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Explore the vibrant city of Bucharest

Balkan Discovery

Example 9 Day Cruise aboard Avalon Impression
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Embark on this 9-Day Balkan Discovery Cruise from Budapest to Bucharest on Avalon Passion. Cruise through Eastern Europe, tracing the Danube River, and explore the Balkan region. Uncover the diverse landscapes and rich cultures of Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania. The trip begins in Budapest, Hungary, with a visit to Pécs and its UNESCO World Heritage Site underground burial chambers.

Explore the historical treasures of Belgrade, one of Europe's oldest cities. Experience the  Iron Gates Gorge, a natural boundary between Serbia and Romania. Witness the beauty of Belogradchik, Bulgaria, and Veliko Târnovo, the ancient Bulgarian capital, and the frescoes in Arbanassi's Church of the Nativity.

End your cruise in Bucharest, Romania's lively capital, often likened to the "Paris of the East."
Budapest CityscapeGolden sunset lights the famous Fisherman's Bastion in BudapestThe Danube river at Mohacs, HungaryLandscape of Novi Sad, SerbiaCruise through BelgradeCruise through the Iron GatesExplore the Bulgarian city of Veliko TarnovoExplore the vibrant city of Bucharest
Highlights
  • Explore the Balkan region and discover diverse landscapes and rich cultures
  • Visit Pécs its underground burial chambers, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Discover the historical treasures of Belgrade, one of Europe's oldest cities
  • Explore Bulgaria's beauty in Belogradchik
Activities
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Budapest, Hungary | Embark

Welcome to Hungary. Your Suite Ship is Ready for Boarding. Flights into Budapest must arrive by 2 pm. Guests must be on board the ship by 5 pm.
Overnight cruise to Mohács.

Day 2: Mohács

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Hungarian History in a Harbor Town. Visit the Adventure Center for today’s activities with the Adventure Host.

Active: Explore Mohacs by foot as you follow the lead of your Adventure Host
Classic: Join a morning Guided Sightseeing Tour of Mohács—the quiet Danube harbor town with its historical memorial parks, statues, and distinctive churches. Tour the remarkable medieval St. Nicholas Watermill—one of only a few remaining watermills performing stone-ground grain processing
Classic: Take a Guided Tour of nearby Pécs to see its 4th-century Christian underground tombs, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with fascinating murals. You’ll also enjoy an organ concert on your tour.

Overnight cruise to Ilok.

Day 3: Ilok, Croatia | Novi Sad, Serbia

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
History and Culture in Croatia

Classic: Join a Guided tour of Ilok, with its 1,000-year-old wine-making traditions still thriving and its medieval fortress protected for its Croatian cultural heritage.

Enjoy a brief cruise to Novi Sad while having lunch onboard.

The Athens of Serbia

Active: Get your daily dose of exercise, join your Adventure Host on this walk in and around town, OR:
Classic:  Join a Guided Tour of Novi Sad, the second-largest town in Serbia. Admire its Austro-Hungarian old town, with its baroque buildings, and ancient fortifications.

Day 4: Belgrade, Serbia

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Fortresses and Folklore

Active: Discover Belgrade's central walkway with your Adventure Host
Classic: Join a Guided Sightseeing Tour of Belgrade—where the Danube and Sava Rivers converge—and see the city’s many fascinating sights, including Saint Sava—one of the world’s largest Orthodox churches.
Discovery: Attend an onboard Lecture to learn about the rich history, destinations, and culture of the Balkan states.

Spend your free time exploring the city on your own this afternoon on Knez Mihailova Street—Belgrade’s central pedestrian thoroughfare with many lively cafés, shops, and cultural spots.

This evening, you might like to join an Optional Excursion for an authentic Bohemian Dinner in the Quarter of Skadarlija.

Overnight cruise to Golubac.

Day 5: Golubac | Donji Milanovac | Iron Gates

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Ancient Artifacts and the Iron Gates.

Classic: Visit the Fortress of Golubač, one of the best-preserved medieval fortresses in Europe. You’ll hear about its tumultuous history as a border control for defense in the Middle Ages, and a source of conflict between Serbia, the Habsburg Monarchy and the Ottoman Empire.

Enjoy a brief sailing to Donji Milanovac.

Active: Stretch your legs, ease your mind and enjoy a walk lead by your Adventure Host
Classic: Join a Guided Tour to the Mesolithic archaeological site of Lepenski Vir with unique views of the Danube Gorge.

Sail through the spectacular and narrow Iron Gates Gorge—a natural border between Serbia and Romania.

Afternoon/overnight cruise to Vidin. 

Day 6: Vidin, Bulgaria

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Rocks, ruins, and Balkan Beauty

Join the Adventure Host for today’s special activities.

