Excursions | Bucharest & Amsterdam River Cruise - Avalon Europe

North Sea–Black Sea Cruise with Istanbul – Westbound 2016

27 Day River Cruise from Istanbul to Amsterdam

2016 Information

The Black Sea, the North Sea, and the rivers in between are the focus of this memorable river cruise along the magnificent Danube, Main, and Rhine Rivers. Your vacation begins with three overnights in exciting Istanbul, Turkey. Founded by the Greeks as Byzantium more than 2,500 years ago, you will visit the 6th century Underground Cistern, the Blue Mosque, and the Grand Bazaar. Next, fly to Bucharest, Romania’s vibrant capital, then travel to Fetesti to embark your ship for a 22-night cruise from Romania to Holland. On board, relax and enjoy as you cruise past quaint villages, taking in the enchanting scenery and learning about the history. Enjoy included guided sightseeing in each city, with inside visits of the National Art Museum in Bucharest, the Natural History & Archaeological Museum in Constanta, Belgrade’s Kalemegdan Fortress, and the stunning Bishop’s Residenz in Würzburg. Take small boats to explore the fascinating Danube Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; cruise through the dramatic gorge of the Iron Gates, along the Main Danube Canal, and past the legendary rock of the Lorelei. Sample Hungary’s wines in Villány and taste local specialties in Wertheim. In Amsterdam, cruise through the lovely canals—a perfect conclusion of your wonderful European river cruise vacation.


Dates & Prices Get A Quote Book Online

Highlights & Sightseeing

Cruise: deluxe 22-night cruise in an outside stateroom with Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSM

Day 1 Istanbul: arrive in Istanbul

Days 2-3 Istanbul: intra-tour flight to Istanbul; guided sightseeing, visit Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and Grand Bazaar; Host service during your stay

Day 4 Istanbul–Bucharest: fly to Bucharest

Day 5 Bucharest–Fetesti (Embarkation): guided sightseeing in Bucharest; onboard welcome reception

Day 6 St. Gheorghe: excursion to Danube Delta; Km 0 celebration; onboard lecture

Day 7 Cernavodă: choice of full- or half-day guided excursion to Constanta, visit the National History and Archaeological Museum

Day 8 Rousse-Excursion to Veliko Târnovo & Arbanassi:
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

Day 9 Cetate: wine tasting

Day 10 Iron Gates: visit Lepenski Vir archaeological exhibition; cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates gorge

Day 11 Belgrade: guided sightseeing, visit Kalemegdan Fortress

Day 12 Vukovar & Osijek: guided sightseeing in both cities

Day 13 Budapest: guided sightseeing, see Fishermen’s Bastion

Day 14 Budapest: morning at leisure

Day 15 Bratislava–Vienna: guided sightseeing of Bratislava, visit the Old Town and St. Martin’s Cathedral; visit Schlosshof en route to Vienna

Day 16 Vienna: guided sightseeing

Day 17 Dürnstein–Grein: guided walk in Dürnstein, see the Stiftskirche; guided walk in Grein, visit the historical theater

Day 18 Linz: guided walk

Day 19 Regensburg: guided walk; enjoy a snack at the Historische Wurstküche; beer tasting

Day 20 Nuremberg: choice of guided sightseeing or Nuremberg Rally Grounds tour

Day 21 Bamberg: guided walk, see the Old Town

Day 22 Würzburg: guided sightseeing, visit the Bishop’s Residenz

Day 23 Main River Village: guided walk

Day 24 Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge: visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum; special treat; cruise through the Rhine Gorge

Day 25 Cologne: choice of guided walk or Jewish Heritage walk

Day 26 Amsterdam: canal cruise

Day 27 Amsterdam (Disembarkation): your vacation ends this morning

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

Enjoy a tasting of authentic German Beers, and attend an onboard performance of local Serbian music.

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:

  • Departure April 24 is offered as an exclusive European History & Politics Cruise, including special lectures at no additional cost. Take a cruise through history! These fascinating cruises give you an even richer experience as you learn the stories behind Europe’s famous sites.
  • 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.

