Experience its magic yourself, beginning with a 3-night stay in Prague before embarking upon your Danube river cruise. Savor Wachau Valley wine, embrace the elegance and history of Vienna and Budapest, and traverse the legendary passage known as the Iron Gates. Disembark in Rousse, Bulgaria, and conclude your sojourn with two nights in beautiful Bucharest, the “Paris of the East.”
Cruise through the Iron Gates as the Danube narrows through gorges
Visit Vienna’s historic city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Enjoy local wine and food tastings
Tour the infamous Bran Castle, also known as Dracula's Castle
Arrive in Prague and transfer to your hotel. The balance of the day is free to start exploring this beautiful city.
Day 2: Prague
Your morning’s sightseeing tour reveals why Prague is considered one of Europe’s most attractive cities, with its historic city center recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will see Wenceslas Square and the Metronome overlooking the Vltava River before arriving at the 1,000-year-old Prague Castle for a visit. Afterwards, walk over Charles Bridge to the Old Town Square and see the Church of Our Lady before Tyn and the famous Astronomical Clock. This evening, an optional Folklore Dinner Show provides an opportunity to learn about Czech music, dance and traditions.
Spend a day at your leisure to relax and stroll through a museum or gallery, wander along the banks of the Vltava River, relax at an outdoor restaurant or shop for local handicrafts and art work. This afternoon, participate in an optional tour to Terezin, the infamous Nazi WWII concentration camp, now a memorial to those who perished.
This morning, bid farewell to Prague as you head for Vilshofen. Stop in Regensburg, one of Germany’s best-preserved medieval cities, where you enjoy a walking tour. Afterward, enjoy free time to explore Regensburg’s old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After lunch on your own, continue to Vilshofen to embark on your cruise.
Early this morning, cruise to Passau in Germany, where the rivers Inn and Ilz join the Danube. Your city tour takes you on an exploration of this fairy-tale city founded more than 2,000 years ago. Highlights include St. Stephan’s Cathedral, home to the largest cathedral organ in the world. As an alternative, explore the city on a guided bike tour (capacity controlled).
This morning the ship arrives in Linz, the second-largest city in Austria. Your walking tour takes you along the Landstrasse to the city’s main square. See St. Mary’s Cathedral, the Marian Column, Landestheatre, and St. Martin’s, the oldest church in Austria. Return to the ship for brunch. This afternoon you have the choice of three different excursions. The first option is a visit to the scenic “Salzkammergut” region, the Austrian Lake District, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the historic town of Gmunden on the shore of Lake Traunsee. The second option is to join an excursion to the Czech city of Cesky Krumlov. This is a wonderfully preserved medieval town nestled in the hills just over the Austrian-Czech border. The third choice this afternoon is an excursion to Salzburg, take a walking tour of the historical center, famous as the setting for the “Sound of Music” and as the birthplace of Mozart. Enjoy free time on your own before returning to the ship.
This morning arrive in Melk, where you tour the spectacular Melk Abbey, one of Europe’s largest Baroque monasteries. This afternoon arrive in Dürnstein, take a walking tour along the town’s medieval cobblestone streets, passing by 16th-century townhouses and wine taverns. Marvel at the magnificent blue façade of the baroque Stiftskirche. Your tour also include a wine tasting at a local vintner, where you will enjoy several different wines, presented along with bread, knowledgeable hosts, and plenty of laughter. As an alternative, explore the majestic Wachau Valley on a guided bike tour from Melk to Dürnstein (capacity controlled). The ship moors overnight in Dürnstein.
Savor the Baroque elegance of romantic Vienna during your guided sightseeing tour, which includes the impressive Vienna Opera House, the majestic Ringstrasse and the historic St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. After dinner, enjoy an optional Mozart and Strauss concert in one of the great formal concert houses of Imperial Vienna, such as the Hofburg Palace or Palais Auersperg.
Wake up this morning in Bratislava, capital of Slovakia. You have your choice of two tours today. The first option is a walking tour of the city’s major sights, including the Old Town Hall, the stunning Mirbach Palace and Gothic St. Martin’s Cathedral. In the alternative, choose a “Communist Tour” that includes architectural landmarks such as the Radio Building, Liberty Square and the Soviet War Memorial.
This morning, your sightseeing tour takes you to historic Buda Castle from where you can enjoy a splendid view of the twin cities of Buda and Pest spread over both banks of the River. Your tour also features the distinctive Fisherman’s Bastion, the Royal Palace, St. Stephen’s Basilica, the famous Heroes’ Square and more. Your afternoon is free to explore on your own.
Today visit the famous Puszta region, the vast flat plain where Hungarian cowboys still wear traditional garb and practice the skills of their Magyar ancestors. Upon arrival, be met by horse-herds and greeted with warm hospitality, brandy and scones. Try a lunch of Goulash, the national dish, before returning to the ship in Budapest.
