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Highlights of Eastern Europe (River Cruise)

10 Days from $4,799 per person

Style: Boutique River Cruises | Pace: Leisurely

Follow a path forged by crusaders, kings and conquerors through Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria. Immerse yourself in new cultures and make new friends as you travel from splendid Budapest to dynamic Bucharest, discovering the best that the revitalized nations of Eastern Europe have to offer along the way. Perfect for explorers wishing to discover ancient lands and modern multicultural cities, photographers, amateur archaeologists, connoisseurs of regional cuisines, and anyone who loves beautiful and mysterious locales.

Print Itinerary

Overview

Follow a path forged by crusaders, kings and conquerors through Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria. Immerse yourself in new cultures and make new friends as you travel from splendid Budapest to dynamic Bucharest, discovering the best that the revitalized nations of Eastern Europe have to offer along the way. Perfect for explorers wishing to discover ancient lands and modern multicultural cities, photographers, amateur archaeologists, connoisseurs of regional cuisines, and anyone who loves beautiful and mysterious locales.

  1. Arrive at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport. If your cruise/tour package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.

    meal(s):Dinner
  2. Located on opposite sides of the Danube, Buda and Pest each has a distinctive character and allure all its own. Explore this dynamic and multi-faceted city with your choice of excursions—you can see it from a local’s perspective on our exclusive walking tour, cover more ground with a panoramic tour or “Let's Go” with a guided bike ride. Vibrant Budapest, Hungary’s capital, offers an enchanting combination of East and West, old and new. Even its geography is made up of two parts—Buda (the hills) and Pest (the flatlands)—divided by the Danube. Which part will you choose to explore today? You have three options to choose from.

    Featured Excursions:
    Choice of Budapest city tour or Exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Budapest walking tour or Exclusive guided “Let's Go” Budapest by bicycle

    Budapest city tour
    This panoramic tour is a wonderful way to get an overview of the city if you have never been here before. It will carry you from Heroes’ Square, created in 1896 to honor the thousand-year anniversary of Hungary’s founding and its greatest historical figures, past some of the city’s most striking architectural sights—Dohány Street Synagogue, the Hungarian National Museum, the state opera house, St. Stephen’s Basilica and the truly stunning Parliament Building—to Castle Hill, which has been called the heart of the nation. The city of Buda began here, when King Béla built a strong keep in 1243 as a defense against Mongol invaders; a castle replaced the simple fortress, and over the centuries other castles replaced that one. The current castle is primarily 18th century; a museum dedicated to Budapest’s archaeological finds is housed there, and the Castle Hill district has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll go inside the magnificent 700-year-old Matthias Church, named for one of Hungary’s greatest kings, and then wend your way on foot to the picturesque Fisherman’s Bastion, whose seven fairytale-like towers represent the seven tribes that originally settled the region. It offers a glorious view of the city and the Danube below. Note: Visits to the interior of Matthias Church may not be possible on some weekends and Catholic holidays.

    Exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Budapest walking tour
    Get ready for a fun immersion in the daily life of Budapest—your local expert will show you how to use the metro (one of the oldest in Europe) to easily reach all the city has to offer. Start with a visit to one of the city’s irresistible market halls. Stalls spill over with produce, sausages and meats, festoons of dried paprika, cheeses, and jars of honey, all of it authentically Hungarian. After you leave the market, stop for coffee and a sweet treat at Szamos Gourmet Palace, a combination pastry shop, café and chocolate maker in Vörösmarty Square. Marzipan is a favorite confection in Budapest, and Szamos has specialized in making it since the 1930s, so you might want to try some—but the shop’s truffle selection is equally irresistible. Refreshed, you’ll be ready to hop back on the tram for a visit to the gracious green spaces of Károlyi Garden, sometimes described as Budapest’s most charming small park. You’ll ramble along the boulevards and pass the Hungarian National Museum, truly getting the feel for this dynamic city, as you head back toward the ship. Note: Budapest’s market halls are closed on holidays. If your tour lands on a holiday, we will skip the market.

    Exclusive guided “Let's Go” Budapest by bicycle
    Only the Netherlands and Denmark have a higher proportion of people who use bicycles for their daily transportation than Hungary, and you can spot the bright-green bikes that are part of the city’s bike-sharing program anywhere. Join a local expert to experience the Budapest bicyclists love: Wheel along the Danube past such sights as the moving tribute to the Jews shot by the Nazis on the banks of the river, the Hungarian Parliament building, St. Stephen’s Basilica and Andrassy Avenue, and swoop over the bridge to Margaret Island. It’s a fun and active way to get out and see the city the way locals see it.

    In the evening, a special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch & Captain's Welcome Reception & Gala Dinner
  3. Welcome to Croatia! This ancient country, which has made a remarkable recovery from a brutal civil war, is noted for its beautiful countryside and thriving folk traditions, as well as delicious simple, local rustic food. You’ll dock in Vukovar, Croatia’s biggest port, at the confluence of the Danube and Vuka rivers.

    Featured Excursions:
    Choice of Full-day tour of Vukovar with Vucedol Museum visit and lunch at Goldschmidt winery or Full-day tour of Osijek with exclusive home-hosted lunch

    Full-day tour of Vukovar with Vucedol Museum visit and lunch at Goldschmidt winery
    The bullet-riddled water tower stands as a reminder of the bitter Croatian War of Independence, fought between 1991 and 1995, when Croatia sought to break away from Yugoslavia. Thousands died during the siege of Vukovar, which was heavily damaged. As you take a short walk through the town now, you will see lasting signs of the conflict, but you will also see a revitalized community, determined to rebuild. From Vukovar you’ll head to Osijek, where you’ll visit Tvrda, a military and civil complex begun in 1687 by the Habsburgs after they took the region back from the Ottomans. You’ll also learn something of Osijek’s long history—which dates back to Roman times—and stop by the Church of the Holy Cross, built by the Franciscans after the Ottomans left.

    Enjoy an Ajvar demonstration in the courtyard of the monastery, a local specialty made from bell peppers, eggplant and tomatoes. You’ll also learn how to prepare vegetables in authentic Croatian style. From there, the group will split up and head off to different nearby villages for a home-hosted lunch.

    Later, you’ll visit the Vucedol Museum. The basic idea behind the concept of this unique museum was integration into the terrain—the entire structure is designed to be mostly buried in the ground and only the façade is open to the landscape. Its shape, as serpentine, follows terrain, and on whose green roof you can reach the archaeological sites over the museum. Along the path, you’ll encounter the various Vučedol culture archaeological findings that have been discovered to date, which showcase the daily life and customs during a turbulent time of the immigration of the first Indo-Europeans and their relationship with the natives, the blending of material cultures and religions. Following your time at the museum, enjoy lunch at the Goldschmidt winery.

    Full-day tour of Osijek with exclusive home-hosted lunch
    Venture into a lesser-known part of Croatia today. Set off from the port of Vukovar with your local expert, who will tell you about Vukovar’s calamitous experience during the Croatian War of Independence (1991-1995), when much of the city was shelled, and head to Osijek, the capital of Slavonia. Osijek is an attractive town on the banks of the Drava River that combines a long history—settlement predates the Romans, who built a fortress there that was conquered by Attila the Hun— with an easygoing charm and a readiness to embrace the future. You’ll stroll through Tvrda, the baroque military and civil complex begun in 1687 by the Habsburgs after they seized the town from the Ottoman Turks, and see some of the historic highlights via a panoramic tour.

