Eastern European Discovery to the Danube Delta 2021 Fred Olsen River Cruise

On an extraordinary voyage to the Danube Delta and back, one that’s not completed by many other river ships, you’re in for an unforgettable discovery of diverse destinations, areas of outstanding scenic beauty and authentic experiences across five different countries.
You’ll board in Budapest and begin your journey with a short sail to Croatia, where Vukovar will exhibit Croatian history, highlights and traditions. Continuing on to Serbia, you’ve chances to delight in the dance, costume and music of a traditional folklore show in Belgrade, and experience a momentous navigation of the awe-inspiring Iron Gates gorge, passing the Great Kazan and famous Decebalus rock sculpture, before the gems of Ruse – Bulgaria’s ‘Little Vienna – await you. You’re sure to be charmed by Ruse’s extravagant architecture, rock monastery and historic wineries.

Danube Iron Gates

Itinerary

Your incredible 14 day river cruise begins in bustling Budapest.

Visit Mohács, a hidden gem of the Danube banks. Mohács has unique natural values, architecture, technical history and even renowned folk customs. Tourists can get a glimpse of the past and the present while visiting the national memorial site of Mohács, the votive church, the town hall, the Saint Nicolas water-mill and tread-mill, the Busó court and the Kanizsai Dorottya museum. The cultural treasures of the multinational town are also worth exploring by visiting the outstanding workshops of potters and mask carvers.

Vukovar, noted for its picturesque baroque architecture, Vukovar was a traditional Croatian town, situated at the meeting point of the Vuka river with the Danube. However, in 1991, this all changed with the war for Croatia’s independence, and the town was virtually decimated.

Belgrade might not be as pretty as some of Europe’s other riverside capitals, however that’s all part of this gritty Serbian city’s charm. Shaped by its somewhat chaotic past – having been part of Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, Nazi Germany, Yugoslavia and much more over several centuries; and survived a number of punishing battles and wars – Belgrade is a jumble of historical, architectural and cultural monuments, buildings and landmarks.

Ruse is one of Bulgaria’s biggest and most important port cities, serving as a vital link between several countries across Europe and Asia thanks to its strategic location on the Danube River. However, there’s much more to this city than its thriving port. Affectionately nicknamed ‘Little Vienna’, Ruse is among the most elegant and enchanting cities situated on the Danube, revered for its rich history, culture and magnificent architecture.

Situated on the Danube River, Galati is part of the historical Romanian region of Moldovia. During the 1960’s, the town was linked with Coventry, due to its post-war similarities and volume of industrial investments.

Hidden away deep within the breathtaking Danube Delta, where the Danube River empties into the Black Sea on Romania’s east coast, the fishing village of St Gheorghe – not to be confused with the Transylvanian city of the same name – is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Located on the River Danube, Fetesti is the Gateway to Bucharest, and a popular port for river cruises to Romania. Brabant will dock here to allow guests to visit the atmospheric city of Bucharest. The city is often compared with Berlin, and upon arrival at Bucharest, you can see why. Here, the heady mix of 17th and 18th century orthodox churches and graceful belle époque villas, tucked away between trendy cafes and gardens beg to be explored, and the stunning Cişmigiu Garden must surely be included on your must-see list. With shady walks, a lake, cafes and many benches, the flora here is astounding. Don’t miss the imposing Palace of Parliament, built in the 1980’s during the height of Communism and is said to be the largest Parliament building in the world, housing the National Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as the Romanian Parliament. Another important, and relatively recent, historical site to visit is Revolution Square, where Ceaușescu's regime was ended in 1989.

Located on the banks of the River Danube, Cetate is nestled between Calafat and Turnu Severin, and until the middle of the 20th century, was a leading agricultural port, exporting wheat and flour to Budapest and German cities on the Danube. From the late 1990’s, Cetate reinvented itself as a cultural hub, with many buildings having been restored, and playing host to sculptors, poets and art exhibitors.

Turnu Severin, situated on the left bank of the Danube, Drobeta-Turnu Severin – shortened to Severin in conversation – is situated close to the spectacular Iron Gates. The stunning Iron Gates gorge is part of a nature park offering opportunities for bird watching and visiting caves, or awe-inspiring views to experiences as part of a cruise on the Danube River.

Donji Milanovac, situated on the banks of the River Danube, Donji Milanovic is a pretty Serbian town with panoramas stretching between towering cliff faces, and has earned itself the moniker of the ‘town of 100,000 roses’. Close to the town lies Lepenski Vir, one of the most significant prehistoric archaeological sites in Europe, and must surely be explored. Covered in a construction of glass and stone, it is designed to showcase the settlement in the best possible way, with fine examples of human habitation in the area dating back to around 20,000 BC.

Perhaps visit the Church of St. Nicholas, built in 1840 and the striking centrepiece of the town, housing stunning artefacts from the 18th and 19th centuries; before climbing up above the town to marvel at the views along the Danube. Sample traditional Serbian food on your return to lower ground, accompanied by locally made wine.

Although Novi Sad is arguably not as well-known as Belgrade, there is plenty to suggest that Serbia’s second city in fact has much more to offer than its capital. Energetic, creative and multi-cultural, Novi Sad is an expression of modern Serbia, with its bustling pedestrianised thoroughfares and squares, trendy bars and cafés, thriving music scene and interesting museums and galleries. Throw the city’s abundance of historic landmarks into the mix too and it’s easy to understand why Novi Sad is to become the first ever non-EU European Capital of Culture in 2021.

Besides the masked procession of the Busó carnival, which is a part of the world heritage, there are several spectacular events and folk customs to participate in. When looking for a little recreational time, you shouldn’t miss the town’s swimming pool and spa. Apart from all these attractions, Mohács offers a rich gastronomy and great local wines that contribute to the quality of the time spent here. So, enjoy the “Land of Busós”!

Bustling and beautiful Budapest is an explorer’s dream destination. Straddling the magnificent Danube River, Hungary’s historic capital is split into two distinct districts: Buda, with its steep hills, streets and alleys; and low-lying Pest, where architectural and cultural treasures are in abundance. Exploring Budapest on either side of the water is an unforgettable experience, with unique and fascinating attractions to discover at every turn, but if you have time it’s well worth hopping back and forth via the impressive bridges to take in as many of the city’s spectacular sights as you can.

Your journey ends today in Budapest.

Price Guide

Date Price (pp)
13 May 2021 £2,799
3 June 2021 £2,899
4 October 2021 £2,999

What's Included

  • Return flights & non UK transfers
  • Comfortable en suite accommodation with TV, hairdryer, safe and individually controlled air conditioning
  • Tempting cuisine every day throughout your cruise – with ‘early riser’ breakfast, breakfast buffet, casual lunch, five-course à la carte dinner and late-night snacks
  • Complimentary tea & coffee station 24 hours a day
  • Complimentary afternoon tea & coffee with sandwiches and cakes
  • Welcome Cocktail, Welcome Dinner and Captain’s Gala Dinner
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Use of leisure facilities including Fitness Room and Wellness Tub
  • Lounge music by pianist, or duo every day
  • All local taxes and port charges (where collectable in advance)
  • Complimentary bike hire