Iconic Rivers of Europe – The Rhine, Main & Danube with 2 Nights Transylvania – Eastbound 2019

24 Day River Cruise Amsterdam to Bucharest

2019 Information. Switch to 2020 »

From Holland to Romania, with a host of exciting stops along the way, this river cruise vacation across Europe is truly an adventure!

Amsterdam, Holland’s lively capital, is set amongst sophisticated architecture and classic squares and canals with countless museums, cafés, shops, and restaurants to explore. See the treasures of this 700-year-old city on a canal cruise along the elegant grachten. In Germany, enjoy a guided city walk in 2,000-year-old Cologne. There’s guided sightseeing in Würzburg, Bamberg, Nuremberg, and Regensburg, and you’ll sail the Main Danube Canal connecting the Main and Danube Rivers. Melk, Austria, offers the magnificent Benedictine Abbey, and then sail through the picturesque Wachau wine region to Dürnstein, famous for its blue and white baroque Stiftskirche. Guided sightseeing introduces you to three capitals: Vienna, Austria; Bratislava, Slovakia; and Budapest, Hungary. Continue your river cruise adventure on the Lower Danube with an excursion to 2nd-century Pécs, Hungary, where you’ll visit underground burial chambers now part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stop in Serbia’s Belgrade and cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates Gorge. In Bulgaria, visit Belogradchik’s eclectic rock formations, the ancient capital of Veliko Tarnovo, and Arbanassi—with its Church of the Nativity housing an outstanding collection of frescoes.

Leave your ship in Oltenita, and head for Romania’s vibrant capital of Bucharest, also known as the “Paris of the East.” A guided tour will show you many of its historical treasures. To round out this fabulous vacation, drive into Transylvania to visit Bran Castle, of Dracula Fame and spend a night in Brasov. Before returning to Bucharest, visit Peles Castle, considered to be one of the most breathtaking castles in Europe.


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Cruise at-a-Glance

Day 1 Amsterdam (Embarkation):Onboard welcome receptionDay 2 Amsterdam:Canal cruiseDay 3 Cologne:Choice of Cologne highlights walking tour, or Jewish Heritage walking tourDay 4 Rhine Gorge–Rüdesheim:Scenic cruising through the Rhine Gorge; choice of visit to Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum, or cable car ride to the Niederwald Monument in Rüdesheim; enjoy a special treatDay 5 Main River Village:Guided walkDay 6 Würzburg:Guided sightseeing, visit the Bishop’s ResidenzDay 7 Marktbreit. Excursion to Rothenburg:Guided sightseeing in Rothenburg guided tour, Day 8 Bamburg:See the Old Town HallDay 9 Roth. Excursion to Nuremberg:Choice of guided tour in Roth; or guided tour in Nuremberg, or Nuremberg Rally Grounds tourDay 10 Regensburg:Guided walking tour; special treatDay 11 Passau–Linz:Guided walking tour in PassauDay 12 Melk–Wachau Valley-Vienna:Guided tour of the Benedectine Abbey in Melk; scenic cruise through the Wachau ValleyDay 13 Vienna:Guided tourDay 14 Budapest:Guided tour, see Heroes’ SquareDay 15 Budapest:Day at leisureDay 16 Mohács. Excursion to Pécs:Choice of guided tour in Pécs, visit the underground tombs; or sightseeing in Mohács, visit St. Nicolas watermillDay 17 Belgrade:Lecture on board; guided tourDay 18 Donji Milanovac–Iron Gates:Visit Lepenski Vir archaeological site; cruise through the dramaticIron Gates gorgeDay 19 Cetate–Vidin. Excursion to Belogradchik:Visit to the cultural port in Cetate; excursion to Belogradchik, see the rock formationsDay 20 Excursion to Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi–Rousse:Choice of full day guided tour, visit to Tsarevet’s Fortress in Veliko Tarnovo, and the Ethnographic Museum and the Church of the Nativity in Arbanassi; or guided tour in RousseDay 21 Oltenita (Disembarkation)–Bucharest:Guided sightseeing in BucharestDay 22 Bucharest. Excursion to Transylvania–Brasov:Guided tour of Dracula’s Bran Castle Day 23 Brasov–Bucharest:Guided tour in Brasov, visit Peles CastleDay 24 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

(D)

AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND (EMBARKATION)

Welcome to Amsterdam. Your Suite Ship® is Ready for Boarding.

Flights into Amsterdam must arrive by 3:30 pm.

Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.

