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Panoramic view of Budapest cityscape

Enchantment of Eastern Europe

Budapest - Bucharest - Example 9 Day Cruise aboard Emerald Luna
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Immerse in Eastern Europe's history and culture on this 9-Day Enchantment of Eastern Europe Cruise from Budapest to Bucharest on the Emerald Luna. Begin the trip to Budapest and explore its bridges on your first day. Experience a traditional horse show in Kalocsa on day two. Day three leads to Osijek for a Croatian family meal. Day four explores Belgrade's highlights and Serbian folklore. Day five includes a visit to the Palaeolithic site of Lepenski Vir, sailing through the Iron Gates. Vidin offers wine tasting and a choice between Baba Vida Fortress or a hike to Belogradchik Fortress. Day seven explores Veliko Tarnovo or the Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo. The cruise concludes in Bucharest, with city exploration, a visit to the Spring Palace, settling into the hotel, and farewells to fellow travelers. 
Hungary's Parliament building in BudapestAdmire the architecture of BelgradeCruise through BelgradeExplore the Bulgarian city of Veiko TarnovoExplore the Bulgarian city of Veliko TarnovoParliament Palace in Bucharest, RomaniaExplore the vibrant city of BucharestPanoramic view of Budapest cityscape
Highlights
  • Visit the Palaeolithic site of Lepenski Vir and sail through the Iron Gates
  • Visit a local home and meet a Croatian family
  • Bike around the Belgrade and learn its history
  • Watch and enjoy a traditional Hungarian horse show
Activities
Places Visited
Activity Level: Variable
Activity options vary depending on destination and operator. Activity level is determined by the range and intensity of activities you choose to participate in. Discuss with your Trip Planner which options are best for you.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Budapest | Embark

When you arrive in Budapest, transfer to your Emerald Waterways Star-Ship, where your friendly captain and crews are 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 façades of some of Hungary’s most iconic buildings.
 

Day 2: Kalocsa

In the morning, the ship sails 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, 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 3: Vukovar

This morning, drive to Osijek, a historic university town full of leafy boulevards and promenades. Today, you will get to learn more about Croatia and the daily life of locals, before you embark on a walk around Osijek Fortress, nestled in the center of the romantic old town. Our EmeraldPLUS excursion will bring you to the home of a Croatian family to share a typical meal from the area while getting to know the local culture and customs.

Day 4: Belgrade

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 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 5: Golubac | Donji Milanovac

In eastern Serbia, within the Majdanpek municipality, the town of Donji Milanovac sits on the right bank of the Danube. Today, you 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 the ship sails through the Iron Gates, a scenic narrow gorge that meanders between the Carpathian Mountains and the European Alps.

Day 6: Vidin

This morning, 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 introduces 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

Today, the ship cruises into Rousse. You 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, you are welcome to the farewell reception.

Day 8: Giurgiu | Bucharest

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
This morning, relax and enjoy the passing scenery while driving 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 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 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.