    You’ll follow up your tour with a stop in a village just outside the city for a traditional Croatian lunch hosted by local villagers. Translators will be on hand to help you and your hosts converse, so you can actually learn a bit about one another’s lives and interests.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  4. Belgrade, the modern-day capital of Serbia, is one of Europe’s oldest cities, dating back some 7,000 years. Signs of its tumultuous history are visible everywhere, juxtaposed with the city’s vibrant modern-day present. See it all with a choice of excursions, either a city tour that visits the palace or a guided bike ride. You have two very different ways to see Belgrade today—the choice is yours!

    Featured Excursions:
    Choice of Belgrade city tour with visit to the Royal Grounds of Karadjordjevic Dynasty Palace or Exclusive guided “Let's Go” “I Bike Belgrade” tour

    Belgrade city tour with visit to the Royal Grounds of Karadjordjevic Dynasty Palace
    As a motorcoach carries you through the city, you’ll see a mix of architectural styles that reveal the city’s past, ranging from Gothic, Ottoman, baroque and art nouveau to utilitarian Communist apartment blocks and modern high-rises. While Belgrade has been no stranger to political upheaval, the 19th-century Residence of Princess Ljubica and serene old residential streets speak of calmer days, as do the bustling present-day café-lined boulevards. You’ll pass the tomb and memorial museum of Josip Broz Tito, which is located at the site of Tito’s former residence in Belgrade’s affluent Dedinje neighborhood, and visit Kalemegdan Fortress, high on a hill above the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers.

    Ancient Romans built the first fortress here, and successive conquerors and defenders—Slavs, Byzantines, Ottomans, Habsburgs—continued to build and destroy fortifications on this site for another 1,500 years. Walk along the old stone walls, passing monuments and memorials (some will surprise you—poets and composers are honored here as well as military actions), for a sense of Serbia’s distant and more recent history. It’s not the only intriguing historical sight you’ll see today, however. You will also visit the Karadjordjevic Dynasty Palace and sip a glass of sparkling Serbian wine as you tour a compound of palaces built in the 1920s and 1930s. Serbia’s royal family, which is related to most of Europe’s royalty, has a strictly honorary position in modern-day democratic Serbia, but Crown Prince Alexander (who did not feel that taking the title of king was appropriate when his father died in exile in the United States in 1972) and his family still live in these palaces. A local expert will show you the public rooms of the Royal Palace, the White Palace, the adjacent chapel and the spacious grounds.

    Exclusive guided “Let's Go” “I Bike Belgrade” tour
    Mount a bike and spend a leisurely half-day getting an up-close look at Belgrade, complete with lively commentary from your guide, who will tell you not just about the tumultuous recent past but also what it’s like to live here. Ride past Branko’s Bridge, Staro Sajmište (a former concentration camp), the Palace of Serbia and Hotel Jugoslavija; after a refreshing stop at a traditional fisherman’s bar, you’ll be ready to pedal to Kalemegdan Fortress and see a bit of Serbia’s more distant past.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  5. Today’s main attraction will be the spectacular scenery along the Danube, as you cruise a stretch of gorges known as the Iron Gates. Later, head ashore to explore a Paleolithic site and an extraordinary well-preserved medieval fortress. All along the way, history lines the banks of the river. Keep an eye out for Trajan’s Plaque, which the ancient Romans erected to commemorate the road they anchored in the steep cliffs above the water, and Golubac Castle, built in the 14th century and attacked successively by the Serbs, Magyars and Turks. The Turks won the castle in 1458, which helped to reinforce their control of the area until 1867, when they abandoned it.

    Featured Excursion:
    Lepenski Vir archaeological park and Golubac Castle

    Lepenski Vir archaeological park and Golubac Castle
    Lepenski Vir is one of the largest and most significant prehistoric archeological sites from the Stone Age, located on the Danube. It was once the epicenter of one of the most highly developed prehistoric cultures, with complex social relations and even rudimentary urban planning. The discovery of this prehistoric settlement has changed the image experts once had about the early Stone Age, expanding scientists’ knowledge about human communities that walked the earth millennia ago.

    Later, you’ll visit Golubac Castle, one of the best preserved medieval fortresses in Europe, a powerhouse that has loomed over the Danube for centuries.

    Unwind on board as you cruise the breathtaking Iron Gates, an 83-mile-long stretch of scenic gorges that were cut through the Carpathian and Balkan mountains over eons by the Danube River. These gorges, which act as a natural border between Serbia and Romania, are among the most dramatic and beautiful sights in all of Europe. This was one of the swiftest and most dangerous stretches of the river before two dams were built: Iron Gate I and Iron Gate II. Construction on the dams began in 1964 and took 20 years to complete; they have dramatically altered the area’s landscape, raising the water level by 114 feet and drowning several islands and villages.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  6. Vidin is a port town on the Danube the once played an important role in medieval Bulgarian politics, as the great fortress Baba Vida attests. It’s your base for one of two unusual excursions today—visit to the fascinating Belogradchik rock formations or head to a riverside estate devoted to the arts.

    Featured Excursions:
    Choice of Bulgarian red rock country or Romanian Cetate Cultural Port visit

    Bulgarian red rock country
    Drive through the scenic Bulgarian countryside to Belogradchik, a small town in the foothills of the Balkan Mountains, not far from the Serbian border. After some light refreshment at a local hotel, you’ll be ready to explore the astonishing rock formations nearby, which are over 200 million years old—and have inspired nearly as many legends! Many of the strange wind- and weather-hewn shapes have names, such as Adam and Eve, the Bear and the Castle. The outcroppings formed a natural defense for the town that was enhanced with man-made fortifications over the centuries. Whether you choose to hike with a local expert to the top of the path or not, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views. Your return will take you past some sights that highlight Vidin’s mixed heritage: the Orthodox cathedral, the Turkish mosque, the Konak (the 18th-century headquarters of the Turkish police) and the cruciform barracks (which date to the 1790s). The final stop will be Baba Vida, whose stern 10th-century stone walls were built on the site of a Roman watchtower.

    Romanian Cetate Cultural Port visit
    Cross the Danube via the brand-new bridge that links Bulgaria and Romania to meet Mircea Dinescu, poet, journalist, satirist, media mogul and key figure in the revolution that overthrew Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989. Among his surprising ventures is Cetate Cultural Harbor, a haven for artists of all sorts—poets, potters, painters, filmmakers and musicians. In 1996 Dinescu’s foundation purchased a once-grand house called Port Cetate, which had fallen on very hard times, and transformed it into a largely self-supporting farm and “cultural harbor.” Artists from all over Europe are invited to participate in workshops and residency programs, and the farm is the scene of a film festival, music camp, poetry camp and even a gastronomic arts festival. There’s a reason for that particular focus: Dinescu makes fine wine, which you may sample, and the kitchen staff turns out delectable Romanian specialties. Stroll through the peaceful grounds and study the artwork on display before sitting down to tapas and music. The setting may be rustic—that’s part of the charm—but the art, music, poetry, food and wine are quite sophisticated.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  7. Bulgaria’s foremost Danube port, Rousse is sometimes called “Little Vienna” for its elegant 19th-century mansions and public buildings. You may choose to see some of the town after venturing to a pair of historic monasteries or spend the day visiting two historic hill towns.

