Day 1 Arrive in Istanbul, Turkey
Free time to relax and begin soaking up the unique atmosphere of this city built on two continents. At 6 pm, meet your Local Host for a welcome get-together.
Day 2 Istanbul
Founded by the Greeks as Byzantium more than 2,500 years ago, renamed Constantinople in the year 330, and finally called Istanbul, the city on the Bosporus remains one of the most exciting places in the world. Its strategic location as gateway between the Orient and the Occident, the Islamic and the Christian worlds, and the Black Sea and the Mediterranean predestined it for a turbulent history. Guided sightseeing includes Emperor Justinian’s HAGIA SOPHIA and Sultan Ahmet’s BLUE MOSQUE, magnificent monuments to two competing world religions that stand peacefully side by side; TOPKAPI SERAGLIO, residence of the Ottoman Sultans; and the GRAND BAZAAR. (Breakfast)
Day 3 Istanbul
A free day in Istanbul to explore on your own. Or, why not join a full-day optional excursion to the fabulous archaeological site of Ephesus? Fly to Izmir, then travel to the city which later became the capital of Roman Asia Minor. When St. Paul arrived here he was so awestruck that he asked, “Is there a greater city?” Visit the Library of Celsus, the Amphitheater, and listen to exciting “inside stories” of life in ancient Ephesus as you walk down its “Champs Elysées.” Also visit the House of the Virgin Mary before returning to Istanbul for a final evening in Turkey. (Breakfast)
Day 4 Istanbul–Bucharest, Romania
Fly to Bucharest where its wide boulevards and Arc de Triomphe have gained this city the name “Paris of the East.” (Breakfast)
Day 5 Bucharest–Oltenita (Embarkation)
Much recent history has taken place in Romania’s capital city. During your included tour this morning, see the impressive Parliament Building, the second-largest building in the world after the Pentagon. Royal Palace Square was the scene of riots in 1989, which led to the collapse of the communist dictatorship. The former Royal Palace now houses the NATIONAL ART MUSEUM. This afternoon, a short motorcoach ride takes you to Oltenita where your river cruise vessel is docked. Before dinner meet your crew at a welcome reception. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 6 Harsova. Excursion to Celic Dere Monastery
After breakfast, a drive in the countryside takes you to Celic Dere, one of the most well-known monasteries in this area and considered the center of Orthodoxism. The first church was built here in the early 19th century by priests from Transylvania and Bessarabia who had lived on Mount Athos in Greece. Return to your ship for lunch and enjoy an afternoon and evening of tranquil sailing toward Tulcea and the mouth of the Danube. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 7 St. Georghe, Danube Delta
Perhaps this morning you will wake up early to watch the sunrise over the Black Sea. Later, enjoy a small celebration to mark “Km 0.” 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, and today it’s time to celebrate the end of the Danube’s journey, at “Km 0.” This afternoon, enjoy an excursion into the Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, The World Heritage List includes over 800 properties with cultural and/or natural heritage of global significanceand the best preserved of Europe’s deltas, hosting over 300 species of birds as well as 45 species of freshwater fish. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 8 Cernavoda . Excursion to Constanta
Cernavoda lies at the western end of the 40-mile-long Black Sea Canal, the pride and joy of communist achievement. From here, drive to Constanta, the most important commercial center in Romania, situated on the Black Sea. Enjoy a guided tour of this popular resort town and visit the NATURAL HISTORY & ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM. Late this afternoon, return to your ship. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 9 Svistov, Bulgaria. Excursion to Veliko Târnovo & Arbanassi
A comfortable ride from 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 10 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 most spectacular scenery must surely be 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 and forming a natural border between Serbia and Romania. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 11 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. The city center has a lively pedestrian area and charming outdoor cafés. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 12 Osijek & Vukovar, Croatia
