Stride climate

Trip Type : River Cruise
Fortress in Belgrade, Serbia_P

Blue Danube to Blacksea- Westbound

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

  • Opportunity to Cruise: deluxe 10-night cruise in an outside stateroom with Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection
  • Explore Bucharest
  • Enjoy tour through Cernavodă , visit the National History & Archaeological Museum
  • Explore Belgrade, visit Kalemegdan Fortress
  • Discover Bratislava, visit St. Martin’s Cathedral
  • Discover Vienna

Short Description

A deluxe Danube River cruise from the Danube Delta to Vienna is the highlight on this fascinating vacation through Eastern Europe. Explore the Danube Delta with its unique birdlife, celebrate the end of the Danube’s journey as it flows into the Black Sea, and sail through the dramatic Iron Gates gorge. See the sights with a Certified Local Guide in Romania’s lively capital of Bucharest, Constanta on the Black Sea, Bulgaria’s Arbanassi and Veliko Târnovo, Serbia’s Belgrade, Croatia’s Vukovar, and the Hungarian capital of Budapest. Your adventure concludes with guided sightseeing and two overnights in Vienna, the magical “City of Music.” Savor Sachertorte in a local café, spend time in one of the many marvelous museums, window shop along the Kärntnerstrasse, or stroll along the historic streets—a delightful way to end this memorable vacation!

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 Only ground transport
Start City Bucharest
End City Vienna

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 Bucharest, Romania

Welcome to Bucharest! The remainder of the day is free to start exploring this fascinating city.

Day 2: Bucharest–Fetesti (Embarkation)

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Much recent history has taken place in Romania’s capital city, and 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.” During your Included tour this morning, see the impressive Parliament Building, the second-largest building in the world after the Pentagon. The Royal Palace Square was the scene of riots in 1989, which led to the collapse of the communist dictatorship. In the early afternoon, a motorcoach ride takes you to Fetesti, where your river cruise vessel is docked. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception.

Day 3: St. Gheorghe. Danube Delta Excursion

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

This morning during breakfast, dock in St. Gheorghe, from where the excursion into the DELTA will start. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and the best preserved of Europe’s deltas, this area hosts 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. Depart St. Gheorghe during lunch and enjoy a small Celebration to mark Km “0”—the end of the Danube’s journey. This afternoon a chance to relax and to learn more about the fascinating Delta at an Onboard Lecture

Day 4: Cernavoda. Excursion to Constanta

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

From Cernavoda this morning, a full-day excursion takes you to Constanta, the most important commercial center in Romania, situated on the black sea. A certified local guide shows you the highlights of this city and a visit of the natural history & archaeological museum is included. Visit a Wineryin Murfatlar before rejoining your vessel in the late afternoon. Alternatively, you may prefer to relax on board in the morning and visit only Constanta in the afternoon.

Day 5: Rousse, Bulgaria. Excursion to Veliko Târnovo & Arbanassi–Svistov

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Dock this morning in Rousse, Bulgaria’s largest inland port. A comfortable motorcoach ride away is the ancient Bulgarian capital of Veliko Târnovo. Situated on three hills surrounding the Yantra River, the city was a natural fortress with ancient stone houses clinging to the steep slopes. 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. If you do not wish to participate in the full-day excursion, you may choose to remain on board and join an INCLUDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR of Rousse after breakfast. At lunchtime, sail for Svistov, where excursion participants will rejoin the ship.

Day 6: Cetate

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Today, enjoy a leisurely day of sailing. At first, the river separates Romania on the right bank from Bulgaria on the left and is relatively wide. Then, it carves a path through the lower Carpathian Mountains to the north and the Balkan Mountains to the south, creating a series of four steep gorges known as the Iron Gates. Until Romania and Yugoslavia jointly constructed a hydro-electric dam across the Danube (Djerdap I) between 1964 and 1972, this section of river presented great hazards to the shipping trade. A second dam and a power station (Djerdap II) were built in 1984. Before lunch, stop at Cetate and enjoy a TASTING of excellent local wines.

Day 7: Iron Gates. Excursion to Lepinski Vir, Serbia

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

The most spectacular scenery must surely be the dramatic gorge of the Iron Gates, 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. After lunch dock at Donji Milanovac from where a short drive takes you to the impressive Lepenski VIR Exibition center  housing archaeological artifacts found in this area and from where you have unique views of the Danube Gorge.