Day-By-Day Itinerary

Day 1Arrive 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 2Istanbul

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 the 6th century UNDERGROUND CISTERN 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 3Istanbul

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 Elysees.” Also visit the House of the Virgin Mary before returning to Istanbul for a final evening in Turkey. (Breakfast)

Day 4Istanbul–Bucharest, Romania

Fly to Bucharest, its wide boulevards and Arc de Triomphe have gained this city the name “Paris of the East.” (Breakfast)

Day 5Bucharest–Fetesti (Embarkation)

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

Day 6St. Gheorghe. Danube Delta Excursion

This morning during breakfast, dock in St. 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 St. Gheorghe during lunch and enjoy a small CELEBRATION to mark Km “0”—the end of the Danube’s journey. This afternoon, a chance to relax and to learn more about the fascinating Delta at an ONBOARD LECTURE. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 7Cernavoda. Excursion to Constanta

From Cernavoda this morning, a full-day 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 NATURAL HISTORY & ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM is included. Visit a WINERY in Murfatlar before rejoining your vessel in the late afternoon. Alternatively, you may prefer to relax on board in the morning and visit only Constanta in the afternoon. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8Rousse, Bulgaria. Excursion to Veliko Târnovo & Arbanassi–Svistov

Dock this morning in Rousse, Bulgaria’s largest inland port. A comfortable motorcoach ride away 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, and the 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, the historic village of 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. If you do not wish to participate in the full-day excursion, you may choose to remain on board 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 9Cetate

Today, enjoy a leisurely day of sailing. At first, the river separates Romania on the right bank from Bulgaria on the left and is relatively wide. Then, it carves a path through the lower Carpathian Mountains to the north and the Balkan Mountains to the south, creating a series of four steep gorges known as the Iron Gates. Until Romania and Yugoslavia jointly constructed a hydro-electric dam across the Danube (Djerdap I) between 1964 and 1972, this section of river presented great hazards to the shipping trade. A second dam and a power station (Djerdap II) were built in 1984. Before lunch, stop at Cetate and enjoy a TASTING of excellent local wines. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 10Iron Gates. Excursion to Lepenski Vir, Serbia

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. 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 11Belgrade, 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. 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. Late tonight, depart for Vukovar in Croatia. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 12Vukovar & Osijek, Croatia

Today, learn more about the complex history of Croatia and the events that led to the Croatian War of Independence as you explore Vukovar and Osijek accompanied by your Local Guide. Vukovar, Croatia’s largest river port, is 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, and is today considered a symbol of Croatian resistance. The siege and other dramatic events in the recent past have shaped both the present and the future of this region. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 13Budapest, Hungary

Today enjoy a leisurely morning of sailing before reaching the country’s capital. 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—with spectacular views of the city—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 14Budapest

You have time this morning to explore Budapest further. Perhaps visit St. Stephen’s Basilica for marvelous views of the city from its viewing platform. This afternoon, set sail for Bratislava. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 15Bratislava, Slovakia–Vienna, Austria

During breakfast this morning, dock in Bratislava, capital of Slovakia and 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. Then, a comfortable motorcoach journey stops for a visit of SCHLOSSHOF PALACE, en route to Vienna, where you rejoin your ship. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 16Vienna

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 Boy’s 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 GUIDED TOUR. Shop in the delightful pedestrian Kärntnerstrasse, 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! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 17Dürnstein–Grein

Early this morning, arrive in Dürnstein. Standing on the banks of the Danube, the magnificent baroque Stiftskirche with its blue façade is without a doubt the landmark of this small town which lies right in the heart of the Wachau wine region. A Certified 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 relax on board as your cruise through the picturesque Wachau Valley before lunch; in the late afternoon, arrive in the attractive country resort of Grein, nestled at the foot of a bluff in the shadow of its castle. Join a local expert for a GUIDED WALK and take pictures of the turreted houses on the main square. Its castle is the oldest residential castle in Austria, and its THEATER—built in 1791—is Austria’s oldest theater. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 18Linz

After breakfast this morning your Local Guide will introduce you to Linz, Austria’s third-largest city and an important river port during an included WALKING TOUR. See the 13th-century Hauptplatz, Austria’s largest medieval square, and the Trinity Column, built in 1723 as thanks for the city escaping the ravages of the plague, war, and fire. Maybe wander around the old castle grounds and take in the beautiful views of the river, or visit the neo-gothic New Cathedral, the largest church in Austria with capacity for 20,000 visitors. Alternatively, you might like to join one of several optional excursions available today. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 19Regensburg, Germany