    Featured Excursions:
    Choice of Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi with authentic Bulgarian lunch or Rousse walking discovery tour with Ivanovo and Basarbovo monasteries

    Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi with authentic Bulgarian lunch
    Twice the capital of Bulgaria—before and after the Ottomans conquered the nation—Veliko Tarnovo climbs steep hills above the Yantra River, topped by the ruins of Tsarevets, the stronghold where Bulgaria’s kings ruled between 1185 and 1393. The remains of the great stone walls and towers that you see formed the historic heart of the Second Bulgarian Empire. History lives in this town, as a quick look at the wares for sale in Samovod Marketplace will show you: Handicrafts are all made by local artisans using ancient, medieval or Renaissance technologies. You’ll have time to peruse the exceptional local pottery and textiles there before heading to Arbanassi, home to six amazing 17th-century stone churches, each one decorated with colorful and intricate frescoes. Learn something of the multicultural history of this fascinating town at the Ethnographic Museum and visit the UNESCO-designated Nativity Church, where murals of the Nativity, the Last Judgment and the zodiac brilliantly blend religious and humanist iconography. At another of the churches, Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel, you’ll hear the otherworldly singing of an Orthodox choir in a short concert. Your day’s adventure includes a traditional three-course Bulgarian lunch, complete with live folk music.

    Rousse walking discovery tour with Ivanovo and Basarbovo monasteries
    Walk through the woods of Rusenski Lom, a protected region that is home to a wide variety of rare birds, among other wildlife, to Ivanovo Rock Monastery—once an enclave of more than 40 churches and chapels that the devout built inside caves above the Lom River Valley. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is famous for its beautiful and well-preserved 14th-century murals.

    Your next destination, the Basarbovo Rock Monastery, is the only rock monastery where monks still live and worship today. Climb the narrow rock stairway to the 15th-century cloister, which is cut into the limestone cliffs high above the Lom River, and take a look at the arresting frescoes. You’ll also spend some time in Rousse, a city with an easygoing, gracious feeling. Freedom Square, a huge open plaza, takes its name from the Freedom Monument, which soars from the center of the square; the stately Belle Epoque buildings surrounding the square attest to the city’s prosperity in the 1890s. Stroll along wide, tree-lined Alexandrovska, the main pedestrian street that links the city’s many attractive squares, encountering such landmark sights as Rousse’s grand theater, the city museum and the first movie theater (it opened in 1896).

    In the evening, a special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch & Captain's Farewell Reception & Gala Dinner
  8. Bucharest is a fascinating combination of Communist grandiosity, elegant French-influenced 19th-century buildings and surprising survivors dating from the 1500s. Perhaps nothing more perfectly encapsulates Romania’s 20th-century experience than the mind-boggling People’s Palace, which you can visit today. Another option is a walking tour that shows you this city from a local’s perspective. This morning, you’ll disembark the ship in Giurgiu and drive through the countryside to Bucharest, where you’ll enjoy a traditional three-course Romanian lunch at a local restaurant and a panoramic city tour. Tonight you’ll relax in the comfort of a luxury hotel located in the heart of the city, Romania’s capital and its cultural and economic center.

    Featured Excursions:
    Choice of Bucharest city tour with People's Palace visit or Exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Bucharest walking tour

    Bucharest city tour with People's Palace visit
    A panoramic tour will show you that Bucharest is a fascinating combination of Communist grandiosity, elegant French-influenced 19th-century buildings and surprising survivors from the 1500s, which are acquiring new gloss in Lipscani, the restored old quarter. Bucharest began as a fortress in the 15th century, a warlike origin that set the tone for its turbulent history. It saw glory days as the summer residence of the Wallachian princes and was burned to the ground by the Ottoman Turks; then Austria-Hungary and imperial Russia fought over it for a century. After Wallachia and Moldavia united to form Romania in the mid-19th century, Bucharest enjoyed a prosperity that was reflected in its extravagant architecture, some of which miraculously survived WWII bombing and Communist building programs. You’ll see Bucharest’s very own Triumphal Arch, which is modeled after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, and Victoria Boulevard, lined with chic shops and handsomely restored prewar buildings—and sites where protests brought down Ceausescu’s regime in 1989. These days Bucharest enjoys a lively and eclectic cultural scene, hosting international arts festivals and concerts, and a measure of prosperity apparent in its busy cafés and thriving street life.

    Perhaps no sight in Bucharest more perfectly encapsulates Romania’s 20th-century experience than the mind-boggling structure known as the People’s Palace. Nicolae Ceausescu razed one-sixth of the city to erect this enormous palace—the second-largest building in the world—which all but bankrupted the country and helped trigger his downfall. Some 20,000 laborers worked on the building, which has 1,100 rooms in its 12 stories. Only a small portion of it is open to tours—in fact, only a small portion of the rooms are furnished—but you’ll see the vast marble-sheathed halls, huge chandeliers and basement bomb shelter that comprise an astonishing monument to the dictator’s ambition. The cost to the country was enormous, but the craftsmanship is exquisite; the dictator meant it to be a showcase of Bulgarian decorative arts, and in that he fully succeeded.

    Exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Bucharest walking tour
    “Give a penny for the Athenaeum.” Back in the 1880s, this was the theme for the fundraising campaign that resulted in one of Bucharest’s most beautiful and most beloved buildings: the Romanian Athenaeum. Ordinary citizens, not wealthy patrons of the arts, contributed their pennies and built a jewel-box concert hall with perfect acoustics, which they cherish to this day: It’s called the spiritual and artistic heart of the nation. Start to explore the Bucharest locals love right here with a look at the stately neoclassical home of the George Enescu Romanian Philharmonic Orchestra, and continue to Revolution Square, perhaps best known for the moment when Nicolae Ceausescu climbed into a helicopter on the roof of the Central Committee building and fled Bucharest in 1989. Stroll past the elegant shops in the neighborhood, as you head to Lipscani, the restored old quarter. Just a few years ago this neighborhood was all but a shambles; now it is a lively social center. Here you’ll find everything from a famous beer hall to a spectacularly renovated bookstore, as well as the city’s oldest surviving church and the remnants of the Old Princely Court, where the Wallachian rulers—including Vlad the Impaler—lived in the 15th and 16th centuries. Your walking tour ends at Hanul Lui Manuc, built two centuries ago as an inn and recently restored, where you will take a seat in the tree-shaded courtyard and relax over some favorite local appetizers—perhaps some stuffed mushrooms and a variety of sausages.

    meal(s):Breakfast & Lunch
    hotel:Radisson Blu Hotel
  9. Count Dracula might be a fictional character who makes the blood curdle on Halloween, but his historical namesake is not. Vlad III—known in his heyday as Dracula or "Vlad the Impaler"—was a medieval prince with a penchant for brutally punishing his enemies. Or was it all a smear campaign instigated by his enemies? Find out more today on a visit to his tomb. Also on the agenda—a guided tour of the infamous Ceausescu Mansion.

