The Danube from the Black Sea to Budapest with 2 Nights in Transylvania & 1 Night in Budapest 2021

14 Day River Cruise Bucharest to Budapest

2021 Information. Switch to 2020 »

Begin your exciting vacation with a visit to Peles Castle in Sinaia, considered one of the most beautiful in Europe. Continue with an excursion to Transylvania to enjoy guided sightseeing of Brasov and a visit to the Bran Castle of Dracula lore, believed to be the home of Romanian vampires. In Bucharest, Romania, known for its wide, tree-lined boulevards and historical treasures, enjoy guided sightseeing and see the Arc de Triomphe—built in honor of WWI soldiers—and the historical Royal Palace Square. Your Danube River cruise will take you through the serene view of the Danube Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There’s guided sightseeing in Constanta and Bulgaria’s ancient capital of Veliko Tarnovo. Visit the Ethnographical Museum and Church of the Nativity in Arbanassi, and take pictures of Belogradchik’s rock formations and the spectacular scenery of the Iron Gates.

Visit Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, and one of the oldest cities in Europe. Continue your cultural discoveries on an excursion to Pécs, Hungary, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are countless memorable moments on this fascinating river cruise through Eastern Europe, culminating in the unique energy of Budapest. A local expert introduces you to the must-see sights, such as Heroes’ Square.


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Cruise at-a-Glance

Day 1 Bucharest:Welcome to BucharestDay 2 Bucharest–Sinaia–Brasov:Visit Peles Castle Day 3 Brasov:Guided tour of Brasov; guided visit of Dracula’s Bran Castle Day 4 Brasov–Bucharest–Cernavoda (Embarkation):Guided sightseeing in Bucharest; transfer to ship; onboard welcome receptionDay 5 St. Gheorghe:Excursion to Danube Delta; km 0 celebration Day 6 Hârșova. Excursion to Constanta:Guided sightseeing, visit the National History and Archaeological Museum in ConstantaDay 7 Rousse. Excursion to Veliko Târnovo & Arbanassi:Choice of full-day excursion, visit to Tsarevet’s Fortress in Veliko Târnovo and to the Ethnographic Museum and the Church of the Nativity in Arbanassi, or a guided sightseeing of Rousse, or a walk in the park with your Adventure HostDay 8 Vidin–Belogradchik:Guided sightseeing to Vidin’s fortress, see the rock formations in BelogradchikDay 9 Iron Gates–Donji Milanovac–Golubač:Cruise through the Iron Gates Gorge; visit Lepenski Vir archaeological site; visit to Golubač fortressDay 10 Belgrade:Guided sightseeingDay 11 Novi Sad–Ilok:Guided toursDay 12 Mohács. Excursion to Pécs:Guided tour and organ concert in PécsDay 13 Budapest (Disembarkation):Guided tour, see Heroes’ SquareDay 14 Budapest: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.

View 4 Your Way Cruise Options »

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

BUCHAREST, ROMANIA

Welcome to Bucharest—the “Paris of the East”

The day is yours to relax and enjoy Bucharest. 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 2

(B, D)

BUCHAREST–SINAIA–BRASOV

Drive into the Carpathians to Sinaia to visit Peles Castle. This afternoon continue to Brasov for the night.

Day 3

(B, D)

BRASOV–BUCHAREST

Join a morning Guided Sightseeing Tour of Brasov followed by free time. In the evening enjoy a tour of Bran Castle of Dracula lore followed by dinner.

Day 4

(B, D)

BRASOV–BUCHAREST–CERNAVODA (EMBARKATION)

Join a Guided Excursion in Bucharest, see the Royal Palace Square—the scene of the city 's 1989 riots to overthrow the communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.

Join your Avalon Suite Ship® this afternoon, for embarkation in Cernavoda.

Discovery
After dinner, attend an onboard Lecture to learn about the Danube Delta.
EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO ST. GHEORGHE

Day 5

(B, L, D)

ST. GHEORGHE. EXCURSION TO THE DANUBE DELTA

A Mighty River’s Entrance into the Sea

Visit the Adventure Center for today’s activities with your Adventure Host.

