Day 1: Prague
Arrive at Václav Havel Airport Prague. If your cruise/tour package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the hotel.
(Continental Breakfast, Breakfast Buffet)
Day 2: Prague
Is it possible not to be completely enchanted by Prague, with its fabled skyline of spires, fortress-like castle, beautifully preserved architecture and iconic Charles Bridge? A magnet for generations of artists, writers, scientists and composers, Prague is famous for its dynamic energy and elegant ambiance (and the beers here are pretty amazing, too). A thousand years of architecture, from ornate Gothic to fanciful postmodern, have been beautifully preserved in Prague, which has been a magnet for artists, writers, scientists and composers for centuries. It also boasts great beer, a lively art scene and up-and-coming fashion designers, making it a fun as well as a beautiful place to visit.
Day 3: Prague, Transfer to Nuremberg (Embark)
Nuremberg will forever be associated with the post-WWII Nuremberg trials, but the city’s profound historical and cultural significance stretches back many centuries before that. You’ll gain a newfound understanding and appreciation of both aspects of the city today on an in-depth tour with a local expert. Leave Prague this morning and travel via motorcoach to Nuremberg, where your ship awaits. Before you embark on your river voyage, you’ll have time to enjoy lunch on your own and then explore historic Nuremberg and visit sites associated with the rise and fall of the Third Reich. One of Germany’s leading cities for many centuries, Nuremberg’s glowing heritage as a center of German arts, culture and economy was, sadly, also responsible for its disastrous experience in the 1930s and 1940s.
Day 4: Cruising the Main-Danube Canal, Regensburg
You have your choice of adventures in Regensburg, famous for its beautiful, UNESCO protected old city center. “Regensburg is so beautifully situated; this region had to attract a town,” wrote Goethe in his Diary of an Italian Voyage. And attract a town it did, but not due to its beautiful location alone. Ambitious and farseeing locals built a bridge (Steinerne Brücke, or Stone Bridge) over the Danube back in the 12th century, making Regensburg an international trading hub. Because so many of the handsome buildings from that period remain, UNESCO declared the old city center a World Heritage Site in 2006.
(Breakfast Buffet, Lunch)
Day 5: Passau
Passau is a crossroads in more ways than one—three rivers meet here and three nations nearly do, making for a fascinating cultural mosaic. Get to know the town and its main claim to fame, Europe’s largest pipe organ, or enjoy an invigorating riverside hike or bike ride.
(Breakfast Buffet, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6: Engelhartszell, cruising the Danube River
This may be the most leisurely day of your entire journey, as you spend it onboard, admiring the scenery, chatting with new friends and perhaps enjoying a massage in the spa. Your ship leaves Germany behind today, sailing into Austria and cruising through the Schlögener Schinge—a hairpin loop in the Danube that was once very hazardous for ships.
Day 7: Spitz, cruising the Wachau Valley
Your ship will dock in Spitz, midway through the glorious landscape, where you are invited to enjoy a private sparkling wine reception at Artstatten Castle. Later in the day, you’ll want to find a comfortable seat in the lounge or on the Sun Deck as your ship cruises through the Wachau Valley. Over the eons, the Danube cut a gorge through the foothills of the Bohemian Mountains, resulting in a 19-mile (30-kilometer) stretch of riverine scenery so beautiful, UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Landscape.
(Breakfast Buffet, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 8: Vienna
A city tour will show you the architectural highlights of the Austrian capital as well as the legendary opera house in the heart of the city. Or, indulge your passion for art with visits to two distinctively different collections—a “cabinet of curiosities” collected by the Habsburgs and the Belvedere’s extraordinary cache of paintings by Klimt and other renowned artists. The grand dame of the Danube, Vienna was the heart of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and remains, to this day, the political and cultural center of Austria. Klimt painted here; Beethoven and Mozart composed here; Freud developed his theories here. It’s a treasure trove of splendid architecture, astonishing art collections and inviting cafés—and today it is yours to explore.
(Breakfast Buffet, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 9: Budapest
Located on opposite sides of the Danube, Buda and Pest each has a distinctive character and allure all its own. Explore this dynamic and multi-faceted city with your choice of excursions—you can see it from a local’s perspective on our exclusive walking tour, or cover more ground with a panoramic tour. Vibrant Budapest, Hungary’s capital, offers an enchanting combination of East and West, old and new. Even its geography is made up of two parts—Buda (the hills) and Pest (the flatlands)—divided by the Danube. Appropriately enough, you have your choice of two different ways to explore it today.
In the evening, a special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.
(Breakfast Buffet, Lunch, Welcome Dinner)
Day 10: Budapest
Enjoy a day of leisure, exploring the Hungarian capital to your heart’s content. Other passengers are heading home today, but you are only halfway through your marvelous holiday. Today you have an opportunity to explore Budapest’s treasures at your leisure. It’s a mecca for lovers of art nouveau architecture—the building housing the Franz Liszt Academy of Music is a particularly noteworthy example of the style—so perhaps you would like to take yourself on a tour of some of these beauties. For a reminder of the centuries when Hungary was ruled by the Ottoman Turks, take a look at the 16th-century tomb of Gül Baba (and enjoy a Turkish coffee at the adjoining coffeehouse). Treat yourself to a relaxing day at one of the city’s splendid spas, such as the Gellért Baths, or borrow one of the ship’s bicycles and explore Margaret Island. Your options are many, and all of them are delightful.
