Trip Type : River Cruise
Balkan Discovery tour
Belgrade Belogradchik Balkan Discovery Trip

Balkan Discovery

Avalon Waterways
4.8 . Excellent
98%
Travel Style: A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level: Minimal walking. Motor vehicles for all major parts of trip. Wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Most cruises. Very Easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
10 days
From: $ 3,499 $ 350 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Welcome to Hungary
  • Guided tour, see Heroes’ Square
  • Onboard welcome reception
  • Choice of guided tour in Pécs, visit the underground tombs; or sightseeing in Mohács, visit St. Nicolas watermill
  • Lecture on board; guided tour
  • Visit Lepenski Vir archaeological site; cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates gorge
  • Visit the cultural port in Cetate; excursion to Belogradchik, see the rock formations
  • Choice of full day guided sightseeing, visit Tsarevet’s Fortress in Veliko Târnovo and the Ethnographical Museum and Church of the Nativity in Arbanassi; or guided sightseeing of Rousse
  • Guided sightseeing in Bucharest
  • See the highlights of Eastern Europe on this Balkan river cruise adventure along the Danube River! Enjoy relaxing time on your ship and stops in the most fascinating cities, with free time and guided sightseeing—so you don’t miss a thing!

    You’ll begin with two overnights in the lively Hungarian capital of Budapest
  • This city has a unique energy and offers an eclectic mix of activities

Short Description

See the highlights of Eastern Europe on this Balkan river cruise adventure along the Danube River! Enjoy relaxing time on your ship and stops in the most fascinating cities, with free time and guided sightseeing—so you don’t miss a thing!

You’ll begin with two overnights in the lively Hungarian capital of Budapest. This city has a unique energy and offers an eclectic mix of activities. See the iconic statues of Heroes’ Square, and with free time, explore the lovely lookout towers of Fishermen’s Bastion. On an excursion to Pécs, Hungary, you’ll visit underground burial chambers with fascinating murals, now part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, is one of the oldest cities in Europe, where the Sava River meets the Danube. Cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates Gorge and visit the cultural port of Cetate. Visit Bulgaria’s Belogradchik, where you’ll see the fascinating rock formations sculpted by natural elements for over 200 million years. On an excursion to the ancient Bulgarian capital of Veliko Târnovo, you’ll visit Arbanassi’s Church of the Nativity, housing an impressive collection of frescoes.

To round out this timeless Eastern European river cruise, a stay in Romania’s vibrant capital of Bucharest is a must. Known as the “Paris of the East,” a local expert will show you many of its historical treasures, such as the Arc de Triomphe, built in honor of WWI soldiers.

These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Trip Type River Cruise
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport N/A
Start City BUDAPEST
End City BUCHAREST Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning
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Itinerary

Day 1

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY Welcome to Budapest–Hungary’s Captivating Capital

The day is yours to relax and enjoy Eastern Europe’s shining city on the Danube.

Day 2

BUDAPEST The Pearl of the Danube in the Heart of Europe

CLASSIC Enjoy a Guided City Sightseeing, including the iconic Heroes’ Square.

Take in the beauty of Budapest while enjoying a free afternoon exploring such famous sights as the Chain Bridge. Get to know the city’s cafés and pubs, or take a hike through the hills above the Danube.

You may choose to enjoy Hungarian cuisine in an Optional Wine–and–Dine Dinner this evening.

(B)

Day 3

BUDAPEST (EMBARKATION) Capture Photographs, Coffee, and Confections

With a free day to explore before your cruise, take time to shop in the Great Market Hall or take photographs on the Royal Palace grounds in this treasure trove of historical architecture. Try Budapest’s famous thermal bath spas, then lunch in a garden or rooftop eatery.

This afternoon, board your Suite Ship®. This evening enjoy a dinner on board.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MOHÁCS

(B,D)

Day 4

MOHÁCS Archaeology, Architecture, and an Ancient Watermill

CLASSIC Join a morning Guided Sightseeing Tour of Mohács–the quiet Danube harbor town with its historical memorial parks, statues, and distinctive churches. Tour the remarkable medieval St. Nicholas Watermill–one of only a few remaining watermills performing stone–ground grain processing, OR:

CLASSIC Take a Guided Tour of nearby Pécs to see its 4th–century Christian underground tombs with fascinating murals, as well as Turkish architecture. You’ll also enjoy an organ concert on your tour.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BELGRADE

(B,L,D)

Day 5

BELGRADE, SERBIA Fortresses and Folklore of Serbia Past and Present

DISCOVERY Attend an onboard Lecture to learn about the rich history, destinations, and culture of the Balkan states.

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 your free time exploring the city on your own this afternoon on Knez Mihailova Street–Belgrade’s central pedestrian thoroughfare with many lively cafés, shops, and cultural spots.

Later, enjoy live entertainment on board your ship before dinner.

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

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO DONJI MILANOVAC

(B,L,D)

Day 6

DONJI MILANOVAC. EXCURSION TO LEPENSKI VIR– IRON GATES GORGE Ancient Art, Archaeological Artifacts, and Gauntlet of the Iron Gates

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.

After lunch on board, you’ll sail through the spectacular and narrow Iron Gates Gorge–a natural border between Serbia and Romania.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO CETATE

(B,L,D)

Day 7

CETATE, ROMANIA A Bygone Era and New Mountains to Climb

ACTIVE Join your Avalon Adventure Host for a Jog along the river bank.

CLASSIC Visit the Danube’s old grain–shipping port on a Guided Tour of Cetate, including a tasting of local specialties.

