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Parliament Palace in Bucharest, Romania

Enchantment of Eastern Europe

Budapest - Bucharest - Example 9 Day Cruise aboard Emerald Star
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Budapest is called the “Paris of the East.” It is genuinely a breathtaking view, where lights decorate the stone bridges that cross the powerful Danube, isolating both sides of the city. In the oldest town in Hungary, Kalocsa, discover the traditional folk art and culture. Witness the spectacular horse parade and their exercise drills. Osijek is a historic university town full of verdant boulevards and walkways. Then Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, is one of the highlights of this tour. You will also sail through the Iron Gates and have more cities to stop by and explore before disembarking in Bucharest.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Budapest | Embark
Day 2 : Kalocsa
Day 3 : Osijek
Day 4 : Belgrade
Day 5 : Golubac | Donji Milanovac
Day 6 : Vidin
Day 7 : Rousse | Veliko Tarnovo & Arbanasi
Day 8 : Giurgiu | Bucharest
Day 9 : Bucharest | Disembark

Highlights

  • Explore Eastern Europe’s liveliest city, Budapest
  • Cruise through the old town of Kalocsa, famous for its paprika festivals
  • Meet students from a local village in Osijek
  • Take a look at the symmetrical façade of the Church of Saint Sava

Ship

Emerald Star

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Parliament Palace in Bucharest, Romania Explore Romania's capital city, Bucharest Admire the architecture of Belgrade Panoramic view of Budapest cityscape Morning light in Budapest
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Day 1 Budapest | Embark

When you arrive in Budapest, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your Emerald Waterways Star-Ship, where your friendly captain and crew will be waiting to greet you. 

This afternoon, enjoy free time to explore Eastern Europe's liveliest city at leisure. The "Paris of the East" is a truly breathtaking sight, where dozens of lights adorn the stone bridges that cross the mighty Danube, separating both sides of the city. 

This evening, join your fellow guests for dinner on board, before a night-time cruise along the Danube delights. Be left feeling inspired by the illuminated facades of some of Hungary's most iconic buildings. 

Day 2 Kalocsa

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning, the ship will sail out of Budapest towards Kalocsa, best known for its vibrant paprika festivals. Traditional folk art and culture are yours to discover here, as you sail through one of the oldest towns in Hungary. 

This afternoon, you'll venture to the Puszta, or Great Hungarian Plain, for a traditional performance showcasing the exceptional equestrian skills of the Magyar cowboys. Relax as you watch their spectacular horse parade and witness their exercise drills, most of which were readily practiced for wartime. 

Tonight, enjoy a gala dinner on board. 

 

Day 3 Osijek

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Cruise into the boarder region of Croatia and into Osijek, a historic university town full of leafy boulevards and promenades. Damage from the Homeland War is still visible across the city, but it is easily forgotten when you immerse yourself in the peaceful surroundings that can be found here. 

Today, you may be able to meet students from a local village who will be delighted to perform for you, before embarking on a walk around Osijek Fortress, nestled in the center of the romantic old town. This ensemble of well-preserved Baroque buildings is laid out like a traditional star fort, with bastions, armouries, a guardhouse and a military hospital all protected within its walls. 

Later, sail further down the Danube and into Serbia, where remnants of recent conflicts can be seen on the riverbanks. 

Day 4 Belgrade

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The capital of Serbia awaits you today, as a city tour introduces you to the highlights of one of Europe's oldest cities, including Belgrade Fortress. Relax as your coach takes you through the center of the city, where remnants of a chaotic past look out of place among peaceful surroundings. 

Witness the symmetrical facade of the Church of Saint Sava, one of the world's largest church buildings, and stop for a tour of the Museum of Yugoslavia. Enjoy learning about the life of the leader of the Partisans, Josip Broz Tito, and the way that they became one of the most effective resistance movements in occupied Europe. Alternatively, learn about the history of Belgrade during a guided bike tour of the city. 

This evening, relax in the Horizon Lounge and watch a traditional Serbian folklore show. 

Day 5 Golubac | Donji Milanovac

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In eastern Serbia, within the Majdanpek municipality, the town of Donji Milanovac sits on the right bank of the Danube. Today, you will have the opportunity to visit the Palaeolithic site of Lepenski Vir on an included excursion. Enjoy learning about the importance of this archaeological site and its illustrious history, spanning more than eight millennia. Archaeologists have used this site to track the development of prehistoric culture in Europe and numerous Stone Age settlements have been found in the area. 

The day ends as we sail through the Iron Gates, a scenic narrow gorge that meanders between the Carpathian Mountains and the European Alps. 

Day 6 Vidin

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning, we'll arrive in Vidin, a beautiful town in northwest Bulgaria. Situated on the right bank of the Danube, it is one of the oldest along the Bulgarian Danube bank, prospering from the surrounding countryside, renowned for producing wines. Your included tour will introduce you to the best of Vidin's viticulture, as you stroll through a local vineyard and enjoy a tasting of their produce. 

