CRUISETOUR

Balkan Discovery With Transylvania – Eastbound (12 Days)

Cruise Line: Avalon Waterways
Ship: Varies by Departure
Budapest, Hungary to Bucharest, Romania
DAY
PORT
Tour Segment  Cruise Segment
ARRIVE DEPART
DAY 1
Budapest, Hungary

Welcome to Budapest, Hungary's lively capital, spanning the banks of the Danube. The remainder of the day is free to start exploring Eastern Europe's most cosmopolitan metropolis.

DAY 2
Budapest, Hungary

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 Café Gerbeaud, the unique energy of Budapest is positively palatable. On your included guided tour of the city, see Heroes' Square as well as the massive hilltop castle complex with its remarkable Fisherman's Bastion 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. This afternoon is free. Perhaps visit St. Stephen's Basilica for marvelous city views from its viewing platform, or stroll along Váci utca, the main shopping street. (Breakfast)

DAY 3
Budapest, Hungary

This morning, you can explore this vibrant city at your own pace. Shop at the Great Market Hall and purchase paprika or embroidery at one of its 180 vendor stalls, or wander around the Royal Palace grounds. This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet the ship's crew at a welcome reception. (Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 4
Mohács, Hungary
Pécs, Hungary
Mohács, Hungary

This morning, arrivie in Mohács, the last stop in Hungary, from where an included excursion takes you to Pécs. Established by the Romans in the 2nd century, this was a flourishing and important town for Christianity by the 4th century. These early Christians left behind many underground burial chambers with memorial chapels above ground. With a local guide, visit the underground tombs—now part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site—many of which have splendidly decorated murals with Christian themes. Later, enjoy an organ concert. Pécs is also a rich showcase of Turkish architecture and home to Turkish mosques, striking churches, and an enjoyable atmosphere around its restaurants and cafés. After lunch, enjoy some leisurely cruising toward Belgrade. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 5
Belgrade, Serbia

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. 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, or browse the local shops. Stroll through Belgrade's largest and most beautiful park which surrounds the city's principal landmark, Kalemegdan Fortress, and gaze down at the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 6
Donji Milanovac, Romania
Lepenski Vir, Romania
Donji Milanovac, Romania
Iron Gate, Romania

This morning, dock at Donji Milanovac, 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 7
Cetate, Romania
Vidin, Bulgaria
Belogradcik, Bulgaria
Vidin, Bulgaria

This morning stop in Cetate, an old Danubian grain shipping port, now turned into a cultural center. The owner will explain the concept of this fascinating venture before you have a chance to see for yourself and to taste some of the locally made products. Then on to Vidin, an important Danube port in northwestern Bulgaria, where a short ride takes you to Belogradchik, to view the eclectic group of rock formations on the western slopes of the Balkan Mountains. Sculpted by natural elements for more than 200 million years and with a variety of sizes and shapes, the Belogradchik Rocks are spectacular! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 8
Nikopol, Bulgaria
Tirnovo, Bulgaria
Arbanassi, Bulgaria
Rousse, Bulgaria

This morning stop in Nikopol from where an excursion takes you to the ancient Bulgarian capital of Veliko Tarnovo. 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, and the Patriarchal Cathedral. With your local guide, discover this town that played an important role in Bulgaria's history. Next, journey to Arbanassi, founded in the 15th century, and best known for its Bulgarian Revival architecture and Ethnographical Museum, a 400-year-old house preserved as a museum. Visit the Church of the Nativity, one of the town's oldest churches, and see its outstanding collection of frescoes. Return to your ship in Rousse, Bulgaria's largest inland port. If you don't wish to participate in the full-day excursion, stay onboard and relax or join a guided tour of Rousse. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 9
Oltenita, Romania
Bucharest, Romania

After breakfast say goodbye to your crew. Bucharest, Romania's lively capital, is only a short drive from Oltenita. It's wide tree-lined boulevards and Arcul de Triumf—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 morning, see the main sights including Revolution Square, the scene of riots in 1989, which led to the collapse of the communist dictatorship. In your free time, discover 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. (Breakfast)

DAY 10
Bucharest, Romania
Bran Castle, Brașov, Romania
Brașov, Romania

Head out of the city to your first stop, a visit of Bran Castle, of Dracula fame, built in 1377 and assumed to be the home of Romanian vampires. Then continue to Brașov for the night, with a free afternoon to explore on your own. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 11
Brașov, Romania
Sinaia, Romania
Bucharest, Romania

This morning join a local expert for guided sightseeing of Braşov. In the afternoon drive into the Carpathians to Sinaia to visit Peleș Castle, considered to be one of the most beautiful in Europe, before returning to Bucharest. (Breakfast, Lunch)

DAY 12
Bucharest, Romania

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

Balkan Discovery With Transylvania – Eastbound map

About Us

When designing its new ships, Avalon Waterways started with the traveler instead of the ship. This is a river cruise company that invites innovation, imagination and a relentless desire to create a smart use of space be its guide. The result? More space. Bigger views. More comfort … All thanks to one-of-a-kind Panorama SuitesSM on the industry’s only Suite Ships®. The Suite Ships of Avalon are revolutionizing the river cruise industry. For instance, on these signature vessels, Avalon brings an unprecedented level of thoughtfulness and attention to detail to every aspect of the Panorama Suites, providing travelers an oasis to escape to, not escape from. Even better? Avalon doesn’t offer travelers just a few Panorama Suites on each ship. Instead, 80 percent of the guest rooms on Suite Ships are Panorama Suite (they’re 30 percent larger than the average river cruise room). In designing its ships, Avalon has refused to see space as a barrier. That fact couldn’t be truer when looking at the company’s inspired indoor/outdoor space. For instance, Avalon’s Open-Air Balconies®, a completely new concept, make full use of the intended balcony experience – in any weather condition, in any season – without compromising room space. How? Giant wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows with a 7-foot opening. Avalon has considered every detail of the cruise experience. But perhaps it’s what the company hasn’t done that makes it so unique. It hasn’t filled ships to capacity with people. In fact, because the river cruise line made its rooms so spacious, there’s more room for less people. Simply put, Avalon Waterways is built differently

Insider Tip

Step aboard Europe's youngest fleet and you'll find yourself surrounded by the most expansive views, innovative technologies and inspired designs.

Terms & Conditions

Cruise-only fares are per person, based on double occupancy in US dollars, unless otherwise noted. Pricing and itinerary are subject to change without notice. Restrictions may apply.

Cruise-only fares are per person, based on double occupancy in US dollars, unless otherwise noted. Pricing and itinerary are subject to change without notice. Restrictions may apply.

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