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Panoramic view of Budapest cityscape

Budapest & Enchantment of Eastern Europe

Budapest to Bucharest - Example 11 Day Cruise aboard Emerald Star
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Spend 3 days in Budapest where you will see the ornate Hungarian Parliament Building and the Buda Castle district. Embark on the Emerald Star at Budapest and make your first stop the next day in Kalocsa where you will enjoy a spectacular horse parade.  Sail on to Osijek where you will get a chance to meet the students from a local village who are delighted to perform in front of you. Visit one of the world’s largest church buildings of Saint Sava and tour the Museum of Yugoslavia in Belgrade. Explore the archaeological site of Golubac - Donji Milanovac and visit the town of  Vidin which is renowned for producing wines. Cruise to Rousse and have the opportunity to see Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanasi. See the beauty of Giurgiu before heading to Bucharest where you will finally disembark.

Day-by-Day Summary

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

Highlights

  • Tour around Budapest and visit the Hungarian Parliament Building
  • Discover the traditional folk art and culture of Kalocsa
  • Meet the students from a local village in Osijek
  • Visit the Spring Palace to witness its elegant exterior

Ship

Emerald Star

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Panoramic view of Budapest cityscape Discover the gorgeous architecture of Budapest Morning light in Budapest Cruise through Belgrade Explore Romania's capital city, Bucharest

Day 1 Budapest

Welcome to Budapest, the capital of Hungary and the perfect introduction to Eastern Europe. You will be met at the airport in Hungary and taken to your centrally-located hotel, with a two-night stay included in your itinerary.

Day 2 Budapest

This morning, your local guide will take you on a tour of Budapest, introducing you to sights that include the ornate Hungarian Parliament Building and the Buda Castle district, where a string of historic buildings line cobblestone streets leading up to the castle.

Day 3 Budapest | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
Today, you will be transferred from your hotel in Budapest to your contemporary Emerald Waterways Star-Ship. This evening, join your fellow guests for a welcome dinner on board.
 

Day 4 Kalocsa

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning, Emerald Star 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.

Today, enjoy a gala dinner on board.

Day 5 Osijek

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Cruise into the border 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 surrounds that can be found here.

Today, you will be able to meet students from a local village who will be delighted to perform for you during your EmeraldPLUS excursion, 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, armories, 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 6 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 surrounds.

Witness the symmetrical façade 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 7 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 8 millennia. Archaeologists have used this site to track the development of prehistoric cultures in Europe, and numerous Stone Age settlements have been found in the area.

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

 

Day 8 Vidin

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning, you will arrive in Vidin, a beautiful town in north-west 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 9 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 old churches offer centuries of exploration during your guided tour of 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 10 Giurgiu | Bucharest

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
This morning, relax and enjoy the passing scenery as we drive towards Bucharest, including the Romanian city of Giurgiu, set amongst the mudflats 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 Ceaușescu, before enjoying free time 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 surrounds 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 11 Bucharest | Disembark

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

Emerald Star

Budapest

Per person starting at
$3,810
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.

CRUISE INCLUSIONS
  • 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
  • 25 superb meals including 10 Breakfasts (B), 6 Lunches (L), 9 Dinners (D)
  • Captain's Welcome and Farewell Reception & Dinner
  • Complimentary wine, beer, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner on board
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi onboard
INCLUDED EXCURSIONS
  • Guided Tour of Budapest
  • Guided Tour of Osijek Fortress
  • City tour of Belgrade
  • Visit to Viminacium Archaeological Excavation Site and Museum
  • Visit Baba Vida Fortress
  • Visit the hilltop villages of Veliko Tarnovo & Arbanasi
  • Guided Drive through Bucharest
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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