Trip Type : River Cruise
The Black Sea to Budapest - Westbound 2019 tour

The Black Sea to Budapest - Westbound 2019

Tauck Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
By Tauck
4.7 . Excellent
95%
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: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
12 days
From: $ 6,290 $ 524 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • 7-night cruise plus 2-night-stays in Budapest & Bucharest
  • Exclusive VIP dinner in Bucharest's Parliament Palace
  • passage through the Iron Gate of the Danube
  • private evening at Belgrade's Royal White Palace

Short Description

Explore Central Europe's ancient heart on one of Tauck's popular cruises along the Danube River's lower reaches between Budapest and the Black Sea. Discover dramatic castles, centuries-old monasteries, and myriad cultural treasures as you sail aboard one of Tauck's premium riverboats, and enjoy two-night stays at city-center hotels in Budapest and Bucharest.

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
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Premium - 4 star
Flights & Transport N/A
Start City Bucharest, Romania
End City Budapest, Hungary

Trip Includes

  • Gratuities to ship staff, drivers, local guides, Tauck Directors and Tauck Cruise Director
  • Tauck's private shore excursions and distinctive inclusions valued at $3,332
  • Two nights at a hotel in Budapest and two nights in Bucharest at a hotel with an ideal location next to the Parliament Palace
  • Choices of bicycle excursions in Budapest & Belgrade
  • Exclusive evening at Belgrade's Royal White Palace
  • Dinner at the massive Parliament building (the "People's Palace") in Bucharest
  • Visit with a Croatian family in their private home in Vukovar
  • A visit to the city of Pécs in Hungary, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Passage through the Iron Gate on the Danube River
  • Choice of Romanian excursions exploring the story of Vlad Tepes, 15th-century inspiration for Bram Stoker's "Dracula"
  • Unlimited complimentary beverages aboard ship include regional wine, beer and premium spirits in addition to specialty coffee, water and soft drinks.
  • Airport and trains station transfers upon arrival and departure as noted
  • 28 meals (11 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 9 dinners); service charges, taxes, porterage, and applicable fuel surcharge

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Bucharest

Tour begins: 6:00 PM, JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel. A transfer is included from the Bucharest Airport or Bucuresti Gara de Nord train station to the JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel in the heart of Romania's capital. Join us for a very special welcome dinner after-hours at the "House of the People" at the Palace of Parliament, a Tauck Exclusive!

MEALS : D

LODGING : JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel

PORTOFCALL : Bucharest, Romania

Day 2 Transylvania's Bran Castle, Targoviste or Peles Castle

A choice of sightseeing today echoes the legacy of 15th-century Romanian prince Vlad Tepes (a.k.a. "Vlad the Impaler"), thought to be the historical model for Bram Stoker's Dracula. You may choose to take a full-day excursion to Transylvania's 14th-century Bran Castle, which Tepes once used as a fortress during his military campaigns; the excursion includes a brief walk and lunch in Brasov. Or you can opt for a trip to Targoviste to see the ruins of Tepes' palace, including its imposing watchtower, restored in the 19th century; you'll also visit the army barracks (now a museum) where Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu was tried and executed in 1989. Your third option today is an excursion into the Carpathian Mountains and Transylvania for a visit to Peles Castle and Sinaia, with lunch at a local restaurant and a return to Bucharest for free time and dinner as you please.

MEALS : B, L

LODGING : JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel

PORTOFCALL : Transylvania, Romania

Day 3 Bucharest or the Black Sea before boarding

More choices in sightseeing - and the start of your lower Danube cruise - await you today. Before embarking your riverboat, you can choose to explore Bucharest with our local guides - seeing Revolution Square and the Triumphal Arch, and returning to the massive Palace of the Parliament, site of your welcome dinner and the world's second-largest building after the Pentagon, for a tour - then board your riverboat in Constanta. Or drive to Romania's popular Black Sea coast - first to the popular resort of Mamaia for lunch and some "beach time," then on to the port city of Constanta. Here, in what was originally the ancient Greek colony of Tomis, you'll view numerous Greek and Roman antiquities, an Art-Nouveau casino, and a monument to the Roman poet Ovid, who spent years in exile here, then board your riverboat in Constanta to launch your unforgettable Danube cruise.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Aboard your 443-ft. riverboat