Day 11: Budapest, Cruising the Danube River
Located on opposite sides of the Danube, Buda and Pest each has a distinctive character and allure all its own. Explore this dynamic and multi-faceted city with your choice of excursions—you can see it from a local’s perspective on our exclusive walking tour, or cover more ground with a panoramic tour. Vibrant Budapest, Hungary’s capital, offers an enchanting combination of East and West, old and new. Even its geography is made up of two parts—Buda (the hills) and Pest (the flatlands)—divided by the Danube. Which part will you choose to explore today? You have two options to choose from.
Day 12: Cruising the Danube River, Vukovar (Osijek)
Welcome to Croatia! This ancient country has made a remarkable recovery from a brutal civil war, and its beautiful countryside, colorful folk traditions and delicious rustic cuisine make it a most rewarding place to visit. You’ll dock in Vukovar, Croatia’s biggest port, at the confluence of the Danube and Vuka rivers.
Day 13: Belgrade
Belgrade, the modern-day capital of Serbia, is one of Europe’s oldest cities, dating back some 7,000 years. Signs of its tumultuous history are visible everywhere, juxtaposed with the city’s vibrant modern-day present. See it all with a choice of excursions, either a city tour that visits the palace or a guided bike ride. You have two very different ways to see Belgrade today—the choice is yours!
Day 14: Golubac, Cruising the Iron Gates
Today’s main attraction will be the spectacular scenery along the Danube, as you cruise a stretch of gorges known as the Iron Gates. Later, head ashore to explore a Paleolithic site and an extraordinary well-preserved medieval fortress. All along the way, history lines the banks of the river. Keep an eye out for Trajan’s Plaque, which the ancient Romans erected to commemorate the road they anchored in the steep cliffs above the water, and Golubac Castle, built in the 14th century and attacked successively by the Serbs, Magyars and Turks. The Turks won the castle in 1458, which helped to reinforce their control of the area until 1867, when they abandoned it.
Day 15: Cruising the Danube River, Vidin
Vidin is a port town on the Danube the once played an important role in medieval Bulgarian politics, as the great fortress Baba Vida attests. It’s your base for today's featured excursion—a visit to the fascinating Belogradchik rock formations.
Day 16: Rousse (Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi or Rousse and Ivanovo)
Bulgaria’s foremost Danube port, Rousse is sometimes called “Little Vienna” for its elegant 19th-century mansions and public buildings. You may choose to see some of the town after venturing to a pair of historic monasteries or spend the day visiting two historic hill towns.
In the evening, a special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.
Day 17: Giurgiu (Disembark), Transfer to Bucharest
This morning, you’ll disembark the ship in Giurgiu and drive through the countryside to Bucharest, Romania’s capital and its cultural and economic center, where you’ll enjoy a panoramic city tour. Bucharest is a fascinating combination of Communist grandiosity, elegant French-influenced 19th-century buildings and surprising survivors dating from the 1500s. Perhaps nothing more perfectly encapsulates Romania’s 20th-century experience than the mind-boggling People’s Palace, which you can visit today. Another option is a walking tour that shows you this city from a local’s perspective. Tonight you’ll relax in the comfort of a luxury hotel located in the heart of the city.
Day 18: Bucharest
At the end of a quiet, tree-lined street, is one of the wealthiest districts of Bucharest. There, sits a seemingly unassuming villa hiding a unique history, one that visitors have only been able to delve into since the building opened to the public in March, 2016. Today, you will have the distinct pleasure of exploring the extravagant interior and grounds of Ceausescu’s Palace for yourself, with a history lesson on its infamous former residents.
Day 19: Bucharest
Check out of your hotel this morning. If your cruise/tour package includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Bucharest Henri Coanda International Airport for your flight home.
An in-depth journey offering fresh new adventures in the Old World.
Beautifully preserved Prague has enchanted visitors for ages, but it is only a tiny part of this extraordinary voyage through eight nations. Sail past quaint villages and great cities on the glorious Danube, visiting baroque abbeys and medieval cathedrals, tasting fine wines and encountering new cultures. Along the way, you’ll uncover the splendid Habsburg capitals of Vienna and Budapest, as well as the many hidden treasures of Croatia, Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria.
Who will enjoy this cruise/tour? Travelers seeking to explore famed capitals and storied lands, to meet new people and encounter diverse cultures, will relish their time on this picture-perfect journey.
Portraits of Eastern Europe is a combination of Delightful Danube & Prague and Highlights of Eastern Europe.
All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
18 breakfasts, 14 lunches, 14 dinners
2 Captain's Welcome and 2 Captain's Farewell Receptions
2 Welcome and 2 Farewell Gala Dinners
Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, specialty coffee and tea, soft drinks and mineral water
14 days of excursions, including “Choice Is Yours” options, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
Guided "Let's Go," “Do as the Locals Do” and "Village Day" programs
State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio-headset system on all excursions
Use of bicycles and Nordic walking sticks
14-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the stunning S.S. Beatrice
2 nights in Prague at the Art Deco Imperial Hotel (or similar) with breakfast
2 nights in Bucharest at the Radisson Blu Hotel (or similar) with breakfast
Lavishly appointed riverview staterooms and suites have handcrafted Savoir® Beds of England, high thread count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, and a menu of pillow options
Free Internet and Wi-Fi access
8 countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Serbia
6 UNESCO World Heritage sites
Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise Manager
All transfers on arrival and departure days
All gratuities, both onboard and onshore
Captivating onboard local entertainment
Cultural enrichment, including Signature Lectures