2019 : Balkan Discovery with 2 Nights Transylvania (WBOE) - Illumination

12 Day River Cruise Budapest to Bucharest

See the highlights of Eastern Europe on this Balkan river cruise adventure along the Danube River! This vacation has something for everybody-relaxing time on your ship and stops in the most fascinating cities, with free time and guided sightseeing-so you don't miss a thing!

You'll begin with two overnights in the lively Hungarian capital of Budapest. See the iconic statues of Heroes' Square, and with free time, explore the lovely lookout towers of Fishermen's Bastion. On an excursion to Pecs, Hungary, you'll visit underground burial chambers with fascinating murals, now part of a UNESCO World Heritage site. Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, is one of the oldest cities in Europe, where the Sava River meets the Danube. The lively pedestrian boulevard of Knez Mihailova is dotted with historical buildings and charming cafes and you'll see St. Sava, the world's largest Orthodox Church. Continue your river cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates Gorge, visit Belogradchik's fascinating rock formations, and Bulgaria's ancient capital of Veliko Tarnovo. In Arbanassi, visit the Church of the Nativity, housing an impressive collection of frescoes.

To round out this timeless European river cruise, a stay in Romania's vibrant capital of Bucharest is a must. Known as the "Paris of the East," a local expert will show you many of its historical treasures, such as the Arc de Triomphe. From Bucharest, take an overnight trip to Transylvania to visit the Bran Castle-of Dracula Fame-the city of Brasov, and beautiful Peles Castle.

Cruise at-a-Glance

Day1 Budapest: Welcome to Hungary
Day 2 Budapest: Guided tour, see Heroes' Square
Day 3 Budapest (Embarkation): Onboard welcome reception
Day 4 Mohacs. Excursion to Pecs: Choice of guided tour in Pecs, visit the underground tombs, or sightseeing in Mohacs, visit St. Nicolas watermill
Day 5 Belgrade: Lecture on board; guided tour
Day 6 Donji Milanovac-Iron Gates: Visit Lepenski Vir archaeological site; cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates gorge
Day 7 Cetate-Vidin. Excursion to Belogradchik: Visit the cultural port in Cetate; excursion to Belogradchik, see the rock formations
Day 8 Excursion to Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi-Rousse: Choice of full day guided tour, visit to Tsarevet's Fortress in Veliko Tarnovo, and the Ethnographic Museum and the Church of the Nativity in Arbanassi or guided tour of in Rousse
Day 9 Oltenita (Disembarkation)-Bucharest: Guided tour in Bucharest
Day 10 Bucharest. Excursion to Transylvania-Brasov: Guided visit of Dracula's Bran Castle
Day 11 Brasov-Bucharest: Guided tour in Brasov; visit to Peles Castle
Day 12 Bucharest: Your vacation ends this morning

Always Included

You've always forged your own path...with your own distinct perspective of looking at the world. Avalon Waterways presents a river cruise experience with your unique style in mind-offering expansive views and wider perspectives. That's why we've designed a cruise experience that's just a bit different.

Here are just some of the features and amenities you'll experience on board our Avalon ships. See the Ship Amenities Section below for more information about the amenities in our fleet's unique ships.

Throughout the Ship:

  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Panoramic windows
  • Elegant, contemporary design & decor
  • Friendly, English-speaking crew & Cruise Director
  • Sky Deck with whirlpool, shade awnings, game area and premium lounges
  • Covered Observation Lounge
  • Club Lounge with 24-hour self-serve beverage station with complimentary cappuccinos, lattes, tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees, as well as treats throughout the day

    Suites & Staterooms:

  • Comfort Collection BedsSM with choice of mattress firmness
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Premium L'Occitane bath products
  • Large bathroom featuring shower with glass door
  • Flatscreen satellite TV with free movie channels
  • Individual climate control and in-room safe
  • Complimentary bottled water daily
  • And, much more.

