Blue Danube to the Black Sea - Eastbound 2017

14 Day River Cruise from Vienna to Bucharest

2017 Information. Switch to 2016 »

A visit to the Danube Delta is the highlight on this fascinating getaway through Eastern Europe. Start with two nights in Vienna, the “City of Music,” then transfer to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, for included sightseeing before you embark your river cruise ship. Sail to Budapest for included sightseeing, Croatia’s Vukovar and Osijek, and Serbia’s Belgrade. Cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates gorge, and visit the Lepenski Vir archaeological site, Veliko Târnovo (Bulgaria’s ancient capital), and Arbanassi. Explore the Danube Delta with its unique birdlife, and celebrate the end of the Danube’s journey as it flows into the Black Sea. End your Danube River cruise in Oltenita, then travel to Romania’s lively capital of Bucharest for guided sightseeing and an overnight.


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Highlights & Sightseeing

Cruise: deluxe 10-night cruise in an outside stateroom with Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSM

Days 1-2 Vienna: welcome to Austria; guided sightseeing on Day 2

Day 3 Vienna–Transfer to Bratislava (Embarkation): guided sightseeing of Bratislava, visit St. Martin’s Cathedral; onboard welcome reception

Day 4 Budapest: guided sightseeing, see Fishermen’s Bastion and Heroes' Square

Day 5 Mohács: wine tasting in Villány wine region

Day 6 Osijek & Vukovar: guided sightseeing in both cities

Day 7 Belgrade: guided sightseeing, visit Kalemegdan Fortress

Day 8 Iron Gates: visit Lepenski Vir archaeological site; cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates gorge

Day 9 Nikopol–Excursion to Veliko Târnovo & Arbanassi–Rousse: guided sightseeing, visit Tsarevet’s Fortress in Veliko Târnovo, and the Ethnographical Museum and Church of the Nativity in Arbanassi; or guided sightseeing of Rousse

Day10 Cruising: onboard lecture

Day 11 St. Gheorghe, Romania: Danube Delta excursion; Km 0 celebration

Day 12 Cernavodă: choice of full- or half-day excursion to Constanta; guided sightseeing, visit the National History & Archaeological Museum

Day 13 Oltenita (Disembarkation)–Bucharest: guided sightseeing in Bucharest

Day 14 Bucharest: your vacation ends this morning

Special onboard and onshore experiences presented by local chefs, entertainers, artisans, and experts, designed to enrich your cruise.

Learn about the danube delta at an onboard lecture.

Meals

  • Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapés
  • Welcome dinner
  • Daily Afternoon Tea
  • Daily Night Fare
  • Farewell dinner
  • Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; soft drinks with lunch; and wine, beer, or soft drinks with dinner are included daily on board your vessel

NOTES:

  • In the event of water level problems or any problems of a technical nature, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or to alter the program.
  • Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change is necessary, a substitute will be offered.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.
  • Cruise-Only Available: This vacation can also be taken as a Cruise-Only option starting at the embarkation city and ending at the disembarkation city, and does not include overnight land stays. If you are interested in this option, please contact a Travel Consultant for more information.

Day-By-Day Itinerary

Day 1Arrive in Vienna, Austria

Welcome to Vienna, Austria’s capital, known as the “City of Music” and which inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. The rest of the day is yours to start exploring this elegant city.

Day 2Vienna

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—to name just a few of the sights your Local Guide will show you on your INCLUDED TOUR. The afternoon is all yours. Shop in the delightful pedestrian Kärntnerstrasse, and be sure to 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 during your stay. (Breakfast)

Day 3Vienna–Bratislava, Slovakia (Embarkation)

Enjoy a free morning to relax or explore on your own. Then, a motorcoach transfer after lunch takes you to Bratislava, capital of Slovakia, situated at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains. Join your 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 centuries. Your river cruise vessel is docked here on the Danube, and after the tour of Bratislava, meet the crew at a welcome reception. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 4Budapest, 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 Gerbeaud Café, Budapest’s unique energy is positively palatable. On an INCLUDED TOUR with your Local Guide, see Heroes' Square as well as the massive hilltop castle complex with its remarkable Fishermen’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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5Mohács-Villány Wine District

