Balkan Discovery

10 Day River Cruise Budapest to Bucharest

Vacation Overview

See the highlights of Eastern Europe on this Balkan river cruise adventure along the Danube River! Enjoy relaxing time on your ship and stops in the most fascinating cities, with free time and guided sightseeing—so you don’t miss a thing!

You’ll begin with two overnights in the lively Hungarian capital of Budapest. This city has a unique energy and offers an eclectic mix of activities. See the iconic statues of Heroes’ Square, and with free time, explore the lovely lookout towers of Fishermen’s Bastion. On an excursion to Pécs, Hungary, you’ll visit underground burial chambers with fascinating murals, now part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, is one of the oldest cities in Europe, where the Sava River meets the Danube. Cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates Gorge and visit the cultural port of Cetate. Visit Bulgaria’s Belogradchik, where you’ll see the fascinating rock formations sculpted by natural elements for over 200 million years. On an excursion to the ancient Bulgarian capital of Veliko Târnovo, you’ll visit Arbanassi’s Church of the Nativity, housing an impressive collection of frescoes.

To round out this timeless Eastern European river cruise, a stay in Romania’s vibrant capital of Bucharest is a must. Known as the “Paris of the East,” a local expert will show you many of its historical treasures, such as the Arc de Triomphe, built in honor of WWI soldiers.

Itinerary

 

Day 1BUDAPEST, HUNGARY

Welcome to Budapest–Hungary’s Captivating Capital

The day is yours to relax and enjoy Eastern Europe’s shining city on the Danube.

Day 2BUDAPEST

The Pearl of the Danube in the Heart of Europe

CLASSIC Enjoy a Guided City Sightseeing, including the iconic Heroes’ Square.

Take in the beauty of Budapest while enjoying a free afternoon exploring such famous sights as the Chain Bridge. Get to know the city’s cafés and pubs, or take a hike through the hills above the Danube.

You may choose to enjoy Hungarian cuisine in an Optional Wine–and–Dine Dinner this evening.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 3BUDAPEST (EMBARKATION)

Capture Photographs, Coffee, and Confections

With a free day to explore before your cruise, take time to shop in the Great Market Hall or take photographs on the Royal Palace grounds in this treasure trove of historical architecture. Try Budapest’s famous thermal bath spas, then lunch in a garden or rooftop eatery.

This afternoon, board your Suite Ship®. This evening enjoy a dinner on board.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MOHÁCS


Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

Day 4MOHÁCS

Archaeology, Architecture, and an Ancient Watermill

CLASSIC Join a morning Guided Sightseeing Tour of Mohács–the quiet Danube harbor town with its historical memorial parks, statues, and distinctive churches. Tour the remarkable medieval St. Nicholas Watermill–one of only a few remaining watermills performing stone–ground grain processing, OR:

CLASSIC Take a Guided Tour of nearby Pécs to see its 4th–century Christian underground tombs with fascinating murals, as well as Turkish architecture. You’ll also enjoy an organ concert on your tour.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BELGRADE

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch
DinnerDinner

Day 5BELGRADE, SERBIA

Fortresses and Folklore of Serbia Past and Present

DISCOVERY Attend an onboard Lecture to learn about the rich history, destinations, and culture of the Balkan states.

CLASSIC Join a Guided Sightseeing Tour of Belgrade–where the Danube and Sava Rivers converge–and see the city’s many fascinating sights, including Saint Sava–one of the world’s largest Orthodox churches.

Spend your free time exploring the city on your own this afternoon on Knez Mihailova Street–Belgrade’s central pedestrian thoroughfare with many lively cafés, shops, and cultural spots.

Later, enjoy live entertainment on board your ship before dinner.

This evening, you might like to join an Optional typical Bohemian Dinner in the Quarter of Skadarlija.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO DONJI MILANOVAC


Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch
DinnerDinner

Day 6DONJI MILANOVAC. EXCURSION TO LEPENSKI VIR– IRON GATES GORGE

Ancient Art, Archaeological Artifacts, and Gauntlet of the Iron Gates

CLASSIC Join a Guided Tour to Lepenski Vir–an important Mesolithic archaeological site chronicling prehistoric cultures, settlements, and art. Marvel at the ancient discoveries and artifacts, as well as the unique views the site affords of the Danube Gorge.

After lunch on board, you’ll sail through the spectacular and narrow Iron Gates Gorge–a natural border between Serbia and Romania.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO CETATE

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch
DinnerDinner

Day 7CETATE, ROMANIA

A Bygone Era and New Mountains to Climb

ACTIVE Join your Avalon Adventure Host for a Jog along the river bank.

