medieval fortress whose name can be translated to mean “Granny Vida”. Construction began on the fortress in the 10th century, and it has been steeped in legend ever since. Alternatively, hike to Belogradchik Fortress, a well-preserved stronghold that sits against a series of impressive rock formations. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

EmeraldACTIVE: A hike to Belogradchik Fortress

EmeraldEXCURSION: Visit a local vineyard for a tasting

Day 7 Rousse – Veliko Tarnovo & Arbanasi
Today, your Star-Ship will cruise into Rousse. You will have the opportunity to visit Veliko Tarnovo, stopping to learn about its rich history as the former capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire. This medieval city was built atop three hills, and its fortifications and cobbled streets are certain to delight history lovers.

Nearby, Arbanasi sits on a high plateau overlooking the Yantra. Each street in the area is lined with traditional houses, and old churches offer centuries of exploration during your guided tour of Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanasi.

Alternatively, embark on a guided hike to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo, a complex of churches, chapels and monasteries. Witness the incredible nature of the 14th-century painted frescoes and learn about their composition and the emotional atmosphere that they convey, something that was far ahead of its time.

Tonight, we welcome you to the farewell reception. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

EmeraldPLUS: A choir concert in Arbanasi

EmeraldACTIVE: Hike to the Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo 

EmeraldEXCURSION: A tour of Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanasi

Day 8 Giurgiu – Bucharest
This morning, relax and enjoy the passing scenery as we drive towards Bucharest, including the Romanian city of Giurgiu, set amongst the mud flats and marshes of the Danube.

Visit the Spring Palace to see the elegant exterior of a well-kept secret and the plush interior of the private residence of Nicolae Ceausescu, before enjoying free time to explore the city at leisure. Learn about Bucharest’s vibrant history on a guided coach tour, including the Palace of Parliament.

This evening, settle into the comfortable surrounds of your hotel, perhaps going for a stroll down one of the wide avenues or leafy boulevards that give Bucharest a distinctly French feel. (Breakfast, Dinner)

EmeraldEXCURSION: A guided drive through Bucharest

Day 9 Bucharest
After breakfast, it is time to say farewell to your fellow guests and transfer to the airport, taking memories of the Great Hungarian Plain and medieval fortresses with you. (Breakfast)

Tour Map
All This Included
As the final stretch of the Danube weaves its way through the depths of eastern Europe, meet locals for lunch in their home, enjoy tours of Osijek & Belgrade & marvel at the beauty of the Iron Gate.
  • 22 meals including 8 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches and 8 Dinners
  • Boutique contemporary hotel feel, with spectacular on board heated pool, cinema, spa and lounge (Emerald Radiance Star-Ship pool is located on the sun deck and the Cinema is not available.)
  • Spacious, comfortable accommodations you'll want to spend time in, with panoramic suites and staterooms, and innovative open-air system for cabins on the Vista and Horizon decks
  • Gourmet all-included on board meals and highlight dinner events, al-fresco on The Terrace or in the well-appointed Reflections Restaurant
  • Enjoy in depth cultural experiences with EmeraldPLUS excursions; cheese and olive tasting or Provencal dinner on board hosted by a local chef
  • Emerald's Concierge Service - served right to your suite, enjoy continental breakfast, pre-dinner canapés and after dinner treats (Only applies to Owner’s One-bedroom Suites, Riverview Suites, and Grand Balcony Suites (CAT S, SA, RA))
  • A refined selection of wine, beer and soft drinks to accompany lunch and dinner
  • Tea and coffee available at all times
  • Bottled water restocked daily in your cabin
  • Built-in adventure, with an included on shore excursion at every port
  • Visits to many UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Emerald Active guided biking and hiking tours
  • Excellent service from an English speaking crew
  • Knowledgeable, personable local destination guides
  • Complimentary bicycles on board
  • Complimentary on board Wi-Fi
  • All airport transfers to and from your Star Ship, and all gratuities
  • All gratuities for onboard and shore side staff
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: Cabin onboard Emerald Sun, Emerald Dawn, Emerald Destiny, Emerald Star, or Emerald Sky
Bucharest: To be determined
Notes
  • Itineraries are subject to change.
  • Cabin upgrades are 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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