Day 1 Arrive in Bucharest, Romania
Welcome to Bucharest! The remainder of the day is free to start exploring this fascinating capital city.
Day 2 Bucharest. Excursion to Transylvania
Head out of the city to your first stop, BRAN CASTLE of Dracula fame, built in 1377 and assumed to be the home of Romanian vampires. Then, into the Carpathians to SINAIA to visit the monastery of the same name, built in memory of Mihail Cantacuzino’s visit to Mount Sinai. This afternoon, head slowly back to Bucharest. (B,L)
Day 3 Bucharest
A free day to browse the shops and visit many of the attractions this city has to offer. Your Cruise Director will have suggestions for things to do. (B)
Day 4 Bucharest–Oltenita (Embarkation)
During your included tour of Romania’s capital, see the impressive Parliament Building, the second-largest building in the world after the Pentagon. The former Royal Palace now houses the NATIONAL ART MUSEUM. This afternoon a motorcoach ride takes you to Oltenita, where your river cruise vessel is docked. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception. (B,D)
Day 5 Svistov. Excursion to Veliko Târnovo & Arbanassi
A comfortable ride from the port city of Svistov 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. The historic village of Arbanassi is best known for its ETHNOGRAPHICAL MUSEUM and the outstanding collection of frescoes in the CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY. Rejoin your ship in Svistov. (B,L,D)
Day 6 Vidin. Excursion to Belogradchik
Vidin is an important Danube port, situated in northwestern Bulgaria. Its medieval FORTRESS known as “Baba Vidin” and is the town’s primary landmark. It served as Vidin’s main defensive installation during the course of 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 the afternoon, drive to nearby Belogradchick to view the eclectic group of ROCK FORMATIONS on the western slopes of the Balkan Mountains. (B,L,D)
Day 7 Iron Gates
The Trajan Table marking the Roman conquest of Dacia and the Serbian fortresses of Golubac and Smederevo are impressive sights on the left bank of the Danube. 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, forms a natural border between Serbia and Romania. (B,L,D)
Day 8 Belgrade, Serbia
The capital of Serbia is situated at the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers. A local expert will be proud to show you its main sights, which include the city’s principal landmark, KALEMEGDAN FORTRESS; St. Sava, the world’s largest Orthodox Church; and Marshal Tito’s tomb and monument. (B,L,D)
Day 9 Pecs, Hungary–Kalocsa
Pecs is Hungary’s fifth-largest city and its richest in terms of Turkish architecture. Enjoy an orientation and some free time before proceeding to Kalocsa. Founded by St. Stephen in 1009 as an archbishopric, Kalocsa has a most turbulent history. This quiet town, which is best known for paprika and folklore art, is dominated by the Archbishop’s Palace and Kalocsa Cathedral, where you will be treated to an ORGAN CONCERT. (B,L,D)
Day 10 Budapest
Seven bridges, including the famous Chain and Elisabeth Bridges, connect ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. The massive hilltop castle complex with FISHERMEN’S BASTION and the Matthias Church is among the many sights your Local Guide will show you. This afternoon is free to explore on your own. (B,L,D)
Day 11 Budapest–Vienna, Austria
A day to relax on board and marvel at the beautiful scenery on both banks of the Danube. Hungary is on your left as you cruise upriver and Slovakia is on your right. Vienna, Austria’s capital, is known as the “City of Music” and inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. (B,L,D)
Day 12 Vienna
Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Vienna has much to offer: the lavish Hofburg Palace, the impressive Vienna Opera House, the majestic Ring Boulevard, and awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Cathedral, to name just a few of the sights you will enjoy during your city tour. Shop in the Kärntnerstrasse and enjoy Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in a neighborhood café. An optional concert is available during your stay. (B,L,D)
Day 13 Dürnstein–Melk
Dürnstein, known for the magnificent baroque Stiftskirche with its blue façade, is situated right in the heart of the Wachau wine region. Above town are the ruins of the castle where England’s King Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned in 1192. This afternoon, a stop in Melk with its splendid BENEDICTINE ABBEY that dominates the town from its commanding hill site and is one of Europe’s largest monasteries. This evening, sample some of the Wachau Valley’s FAMOUS WINES. (B,L,D)
Day 14 Linz–Passau, Germany
Linz, Austria’s third-largest town, lies on both banks of the Danube and is an important industrial town and busy river port. An optional full-day excursion to Salzburg takes in the popular Sound of Music sights. Passau, ideally located at the confluence of the Rivers Inn, Ilz, and Danube, is a city of graceful arcades and cobblestone streets. St. Stephen’s Cathedral houses one of the world’s largest organs with more than 17,000 pipes. (B,L,D)
Day 15 Regensburg