    Featured Excursion:
    Romanian countryside tour with visits to Ceausescu Mansion and Vlad the Impaler’s tomb

    Romanian countryside tour with visits to Ceausescu Mansion and Vlad the Impaler’s tomb
    Legend says that a tiny, verdant island in the midst of lovely Snagov Lake, just north of the city, contains Vlad the Impaler’s tomb. Vlad III, who ruled Wallachia (now part of modern Romania) in the 15th century, may have inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula (and countless successor vampire novels), though he got his sobriquet “the Impaler” for the brutal methods he employed against his enemies, not for sinking his teeth into virgins. However cruel Vlad was, the monks of Snagov Monastery held him in great esteem and are said to have buried him in their monastery after he was slain in a battle nearby. Take a boat over the peaceful waters to the serene garden and monastery to see the simple marble slab that marks the tomb, as well as the beautiful medieval frescoes that adorn the interior of the monastery.

    Then continue further afield to the opulent former residence of Romania's former leader Nicolae Ceausescu, where you’ll have a guided tour. It's been a quarter of a century since deposed Romanian president Ceausescu and his wife Elena were executed by a firing squad on Christmas Day in 1989, but now you can roam the opulent 80-room residence where the couple once lived, situated on 3.5 acres of grounds in one of Bucharest's most desirable neighborhoods.

    meal(s):Breakfast
    hotel:Radisson Blu Hotel
  10. Check out of your hotel this morning. If your cruise/tour package includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Bucharest Henri Coandă International Airport for your flight home.

    meal(s):Breakfast
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Print Itinerary

Overview

Follow a path forged by crusaders, kings and conquerors through Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria. Immerse yourself in new cultures and make new friends as you travel from splendid Budapest to dynamic Bucharest, discovering the best that the revitalized nations of Eastern Europe have to offer along the way. Perfect for explorers wishing to discover ancient lands and modern multicultural cities, photographers, amateur archaeologists, connoisseurs of regional cuisines, and anyone who loves beautiful and mysterious locales.

  1. Arrive at Bucharest Henri Coandă International Airport. If your cruise/tour package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the hotel.

    hotel:Radisson Blu Hotel
  2. Count Dracula might be a fictional character who makes the blood curdle on Halloween, but his historical namesake is not. Vlad III—known in his heyday as Dracula or "Vlad the Impaler"—was a medieval prince with a penchant for brutally punishing his enemies. Or was it all a smear campaign instigated by his enemies? Find out more today on a visit to his tomb. Also on the agenda—a guided tour of the infamous Ceausescu Mansion.

    Featured Excursion:
    Romanian countryside tour with visits to Ceausescu Mansion and Vlad the Impaler’s tomb

    Romanian countryside tour with visits to Ceausescu Mansion and Vlad the Impaler’s tomb
    Legend says that a tiny, verdant island in the midst of lovely Snagov Lake, just north of the city, contains Vlad the Impaler’s tomb. Vlad III, who ruled Wallachia (now part of modern Romania) in the 15th century, may have inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula (and countless successor vampire novels), though he got his sobriquet “the Impaler” for the brutal methods he employed against his enemies, not for sinking his teeth into virgins. However cruel Vlad was, the monks of Snagov Monastery held him in great esteem and are said to have buried him in their monastery after he was slain in a battle nearby. Take a boat over the peaceful waters to the serene garden and monastery to see the simple marble slab that marks the tomb, as well as the beautiful medieval frescoes that adorn the interior of the monastery.

    Then continue further afield to the opulent former residence of Romania's former leader Nicolae Ceausescu, where you’ll have a guided tour. It's been a quarter of a century since deposed Romanian president Ceausescu and his wife Elena were executed by a firing squad on Christmas Day in 1989, but now you can roam the opulent 80-room residence where the couple once lived, situated on 3.5 acres of grounds in one of Bucharest's most desirable neighborhoods.

    meal(s):Breakfast
    hotel:Radisson Blu Hotel
  3. Bucharest is a fascinating combination of Communist grandiosity, elegant French-influenced 19th-century buildings and surprising survivors dating from the 1500s. Perhaps nothing more perfectly encapsulates Romania’s 20th-century experience than the mind-boggling People’s Palace, which you can visit today. Another option is a walking tour that shows you this city from a local’s perspective. Begin the day with a panoramic tour of Bucharest, followed by a traditional three-course Romanian lunch at a local restaurant, before transferring via motorcoach to Giurgiu, where your ship awaits.

    Featured Excursions:
    Choice of Bucharest city tour with People's Palace visit or Exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Bucharest walking tour

    Bucharest city tour with People's Palace visit
    A panoramic tour will show you that Bucharest is a fascinating combination of Communist grandiosity, elegant French-influenced 19th-century buildings and surprising survivors from the 1500s, which are acquiring new gloss in Lipscani, the restored old quarter. Bucharest began as a fortress in the 15th century, a warlike origin that set the tone for its turbulent history. It saw glory days as the summer residence of the Wallachian princes and was burned to the ground by the Ottoman Turks; then Austria-Hungary and imperial Russia fought over it for a century. After Wallachia and Moldavia united to form Romania in the mid-19th century, Bucharest enjoyed a prosperity that was reflected in its extravagant architecture, some of which miraculously survived WWII bombing and Communist building programs. You’ll see Bucharest’s very own Triumphal Arch, which is modeled after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, and Victoria Boulevard, lined with chic shops and handsomely restored prewar buildings—and sites where protests brought down Ceausescu’s regime in 1989. These days Bucharest enjoys a lively and eclectic cultural scene, hosting international arts festivals and concerts, and a measure of prosperity apparent in its busy cafés and thriving street life.

    Perhaps no sight in Bucharest more perfectly encapsulates Romania’s 20th-century experience than the mind-boggling structure known as the People’s Palace. Nicolae Ceausescu razed one-sixth of the city to erect this enormous palace—the second-largest building in the world—which all but bankrupted the country and helped trigger his downfall. Some 20,000 laborers worked on the building, which has 1,100 rooms in its 12 stories. Only a small portion of it is open to tours—in fact, only a small portion of the rooms are furnished—but you’ll see the vast marble-sheathed halls, huge chandeliers and basement bomb shelter that comprise an astonishing monument to the dictator’s ambition. The cost to the country was enormous, but the craftsmanship is exquisite; the dictator meant it to be a showcase of Bulgarian decorative arts, and in that he fully succeeded.

    Exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Bucharest walking tour
    “Give a penny for the Athenaeum.” Back in the 1880s, this was the theme for the fundraising campaign that resulted in one of Bucharest’s most beautiful and most beloved buildings: the Romanian Athenaeum. Ordinary citizens, not wealthy patrons of the arts, contributed their pennies and built a jewel-box concert hall with perfect acoustics, which they cherish to this day: It’s called the spiritual and artistic heart of the nation. Start to explore the Bucharest locals love right here with a look at the stately neoclassical home of the George Enescu Romanian Philharmonic Orchestra, and continue to Revolution Square, perhaps best known for the moment when Nicolae Ceausescu climbed into a helicopter on the roof of the Central Committee building and fled Bucharest in 1989. Stroll past the elegant shops in the neighborhood, as you head to Lipscani, the restored old quarter. Just a few years ago this neighborhood was all but a shambles; now it is a lively social center. Here you’ll find everything from a famous beer hall to a spectacularly renovated bookstore, as well as the city’s oldest surviving church and the remnants of the Old Princely Court, where the Wallachian rulers—including Vlad the Impaler—lived in the 15th and 16th centuries. Your walking tour ends at Hanul Lui Manuc, built two centuries ago as an inn and recently restored, where you will take a seat in the tree-shaded courtyard and relax over some favorite local appetizers—perhaps some stuffed mushrooms and a variety of sausages.

