CRUISETOUR

From The Black Sea to The North Sea – Westbound (24 Days)

Cruise Line: Avalon Waterways
Bucharest, Romania to Amsterdam, Netherlands
Dates: 08 Aug 2018 - 31 Aug 2018

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DAY
PORT
Tour Segment  Cruise Segment
ARRIVE DEPART
DAY 1
08 Aug 2018
Bucharest, Romania

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

DAY 2
09 Aug 2018
Bucharest, Romania
Fetesti, Romania

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 main sights including Revolution Square, the scene of riots in 1989, which led to the collapse of the communist dictatorship. Later a motorcoach ride takes you to Fetești, where your river cruise vessel is docked. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception. (Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 3
10 Aug 2018
Sfântu Gheorghe, Romania

This morning during breakfast, dock in Sfântu 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 Sfântu Gheorghe during lunch and enjoy a small celebration to mark Km "0"—the end of the Danube's journey. This afternoon affords the chance to relax and to learn more about the fascinating Delta at an onboard lecture. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 4
11 Aug 2018
Cernavoda, Romania
Constanta, Romania
Cernavoda, Romania

From Cernavodă this morning, an 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 national history and archaeological museum is included. This afternoon, relax onboard as you cruise westward towards Rousse. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 5
12 Aug 2018
Rousse, Bulgaria
Tirnovo, Bulgaria
Arbanassi, Bulgaria
Svistov, Bulgaria

Dock this morning in Rousse, Bulgaria's largest inland port. A comfortable motorcoach ride away is 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. 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. 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 Ethnographic 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 onboard and join an included sightseeing tour of Rousse after breakfast. At lunchtime, sail for Svistov, where excursion participants will rejoin the ship. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 6
13 Aug 2018
Vidin, Bulgaria
Belogradcik, Bulgaria
Vidin, Bulgaria

Today, enjoy a leisurely morning of cruising before arriving in Vidin, an important Danube port in northwestern Bulgaria. Its medieval fortress, Baba Vidin, is the town's primary landmark. It served as Vidin's main defensive installation during the Middle Ages and is the only entirely preserved medieval fortress in the country. It is now a fortress museum and has been restored to its former appearance. In nearby Belogradchik, 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 7
14 Aug 2018
Iron Gate, Romania
Donji Milanovac, Romania
Lepenski Vir, Romania
Donji Milanovac, Romania

The most spectacular scenery must surely be the dramatic gorge of the Iron Gates, a narrow and formerly very dangerous passage 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 exhibition center housing archaeological artifacts found in this area and from where you have unique views of the Danube Gorge. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 8
15 Aug 2018
Belgrade, Serbia

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. 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 9
16 Aug 2018
Mohács, Hungary
Pécs, Hungary
Mohács, Hungary

Relax onboard this morning before arriving in Mohács, the first stop in Hungary. After lunch, 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 10
17 Aug 2018
Budapest, Hungary

Enjoy a free day today to explore on your own. Your cruise director will have suggestions for things to do. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 11
18 Aug 2018
Budapest, Hungary

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 Café Gerbeaud, the unique energy of Budapest is positively palatable. On your 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. 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. In your free time this afternoon you may want to walk across Chain Bridge, built in 1849 and a symbol of Budapest; visit St. Stephen's Basilica with marvelous views of the city from its viewing platform; or stroll along Váci utca, the main shopping street. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 12
19 Aug 2018
Bratislava, Slovakia

Today, arrive in Bratislava, situated at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains and the dynamic capital of Slovakia. Join a 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 century. Later, enjoy free time to explore on your own. Tonight, depart for Vienna. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 13
20 Aug 2018
Vienna, Austria

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—plus, countless other sights you'll see on your included guided sightseeing tour. Stroll through the delightful pedestrian Kärntner Straße, 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! An optional concert is available tonight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 14
21 Aug 2018
Dürnstein, Austria
Melk, Austria

