13 Day Eastern Danube River Cruise with Budapest & Bucharest (Ruse to Budapest)
13 days with Gate 1 Rating: Deluxe
River Cruise Itinerary
DAY 1, Thursday - Depart for Romania Depart for Romania.
DAY 2, Friday - Arrive in Bucharest Arrive in Bucharest. The remainder of the day is at leisure to discover Bucharest. This evening, enjoy a Welcome Drink and orientation meeting with your local host at the hotel at approximately 6pm, followed by a briefing about the journey. We recommend that you select flights which arrive in your destination no later than 4pm on Day 2 or earlier, if possible.
DAY 3, Saturday - Bucharest City Tour Delve into the history and culture of this complex city during a guided city tour. View the Palace of the Parliament, a massive structure built under Nicolae Ceausescu, to convey the power of the Communist rule. Other highlights include the Romanian Athenaeum, as well as the Arcul de Triumf, reminiscent of the similar-looking arch in Paris. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure, or the optional Snagov Monestery & Mogosoaia. (Breakfast)
Optional: Snagov Monestery & Mogosoaia
DAY 4, Sunday - Cruise Embarkation in Giurgiu Transfer to the port in Giurgiu. Embarkation will be ready for check in at 2 pm. After arrival formalities, time to relax on board. Tonight, meet your Cruise Director and enjoy a gala welcome dinner as it sets the mood for your delightful river cruise. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 5, Monday - Ruse City Tour Today explore Ruse, one of Bulgaria's most elegant cities, brimming with history from the Ottoman Empire. Enjoy a walking tour and view the building of the Tax Administration with its wonderful facade, adorned with seven different symbolic figures on the roof. You could step back in time during a visit to the Kaliopa House, preserved from the late 19th century. Or, journey south on the optional tour of the village of Arbanassi in Veliko Tarnovo. This soaring village atop a high peak exemplifies the Bulgarian National Revival architectural movement. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Optional: Full Day Veliko Tarnovo & Arbanassi
DAY 6, Tuesday - Full Day in Vidin Arrive this afternoon in the port town of Vidin. Today a guided tour explores this town with its many historic and cultural landmarks such as the Baba Vida Fortress and the town’s Mosque. Be sure to sample the regional wine, as Vidin is known for its fertile climate, ideal for the production of premium wine grapes. Perhaps join the optional Belogradchik Rocks & Medieval Fortress*. Travel through the scenic countryside to the fortress of Belogradchik built by the Romans and expanded over the years by Bulgarian and Ottoman rulers. The fortress also known as Kaleto, is one of the best-preserved fortresses in the country, The view from the fortress of the surrounding fascinating sandstone rock formations is breathtaking. Free time to explore on your own before a panoramic drive through the historic part of Vidin, that includes brief stops at some of the city’s landmarks. Sail away mid-afternoon. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
*Passengers who choose this optional, will not be able to participate in the included tour of Vidin.
DAY 7, Wednesday - Iron Gates & Scenic Sailing Spend the day admiring the picturesque countryside as your travel westward. Soak in the history as you view the Carpathian and Balkan mountain ranges. Sail through the famed Iron Gates, a gorge that contains a pair of hydroelectric dams and power stations. It is easy to understand why visitors flock to this stunning gorge. The landscape around the area is truly breathtaking. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 8, Thursday - Belgrade City Tour Explore the highlights of Belgrade and learn about the city’s turbulent history and architecture. Visit the imposing Kalemegdan Fortress dramatically situated at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers and the lovely park surrounding it. Perhaps continue to the Republic Square and view the National Theatre, National Museum and the Prince Mihail monument. Stroll along Knez Mihajlova street, the main pedestrian and shopping zone in the city. Afterwards, arrive at the Vracar Plateau to view the Saint Sava Temple, the largest Orthodox Church in the city. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 9, Friday - Vukovar & Osijek Arrive in Vukovar, the largest river port in Croatia. Spend the day learning about both the ancient and recent history of the area. The region is full of culture, with numerous museums conveying the story of Vukovar's chaotic past. Visit Osijek, the economic and cultural center of the eastern Croatian region of Slavonia. In the early afternoon set sail towards Hungary. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 10, Saturday - Puszta Horse Show Awake this morning in Kalocsa, Hungary, a picturesque town that specializes in the production of paprika. One of the oldest towns in Hungary, Kalocsa is well-known for the horse shows of Puszta, in the rural region of the country. View an exciting show as you experience the countryside. After lunch, sails towards Budapest. Tonight, enjoy a lavish Captain's Dinner on board. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 11, Sunday - Budapest City Tour This morning, bid farewell to your Cruise Director and meet your local host as you disembark in Budapest. Your morning tour begins on the Pest side of the city; view the Parliament, City Park and Heroes Square. Cross to Buda to see the Royal Palace, Matthias Church and the graceful medieval architecture along the cobbled streets. Explore the city's wonderful shops and cafes this afternoon on your own. Tonight, an optional dinner and show in Budapest. Travel to the outskirts of Budapest for a traditional Hungarian Dinner in a scenic forested location. While dining, you'll be entertained by colorfully dressed dancers performing a variety of spirited folk dances accompanied by a group playing live music. (Breakfast)
