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Hungarian parliament, Budapest

Highlights of Eastern Europe

Example 10 Day Cruise aboard River Duchess
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An ideal voyage aboard the River Duchess for travelers seeking new, off-the-beaten-path destinations. Follow a path forged by crusaders, kings and conquerors through Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria. Immerse yourself in new cultures and make new friends as you travel from splendid Budapest to dynamic Bucharest, discovering the best that the revitalized nations of Eastern Europe have to offer along the way. Uncover scores of little-known treasures, including the picturesque Bulgarian hill towns of Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi and the surprising rock-hewn churches of Ivanovo—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From Budapest to Bucharest, Roman ruins to medieval fortresses, this journey will reveal the unstoppable resiliency of the human spirit, as well as the highlights of this spectacular region. The adventure of a lifetime awaits you.

Select departures run in reverse (Bucharest to Budapest)

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Budapest | Embark
Day 2 : Budapest
Day 3 : Mohács | Batina (Osijek) | Vukovar
Day 4 : Belgrade
Day 5 : Golubac | Cruising the Iron Gates
Day 6 : Vidin
Day 7 : Rousse
Day 8 : Disembark in Giurgiu | Transfer to Bucharest
Day 9 : Bucharest
Day 10 : Depart for Home

Highlights

  • Explore the city of Budapest with your choice of excursions including city highlights
  • Meet and interact with local villagers in Osijek and learn about their food traditions
  • Explore one of Europe’s oldest cities including Kalemegdan Fortress and the Palace of Serbia
  • Discover Golubac Castle and Lepenski Vir prehistoric archaeological sites from the Stone Age

Ship

River Duchess

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Hungarian parliament, Budapest Discover the gorgeous architecture of Budapest Budapest Cityscape Cruise through Belgrade Budapest, the capital city of Hungary

Day 1 Budapest | Embark

Arrive at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport. You will be greeted by a representative and transferred to the ship.

Day 2 Budapest

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located on opposite sides of the Danube, Buda and Pest each have their own distinctive character and allure. Explore this dynamic and multifaceted city with your choice of excursions—you can see it from a local’s perspective on a walking tour, cover more ground with a panoramic tour or “Let’s Go” with a guided bike ride. Vibrant Budapest, Hungary’s capital, offers an enchanting combination of East and West.

Choice of “Do as the Locals Do” Budapest walking tour or “Let’s Go” Budapest by bike or Budapest panoramic highlights and Parliament visit.

In the evening, a special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.

Day 3 Mohács | Batina (Osijek) | Vukovar

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Welcome to Croatia! This ancient country, which has made a remarkable recovery from a brutal civil war, is noted for its beautiful countryside and thriving folk traditions, as well as simple, delicious local rustic food.

Choice of Vucedol Culture Museum and lunch at a family winery or Full-day tour of Osijek with private home-hosted lunch.

Day 4 Belgrade

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Belgrade, the modern-day capital of Serbia, is one of Europe’s oldest cities, dating back some 7,000 years. Signs of its tumultuous history are visible everywhere, juxtaposed with the city’s vibrant modern-day present.

Choice of Belgrade city tour with visit to the Royal Grounds of Karadjordjevic Dynasty Palace or "Let's Go" "I Bike Belgrade" tour.

 

Day 5 Golubac | Cruising the Iron Gates

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Head ashore to explore a Paleolithic site and an extraordinarily well-preserved medieval fortress. All along the way, history lines the banks of the river. Keep an eye out for Trajan’s Plaque, which the ancient Romans erected to commemorate the road they anchored in the steep cliffs above the water, and Golubac Castle, built in the 14th century and attacked successively by the Serbs, Magyars and Turks.

Featured Excursion: Lepenski Vir archaeological park and Golubac Castle

Unwind onboard as you cruise the breathtaking Iron Gates, an 83-mile-long (134-kilometer-long) stretch of scenic gorges that were cut through the Carpathian and Balkan mountains over eons by the Danube River. These gorges, which act as a natural border between Serbia and Romania, are among the most dramatic and beautiful sights in all of Europe. This was one of the swiftest and most dangerous stretches of the river before two dams were built: Iron Gate I and Iron Gate II. Construction on the dams began in 1964 and took 20 years to complete; they have dramatically altered the area’s landscape, raising the water level by 114 feet (35 meters) and drowning several islands and villages.

Day 6 Vidin

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Vidin is a port town on the Danube that once played an important role in medieval Bulgarian politics, as the great fortress Baba Vida attests. It’s your base for an unusual excursion today—a visit to the fascinating Belogradchik rock formations. Or you can head to a local’s home to bake a traditional Bulgarian dish called banitsa.

Choice of Belogradchik red rock valley or Banitza home baking experience

Day 7 Rousse

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Bulgaria’s foremost Danube port, Rousse is sometimes called “Little Vienna” for its elegant 19th-century mansions and public buildings.