    Health & Fitness:

  • Bikes
  • Canoe, kayak and jogging excursions
  • Maps for hiking, biking and jogging routes
  • Fitness and wellness activities
  • Fitbits
  • All through your Avalon Adventure HostSM

    Dining

  • FlexDiningSM for more venue and seating options, including flexible seating times in our main Dining Room
  • Avalon FreshSM healthy cuisine options at every meal
  • Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; wine, beer, or soft drinks with every lunch and dinner
  • Early and Late Riser breakfast options
  • Daily full buffet breakfast with made-to-order egg station, hot and cold menu items
  • Daily lunch buffet with pasta or carving stations
  • Alternative light lunch or Sky Grill on the Sky Deck (weather permitting)
  • Daily Afternoon Tea featuring tea, coffee, sweet treats & sandwiches
  • Daily four-course a la carte dinner in the main Dining Room with choice of appetizers, soups, salads, entrees and desserts. Includes selections of regional recipes, Western dishes and vegetarian options.
  • Alternative Panorama Bistro dinner, featuring regional specialties and small plates
  • Captain's welcome & farewell receptions and dinners with sparkling wine and canapes
  • Panorama Lounge featuring premium spirits and Avalon specialty cocktails, along with local entertainment special guests
  • Cocktails available on the Sky Deck
  • Fresh fruit available throughout the day

    AVALON CHOICE

    Avalon has designed included activities with a choice of experiences. We invite you to select the tours, activities, and events that interest you most, so you can experience your cruise your way. There are 3 types of included shore excursion on every Europe cruise:
    Classic
    Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You'll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.
    Discovery
    We've found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.
    Active
    Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

  • Plus independent exploration options and use of our exclusive AvalonGO APP.

    Day-By-Day Itinerary

    (B) = Breakfast (L) = Lunch (D) = Dinner

    Day 1
    BUDAPEST, HUNGARY
    Welcome to Budapest-Hungary's Captivating Capital
    The day is yours to relax and enjoy Eastern Europe's shining city on the Danube.

    Day 2
    (B)
    BUDAPEST
    The Pearl of the Danube in the Heart of Europe
    Classic
    Enjoy a Guided City Sightseeing, including the iconic Heroes' Square.
    Take in the beauty of Budapest while enjoying a free afternoon exploring such famous sights as the Chain Bridge. Get to know the city's cafes and pubs, or take a hike through the hills above the Danube.
    You may choose to enjoy Hungarian cuisine in an Optional Wine-and-Dine Dinner this evening.

    Day 3
    (B, D)
    BUDAPEST (EMBARKATION)
    Capture Photographs, Coffee, and Confections
    With a free day to explore before your cruise, take time to shop in the Great Market Hall or take photographs on the Royal Palace grounds in this treasure trove of historical architecture. Try Budapest's famous thermal bath spas, then dine in a garden or rooftop eatery.
    This afternoon, board your Suite Ship. This evening enjoy a dinner on board.
    OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MOHACS

    Day 4
    (B, L, D)
    MOHACS
    Archaeology, Architecture, and an Ancient Watermill
    Classic
    Join a morning Guided Sightseeing Tour of Mohacs-the quiet Danube harbor town with its historical memorial parks, statues, and distinctive churches. Tour the remarkable medieval St. Nicholas Watermill-one of only a few remaining watermills performing stone-ground grain processing, OR:
    Classic
    Take a Guided Tour of nearby Pecs to see its 4th-century Christian underground tombs with fascinating murals, as well as Turkish architecture. You'll also enjoy an organ concert on your tour.
    EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BELGRADE

    Day 5
    (B, L, D)
    BELGRADE, SERBIA
    Fortresses and Folklore of Serbia Past and Present
    Discovery
    Attend an onboard Lecture to learn about the rich history, destinations, and culture of the Balkan states.
    Classic
    Join a Guided Sightseeing Tour of Belgrade-where the Danube and Sava Rivers converge-and see the city's many fascinating sights, including Saint Sava-one of the world's largest Orthodox Church.
    Spend your free time exploring the city on your own this afternoon on Knez Mihailova Street-Belgrade's central pedestrian thoroughfare with many lively cafes, shops, and cultural spots.
    Later, enjoy live entertainment on board your ship before dinner.
    This evening, you might like to join an Optional typical Bohemian Dinner in the Quarter of Skadarlija.
    OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO DONJI MILANOVAC

    Day 6
    (B, L, D)
    DONJI MILANOVAC. EXCURSION TO LEPENSKI VIR. IRON GATES GORGE
    Ancient Art, Archaeological Artifacts, and Gauntlet of the Iron Gates
    Classic
    Join a Guided Tour to Lepenski Vir-an important Mesolithic archaeological site chronicling prehistoric cultures, settlements, and art. Marvel at the ancient discoveries and artifacts, as well as the unique views the site affords of the Danube Gorge.
    After lunch on board, you'll sail through the spectacular and narrow Iron Gates Gorge-a natural border between Serbia and Romania.
    OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO CETATE

