2018 : Balkan Discovery - Eastbound (WBO) - Illumination
10 Day River Cruise from Budapest to Bucharest
See the highlights of Eastern Europe on this Balkan river cruise adventure along the Danube River! Enjoy 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. This city has a unique energy and offers an eclectic mix of activities. See the iconic statues of Heroes' Square, and with free time, explore the lovely lookout towers of Fishermen's Bastion. Built in the 19th Century, and providing the best panoramic views of Budapest, you can linger at this remarkable structure and get some amazing pictures. 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. Cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates Gorge and visit the cultural port of Cetate. Visit Bulgaria's Belogradchik, where you'll see the fascinating rock formations sculpted by natural elements for over 200 million years. On an excursion to the ancient Bulgarian capital of Veliko Tarnovo, you'll visit Arbanassi's Church of the Nativity, housing an impressive collection of frescoes.
To round out this timeless Eastern 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, built in honor of WWI soldiers.
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 used our 89 years to design 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. Panoramic windows throughout the ship Elegant, contemporary design & decor Friendly, English-speaking crew & Cruise Director Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the ship Avalon FreshSM healthy cuisine options Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks at lunch & dinner Avalon Choice® cruising experience Included sightseeing with headsets by Certified Local Guides Complimentary Nordic walking sticks Complimentary bicycles available for time on shore Local FavoritesSM - onboard cultural & artisan experiences Sky Deck shade system & premium lounge chairs Well-stocked library with books, cards, and games Comfort Collection BedsSM Egyptian super-combed cotton linens Bathrobes & slippers Premium L'Occitane bath products & hairdryer Large bathroom featuring shower with glass door Flatscreen satellite TV with free movie channels Individual climate control Complimentary bottled water daily Club Lounge with 24-hour, self-serve beverage station Premium coffees, cappuccinos, lattes, hot chocolate & teas Cookies & fresh fruit available throughout the day And, much more
Highlights & Sightseeing
Days 1 & 2 Budapest: welcome to Hungary; guided sightseeing on Day 2, see Fishermen's Bastion and Heroes' Square
Day 3 Budapest (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception
Day 4 Mohacs. Excursion to Pecs: guided sightseeing in Pecs, visit the underground tombs; organ concert
Day 5 Belgrade: guided sightseeing in Belgrade, visit Kalemegdan Fortress
Day 6 Iron Gates: visit Lepenski Vir archaeological site; cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates gorge
Day 7 Cetate-Vidin-Belogradchik:visit the cultural port in Cetate; special tasting; excursion to Belogradchik to see the
Day 8 Nikopol-Excursion to Veliko Tarnovo & Arbanassi-Rousse: guided sightseeing, visit Tsarevet's Fortress in Veliko Tarnovo and the Ethnographical Museum and Church of the Nativity in Arbanassi; or guided sightseeing of Rousse
Day 9 Oltenita (Disembarkation)-Bucharest: guided sightseeing in Bucharest
Day 10 Bucharest: your vacation ends this morning
Meals Captain's welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapes Welcome dinner Farewell dinner Daily full buffet breakfast with made-to-order egg station, hot and cold menu items Early and Late Riser breakfast Daily lunch buffet with pasta or carving stations Alternative light lunch or (weather permitting) grill fare at the Sky Bistro on the Sky Deck Daily four-course a la carte dinner in the main dining room Alternative dinner of petite portions or regional specialties with wines, in the Panorama Bistro Daily Afternoon Tea Daily Night Fare Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; wine, beer, or soft drinks with lunch and dinner are included daily on board your vessel
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. Cruise-Only Available: This vacation can also be taken as a Cruise-Only option starting at the embarkation city and ending at the disembarkation city, and does not include overnight land stays. If you are interested in this option, please contact a Travel Consultant for more information.
Arrive in Budapest, Hungary
Welcome to Budapest, Hungary's lively capital spanning the banks of the Danube. The remainder of the day is free to start exploring Eastern Europe's most cosmopolitan metropolis.
