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Admire Roman-inspired architecture in Bucharest

Enchantment of Eastern Europe & Budapest

Bucharest - Budapest - Example 11 Day Cruise aboard Emerald Star
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Embark on a new, fulfilling journey with Emerald Star sailing along the Danube River from Bucharest to Budapest. Enjoy a luxurious hotel and exploration in Bucharest before boarding the ship in Giurgiu. Discover Bulgarian history while touring Veliko Tarnovo, the former capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire. Relax and appreciate the viticulture that surrounds the town of Vidin. The two of the highlights of this 11-day tour are a visit to the Lepenski Vir archaeological site and the Belgrade Fortress. Witness with your own eyes one of Croatia’s postcard-worthy historic university towns, the Osijek and after this, experience Hungary's culture in Kalocsa. The last stop is in Budapest, where you will spend two days exploring the city.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Bucharest
Day 2 : Bucharest | Giurgiu | Embark
Day 3 : Rousse | Veliko Tarnovo & Arbanasi
Day 4 : Vidin
Day 5 : Donji Milanovac | Golubac
Day 6 : Belgrade
Day 7 : Osijek
Day 8 : Kalocsa
Day 9 : Budapest | Disembark
Day 10 : Budapest
Day 11 : Budapest

Highlights

  • Enjoy a drive around the Spring Palace in Bucharest
  • Walk the cobbled streets of Veliko Tarnovo and discover Bulgarian history
  • Taste the local wine produced in Vidin
  • Visit Lepenski Vir archaeological site, one of Europe’s best-hidden gems

Ship

Emerald Star

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Admire Roman-inspired architecture in Bucharest Cruise through Belgrade Admire the architecture of Belgrade Discover the gorgeous architecture of Budapest Budapest Cityscape

Day 1 Bucharest

Welcome to the “Paris of the East”. The center of Bucharest perfectly encapsulates a distinctive Parisian atmosphere, with wide avenues adorned by famous landmarks and quaint leafy boulevards that cross the city. Upon arrival in Bucharest, transfer to a centrally located for a one-night stay in Bucharest.

Day 2 Bucharest | Giurgiu | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
Join a locally guided driving tour to learn about some of Bucharest’s most iconic highlights during around the city, including the elegant exterior of the Spring Palace.

After this insightful tour and some time at leisure, transfer from Bucharest to Giurgiu, on the banks of the Danube, and board Emerald Waterways Star-Ship, Emerald Star.

Day 3 Rousse | Veliko Tarnovo & Arbanasi

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today, explore the former capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire on a locally guided tour and learn about the Bulgarian history of this ancient city that was strategically positioned to overlook the surrounding area. Be sure to take the opportunity to traverse its cobbled streets and witness its medieval fortifications.

Afterward, visit neighboring Arbanasi, situated overlooking the Yantra, a tributary of the Danube that is known for its many scenic gorges. Listen to the guide and be transported back in time as we learn about traditional houses and ancient churches.

For those wanting a more active option, embark on a guided hike to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo, known for its famous 14th-century frescoes.

Tonight, enjoy a welcome reception and dinner.

Day 4 Vidin

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Viticulture forms the heart of life in the most western town in Bulgaria, where sun-kissed vineyards pepper the banks of the Danube and the region has prospered from winemaking for generations. Learn about the side of life revolving around wine in Vidin while weaving through a local vineyard and learning about their products. Afterwards, enjoy a wine tasting. Next, join a local guide in Baba Vida, a fortress that was originally constructed at the turn of the 10th century; known for being one of only a handful of beautifully preserved castles in the country.

For a more active option, take a guided hike to Belogradchik Fortress, located on the northern slopes of the Balkan Mountains. It’s easy to imagine how this stronghold would have offered the Romans a perfect lookout point.

Day 5 Donji Milanovac | Golubac

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning, relax onboard and admire the surroundings as the ship sails along the mighty Danube to Donji Milanovac, where a visit to the Lepenski Vir archaeological site, one of Europe’s best-hidden gems, awaits. Located right on the riverbanks, the Palaeolithic site is one of the most important of its kind on the continent, effortlessly capturing more than 8 millennia of history. Archaeologists from around the world have used this site to learn about several different Stone Age settlements and the way that prehistoric cultures moved across Europe.

Day 6 Belgrade

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Explore Serbia’s vibrant capital today with a locally guided coach tour. Journey through the heart of the city and highlight its many landmarks and the iconic Belgrade Fortress. As the coach passes through the center, see glimpses of Serbia’s turbulent recent past, set amongst now quiet and peaceful streets. Witness the ornate beauty of the Church of Saint Sava, one of the largest religious buildings in Europe, before stopping for a tour of the Museum of Yugoslavia.
 
Alternatively, join a guided bike tour to learn about Belgrade’s history on two wheels.

This evening, please join others in the Horizon Lounge to watch a traditional Serbian folklore show.

Day 7 Osijek

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today, explore one of Croatia’s postcard-worthy historic university towns, full of delightful waterfront promenades and quaint cobbled streets. While walking around the city, pay attention to the damage from the Homeland War that is still visible today and reflect on the turbulent times in this peaceful area.

Embark on a guided walk around Osijek Fortress, a true icon in the romantic old town. This traditional star fort houses several different buildings, including a military hospital and armories, making it perfect for times of conflict. As a highlight today, dine on traditional cuisine with a local Croatian family and meet some students from a local village.

Enjoy an evening of sailing further up the Danube towards Hungary, before the farewell dinner.

Day 8 Kalocsa

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning, the ship will sail away from Osijek and on to Kalocsa, a place known for its paprika production and colorful festivals. Discovering Hungary’s culture is an easy task in Kalocsa, where traditional folk art can be found around every corner and old traditions pave the way for daily life.

Later, venture to the Puszta, or Great Hungarian Plain, to visit a traditional Puszta horse farm. After learning about the traditional performances of the Magyar cowboys, witness first-hand some of their exceptional equestrian skills, as they perform their horse parade and showcase some of their memorable exercise drills.

Day 9 Budapest | Disembark

After breakfast, leave the lush surrounds of the Emerald Dawn and transfer to Budapest, for a two-night stay that is certain to delight. Upon arrival, enjoy a guided tour of the city, touching on its two distinctive faces and the ornamented Buda Castle District.

Day 10 Budapest

Today, the storied capital of Budapest is free to explore at leisure. Consider crossing the Chain Bridge to see how the city differs in Buda and Pest or make a stop and try some delightful Hungarian treats.

Day 11 Budapest

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast, transfer to the airport.

Emerald Star

Bucharest

Budapest

Per person starting at
$3,810
Emerald Single Stateroom
Select a Date
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
Select a Date
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 Drive through Bucharest
  • Visit the hilltop village of Veliko Tarnovo
  • Visit to local winery and tasting
  • Visit to Lepenski Vir
  • City tour of Belgrade
  • Guided tour of Osijek Fortress
  • A guided coach tour of Budapest
EmeraldPLUS
  • Choir concert in Arbanasi
  • Serbian folklore evening show on board
  • Home hosted lunch with a local Croatian family
  • Meet students from the local village
  • Visit to Puszta horse farm & show
  • Evening cruise of Budapest
EmeraldACTIVE
  • Hike to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Rock Hewn Churches of Ivanovo
  • Hike to Belogradchik Fortress
  • Guided bike tour in Belgrade
DINING HIGHLIGHTS
  • 25 superb meals including 10 Breakfasts (B), 6 Lunches (L), 9 Dinners (D)
  • Welcome and Farewell Reception & Dinner
  • Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner on board
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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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.
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