    Day 7
    (B, L, D)
    CETATE, ROMANIA
    A Bygone Era and New Mountains to Climb
    Active
    Join your Avalon Adventure Host for a Run along the river bank.
    Classic
    Visit the Danube's old grain-shipping port on a Guided Tour of Cetate, including a tasting of local specialties.
    Sail to Vidin this afternoon.
    VIDIN, BULGARIA
    Rocks and Ruins-Things of Beauty in Bulgaria
    Classic
    Join a Guided Tour to Belogradchik to see the remarkable rock formations on the western slopes of the Balkan Mountains, sculpted by 200 million years of natural elements.
    EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO NIKOPOL

    Day 8
    (B, L, D)
    NIKOPOL. VELIKO TARNOVO & ARBANASSI EXCURSION
    Cliffside Dwellings and Castle Ruins of Bulgarian Kings
    Classic
    Join a full-day Guided Tour to the former Bulgarian capital of Veliko Tarnovo-with its ancient stone houses clinging to the cliffs above the Yantra River. Discover one of the oldest towns in Bulgaria (circa 4300 BC), as well as the Bulgarian Revival architecture in the 15th-century town of Arbanassi.
    As an alternative, sail with your ship to Rousse.
    ROUSSE
    Fortresses and Fountains in Bulgaria's "Little Vienna" You may choose to stay with your ship today on its way to Rousse-dubbed "Little Vienna" for its baroque and neoclassical buildings.
    Classic
    Join a Guided Sightseeing Tour of Bulgaria's largest inland port and visit its impressive Holy Trinity Church, OR:
    Active
    Join an afternoon Run through the park with your Avalon Adventure Host.
    Later, enjoy live entertainment on board with a Bulgarian folklore show.
    OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO OLTENITA

    Day 9
    (B)
    OLTENITA, ROMANIA (DISEMBARKATION)-BUCHAREST
    A Night in Bucharest-the "Paris of the East"
    Classic
    Take a Guided Tour of the Romanian capital city of Bucharest with its tree-lined boulevards and Arc de Triomphe-honoring WWI Romanian soldiers. See the Royal Palace Square-the scene of the city's 1989 riots to overthrow the communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.
    Spend some free time exploring this fascinating city on your own to discover its trendy shops, cafes, museums, beautiful homes, and churches along Victory Avenue.

    Day 10
    (B, L, D)
    BUCHAREST. EXCURSION TO TRANSYLVANIA-BRASOV
    Depart Bucharest for Bran Castle of Dracula lore. Take a Guided Tour of the 1377 legendary home of the famed Romanian vampire. Continue to Brasov for the night.

    Day 11
    (B, L)
    BRASOV-BUCHAREST
    Join a morning Guided Sightseeing Tour of Brasov, followed by an afternoon drive into the Carpathians to Sinaia to visit Peles Castle.

    Day 12
    (B)
    BUCHAREST
    Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

    Notes

  • In the event of water level problems or any problems of a technical nature, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or to alter the program.
  • Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change is necessary, a substitute will be offered.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.
  • Call 1 (800) 658-0869 for more information or to book today! Mention code 14157838

    Cruise Line
    Avalon Waterways
    Offer
    Offer valid through 12/31/2018
    Duration
    12 Days
    Cruise Ship
    Illumination

    Click for more information on this ship.

    DayPortArriveDepart
    Day 1Budapest  
    Day 2Budapest  
    Day 3Budapest  
    Day 4Mohacs  
    Day 5Belgrade  
    Day 6Iron Gates  
    Day 7Vidin  
    Day 8Rousse  
    Day 9Bucharest  
    Day 10Brasov  
    Day 11Bucharest  
    Day 12Bucharest  
    Dates/Pricing

    Click Quote or call us to get additional information on your chosen travel date. Special offers or competitive pricing may be available!

    DatePrice / DescriptionQuote
    07/23/2019Quote
    09/03/2019Quote
    Disclaimer

    Port charges:
    $156

    Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included.

    Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.

    Extra nights per person in Budapest:
    in single room from $263 to $361, in twin room from $148 to $197

    Extra nights per person in Bucharest:
    in single room from $153 to $240, in twin room from $82 to $139

    All prices per person based on double occupancy. Cruise price based on Category E in a deluxe outside stateroom on Indigo Deck. See below for upgrade pricing.

    To upgrade to a higher category, add per person:

    Category /Decks /Price
    D / Indigo Deck / $171
    B / Sapphire Deck / $985
    A / Sapphire Deck / $1028
    P / Royal Deck / $1113
    Royal Suite / Royal Deck / $1885

    Prices shown are "starting at" prices and do not include airfare.