    In the evening, a special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch & Captain's Welcome Reception and Dinner
  4. Bulgaria’s foremost Danube port, Rousse is sometimes called “Little Vienna” for its elegant 19th-century mansions and public buildings. You may choose to see some of the town after venturing to a pair of historic monasteries or spend the day visiting two historic hill towns.

    Featured Excursions:
    Choice of Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi with authentic Bulgarian lunch or Rousse walking discovery tour with Ivanovo and Basarbovo monasteries

    Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi with authentic Bulgarian lunch
    Twice the capital of Bulgaria—before and after the Ottomans conquered the nation—Veliko Tarnovo climbs steep hills above the Yantra River, topped by the ruins of Tsarevets, the stronghold where Bulgaria’s kings ruled between 1185 and 1393. The remains of the great stone walls and towers that you see formed the historic heart of the Second Bulgarian Empire. History lives in this town, as a quick look at the wares for sale in Samovod Marketplace will show you: Handicrafts are all made by local artisans using ancient, medieval or Renaissance technologies. You’ll have time to peruse the exceptional local pottery and textiles there before heading to Arbanassi, home to six amazing 17th-century stone churches, each one decorated with colorful and intricate frescoes. Learn something of the multicultural history of this fascinating town at the Ethnographic Museum and visit the UNESCO-designated Nativity Church, where murals of the Nativity, the Last Judgment and the zodiac brilliantly blend religious and humanist iconography. At another of the churches, Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel, you’ll hear the otherworldly singing of an Orthodox choir in a short concert. Your day’s adventure includes a traditional three-course Bulgarian lunch, complete with live folk music.

    Rousse walking discovery tour with Ivanovo and Basarbovo monasteries
    Walk through the woods of Rusenski Lom, a protected region that is home to a wide variety of rare birds, among other wildlife, to Ivanovo Rock Monastery—once an enclave of more than 40 churches and chapels that the devout built inside caves above the Lom River Valley. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is famous for its beautiful and well-preserved 14th-century murals.

    Your next destination, the Basarbovo Rock Monastery, is the only rock monastery where monks still live and worship today. Climb the narrow rock stairway to the 15th-century cloister, which is cut into the limestone cliffs high above the Lom River, and take a look at the arresting frescoes. You’ll also spend some time in Rousse, a city with an easygoing, gracious feeling. Freedom Square, a huge open plaza, takes its name from the Freedom Monument, which soars from the center of the square; the stately Belle Epoque buildings surrounding the square attest to the city’s prosperity in the 1890s. Stroll along wide, tree-lined Alexandrovska, the main pedestrian street that links the city’s many attractive squares, encountering such landmark sights as Rousse’s grand theater, the city museum and the first movie theater (it opened in 1896).

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  5. Vidin is a port town on the Danube the once played an important role in medieval Bulgarian politics, as the great fortress Baba Vida attests. It’s your base for one of two unusual excursions today—visit to the fascinating Belogradchik rock formations or head to a riverside estate devoted to the arts.

    Featured Excursions:
    Choice of Bulgarian red rock country or Romanian Cetate Cultural Port visit

    Bulgarian red rock country
    Drive through the scenic Bulgarian countryside to Belogradchik, a small town in the foothills of the Balkan Mountains, not far from the Serbian border. After some light refreshment at a local hotel, you’ll be ready to explore the astonishing rock formations nearby, which are over 200 million years old—and have inspired nearly as many legends! Many of the strange wind- and weather-hewn shapes have names, such as Adam and Eve, the Bear and the Castle. The outcroppings formed a natural defense for the town that was enhanced with man-made fortifications over the centuries. Whether you choose to hike with a local expert to the top of the path or not, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views. Your return will take you past some sights that highlight Vidin’s mixed heritage: the Orthodox cathedral, the Turkish mosque, the Konak (the 18th-century headquarters of the Turkish police) and the cruciform barracks (which date to the 1790s). The final stop will be Baba Vida, whose stern 10th-century stone walls were built on the site of a Roman watchtower.

    Romanian Cetate Cultural Port visit
    Cross the Danube via the brand-new bridge that links Bulgaria and Romania to meet Mircea Dinescu, poet, journalist, satirist, media mogul and key figure in the revolution that overthrew Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989. Among his surprising ventures is Cetate Cultural Harbor, a haven for artists of all sorts—poets, potters, painters, filmmakers and musicians. In 1996 Dinescu’s foundation purchased a once-grand house called Port Cetate, which had fallen on very hard times, and transformed it into a largely self-supporting farm and “cultural harbor.” Artists from all over Europe are invited to participate in workshops and residency programs, and the farm is the scene of a film festival, music camp, poetry camp and even a gastronomic arts festival. There’s a reason for that particular focus: Dinescu makes fine wine, which you may sample, and the kitchen staff turns out delectable Romanian specialties. Stroll through the peaceful grounds and study the artwork on display before sitting down to tapas and music. The setting may be rustic—that’s part of the charm—but the art, music, poetry, food and wine are quite sophisticated.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  6. Today’s main attraction will be the spectacular scenery along the Danube, as you cruise a stretch of gorges known as the Iron Gates. Later, head ashore to explore a Paleolithic site and an extraordinary well-preserved medieval fortress. All along the way, history lines the banks of the river. Keep an eye out for Trajan’s Plaque, which the ancient Romans erected to commemorate the road they anchored in the steep cliffs above the water, and Golubac Castle, built in the 14th century and attacked successively by the Serbs, Magyars and Turks. The Turks won the castle in 1458, which helped to reinforce their control of the area until 1867, when they abandoned it.

    Featured Excursion:
    Lepenski Vir archaeological park and Golubac Castle

    Lepenski Vir archaeological park and Golubac Castle
    Lepenski Vir is one of the largest and most significant prehistoric archeological sites from the Stone Age, located on the Danube. It was once the epicenter of one of the most highly developed prehistoric cultures, with complex social relations and even rudimentary urban planning. The discovery of this prehistoric settlement has changed the image experts once had about the early Stone Age, expanding scientists’ knowledge about human communities that walked the earth millennia ago.

    Later, you’ll visit Golubac Castle, one of the best preserved medieval fortresses in Europe, a powerhouse that has loomed over the Danube for centuries.

