From the Black Sea to the North Sea - Cruise Only Westbound 2018

23 Day River Cruise from Bucharest to Amsterdam

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This enchanting Danube river cruise from the Danube Delta to Amsterdam is truly an adventure. Glide past quaint towns, beautiful scenery, and historic buildings along the Danube, Main, and Rhine Rivers—and onshore enjoy guided sightseeing and free time to explore.

From Romania’s capital of Bucharest, travel to Fetesti and set sail for the mouth of the Danube River and the exquisite Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There’s guided sightseeing in Constanta and Bulgaria’s ancient capital of Veliko Tarnovo. Visit the Ethnographical Museum, Church of the Nativity in Arbanassi, and take pictures of Belogradchik’s eclectic group of rock formations and the spectacular scenery of the Iron Gates. A local expert will introduce you to Serbia’s capital of Belgrade, home of the world’s largest Orthodox Church. In Pecs, Hungary, visit the Underground Tombs, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. On this fabulous river cruise, you’ll visit the capitals of three countries: Budapest, Hungary; Bratislava, Slovakia; and Vienna, Austria. Located in the heart of the Wachau wine region is charming Dürnstein, where you’ll go on a guided walk, and later visit Melk’s famous Benedictine Abbey. This evening, savor some of the famous Wachau wines. In Germany, there is guided sightseeing in Passau, Regensburg, Nuremberg, Bamberg, and Würzburg. Cruise the Main Danube Canal, a true feat of engineering, and pass through the dramatic Rhine Gorge—the most beautiful stretch of the Rhine River where ancient castles stand on cliffs 400 feet above the water.

This river cruise vacation concludes in Holland’s popular, modern capital of Amsterdam where you get a unique perspective of the city on a canal cruise along the elegant grachten lined with homes dating back to the city’s “Golden Age.”


Dates & Prices Get A Quote Book Online

Highlights & Sightseeing

Day 1 Bucharest–Fetesti (Embarkation): guided sightseeing in Bucharest; onboard welcome reception

Day 2 St. Gheorghe: excursion to Danube Delta; Km 0 celebration; onboard lecture

Day 3 Cernavodă: excursion to Constanta, guided sightseeing, visit the National History & Archaeological Museum

Day 4 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 5 Vidin–Belogradchik: guided sightseeing to Vidin’s fortress; excursion to Belogradchik to see the rock formations

Day 6 Iron Gates: cruise through the Iron Gates gorge; visit Lepenski Vir archaeological exhibition

Day 7 Belgrade: guided sightseeing

Day 8 Mohács Excursion to Pécs: guided sightseeing; organ concert

Day 9 Budapest: day at leisure

Day 10 Budapest: guided sightseeing, see Fishermen’s Bastion and Heroes’ Square

Day 11 Bratislava: guided sightseeing, visit St. Martin’s Cathedral

Day 12 Vienna: guided sightseeing

Day 13 Dürnstein-Melk: guided walk , see the Stiftskirche in Dürnstein; cruise through the Wachau Valley; guided visit of the Benedictine Abbey in Melk; wine tasting

Day 14 Passau: guided walk

Day 15 Regensburg: guided walk; enjoy a snack at the Historische Wurstküche; beer tasting

Day 16 Roth–Nuremberg: choice of guided sightseeing in Nuremberg or Nuremberg Rally Grounds tour or guided sightseeing of Roth

Day 17 Bamberg: guided walk, see the Old Town Hall

Day 18 Würzburg: guided sightseeing, visit the Bishop’s Residenz

Day 19 Main River Village: guided walk

Day 20 Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge: visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum; special treat; cruise through the Rhine Gorge

Day 21 Cologne: choice of guided walk or Jewish Heritage walk

Day 22 Amsterdam: canal cruise

Day 23 Amsterdam (Disembarkation): your vacation ends this morning

Meals

  • Welcome & farewell cocktails with sparkling wine and canapés
  • Welcome dinner
  • Farewell dinner
  • Daily full buffet breakfast with made-to-order egg station, hot and cold menu items
  • Early and Late Riser breakfast
  • Daily lunch buffet with pasta or carving stations
  • Alternative light lunch or (weather permitting) grill fare at the Sky Bistro on the Sky Deck
  • Daily four-course à la carte dinner in the main dining room
  • Alternative dinner of petite portions or regional specialties with wines, in the Panorama Bistro
  • Daily Afternoon Tea
  • Daily Night Fare
  • Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; wine, beer, or soft drinks with lunch and dinner are included daily on board your vessel

Day-By-Day Itinerary

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

Day 1

(D)

Arrive in Bucharest, Romania–Fetesti (Embarkation)

Welcome to Romania! After lunch a motorcoach ride takes you to Fetesti, where your river cruise vessel is docked. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception.

