Stride climate

Trip Type : River Cruise
Lake of Bucharest, Europe_P

Blue Danube to Blacksea- Eastbound

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: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
14 days
From: $ 4,839 $ 346 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • 14 Day River Cruise from Vienna to Bucharest
  • Deluxe 10-night cruise in an outside stateroom
  • Fishermen’s Bastion and Heroes Square
  • Visit Kalemegdan Fortress
  • Cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates gorge

Short Description

A visit to the Danube Delta is the highlight on this fascinating getaway through Eastern Europe. Start with two nights in Vienna, the “City of Music,” then transfer to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, for included sightseeing before you embark your river cruise ship. Sail to Budapest for included sightseeing, Croatia’s Vukovar and Osijek, and Serbia’s Belgrade. Cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates gorge, and visit the Lepenski Vir archaeological site, Veliko Târnovo (Bulgaria’s ancient capital), and Arbanassi. Explore the Danube Delta with its unique birdlife, and celebrate the end of the Danube’s journey as it flows into the Black Sea. End your Danube River cruise in Oltenita, then travel to Romania’s lively capital of Bucharest for guided sightseeing and an overnight.

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
Off the beaten track trips will stretch your comfort zone. They don't always feature tourist highlights, but dive deeper into local life and culture.
Itinerary Focus Off the Beaten Path
The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.
Lodging Level Luxury - 5 star
Flights & Transport Internal airfare and ground transport
Start City Vienna
End City Bucharest

Trip Includes

  • Accommodation for 14 days
  • Most of the meals as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Internal transportation
  • Wi-Fi accessibility
  • Sightseeing with Certified Local Guides

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Vienna, Austria

Welcome to Vienna, Austria’s capital, known as the “City of Music” and which inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. The rest of the day is yours to start exploring this elegant city.

Day 2: Vienna

Meals: Breakfast

Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Austria’s magical capital on the blue Danube is a showcase of gilded architecture. This is home to the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex with its Vienna Boys’ Choir and dazzling Lipizzaner stallions; the neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House; and awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Cathedral—to name just a few of the sights your Local Guide will show you on your INCLUDED TOUR. The afternoon is all yours. Shop in the delightful pedestrian Kärntnerstrasse, and be sure to enjoy a piece of decadent Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in one of the classic Viennese coffee houses, historic institutions that helped shape Viennese culture! An optional concert is available during your stay.

Day 3: Vienna–Bratislava, Slovakia (Embarkation)

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Enjoy a free morning to relax or explore on your own. Then, a motorcoach transfer after lunch takes you to Bratislava, capital of Slovakia, situated at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains. Join your Local Guide for a tour of the city, including a GUIDED WALK of its fascinating Old Town, where winding cobblestone streets and narrow alleyways twist and turn to reveal the Town Hall, one of the oldest stone buildings in the city. Also visit gothic ST. MARTIN’S CATHEDRAL, coronation church for the Kingdom of Hungary from the 16th to 19th centuries. Your river cruise vessel is docked here on the Danube, and after the tour of Bratislava, meet the crew at a welcome reception.

Day 4: Budapest, Hungary

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Spanning the banks of the Danube, Budapest is one of Eastern Europe’s liveliest cities. Whether you’re seeing the sights, shopping for handcrafted embroidery or Herend porcelain, or basking in the coffee house culture over a rich cream cake in the renowned Gerbeaud Café, Budapest’s unique energy is positively palatable. On an INCLUDED TOUR with your Local Guide, see Heroes' Square as well as the massive hilltop castle complex with its remarkable Fishermen’s Bastion—with spectacular views of the city—and 11th-century Matthias Church, the coronation spot of several Hungarian monarchs. Be sure to take note of the city’s eight bridges—many famous sights in and of themselves—which connect ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. You may even want to walk across Chain Bridge, built in 1849 and a symbol of Budapest.

Day 5: Mohács-Villány Wine District

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning, enjoy tranquil cruising past the peaceful riverscapes of southern Hungary before arriving in Mohács. From here, an excursion takes you to the Villány district, where some of Hungary’s best red wines are produced. As you enjoy a WINE TASTING, learn about which varietals are grown and why the climate and soil conditions here are ideal for the production of excellent wines.

Day 6: Osijek & Vukovar, Croatia

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today, learn about the complex history of Croatia and the events that led to the Croatian War of Independence during GUIDED SIGHTSEEING. Led by Local Guides, explore Osijek, an important economic and cultural center, as well as Vukovar, Croatia’s largest river port, at the confluence of the Danube and Vuka Rivers.

Vukovar was scene to an 87-day siege in 1991, known as The Battle of Vukovar, and is today considered a symbol of Croatian resistance. The siege and other dramatic events have shaped both the present and future of the region.