Dating back to the time of the Celts around 500 BC, Regensburg is one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities. Established during the Holy Roman Empire and the only German city not bombed during WWII, Regensburg has at least 1,300 listed buildings of “historic interest.” Architectural highlights of your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR this afternoon, include the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), built in the 13th century, and Porta Pretoria, gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. Wander through the city’s lanes and alleys to discover the many mansions with high towers. Wealthy families built these towers to emphasize their status and wealth during the Middle Ages, and many still remain today. Walk across the 12th-century Steinerne Brücke (Stone Bridge), the oldest of its kind in Germany. Grab a beer and enjoy a SNACK at the Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany’s oldest restaurants. Here—where the locals congregate—feel the vibrant atmosphere and take in the remarkable views along the river. Before dinner we’ll introduce you to some of Germany’s FAMOUS BEERS! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 20Nuremberg

This afternoon is dedicated to 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. Choose from a GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR and 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 21Bamberg

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 when the bishop refused to give the townspeople land for a town hall! Wander the town’s serpentine streets with their charming houses and 18th-century mansions. This afternoon, cruise along the Main River to Würzburg. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 22Würzburg

Surrounded by verdant hillside vineyards, Würzburg, the “Pearl of the Romantic Road,” makes an immediate impression with imposing Fortress Marienberg perched above town and the 15th-century Alte Mainbrucke (Old Main Bridge). On your GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, visit the magnificent baroque BISHOP’S RESIDENZ, 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 23Main River Village Experience

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. 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 24Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge

Rüdesheim is the quintessential Rhine Valley wine town. Visit SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT 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; and enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT. Then, sail through the dramatic RHINE GORGE, where 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 25Cologne, Germany

In the early morning hours, arrive in Cologne. 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 a GUIDED CITY WALK or a "JEWISH HERITAGE" walking tour. 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! At lunchtime, rejoin your vessel and head for Holland. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 26Amsterdam, Holland

This morning you arrive in Amsterdam! 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 has a distinct ambiance. There is no better way to see Amsterdam than by CANAL BOAT, cruising through the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” There’s free time this afternoon to enjoy the city – your Cruise Director will have suggestions for things to do. If you are fit and feeling energetic, perhaps join a biking optional excursion (weather permitting). (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 27Amsterdam (Disembarkation)

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

Ship Details

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Hotels

Bucharest
Amsterdam

Bucharest

Athenee Palace Hilton

Athenee Palace Hilton 1-3 Episcopiei, Bucharest,  Romania 1-3 Episcopiei
Bucharest, Romania

Free WifiFree Wifi

Hotel as shown or similar
Superior First-Class

Explore Bucharest from the glorious Athenee Palace Hilton Bucharest hotel, one of the city's most sophisticated and prestigious landmarks. The hotel is conveniently located in the heart of the city and enjoys views of Revolution Square and is close to Bucharest's many local attractions.

Hotel Amenities

Elevator
Fitness Room
Concierge desk
Restaurant On-Site
Parking/Valet
Pool
Gift Shop
Dry Cleaning
Free WiFi
Business Center
Spa Services
Beauty Salon
Luggage Storage
Bar/Lounge
Currency Exchange
Room Amenities

Room Service
Iron/Ironing Board
Phone
Mini-bar
Disabled Access / Rooms
Smoking Rooms
Non-smoking Rooms
Alarm Clock
Climate Control
Coffee Maker
In-Room Safe
Television
Internet Access
Air Conditioning
Hair Dryer
Cable/Satellite

Amsterdam

Moevenpick Amsterdam City

Moevenpick Amsterdam City Piet Heinkade 11, Amsterdam,  Netherlands Piet Heinkade 11
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Free WifiFree Wifi

Hotel as shown or similar
Superior First-Class

A stylish 408-room hotel in the perfect location, this waterfront property offers Free Wi-Fi internet access throughout. The chic restaurant serves creative international cuisine and there is a fabulous bar serving drinks and light snacks which is also a great spot for a nightcap. For relaxation there is a Lifestyle Studio featuring a gym, Finnish sauna, bio sauna & ice fountain.

