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Balkan Discovery Cruise from Budapest
New Addition to our Programme

Balkan Discovery Cruise - Budapest to Bucharest

Your cruise holiday from Budapest to Bucharest begins with two overnights in the lively Hungarian capital Budapest, before boarding the ship and heading south on the Danube, enjoying guided sightseeing in each city.

Day 1 Budapest - Arrival

Fly to Budapest Airport and transfer to your arrival hotel for two nights.

Day 2 Budapest

Whether you’re seeing the sights, shopping for handcrafted embroidery or Herend porcelain, or simply basking in the coffee house culture over a cake in the renowned Gerbeaud Cafe, Budapest’s unique energy is positively palatable. Included guided tour of the city features Heroes' Square as well as the massive hilltop castle with its remarkable Fishermen’s Bastion and 11th-century Matthias Church. Be sure to take note of the city’s eight bridges (famous sights themselves), connecting ancient Buda on the right bank with modern Pest on the left. Afternoon at leisure.

Day 3 Budapest

This morning is spent enjoying Hungary's exciting capital independently. Visit one of the many museums, take a walk to see some of the remaining statues from the communist era, shop at the Great Market Hall to purchase paprika and embroidery, or stroll along Vaci Utca main shopping street. Later, transfer to your cruise ship for six nights and meet your crew at a welcome reception.

Day 4 Mohacs

We cruise to Mohacs in the morning and after lunch join the included guided excursion to Pecs. Established by the Romans in the 2nd century, this was a flourishing and important town for Christianity by the 4th century. We visit the early Christian Underground Tombs, many of which have splendidly decorated murals with Christian themes that are featured in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. Later, enjoy an organ concert before returning to ship.

Day 5 Belgrade

One of the oldest cities in Europe, the capital of Serbia is situated at the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers. Our local guide will be proud to show you Belgrade's main sights, including St. Sava, the largest Orthodox church in the world! There is also a visit to the city’s principal landmark, Kelemegdan Fortress, showcasing the entire 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.

Day 6 Iron Gates Gorge

Morning cruise towards the Iron Gates Gorge before docking at Donji Milanovac, where a short drive takes us to the impressive Lepenski Vir exhibition centre, housing pre-historic archaeological artefacts and offering stunning views of the Danube Gorge. Return to your ship before lunch, then cruise what must surely be the most spectacular scenery in the dramatic Iron Gate gorge, a narrow and formerly very dangerous passage dividing Europe’s Alps in the northwest from the Carpathians in the southeast and forming a natural border between Serbia and Romania.

Day 7 Vidin

The medieval fortress known as “Baba Vidin” is the primary landmark of the Danube port of Vidin in northwestern Bulgaria, serving as the main defensive installation during the course of the Middle Ages. Being the only entirely preserved medieval fortress in the country, there is a museum and walls that have been restored to its former appearance. In the afternoon, we drive to nearby Belogradchik to explore an eclectic group of rock formations, sculpted by nature for more than 200 million years into a variety of sizes and shapes.

Day 8 Rousse - Veliko Tarnovo – Arbanassi

Upon morning cruise, we enjoy a comfortable ride from Rousse port to the ancient Bulgarian capital of Veliko Tarnovo. Situated on three hills surrounding Yantra River, this city was a natural fortress with ancient stone houses clinging to the steep slopes. We visit Tsarevets Hill, home of the Royal Fortress where our local guide reveals how this town played an important role in Bulgaria’s history. Next, journey to Arbanassi, best known for its Bulgarian Revival architecture and Ethnology Museum, carefully preserved as a 400-year-old house. Visiting the Church of Nativity, one of the oldest churches here, we can admire a truly unique and outstanding collection of fresco paintings.