Day 7: Belgrade, Serbia

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Early this morning, arrive in Belgrade. One of the oldest cities in Europe, the capital of Serbia is situated at the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers. A Local Guide will be proud to show you its main sights, including St. Sava, the world’s largest orthodox church. Also visit the city’s principal landmark, KALEMEGDAN FORTRESS, which showcases the history of Belgrade. Built in stages between the 1st and 18th centuries, the fortress witnessed many battles and observed the courage of those trying to defend the city from conquerors. The surrounding park is the most beautiful and largest park in Belgrade. In your free time, be sure to check out the city’s lively pedestrian area and charming outdoor cafés. Perhaps visit one of the many art galleries or museums, relax in the park, or walk along the city streets and browse the local shops.

Day 8: Excursion to Lepinski Vir–Iron Gates

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning, dock at Donji Milanovac, from where a short drive takes you to the impressive LEPENSKI VIR EXHIBITION CENTER, which houses area archaeological artifacts and from where you have unique views of the Danube Gorge. Return to your ship before lunch, then cruise what must surely be the most spectacular scenery of the dramatic IRON GATES gorge, a narrow and formerly very dangerous passage dividing Europe’s Alps in the northwest from the Carpathians in the southeast and forming a natural border between Serbia and Romania.

Day 9: Excursion to Veliko Târnovo, Bulgaria & Arbanassi–Rousse

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The ancient Bulgarian capital of Veliko Târnovo is a comfortable ride from the Danube. Situated on three hills surrounding the Yantra River, the city was a natural fortress with ancient stone houses clinging to the steep slopes. One of the oldest towns in Bulgaria (dating back to 4300 BC), the oldest part is Tsarevets Hill, home of the Royal Fortress, palaces, and the PATRIARCH’S CHURCH. With your Local Guide, discover this town that played an important role in Bulgaria’s history. Then, journey to Arbanassi. Founded in the 15th century, the historic village of Arbanassi is best known for its examples of Bulgarian Revival architecture and its ETHNOGRAPHICAL MUSEUM, a 400-year-old house preserved as a museum. Visit the CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY, one of the oldest churches in Arbanassi, and see its outstanding collection of frescoes. Rejoin your ship in Rousse, Bulgaria’s largest inland port. If you do not wish to participate in the full-day excursion, remain on board and relax, then join a GUIDED TOUR of Rousse in the afternoon.

Day 10: Tulcea, Romania

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today, relax on board and enjoy a peaceful morning of cruising. Before lunch, learn about the fascinating Danube Delta at an ONBOARD LECTURE. This afternoon, dock in Tulcea, the “gateway” to the Delta. There is free time to explore the town on your own and perhaps visit the Delta Museum. In the late afternoon, your ship sails for St. Gheorghe at the mouth of the Danube.

Day 11: St. Gheorghe, Danube Delta

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

From St. Gheorghe this morning, an excursion in small boats takes you into the DELTA, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the best preserved of Europe’s deltas, hosting over 300 species of birds as well as 45 species of freshwater fish. From its source in the Black Forest to its delta at the Black Sea, the Danube measures 2,845 kilometers in length. The Km markings can be clearly seen on the river banks the length of the river. Enjoy a small celebration to mark Km “0”—the end of the Danube’s journey. This afternoon, relax on board as you sail to Cernavodă.

Day 12: Cernavodă. Excursion to Constanta

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning, dock in Cernavodă, a city at the western end of the 40-mile-long Black Sea Canal, the pride and joy of communist achievement. From here, a full-day excursion takes you to Constanta on the Black Sea, the most important commercial center in Romania. A Local Guide shows you the city highlights, with a visit of the NATURAL HISTORY & ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM. Visit a WINERY at Murfatlar before returning to Cernavodă in the late afternoon. Alternatively, you may want to relax on board in the morning and visit Constanta in the afternoon only. Sail overnight to Oltenita.

Day 13: Oltenita (Disembarkation)–Bucharest

Meals: Breakfast

Bucharest, Romania’s lively capital, is only a short drive from Oltenita. Its wide, tree-lined boulevards and Arc de Triomphe—built in 1922 to honor the bravery of Romanian soldiers who fought in WWI—have gained it the name “Paris of the East.” Much recent history has taken place in the city. During the INCLUDED TOUR this afternoon, see the impressive Parliament Building, the second-largest building in the world after the Pentagon, and the Royal Palace Square, the scene of riots in 1989, which led to the collapse of the communist dictatorship. In your free time, explore this interesting city even further. Stroll down Calea Victoriei (Victory Avenue), Bucharest’s most historic and alluring street. Initially built in 1692, today it is lined with shops, museums, churches, restaurants, cafés, and fine houses.

Day 14: Bucharest

Meals: Breakfast

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

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Price From $ 4,839
Price Per Day: $ 346 per day
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Stride Featured in

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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

Blue Danube to Blacksea- Eastbound

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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.
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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.
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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.
Read more

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

Flights & Transport

Internal airfare and ground transport

Group Size:

Standard Group

Trip ID#:

bludanava

Trip Excludes

  • Airfare
  • Airport transfers
  • Alcohol & beverages outside of the contracted menu
  • Additional excursions and activities not listed as 'included' in the itinerary
  • Travel Protection premiums
  • Applicable cruise taxes, fees, fares and port charges
  • Other items of a personal nature

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