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  • Explore Odessa’s stately 19th-century architecture and take in its blend of Russian heritage and Mediterranean sensibilities
  • Witness the lush preserve of Romania’s Danube Delta.

This tour is been discontinued instead see:



Budapest to Istanbul

Beijing to Istanbul

Istanbul Experience



Ancient Vikings navigated Danube and Black Sea waters all the way to Constantinople of old and back. You’ll trace a similar route on this unique 12-day itinerary, its centerpiece a cruise on the western Black Sea. Here, the tides of history have left fascinating vestiges from ancient civilizations on Romanian and Bulgarian shores. You’ll also witness the lush preserve of Romania’s Danube Delta. And during overnight stays, enjoy ample time to explore Bucharest, Romania’s cosmopolitan capital, and Istanbul, where East meets West on the glorious shores of the Bosporus Strait.

Travelers Also Viewed All similar trips
Travel Theme
Cities & Attractions
Flights & Transport
  • Only ground transport
Rivers & Seas
  • Danube River

Viking River Cruises Travel Reviews & Ratings
100% Recommend

5.0 out of 5
Excellent 4 Great 0 Average 0 Disappointing 0 Terrible 0
5.0 Guide
5.0 Activities
5.0 Lodging
4.8 Transportation
5.0 Meals
Bucharest, Istanbul & The Black Sea

No reviews yet for this trip. Browse other reviews below for Viking River Cruises .



Incredible experience August 2015

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Incredible experience sailing on the Grand European tour from Amsterdam to Budapest! Just wonderful! The tours were interesting, and most allowed for adequate free time to explore the areas visited. But the staff! Beyond compare.
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Operator Viking River Cruises



Already planning our next cruise August 2015

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We talked about doing a cruise with Viking ever since we were made aware of them back in 2008. We just arrived home yesterday and are still floating on air! The spectacular time we had is almost beyond description. First, we loved our stateroom. It was the basic 150 square foot space. This room was so well designed. We met new friends and always had someone new to share a conversation with. The gem in the hospitality crown was our Program Director, who had more energy than any five people put together. I could go on and on but I will say this: we are already planning our next cruise with Viking.
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Operator Viking River Cruises



We enjoyed the entire experience August 2015

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We enjoyed the entire experience; Normandy and Omaha Beach were especially moving. The food and service deserve praise too. This is our third Viking cruise and we'll do it again. Viking does it first rate all the way. Keep it up.
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Operator Viking River Cruises



Every bit as good as it looks January 2015

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Viking was the only European river cruise company we knew about because of their TV commercials, so we booked with them. .We were extremely pleased with our Danube cruise, especially the port excursions, then we went with them to Russia. Having done two river cruises I now know there are lots of other cruise lines, but I don't see any reason to switch at this point. One thing to mention: most of the people on board are in their 50s and 60s , so I wouldn't bring kids or grandkids along -- they won't have any companions their own age. But we did enjoy meeting the other people on board -- many of whom had responded to their TV commercials, too, we discovered!
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Operator Viking River Cruises


Day 1: Bucharest, Romania

Accommodation : Bucharest Church Patriarch, Romania

Arrive at the Bucharest airport and transfer to the superior first-class Radisson Blu Hotel Bucharest (or similar) in the heart of the city for a 1-night stay.* Spend the rest of the day relaxing, or do some exploring on your own.

Day 2: Bucharest, Romania

Meals : B, L
Accommodation : Romanian countryside

Discover Romania’s glorious capital city today. An included tour introduces you to the Romanian Athenaeum, a graceful domed concert hall and the pride of Romania; Stavropoleos Monastery, a stunning example of Byzantine architecture; the massive, fortress-like Palace of Parliament; and more. Enjoy lunch in a lovely city park restaurant before returning to your hotel.

Day 3: Tulcea, Romania

Meals : B, L, D
Accommodation :

After breakfast, transfer to the Danube port city of Tulcea. Upon arrival in Tulcea enjoy a guided visit of the Danube Delta Museum before embarking your ship.
Danube Delta

Day 4: Danube Delta

Meals : B, L, D
Accommodation : UNESCO Odessa, Ukraine

Sail the Danube Delta, one of Europe’s most ecologically diverse regions and one of the continent’s largest delta systems. Myriad bird species thrive here amidst countless rivulets and channels. Join an included nature cruise on a small boat to explore this unspoiled UNESCO World Heritage Site up close.