Day 8: Belgrade, Serbia

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Early today, 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. Late tonight, depart for Vukovar in Croatia.

Day 9: Vukovar & Osijek, Croatia

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Today, learn more about the complex history of Croatia and the events that led to the Croatian War of Independence. Accompanied by your Local Guide, explore Vukovar, Croatia’s largest river port, located 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 in the recent past have shaped both the present and the future of this region. Then visit Osijek, an important economic and cultural center.

Day 10: Mohács, Hungary. Excursion to Villány Wine District

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

In the early morning, arrive in Mohács. Then, after breakfast, 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 more about which varietals are grown and why the climate and soil conditions here are ideal for the production of excellent wines. This afternoon, relax on board as you cruise to Budapest.

Day 11: Budapest

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and 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 12: Bratislava, Slovakia (Disembarkation)–Vienna, Austria

Meals: Breakfast

During breakfast this morning, dock in Bratislava, where you say goodbye to your crew. The capital of Slovakia, Bratislava is 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. Then, enjoy some free time before a motor coach transfer takes you to Vienna. An optional concert is available tonight.

Day 13: 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 Boy’s Choir and dazzling Lipizzaner stallions; the neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House; and awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Cathedral—plus, countless other sights you’ll see on your Guided tour shop in the delightful pedestrian Kärntnerstrasse, and be sure to take a break and enjoy a piece of decadent Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in one of the classic Viennese coffee houses, historic institutions that helped shape Viennese culture!

Day 14: Vienna

Meals: Breakfast

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

Availability

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Price From $ 4,839
Price Per Day: $ 346 per day
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  • Deposit Price: $ 250

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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- Westbound

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Company Reviews

Avalon transport to hotel

1.0
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Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
We came at the airport in amsterdam, the driver came to pick us up in a FORD station car, What a Joke. A small simple car. We expect a Mercedes, BMW or Audi, at least a great German car. The driver was friendly, but how Can they send a bad old car like that ? I could better take a Tesla outside the airport
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Cancelled Cruise

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We had booked a Danube River Cruise for April 2019 and we had to cancel due to a family emergency. Our travel agent, Cruise Planners in Charleston and Avalon were absolutely FABULOUS about helping us cancel our reservation and were very understanding and sympathetic to our issue.

If we plan another trip in the future, I will not hesitate to use both companies again.
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Thing of a Danube cruise next May...but…

1.0
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Thing of a Danube cruise next May...but VERY concerned now with the reports of low level water and big problems...any advice about a May cruise?

Jill Bondarchuk Does not care about terrible experience never use avalon

1.0
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Value1.0
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Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
Jill Bondarchuk Who is in charge of Avalon waterways did not seem to care about are terrible experience with Avalon romantic reign
Cruise the most important day of the cruise we were crammed on a tour boat hat was way over crowded we could not see any romantic castles
It was terrible I saved up most my life for this and they just did not care I am a hard working man and very rarely get upset but I will not recommend cruise to anyone they seem to not care and for the cost of the cruise which is not cheap gave us 200.00 off for lifetime saving for this special moment got back standard corporate letter from Jill bondarchuck basically saying to bad very disappointed at the uncaring
Of ruining trip of lifetime
Jeff federoff
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Failure to take responsibility for not delivering on promises

1.0
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Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
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Meals1.0
Had our trip gone according to plan I have no doubt I would be giving Avalon five stars. The five days we cruised, out of fifteen booked, was exceptional. Whilst Avalon cannot be blamed for poor water conditions, they can be blamed for failing to inform us in time to cancel the trip, on failing to offer reasonable compensation, and on exceptionally poor communications from their customer service area.

In short:
We cruised for 5 days out of the advertised 15.
We cruised through part of one country, rather than the advertised five countries.
We were put up in hotels for six nights. Meals, where provided by the hotel at all, were ordinary, at best.
We spent many hours being driven point to point on buses, requiring early morning starts and much packing and repacking. We saw very little in the way of scenery outside of the five days of cruising, spending most of the time on motorways.

The amount of compensation offered was totally inadequate being a small proportion of the total cruise-only cost (nothing for the cost of airfares). When challenged, Avalon just says that is their policy. My requests for a review by a more senior representative seems to have been ignored.