CLASSIC Visit the Danube’s old grain–shipping port on a Guided Tour of Cetate, including a tasting of local specialties.

Sail to Vidin this afternoon.

VIDIN, BULGARIA

Rocks and Ruins–Things of Beauty in Bulgaria

CLASSIC Join a Guided Tour to Belogradchik to see the remarkable rock formations on the western slopes of the Balkan Mountains, sculpted by 200 million years of natural elements.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO NIKOPOL

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch
DinnerDinner

Day 8NIKOPOL. EXCURSION TO VELIKO TÂRNOVO & ARBANASSI

Cliffside Dwellings and Castle Ruins of Bulgarian Kings

CLASSIC Join a full-day Guided Tour to the former Bulgarian capital of Veliko Târnovo–with its ancient stone houses clinging to the cliffs above the Yantra River. Discover one of the oldest towns in Bulgaria (circa 4300 BC), as well as the Bulgarian Revival architecture in the 15th–century town of Arbanassi.

As an alternative, sail with your ship to Rousse.

ROUSSE

Fortresses and Fountains in Bulgaria’s “Little Vienna”

You may choose to stay with your ship today on its way to Rousse–dubbed “Little Vienna” for its baroque and neoclassical buildings.

CLASSIC Join a Guided Sightseeing Tour of Bulgaria’s largest inland port and visit its impressive Holy Trinity Church, OR:

ACTIVE Join an afternoon Jog through the park with your Avalon Adventure Host.

Later, enjoy live entertainment on board with a Bulgarian folklore show.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO OLTENITA

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch
DinnerDinner

Day 9OLTENITA, ROMANIA (DISEMBARKATION)–BUCHAREST

A Night in Bucharest–the “Paris of the East”

CLASSIC Take a Guided Tour of the Romanian capital city of Bucharest with its tree–lined boulevards and Arc de Triomphe–honoring WWI Romanian soldiers. See the Royal Palace Square–the scene of the city’s 1989 riots to overthrow the communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.

Spend some free time exploring this fascinating city on your own to discover its trendy shops, cafés, museums, beautiful homes, and churches along Victory Avenue.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 10BUCHAREST

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

Breakfast Breakfast

Vacation Highlights

Day 1 Budapest: welcome to Hungary

Day 2 Budapest: guided tour, see Heroes’ Square

Day 3 Budapest (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception

Day 4 Mohács. Excursion to Pécs: choice of guided tour in Pécs, visit the underground tombs; or sightseeing in Mohács, visit St. Nicolas watermill

Day 5 Belgrade: lecture on board; guided tour

Day 6 Donji Milanovac–Iron Gates: visit Lepenski Vir archaeological site; cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates gorge

Day 7 Cetate–Vidin. Excursion to—Belogradchik: visit the cultural port in Cetate; excursion to Belogradchik, see the rock formations

Day 8 Excursion to Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi–Rousse: choice of full day 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 Oltenita (Disembarkation)–Bucharest: guided sightseeing in Bucharest

Day 10 Bucharest: your vacation ends this morning

  • 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.

Hotels

Budapest

Hotel Sofitel Chain Bridge

Hotel as shown or smiliar
Deluxe

This elegant upscale property is located on the left bank of the river Danube, right in the heart of Budapest with Free Wi-Fi internet access throughout the property. The show kitchen restaurant serves refined French-Hungarian cuisine and the vibrant bar offers the chance to sip cocktails overlooking the illuminated Chain Bridge. Leisure facilities include an indoor pool, well-being & fitness center.

Bucharest

Athenee Palace Hilton

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.


Budapest
Packages
Belgrade
Bucharest

Budapest

Budapest

Hungarian Dinner

Hungarian Dinner

Explore the piquant flavors of traditional Hungarian cuisine and learn the best wines to pair with it during this fun and delicious food and wine-pairing dinner!

Price Range: $$

Discover Budapest's Art & Architecture

Discover Budapest's Art & Architecture

Travel back to the Golden Age of Budapest's Belle Époque on this captivating guided excursion featuring Andrássy Avenue, glass-painter Miksa Róth's Memorial House, and the crown jewel of Budapest: the incomparable Hungarian State Opera House!

Price Range: $$

Bites & Highlights of Budapest

Bites & Highlights of Budapest

Experience some of Budapest's most famous sights and most delectable foods on this unique guided foodie tour at the city's famed Central Market Hall!