Choice of Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi with authentic Bulgarian lunch or Rousse walking tour with Ivanovo and Basarbovo Monasteries.

In the evening, a special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.

Day 8 Disembark in Giurgiu | Transfer to Bucharest

  • 1 Breakfast
This morning, you’ll disembark the ship in Giurgiu and drive through the countryside to Bucharest, where you’ll enjoy a panoramic city tour or walking tour in the old Lipscani district. Tonight, you’ll relax in the comfort of a luxury hotel located in the heart of the city, Romania’s capital and its cultural and economic center.

Featured Excursion: Bucharest panoramic highlights tour with People's Palace

Day 9 Bucharest

  • 1 Breakfast
On today’s agenda—a guided tour of the infamous Ceaușescu Mansion. Venture to the opulent former residence of Romania’s former leader Nicolae Ceaușescu, where you’ll have a guided tour. It’s been thirty years since deposed Romanian president Ceaușescu and his wife Elena were executed by a firing squad on Christmas Day in 1989, but now you can roam the opulent 80-room residence where the couple once lived, situated on 3.5 acres of grounds in one of Bucharest’s most desirable neighborhoods.

Featured Excursion: Ceausescu's Palace: the Dictator's private mansion

Day 10 Depart for Home

  • 1 Breakfast
Check out of your hotel this morning and depart for the airport for your flight home.

River Duchess

Per person starting at
$4,299
Classic Cabin
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Classic
Lavishly appointed riverview stateroom (151 sq ft/14 sq m) located on the Moselle Deck. Handcrafted Savoir Beds of England, built-in closet, safe, hair dryer, individual thermostat, flat TV screen and bottled water. Marble bathroom with Asprey bath and body products, bathrobes, towels and slippers.
Deluxe Cabin
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Deluxe
Lavishly appointed riverview stateroom (151 sq ft /14 sq m) located on the Danube and Main Deck. Handcrafted Savoir Beds of England, built-in closet, safe, hair dryer, individual thermostat, flat TV screen and bottled water. Marble bathroom with Asprey bath and body products, bathrobes, towels and slippers.
French Balcony Cabin
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French Balcony
Lavishly appointed riverview stateroom located on the Rhine Deck (151 sq ft /14 sq m) with a French balcony. Handcrafted Savoir Beds of England, built-in closet, safe, hair dryer, individual thermostat, flat TV screen and bottled water. Marble bathroom with Asprey bath and body products, towels, bathrobes, heated mirrors and slippers.
Suite Cabin
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Suite
Lavishly appointed riverview suite located on the Rhine Deck (214 sq ft /20 sq m) with a French balcony. Handcrafted Savoir Beds of England, built-in closet, safe, hair dryer, individual thermostat, flat TV screen and bottled water. Marble bathroom equipped with Hermes bath and body products, bathrobes, towels and slippers.

Notes

Please Note: Fares are capacity controlled and are subject to change at any time without notice.

- All fares are per guest in US Dollars based on double occupancy unless otherwise noted.
- Single Supplement applies for single accommodation. Solo occupancy pricing is dependent on cabin type, contact us for details.

Included in Cruise Fare:
  • All meals on board, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
  • 9 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Captain's Welcome and Farewell Receptions
  • Welcome and Farewell Gala Dinners
  • Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, specialty coffee and tea, soft drinks and mineral water
  • 8 days of excursions, including “Choice Is Yours” options, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
  • Guided “Let's Go” and “Do as the Locals Do” programs
  • State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio-headset system on all excursions
  • Use of bicycles and Nordic walking sticks
  • 7-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the imperial River Duchess
  • 2 nights in Bucharest at the Radisson Blu Hotel (or similar) with breakfast
  • Lavishly appointed riverview staterooms and suites have handcrafted Savoir® Beds of England, high thread count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, and a menu of pillow options
  • Free Internet and Wi-Fi access
  • Visits to 5 countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia
  • Visits to 2 UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Services of an experienced Cruise Manager
  • All transfers on arrival and departure days
  • All gratuities, both onboard and onshore
  • Captivating onboard local entertainment
  • Cultural enrichment, including a Signature Lecture
Excluded from Cruise Fare:
  • Prices exclude additional port charges of $190 per person
  • Airfare, international or local
  • Passport or Visa fees
  • Travel protection plan
  • Extensions or land tours 
  • Losses or costs incurred as a result of medical services obtained while on tour
  • Any additional personal expenses
Note: The itineraries presented are subject to modification due to water levels, closures because of public holidays or other uncontrollable factors. Every effort will be made to operate programs as planned, but changes may still be necessary throughout the cruise. This day-to-day schedule is subject to change. Your final day-to-day schedule will be provided on board on the first day of your cruise.
 
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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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