Grand Danube Cruise with Transylvania Extension

Resort:Grand Danube Cruise with Transylvania Extension
Operator: Avalon Waterways
Destination: Austria
Price From: £4984.00

Itinerary Details

Day 1 Prague.

Fly to Prague where you will be met and transferred to the Hilton Prague for three nights.

Day 2 Prague.

Included today: Guided sightseeing.
Prague is a 1,200 year old city preserved in time. See its best-known treasures on a guided walking tour, including the Old Town’s astronomical clock, Hradcany Castle grounds, St Vitus Cathedral and the Charles Bridge. Browse the shops for hand-cut crystal or art books, mingle with the locals in Wenceslaus Square, an important meeting point and the site of famous demonstrations against the communist regime, or watch performers on Charles Bridge. (B)

Day 3 Prague.

A free day for you to explore the city at leisure. Perhaps visit the Communist Museum; sample the local plum dumplings and Pilsner; stroll along the banks of the Vltava River; discover the Jewish Quarter; or wander around Prague’s medieval Old Town, dating from the 10th century. Your Cruise Director will have lots of suggestions for things to do. (B)

Day 4 Prague – Nuremberg.

After lunch, drive to Nuremberg, where your cruise ship is docked. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception. (B, D)

Day 5 Nuremberg – Roth.

Included today: Choice of guided sightseeing of Roth or Nuremberg rally grounds tour.
This morning the choice is yours – join a Certified Local Guide for a NUREMBERG RALLY GROUNDS tour, or a GUIDED SIGHTSEEING of the nearby town of Roth. This delightful town, with it’s half-timbered houses and market square, is also an industrial centre for textile manufacturing. Visit the interesting INDUSTRIAL MUSEUM and then in contrast, take pictures of Schloss Ratibor, an ancient hunting lodge, built in 1535, with a most picturesque inner courtyard. (B, L, D)

Day 6 Regensberg.

Included today: Guided sightseeing; beer tasting.
Arrive in Regensburg today. Dating back to the time of the Celts around 500 BC, Regensburg is one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities. Established during the Holy Roman Empire and the only German city not bombed during WWII, Regensburg has at least 1,300 listed buildings of historic interest. Architectural highlights of your GUIDED WALK include the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), built in the 13th century, and Porta Pretoria, gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. Wander through the city’s lanes and alleys to discover the many mansions with high towers. Wealthy families built these towers to emphasize their status and wealth during the Middle Ages, and many still remain today. Walk across the 12th-century Steinerne Brcke (Stone Bridge), the oldest of its kind in Germany. Grab a beer and enjoy an included SNACK at the Historische Wurstkche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany’s oldest restaurants. Bask in the vibrant atmosphere and take in the remarkable views along the river. Before dinner we’ll introduce you to some of Germany’s FAMOUS BEERS! (B, L, D)

Day 7 Passau

Included today: Guided sightseeing in Passau.
This morning, dock in Passau. Uniquely located where the Inn, Ilz, and Danube Rivers converge, Passau is a maze of narrow cobblestone streets lined with beautiful patrician houses. St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian baroque architecture, houses one of the world’s largest church organs with 17,774 pipes. Take in the highlights on the included GUIDED WALK, Alternatively, choose from several full-day optional excursions while your ship continues to sail into Austria. Rejoin your vessel in the late afternoon. (B, L, D)

Day 8 Melk, Austria – Vienna.

Included today: Guided sightseeing.
This morning, enjoy an included GUIDED VISIT of Melk’s magnificent 11th-century BENEDICTINE ABBEY, one of Europe’s largest monasteries. The abbey houses an ornate library with over 80,000 printed books and 2,000 manuscripts. You’ll be captivated by the splendour of the church with its frescoed ceilings, stunning high altar, marble statues, and 210-foot-high cupola. The view from the terrace of the abbey over the Danube and surrounding countryside is breath-taking! Then, cruise through the picturesque Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pass the magnificent baroque Stiftskirche with its blue faade, the landmark of Drnstein, before arriving in Vienna this evening. Known as the ‘City of Music’, it inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss. An optional concert is available tonight. (B, L, D)

Day 9 Vienna.

Included today: Guided sightseeing.
Also known as the ‘City of Music’, Vienna inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven and Strauss and was once the centre of the mighty Habsburg Empire. See the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex, with its Vienna Boys’ Choir and Lipizzaner stallions, the impressive neo-Renaissance Vienna Opera House, and awe-inspiring St Stephen’s Cathedral on your included city tour with a local guide. Stroll on the Krntnerstrasse and enjoy Sachertorte or Apfelstrdel in a classic Viennese coffee house. This afternoon, set sail for Budapest. (B, L, D)

Day 10 Budapest.

Included today: Guided sightseeing.
Spanning the banks of the Danube, Budapest is one of Eastern Europe’s liveliest cities. Today’s guided city tour takes in the massive hilltop castle complex, Fisherman’s Bastion and Matthias Church. This afternoon, explore this vibrant city at your own pace, perhaps strolling across the famed Chain Bridge, a symbol of Budapest built in 1849 that connects ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. Or why not visit St Stephen’s Basilica, shop at the Great Market Hall to purchase paprika and embroidery, or stroll along Vac Utca main shopping street. (B, L, D)

Day 11 Budapest.