This morning, cruise past the peaceful riverscapes of southern Hungary before arriving in Mohács. From here, an excursion takes you to the Villány district, where some of Hungary’s best red wines are produced. Enjoy WINE TASTING, and learn which varietals are grown and why the climate and soil here are ideal for producing excellent wines. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6Osijek & Vukovar, Croatia

Today, learn about the complex history of Croatia and the events that led to the Croatian War of Independence during GUIDED SIGHTSEEING. Led by Local Guides, explore Osijek, an important economic and cultural center, as well as Vukovar, Croatia’s largest river port, 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, and is today considered a symbol of Croatian resistance. The siege and other dramatic events have shaped both the present and future of the region. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 7Belgrade, Serbia

Early this morning, 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. Also visit the city’s principal landmark, KALEMEGDAN FORTRESS, which showcases the history of Belgrade. Built in stages between the 1st and 18th centuries, the fortress witnessed many battles and observed the courage of those trying to defend the city from conquerors. The surrounding park is the most beautiful and largest park in Belgrade. 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, relax in the park, or walk along the city streets and browse the local shops. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8Excursion to Lepenski Vir–Iron Gates

This morning, dock at Donji Milanovac, from 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 9Nikopol–Excursion to Veliko Târnovo, Bulgaria & Arbanassi–Rousse

The ancient Bulgarian capital of Veliko Târnovo is a comfortable ride from the Danube. 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 Patriarch’s Church. 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, historic Arbanassi is best known for its examples of Bulgarian Revival architecture and its ETHNOGRAPHICAL 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. Rejoin your ship in Rousse, Bulgaria’s largest inland port. If you do not wish to participate in the full-day excursion, remain on board and relax, then join a GUIDED TOUR of Rousse in the afternoon. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 10Cruising

Today is a peaceful day to relax on board. Join your Cruise Director to learn about the fascinating Danube Delta at an ONBOARD LECTURE. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 11St. Gheorghe, Romania. Danube Delta

From St. Gheorghe this morning, an excursion in small boats takes you into the DELTA, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the best preserved of Europe’s deltas, hosting 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. Enjoy a small celebration to mark Km “0”—the end of the Danube’s journey. This afternoon, relax on board as you sail to Cernavodă. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 12Cernavodă. Excursion to Constanta

This morning, dock in Cernavodă, a city at the western end of the 40-mile-long Black Sea Canal, the pride and joy of communist achievement. From here, a full-day excursion takes you to Constanta on the Black Sea, the most important commercial center in Romania. A Local Guide shows you the city highlights, with a visit of the NATURAL HISTORY & ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM. Visit a WINERY at Murfatlar before returning to Cernavodă in the late afternoon. Alternatively, you may want to relax on board in the morning and visit Constanta in the afternoon only. Sail overnight to Oltenita. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 13Oltenita, Romania (Disembarkation)–Bucharest

After breakfast this morning, say goodbye to your crew. Bucharest, Romania’s lively capital, is only a short drive from Oltenita. 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.” Much recent history has taken place in the city. During the INCLUDED TOUR this afternoon, see the main sights including Royal Palace Square, the scene of riots in 1989, which led to the collapse of the communist dictatorship. In your free time, explore 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 14Bucharest

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

Ship Details

Passion

Passion

Yet another beautiful Suite Ship graces the rivers of Europe in 2016. The Avalon Passion welcomes passengers to their home-away-from-home with two full decks of Panorama Suites, featuring Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows that transform into a unique Open-Air Balcony. With 200 square feet, Panorama Suites are more than 30% larger than industry standard and ideal for stretching out and relaxing-or even throwing a private cocktail party for up to six adults in the spacious sitting area. On board, passengers enjoy free Wi-Fi access, complimentary computer use in public areas, a Fitness Center with state-of-the-art equipment, a hair salon, elevator, and an expansive Sky Deck with shade system, premium lounge chairs, whirlpool, deck games, and the delightful Sky Bistro for al fresco lunches of light grill fare.