Hotel Amenities

Restaurant On-Site
Luggage Storage
Fitness Room
Currency Exchange
Free WiFi
Bar/Lounge
Business Center
ATM
Parking/Valet
Gift Shop
Concierge desk
Dry Cleaning
Spa Services
Elevator
Room Amenities

Air Conditioning (Seasonal)
In-Room Safe
Disabled Access / Rooms
Non-smoking Rooms
Smoking Rooms
Wake-Up Calls
Television
Room Service
Climate Control
Pay Movies
Internet Access
Coffee Maker
Desk
Hair Dryer
Mini-bar
Window Opens
Air Conditioning
Phone
Voicemail
Iron/Ironing Board
Cable/Satellite
Complimentary Toiletries

 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.

Istanbul
Bucharest
Belgrade
Budapest
Vienna
Linz
Wurzburg
Amsterdam
Celebration

Istanbul

Full Day Trip to Ephesus
Full Day Trip to Ephesus

Full Day Trip to Ephesus

You will take Turkish Airlines morning flight to Izmir and an hour's drive from Izmir will take you to the remarkable Greco-Roman archaeological site of Ancient Ephesus. Dating back to the 11th century B.C., it has been painstakingly excavated and restored and is one of the world's most fascinating sites of antiquity. Ephesus flourished as a prominent city and seaport between 600 B.C. and 500 A.D.  We will begin our private walking tour along Royal Road also known as the Arcadian Way, a 4th century white marble chariot thoroughfare whose most striking sight is the two-story Library of Celsus. Your walk along the Royal Road will also take you past the remains of some of the ancient city's major civic buildings and temples as you move toward the Ephesus Theater from which St. Paul once preached to the Ephesians. You will return to Istanbul by Turkish Airlines late afternoon.

Approximate value: €753 EUR per person

Half Day Tour to Asian Side of Istanbul
Half Day Tour to Asian Side of Istanbul

Half Day Tour to Asian Side of Istanbul

With this excursion, you will explore two continents in one day! Your tour will begin with a journey from the European to the Asian side of Istanbul, striding the two continents by driving across the first Euro-Asian bridge that was built in Istanbul. You will proceed to the top of the Grand Camlica Hill, where you will enjoy the panoramic view of the European side of Istanbul. After this visit, a scenic drive along the Asian shores of the Bosphorus will take you to Kanlica Village where you will have the opportunity to taste the famous "local yogurt" and "apple tea" in a local café on the shores of the Bosphorus.

Approximate value: €148 EUR per person

Half Day Tour with Lunch & Bosphorus Cruise
Half Day Tour with Lunch & Bosphorus Cruise

Half Day Tour with Lunch & Bosphorus Cruise

Your Local Guide accompanies you on a private boat cruise along the shores of two continents. Enjoy beautiful panoramic views of rococo and baroque-style buildings, impressive Ottoman wooden houses, 15th century fortresses, and the famous suspension bridge - a real architectural wonder.

Approximate value: €233 EUR per person

Half Day Tour with Spice Market & Rustem Pasha
Half Day Tour with Spice Market & Rustem Pasha

Half Day Tour with Spice Market & Rustem Pasha

Your tour will begin with a visit to the Spice Market for a "true taste" of culture mosaics in Istanbul! Originally devoted to spices and herbs, it now sells a great variety of goods in 88 vaulted rooms. Next visit will be to the Rustem Pasha Mosque designed by famous "Sinan the Architect". Rustem Pasha Mosque is renowned for its exquisite Iznik tiles in beautiful floral and geometric designs, which cover not only the facade of the porch but also the walls and columns.

Approximate value: €132 EUR per person

Turkish Dinner and Folklore Show (Kervansaray Night)
Turkish Dinner and Folklore Show (Kervansaray Night)

Turkish Dinner and Folklore Show (Kervansaray Night)

An evening at one of Istanbul's favorite nightclubs. Enjoy a succulent dinner, half a bottle of wine per person included, while Turkish folklore groups, singers, and belly dancers put on a dazzling show.

Approximate value: €76 EUR per person

Bucharest

The Romanian Parliament - the Second Largest Building on Earth
The Romanian Parliament - the Second Largest Building on Earth

The Romanian Parliament - the Second Largest Building on Earth

The ultimate dream of former Communist Leader of Romania Ceaucescu, this Palace of Superlatives is a breath-taking example of communist dictatorship's omnipotence, rarely seen anywhere else. Admire countless halls, hundreds of crystal chandeliers, amazing carpets and learn on the spot about man's latest effort to create something that would last for more than a thousand years. There is nothing like it anywhere else in the modern world and this inside visit remains an absolute must for every Bucharest visitor.