Spend free time exploring the colorful streets, bridges, and canals of Amsterdam—with its many cafés and art galleries.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN AMSTERDAM

Day 2

(B, L, D)

AMSTERDAM

Colorful Amsterdam—with Canals, Crooked Houses, and Cuisine of a Golden Age

Classic
Explore the iconic waterways of Amsterdam with a Guided Canal Cruise past stately homes of Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.”

Return to your ship for a leisurely afternoon cruise, or enjoy free time in Amsterdam and transfer to re-join your ship in Utrecht.

You may join a Guided Optional Culinary Walk through Amsterdam, or a Guided Optional Biking Excursion through the Dutch countryside. You might decide to join a Guided Optional Excursion to Muiderslot Castle—the best-kept medieval castle in Holland.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO COLOGNE

Day 3

(B, L, D)

COLOGNE, GERMANY

Prost! Celebrate in the Rhineland’s Capital City

Start the day with a Morning Stretch with your Avalon Adventure Host.

Classic
Take a Guided City Walk of the old city of Cologne with its soaring twin-steepled gothic cathedral, OR:
Discovery
Join a Guided Walking Tour of Cologne’s important Jewish heritage sites.

Don’t miss the chance to enjoy free time over a glass of Kölsch pale lager—locally brewed for over 100 years!

This evening, enjoy live entertainment on board your ship.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO RÜDESHEIM

Day 4

(B, L, D)

RHINE GORGE—RÜDESHEIM

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry in Wine Country

This morning cruise through the dramatic Rhine Gorge and see the famous rock of the Lorelei.

Discovery
Tour the incredible Mechanical Music Museum for a one-of-a-kind instrumental experience, OR:
Active
Take an open-air cable car ride to the Niederwald Monument. Ride or walk back down through the vineyards.
Discovery
Based on your departure, enjoy either a Coffee Tasting or a Wine Tasting.

Later, local musicians will join us on board for live entertainment.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MAIN RIVER VILLAGE

Day 5

(B, L, D)

MAIN RIVER VILLAGE

Hidden Gems and Bavarian Beauty of a Main River Village

Start the day with a Morning Stretch with your Avalon Adventure Host.

Classic
Join a Guided Walking Tour of a picturesque Bavarian village.

Spend free time riding a bike through the beautiful villages on the Main River shores.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO WÜRZBURG

Day 6

(B, L, D)

WÜRZBURG

A Pearl, a Painting, and a Glass of Wine for the Perfect Afternoon

Classic
Take a Guided Sightseeing Tour of the “Pearl of the Romantic Road” with its Old Main Bridge, towering fortress, and baroque Bishop’s Residenz—with the largest known ceiling fresco.

Explore the city on your own, or visit a local winery. Later, enjoy onboard entertainment.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN WÜRZBURG

Day 7

(B, L, D)

MARKTBREIT. ROTHENBURG EXCURSION

Storybook Romance in a Timeless Town

Classic
Take a morning Guided Tour of Rothenburg—seemingly untouched by time on Bavaria’s Romantic Road, OR:
Active
Join your Avalon Adventure Host for a Morning Walk.

Take advantage of free time this afternoon to shop for Hummel figurines, cuckoo clocks, or sip a glass of local Tauber wine.

AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BAMBERG

Day 8

(B, L, D)

BAMBERG

One Thousand Years of History in the City of Seven Hills

Classic
Take a Guided Walking Tour of the former home to imperial dynasties, and see its Romanesque cathedral, Old Town Hall, and seven hills crowned with churches.

Enjoy a live entertainment performance while sailing this evening.

AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO ROTH

Day 9

(B, L, D)

ROTH. Excursion to NUREMBERG

Living Heritage and History Lessons

Active
Go for an early Morning Jog with your Avalon Adventure Host.
Classic
Enjoy a Guided Sightseeing Tour of the Bavarian town of Roth—with its half-timbered houses, market square, and 1535 hunting lodge Schloss Ratibor, OR:
Classic
Choose a Guided Tour of Nuremberg’s medieval architecture, gilded fountain, and gothic cathedral, and Kaiserburg Castle, OR:
Classic
Join a Guided Tour of the historic Nuremberg Rally Grounds—used by the Third Reich.
Discovery
Later, enjoy an Onboard Lecture about the Main-Danube Canal—linking these two rivers to make a vital connection enabling navigation between the North and Black Seas.
AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO REGENSBURG

Day 10

(B, L, D)

REGENSBURG

Magical Regensburg—Bavaria’s Medieval Miracle

Classic
Join a Guided City Walk and see Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) and Porta Pretoria—built in 179 AD as the entrance to Castra Regina fortress.