Later, venture to Baba Vida, a medieval fortress whose name can be translated to mean "Granny Vida". Construction began on the fortress in the 10th century, and it has been steeped in legend ever since. Alternatively, hike to Belogradchik Fortress, a well-preserved stronghold that sits against a series of impressive rock formations. 
 

Day 7 Rousse | Veliko Tarnovo & Arbanasi

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today, your Star-Ship will cruise into Rousse. You will have the opportunity to visit Veliko Tarnovo, stopping to learn about its rich history as the former capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire. This medieval city was built atop three hills, and its fortifications and cobbled streets are certain to delight history lovers. Nearby, Arbanasi sits on a high plateau overlooking the Yantra. Each street in the area is lined with traditional houses and churches offer centuries of exploration during your guided tour Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanasi. 

Alternatively, embark on a guided hike to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo, a complex of churches, chapels and monasteries. Witness the incredible nature of the 14th-century painted frescoes and learn about their composition and the emotional atmosphere that they convey, something that was far ahead of its time. 

Tonight, we welcome you to the farewell reception. 

Day 8 Giurgiu | Bucharest

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning, relax and enjoy the passing scenery as we drive towards Bucharest, including the Romanian city of Giurgiu, set amongst the mud flats and marshes of the Danube. 

Visit the Spring Palace to see the elegant exterior of a well-kept secret and the plush interior of the private residence of Nicolae Ceausescu, before enjoying free tme to explore the city at leisure. Learn about Bucharest's vibrant history on a guided coach tour, including the Palace of Parliament. 

This evening, settle into the comfortable surroundings of your hotel, perhaps going for a stroll down one of the wide avenues or leafy boulevards that give Bucharest a distinctly French feel. 

Day 9 Bucharest | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast, it is time to say farewell to your fellow guests and transfer to the airport, taking memories of the Great Hungarian Plain and medieval fortresses with you. 
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Emerald Star

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Per person starting at
$3,660
Emerald Single Stateroom
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Single Stateroom (ES)
Single Occupancy Only. 117 sq ft. 2 single cabins located on the Riviera Deck with a deluxe single bed, bathroom with shower, indulgent toiletries and hairdryer, flat-screen TV and infotainment system
Emerald Stateroom
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Stateroom (E)
162 sq ft. 9 cabins located on the Riviera Deck with a Queen-size or twin hotel-style beds, bathroom with shower, indulgent toiletries and hairdryer, flat-screen TV and infotainment system
Emerald Stateroom
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Stateroom (D)
162 sq ft. 8 cabins located on the Riviera Deck with a Queen-size or twin hotel-style beds, bathroom with shower, indulgent toiletries and hairdryer, flat-screen TV and infotainment system
Emerald Panorama Balcony Suite
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Panorama Balcony Suite (C)
180 sq ft. 19 cabins located on the Vista Deck with a Queen-size or twin hotel-style beds, indoor balcony with open-air system, bathroom with shower, indulgent toiletries and hairdryer, flat-screen TV and infotainment system
Emerald Panorama Balcony Suite
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Panorama Balcony Suite (B)
Emerald Panorama Balcony Suite - 18 cabins located at Vista Deck with a Queen-size or twin hotel-style beds, indoor balcony with open-air system, bathroom with shower, indulgent toiletries and hairdryer, flat-screen TV and infotainment system
Emerald Panorama Balcony Suite
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Panorama Balcony Suite (A)
180 sq ft. 23 cabins located on the Horizon Deck with a Queen-size or twin hotel-style beds, indoor balcony with open-air system, bathroom with shower, indulgent toiletries and hairdryer, flat-screen TV and infotainment system
Grand Balcony Suite
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Grand Balcony Suite (S)
210 sq ft. 8 cabins located on the Horizon Deck with a Queen-size or twin hotel-style beds, outdoor private balcony with the open-air system, in-suite mini-bar available at own expense, a complimentary Nespresso machine and bathroom with shower, indulgent toiletries, hairdryer, on-board complimentary bathrobes, and slippers
Owners One-Bedroom Suite
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Owner's Suite (SA)
315 sq ft. 4 cabins located on the Horizon Deck with a Queen-size or twin beds, an outdoor private balcony with the open-air system, a separate bathroom and lounge area, a walk-in wardrobe, an in-suite mini-bar, restocked daily with wine, beer, and soft drinks

Notes

Single accommodations are available on some tours for an additional single supplement rate. Contact us for details of pricing and availability.

YOUR CRUISE INCLUDES
  • 7 nights on-board an Emerald Waterways Star-Ship
  • Airport transfers to and from the ship
  • The services of an Emerald Waterways Cruise Director
  • Port taxes and charges
  • All tipping and gratuities
INCLUDED EXCURSIONS
  • Guided tour of Osijek Fortress
  • Guided tour of Belgrade
  • Visit to Lepenski Vir
  • Visit to local winery and tasting
  • Visit the hilltop village of VelikoTarnovo
  • Guided Drive through Bucharest
DINING HIGHLIGHTS 
  • 22 superb meals including 8 Breakfasts (B), 6 Lunches (L), 8 Dinners (D) 
  • Welcome and Farewell Reception & Dinner
  • Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner on board
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