Passage to Eastern Europe 2021 Viking River Cruise
Behold Budapest’s grandeur. Witness Hungary’s daredevil Puszta horsemen. Visit a Croatian family’s Osijek home. View the Danube’s towering Iron Gate. Explore Belgrade’s Ottoman and European treasures, including 6th-century Kalemegdan Fortress. Make banitsa bread with a home cook in Vidin. See Bucharest’s 3,000-room Palace of Parliament. Once hidden behind the Iron Curtain, the eastern Danube still has secrets to reveal on this enriching river cruise.
Arrive at Budapest airport and transfer to your hotel in the heart of the city for a 2-night stay. Spend the rest of the day relaxing, or do some exploring on your own.
This morning, take a tour of Budapest, the capital of Hungary. Situated along the Danube, it combines the once separate towns of hilly Buda and cosmopolitan Pest into a city rich with history. Begin in Pest, where you see the National Opera House and visit historic Heroes’ Square. Cross the Chain Bridge to Buda, where you walk along Castle Hill to Fishermen’s Bastion and Matthias Church. The rest of the day is yours to explore.
After breakfast, check out of your hotel and relax as we take you to board your ship. Enjoy a final free day in Budapest. Explore a museum; do some shopping; ride the city’s innovative, efficient metro; relax in one of the Art Nouveau spas; or visit the Great Synagogue and Jewish Quarter. Alternatively, join an optional tour to explore more of Budapest. Return to your ship for a welcome dinner.
Arrive in Kalocsa, Hungary this morning and take a guided city tour visiting the town center followed by a short organ concert at St. Joseph Church. Then, you are treated to a performance of traditional Puszta horsemanship. Return on board and enjoy your lunch during departure. Dine on board.
Wake up in Vukovar and have breakfast before your excursion to the Croatian city of Osijek. Inhabited since Neolithic times, this area has had several heydays under the Romans, the Ottomans and the Hapsburgs; now, Vukovar is revered for its baroque buildings, parks and monuments. Return on board for lunch and enjoy free time before an early-evening departure.
Wake up in Belgrade, capital of Serbia. Take a guided walk through the grounds of Kalemegdan Fortress, now a stately park; also see the Orthodox cathedral and stop at the Square of the Republic. Enjoy lunch on board your ship before you have free time to explore Belgrade’s gracious architecture or visit one of its many museums. Enjoy dinner on board your ship.
Sail to Golubac this morning and enjoy an included tour of the Golubac Fortress and admire sweeping views over the Danube. You may also choose to join an optional tour; explore Europe’s first settlement from the Stone Age, or take an invigorating hike to Djerdap National Park. Rejoin your ship in Donji Milanovac for lunch. This afternoon, enjoy scenic cruising as you travel through one of the most picturesque areas of the Lower Danube. The Iron Gate is one of Europe’s most dramatic natural wonders—a spectacular narrow gorge with enormous white limestone cliffs. Take in your Program Director’s commentary about the region and scenic points of interest as you sail toward your next port.
Arrive in the picturesque Bulgarian port of Vidin, and take an excursion to see Belogradchik Fortress, built right into the striking Belogradchik Rocks. See the fortress’s amazing construction, begun in Roman times and greatly extended by Bulgarian tsars and the Ottomans, and enjoy breathtaking views. Enjoy lunch on board your ship; then you have free time to explore Vidin’s city center, Orthodox churches and the ruins of the city’s once-grand synagogue. We depart during dinner.
After breakfast, disembark at Russe for a full-day excursion to Bulgaria’s former capital, Veliko Tarnovo. See Tsaravets Hill and the ruins of the royal castle. During free time, shop for local crafts along Samovodska Charshia. Continue your venture to Arbanasi for lunch in a local restaurant and a guided tour of the Nativity Church, with its intricate floor-to-ceiling murals and icons. Return to your ship for dinner.
Disembark in Giurgiu and set off by motor coach to Bucharest for a day of exploration. After lunch at a local restaurant, enjoy a tour of Romania’s lovely capital city. See the city’s wide boulevards, the Romanian Athenaeum, the Arch of Triumph and the Palace of Parliament. Visit the outdoor Muzeul Satului, otherwise known as the Village Museum, where authentic dwellings from all regions of the country have been relocated and reassembled, including rural cottages, farmhouses and water mills. After your tour, proceed to your hotel and enjoy a final evening in Bucharest.
After breakfast, we take you to Bucharest airport for your return flight to the UK.
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Extend your stay, pre or post cruise, with these great value cruise extensions! Simply give our award winning team a call for full details on 0800 810 8220
- 2 Nights pre cruise stay in Budapest from only £299pp
- 3 Nights pre cruise stay in Prague from only £549pp
- 3 Nights post cruise stay in Bucharest & Translyvania from only £549pp
- Onboard gratuities
- Return scheduled flights from the UK from a choice of up to 14 regional airports at no extra cost. Please call for details
- 8 days on board in a river-view stateroom
- 2 nights at the deluxe Le Méridien Budapest
- 1 night at superior first class Bucharest Radisson Blu (or similar) with breakfasts
- 8 guided tours with audio headset
- All on board meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches & 7 dinners, featuring regional specialties and including Welcome Cocktail Reception & Dinner plus breakfast at the Budapest & Bucharest hotels
- Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks with on board dinner and lunch
- Visit 1 UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Culture Curriculum: Enjoy Serbian & Hungarian folkloric performances; learn about icons & orthodox religion from a Bulgarian priest; attend lectures on Serbian current affairs, the myth of Dracula & the European Union; enjoy the authentic flavours of Eastern Europe, on shore and aboard
- All port charges, airport taxes and overseas transfers
- Free Wi-Fi, connection speed may vary
- PRICE GUARANTEE: Once you have paid in full for your trip, you are safe from any additional charges. Airfare increases, currency fluctuations, increased fuel surcharges, new government taxes—none of these will apply to you.