Day 9 Oltenita – Bucharest

After breakfast, we say goodbye to the crew and head for Bucharest, Romania's lively capital, only a short drive from Oltenita. Tree-lined boulevards and The Arc de Triomphe (built in 1922 to honour the bravery of Romanian soldiers in WW1) justly reputed Bucharest as "Paris of the East." Much recent history has taken place in the city and our included guided tour explores Palace Square and other main sites of the 1989 coup, which led to the collapse of the communist dictatorship. At your leisure, discover this interesting city even further, stroll down "Victory Avenue," the city's most historic and alluring street lined with museums, churches, restaurants and cafes. Transfer to your departure hotel for an overnight.

Day 10 Bucharest - Departure

Breakfast and transfer to Bucharest Airport for your homeward journey.

Departure dates - Apr 20 • Jun 29 • Sep 07, 28

Please note: Proposed itinerary is subject to amendments or alterations, sometimes without prior notification. For full details of this holiday, flight supplements, booking conditions & essential holiday information (all of which must be read before booking), please see relevant pages of this brochure or website pages.
Accommodation Details
Board Basis:
Full Board
Official Category:
Prices are per person, per cruise, based on “Category E” Lower Deck Forward Cabin
Supplements (per person per night)
Prices per person per week: Category D £111.60 • Category B from £584.10 • Category A from £623.70 • Category P £681.30 • Category E sole use from £957.50 • Category D sole use from £1116.60 • Category B sole use from £1794.10 • Category A sole use from £1846.20 • Category P sole use from £1927.60
Complimentary Package
Excursions and sightseeing trips with local guides or headsets provided are included as follows: Budapest - guided sightseeing • Pecs excursion, underground tombs, organ concert • Belgrade - guided sightseeing • Lepenski Vir archaeological site • Iron Gates Gorge cruise • Vidin fortress • Belogradchik excursion to rock formations • Veliko Tarnovo & Arbanassi - guided sightseeing, Patriarch's Church, Ethnographic Museum, Church of the Nativity • Rousse & Bucharest - guided sightseeing

Your Cruise Ship/s Avalon Illumination (launched in June 2014) and sister vessel Avalon Passion (planned for launch in April 2016), have been innovatively designed as 'Suite Ships', offering two full decks of Suite accommodation, each with wall-to-wall panoramic windows that open to create unique “Open-Air Balconies”. Every suite provides the very best in size, views and design, each including a tranquil, private sitting area and presenting a spacious 200sq.ft, which is 30% larger than industry standard. This ship offers impeccable personal service and attention to detail as well as fine dining and chic, contemporary decor. Onboard amenities include free Wi-Fi access, state-of-the-art equipment and a large Sky Deck with shade system and delightful Sky Bistro for al-fresco lunches. Accommodation & Facilities Deluxe accommodation for 10 nights in a spacious stateroom with hotel-style beds, en-suite facilities and river views • Floor to ceiling sliding glass doors and a French Balcony in most staterooms • Two nights at the Inter-Continental Hotel B&B basis (or similar), Budapest • One night at the Athenee Palace Hilton B&B basis (or similar), Bucharest Meals All meals on board including full breakfast, buffet lunch & waiter service dinner with quality wines from Europe's most famous wine regions • Afternoon tea with cakes & sweet treats • Choice of teas & coffees throughout the day • Buffet breakfast in Budapest & Bucharest hotels

What's included in the price
Return scheduled flights from London Heathrow or Gatwick with British Airways, including 1 piece of hold luggage up to 20kg (connecting regional flights with LH from XXXXX available at a supplement) 6 nights deluxe accommodation on board your ship, 2 nights at the Inter-Continental Hotel (or similar), Budapest & 1 night at the Athenee Palace Hilton (or similar), Bucharest All transfers, local port charges & airport taxes Captain's Welcome Reception Welcome Dinner & Farewell Gala Dinner On board lectures, activities & nightly piano music Services of an experienced Cruise Director Gratuities for Cruise Director & crew

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Balkan Holidays has 50 years of experience in providing great value summer and winter holidays
and since 1966 we have sold 3 million holidays.

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