Day 2

(B, L, D)

St. 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 affords the chance to relax and to learn more about the fascinating Delta at an ONBOARD LECTURE.

Day 3

(B, L, D)

Cernavoda. Excursion to Constanta

From Cernavoda this morning, an 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 NATIONAL HISTORY & ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM is included. This afternoon, relax on board as you cruise westward towards Rousse.

Day 4

(B, L, D)

Rousse, 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.

Day 5

(B, L, D)

Vidin. Excursion to Belogradchik

Today, enjoy a leisurely morning of cruising before arriving in Vidin, an important Danube port in northwestern Bulgaria. Its medieval FORTRESS, Baba Vidin, is the town’s primary landmark. It served as Vidin’s main defensive installation during the Middle Ages and is the only entirely preserved medieval fortress in the country. It is now a fortress museum and has been restored to its former appearance. In nearby Belogradchik, view the eclectic group of ROCK FORMATIONS on the western slopes of the Balkan Mountains. Sculpted by natural elements for more than 200 million years and with a variety of sizes and shapes, the Belogradchik Rocks are spectacular.

Day 6

(B, L, D)

Iron 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. After lunch 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.

Day 7

(B, L, D)

Belgrade

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. In your free time, be sure to check out the city’s lively pedestrian area and charming outdoor cafés.

Day 8

(B, L, D)

Mohács, Hungary. Excursion to Pécs

Relax on board this morning before arriving in Mohács, the first stop in Hungary. After lunch, an included excursion takes you to Pécs. Established by the Romans in the 2nd century, this was a flourishing and important town for Christianity by the 4th century. These early Christians left behind many underground burial chambers with memorial chapels above ground. With a Local Guide, visit the UNDERGROUND TOMBS—now part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site—many of which have splendidly decorated murals with Christian themes. Later, enjoy an ORGAN CONCERT. Pécs is also a rich showcase of Turkish architecture and home to Turkish mosques, striking churches, and an enjoyable atmosphere around its restaurants and cafés.

Day 9

(B, L, D)

Budapest

Enjoy a free day today to explore on your own. Your Cruise Director will have suggestions for things to do.

Day 10

(B, L, D)

Budapest

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 your GUIDED TOUR of the city, see Heroes’ Square as well as the massive hilltop castle complex with its remarkable Fishermen’s Bastion and 11th-century Matthias Church. 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. In your free time this afternoon you may want to walk across Chain Bridge, built in 1849 and a symbol of Budapest; visit St. Stephen’s Basilica with marvelous views of the city from its viewing platform; or stroll along Váci utca, the main shopping street.

Day 11

(B, L, D)

Bratislava, Slovakia

Today, arrive in Bratislava, situated at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains and the dynamic capital of Slovakia. Join a 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. Later, enjoy free time to explore on your own. Tonight, depart for Vienna.

Day 12

(B, L, D)

Vienna, Austria

Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Austria’s magical capital on the blue Danube is a showcase of gilded architecture. This is home to the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex with its Vienna Boys’ Choir and dazzling Lipizzaner stallions; the neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House; and awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Cathedral—plus, countless other sights you’ll see on your included GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR. Stroll through 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! An optional concert is available tonight.

Day 13

(B, L, D)

Dürnstein–Melk

Dürnstein, situated in the heart of the Wachau wine region, is known for the magnificent baroque, blue Stiftskirche built in the 1700s. The main street of this small town—with a population of less than 1,000 people—is lined with 16th-century residences and charming cobblestone streets. A 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, cruise through the beautiful Wachau Valley to reach Melk after lunch and visit the magnificent 11th-century BENEDICTINE ABBEY. Melk’s abbey towers over the town and is one of Europe’s largest. It houses an ornate library with over 80,000 printed books and 2,000 manuscripts. Words cannot describe the splendor of its church with its frescoed ceilings, stunning high altar, marble statues, and 210-foot-high cupola. This evening, you’ll be able to sample some of the FAMOUS WINES of this region.

Day 14

(B, L, D)

Passau, Germany

Today, choose from full-day optional excursions: to Salzburg, taking in some of The Sound of Music sights, or to Český Krumlov in the Czech Republic, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rejoin your ship in Passau in the early evening. Alternatively, you may choose to stay on the ship and relax as you cruise to Passau, uniquely located where the Inn, Ilz, and Danube Rivers converge. Passau is a maze of narrow cobblestone streets lined with beautiful patrician houses and dominated by St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian baroque architecture. Take in the highlights on the included GUIDED WALK.