Approximate value: €44 EUR per person

Belgrade

Dinner at Belgrade's Skadarlija District
Dinner at Belgrade's Skadarlija District

Dinner at Belgrade's Skadarlija District

Once home to many Serbian poets, writers, artists, and actors, the cobblestoned Skadarlija (or Skadarska) street today hosts some of the best restaurants in town, all of which strive to preserve Bohemian traditions from the early 19th century. Definitely the place to go if you want to get a feel of the atmosphere of Belgrade's bygone times, and taste the best of local food. Live music will provide that extra touch of atmosphere while you chat and dine in pleasant surroundings. Included drinks and hassle free transport by coach is provided.

Approximate value: €49 EUR per person

Folklore in Belgrade
Folklore in Belgrade

Folklore in Belgrade

Shumadia represents the heart of Serbia, where you can find the most beautiful and the most interesting original Serbian folk dances. The tiny and delicate steps of these dances are connected in filigreed dance which has ethnographic and historical significance interwoven with customs. Costumes for this dance represent a special visual experience, and each part of the costume is a work of art. Shopsko Dances represent dynamic dances from south eastern Serbia in which the habits of the Bulgarian and Serbian populations are interlaced. In this dance you can see the elements of Bulgarian folklore in all its dynamics and the fast changing of chorographical motives and shapes. There are about a dozen more dances that emphasize the richness of Serbian Folklore Heritage.

Approximate value: €54 EUR per person

Budapest

Budapest's Night Lights
Budapest's Night Lights

Budapest's Night Lights

The Hungarian capital is known for its splendid views accentuated by the romance of illumination. Let the unique atmosphere of this magnificent city enchant you, while our expert guide tells you the hidden secrets and stories behind the façades. Do not miss out on a visit to the must see viewpoint from the highest hill in Budapest, a view overlooking this splendid city with an illumination rivaling that of Paris, a view which decorates numerous travel brochures and books. Unforgettable sights, wonderful memories and the magic of lights guaranteed during this panoramic tour with photo opportunities. Discover why Europeans call it, deservedly, the Paris of the East! This excursion is by comfortable coach and includes three must-see photo stops.

Approximate value: €23 EUR per person

Communist Budapest
Communist Budapest

Communist Budapest

From 1947 to 1989, the Hungarian Communist Party held sway. Although the regime was not as deferential to the Soviet Union, the collective economy and fear of the secret police shaped the lives of Hungarian citizens. Our guided tour starts on Liberty Square making a photo stop at the Russian monument, which honors the soldiers of the Red Army who died during the liberation of Budapest from the Nazis. Ironically, it is located directly across from the US embassy and a statue of Ronald Reagan stands on the other side of it. Visit the area surrounding the Hungarian Parliament Building and hear stories about the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, when it was overrun by Russian tanks, when Hungary stood up against Communism. Visit the former headquarters of the AVH (Hungarian version of KGB), the dreaded secret police, which is a museum today. This part-museum, part-multimedia experience records grim moments of the communist period and is one of the most interesting of its kind. Your local expert will provide you with an interactive commentary on how to live and survive under communism.

Approximate value: €42 EUR per person

Gold & Glamorous:
Gold & Glamorous:

Gold & Glamorous: "Belle Epoques" of Budapest

Travel back in time with your guide; join a short coach trip along the Danube embankment with a short walk to one of the hidden treasures of Budapest, the House of Hungarian Art Nouveau. It houses a unique exhibition representing the refined world of Art Nouveau, including paintings, furniture, decorative objects and interiors, to give an insight into the atmosphere of middle-class life in Budapest in the "happy pre-war times". The second stop of your tour is the "musical jewelry box" of Pest, the Hungarian State Opera House. The building enchants not only lovers of opera and ballet, but everyone who is amazed by the fine neo-Renaissance architecture. Following the visit you will be treated to coffee and cake in the Book Café, in the glamorous main hall of the Paris Department Store, one of the hidden secrets of the city. Sip your coffee and taste a fine delicacy of Hungarian confectioners in this glossy literary cafe with glittering chandeliers and flamboyant ceiling frescoes, painted by the same artist whose masterpieces raise the splendor of the State Opera House, Parliament and several other public buildings. This tour is a must for any passionate photographer as there are plenty of fantastic photo opportunities.