Day 5: Odessa, Ukraine

Meals : B, L, D
Accommodation : Odessa, Ukraine

Cruise into the open waters of the Black Sea to call on the Ukrainian port of Odessa. A half-day city tour reveals the highlights of this elegant city of terraced hills and landscaped parks. Travel along Primorski Boulevard, see Potemkin Steps and visit the Cathedral of the Transfiguration. This evening, attend a performance at the Odessa Opera and Ballet House.

Day 6: Odessa, Ukraine

Meals : B, L, D
Accommodation : Constanţa Casino, Romania

Today you have a full day to explore Odessa’s stately 19th-century architecture and take in its blend of Russian heritage and Mediterranean sensibilities as you stroll along its charming boulevards. You may choose an optional excursion to the fascinating Odessa Catacombs. This maze of underground tunnels began as a sandstone mining operation; after mining was outlawed, the abandoned mines were used by resistance fighters during World War II. Or opt for a tour of Jewish Odessa. We depart this afternoon.

Day 7: Constanța, Romania

Meals : B, L, D
Accommodation : Assumption Cathedral, Varna, Bulgaria

You will hug the shores of the western Black Sea this morning. After lunch, call on Romania’s port of Constanţa. This was a favored stop on Viking trade routes en route to Constantinople, today’s Istanbul. On an included tour, you’ll view the city’s highlights such as the grand seaside Constanţa Casino and Ovid Square.

Day 8: Varna, Bulgaria

Meals : B, L, D
Accommodation : Boats harbored in the Black Sea, Nessebar, Bulgaria

Explore Bulgaria’s Black Sea port of Varna today. Gold treasure dating to 4750 BC, the oldest in the world, has been uncovered here. You’ll see this priceless Varna gold for yourself on an included tour, admire the city’s turn-of-the-20th-century architecture and visit one of Bulgaria’s largest Orthodox cathedrals. Later, you’ll have time to relax on the golden sand beaches for which Varna is known. Or you may choose to visit the summer residence of Queen Marie of Romania, surrounded by beautifully landscaped botanical gardens.

Day 9: Nessebar, Bulgaria

Meals : B, L, D
Accommodation : UNESCO

Uncover the rich past of Nessebar today. Three millennia of history have unfolded on this beautiful peninsula, leaving behind an incredible repository of architecture and relics. You’ll see many of them on an included walking tour through the idyllic streets of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the afternoon, enjoy some free time exploring on your own, or you may decide to take a "Taste of Bulgaria" optional tour.

Day 10: Istanbul, Turkey

Meals : B, L
Accommodation : Istanbul, Turkey

This morning, you’ll disembark the ship and transfer to the airport for your short flight to Istanbul. After arrival in this exotic city, transfer to your hotel.

Day 11: Istanbul, Turkey

Meals : B
Accommodation : Istanbul, Turkey

This morning, explore the intoxicating sights of Istanbul on an included tour. You’ll stop to admire Hagia Sophia, the former church and mosque, whose exquisite mosaics and frescoes glimmer under a soaring dome. Look closely for the runic inscriptions left by Vikings on these walls. Then visit the Blue Mosque, named for the countless blue tiles that adorn its interior. The rest of the day is yours to explore.

Day 12: Istanbul, Turkey

Meals : B

After breakfast, proceed to the Istanbul airport. Or, continue your stay here with an additional 2-night extension so you can take in more of this thrilling city.

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 3,006

Price Per Day:

$ 251 per person
Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.
Trip Includes
  • 8-day river cruise with river-view stateroom
  • 2 nights each at the JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel & Conrad Istanbul (or similar)
  • 8 guided tours with audio headset
  • All onboard meals: 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 7 dinners, including 3 lunches in local restaurants & hotel breakfasts
  • Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks with onboard dinner and lunch service
  • Visit 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Culture Curriculum: Lectures on the Danube Delta, history of Ukraine & Ottoman Empire; learn how to make your own varenyky; enjoy authentic flavors of Eastern Europe
  • Free Wi-Fi, connection speed may vary
  • All port charges
Flights & Transport
Only ground transport
Group Size:
Standard Group
Start City
End City

Trip ID#: bucistvik


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