Day 1: Bucharest
Arrive at Bucharest Henri Coanda International Airport. 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.
Day 2: Bucharest
Count Dracula might be a fictional character who makes the blood curdle on Halloween, but his historical namesake is not. Vlad III—known in his heyday as Dracula or "Vlad the Impaler"—was a medieval prince with a penchant for brutally punishing his enemies. Or was it all a smear campaign instigated by his enemies? Find out more today on a visit to his tomb. Also on the agenda—a guided tour of the infamous Ceausescu Mansion.
Featured Excursion: Romanian countryside tour with visits to Ceausescu Mansion and Vlad the Impaler’s tomb
Day 3: Bucharest, Transfer to Giurgiu (Embark)
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. Begin the day with a panoramic tour of Bucharest, followed by a traditional three-course Romanian lunch at a local restaurant, before transferring via motorcoach to Giurgiu, where your ship awaits.
Featured Excursion: Choice of Bucharest city tour with People’s Palace visit or Exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Bucharest walking tour
Day 4: 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.
Featured Excursion: Choice of Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi with authentic Bulgarian lunch or Rousse walking discovery tour with Ivanovo and Basarbovo monasteries
Day 5: 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 one of two unusual excursions today—visit to the fascinating Belogradchik rock formations or head to a riverside estate devoted to the arts.
Featured Excursion: Choice of Bulgarian red rock country or Romanian Cetate Cultural Port visit
Day 6: Cruising the Iron Gates, Golubac
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.
Featured Excursion: Lepenski Vir archaeological park and Golubac Castle
Day 7: 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!
Featured Excursion: Choice of Belgrade city tour with visit to the Royal Grounds of Karadjordjevic Dynasty Palace or Exclusive guided “Let's Go” “I Bike Belgrade” tour
Day 8: Vukovar (Osijek), Cruising the Danube River
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. Welcome to Croatia! This ancient country, which has made a remarkable recovery from a brutal civil war, is noted for its beautiful countryside and thriving folk traditions, as well as delicious simple, local rustic food. You’ll dock in Vukovar, Croatia’s biggest port, at the confluence of the Danube and Vuka rivers.
Featured Excursion: Choice of Full-day tour of Vukovar with Vucedol Museum visit and lunch at Goldschmidt winery or Full-day tour of Osijek with exclusive home-hosted lunch
Day 9: Cruising the Danube River, 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, cover more ground with a panoramic tour or “Go Active” with a guided bike ride. 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 three options to choose from.
Featured Excursion: Choice of Budapest city tour or Exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Budapest walking tour or Exclusive guided “Let's Go” Budapest by bicycle
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. Appropriately enough, you have your choice of two different ways to explore it today.
Featured Excursion: Choice of Budapest city tour or Exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Budapest walking tour
Day 12: Cruising the Danube River, 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.
Featured Excursion: Choice of Vienna city tour with Vienna State Opera visit or Exclusive “Vienna, City of Arts” tour
Day 13: Cruising the Wachau Valley, Spitz (Spitz or Melk)
Sit back and enjoy the ever-changing views as your ship cruises through the Wachau Valley, famous for its apricot groves, Rieslings and natural beauty. Later, take your pick of excursions—a stroll and wine tasting in the centuries-old village of Spitz, or a visit to Melk Abbey and its opulent baroque-style library. You’ll want to find a comfortable seat in the lounge or on the Sun Deck today as your ship cruises through the Wachau Valley toward Spitz. 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. Castle ruins dominate hilltops; baroque church towers appear on the riverbanks, marking historic villages and splendid abbeys; and apricot orchards and vineyards cling to the rocky slopes. Some of Austria’s finest white wines are produced from grapes ripening on the dry-stone terraces above the river, where grapes have been grown for 2,000 years. Your ship will dock in Spitz, midway through this glorious landscape, where you are faced with a difficult choice: Do you explore a charming riverbank village or visit one of the most beautiful libraries in the world?
Featured Excursion: Choice of Spitz village stroll with exclusive wine tasting or Melk Abbey with library visit
Day 14: Engelhartszell, Cruising the Danube River, 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 “Go Active” with an invigorating riverside hike or bike ride. Your ship cruises through a scenic highlight of the Danube today, the Schlögener Schlinge—a hairpin loop in the Danube that was once very hazardous for ships and is now a lovely, serene stretch of water—and leaves Austria behind today. Your first German port of call is Passau, where three rivers meet—the Inn, the Ilz and the Danube—and three nations almost meet: Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic. Explore the historic Old Town or choose a more active adventure.
Featured Excursion: Choice of Passau walking discovery tour or Passau city tour with Old Town walk or Exclusive guided “Let's Go” Bavarian river bicycle ride
Day 15: Straubing, Cruising the Danube River, Regensburg
You have two tantalizing excursions to experience today, including a walking tour and brewery visit in Straubing, plus a 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. But first, you’ll visit Straubing and visit a brewery—simply a must-do experience in Germany!
Featured Excursion: Straubing walking discovery tour with brewery visit
Choice of “2,000 Years in One Hour” Regensburg walking discovery tour or Jewish Regensburg walking discovery tour or BMW factory visit
Day 16: Cruising the Main-Danube Canal
Come out on deck or find a window seat where you can watch the ship navigate a series of locks as it travels through one of the modern world’s greatest feats of engineering—the Main-Danube canal. The Main-Danube canal is a masterwork of engineering: It allows ships of all shapes and sizes to cruise from the Black Sea all the way to the North Sea, through no fewer than 15 countries. Sixteen locks punctuate the 106-mile (160-kilometer) stretch between Kelheim and Bamberg, linking the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers. Building the canal was no small task, especially considering changes of altitude (each river is different); the locks gently lift and lower the ships an astonishing 1,332 feet (406 meters) over the continental divide. Efforts to connect the rivers began with Charlemagne in AD 793, but the present-day canal was only completed in 1992.
A special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.
Day 17: Nuremberg (Disembark), Transfer to Prague
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. Disembark the ship early in the morning—leaving your luggage in Uniworld’s expert hands—and delve into Nuremberg’s history, which is both glorious and profoundly difficult. 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. Following your excursion, you’ll enjoy lunch on your own and then transfer via motorcoach to Prague, where you’ll check into your hotel.
Featured Excursion: Nuremberg city tour with WWII Rally Grounds visit
Day 18: 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.
Featured Excursion: Choice of Prague city tour or Exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of Prague’s Estates Theatre and Municipal House
Day 19: Depart Prague
You’ve experienced the best of the Danube River and Prague, sampling myriad culinary delights and exploring fascinating stops along the way. Now your journey comes to a close. If your cruise/tour includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Prague Václav Havel Airport for your flight home. Your Uniworld adventure may be over, but we know you’ll enjoy the memories you’ve made for years to come.