    Travel Terms & Conditions
    The purchase of any travel services offered by Avalon Waterways, constitutes a contractual arrangement between you (the Traveler) and Avalon Waterways, and represents your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions. Please ensure that you read carefully and understand the Terms & Conditions prior to booking. These Terms & Conditions cover Deposit & Final Payment information, Air-Inclusive Deposits & Final Payment, Revisions & Revision Fees, Air Arrangements, Participation, Travelers Who Need Special Assistance, Young Travelers, Smoking, Price Policy, Visas and Passports, Hotels & Accommodations, Baggage Allowance, Travel Documents, Not Included in the Land Price, Refunds, Service Inquires After the Vacation, Holidays, Safety, Photos & Pictures, Optional Excursions, and Responsibility.

    Important Notes

  • Vacation departures, itineraries and prices are subject to change.
  • A non-refundable, non-transferable deposit is required for Avalon Waterways to reserve space for you. View Terms & Conditions for limited exceptions.
  • The following charges are not included in the land/cruise vacation price unless otherwise noted: airfare to and from the start of your vacation; intra-vacation air, unless specified in the itinerary; airline baggage fees including checked and/or excess baggage fees; Federal inspection fees for the Federal U.S. Customs and Immigrations; International Air Transportation tax; agricultural tax; other per person taxes imposed by government entities; airport taxes and fees, including the September 11th Security fee up to $11.20 per person, passenger facility charges up to $18 per person, Federal domestic flight segment fees up to $4.10 per segment, and U.S. and international arrival and departure and other government-imposed added by the airline and applicable at time of booking; port taxes; passports; visas and vaccinations; tips to your Cruise Director, Local Host, driver, Local Guides, and/or ship's crew; gratuities on ferries, trains, and cruise ships; laundry; telephone; minibar; alcohol, beverages, and food outside of the contracted Avalon menu as presented at a hotel or restaurant or onboard your vessel (these extra items will be billed to you before leaving the hotel, ship, or restaurant); airport transfers on non-qualifying flights; optional excursions; additional activities and excursions purchased online; porterage at airports and train stations; Travel Protection; and all other items of a personal nature.
  • Additional airline-imposed fees for seat assignments may apply and are not included in your total package cost. Please refer to carrier websites for seat assignment policies and applicable pricing.

    Booking your Vacation with Air
    Our volume buying power saves you money. We may be able to provide you with flight arrangements from your gateway city. Avalon Waterways offers 2 air options: Flex Air and Instant Purchase Air. Early Airfare Price Guarantee locks in a price that is guaranteed not to increase. Air pricing and schedules are available approximately 330 days prior to last travel date in the itinerary. At that time the best air price will be utilized and a new invoice with the air cost and confirmed schedule will be sent. The identity of the carrier, which may include the carrier's codeshare partner, will be assigned and disclosed at this time. If the guaranteed price is the lowest, the schedule with the lowest fare per contracted classes of service will be booked. Any voluntary change to the confirmed flights negates the guaranteed price and is subject to air pricing at the time of the change.

    Guaranteed air-inclusive prices - air is only available to passengers traveling from the United States and only available when booked in conjunction with a land vacation. An additional non-refundable air deposit of $300 per person is required for Flex Air booked in conjunction with any land vacation (i.e. air-inclusive vacation). Air can only be booked by Avalon in conjunction with a vacation package. Instant Purchase Air requires air payment in full at time of booking (i.e. air-inclusive vacation) plus a non-refundable per person service fee of $30 (North/Central America), $50 (Europe/Middle East) or $80 (all other international destinations). Once booked, Instant Purchase Air is non-refundable, and non-changeable. Some vacations may only offer one Air type option. However, once your airfare is confirmed and Avalon has received your full air and land deposit, your air-inclusive vacation price is guaranteed.

    Air-Inclusive Vacations - Applicable Taxes & Fees
    Air-inclusive vacations include government-imposed taxes and fees applicable at the time of booking and will be shown as a Total Amount. Additional airline fees for baggage may apply. At the time of booking your air-inclusive vacation online, carrier Websites will be provided to check baggage fees, or you can visit www.iflybags.com for up-to-date baggage pricing/restrictions. For return travel from some countries, international travelers are required to pay entry and/or exit fees at the airport. These fees will be collected by the local government and are payable by the traveler at time of travel. Your confirmation booking information will contain information about these fees.

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