Whether you're seeing the sights, shopping for handcrafted embroidery or Herend porcelain, or basking in the coffee house culture over a rich cream cake in the renowned Gerbeaud Cafe, Budapest's unique energy is positively palatable. On your included GUIDED TOUR of the city, see Heroes' Square as well as the massive hilltop castle complex with its remarkable Fishermen's Bastion and 11th-century Matthias Church, the coronation spot of several Hungarian monarchs. Be sure to take note of the city's eight bridges-many famous sights in and of themselves-which 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. This afternoon is free. Perhaps visit St. Stephen's Basilica for marvelous city views from its viewing platform, or stroll along Vaci utca, the main shopping street. (Breakfast)
This morning you can explore this vibrant city at your own pace. Shop at the Great Market Hall and purchase paprika or embroidery at one of its 180 vendor stalls, or wander around the Royal Palace grounds. This afternoon, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at a welcome reception. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Mohacs. Excursion to Pecs
This morning, arrive in Mohacs, the last stop in Hungary, from where an included excursion takes you to Pecs. 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 TOMBS-now part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site-many of which have splendidly decorated murals with Christian themes. Later, enjoy an ORGAN CONCERT. Pecs is also a rich showcase of Turkish architecture and home to Turkish mosques, striking churches, and an enjoyable atmosphere around its restaurants and cafes. After lunch, enjoy some leisurely cruising toward Belgrade. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
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 world's largest orthodox church. In your free time, be sure to check out the city's lively pedestrian area and charming outdoor cafes. Perhaps visit one of the many art galleries or museums, or browse the local shops. Stroll through Belgrade's largest and most beautiful park which surrounds the city's principal landmark, Kalemegdan Fortress, and gaze down at the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Excursion to Lepenski Vir-Iron Gates
This morning, dock at Donji Milanovac, where a short drive takes you to the impressive LEPENSKI VIR EXHIBITION CENTER, which houses area archaeological artifacts and from where you have unique views of the Danube Gorge. Return to your ship before lunch, then cruise what must surely be the most spectacular scenery of the dramatic IRON GATES 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Cetate, Romania-Vidin, Bulgaria. Excursion to Belogradchik
This morning, stop in Cetate, an old Danubian grain shipping port that is now a cultural center. The owner will explain the concept of this fascinating venture before you have a chance to see for yourself and to TASTE some of the locally made products. Then, on to Vidin, an important Danube port in northwestern Bulgaria, from where a short ride takes you to Belogradchik to 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 and with a variety of sizes and shapes, the Belogradchik Rocks are spectacular! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Nikopol-Excursion to Veliko Tarnovo & Arbanassi-Rousse
This morning stop in Nikopol from where an excursion takes you to the ancient Bulgarian capital of Veliko Tarnovo. Situated on three hills surrounding the Yantra River, the city was a natural fortress with ancient stone houses clinging to the steep slopes. One of the oldest towns in Bulgaria (dating back to 4300 BC), the oldest part is Tsarevets Hill, home of the ROYAL FORTRESS, and the Patriarch's Church. With your LOCAL GUIDE, discover this town that played an important role in Bulgaria's history. Next, journey to Arbanassi, founded in the 15th century, and best known for its Bulgarian Revival architecture and ETHNOGRAPHICAL MUSEUM, a 400-year-old house preserved as a museum. Visit the CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY, one of the town's oldest churches, and see its outstanding collection of frescoes. Return to your ship in Rousse, Bulgaria's largest inland port. If you don't wish to participate in the full-day excursion, stay on board and relax or join a GUIDED TOUR of Rousse. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Oltenita, Romania (Disembarkation)-Bucharest
After breakfast say goodbye to your crew.Bucharest, Romania's lively capital, is only a short drive from Oltenita. Its wide, tree-lined boulevards and Arc de Triomphe-built in 1922 to honor the bravery of Romanian soldiers who fought in WWI-have gained it the name "Paris of the East." Much recent history has taken place in the city. During the INCLUDED TOUR this morning, see the main sights including Royal Palace Square, the scene of riots in 1989, which led to the collapse of the communist dictatorship. In your free time, discover this interesting city even further. Stroll down Calea Victoriei, "Victory Avenue," Bucharest's most historic and alluring street. Initially built in 1692, today it is lined with shops, museums, churches, restaurants, cafes, and fine houses. (Breakfast)
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)
|Offer valid through 3/31/2018|
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 $180 to $300, in twin room from $105 to $160
Extra nights per person in Bucharest:
in single room from $145 to $225, in twin room from $75 to $125
Cruise-Only Available: This vacation can also be taken as a Cruise-Only option starting at the embarkation city and ending at the disembarkation city, and does not include overnight land stays. If you are interested in this option, please contact a Travel Consultant for more information.
Prices shown include cruise in Category E in a deluxe outside stateroom on Indigo Deck.
To upgrade to a higher category, add per person:
Category /Decks / Price
B Sapphire Deck $556
A Sapphire Deck $599
P Royal Deck $685
Avalon Suite $1,285
Category / Decks / Price
D / Indigo Deck / $171
B / Sapphire Deck / $985
A / Sapphire Deck / $1,028
P / Royal Deck / $1,113
Royal Suite / Royal Deck / $1,713
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.
View full Terms & Conditions
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.