The Danube from the Black Sea to Budapest

Resort:The Danube from the Black Sea to Budapest
Operator: Avalon Waterways
Destination: Bulgaria
Price From: £2064.00

Itinerary Details

Day 1 Bucharest.

Fly to Bucharest where you will be met and transferred to the Athene Palace Hilton hotel (or similar) for one night.

Day 2 Bucharest – Fetesti ( Embarkation )

Included today: Guided sightseeing.
Much recent history has taken place in Romania’s capital city, and 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’. During your INCLUDED TOUR this morning, see the main sights including The Royal Palace Square, the scene of riots in 1989, which led to the collapse of the communist dictatorship. Travel by coach to Oltenita, where your river cruise vessel is docked. Before dinner, meet your crew at a welcome reception (B, D)

Day 3 St. Gheorghe. Danube Delta Excursion

This morning during breakfast, dock in St. Gheorghe, from where the excursion into the delta will start. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and the best preserved of Europe’s deltas, this area hosts over 300 species of birds as well as 45 species of freshwater fish. From its source in the Black Forest to its delta at the Black Sea, the Danube measures 2,845 kilometres in length. The Km markings can be clearly seen on the river banks the length of the river. Depart St. Gheorghe during lunch and enjoy a small celebration to mark Km “0”the end of the Danube’s journey. This afternoon a chance to relax and to learn more about the fascinating Delta at an on-board lecture. (B, L, D)

Day 4 Cernavoda. Excursion to Constanta

Included today: Guided sightseeing, visit the National History & Archaeological Museum.
From Cernavoda this morning, an excursion takes you to Constanta, the most important commercial centre in Romania, situated on the Black Sea. A CERTIFIED LOCAL GUIDE shows you the highlights of this city and a visit of the NATURAL HISTORY & ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM is included. This afternoon relax on board as you cruise westward towards Rousse. (B, L, D)

Day 5 Rousse, Bulgaria. Excursion to Veliko Trnovo & ArbanassiSvistov

Included today: Guided sightseeing, visit Tsarevets Fortress in Veliko Trnovo, and the Ethnographical Museum and Church of the Nativity in Arbanassi; or guided sightseeing of Rousse.
Dock this morning in Rousse, Bulgarias largest inland port. A comfortable coach ride away 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. The oldest part is Tsarevets Hill, home of the ROYAL FORTRESS, and the Patriarchs Church. With your Local Guide, discover this town that played an important role in Bulgarias history. Then, journey to Arbanassi. Founded in the 15th century, the historic village of Arbanassi is best known for its examples of Bulgarian Revival architecture and its ETHNOGRAPHICAL MUSEUM, a 400-year-old house preserved as a museum. Visit the CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY, one of the oldest churches in Arbanassi, and see its outstanding collection of frescoes. If you do not wish to participate in the full-day excursion, you may choose to remain on board and join an INCLUDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR of Rousse after breakfast. At lunchtime, sail for Svistov, where excursion participants will rejoin the ship. (B, L, D)

Day 6 Vidin, Bulgaria. Excursion to Belogradchik

Included today: Guided sightseeing.
Today, enjoy a leisurely morning of sailing before arriving in Vidin, an important Danube port 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 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. (B, L, D)

Day 7 Iron Gates.

Included today: Cruise through the Iron Gates gorge; visit Lepenski Vir archaeological exhibition.
The most spectacular scenery must surely be the dramatic gorge of the IRON GATES, a narrow and formerly very dangerous passage dividing Europe’s Alps in the North-west from the Carpathians in the south-east and forming a natural border between Serbia and Romania. After lunch dock at Donji Milanovac from where a short drive takes you to the impressive LEPENSKI VIR EXHIBITION CENTRE housing archaeological artefacts found in this area and from where you have unique views of the Danube Gorge. (B, L, D)

Day 8 Belgrade, Serbia

Included today: Guided sightseeing, visit Kalemegdan Fortress
Early today, arrive in Belgrade. One of the oldest cities in Europe, the capital of Serbia is situated at the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers. A Local Guide will be proud to show you its main sights, including St. Sava, the worlds largest orthodox church. Also visit the citys 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. In your free time, be sure to check out the citys lively pedestrian area and charming outdoor cafs. Perhaps visit one of the many art galleries or museums, relax in the park, or walk along the city streets and browse the local shops. Late tonight, depart for Vukovar in Croatia. (B, L, D)

Day 9 Mohcs, Hungary. Excursion to Pcs

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

Day 10 Budapest ( Disembarkation )

Early this morning dock in the countrys capital. Spanning the banks of the Danube, Budapest is one of Eastern Europes liveliest cities. Whether youre seeing the sights, shopping for hand crafted embroidery or Herend porcelain, or basking in the coffee house culture over a rich cream cake in the renowned Gerbeaud Caf, Budapests unique energy is positively palatable. Bid good-bye to your crew before joining a GUIDED TOUR of the city. See Heroes Square as well as the massive hilltop castle complex with its remarkable Fishermens Bastionwith spectacular views of the cityand 11th-century Matthias Church, the coronation spot of several Hungarian monarchs. Be sure to take note of the citys eight bridgesmany famous sights in and of themselveswhich connect ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. You may even want to walk across Chain Bridge, built in 1849 and a symbol of Budapest. (B)

Day 11 Budapest

You have time today to explore Budapest further. Perhaps visit St. Stephens Basilica for marvellous views of the city from its viewing platform. Or maybe you would like to join one of the optional excursions on offer. (B)

Day 12 Budapest

Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

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