Regensburg is one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities. Architectural highlights on your guided tour include the Old Town Hall, and Porta Pretoria—gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. It is here you will find Germany’s oldest restaurant, the 12th-century Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen). (B,L,D)
Day 16 Nuremberg
Although Nuremberg suffered extensive damage during WWII, much of it was restored to its original style. Marvel at this historic city with its fabulous gothic churches and elegant patrician houses, all explained by a local expert. Nuremberg’s traditions include famous Lebkuchen, toy making, and metal working. After dinner we’ll introduce you to some of Germany’s FAMOUS BEERS! (B,L,D)
Day 17 Nuremberg (Disembarkation)–Prague, Czech Republic
Cross the Czech border in the Bohemian Forest and head for Prague, the “Golden City.” (B)
Day 18 Prague
Prague is a 1,000-year-old city preserved in time. See its treasures such as Old Town’s Astronomical Clock, once the envy of all of Europe; HRADCANY CASTLE GROUNDS, St. Vitus Cathedral, and the Charles Bridge. Mix with the locals in Wenceslaus Square or stroll along the Vltava River. (B)
Day 19 Prague
A free day to explore the city at your own pace. (B)
Day 20 Prague
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
- BUCHAREST: Guided full-day excursion to Transylvania, visit Dracula’s Bran Castle and Sinaia Monastery, see the Parliament Building, and visit the National Art Museum
- OLTENITA: Welcome reception
- VELIKO TÂRNOVO: Guided sightseeing, visit the Patriarch’s Church
- VIDIN: Visit the fortress
- BELOGRADCHIK: See the rock formations
- ARBANASSI: Guided visit of the Ethnographical Museum and the Church of the Nativity
- IRON GATES: Cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates gorge; see the Trajan Table
- BELGRADE: Guided sightseeing, visit Kalemegdan Fortress
- PECS: Orientation
- KALOCSA: Orientation; organ concert
- BUDAPEST: Guided sightseeing, visit Fishermen’s Bastion
- VIENNA: Guided sightseeing
- DÜRNSTEIN: Guided walk, see the Stiftskirche
- MELK: Guided visit of the Benedictine Abbey; wine tasting
- PASSAU: Guided walk
- REGENSBURG: Guided sightseeing
- MAIN DANUBE CANAL: Cruise in the canal
- NUREMBERG: Guided sightseeing; beer tasting
- PRAGUE: Guided sightseeing, see the Astronomical Clock and visit Hradcany Castle grounds
All This Included
Discover some of the continent’s best-kept secrets on this river cruise through Eastern and Central Europe, from Bucharest to Prague. Your vacation begins with three overnights in Bucharest that includes guided sightseeing of the city’s main sites and a unique excursion to Transylvania, to visit Dracula’s Bran Castle and the splendid Sinaia Monastery. There’s plenty of free time to make your own discoveries before traveling to Oltenita to board your river cruise ship. Guided sightseeing in each city shows you the highlights, inside visits of the National Art Museum in Bucharest, the Patriarch’s Church in Veliko Tarnovo, Kalemegdan Fortress in Belgrade, Fishermen’s Bastion in Budapest, and Melk’s splendid Benedictine Abbey. Also stop in Belogradchik to view the eclectic rock formations, visit the medieval fortress of Vidin, stop in the Puszta for an exhibition of Hungarian horsemanship, cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates gorge and Main Danube Canal, and conclude your incredible vacation with three overnights in Prague. Enjoy guided sightseeing and plenty of time at leisure to explore the Hradcany Castle grounds, wander through Prague’s Jewish Quarter, shop for hand-cut crystal, savor authentic Czech dumplings, stand in the square where protestors demonstrated against Communism, or visit one of the many churches. What a way to end this fabulous vacation filled with historic sites, delicious cuisine, scenic beauty, quaint towns, and more.
- Deluxe 13-night cruise from Oltenita to Nuremberg in an outside stateroom with hotel-style beds.
- Included shore excursions with Local Guide.
- Headsets for shore excursions.
- Buffet breakfast in Bucharest and Prague; superb dining with meals on board featuring full breakfast with complimentary sparkling wine, lunch with complimentary soft drinks, and dinner including complimentary wine, beer, or soft drinks; a welcome reception, Captain’s reception, and farewell dinner; one sitting with open seating arrangements.
Accommodations on this Tour
Bucharest: Athénée Palace Hilton (SF)
Prague: Hilton (SF)
Cruising: Cabin onboard Avalon Imagery or Avalon Tranquility
- Hotels will be as shown, or similar. Final hotel names will be available in April 2012.
- In the event of water level problems on stretches of any river, or any problems of a technical nature, it may be necessary to operate part of the itinerary by motorcoach or to alter the program.
- Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.
- Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change is necessary, a substitute will be offered.
- Cabin upgrades are available.
- Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.
- Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package, at the price quoted.