PORTOFCALL : Bucharest, Romania

Day 4 Bulgarian art & architecture in Ruse or Ivanovo

Disembark in Ruse, referred to by many as "Little Vienna" for its Art Nouveau homes, Austro-Hungarian architecture and lively cafés. A choice of excursions includes a guided walking tour of the town or a hike to the Rock Churches of Ivanovo featuring stunning medieval frescoes inside stony chambers carved into steep, cliffside caves. The path to the churches is rough and irregular but the views - and frescoes - at the top of the valley are wonderfully rewarding. Dine aboard ship tonight as your Danube River cruise continues.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Aboard your 443-ft. riverboat

PORTOFCALL : Ruse, Bulgaria

Day 5 Danube cruising and a visit to Vidin, Bulgaria

There's something special about just "kicking back" during a leisurely morning cruising the Danube, enjoying picture-perfect views of the passing landscapes. Onboard activities throughout your cruise, such as special lectures and presentations, cooking demonstrations or music and dance performances, are an important part of the Tauck river cruising experience. Today, after the riverboat arrives in Vidin, Bulgaria, join us for a walking tour of Vidin's cobblestone streets, including a visit to Baba Vida fortress.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Aboard your 443-ft. riverboat

PORTOFCALL : Vidin, Bulgaria

Day 6 King Decebalus and the Iron Gate of the Danube

On another relaxing day on your Danube cruise, sail along the Serbian / Romanian border, enjoying great views of the Transylvanian Alps. As you cruise, keep an eye out for a kingly face carved into the Danube's rocky bank on the Romanian side; it's a monument to the 2nd-century Dacian King Decebalus, who defended his kingdom from the invading Romans - and it's the tallest rock sculpture in Europe. Glide through Romania's Kazan Narrows and the Iron Gate of the Danube, a spectacular two-mile-long series of gorges between the Carpathian and Balkan Mountains, en route to Serbia.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Aboard your 443-ft. riverboat

PORTOFCALL : Cruise Iron Gate/Kazan Narrows

Day 7 The sights of Belgrade and a private palace evening

Dock in Belgrade, Serbia's eclectic, cosmopolitan capital at the juncture of the Danube and Sava rivers. You can choose to spend the morning touring the "New Belgrade" section of the city by bicycle with a local guide (you'll need to be comfortable riding a bicycle in a city environment); or join our local guides for a city tour that includes visits to Tito's Memorial and the formidable Kalemegdan Fortress, and views of busy Slavija Square (now one of the city's major squares, but once a large pool where residents hunted wild ducks!), Parliament, Republic Square and City Hall. After lunch onboard, you have the afternoon free to spend as you please. Following onboard entertainment by Serbian performers during cocktail hour, you'll return to shore for this evening's sparkling Tauck Exclusive - dinner at the Royal White Palace of the Serbian Royal Family in Belgrade, built in the 1930s for members of the Yugoslavian royal family and set within the same complex as the Royal Palace of Dedinje, today home to HRH Crown Prince Alexander II of Serbia and his family.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Aboard your 443-ft. riverboat

PORTOFCALL : Belgrade, Serbia

Day 8 Understanding Croatia's history in Vukovar

Your Danube cruise crosses the border from Serbia to Croatia and arrives in historic Vukovar. Preceded by an onboard lecture on Croatia's turbulent history by a local expert, your tour of this venerable 10th-century city - once showcasing opulent 18th-century Baroque mansions, but now a mix of old and new - poignantly symbolizes the effects of the 1990s war. Visit with a local family who have recently returned to resume their lives in the city after the conflict, as they share homemade refreshments with you in their private home. You'll have some time at leisure in Vukovar before the riverboat continues on to Hungary tonight.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Aboard your 443-ft. riverboat

PORTOFCALL : Vukovar, Croatia

Day 9 Antiquities and more in Hungary

Arrive in Mohacs this morning for an excursion to Pecs and a tour of its 11th-century cathedral. Here you'll also explore the fascinating Christian Necropolis, a complex dating back to the 4th century that includes underground burial chambers and chapels adorned with early Christian art and frescoes, a UNESCO World Heritage site. In the 19th century, Pecs was famous worldwide for the exquisite Zsolnay porcelain manufactured here, and your visit includes a stop at the Zsolnay Museum for a look at its stunning examples of Art Nouveau stoneware, tiles and pottery. Visit a winery in Villány for lunch (this region is renowned for its red wines) then return to Mohacs. Tonight, attend the ship's farewell cocktail reception and dinner as your Danube cruise draws to a close.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Aboard your 443-ft. riverboat