Included Amenities

  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows
  • Sky Deck with shade awnings
  • Non-smoking interior
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Headsets for all guided shore excursions in Europe
  • Sightseeing with Certified Local Guides
  • Onboard lectures, activities & nightly entertainment
  • Room service for Continental breakfast & beverages (service fee applies)
  • Complimentary computer use in public areas
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • Biking excursions available in Amsterdam and Durnstein
  • Alternate light lunch and dinner in the Panorama Bistro
  • Choice of Leisurely, Traditional or Independent sightseeing options
  • Local Favorites onboard experiences with local chefs, entertainers, artisans & experts
  • Onboard assistance is available to recommend, reserve and further personalize your cruise
  • Sky Deck game area
  • Well-stocked library
  • Fresh fruit available throughout the day
  • Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs
  • Expanded Fitness Center
  • Elevator
  • Outside viewing deck
  • Friendly, English-speaking crew
  • Cruise Director
  • Revolutionary engineering
  • Sky Deck whirlpool
  • Hair salon (manicures available)
  • Onboard movie nights
  • Bicycles you can check out and use around many port towns for free
  • Behind-the-scenes ship tour
  • Use of Nordic walking sticks
  • English-speaking TV channels with over 100 free movie options
  • Delectable petite portions of regional specialties, with wines, in the Panorama Bistro
  • Self-serve beverage station with complimentary tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees
  • Complimentary maps
  • Selection of Local Favorites to bring the customs, cultures, and tastes of your destination to life

Staterooms & Suites

Avalon Deluxe Stateroom (Cat. E) - 172 sq. ft.
Features
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Alarm clock
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Two windows
  • Writing desk
  • Memory foam mattress toppers
  • European-style duvets
  • Extra blankets
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Hairdryer
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with movie channel
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • In-room safe
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity
Panorama Suite (Cat. A, B, P) - 200 sq. ft.
Features
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Alarm clock
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • In-room safe
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Marble countertops in bathroom
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window with Open-Air Balcony®
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity
  • Coffee table
  • Memory foam mattress toppers
  • European-style duvets
  • Extra blankets
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Hairdryer
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with movie channel
  • Make-up mirror
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • 6-person sitting area
  • Writing desk
  • Sofa
Royal Suite - 300 sq. ft.
Features
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Alarm clock
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • In-room safe
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Marble countertops in bathroom
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window with Open-Air Balcony®
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity
  • Coffee table
  • Memory foam mattress toppers
  • European-style duvets
  • Extra blankets
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Hairdryer
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with movie channel
  • Make-up mirror
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • 6-person sitting area
  • Writing desk
  • Sofa
  • Double sinks
DECK PLANS

Hotels

No hotels exist for WVO in 2017

 Optional Excursions

The following list of optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These optional excursions might or might not be offered. Whether it's a special dinner, a local show or a special behind-the-scenes glimpse into an historical site, optional excursions are a wonderful way to enrich your vacation even further. Plus, they give you flexibility. We include the must-see sites and experiences, and we also understand that people take interest in different activities and may want to craft a more personal vacation by hand-picking optional excursions that appeal to them.

We know that many times travelers celebrate special occasions on vacation and you can now pre-purchase celebration packages before your cruise departure. We offer special birthday, anniversary and wedding vow packages. These packages include all the elements you need to celebrate with family & friends.

Availability of optional excursions is subject to sufficient participation, weather conditions, seasonal suitability, days of operation, group interests, and general feasibility for your vacation. The approximate value listed gives you a good, general idea of what you can expect to pay but may vary once you are on your vacation. Some information provided might be in a foreign currency; to get an estimated price, use a currency converter for exchange rate information (pricing may vary at the time of booking).

Once you have booked your vacation, Avalon Waterways provides the ability to pre-purchase excursions and packages, register for your cruise and provide emergency contact information online.

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