Classic
Join a small-boat Guided Tour of the best preserved of Europe’s deltas-2,200 square miles of rivers, canals, marshes, tree-fringed lakes and reed islands.
Discovery
Enjoy a Special Celebration to mark Kilometer “0”—the end of the Danube River’s 2,845 km journey—from the source in the Black Forest to its delta into the Black Sea.
AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO HÂRȘOVA

Day 6

(B, L, D)

HÂRȘOVA. EXCURSION TO CONSTANTA

Romanian Commerce and Cultural Legacies on the Black Sea

Classic
Join a Guided Tour to Constanta, the most important commercial center in Romania, situated on the Black Sea. Visit the Natural History and Archeological Museum to discover the history of early Romanian cultures.
AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO ROUSSE

Day 7

(B, L, D)

ROUSSE, BULGARIA. VELIKO TÂRNOVO & ARBANASSI EXCURSION

Fortresses and Fountains in Bulgaria’s “Little Vienna”

Classic
Join a Guided Sightseeing Tour of Bulgaria’s largest inland port and visit its impressive Holy Trinity Church, OR:
Active
Join a walk through the park with your Avalon Adventure Host.

Sail to Svistov, OR:

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.

Later, join your ship in Svistov.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO VIDIN

Day 8

(B, L, D)

VIDIN

Rocks and Ruins—Things of Beauty in Bulgaria

Ask about today’s energizing or relaxing Adventure Host activities.

Classic
Join Guided Sightseeing in Vidin, followed by a Guided Tour of Belogradchik. Marvel at the remarkable rock formations on the western slopes of the Balkan Mountains, sculpted by 200 million years of natural elements.

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

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO DONJI MILANOVAC

Day 9

(B, L, D)

DONJI MILANOVAC, SERBIA–IRON GATES GORGE. EXCURSION TO LEPENSKI VIR

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

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

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.

Enjoy a brief sailing to Golubač.

GOLUBAČ
Classic
Visit the Fortress of Golubač, one of the best preserved medieval fortresses in Europe. You’ll hear about its tumultuous history as a border control defense in the Middle Ages, and a source of conflict between Serbia, the Habsburg Monarchy and the Ottoman Empire.
OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BELGRADE

Day 10

(B, L, D)

BELGRADE

Fortresses and Folklore of Serbia Past and Present

Join your Adventure Host for today’s special activities.

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.

You may choose to join an Optional Guided Biking tour or spend free time in Belgrade exploring Knez Mihailova Street—Belgrade’s central pedestrian thoroughfare with many lively cafés, shops, and cultural spots.

OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO NOVI SAD

Day 11

(B, L, D)

NOVI SAD

History and Culture of Croatia

Classic
Join a Guided Tour of Novi Sad, the second largest town in Serbia. Admire its Austro-Hungarian old town, with its baroque buildings, and ancient fortifications.

Enjoy a brief cruise to Ilok while having lunch onboard.

ILOK, CROATIA
Classic
Join a Guided Tour of Ilok, with its 1,000-year-old winemaking tradition still thriving and its medieval fortress protected for its Croatian cultural heritage.
EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MOHÁCS

Day 12

(B, L, D)

MOHÁCS, HUNGARY. EXCURSION TO PÉCS

Underground Tombs and Soaring Music

Classic
Take a Guided Tour to nearby Pécs to see its 4th-century Christian underground tombs, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with fascinating murals. You’ll also enjoy an organ concert on your tour.
AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BUDAPEST

Day 13

(B)

BUDAPEST (DISEMBARKATION)

The Pearl of the Danube in the Heart of Europe

Classic
Enjoy a Guided Sightseeing tour of Budapest, 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.

Day 14

(B)

BUDAPEST

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

Notes

  • In the event of technical or water level issues, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or alter the program, including hotel overnight when necessary.
  • Guided Tours, Optional Excursions, activities, sailing and docking schedules may be contingent on weather conditions or other issues outside of our control and could therefore be subject to change at any time.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.