Dürnstein, situated in the heart of the Wachau wine region, is known for the magnificent blue Baroque Stiftskirche built in the 1700s. The main street of this small town—with a population of less than 1,000 people—is lined with 16th-century residences and charming cobblestone streets. A local guide will take you on a walking tour and tell you the tale of England's King Richard the Lionheart, who was imprisoned in the castle whose ruins still stand above the town. Then, cruise through the beautiful Wachau Valley to reach Melk after lunch and visit the magnificent 11th-century Benedictine abbey. Melk's abbey towers over the town and is one of Europe's largest. It houses an ornate library with over 80,000 printed books and 2,000 manuscripts. Words cannot describe the splendor of its church with its frescoed ceilings, stunning high altar, marble statues, and 210-foot-high cupola. This evening, you'll be able to sample some of the famous wines of this region. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 15
22 Aug 2018
Passau, Germany

Today, choose from full-day optional excursions: to Salzburg, taking in some of The Sound of Music sights, or to Český Krumlov in the Czech Republic, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rejoin your ship in Passau in the early evening. Alternatively, you may choose to stay on the ship and relax as you cruise to Passau, uniquely located where the Inn, Ilz, and Danube Rivers converge. Passau is a maze of narrow cobblestone streets lined with beautiful patrician houses and dominated by St. Stephan's Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian Baroque architecture. Take in the highlights on the included guided walk. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 16
23 Aug 2018
Regensburg, Germany

Dating back to the time of the Celts around 500 BC, Regensburg is one of Germany's best-preserved medieval cities. Architectural highlights of your guided walk include the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), built in the 13th century, and Porta Praetoria, gate to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. Walk across the 12th-century Steinerne Brücke (Stone Bridge), the oldest of its kind in Germany. Grab a beer and enjoy an included snack at the Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany's oldest restaurants. Bask in the vibrant atmosphere and take in the remarkable views along the river. Before dinner, we'll introduce you to some of Germany's famous beer. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 17
24 Aug 2018
Roth, Germany

This morning, relax onboard, before docking in Roth. After lunch join a guided sightseeing of the city. This delightful Bavarian town, with its half-timbered houses and market square, is also an industrial center for textile manufacturing. Take pictures of Schloss Ratibor, an ancient hunting lodge built in 1535, with a most picturesque inner courtyard. Or you may prefer to choose a guided sightseeing tour of nearby Nuremberg. Although 90% of Nuremberg's Old Town suffered extensive damage during WWII, much of it has been restored to the glory it once knew as the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire. Marvel at this thousand-year-old city's medieval fortifications, extraordinary Gothic churches, and the Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle), or join a more specialized Nuremberg rally grounds tour. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 18
25 Aug 2018
Bamberg, Germany

This morning, arrive in medieval Bamberg, former residence of one of Germany's most powerful imperial dynasties and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your guided walking tour takes in its historic center, including the great 13th-century Romanesque cathedral and the fascinating Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)—built on an island in the middle of the Regnitz River. This afternoon, cruise gently along the Main River as you head for Würzburg. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 19
26 Aug 2018
Würzburg, Germany

Surrounded by verdant hillside vineyards, Würzburg, the "Pearl of the Romantic Road", makes an immediate impression with imposing Marienberg Fortress perched above town and the 15th-century Alte Mainbrücke (Old Main Bridge). On your included guided sightseeing tour, visit the magnificent Baroque Würzburg Residence, home to the largest ceiling fresco ever painted. This afternoon you are free to explore on your own, or perhaps join an optional excursion to medieval Rothenburg. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 20
27 Aug 2018
Main, Germany

On the banks of the Main River you find cultural gems of small towns, many of them tucked away behind defensive walls and towered gates. With half-timbered houses, narrow streets, and medieval town centers, these picturesque Bavarian villages are a photographer's delight. Join your local guide to experience one of these towns on a guided walk. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 21
28 Aug 2018
Rüdesheim am Rhein, Germany
Rhine Gorge, Germany

Today, arrive in Rüdesheim, a quintessential Rhine Valley wine town. Visit Siegfried's Mechanical Music Museum, where you'll see and hear a large collection of self-playing calliopes and music boxes from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. Enjoy a special treat, then head downstream from Rüdesheim, through the dramatic Rhine Gorge, the most beautiful stretch of river. Here, ancient castles stand sentry on lofty cliffs rising 400 feet above the waters. Cruise past the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where echoes of enchanted siren song lured unwitting sailors to their doom. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 22
29 Aug 2018
Cologne, Germany