Price Range: $$

Discover the Hungarian Puszta

Discover the Hungarian Puszta

Travel into the heart of the Puszta to an authentic horse ranch, where a breathtaking equestrian show, carriage ride, and hearty Hungarian lunch with Gypsy music await!

Price Range: $$

Packages

Packages

Celebration Packages

Celebration Packages

Celebrating a birthday or anniversary while you're cruising? Add an Avalon Celebration Package to your vacation. You can make your special day even more memorable with special touches ranging from flowers to a private cocktail reception.

Price Range: $$$$

Belgrade

Belgrade

Royal Compound Visit

Royal Compound Visit

Visit Serbia's impressive Royal Compound on this guided excursion that tours the white marble Royal Palace; stately White Palace; private chapel dedicated to St. Andrew, patron saint of the former Yugoslavia's royal family; and parts of the extensive Royal Park.

Price Range: $$

Nikola Tesla Museum Visit

Nikola Tesla Museum Visit

Get a peek into the brilliant mind of one of the greatest scientists and inventors of all time, Nikola Tesla, on this fascinating guided visit to Belgrade's Nikola Tesla Museum.

Price Range: $

Bohemian Dinner in Skadarlija

Bohemian Dinner in Skadarlija

Enjoy a feast of hearty local dishes and live music during this dinner excursion in Belgrade's historic, Bohemian Skadarlija district.

Price Range: $$

Bucharest

Bucharest

Romanian Parliament

Romanian Parliament

Visit Bucharest's colossal Palace of the Parliament, the second-largest and most expensive administrative building and heaviest building in the world, on this mesmerizing guided excursion.

Price Range: $$

Ceausescu's Spring Palace Visit

Ceausescu's Spring Palace Visit

From solid gold toilet paper holders to an indoor pool and cinema, get a rare peek into the home and private life of a former Communist dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu, on this enthralling guided tour of his Palatul Primaverii (Spring Palace).

Price Range: $$

Foodie Walk in Bucharest

Foodie Walk in Bucharest

Discover the joie de vivre of Romanian cuisine -- a tasty hodge-podge of Balkan, Ottoman, French, and Russian influences -- on this special 3-hour foodie walking tour.

Price Range: $$

Dates and Prices

Find the vacation dates that work for you, click "Reserve Now" for a vacation quote. You'll be able to select the number of people traveling, add Travel Protection, and also get an air-inclusive vacation price. You'll find we offer competitive and hassle-free air-inclusive vacations where you receive free airport transfers and flights coordinated with vacation dates.

The price listed does not include your airfare, taxes or fees. Once you click "Reserve Now", you will be able to receive an air quote and a final cruise quote.



Vacation
Start
Date


Vacation
End
Date


Departure
Number


Calendar


Ship
Photos displayed represent the first ship in
the list. Visit the Ship Details tab to view
other ship photos (when applicable).
04/16/19 04/25/19 90416 Passion $3,770
$3,520
$4,584
$4,334
Sold Out Reserve Now
05/28/19 06/06/19 90528 Passion $3,870
$3,720
$4,813
$4,663
Sold Out Reserve Now
06/25/19 07/04/19 90625 Passion $3,870
$3,620
$4,684
$4,434
Sold Out Reserve Now
07/23/19 08/01/19 90723 Illumination $3,699
$3,449
Sold Out Sold Out Reserve Now
08/20/19 08/29/19 90820 Passion Sold Out $4,727
$4,227
$5,584
$5,084
Reserve Now
09/03/19 09/12/19 90903 Illumination $3,899
$3,399
$4,884
$4,384
Sold Out Reserve Now
09/17/19 09/26/19 90917 Passion $3,899
$3,649
$4,927
$4,677
Sold Out Reserve Now
10/15/19 10/24/19 91015 Passion $3,670
$3,420
$4,613
$4,363
Sold Out Reserve Now
Prices shown are "starting at" prices and do not include airfare.
Port charges:
$156

Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included.

Avalon offers the opportunity for solo travelers to sail with no single supplement (subject to availability).

Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.

Extra nights per person in Budapest:
in single room from $263 to $361, in twin room from $148 to $197

Extra nights per person in Bucharest:
in single room from $153 to $240, in twin room from $82 to $139

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.

All prices per person based on double occupancy. Cruise price based on Category E in a deluxe outside stateroom on Indigo Deck. See below for upgrade pricing.