PORTOFCALL : Pecs, Hungary

Day 10 Disembark the Riverboat & spend the next two nights in Budapest

Bid your Danube cruise - along with your captain and crew - farewell as you disembark the riverboat in Budapest. Your exploration of the Hungarian capital, once the independent cities of Buda and Pest, begins in Pest with a visit to St. Stephen's Basilica, the city's neo-Renaissance cathedral, and continues with views of Heroes' Square, bounded by some of the finest architectural works in Hungary, and such Budapest treasures as City Park and tree-lined Andrassy Avenue. When possible, visit the Parliament building, a neo-Gothic architectural masterpiece. Stop to browse at Central Market Hall before checking into your hotel; the rest of the day and evening is at your leisure in Budapest.

MEALS : B

LODGING : The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest

PORTOFCALL : Budapest, Hungary

Day 11 Budapest sights & a special farewell

Today, you can choose to spend the morning touring Budapest by bicycle with a local guide (you'll need to be comfortable riding a bicycle in a city environment). Or you can do some sightseeing in Castle Hill, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where a guided walking tour introduces architectural landmarks such as well-known Fisherman's Bastion. Revisit Budapest's World War II and Cold War days at the Sziklakórház ("Hospital in the Rock"), a re-creation of underground military medical and facilities in a former secret bunker and hospital hidden below Buda Castle. After time to explore this fascinating city as you please (or, if you wish, visit Dohany Synagogue with a Tauck Director), we invite you to join us at this evening's farewell reception and dinner at the Festetics Palace in Budapest.

MEALS : B, D

LODGING : The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest

PORTOFCALL : Budapest, Hungary

Day 12 Journey home

Tour ends: Budapest. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest to Ferenc Liszt Airport or Budapest Keleti train station. Please allow a minimum of 3 hours for flight check-in at the airport.

MEALS : B

PORTOFCALL : Budapest, Hungary

Availability

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Price From $ 6,290
Price Per Day: $ 524 per day
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Start DateFinish DateDouble StandardSingle StandardDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
Jul-19-2019Jan-01-1970$ 6,290$ 6,290NoSold Out Reserve
Aug-12-2019Jan-01-1970$ 6,290$ 6,290NoSold Out Reserve
Aug-30-2019Jan-01-1970$ 6,290$ 6,290NoSold Out Reserve

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Stride Featured in

Stride Feature In

20 Tauck Travel Reviews & Ratings

95%
4.7 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 16
Great 3
Average 0
Disappointing 1
Terrible 0
Value
4.7
Guide
4.9
Activities
4.8
Lodging
4.9
Transportation
4.9
Meals
4.7

The Black Sea to Budapest - Westbound 2019

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Company Reviews

Good Introduction to China

4.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide4.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
The tour director was well-organized and managed the local guides really well. My only disappointment was that only 1.5 hours was allocated for the Great Wall of China, even though I could have spent all day hiking it. The dinners provided thorough samples of Chinese cuisine but were sometimes very long and tiring, exceeding 2 hours.

Most Memorable Moment:
The Hutong ride in Beijing and the balmy sunny weather during the transfer to my international flight home made me contemplate the charms of possibly living in Asia.
Read more

Loved Japan

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Totally enjoyed our tour. Had an amazing guide and co-guide which makes all the difference in a good experience. Definitely will be back.

Most Memorable Moment:
The Tauck Director's suggestion of the "sushi" conveyor belt restaurant in Kyoto... and of course the cherry blossoms.
Read more

We did so many memorable things

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
What a fantastic trip! Tauck definitely knows how to treat a traveler. From the tour director to the food, hotels, chartered flights, boat harbor cruises, jet boat and helicopter rides, private parties and movie viewings---I could go on and on. Both countries are beautiful, but New Zealand is breath taking!