Active: Wander and discover this town, join your Adventure Host for a walk
Classic: Join Guided Sightseeing in Vidin, followed by a Guided Tour of Belogradchik. Marvel at the remarkable rock formations on the western slopes of the Balkan Mountains, sculpted by 200 million years of natural elements.

Afternoon/overnight cruise to Rousse.

Day 7: Rousse

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Fortresses and Folklore.

Active: Join a walk in the park in Rousse with your Avalon Adventure Host
Classic: Join a full-day Guided Tour to the former Bulgarian capital of Veliko Târnovo—with its ancient stone houses clinging to the cliffs above the Yantra River. Discover one of the oldest towns in Bulgaria (circa 4300 BC), as well as the Bulgarian Revival architecture in the 15th-century town of Arbanassi
Classic: Join a Guided Sightseeing Tour of Bulgaria’s largest inland port and visit its impressive Holy Trinity Church.

Later, enjoy live entertainment on board with a Bulgarian folklore show.

Overnight cruise to Oltenita.

Day 8: Oltenita, Romania | Disembark | Bucharest

  • 1 Breakfast
The Paris of the East

Classic: Take a guided tour of the Romanian capital city of Bucharest with its tree-lined boulevards and Arc de Triomphe—honoring WWI Romanian soldiers. See the Royal Palace Square—the scene of the city’s 1989 riots to overthrow the communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.

Spend some free time exploring on your own to visit shops and museums. See the beautiful home and churches along Victory Avenue.

Day 9: Bucharest

  • 1 Breakfast
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

Ship/Hotel

Avalon Impression

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$4,197
Select a Date
Cat. E
Avalon Deluxe Stateroom: 172 SQ. FT. Comfort Collection Beds, Bedside tables with reading lamps, L'Occitane bath products, Under-bed luggage storage, Complimentary bottled water, Individual climate control, Mirror in the bathroom, Full shower with glass door, Vanity, Memory foam mattress, European-style duvets, Extra blankets, Hairdryer, and Spacious 3-door closets.
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Cat. D
Avalon Deluxe Stateroom: 172 SQ. FT. Comfort Collection Beds, Bedside tables with reading lamps, L'Occitane bath products, Under-bed luggage storage, Complimentary bottled water, Individual climate control, Mirror in the bathroom, Full shower with glass door, Vanity, Luxurious mattress, European-style duvets, Extra blankets, Hairdryer, and Spacious 3-door closets
Select a Date
Cat. B
Panorama Suite: 200 SQ. FT. Comfort Collection Beds, Bedside tables with reading lamps, L'Occitane bath products, Under-bed luggage storage, Telephone, In-room safe, Contemporary design, Marble countertops in the bathroom, 6-person sitting area, Writing desk, Sofa, Memory foam mattress, European-style duvets.
Select a Date
Cat. A
Panorama Suite: 200 SQ. FT. Comfort Collection Beds, Bedside tables with reading lamps, L'Occitane bath products, Under-bed luggage storage, Telephone, In-room safe, contemporary design, Marble countertops in the bathroom, 6-person sitting area, Writing desk, Sofa, Luxurious mattress, European-style duvets.
Select a Date
Cat. P
Panorama Suite: 200 SQ. FT. Comfort Collection Beds, Bedside tables with reading lamps, L'Occitane bath products, Under-bed luggage storage, Telephone, Well-stocked minibar, In-room safe, Contemporary design, Marble countertops in the bathroom, 6-person sitting area, Writing desk, Sofa, Memory foam mattress, European-style duvets
Select a Date
Royal Suite
Royal Suite: 300 SQ. FT. Comfort Collection Beds, Bedside tables with reading lamps, L'Occitane bath products, Under-bed luggage storage, Telephone, Well-stocked minibar, Marble countertops in the bathroom, Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window with Open-Air Balcony, Full shower with glass door, Luxurious mattress toppers, European-style duvets.
Included
  • 8 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Onboard Adventure Center with active gear, bikes, maps, canoe, kayak and jogging excursions
  • Wifi
  • Complimentary fresh fruit available daily
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions
  • Club Lounge with 24-hour self-serve beverage station with complimentary cappuccinos, lattes, tea, hot chocolate & premium coffees, as well as treats throughout the day
  • Panoramic windows
  • Friendly, English-speaking crew & Cruise Director
  • Sky Deck with whirlpool, shade awnings, game area and premium lounges
  • Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; wine, beer, or soft drinks with every lunch and dinner
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Alcohol, beverages, and food outside of the contracted menu as presented at a hotel or restaurant or on board your vessel
  • Port Fees
  • Porterage
  • Passport or Visa fees

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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.
Nancy Sin
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