Arrive in Cologne this morning. One of Germany's largest cities and capital of the Rhineland, Cologne straddles both sides of the Rhine and is known for its soaring, twin-steepled Gothic cathedral. Choose between an included guided city walk or Jewish heritage walk. Later, during free time, perhaps look in on the Romano-Germanic Museum, home to a large collection of artifacts from the Roman settlement on which modern Cologne is built—a must for history buffs! The Old Town abounds with cafés, shops, and taverns. Be sure to try a Kölsch pale lager, locally brewed in Cologne for over a hundred years! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 23
30 Aug 2018
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Holland's sophisticated, modern capital has a rich and fascinating history. This delightful 700-year-old city with its elegant and classic architecture, cafés and restaurants, and lively marketplace has a distinct ambiance. With over 60 museums, Amsterdam has the highest museum density in the world. Get a unique perspective of the city on an included canal cruise, floating along the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam's "Golden Age". There's free time this afternoon to enjoy the city or perhaps join an optional excursion. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 24
31 Aug 2018
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

From The Black Sea to The North Sea – Westbound map

What's Included

Included

  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows

    Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs

    Sky Deck with shade awnings

    Expanded Fitness Center

    Non-smoking interior

    Elevator

    Elegant, contemporary design

    Outside viewing deck

    Headsets for all guided shore excursions in Europe

    Friendly, English-speaking crew

    Sightseeing with Certified Local Guides

    Cruise Director

    Onboard lectures, activities & nightly entertainment

    Revolutionary engineering

    Room service for Continental breakfast & beverages (service fee applies)

    Sky Deck whirlpool

    Internet Corner

    Hair salon (manicures available)

    Complimentary Wi-Fi access

    Onboard movie nights

    Biking excursions available in Amsterdam and Durnstein

    Alternate light lunch and dinner in the Panorama Bistro

    Behind-the-scenes ship tour

    Choice of Leisurely, Traditional or Independent sightseeing options

    Use of Nordic walking sticks

    Local Favorites onboard experiences with local chefs, entertainers, artisans & experts

    English-speaking TV channels with over 100 free movie options

    Onboard assistance is available to recommend, reserve and further personalize your cruise

    Panorama Bistro

    Sky Deck game area

    Self-serve beverage station with complimentary tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees

    Well-stocked library

    Complimentary maps

    Fresh fruit available throughout the day

    Selection of Local Favorites to bring the customs, cultures, and tastes of your destination to life

Not Included

  • Airfare

    gratuities

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.

The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo and SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. Virtuoso CST#2069091-50. California CST# 2069091; TA# 808 - Registered Iowa Travel Agency; Washington UBI # 601 554 183. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.
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Valid for Travel Now Through 23 May 2019
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Add-Ons

Shore Excursions

Constanta, Romania - 11 Aug 2018

Belgrade, Serbia - 15 Aug 2018

Budapest, Hungary - 17 Aug 2018

Budapest, Hungary - 18 Aug 2018

Vienna, Austria - 20 Aug 2018

Passau, Germany - 22 Aug 2018

Regensburg, Germany - 23 Aug 2018

Bamberg, Germany - 25 Aug 2018

Cologne, Germany - 29 Aug 2018

Amsterdam, Netherlands - 30 Aug 2018

Amsterdam, Netherlands - 31 Aug 2018

Post-Packages

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Offered by: Conservatorium Hotel Amsterdam
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Length: 3 Nights
Virtuoso Hotel: Conservatorium Hotel Amsterdam
Stay for Longer

Stay a little longer in Amsterdam and enjoy all that the city has to offer. The Stedelijk and its new Chagall are right across the street, and van Gogh is waiting just around the corner. At the center of the Museum Square District, Conservatorium Hotel Amsterdam is as much a masterpiece as the works hanging in the nearby Rijksmuseum. With an extra night, you’ll have time to explore the city’s treasures, then return for creative Asian fare at Taiko. Meditation, a hammam, and Reiki treatments are on offer at the hotel’s Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre, considered the top luxury spa in the entire Netherlands.

Stay for Longer

Minimum of 3 Nights • Save 20%.

Minimum of 4 Nights • Save 25%.

Virtuoso Exclusive Experience Includes:

  • Stay a minimum of 3 nights and save 20%
  • Stay a minimum of 4 nights and save 25%
  • Upgrade at time of arrival, if available
  • Continental breakfast for two daily
  • $100 spa services credit, once during stay
  • Early check-in/late checkout, if available
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

Please connect with your Virtuoso travel advisor for best available rates.

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