Day 15

(B, L, D)

Regensburg

Dating back to the time of the Celts around 500 BC, Regensburg is one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities. Architectural highlights of your GUIDED WALK 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. Walk across the 12th-century Steinerne Brücke (Stone Bridge), the oldest of its kind in Germany. Grab a beer and enjoy an included SNACK at the Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany’s oldest restaurants. Bask in the vibrant atmosphere and take in the remarkable views along the river. Before dinner, we’ll introduce you to some of Germany’s FAMOUS BEER.

Day 16

(B, L, D)

Roth–Nuremberg

This morning, relax on board, before docking in Roth. After lunch join a GUIDED SIGHTSEEING of the city. This delightful Bavarian town, with its half-timbered houses and market square, is also an industrial center for textile manufacturing. Take pictures of Schloss Ratibor, an ancient hunting lodge built in 1535, with a most picturesque inner courtyard. Or you may prefer to choose a GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR of nearby 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. 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.

Day 17

(B, L, D)

Bamberg

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! This afternoon, cruise gently along the Main River as you head for Würzburg.

Day 18

(B, L, D)

Würzburg

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 Mainbrücke (Old Main Bridge). On your included 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.

Day 19

(B, L, D)

Main River Village

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. With 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.

Day 20

(B, L, D)

Rüdesheim–Rhine Gorge

Today, arrive in Rüdesheim, a 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. Enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT, then head downstream from Rüdesheim, through the dramatic RHINE GORGE, the most beautiful stretch of river. Here, 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.

Day 21

(B, L, D)

Cologne

Arrive in Cologne this morning. 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 an included GUIDED CITY WALK or JEWISH HERITAGE WALK. Later, during free time, perhaps look in on the Romano-Germanic Museum, home to a large collection of artifacts from the Roman settlement on which modern Cologne is built—a must for history buffs! 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!

Day 22

(B, L, D)

Amsterdam, Holland

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, and lively marketplace has a distinct ambiance. With over 60 museums, Amsterdam has the highest museum density in the world. Get a unique perspective of the city on an included CANAL CRUISE, floating along the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” There’s free time this afternoon to enjoy the city or perhaps join an optional excursion.

Day 23

(B)

Amsterdam (Disembarkation)

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

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 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)


Belgrade
Budapest
Packages
Vienna
Passau
Regensburg
Wurzburg
Amsterdam

Belgrade

Discover Serbia's Countryside

Discover Serbia's Countryside

Travel into northern Serbia¿s Vojvodina area in the scenic Carpathian Basin on this captivating guided tour that includes the Museum of Beekeeping, Honey & Wine; wine tasting at a local wine cellar; the pretty baroque town of Sremski Karlovci; and a traditional lunch at a local restaurant.

Price Range: $$

Budapest

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: $$

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: $$

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: $$

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: $$

Vienna

Classical Concert

Classical Concert

Enjoy a spellbinding evening of classical works by Mozart and Johann Strauss, performed brilliantly by professional Salon Orchestra Alt-Wien musicians in one of Europe's prettiest venues.

Price Range: $$

Schönbrunn Palace, Crown Jewel of Vienna

Schönbrunn Palace, Crown Jewel of Vienna

Visit magnificent Schönbrunn Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and former summer residence of the Habsburg imperial family.

Price Range: $$

Passau

Sound of Music Salzburg

Sound of Music Salzburg

From Mozart to ¿The Sound of Music¿, this delightful excursion provides an in-depth look at both the city of Salzburg and its majestic surroundings.

Price Range: $$

Southern Bohemia

Southern Bohemia

You'll feel like you've stepped right into the Middle Ages on this full-day excursion to Ceský Krumlov, the 'Pearl of the Bohemian Forest'.

Price Range: $$

Regensburg

Weltenburg Abbey Visit

Weltenburg Abbey Visit

Visit Bavaria's oldest monastery, 7th-century Weltenburg Abbey with its stunning setting in the Danube Gorge, splendid interior, and the oldest monastic brewery in the world!

Price Range: $$

Wurzburg

Discover Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Discover Rothenburg ob der Tauber

The Jewel of the Middle Ages awaits your discovery on this half-day guided excursion to fairytale Rothenburg ob der Tauber on Germany's famed Romantic Road.

Price Range: $$

Amsterdam

Biking in Amsterdam

Biking in Amsterdam

Pedal your way past polders, dykes, and quaint, centuries-old villages on this exhilarating guided bike tour through the beautiful Dutch countryside.

Price Range: $$

Discover Zaanse Schans & the Symbols of Holland

Discover Zaanse Schans & the Symbols of Holland

Tour a working windmill, watch wooden clogs being made, and visit a cheese farm on this exciting half-day guided excursion to Zaanse Schans!

Price Range: $

Amsterdam Red Light District Walking Tour

Amsterdam Red Light District Walking Tour

Learn all about the "world's oldest profession" on this revealing evening tour of the city's infamous Red Light District.

Price Range: $$

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