Approximate value: €49 EUR per person

Hungarian Puszta Farm with Horse Show and Lunch
Hungarian Puszta Farm with Horse Show and Lunch

Hungarian Puszta Farm with Horse Show and Lunch

Do not miss this unique opportunity to visit the Hungarian countryside and its authentic ways, an experience out of the ordinary. A short coach ride takes us deep into the Hungarian countryside, where we can admire the unsurpassed qualities of the Hungarian Equestrian virtue at an active stud farm. Enjoy the sight of the proud horses as they lead the festive procession. Take a typical country wagon ride and learn about life on a typical Hungarian farm. The Hungarians have been inseparable from their horses for more than a thousand years. Experience the well-known Hungarian hospitality in the most natural environment of the Puszta Farm as we provide you with an authentic lunch. The excursion is fully hosted by one of our guides. An excursion with impressions to last a long time.

Approximate value: €69 EUR per person

Vienna

A Visit of Schonbrunn Imperial Palace
A Visit of Schonbrunn Imperial Palace

A Visit of Schonbrunn Imperial Palace

Schonbrunn, the former summer residence of the Imperial family, is considered one of the most beautiful baroque palaces in Europe. The Habsburgs resided here for the better part of the year in numerous rooms to house the large Imperial family. Emperor Franz Joseph, who later married the enchanting Sissi and reigned from 1848 to 1916, was born here in 1830. The monarch spent his last years entirely in the palace, which became the property of the new Republic of Austria only two years after his death. Today, the palace is part of UNESCO's cultural heritage due to its historic importance, unique grounds and splendid furnishings. Follow our local expert and visit Empress Sissi's former summer residence, afterwards take your time to stroll through the park and enjoy the impressive gardens.

Approximate value: €52 EUR per person

Royal Waltz Concert
Royal Waltz Concert

Royal Waltz Concert

Don't miss a truly magical evening in Vienna, featuring the most famous opera Arias by Mozart, Strauss Waltzes, polkas and operetta excerpts from "Die Fledermaus" by Johann Strauss, "The Merry Widow" by Franz Lehar, the Blue Danube waltz, the Radetzky March and many others, performed by a brilliant cast of top European singers, beautifully costumed dancers and the Original Wiener Salon Orchestra. A true celebration of joy and optimism featuring familiar music, combined with dance and storytelling that recalls happy memories of a time when music helped to shape the city of Vienna: a city of world-class artistry and a true flair for celebration.

Approximate value: €62 EUR per person

Linz

Cesky Krumlov - a sleeping beauty awakes
Cesky Krumlov - a sleeping beauty awakes

Cesky Krumlov - a sleeping beauty awakes

Take a scenic route across the rolling hills of Upper Austria and Bohemia to one of the most beautiful, charming and romantic little towns that is to be found in Europe. For centuries, this small town has enjoyed the reputation of being the "Pearl of the Bohemian Forest", an extraordinary fortified town built by princes and bishops on the most beautiful bend of the Vltava River. This hidden gem of European history remains as it was centuries ago, a colorful place with over 300 historic buildings, small lanes, art galleries, charming shops and medieval inns; a truly stunning experience. When after WW II the Iron Curtain descended across eastern Europe, Cesky Krumlov found itself even more off the beaten track, with hardly a visitor finding his way there. Our local experts will guide you back in time. Pass by the Vltava (Moldau) River, which was immortalized by Friedrich Smetana's composition of the same name, before you return to your ship with happy memories from this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Approximate value: €73 EUR per person

Salzburg - Sound of Music
Salzburg - Sound of Music

Salzburg - Sound of Music

Picturesquely located at the foothills of the Alps the city is known as the birth-place of Mozart. Salzburg is also the setting for the Sound of Music movie, which has shaped the city's perception in the minds of generations. But Salzburg is much more. It is a wealthy city with history based on the salt trade from the nearby Alpine Mountains-a city full of beautiful baroque buildings, nestled between the mountains and green waters of the Salzach River. In your free time strolling through the small but busy lanes with their wrought iron signs, using a cable car to ride up to the castle on the hill for views, or just passing time by relaxing on one of the many terraces makes you feel part of the scenery. On our scenic ride by coach you will admire the beauty of the region. Our dedicated local experts will talk about and show you the city, and relive scenes from the Sound of Music. After free time we shall also visit the church at Mondsee where the "von Trapps" were married.