You may choose to join a Guided Optional Excursion to visit the Benedictine Monastery in Weltenburg.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO PASSAU

Day 11

(B, L, D)

PASSAU

Go for Baroque in Passau–Where the Danube, Inn, and Ilz Rivers Meet

Classic
Join a Guided City Walk to learn more about this beautiful “City of Three Rivers.”

You may join a full-day Guided Optional Excursion to Salzburg, the city of Mozart, or a full-day Guided Optional Excursion to the picturesque Bohemian town of Český Krumlov.

This afternoon, cruise to the lovely town of Linz.

LINZ, AUSTRIA

A Legendary Love of Art, Music, and the Linzer Torte

This evening, feel free to explore Linz on your own before cruising to Melk.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MELK

Day 12

(B, L, D)

MELK—WACHAU VALLEY

Striking Frescoes and Breathtaking Views of the Wachau Valley

Classic
Take a Guided Tour of the frescoed ceilings, statues, incredible library, and ornate pipe organ of Melk’s Benedictine Abbey.

Enjoy a coffee or cocktail on the Sky Deck as you sail through the picturesque Wachau Valley to wonderful Vienna this afternoon.

VIENNA

Vienna Waltzes and Blue Danube Beauty

Consider joining a Guided Optional Excursion to attend a Royal Waltz Concert in an elegant hall this evening.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN VIENNA

Day 13

(B, L, D)

VIENNA

Royal Collections, Amusing Attractions, and Culinary Confections

Classic
Venture into the Habsburg Empire with a morning Guided City Tour of Vienna’s gilded landmarks. See the Imperial Palace complex—the winter residence of the Imperial Family, the historic Vienna Opera House and stunning St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

Join a Guided Optional Excursion to Schönbrunn Palace—the Habsburg empire summer home for 300 years; or a Guided Optional Excursion to fascinating Bratislava, capital of Slovakia.

You may also take a tram to Austria’s Prater amusement park or to one of the many museums nearby. Later, relax on board with live entertainment as you sail to Budapest.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BUDAPEST

Day 14

(B, L, D)

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY

The Pearl of the Danube in the Heart of Europe

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

The afternoon is free to enjoy Budapest on your own. Be sure to savor a piece of cream cake in the world-famous Gerbeaud Café.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN BUDAPEST

Day 15

(B, L, D)

BUDAPEST

Time to Capture Photographs, Coffee, and Confections.

Take free time to shop in the Great Market Hall, take photos on the Royal Palace grounds, or visit Budapest’s famous thermal bath spas.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MOHÁCS

Day 16

(B, L, D)

MOHÁCS

Archaeology, Architecture, and an Ancient Watermill

Classic
Join a morning Guided Sightseeing Tour of Mohács—the quiet Danube harbor town. Tour the remarkable medieval St. Nicholas Watermill. 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 17

(B, L, D)

BELGRADE, SERBIA

Fortresses and Folklore of Serbia Past and Present

Discovery
Attend an onboard Lecture to learn about the rich history and culture of the Balkan states.
Classic
Join a Guided Sightseeing Tour of Belgrade—where the Danube and Sava Rivers converge.

Explore the city on your own this afternoon and discover Knez Mihailova Street—Belgrade’s central pedestrian thoroughfare with lively cafés, shops, and cultural spots. Later, enjoy live entertainment on board your ship.

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

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO DONJI MILANOVAC

Day 18

(B, L, D)

DONJI MILANOVAC. LEPENSKI VIR EXCURSION–IRON GATES GORGE

Ancient Artifacts and the Gauntlet of the Iron Gates

Classic
Join a Guided Tour to Lepenski Vir—the Mesolithic archaeological site of prehistoric cultures.

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

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO CETATE

Day 19

(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 before sailing for Vidin, Bulgaria 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 20

(B, L, D)

NIKOPOL. VELIKO TÂRNOVO & ARBANASSI EXCURSION

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 to 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 Bugarian folklore show.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO OLTENITA

Day 21

(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 22

(B, L, D)

BUCHAREST. EXCURSION TO TRANSYLVANIA–BRASOV

Depart Bucharest for Bran Castle of Dracula lore. Take a Guided Tour of the 1377 legendary home of the famed Romanian vampire. Continue to Brasov for the night.

Day 23

(B, L)

BRASOV-BUCHAREST

Join a morning Guided Sightseeing Tour of Brasov, followed by an afternoon drive into the Carpathians to Sinaia to visit Peles Castle.

Day 24

(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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Iconic Rivers of Europe – The Rhine, Main & Danube – Eastbound

Start Sooner, Stay Longer

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

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 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.