    Unwind on board as you cruise the breathtaking Iron Gates, an 83-mile-long stretch of scenic gorges that were cut through the Carpathian and Balkan mountains over eons by the Danube River. These gorges, which act as a natural border between Serbia and Romania, are among the most dramatic and beautiful sights in all of Europe. This was one of the swiftest and most dangerous stretches of the river before two dams were built: Iron Gate I and Iron Gate II. Construction on the dams began in 1964 and took 20 years to complete; they have dramatically altered the area’s landscape, raising the water level by 114 feet and drowning several islands and villages.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  7. Belgrade, the modern-day capital of Serbia, is one of Europe’s oldest cities, dating back some 7,000 years. Signs of its tumultuous history are visible everywhere, juxtaposed with the city’s vibrant modern-day present. See it all with a choice of excursions, either a city tour that visits the palace or a guided bike ride. You have two very different ways to see Belgrade today—the choice is yours!

    Featured Excursions:
    Choice of Belgrade city tour with visit to the Royal Grounds of Karadjordjevic Dynasty Palace or Exclusive guided “Let's Go” “I Bike Belgrade” tour

    Belgrade city tour with visit to the Royal Grounds of Karadjordjevic Dynasty Palace
    As a motorcoach carries you through the city, you’ll see a mix of architectural styles that reveal the city’s past, ranging from Gothic, Ottoman, baroque and art nouveau to utilitarian Communist apartment blocks and modern high-rises. While Belgrade has been no stranger to political upheaval, the 19th-century Residence of Princess Ljubica and serene old residential streets speak of calmer days, as do the bustling present-day café-lined boulevards. You’ll pass the tomb and memorial museum of Josip Broz Tito, which is located at the site of Tito’s former residence in Belgrade’s affluent Dedinje neighborhood, and visit Kalemegdan Fortress, high on a hill above the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers.

    Ancient Romans built the first fortress here, and successive conquerors and defenders—Slavs, Byzantines, Ottomans, Habsburgs—continued to build and destroy fortifications on this site for another 1,500 years. Walk along the old stone walls, passing monuments and memorials (some will surprise you—poets and composers are honored here as well as military actions), for a sense of Serbia’s distant and more recent history. It’s not the only intriguing historical sight you’ll see today, however. You will also visit the Karadjordjevic Dynasty Palace and sip a glass of sparkling Serbian wine as you tour a compound of palaces built in the 1920s and 1930s. Serbia’s royal family, which is related to most of Europe’s royalty, has a strictly honorary position in modern-day democratic Serbia, but Crown Prince Alexander (who did not feel that taking the title of king was appropriate when his father died in exile in the United States in 1972) and his family still live in these palaces. A local expert will show you the public rooms of the Royal Palace, the White Palace, the adjacent chapel and the spacious grounds.

    Exclusive guided “Let's Go” “I Bike Belgrade” tour
    Mount a bike and spend a leisurely half-day getting an up-close look at Belgrade, complete with lively commentary from your guide, who will tell you not just about the tumultuous recent past but also what it’s like to live here. Ride past Branko’s Bridge, Staro Sajmište (a former concentration camp), the Palace of Serbia and Hotel Jugoslavija; after a refreshing stop at a traditional fisherman’s bar, you’ll be ready to pedal to Kalemegdan Fortress and see a bit of Serbia’s more distant past.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  8. Welcome to Croatia! This ancient country, which has made a remarkable recovery from a brutal civil war, is noted for its beautiful countryside and thriving folk traditions, as well as delicious simple, local rustic food. You’ll dock in Vukovar, Croatia’s biggest port, at the confluence of the Danube and Vuka rivers.

    Featured Excursions:
    Choice of Full-day tour of Vukovar with Vucedol Museum visit and lunch at Goldschmidt winery or Full-day tour of Osijek with exclusive home-hosted lunch

    Full-day tour of Vukovar with Vucedol Museum visit and lunch at Goldschmidt winery
    The bullet-riddled water tower stands as a reminder of the bitter Croatian War of Independence, fought between 1991 and 1995, when Croatia sought to break away from Yugoslavia. Thousands died during the siege of Vukovar, which was heavily damaged. As you take a short walk through the town now, you will see lasting signs of the conflict, but you will also see a revitalized community, determined to rebuild. From Vukovar you’ll head to Osijek, where you’ll visit Tvrda, a military and civil complex begun in 1687 by the Habsburgs after they took the region back from the Ottomans. You’ll also learn something of Osijek’s long history—which dates back to Roman times—and stop by the Church of the Holy Cross, built by the Franciscans after the Ottomans left.

    Enjoy an Ajvar demonstration in the courtyard of the monastery, a local specialty made from bell peppers, eggplant and tomatoes. You’ll also learn how to prepare vegetables in authentic Croatian style. From there, the group will split up and head off to different nearby villages for a home-hosted lunch.

    Later, you’ll visit the Vucedol Museum. The basic idea behind the concept of this unique museum was integration into the terrain—the entire structure is designed to be mostly buried in the ground and only the façade is open to the landscape. Its shape, as serpentine, follows terrain, and on whose green roof you can reach the archaeological sites over the museum. Along the path, you’ll encounter the various Vučedol culture archaeological findings that have been discovered to date, which showcase the daily life and customs during a turbulent time of the immigration of the first Indo-Europeans and their relationship with the natives, the blending of material cultures and religions. Following your time at the museum, enjoy lunch at the Goldschmidt winery.

    Full-day tour of Osijek with exclusive home-hosted lunch
    Venture into a lesser-known part of Croatia today. Set off from the port of Vukovar with your local expert, who will tell you about Vukovar’s calamitous experience during the Croatian War of Independence (1991-1995), when much of the city was shelled, and head to Osijek, the capital of Slavonia. Osijek is an attractive town on the banks of the Drava River that combines a long history—settlement predates the Romans, who built a fortress there that was conquered by Attila the Hun— with an easygoing charm and a readiness to embrace the future. You’ll stroll through Tvrda, the baroque military and civil complex begun in 1687 by the Habsburgs after they seized the town from the Ottoman Turks, and see some of the historic highlights via a panoramic tour.

    You’ll follow up your tour with a stop in a village just outside the city for a traditional Croatian lunch hosted by local villagers. Translators will be on hand to help you and your hosts converse, so you can actually learn a bit about one another’s lives and interests.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  9. Located on opposite sides of the Danube, Buda and Pest each has a distinctive character and allure all its own. Explore this dynamic and multi-faceted city with your choice of excursions—you can see it from a local’s perspective on our exclusive walking tour, cover more ground with a panoramic tour or “Let's Go” with a guided bike ride. Vibrant Budapest, Hungary’s capital, offers an enchanting combination of East and West, old and new. Even its geography is made up of two parts—Buda (the hills) and Pest (the flatlands)—divided by the Danube. Which part will you choose to explore today? You have three options to choose from.

    Featured Excursions:
    Choice of Budapest city tour or Exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Budapest walking tour or Exclusive guided “Let's Go” Budapest by bicycle

    Budapest city tour
    This panoramic tour is a wonderful way to get an overview of the city if you have never been here before. It will carry you from Heroes’ Square, created in 1896 to honor the thousand-year anniversary of Hungary’s founding and its greatest historical figures, past some of the city’s most striking architectural sights—Dohány Street Synagogue, the Hungarian National Museum, the state opera house, St. Stephen’s Basilica and the truly stunning Parliament Building—to Castle Hill, which has been called the heart of the nation. The city of Buda began here, when King Béla built a strong keep in 1243 as a defense against Mongol invaders; a castle replaced the simple fortress, and over the centuries other castles replaced that one. The current castle is primarily 18th century; a museum dedicated to Budapest’s archaeological finds is housed there, and the Castle Hill district has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll go inside the magnificent 700-year-old Matthias Church, named for one of Hungary’s greatest kings, and then wend your way on foot to the picturesque Fisherman’s Bastion, whose seven fairytale-like towers represent the seven tribes that originally settled the region. It offers a glorious view of the city and the Danube below. Note: Visits to the interior of Matthias Church may not be possible on some weekends and Catholic holidays.

    Exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Budapest walking tour
    Get ready for a fun immersion in the daily life of Budapest—your local expert will show you how to use the metro (one of the oldest in Europe) to easily reach all the city has to offer. Start with a visit to one of the city’s irresistible market halls. Stalls spill over with produce, sausages and meats, festoons of dried paprika, cheeses, and jars of honey, all of it authentically Hungarian. After you leave the market, stop for coffee and a sweet treat at Szamos Gourmet Palace, a combination pastry shop, café and chocolate maker in Vörösmarty Square. Marzipan is a favorite confection in Budapest, and Szamos has specialized in making it since the 1930s, so you might want to try some—but the shop’s truffle selection is equally irresistible. Refreshed, you’ll be ready to hop back on the tram for a visit to the gracious green spaces of Károlyi Garden, sometimes described as Budapest’s most charming small park. You’ll ramble along the boulevards and pass the Hungarian National Museum, truly getting the feel for this dynamic city, as you head back toward the ship. Note: Budapest’s market halls are closed on holidays. If your tour lands on a holiday, we will skip the market.

    Exclusive guided “Let's Go” Budapest by bicycle
    Only the Netherlands and Denmark have a higher proportion of people who use bicycles for their daily transportation than Hungary, and you can spot the bright-green bikes that are part of the city’s bike-sharing program anywhere. Join a local expert to experience the Budapest bicyclists love: Wheel along the Danube past such sights as the moving tribute to the Jews shot by the Nazis on the banks of the river, the Hungarian Parliament building, St. Stephen’s Basilica and Andrassy Avenue, and swoop over the bridge to Margaret Island. It’s a fun and active way to get out and see the city the way locals see it.

    In the evening, a special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch & Captain's Farewell Reception & Gala Dinner
  10. Disembark the ship. If your cruise/tour package includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport for your flight home. Or you can extend your stay in beautiful Budapest with our exciting optional post-cruise extension.

    meal(s):Breakfast
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  • Transfer Guidelines - Europe

    Flights must arrive between 5am and 5pm and depart between 6am and 6pm. Airport arrival and departure transfers are included on arrival and departure days only.

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Cruise Start Date Classic Deluxe French Balcony Deluxe French Balcony Suite Availability Price
3 Apr 19 Sold Out $4,999pp $5,399pp $7,099pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Beatrice
Budapest to Bucharest
8 Apr 19 Sold Out $4,999pp $5,399pp $7,099pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Beatrice
Bucharest to Budapest
17 Apr 19 Sold Out $4,999pp $5,399pp $7,099pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Beatrice
Budapest to Bucharest
22 Apr 19 Sold Out $5,299pp $5,699pp $7,399pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Beatrice
Bucharest to Budapest
16 May 19 Sold Out $4,799pp $5,399pp $7,599pp Request Quote
SHIP: River Duchess
Budapest to Bucharest
21 May 19 Sold Out $4,799pp $5,399pp $7,599pp Request Quote
SHIP: River Duchess
Bucharest to Budapest
29 May 19 Sold Out $5,299pp $5,699pp $7,399pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Beatrice
Budapest to Bucharest
3 Jun 19 Sold Out $5,299pp $5,699pp $7,399pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Beatrice
Bucharest to Budapest
29 Jun 19 Sold Out $4,799pp $5,399pp $7,599pp Request Quote
SHIP: River Duchess
Budapest to Bucharest
4 Jul 19 Sold Out $4,799pp $5,399pp $7,599pp Request Quote
SHIP: River Duchess
Bucharest to Budapest
12 Aug 19 Sold Out $4,799pp $5,399pp $7,599pp Request Quote
SHIP: River Duchess
Budapest to Bucharest
17 Aug 19 Sold Out $4,799pp $5,399pp $7,599pp Request Quote
SHIP: River Duchess
Bucharest to Budapest
21 Aug 19 Sold Out $5,299pp $5,699pp $7,399pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Beatrice
Budapest to Bucharest
26 Aug 19 Sold Out $5,299pp $5,699pp $7,399pp Request Quote
SHIP: S.S. Beatrice
Bucharest to Budapest
25 Sep 19 Sold Out $4,999pp $5,599pp $7,799pp Request Quote
SHIP: River Duchess
Budapest to Bucharest
30 Sep 19 Sold Out $4,999pp $5,599pp $7,799pp Request Quote
SHIP: River Duchess
Bucharest to Budapest
  • All fares are per guest in US Dollars based on double occupancy unless otherwise noted.
  • Fares are capacity controlled and are subject to change at any time without notice.
  • Availability of all stateroom categories cannot be guaranteed.
  • Single Supplement applies for single accommodation.
  • Itineraries, hotels, and vessels may change, and substitute visits to other sites may occur during your trip due to water level fluctuations and other uncontrollable factors.
  • The order of sightseeing and docking ports are subject to change according to port authority assignments.
  • Prices exclude additional port charges of $170 per person.
  • AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive $100 Member Benefit Discount on all Uniworld River Cruises booked through Grand European Travel plus receive a free travel gift.
  • Past Travelers receive additional savings. Call for details.
  • View River Cruise Terms & Conditions
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  • All Meals All Meals
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • Professional Cruise Management Professional Cruise Management
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • All Gratuities All Gratuities
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • Six-Star Ships Six-Star Ships

Dining

  • All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
  • 9 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions
  • Welcome and Farewell Gala Dinners
  • Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, specialty coffee and tea, and mineral water

Accommodations

  • 7-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the majestic River Beatrice or imperial River Duchess
  • 2 nights in Bucharest at the Radisson Blu Hotel (or similar) with breakfast
  • Lavishly appointed riverview staterooms and suites have handcrafted Savoir® of England beds, high-thread count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, and a menu of pillow options
  • Free Internet and Wi-Fi access

Excursions

  • 7 days of excursions, including “Choice Is Yours” options, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
  • Guided “Let's Go,” “Do as the Locals Do” and “Gentle Walking” programs
  • State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio-headset system on all excursions
  • Use of bicycles and Nordic walking sticks

Experiences

  • 5 countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia
  • 2 UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise Manager
  • All transfers on arrival and departure days
  • All gratuities, both onboard and onshore
  • Captivating onboard local entertainment
  • Cultural enrichment, including a Signature Lecture: “The Orient in Europe: Eastern Influences on the Western World”
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  • Transfer Guidelines - Europe

    Flights must arrive between 5am and 5pm and depart between 6am and 6pm. Airport arrival and departure transfers are included on arrival and departure days only.