Today, learn more about the complex history of Croatia and the events that led to the Croatian War of Independence. Accompanied by local experts explore both Osijek, an important economic and cultural center, as well as Vukovar, Croatia’s largest river port located at the confluence of the Danube and Vuka Rivers. Vukovar was scene to an 87-day siege in 1991, known as the Battle of Vukovar. This and other dramatic events in the recent past have shaped both the present and the future of this region. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 13 Mohacs. Excursion to Villány Wine District
This morning, an excursion takes you into the Villány district, where some of Hungary’s best red wines are produced. Learn more about which varietals are grown, and why the climate and soil conditions here are ideal for the production of excellent wines. Relax on board this afternoon as you sail toward Budapest. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 14 Budapest
Spanning the banks of the Danube, Budapest is Eastern Europe’s liveliest and most cosmopolitan metropolis. 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 15 Bratislava, Slovakia. (Disembarkation) – Vienna, Austria
This morning, bid farewell to your ship’s crew as you arrive in Slovakia’s capital, Bratislava, situated at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains. A Local Guide will show you the charming Old Town with its Town Hall and views of Mirbach Palace, as well as gothic ST. MARTIN’S CATHEDRAL. Then, a motorcoach transfer will take you to Vienna, where you have free time to start exploring Austria’s capital on your own. (Breakfast)
Day 16 Vienna
Vienna is known as the “City of Music” and inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. Enjoy an included tour of Austria’s capital. Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, the city 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 do not rush through Vienna—you waltz, taking your time to savor each classic sight and sound. Shop in the Kärntnerstrasse and enjoy Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in a neighborhood café. An optional concert is available during your stay. (Breakfast)
Day 17 Vienna
Your vacation ends with breakfast today. (Breakfast)
- CRUISE: Deluxe 10-night cruise from Oltenita to Vienna in an outside stateroom with hotel-style beds
- ISTANBUL: Guided sightseeing, visit Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Seraglio, and the Grand Bazaar; Host service during your stay
- BUCHAREST: Guided sightseeing, see the Parliament Building and visit the National Art Museum
- OLTENITA: Welcome reception
- HARSOVA: Excursion to Celic Dere Monastery
- DANUBE DELTA: Delta excursion
- CONSTANTA: Guided sightseeing, visit the Natural History and Archaeological Museum
- VELIKO TÂRNOVO: Guided sightseeing, visit the Patriarch’s Church
- 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
- OSIJEK: Guided sightseeing
- VUKOVAR: Guided sightseeing
- MOHÁCS: Wine tasting in Villány wine region
- BUDAPEST: Guided sightseeing, visit Fishermen’s Bastion
- BRATISLAVA: Guided sightseeing
- VIENNA: Guided sightseeing
All This Included
A deluxe Danube River cruise is the highlight on this fascinating getaway through Eastern Europe. Your vacation begins with three overnights in exciting Istanbul, Turkey, with visits of Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Seraglio, and the Grand Bazaar. Fly to Bucharest, Romania’s vibrant capital, then travel to Oltenita to embark your ship for a 10-night cruise along the Danube River. Explore the Danube Delta with its unique birdlife, celebrate the end of the Danube’s journey as it flows into the Black Sea and sail through the dramatic Iron Gates gorge. See the sights with a Local Guide in Romania’s Bucharest and Constanta, Bulgaria’s Arbanassi and Veliko Târnovo, Serbia’s Belgrade, Croatia’s Vukovar and Osijek, and the Hungarian capital of Budapest. Also sail through the dramatic Iron Gates gorge and enjoy the spectacular scenery. Disembark in Vienna for two overnights in the remarkable “City of Music.” Savor Sachertorte in a local café, spend time in one of the many marvelous museums, window shop along the Kärntnerstrasse, or stroll along the historic streets—an incredible conclusion to an amazing vacation!
- Included shore excursions with Local Guide.
- Headsets for shore excursions.
- Daily early- and late-riser breakfast.
- Full buffet breakfast with sparkling wine.
- Complimentary juices with breakfast.
- Complimentary soft drinks with lunch.
- Four-course dinners with open seating.
- Complimentary regional wines at dinner.
- Free soft drinks or beer with dinner.
- English-speaking crew.
Accommodations on this Tour
Istanbul: Crowne Plaza Istanbul Old City
Bucharest: Athenee Palace Hilton
Cruising: outside cabin onboard the Avalon Imagery or Avalon Tranquility
- Cabin upgrades are available.
- Port charges of $180 are not included in the prices shown above.
- 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.
- 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.