Balkan Discovery 2019

10 Day River Cruise Budapest to Bucharest

2019 Information.

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.


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Cruise at-a-Glance

Day 1 Budapest: Welcome to HungaryDay 2 Budapest: Guided tour, see Heroes’ SquareDay 3 Budapest (Embarkation):Onboard welcome receptionDay 4 Mohács. Excursion to Pécs:Choice of guided tour in Pécs, visit the underground tombs; or sightseeing in Mohács, visit St. Nicolas watermillDay 5 Belgrade:Lecture on board; guided tourDay 6 Donji Milanovac–Iron Gates:visit Lepenski Vir archaeological site; cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates gorgeDay 7 Cetate–Vidin. Excursion to—Belogradchik:Visit the cultural port in Cetate; excursion to Belogradchik, see the rock formationsDay 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 RousseDay 9 Oltenita (Disembarkation)–Bucharest: Guided sightseeing in BucharestDay 10 Bucharest: Your vacation ends this morning

Cruise YourWay

Avalon makes it easy to experience vacation your way with seamless extension options before and after your cruise. Your Way offers added nights in a selection of locales. From Budapest to Barcelona, you can spend a little or a lot more time getting to know more on shore with Your Way custom itineraries.

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Always Included

You've always forged your own path...with your own distinct perspective of looking at the world. Avalon Waterways presents a river cruise experience with your unique style in mind—offering expansive views and wider perspectives. That's why we've designed a cruise experience that's just a bit different.

Here are just some of the features and amenities you'll experience on board our Avalon ships. See the Ship Amenities Section below for more information about the amenities in our fleet’s unique ships.

Throughout the Ship
Suites & Staterooms
Health & Fitness
Dining

Throughout the Ship:

  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Panoramic windows
  • Elegant, contemporary design & decor
  • Friendly, English-speaking crew & Cruise Director
  • Sky Deck with whirlpool, shade awnings, game area and premium lounges
  • Covered Observation Lounge
  • Club Lounge with 24-hour self-serve beverage station with complimentary cappuccinos, lattes, tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees, as well as treats throughout the day

Suites & Staterooms:

  • Comfort Collection BedsSM with choice of mattress firmness
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Premium L'Occitane bath products
  • Large bathroom featuring shower with glass door
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with free movie channels
  • Individual climate control and in-room safe
  • USB Ports
  • Complimentary bottled water daily
  • And, much more.

Health & Fitness:

  • Bikes
  • Canoe, kayak and jogging excursions
  • Maps for hiking, biking and jogging routes
  • Fitness and wellness activities
  • Fitbits®
  • All through your Avalon Adventure HostSM

Dining

  • FlexDining® for more venue and seating options, including flexible seating times in our Panorama Dining Room
  • Avalon Fresh® healthy cuisine options at every meal
  • Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; wine, beer, or soft drinks with every lunch and dinner
  • Early and Late Riser breakfast options
  • Daily full buffet breakfast with made-to-order egg station, hot and cold menu items
  • Daily lunch buffet with pasta or carving stations
  • Alternative light lunch at Sky Grill on the Sky Deck (weather permitting)
  • Daily Afternoon Tea featuring tea, coffee, sweet treats & sandwiches
  • Daily four-course a la carte dinner in the Panorama Dining Room with choice of appetizers, soups, salads, entrees and desserts. Includes selections of regional recipes, Western dishes and vegetarian options.
  • Enjoy a tasting menu with a view in the Panorama Bistro - a less formal "sit-down" atmosphere while lingering over several satisfying selections
  • Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions and dinners with sparkling wine and canapés
  • Panorama Lounge featuring premium spirits and Avalon specialty cocktails, along with local entertainment special guests
  • Cocktails available on the Sky Deck
  • Fresh fruit available throughout the day

Avalon has designed included activities with a choice of experiences. We invite you to select the tours, activities, and events that interest you most, so you can experience your cruise your way. There are 3 types of included shore excursion on every Europe cruise:

Classic
Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.
Discovery
We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.
Active
Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.
  • Plus independent exploration options and use of our exclusive AvalonGO APP.

Day-By-Day Itinerary

(B) = Breakfast   (L) = Lunch   (D) = Dinner

Day 1

BUDAPEST, 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 2

(B)

BUDAPEST

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.

Day 3

(B, D)

BUDAPEST (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

Day 4

(B, L, D)

MOHÁCS

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

Day 5

(B, L, D)

BELGRADE, 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

Day 6

(B, L, D)

DONJI 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

Day 7

(B, L, D)

CETATE, 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

Day 8

(B, L, D)

NIKOPOL. 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

Day 9

(B)

OLTENITA, 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.

Day 10

(B)

BUCHAREST

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

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.


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Balkan Discovery

Start Sooner, Stay Longer

Start your vacation earlier or stay longer with destination options before or after your Avalon cruise.

Ship Details

Hotels

 Optional Excursions

No matter what you’re into: food, wine, history, art, music or anything else, we give you the freedom to personalize your vacation with optional excursions that speak to your interests.

When you book your excursions with us, you can be assured that every optional excursion that we offer coordinates with the free time that you'll have in your destination, so you'll never have conflicts between included and optional activities. Our team of travel experts carefully selects each optional excursion that we offer to ensure that you receive the highest quality at a great value. Our tried-and-true partners have a finger on the pulse of the city in which they operate so they deliver the very best experiences. We offer experiences you cannot create on your own and because you’re booking with us, we coordinate all your transportation and timing needs.

The following optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These may or may not be offered, and availability is subject to days of operation and seasonality. Please select a departure date to view optional excursions and pricing for a specific date (due to currency fluctuation, pricing shown is subject to change until purchased). Optional excursions are available for purchase on our MyAvalon site 90 days prior to the tour start date.

Price Ranges

$ ($50 USD and under)
$$ ($51 - $100 USD)
$$$ ($101 - $150 USD)
$$$$ (Over $150)

No Excursions are available at this time.