Arrive in Mohács during breakfast and then depart for your excursion to Pecs, EU Cultural Capital 2010. Founded more than 2,000 years ago by the Romans, Pecs became an important early Christian bishopric and Turkish cultural base during the many centuries of Ottoman rule. Upon arrival, visit the Mosque Church, the largest structure surviving from the Ottoman period as well as the underground burial chambers dating back to the 4th century. Also, see St. Peter’s Basilica, the main Catholic Cathedral in the city, as well as the restored Synagogue, before returning to the ship in Mohács.
Arrive in Vukovar, Croatia in the morning and choose between a tour of Vukovar or wine tasting in the town of Ilok. Your city tour of Vukovar includes the Ovcara Memorial, the monumental cross that is a memorial to those who lost their lives during Croatia’s struggle for independence. As an alternative, travel to the town of Ilok, which is famous for its wines. Here, you will visit a local winery and sample their vintages before your walking tour of the town. After your tour, continue to Novi Sad and enjoy a walking tour beginning at Danube Park and then stroll through the old town center. You will also tour the 18th-century Austrian-Hungarian Petrovaradin Fortress.
Wake up in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia and explore its myriad of streets, plazas and squares. Belgrade has over 5,500 streets, 16 plazas and 32 squares. On your panoramic tour, you will see the Kalemegdan Fortress and the Serbian Orthodox Temple of St. Sava. As an alternative, choose to take the Tito’s Memorial tour which includes a visit to the House of Flowers, where the tomb of Josip Tito is located. You will also see some of the many gifts Tito received during his presidency. You will have free time in the city center after your tour to stroll along Prince Michael Street, the main pedestrian and shopping center of the city. A guided bicycle tour is available in the afternoon (capacity controlled).
Today, enjoy 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 range of magnificent gorges between the southern Carpathian Mountains and the northwestern foothills of the Balkan Mountains. Forming the natural border between Serbia and Romania, today’s passage will be an unforgettable highlight of your Black Sea adventure.
Explore Vidin, one of Bulgaria’s oldest cities, and surrounding areas with a choice of excursions. Discover Baba Vida Fortress, the largest preserved medieval castle in Bulgaria. Continue on toBelogradchik, one of Bulgaria’s natural wonders, where you can hike around its most spectacular rock formations.Alternatively, visit a local home for a demonstration of traditional Bulgarian yogurt and Banitsa, a pastry youwill also get to make. You also have the choice to bike through Vidin and to the castle.
Enjoy a full day excursion to Bucharest, known as “Paris of the East.” Visit the Open Air Museum, which was dedicated to the traditional architecture and buildings of rural Romania. After lunch on your own, you will have two options. Enjoy a visit to the Palace of the Parliament, second only to the Pentagon as the largest building in the world or tour the Historical center. Spend the remainder of the day at your leisure.
Day 18: Giurgiu | Disembarkation | BraȘov, Romania
Disembark the ship in Giurgiu and board a motorcoach to journey through the Romanian countryside to Bran, where you’ll visit Transylvania’s legendary Bran Castle, which is forever linked with the legend of Dracula. Afterwards, you'll travel to the lovely village of Brașov. Enjoy a tour of the town and then check into your hotel.
Day 19: BraȘov | SighiȘoara
Dracula lovers will be in for another treat with an excursion to Sighişoara, birthplace to Transylvania’s most notorious ruler, Vlad Ţepeş, also known as Vlad the Impaler, or Dracula. It’s hard to believe that this perfectly preserved UNESCO designated town filled with resplendent pastel-colored buildings, stone lanes, medieval towers and pedestrian-friendly Old Town was Vlad's place of birth. His home is still here, marked with a placard; however, today it houses a kitschy restaurant called “Casa Dracula.”
Day 20: BraȘov | Sinaia | Bucharest
En route to Bucharest, stop in Sinaia to visit the enchanting Peleș Castle, considered by many to be one of the most stunning in Europe. Tour the castle, which was once the residence of the royal family. Later in the day, check into your hotel.
Day 21: Bucharest
Bucharest, Romania’s capital, has earned its nickname, the “Little Paris of the East,” with its wide boulevards and Arc de Triomphe. Enjoy a visit to the city’s most impressive sites—including the historic city center and the Palace of the Parliament, second only to the Pentagon as the largest administrative building in the world.
Day 22: Depart Bucharest
Bid farewell to Burcharest as you prepare for your homeward flight.
Beyond expectations! Then again we weren't sure what to expect. Lovely stay at the lodge, met other like-minded travelers (many had their trips planned by Adventure Life) and the owner was a gracious hostess. It felt like you were one happy family, visiting with a favorite aunt.