Most Memorable Moment:
This is a tough question. We did so many memorable things, but my number 1 was the balloon ride followed closely by the jet boat and helicopter rides. I met so many wonderful people and hope to meet up with a few of them in the future! Our tour director made this entire trip one of a kind!
Read more

Spotlight on India

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This was an excellent tour which my wife and I truly enjoyed. This is a great country to visit on a Tauck tour because we were able to see so much but on a comfortable, safe journey due to the excellent organization, experienced and knowledgable guides and director, and choice of the best hotels. Good balance of tour and free time.

Most Memorable Moment:
Varanasi with the evening boat ride and the early morning walk through the streets for another viewing of the River Ganges by boat. The Amber fort and the Taj Mahal were spectacular to see along with everything else on the tour. The Tuck tuck rides and walks through the streets and food markets were excellent as well.
Read more

This trip offered a fabulous learning experience

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This trip offered a fabulous learning experience. This is a complex country with a complex culture emanating from a complex and diverse history - from the Mughals to the English to their ultimate independence. If you are a tourist, their focus is to to make you feel like you are the most important person anywhere. They did that. India is a must see

Most Memorable Moment:
Varanasi ceremonies.
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Absolutely LOVED this trip!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Absolutely LOVED this trip!! Tauck really outdid themselves on the hotels!! The most amazing accommodations possible. The tour guide did an wonderful job and took great care of all of us. India is like nowhere else and the Taj Mahal was INCREDIBLE!! Even with all the poverty, everyone was very friendly and wanted pictures taken with us!

Most Memorable Moment:
The palatial hotel accommodations and of course seeing the BEAUTIFUL Taj Mahal was worth the trip!
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Details

Ship Name

MS TREASURES, MS ESPRIT, MS SAVOR

Ship Description

MS TREASURES

One of five 361-foot (110-meter) riverboats in Tauck's Destination Fleet, ms Treasures accommodates no more than 118 guests, while similar-sized riverboats average about 160. Guest amenities inside her 14 lush 300-square-foot suites include brocade upholstery, roomy walk-in closets with built-in drawers, spacious marble baths with full-size tubs, and two French balconies with floor-to-ceiling windows that open to idyllic riverscapes. She also sports seven 183-square-foot cabins, similarly furnished. Standard cabins (150 square feet) are cozy and comfortable and are similar in décor and style to our larger suites. 85% have floor-to-ceiling windows with real French balconies that open on to a balcony in the fresh air; all have in-room movies, minibar, adjustable heating and cooling, private bathroom and shower with pampering toiletries.

MS ESPRIT

One of five 361-foot (110-meter) riverboats in Tauck's Destination Fleet, ms Esprit accommodates no more than 118 guests, while similar-sized riverboats average about 160. Guest amenities inside her 14 lush 300-square-foot Tauck Suites include brocade upholstery, roomy walk-in closets with built-in drawers, spacious marble baths with full-size tubs, and two French balconies with floor-to-ceiling windows that open to idyllic riverscapes. She also sports seven 183-square-foot cabins, similarly furnished. Standard cabins (150 square feet) are cozy and comfortable and are similar in décor and style to our larger suites. 85% have floor-to-ceiling windows with real French balconies that open on to a balcony in the fresh air; all have in-room movies, minibar, adjustable heating and cooling, private bathroom and shower with pampering toiletries.

MS SAVOR

Maintaining Tauck’s high standards for quality and comfort, ms Savor cruises exclusively for Tauck on the Danube River as part of our Destination Fleet. With a maximum of 130 guests, the 443-foot riverboat and her sister ships continue our tradition of providing more space per guest on Europe’s inland waterways, transporting fewer passengers than most longships (135 meters). Her deck plan is innovative; with a total of 67 cabins, our most popular cabins tend to be our largest... so we have used the added ship length to offer twenty-two 300-square-foot Tauck Suites – the most of any river cruise ship on any European river. To increase the amount of natural sunlight on the lower deck, we’ve created 8 loft cabins that extend from the first to the second decks, providing guests with an additional view; all windows in these loft cabins open -

Deck & Cabin Plans

MS TREASURES

MS ESPRIT

MS SAVOR

Group Size:

Standard Group

Trip ID#:

tauck-BSEA2019

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