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Gems of Southeast Europe (2018)

Spend two nights in Vienna, the “City of Waltzes,” before transferring to Budapest, where you'll embark upon your Danube river cruise with stops in Mohács and Vukovar on the way to Belgrade. Traverse the dramatic Iron Gates. Visit Vidin, Belogradchik and Veliko Tarnovo. Disembark and continue by land to Transylvania, where you'll spend one night in the town of Brasov, home to the Bran Castle, known as Dracula's Castle. En route to Bucharest, explore Peles Castle— considered by many to be one of the most stunning castles in Europe—before arriving in the Romanian capital, Bucharest.

  • Price starts at: $4439
  • Tour length: 12 Days
  • Trip Type: River Cruise

All 2017 Brochure Prices Are Discounted.
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Itinerary & Activities

Itinerary Map
(click for larger version)
Itinerary

Day 1

ARRIVE IN VIENNA, AUSTRIA Arrive in Vienna and transfer to your hotel. The balance of the day is at your leisure to explore this culturally rich city.

Day 2

VIENNA This morning, you will have a chance to savor the Baroque elegance of romantic Vienna. First, a panoramic tour of Vienna will guides you past the majestic Opera House, the former Imperial Palace of the Habsburg Emperors, Parliament, Town Hall and Vienna University. Afterwards, you will visit Vienna's historic city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and see St. Stephen's Cathedral, Graben and the world famous Spanish Riding School. The afternoon is free to explore on your own. (B)

Day 3

VIENNA – BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – EMBARKATION After checking out of your hotel in Vienna, you will travel to Budapest where you will have free time for lunch followed by a sightseeing tour of Buda and Pest. You will see famed Heroes' Square and Castle Hill, home to Fisherman's Bastion, Matthias Church and spectacular views of the Danube. After a Welcome Dinner, the ship will sail a special Illuminations Cruise past the glittering riverfront of Budapest. (B,D)

Day 4

MOHÁCS – PÉCS – VILLÁNY Arrive in Mohacs around breakfast time and depart for your excursion to Pécs. Founded more than 2,000 years ago by the Romans, the city was an important cultural base during many centuries of Ottoman rule. You will see St. Peter's Basilica, the city's main Catholic cathedral, as well as either a mosque that has been converted to a church or the restored synagogue, before returning to the ship in Mohács. After lunch, enjoy a wine-tasting excursion to sample aromatic, spicy wines from the vineyards of Villány. (B,L,D)

Day 5

VUKOVAR, CROATIA – NOVI SAD, SERBIA This morning, enjoy a Yugoslav Civil War tour of Vukovar that will show you the Ovcara Memorial and Cemetery, the monumental cross that serves as a memorial to those who lost their lives during Croatia's struggle for independence. Alternatively, choose to take a wine tasting excursion to Ilok instead. Enjoy lunch on board as you cruise to Novi Sad, Serbia, one of Europe's greatest historical treasures. After a walking tour of the city, you will later in the evening see the Petrovaradin fortress, a mighty stronghold no enemy has ever breached and that is now home to a hotel, museum and artists' studios. (B,L,D)

Day 6

BELGRADE Wake up in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, and enjoy a panoramic tour of the city, that includes visits to Kalemegdan Fortress and the Serbian Orthodox Temple of St. Sava. This afternoon you will have your choice of one of three excursions. Your first option is a visit to the mausoleum of Marshal Josip Broz Tito, a beloved figure who was the leader of the Yugoslav Partisans during the Second World War and became the first President of Yugoslavia. Your second option is a tasting of Serbian plum brandy and local snacks at the Quburich Distillery. Your third option is a guided bike tour through Belgrade around Ada Ciganlija Island. (B,L,D)

Day 7

CRUISING THROUGH THE IRON GATES Today, take a full day of cruising through one of Europe's most awe-inspiring natural wonders, the Iron Gates. Here the Danube narrows as it winds through a series of magnificent gorges between Serbia and Romania. The banks of the river along this natural border are lined with sheer-faced rocks that stretch high overhead, a sight that will be an unforgettable highlight of your adventure. (B,L,D)

Day 8

VIDIN, BULGARIA Your time in Vidin begins with a visit to Belogradchik, a beautifully restored castle located in a stunning landscape of unusual rock formations, as well as Vidin Castle. Afterwards, you will visit Baba Vida Fortress, the only entirely preserved medieval castle in the country, where you will be treated to a fascinating historical re-enactment. You may also opt instead for a Banitsa pastry and yogurt tasting, or a guided bike tour on which you will see sights like the Ottoman post office and visit the synagogue. Afterwards, you will have your choice of one of three excursions. The ship departs early afternoon. (B,L,D)

Day 9

ROUSSE– VELIKO TARNOVO – GIURGIU Today, enjoy a visit to the ancient capital of Bulgaria, Veliko Turnavo. Here you will tour Tsarevets Hill, the old citadel of the city. You will see the old fortress walls, the Royal Palaces and the Patriarchal church, and the Baldwin's Tower. Or, you may choose to hike to the Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo, a group of monolithic churches, chapels and monasteries built into the side of a mountain. Return to the ship afterward and enjoy a free evening. (B,L,D)

Day 10

GIURGIU – DISEMBARKATION – BUCHAREST, ROMANIA Disembark the ship in Giurgiu and continue your tour by motor coach. Today we arrive in the village of Brasov where you'll enjoy a city tour and a visit to the infamous Bran Castle. Later this afternoon check in to your hotel. (B,L)

Day 11

BRASOV – TRANSYLVANIA After breakfast, enjoy a full day excursion today to the legendary region of Transylvania, a place deeply rooted in myth and history and comfortable nestled between the Carpathian Mountains. Take a scenic country drive to Sinaia, where you'll have an opportunity to see the exquisite Peles Castles, a former summer palace for Romanian royalty.(B,L)

Day 12

BUCHAREST Enjoy a city tour, the rest of the day is free to explore on your own.

Day 13

DEPART BUCHAREST Bid farewell to Burcharest as you prepare for your homeward flight. (B)


Things to Know

Preparing For Your Trip
  • Make Sure to Bring All of Your Important Documents: Passport, Foreign visa (if applicable), Itinerary, Trip confirmation, Airline ticket, Drivers license, Credit cards, Travel documents.

  • Vaccinations Are Required for Entry to Some Countries. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) can provide you their recommendations for vaccinations and other travel health precautions for your trip abroad.

  • Are You Taking Any Prescriptions or Other Medications? Pack enough to last your entire trip, including some extra in case you are unexpectedly delayed.

  • Insurance: Purchase travel insurance to cover yourself against unexpected situations. You never know when something might happen, so always be prepared.
While Traveling
  • Keep an eye on your belongings. Do not leave your belongings unattended in public spaces

  • Always have local cash. Not every place takes credit cards.
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