Balkan Discovery 2020

10 Day River Cruise Budapest to Bucharest

2020 Information. Switch to 2019 »

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 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

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.

Ship Details

Hotels

No hotels exist for WBO in 2020

 Optional Excursions

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)


Budapest
Packages
Belgrade
Bucharest

Budapest

Tastes of Hungary Dinner & Wine Pairing

Tastes of Hungary Dinner & Wine Pairing

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: $$

Belle Époque Art & Architecture of Budapest

Belle Époque Art & Architecture of Budapest

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: $$

Lunch & Wine Tasting in the Hungarian Countryside

Lunch & Wine Tasting in the Hungarian Countryside

Travel into the beautiful Hungarian countryside for an enriching half-day discovery of the Etyek wine region, including two wine cellar visits with wine tasting.

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

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

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

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: $$

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: $$

Bites & Highlights: Bucharest Foodie Walking Tour

Bites & Highlights: Bucharest Foodie Walking Tour

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: $$

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