Ship/Hotel

Emerald Luna

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$8,590 2-3 travelers
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Emerald Stateroom E
An Emerald Stateroom is home to all the amenities you need to settle into your home-away-from-home. A great size picture window lets in the perfect amount of light, welcoming in the golden summer sunshine, or the winter sun during cooler months. Comfort is of the highest importance, so each room features individual climate control, allowing you to personalize your room’s temperature to suit your preferences and the time of year you’re cruising. Dimensions: 162ft2
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Emerald Stateroom D
An Emerald Stateroom is home to all the amenities you need to settle into your home-away-from-home. A great size picture window lets in the perfect amount of light, welcoming in the golden summer sunshine, or the winter sun during cooler months. Comfort is of the highest importance, so each room features individual climate control, allowing you to personalize your room’s temperature to suit your preferences and the time of year you’re cruising. Dimensions: 162ft2
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Emerald Panorama Balcony Suite C
Your Emerald Panorama Balcony Suite offers everything you could need throughout your cruise, and more. You’ll be surrounded by elegant décor and opulent, comfortable furnishings, as you unwind in your home-away-from-home. Relax on your balcony as the stunning landscapes pass by, and transform it from an indoor to an outdoor space with ease, as the floor-to-ceiling window lowers to a halfway point at the touch of a button. Enjoy the river breeze from your comfortable chair, enjoying a good book or the unfolding vistas.
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Emerald Panorama Balcony Suite B
Your Emerald Panorama Balcony Suite offers everything you could need throughout your cruise, and more. You’ll be surrounded by elegant décor and opulent, comfortable furnishings, as you unwind in your home-away-from-home. Relax on your balcony as the stunning landscapes pass by, and transform it from an indoor to an outdoor space with ease, as the floor-to-ceiling window lowers to a halfway point at the touch of a button. Enjoy the river breeze from your comfortable chair, enjoying a good book or the unfolding vistas. Dimensions: 180ft2
Select a Date
Emerald Panorama Balcony Suite A
Your Emerald Panorama Balcony Suite offers everything you could need throughout your cruise, and more. You’ll be surrounded by elegant décor and opulent, comfortable furnishings, as you unwind in your home-away-from-home. Relax on your balcony as the stunning landscapes pass by, and transform it from an indoor to an outdoor space with ease, as the floor-to-ceiling window lowers to a halfway point at the touch of a button. Enjoy the river breeze from your comfortable chair, enjoying a good book or the unfolding vistas. Dimensions: 180ft2
Select a Date
Grand Balcony Suite (SA)
Staying in the Emerald Grand Balcony Suite makes waking up and going to sleep a dream. Open your balcony, with the simple press of a button, to let in the river breeze on a lazy morning, as the unrivaled comfort of your queen-size or twin hotel-style bed, dressed with luxurious linens, encourages you to lie in that little bit longer. Dimensions: 210ft2
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Owners One-Bedroom Suite
Some of the most sumptuous suites on European waterways, our Owners One-Bedroom Suite has it all. A separate lounge and bedroom area allows the luxury of space, from which to enjoy your complimentary continental breakfast in the morning, a drink from your fully stocked minibar, or after-dinner sweet treats before bed. Your queen-size or twin hotel-style bed will be draped in high-quality linens, for the perfect night’s sleep, plus you’ll have the pleasure of selecting your preferred pillow from our extensive menu. Get comfortable for the night after a busy day exploring, and prepare for the next as you unwind with a film on your flat-screen TV and infotainment system in true comfort. Dimensions: 315ft2
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Emerald Single Stateroom - Single Occupancy Only
We make solo travel easy and comfortable as all of our Star-Ships, except Emerald Radiance, boast two Emerald Single Staterooms. Home to a deluxe single bed, a bathroom with a shower, indulgent toiletries, and a hairdryer, you’ll have all the comforts you need at your fingertips. Your picture window welcomes in a lovely amount of light and individual climate control ensures you can keep at a comfortable temperature regardless of which season you’re traveling in. Dimensions: 117ft2

Notes

Single accommodations are available on some tours for an additional single supplement rate. Contact us for details of pricing and availability.
Included
  • 8 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 8 Dinners
  • 8 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Choice between Emerald Plus and Emerald Active Excursions
  • Wifi
  • Complimentary Wine, Beer and Soft drinks with lunch and dinner on board
  • The services of an Emerald Cruises Tour Manager
  • Airport transfers to and from the ship
  • Port taxes and charges
  • All tipping and gratuities
  • Including a Welcome and Farewell Reception & Dinner
  • 1 night in a hotel in Bucharest
  • Guided walking tour of Osijek Fortress
  • Guided tour of Belgrade
  • Visit to Lepenski Vir archaeological site and museum
  • Visit to a local vineyard with wine tasting & a visit to Baba Vida Fortress
  • Tour of Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanasi
  • Guided drive through Bucharest with a visit to the Spring Palace
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Travelers are urged to arrange comprehensive travel insurance to cover any unforeseen circumstances that may occur during the tour

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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
Justin Chappelle
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