To upgrade to a higher category, add per person:

Category / Decks / Price
D / Indigo Deck / $171
B / Sapphire Deck / $985
A / Sapphire Deck / $1028
P / Royal Deck / $1113
Royal Suite / Royal Deck / $1885



Travel Terms & Conditions
The purchase of any travel services offered by Avalon Waterways, constitutes a contractual arrangement between you (the Traveler) and Avalon Waterways, and represents your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions. Please ensure that you read carefully and understand the Terms & Conditions prior to booking. These Terms & Conditions cover Deposit & Final Payment information, Air-Inclusive Deposits & Final Payment, Revisions & Revision Fees, Air Arrangements, Participation, Travelers Who Need Special Assistance, Young Travelers, Smoking, Price Policy, Visas and Passports, Hotels & Accommodations, Baggage Allowance, Travel Documents, Not Included in the Land Price, Refunds, Service Inquires After the Vacation, Holidays, Safety, Photos & Pictures, Optional Excursions, and Responsibility.
View full Terms & Conditions

Important Notes

  • Vacation departures, itineraries and prices are subject to change.
  • A non-refundable, non-transferable deposit is required for Avalon Waterways to reserve space for you. View Terms & Conditions for limited exceptions.
  • The following charges are not included in the land/cruise vacation price unless otherwise noted: airfare to and from the start of your vacation; intra-vacation air, unless specified in the itinerary; airline baggage fees including checked and/or excess baggage fees; Federal inspection fees for the Federal U.S. Customs and Immigrations; International Air Transportation tax; agricultural tax; other per person taxes imposed by government entities; airport taxes and fees, including the September 11th Security fee up to $11.20 per person, passenger facility charges up to $18 per person, Federal domestic flight segment fees up to $4.10 per segment, and U.S. and international arrival and departure and other government-imposed added by the airline and applicable at time of booking; port taxes; passports; visas and vaccinations; tips to your Cruise Director, Local Host, driver, Local Guides, and/or ship's crew; gratuities on ferries, trains, and cruise ships; laundry; telephone; minibar; alcohol, beverages, and food outside of the contracted Avalon menu as presented at a hotel or restaurant or onboard your vessel (these extra items will be billed to you before leaving the hotel, ship, or restaurant); airport transfers on non-qualifying flights; optional excursions; additional activities and excursions purchased online; porterage at airports and train stations; Travel Protection; and all other items of a personal nature.
  • Additional airline-imposed fees for seat assignments may apply and are not included in your total package cost. Please refer to carrier websites for seat assignment policies and applicable pricing.

Booking your Vacation with Air
Our volume buying power saves you money. We may be able to provide you with flight arrangements from your gateway city. Avalon Waterways offers 2 air options: Flex Air and Instant Purchase Air. Early Airfare Price Guarantee locks in a price that is guaranteed not to increase. Air pricing and schedules are available approximately 330 days prior to last travel date in the itinerary. At that time the best air price will be utilized and a new invoice with the air cost and confirmed schedule will be sent. The identity of the carrier, which may include the carrier’s codeshare partner, will be assigned and disclosed at this time. If the guaranteed price is the lowest, the schedule with the lowest fare per contracted classes of service will be booked. Any voluntary change to the confirmed flights negates the guaranteed price and is subject to air pricing at the time of the change.

Guaranteed air-inclusive prices - air is only available to passengers traveling from the United States and only available when booked in conjunction with a land vacation. An additional non-refundable air deposit of $300 per person is required for Flex Air booked in conjunction with any land vacation (i.e. air-inclusive vacation). Air can only be booked by Avalon in conjunction with a vacation package. Instant Purchase Air requires air payment in full at time of booking (i.e. air-inclusive vacation) plus a non-refundable per person service fee of $30 (North/Central America), $50 (Europe/Middle East) or $80 (all other international destinations). Once booked, Instant Purchase Air is non-refundable, and non-changeable. Some vacations may only offer one Air type option. However, once your airfare is confirmed and Avalon has received your full air and land deposit, your air-inclusive vacation price is guaranteed.

Air-Inclusive Vacations — Applicable Taxes & Fees
Air-inclusive vacations include government-imposed taxes and fees applicable at the time of booking and will be shown as a Total Amount. Additional airline fees for baggage may apply. At the time of booking your air-inclusive vacation online, carrier Websites will be provided to check baggage fees, or you can visit www.iflybags.com for up-to-date baggage pricing/restrictions. For return travel from some countries, international travelers are required to pay entry and/or exit fees at the airport. These fees will be collected by the local government and are payable by the traveler at time of travel. Your confirmation booking information will contain information about these fees.