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Blue Danube to Black Sea Cruise from Bucharest
New Addition to our Programme

Blue Danube to the Black Sea – Bucharest to Vienna

Your cruise holiday from Bucharest to Vienna begins with an overnight in vibrant Bucharest, also known as the "Paris of the East", before boarding the ship and heading north on the Danube, enjoying guided sightseeing in each city.

Day 1 Bucharest - Arrival

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

Day 2 Bucharest - Fetesti

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. Later we drive to Fetesti where you will embark your ship and meet the crew at a welcome reception.

Day 3 St Gheorghe

This morning we depart on an excursion to Danube Delta on board small boats, to explore this unique nature reserve featured in the UNESCO World Heritage list. This is considered to be one of the best preserved deltas in Europe, hosting over 300 species of birds and 45 species of freshwater fish. From its source in Germany's Black Forest to this delta by the Black Sea, the Danube measures a total of 2,845 kilometres in length. The “Km” markings are clearly visible on the river banks along the river's full length, so enjoy a small celebration to mark the “Km 0” at the end of our Danube voyage here. Spend the afternoon relaxing on board as we sail to Cernavoda.

Day 4 Cernavoda

There is a choice of full or half-day excursion to Constanta on the Black Sea Coast, the most important commercial centre in Romania. Our local guide introduces highlights of this vibrant port city, including the Natural History & Archaeological museum. Later on, we visit a winery at Murfatlar, a famous wine growing region. Alternatively, relax on board in the morning and visit Constanta in the afternoon.

Day 5 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. Visit the Church of Nativity, one of the oldest churches here, to admire a truly unique and outstanding collection of fresco paintings.

Day 6 Cetate

Today enjoy a leisurely day of sailing.  Before lunch we stop at Cetate for a tasting of excellent local wines.

Day 7 Iron Gates Gorge

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.  This afternoon we dock 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.

Day 8 Belgrade

Reaching 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 reveals 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 9 Osijek & Vukovar

Learn about the complex history of Croatia and the events that led to the Croatian War of Independence. Accompanied by local experts, we explore the baroque town of Osijek and Vukovar, Croatia's largest river port. Located at the confluence of the Danube and Vuka Rivers, Vukovar was the scene of dramatic events that have shaped both the present and future of this region.

Day 10 Budapest

Spanning the banks of the Danube, Budapest is one of Eastern Europe's liveliest cities. Included guided tour of the city features Heroes' Square as well as the hilltop castle with its remarkable Fishermen’s Bastion and 11th-century Matthias Church. Take particular note of the city’s eight bridges (famous sights themselves!), connecting ancient Buda with modern Pest. Spend the afternoon enjoying Hungary's exciting capital independently, taking a walk to see some of the remaining communist era statues or stroll along Vaci Utca main shopping street.

Day 11 Budapest

Time at leisure to explore Budapest further before setting sail for Bratislava in the afternoon.

Day 12 Bratislava - Vienna

Disembark in Bratislava,  the capital of Slovakia, situated at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains. Our sightseeing with a local guide leads through the charming Old Town with its Town Hall representing the oldest stone building in the city. We also visit the St Martin's Cathedral, historical coronation church for the Kingdom of Hungary.  After your tour of the city we drive to Vienna.

Day 13 Vienna

Vienna is the "City of Music" that inspired the creative genius of Mozart and Strauss and was once the centre of the mighty Hapsburg Empire. A showcase of gilded architecture, see the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex, with its Lipizzaner stallions, the impressive neo-renaissance Opera House and awe-inspiring St Stephen's Cathedral on your included guided city sightseeing tour. Enjoy time at leisure, perhaps visiting one of the many magnificent museums or browsing through the Naschmarkt, Vienna's main outdoor market. An optional concert is available.

Day 14 Vienna - Departure

Breakfast and transfer to Vienna Airport for your homeward journey.

Departure dates - Apr 27 • Jul 06 •  Sep 14 • Oct 05

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 £172.90 • Category B £915.20 • Category A £969.80 • Category P £1055.60 • Category E sole use from £1358.80 • Category D sole use from £1611.70 • Category B sole use from £2694.00 • Category A sole use from £2769.80 • Category P sole use from £2895.60
Complimentary Package
Excursions and sightseeing trips with local guides or headsets provided are included as follows: Bucharest - guided sightseeing, Parliament Building, National Art Museum • Danube Delta excursion • Constanta - guided sightseeing, National History and Archaeological Museum • Veliko Tarnovo & Arbanassi - guided sightseeing, Tsarevet's Fortress, Ethnographic Museum and Church of the Nativity • Rousse - guided sightseeing (if not taking previous) • Iron Gates Gorge cruise • Lepenski Vir - archaeological site and exhibition • Belgrade - guided sightseeing, Kalemegdan Fortress • Osijek & Vukovar - guided sightseeing • Budapest - guided sightseeing • Bratislava - guided sightseeing, St Martin's Cathedral •  Vienna - 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 • One night at the Athenee Palace Hilton B&B basis (or similar), Bucharest • Two nights at the Inter-Continental Hotel B&B basis (or similar), Vienna 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 Bucharest & Vienna 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) 10 nights accommodation onboard your ship, 1 night at the Athenee Palace Hilton (or similar), Bucharest & 2 nights at the Inter-Continental Hotel (or similar), Vienna 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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Including: 20kg hold luggage, return flight, transfers*, resort rep, low deposit, ATOL protection
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age 0-17
The price quoted above is for guidance purposes only. Live prices can be obtained by utilizing the holiday search box.
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Why book with us

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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