Approximate value: €73 EUR per person

Wurzburg

Rothenburg ob der Tauber on the Romantic Road
Rothenburg ob der Tauber on the Romantic Road

Rothenburg ob der Tauber on the Romantic Road

If you had to pick only one place to visit in the whole of Germany, it should be Rothenburg. The best preserved medieval town in Germany, Rothenburg ob der Tauber fits the word "romantic" perfectly. The entire walled town of Rothenburg is a living museum. The town wall connects five medieval gates complete with guard towers that date from the thirteenth to sixteenth centuries. Just walk along Rothenburg's narrow cobblestone streets and admire the gothic, renaissance, and baroque houses and fountains. You may wish that you had lived in these prettier, quieter, slow times. Climb to the top of the Rothenburg Town Hall Tower (circa 1250-1400) for a wide-angle view of Rothenburg and take pictures of the surrounding, mostly pastoral countryside. Walking in Rothenberg is like a step back into medieval times where one can feel the old roots of the continent. Not to be missed!

Approximate value: €47 EUR per person

Amsterdam

A Traditional Windmill Village - Zaanse Schans
A Traditional Windmill Village - Zaanse Schans

A Traditional Windmill Village - Zaanse Schans

If you are in the Netherlands only for a short time, then this is a great excursion to see the typical Dutch sights in just one afternoon. Join our local expert on a journey through times when Dutch sailing ships crossed the seven seas and goods from all corners of the world were traded in Holland. A short coach ride gives you picturesque views of the Dutch "polder" landscape, reclaimed land with endless horizons and cattle grazing on the green grasslands. The open air village of Zaanse Schans is a collection of typical Dutch houses, windmills & craft stores which all have preserved their original character. We will have an inside visit of a working windmill. Highly interesting is the clog making demonstration and the cheese factory. In the little stores you can easily find all the Dutch souvenirs you want to take home. Zaanse Schans is a pleasant half day excursion which includes an array of typical sights for which Holland is famous.

Approximate value: €36 EUR per person

Anne Frank House
Anne Frank House

Anne Frank House

Visit the hiding place where Anne Frank wrote her diary during the Second World War. For more than two years, Anne Frank, her family, and four others lived secretively in the back part of her father's office building at #263 Prinsengracht, before being betrayed and turned in to the Nazis. If you have read the famous diary much of this will be familiar to you, but even if you haven't this can be a thought provoking place to see. The Anne Frank House/Museum, open since 1960, is probably the most famous attraction in town for new visitors. Take advantage of our tailor made tour, with an introduction by our local escort, hassle free transport and priority entrance.

Approximate value: €44 EUR per person

Can Buy Me Love - Amsterdam by Night
Can Buy Me Love - Amsterdam by Night

Can Buy Me Love - Amsterdam by Night

Experience Europe's most famous Red Light District at its best during the evening. Amsterdam has always cherished the ideas of tolerance and worldliness. The city takes on an entirely new and fascinating character at night: many of its bridges, along with numerous historic buildings and monuments are almost extravagantly illuminated. A night-time boat tour of the city is highly recommendable. Take an expertly guided private cruise and walking tour through the famous Red Light District, learn about the customs and traditions of this provocative and alluring aspect of life in Amsterdam. Enjoy the city's night life and collect memories and stories to take home (Excursion not suitable for children).

Approximate value: €53 EUR per person

Cycling through the Dutch Countryside like a Local
Cycling through the Dutch Countryside like a Local

Cycling through the Dutch Countryside like a Local

The Netherlands is known for being the perfect country to go for a bike ride. After a short bike ride from your ship, a ferry takes you out of the hectic city. Then continue your biking tour into the beautiful and green nature reserve called "Waterland". Your local guide will take you through centuries old picturesque villages with typical wooden houses, past countless brooks and waterways, across old wooden bridges, along the Ijsselmeer, through green pastures. Designated bicycle paths connect the entire region. On a nice spring or summer day, the green fields are full of flowers, sheep and cows are in the meadows. Comfortable bicycles, helmets and refreshment in a typical Dutch Inn are provided and of course all these experiences under guidance of a local guide. A different way to experience Holland.