Optional: Dinner & Show in Budapest (PM)
DAY 12, Monday - Full Day in Budapest Today, enjoy the delights of Budapest independently. Immerse yourself in the heritage of the "City of Baths" and visit a traditional Turkish bath house with its thermal pools and spas or, stroll along the Danube Promenade, a walkway along the Danube that goes from the Elisabeth Bridge to Chain Bridge, offering stunning views of the capital. Another option is to head to Margaret Island, a quite getaway within the city, that serves as a recreational park, located in the middle of the Danube River. Perhaps, join the optional half day Taste of Budapest. Explore the local food scene, at the Hold Street Market Hall, while getting introduced to the history of Hungarian cuisine. Taste local cheeses from family farms around Budapest and salami delicacies, along with Hungarian meats and sausages served with fresh bread and mustard. End the tour with a sweet Budapest pastry - local strudel and a cup of coffee. (Breakfast)
Optional: Half Day Taste of Budapest (AM)
DAY 13, Tuesday - Depart Hungary Your vacation ends today after breakfast. (Breakfast)
River Cruise Highlights
During your Budapest City Tour, see the Parliament, Heroes Square, Royal Palace and Matthias Church
Visit the charming village of Holloko
View an exciting horse show in Pustzta, Hungary
Enjoy an authentic Serbian dinner and folklore dancing
Explore the highlights of Belgrade, a city with turbulent history
Sail through the famed Iron Gates, flanked by the Carpathian and Balkan mountain ranges
Discover the history in Ruse, dating back to the Ottoman Empire
Gaze upon the Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest
All This Included
11 nights accommodations
River port charges of $190 per person
26 meals: 11 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners
Cruise director & activities host throughout cruise
Local host in Bucharest & Budapest
Services of local guides in all major cities
Shore excursions per itinerary
Entrance fees per itinerary
Comfortable wireless earphones for enhanced touring during excursions
River Cruise Features & Amenities
Gala Welcome Dinner and Farewell Dinner
Wine and beer with dinners
Locally inspired recipes
Early riser breakfast in addition to buffet breakfast
Late night snack
Complimentary Wi-Fi access in public areas
Self-serve coffee and tea station
Lounge serving premium spirits
Non-smoking ship interior
Shore excursions conducted exclusively in English
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: Cabin onboard Monarch Duchess
Bucharest: Intercontinental Bucharest
Budapest: Hilton Budapest City
Cruise only price does not include arrival/departure transfers. Due to physical constraints and space limitations, wheelchairs and walkers are not allowed on motor coaches and/or river cruises. While sailing with Monarch Cruises, passengers are subject to the cruise's Terms & Conditions.
Know Before You Book - High & Low Water European river cruising has gained in popularity for very good reason. It's a relaxing and convenient way to experience Europe while enjoying the comfort of a deluxe ship. However, before making the decision to reserve your vacation, please be aware of potential conditions which may impact your cruise. While most of the time river cruises operate exactly as planned, weather conditions may result in high or low water levels which impact a ship's itinerary and, on occasion, render a ship unable to sail at all. On very rare occasions, other events such as heavy fog, a damaged lock, or an incapacitated vessel blocking the river, may impact a sailing. These events typically occur with little or no notice. In the event that a cruise is partially or completely impacted, the itinerary will be operated by deluxe motor coach, accompanied by a Tour Manager, with overnights in hotels. The itinerary will include as many of the originally scheduled sightseeing features as possible, considering the travel time and distances required, as well as meals. While it is not possible to recreate the more leisurely comforts of sailings, we will endeavor to provide a comparable itinerary. These alternative services will be provided at no additional charge.
This moderately active trip covers a fair amount of ground each day. Expect from three to four hours walking every touring day. The pace is moderate, however you will encounter some uneven surfaces, stairs, steps and significant slopes. There is a potential for a small number of sailings to be impacted by river water levels, or other factors which may impact safe navigation. This may cause part or all of the cruise itinerary to be operated by motor coach and may also involve hotel accommodations.
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.