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The Danube from the Black Sea to Budapest

Start Sooner, Stay Longer

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

Ship Details

Passion
Illumination

Passion

Yet another beautiful Suite Ship graces the rivers of Europe in 2016. The Avalon Passion welcomes passengers to their home-away-from-home with two full decks of Panorama Suites, featuring Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows that transform into a unique Open-Air Balcony. With 200 square feet, Panorama Suites are more than 30% larger than industry standard and ideal for stretching out and relaxing-or even throwing a private cocktail party for up to six adults in the spacious sitting area. On board, passengers enjoy free Wi-Fi access, complimentary computer use in public areas, a Fitness Center with state-of-the-art equipment, an elevator, and an expansive Sky Deck with shade system, premium lounge chairs, whirlpool, deck games, and the delightful Sky Bistro for al fresco lunches of light grill fare.

Included Amenities


Staterooms & Suites

Avalon Deluxe Stateroom (Cat. D, E) - 172 sq. ft.
Features
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Alarm clock
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • USB Ports
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Luxurious mattress toppers
  • European-style duvets
  • Extra blankets
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Hairdryer
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • In-room safe
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Two windows
  • Writing desk and chair
Panorama Suite (Cat. A, B, P) - 200 sq. ft.
Features
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Alarm clock
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • In-room safe
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Marble countertops in bathroom
  • USB Ports
  • 6-person sitting area
  • Writing desk and chair
  • Sofa
  • Luxurious mattress toppers
  • European-style duvets
  • Extra blankets
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Hairdryer
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Make-up mirror
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window with Open-Air BalconySM
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Coffee table
Royal Suite - 300 sq. ft.
Features
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Alarm clock
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • In-room safe
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Marble countertops in bathroom
  • USB Ports
  • 6-person sitting area
  • Writing desk and chair
  • Sofa
  • Double sinks
  • Luxurious mattress toppers
  • European-style duvets
  • Extra blankets
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Hairdryer
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Make-up mirror
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window with Open-Air BalconySM
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Coffee table
DECK PLANS

Illumination

Part of Avalon's cutting-edge fleet of Suite Ships®, the Avalon Illumination came onto the river cruising scene with a bang. This gorgeous ship features two full decks of Panorama SuitesSM with Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows that transform the living space into a unique Open-Air BalconySM. With 200 square feet, Panorama SuitesSM are more than 30% larger than the industry standard, affording you the incomparable opportunity to wake each morning facing the splendid passing scenery. Onboard amenities include an alternative light dining option in the Panorama Bistro, a Fitness Center, complimentary Wi-Fi access, and a spacious Sky Deck with premium lounge chairs, whirlpool, and light al fresco lunches at the Sky Bistro on the Sky Deck.

Included Amenities


Staterooms & Suites

Avalon Deluxe Stateroom (Cat. D, E) - 172 sq. ft.
Features
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Alarm clock
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • USB Ports
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Luxurious mattress toppers
  • European-style duvets
  • Extra blankets
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Hairdryer
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • In-room safe
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Two windows
  • Writing desk and chair
Panorama Suite (Cat. A, B, P) - 200 sq. ft.
Features
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Alarm clock
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • In-room safe
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Marble countertops in bathroom
  • USB Ports
  • 6-person sitting area
  • Writing desk and chair
  • Sofa
  • Luxurious mattress toppers
  • European-style duvets
  • Extra blankets
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Hairdryer
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Make-up mirror
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window with Open-Air BalconySM
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Coffee table
Royal Suite - 300 sq. ft.
Features
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • L'Occitane bath products
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Alarm clock
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Well-stocked minibar
  • In-room safe
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Marble countertops in bathroom
  • USB Ports
  • 6-person sitting area
  • Writing desk and chair
  • Sofa
  • Double sinks
  • Luxurious mattress toppers
  • European-style duvets
  • Extra blankets
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Hairdryer
  • Spacious 3-door closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with English-speaking channels & over 100 free movie options
  • Make-up mirror
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
  • Large mirror in bathroom
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window with Open-Air BalconySM
  • Full shower with glass door
  • Vanity and lighted makeup mirror
  • Coffee table
DECK PLANS

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.