Whilst other cruise companies have suffered similar problems, most seem to be able to transfer passengers relatively small distances to another ship. I suspect this is because most have more ships available.

By all means use Avalon if you can be certain the river conditions will allow one continuous journey - the ship was great, as were the staff on the ship. However where there is any likelihood of problems, it appears Avalon is least likely to be able to minimise the disruption and will not offer fair and reasonable compensation when things go wrong.
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The most enjoyable cruise I have ever…

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
The most enjoyable cruise I have ever been on!

Details

Ship Name

Passion

Ship Stats

Amenities

  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows
  • Sky Deck with shade awnings
  • Non-smoking interior
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Headsets for all guided shore excursions in Europe
  • Sightseeing with Certified Local Guides
  • Onboard lectures, activities & nightly entertainment
  • Room service for Continental breakfast & beverages (service fee applies)
  • Internet Corner
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • Biking excursions available in Amsterdam and Durnstein
  • Behind-the-scenes ship tour
  • Use of Nordic walking sticks
  • English-speaking TV channels with over 100 free movie options
  • Panorama Bistro
  • Self-serve beverage station with complimentary tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees
  • Complimentary maps
  • Selection of Local Favorites to bring the customs, cultures, and tastes of your destination to life
  • Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs
  • Expanded Fitness Center
  • Elevator
  • Outside viewing deck
  • Friendly, English-speaking crew
  • Cruise Director
  • Revolutionary engineering
  • Sky Deck whirlpool
  • Hair salon (manicures available)
  • Onboard movie nights
  • Alternate light lunch and dinner in the Panorama Bistro
  • Choice of Leisurely, Traditional or Independent sightseeing options
  • Local Favorites onboard experiences with local chefs, entertainers, artisans & experts
  • Onboard assistance is available to recommend, reserve and further personalize your cruise
  • Sky Deck game area
  • Well-stocked library
  • Fresh fruit available throughout the day

Ship Description

Passion

Yet another beautiful Suite Ship graces the rivers of Europe in 2016. The Avalon Passion welcomes passengers to their home-away-from-home with two full decks of Panorama Suites, featuring Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows that transform into a unique Open-Air Balcony. With 200 square feet, Panorama Suites are more than 30% larger than industry standard and ideal for stretching out and relaxing-or even throwing a private cocktail party for up to six adults in the spacious sitting area. On board, passengers enjoy free Wi-Fi access, complimentary computer use at the Internet Corner, a Fitness Center with state-of-the-art equipment, a hair salon, elevator, and an expansive Sky Deck with shade system, premium lounge chairs, whirlpool, deck games, and the delightful Sky Bistro for al fresco lunches of light grill fare.

Deck & Cabin Plans

Deck Plans:

Cat. E

Avalon Deluxe Stateroom (Cat. E)

All Deck & Cabin Plans Trip Photos

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Intimate Group - 12 max

Cancellation Policy:

Booking Cancellations & Cancellation Fees:

If a booking cancellation is received by Avalon prior to the final payment date of your vacation, your non-refundable land deposit and Travel Protection payments will be retained in addition to your Flex-Air deposit, Instant Purchase Air payment and service fee, and/or intra-vacation air deposit. For individual reservations, the following per person cancellation fees apply. Total price does not include discounts, promotions, or special incentives. (For group reservations, refer to the Group Policy.)

Standard Cancellation Fees:

90-60 days prior to commencement of services: 35% of total price* plus Travel Protection payments

59-30 days prior to commencement of services: 50% of total price* plus Travel Protection payments

29-1 days prior to commencement of services: 80% of total price* plus Travel Protection payments

On departure day and later: 100% of total price* plus Travel Protection payments

Additional Information:

Meals

Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapés

Welcome dinner

Daily Afternoon Tea

Daily Night Fare

Farewell dinner

Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; soft drinks with lunch; and wine, beer, or soft drinks with dinner are included daily on board your vessel

Notes:

The Bucharest to Budapest portion of Departure April 27 is offered as an exclusive European History & Politics Cruise, including special lectures at no additional cost. Take a cruise through history! These fascinating cruises give you an even richer experience as you learn the stories behind Europe’s famous sites.

In the event of water level problems or any problems of a technical nature, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or to alter the program.

Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change is necessary, a substitute will be offered.

Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.

Trip ID#:

bludawava

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

Meals Included:

13 Breakfasts,  9 Lunches and 10 Dinners

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