Approximate value: €59 EUR per person

Celebration

Anniversary Celebration Cake
Anniversary Celebration Cake

Anniversary Celebration Cake

Want to celebrate your anniversary during your cruise? Avalon can help. Our crew can surprise your loved one with a special anniversary cake presented during dinner. Make this a cruise like no other.

Approximate value: €60 EUR per group

Anniversary Celebration Package - Basic
Anniversary Celebration Package - Basic

Anniversary Celebration Package - Basic

Want to celebrate your anniversary during your cruise? Avalon can help. Our crew can surprise your loved one with a special anniversary package that includes the following in your stateroom on your anniversary day: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, small floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and anniversary card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 4 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for you, your spouse and 4 other guests of your choice, and an anniversary cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you.

Approximate value: €161.50 EUR per group

Anniversary Celebration Package - Deluxe
Anniversary Celebration Package - Deluxe

Anniversary Celebration Package - Deluxe

Want to celebrate your anniversary during your cruise? Avalon can help. Our crew can surprise your loved one with a special anniversary package that includes the following in your stateroom on your anniversary day: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, a floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and anniversary card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 4 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later on, enjoy a 30 minute cocktail party with wine, beer and soft drinks on the Sky Deck/Club Lounge or in the lounge to celebrate the special day. Our crew will be on hand to take pictures with your camera, which later will be downloaded onto a special memory stick for you to keep. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for you, your spouse and 4 other guests of your choice, and an anniversary cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Sparkling wine will top off the evening. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you.

Approximate value: €362.50 EUR per group

Birthday Celebration Package - Basic
Birthday Celebration Package - Basic

Birthday Celebration Package - Basic

Let Avalon help you celebrate a birthday on your cruise. Our special birthday package includes the following presented in your stateroom on your birthday: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, small floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and birthday card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 5 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for 6 (you and 5 other guests of your choice), and a birthday cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner.

Approximate value: €142 EUR per group

Birthday Celebration Package - Deluxe
Birthday Celebration Package - Deluxe

Birthday Celebration Package - Deluxe

Let Avalon help you celebrate a birthday on your cruise. Our special birthday package includes the following presented in your stateroom on your birthday: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, a floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and birthday card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 5 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later on, enjoy a 30 minute cocktail party with wine, beer and soft drinks on the Sky Deck/Club Lounge or in the lounge to celebrate the special day. Our crew will be on hand to take pictures with your camera, which later will be downloaded onto a special memory stick for you to keep. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for 6 (you and 5 other guests of your choice), and a birthday cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Sparkling wine will top off the evening.

Approximate value: €344 EUR per group

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Cake
Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Cake

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Cake

Avalon wants to help you celebrate your wedding vow renewals. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you. Our crew will prepare a special cake and present it to you during dinner. Make this a cruise that you will never forget.

Approximate value: €60 EUR per group

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Basic
Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Basic

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Basic

Avalon wants to help you celebrate your wedding vow renewals. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you. Our crew will prepare a special anniversary package that includes the following in your stateroom on your wedding day: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, small floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and wedding card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 4 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for you, your spouse and 4 other guests of your choice, and a wedding cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Make this a cruise you will never forget.

Approximate value: €207 EUR per group

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Deluxe
Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Deluxe

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Package - Deluxe

Avalon wants to help you celebrate your wedding vow renewals. Let your spouse know how much they still mean to you. Our crew will prepare a special anniversary package that includes the following in your stateroom on your wedding day: decoration of stateroom, bottle of sparkling wine, a floral bouquet, chocolates, fruit plate and wedding card. Personalized invitations will also be delivered to the staterooms of 4 other guests with whom you wish to celebrate. Later on, enjoy a 30 minute cocktail party with house wine, beer and soft drinks on the Sky Deck/Club Lounge or in the lounge to celebrate the special day. Our crew will be on hand to take pictures with your camera, which later will be downloaded onto a special memory stick for you to keep. Later that evening in the ship dining room you will find a specially decorated table reserved for you, your spouse and 4 other guests of your choice, and an wedding cake presented by the ship's crew during dinner. Make this a cruise you will never forget.

Approximate value: €362.50 EUR per group

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