Sail to Vidin this afternoon.

VIDIN, BULGARIA

Rocks and Ruins–Things of Beauty in Bulgaria

CLASSIC Join a Guided Tour to Belogradchik to see the remarkable rock formations on the western slopes of the Balkan Mountains, sculpted by 200 million years of natural elements.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO NIKOPOL

(B,L,D)

Day 8

NIKOPOL. EXCURSION TO VELIKO TÂRNOVO & ARBANASSI Cliffside Dwellings and Castle Ruins of Bulgarian Kings

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.

As an alternative, sail with your ship to Rousse.

ROUSSE

Fortresses and Fountains in Bulgaria’s “Little Vienna”

You may choose to stay with your ship today on its way to Rousse–dubbed “Little Vienna” for its baroque and neoclassical buildings.

CLASSIC Join a Guided Sightseeing Tour of Bulgaria’s largest inland port and visit its impressive Holy Trinity Church, OR:

ACTIVE Join an afternoon Jog through the park with your Avalon Adventure Host.

Later, enjoy live entertainment on board with a Bulgarian folklore show.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO OLTENITA

(B,L,D)

Day 9

OLTENITA, ROMANIA (DISEMBARKATION)–BUCHAREST A Night in Bucharest–the “Paris of the East”

CLASSIC Take a Guided Tour of the Romanian capital city of Bucharest with its tree–lined boulevards and Arc de Triomphe–honoring WWI Romanian soldiers. See the Royal Palace Square–the scene of the city’s 1989 riots to overthrow the communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.

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.

(B)

Day 10

BUCHAREST Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

(B)

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 3,499
Price Per Day: $ 350 per day
Check Availability
Checking price
Start DateFinish DateBase PriceDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
Jun-25-2019Jul-04-2019$ 3,699NoPlease Call Reserve
Jul-23-2019Aug-01-2019$ 3,699YesAvailable Reserve
Aug-20-2019Aug-29-2019$ 3,699YesPlease Call Reserve
Sep-03-2019Sep-12-2019$ 3,899YesAvailable Reserve
Sep-17-2019Sep-26-2019$ 3,899YesAvailable Reserve
Oct-15-2019Oct-24-2019$ 3,499YesAvailable Reserve

Ask Our Destination Experts

Clark Norton
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Stride Featured in

Stride Feature In

1,268 Avalon Waterways Travel Reviews & Ratings

98%
4.8 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 1,130
Great 88
Average 30
Disappointing 9
Terrible 11
Value
4.8
Guide
4.8
Activities
4.8
Lodging
4.8
Transportation
4.8
Meals
4.8

Balkan Discovery

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Company Reviews

Our experience far exceeded our…

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Our experience far exceeded our expectations. Everyone and everything was wonderful. The only disappointment was the independently contracted guide that we had in Munich. He was very dismissive of Avalon's policies and made us feel he was doing us a favor by showing us around the city.
Read more

Amsterdam to Budapest

2.0
Details
Value2.0
Guide2.0
Activities2.0
Lodging2.0
Transportation2.0
Meals2.0
Amsterdam to Budapest. Just returned River was low. My travel agent called for three days in a row before our departure. She was told there were no low water issues. The day we were to depart we were told there would be two nights on land in Frankfort. We could obtain a full refund and cancel the trip. But the rest of the trip would be fine. Not so we were "tossed off the second ship' the last two days and bused to Budapest. There is no way Avalon did not know of this schedule change. You do not make arrangements overnight for 100+ people to spend six days and four nights off the ship. Avalon was not truthful gave us a paltry return of our costs. We also found out the ships were loaded with other guests who were also being shuffled around. Terrible way to run a business. I would not endorse them to anyone....ever. Ruined a very expensive fifteen day holiday.
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Excellence

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
The crew, service, food and excursions were excellent. Would
travel with Avalon again and recommend them to anyone interested
in river cruising.

Excellence

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
The crew, service, food and excursions were excellent. Would
travel with Avalon again and recommend them to anyone interested
in river cruising.

We had the greatest time

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We had the greatest time! We would definitely use Avalon Waterways in the future.

Quaint and Acitve

4.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide4.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
The staff was exceptional meeting our every need and always with a smile. The housekeeping was not exceptional and could have been a little better. There was a wide variety of food choices but not terrible flavorful. The seafood was not always properly cooked.

The activities and tours with well planned and good for people looking for athletic options. Although you could sit and relax, this cruise was more for active middle aged individuals.The tour guides were all local and outstanding. Activities and tour guides are the selling point for this cruise.
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Details

Deck & Cabin Plans

Optional Activities

WBOE|Add Transylvania to Your Vacation

Accomodations



Hotel Sofitel Chain Bridge

This elegant upscale property is located on the left bank of the river Danube, right in the heart of Budapest with Free Wi-Fi internet access throughout the property. The show kitchen restaurant serves refined French-Hungarian cuisine and the vibrant bar offers the chance to sip cocktails overlooking the illuminated Chain Bridge. Leisure facilities include an indoor pool, well-being & fitness center.


Budapest
Hungary
Szechenyi Istvan ter 2

Athenee Palace Hilton

Explore Bucharest from the glorious Athenee Palace Hilton Bucharest hotel, one of the city's most sophisticated and prestigious landmarks. The hotel is conveniently located in the heart of the city and enjoys views of Revolution Square and is close to Bucharest's many local attractions.


Bucharest
Romania
1-3 Episcopiei

Trip ID#:

AVALON-WBO

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