A full day to explore on your own and do as you please. If you need suggestions for things to do, your Cruise Director can help. (B, L, D)

Day 12 Mohcs.

Included today: Guided sightseeing in Pcs, visit underground tombs; organ concert.
Cruise to Mohcs this morning and after lunch, join the included excursion to Pcs. Established by the Romans in the 2nd century, this was a flourishing and important town for Christianity by the 4th century. With a Local Guide, visit the early Christian Underground Tombs, many of which have splendidly decorated murals with Christian themes that are now part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Later, enjoy an organ concert. (B, L, D)

Day 13 Belgrade, Serbia

Included today: Guided sightseeing.
One of the oldest cities in Europe, the capital of Serbia is situated at the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers. A LOCAL GUIDE will be proud to show you its main sights, including St. Sava, the world’s largest Orthodox church. Also visit the city’s principal landmark, KALEMEGDAN FORTRESS, which showcases the history of Belgrade. Built in stages between the 1st and 18th centuries, the fortress witnessed many battles and observed the courage of those trying to defend the city from conquerors. The surrounding park is the most beautiful and largest park in Belgrade. (B, L, D)

Day 14 Iron Gates Gorge.

Included today: Visit Lepenski Vir archaeological site; cruise the Iron Gates Gorge.
After breakfast, dock at Donji Milanovac and drive to the impressive Lepenski Vir Exhibition Centre, a rich archaeological site that also offers unique, striking views of the Danube Gorge. After lunch back on board, cruise amongst some of the most spectacular scenery in the dramatic Iron Gates Gorge, a narrow and formerly very dangerous passage dividing Europe’s Alps in the northwest from the Carpathians in the southeast, which forms a natural border between Serbia and Romania. (B, L, D)

Day 15 Cetate – Vidin, Bulgaria.

Included today: Visit the cultural port of Cetate; special tasting; Guided sightseeing to Vidin’s fortress; excursion to Belogradchik rock formations. This morning stop in Cetate, an old Danubian grain shipping port, now turned into a cultural centre. The owner will explain the concept of this fascinating venture before you have a chance to see for yourself and to TASTE some of the locally made products. Then on to Vidin, is an important Danube port, situated in north-western Bulgaria. Its medieval FORTRESS, known as ‘Baba Vidin’, is the town’s primary landmark. It served as Vidin’s main defensive installation during the course of the Middle Ages and is the only entirely preserved medieval fortress in the country. It is now a fortress museum and has been restored to its former appearance. In nearby Belogradchik, view the eclectic group of ROCK FORMATIONS on the western slopes of the Balkan Mountains. Sculpted by natural elements for more than 200 million years and with a variety of sizes and shapes, the Belogradchik Rocks are spectacular! (B, L, D)

Day 16 Rousse

Included today: Veliko Trnovo guided sightseeing and Ethnographical Museum and Tsarevet’s Fortress in Veliko Tarnovo, or Rousse guided sightseeing.
A comfortable ride from the river port of Rousse is the ancient Bulgarian capital of Veliko Trnovo. Situated on three hills surrounding the Yantra River, the city was a natural fortress with ancient stone houses clinging to the steep slopes. One of the oldest towns in Bulgaria (dating back to 4300 BC), the oldest part is Tsarevets Hill, home of the ROYAL FORTRESS, and the PATRIARCH’S CHURCH. With your Local Guide, discover this town that played an important role in Bulgaria’s history. Next, journey to Arbanassi, founded in the 15th century, and best known for its Bulgarian Revival architecture and ETHNOGRAPHICAL MUSEUM, a 400-year-old house preserved as a museum. Visit the CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY, one of the town’s oldest churches, and see its outstanding collection of frescoes. Re join Return to your ship in Rousse, Bulgaria’s largest inland port. If you don’t wish to participate in the full-day excursion, stay on board, relax, and join a GUIDED TOUR of Rousse (B, L, D)

Day 17 Oltenita, Romania ( Disembarkation ) – Bucharest.

Included today: Guided sightseeing.
After breakfast say goodbye to your crew. Bucharest, Romania’s lively capital, is only a short drive from Oltenita. Its wide, tree-lined boulevards and Arc de Triomphebuilt in 1922 to honour the bravery of Romanian soldiers who fought in WWIhave gained it the name “Paris of the East.” Much recent history has taken place in the city. During the INCLUDED TOUR this afternoon, see the main sights including Royal Palace Square, the scene of riots in 1989, which led to the collapse of the communist dictatorship. In your free time, discover this interesting city even further. Stroll down Calea Victoriei, “Victory Avenue,” Bucharest’s most historic and alluring street. Initially built in 1692, today it is lined with shops, museums, churches, restaurants, cafs, and fine houses. You will be then transferred to the Athne Palace Hilton (or similar) for one night. (B)

Day 18 Bucharest. Excursion to TransylvaniaBrasov

Head out of the city to your first stop, a visit to BRAN CASTLE, of Dracula fame, built in 1377 and assumed to be the home of Romanian vampires. Then, on to Brasov for the night, with a free afternoon to explore on your own. (B, L, D)

Day 19 BrasovBucharest

This morning join a local expert for GUIDED SIGHTSEEING of Brasov. In the afternoon drive into the Carpathians to Sinaia to visit PELES CASTLE, considered to be one of the most beautiful in Europe, before returning to Bucharest. (B, L)

Day 20 Bucharest

Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

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