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FASHION IS FLEETING BUT STYLE IS FOREVER

Her remodel brought with it soft hues of blue, green and other earth tones you’ll see throughout your European journey. Don’t go home without spending time in the Blue Danube Lounge (a guest-favorite spot onboard). Original art includes works by Picasso and Jane Wells Loudon.

 Click HERE to view a pdf of ship facts (and click HERE to download software to open a pdf file).

 

Inaugurated: 2003
Renovated: 2012
Guests: 130
Staff: 42

Suites: 4 (214 sq ft)
French Balcony: 18 (151 sq ft)
Deluxe: 34 (151 sq ft)
Classic: 9 (151 sq ft)

Length: 361 ft
Width: 37.5 ft
Voltage: 110/220 volts

SUITES

Lavishly appointed riverview suite (214 sq ft - 20 sq m) with a French balcony

Handcrafted Savoir® of England bed, built-in closet, hair dryer, safe, individual thermostat, flat-screen TV with infotainment center and satellite, and bottled water

Marble bathroom with L’Occitane en Provence bath and body products, plush towels, towel warmer, waffle bathrobes, and slippers

Additional special amenities and services

FRENCH BALCONY

Lavishly appointed riverview stateroom (151 sq ft - 14 sq m) with a French balcony

Handcrafted Savoir® of England bed, built-in closet, hair dryer, safe, individual thermostat, flat-screen TV with infotainment center and satellite, and bottled water

Marble bathroom with L’Occitane en Provence bath and body products, plush towels, heated mirrors, cozy bathrobes, and slippers

DELUXE

Lavishly appointed riverview stateroom (151 sq ft - 14 sq m)

Handcrafted Savoir® of England bed, built-in closet, hair dryer, safe, individual thermostat, flat-screen TV with infotainment center and satellite, and bottled water

Marble bathroom with L’Occitane en Provence bath and body products, plush towels, heated mirrors, cozy bathrobes, and slippers

CLASSIC

Lavishly appointed riverview stateroom (151 sq ft - 14 sq m)

Handcrafted Savoir® of England bed, built-in closet, hair dryer, safe, individual thermostat, flat-screen TV with infotainment center and satellite, and bottled water

Marble bathroom with L’Occitane en Provence bath and body products, plush towels, heated mirrors, cozy bathrobes, and slippers

Our meticulously designed ships feature enticing public areas and luxurious amenities, including a lounge with full-service bar, well-equipped fitness center, restaurant, Serenity River Spa, and a Sun Deck where you can relax and take in the ever-changing views. 

The 130-passenger River Duchess is decorated in soft hues of blue and green complemented by soothing earth tones, providing a tranquil and elegant onboard ambiance. Enjoy spectacular and ever-changing views of Europe’s most enchanting waterways in the ship’s stylish Blue Danube Lounge, Palace Restaurant, or the La Motte Sky Lounge.

DELIGHTFULLY DIVINE

River Beatrice has reemerged as S.S. Beatrice, after undergoing an extensive bow-to-stern renovation. This jewel of a ship made her debut bearing an inspired, sleek look, graceful redesigned bow, updated lounge and the most elegant grand staircase. Be one of the first to cruise on the lavishly refined S.S. Beatrice.

STUNNING NEW FEATURES

Additional five-star dining venues with a private space for group dining

A new grand suite

Two new royal suites measuring 390 square feet

Several adjoining rooms, perfect for families traveling together

Click HERE to view a pdf of ship facts (and click HERE to download software to open a pdf file).

 

Inaugurated: 2009
Renovated: 2018
Guests: 152
Staff: 55

Royal Suites: 2 (390 sq ft)
Grand Suites: 2 (310 sq ft)
Suites: 12 (225 sq ft)
Deluxe French Balcony: 13 (150 sq ft)
French Balcony: 37 (150 sq ft)
Classic: 10 (150 sq ft)

Length: 430 ft
Width: 37.5 ft
Voltage: 110/220 volts

 

SUITE

Luxurious riverview suite (225 sq ft - 21 sq m)

Suite includes a handcrafted Savoir® of England beds, built-in closets, hair dryer, safe, direct-dial telephone, individual thermostat, flat-screen TV with infotainment center

Marble bathroom with Hermés bath and body products, plush towels, backlit magnifying mirror, cozy bathrobes and slippers

 

DELUXE FRENCH BALCONY

Luxurious riverview stateroom (150 sq ft - 14 sq m) with a French balcony

Handcrafted Savoir® of England beds, built-in closets, hair dryer, safe, individual climate-controlled thermostat, direct-dial telephone, and flat-screen TV with infotainment center, mineral water

Marble bathroom with Asprey bath and body products, plush towels, backlit magnifying mirror, cozy bathrobes and slippers

 

FRENCH BALCONY

Luxurious riverview stateroom (150 sq ft - 14 sq m) with a French balcony

Handcrafted Savoir® of England beds, built-in closets, hair dryer, safe, individual climate-controlled thermostat, direct-dial telephone, and flat-screen TV with infotainment center, mineral water

Marble bathroom with Asprey bath and body products, plush towels, backlit magnifying mirror, cozy bathrobes and slippers

 

Our meticulously designed ships feature enticing public areas and luxurious amenities, including a lounge with full-service bar, well-equipped fitness center, restaurant, Serenity River Spa, and a Sun Deck where you can relax and take in the ever-changing views. 

We are excited to introduce our newest Super Ship — S.S. Beatrice. The S.S. Beatrice boasts yacht-style light wood with blue and white finishes throughout, a renovated lobby featuring elegant mirrors, marble floors, a white Murano chandelier with blue shades, and a grand staircase made of nickel and black iron – a signature design element of Uniworld’s Super Ships. The ship’s redesigned lounge features sofas and chairs with hand-made upholstery, a parquet floor and upholstered ceiling panels, solar shades, and new USB ports allowing guests to charge anywhere they are sitting. The artwork throughout the ship includes pieces from Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder and Pino Signoretto.

S.S. Beatrice offers four dining options all inspired by famous Austrian composers, including Mozart’s, the ship’s main restaurant; Wolfgang’s bar and lounge and newly added Schubert’s and Max’s. For guests seeking an immersive culinary experience, Max’s restaurant offers intimate cooking classes where guests can create local European cuisines alongside the chef. Schubert’s, an 18-seat café located at the bow of the ship, offers guests shared plates from lunch through dinnertime. The cozy Austrian-styled eatery features menus reflecting the cuisine of the ship’s destinations.

Additionally, S.S. Beatrice has two new Grand Suites each measuring 310 square feet and a second 390 square foot Owner’s/Royal Suite. Connecting rooms, ideal for friends and families traveling together, have also been added.

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  • U.S. citizens traveling to Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria must have a current passport valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens entering these countries.

  • The currency in Croatia is the Kuna, in Hungary is the Forint, in Bulgaria is the Lev, in Romania is the Leu and in Serbia is the Dinar. While it’s a good idea to bring some money for when you first arrive in Europe, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate in your destination.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • We suggest bringing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. Keep in mind that your shoulders and knees should be covered while visiting religious sites. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 24 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

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  • Transfer Guidelines - Europe

    Flights must arrive between 5am and 5pm and depart between 6am and 6pm. Airport arrival and departure transfers are included on arrival and departure days only.

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