Experience Budapest's beauty with your private expert guide. Visit Budapest downtown and the beautiful Royal Palace before you embark on your Danube River Cruise. Admire Hungary’s lush hills and centuries-old vineyards before sailing the Danube along the Croatia-Serbia border. Traverse the narrow gorges of the Iron Gates, a stunning passage dividing Europe’s Balkan and Carpathian mountains. Continue on to Giurgiu where you will disembark and travel by land to visit Romania's capital, Bucharest, including the beautiful Bran Castle. Alternately, you may choose to continue your cruise beyond Giurgiu and disembark in the port of Ruse, Bulgaria, where you may begin a land-based discovery of Bulgaria.
Cruise Departure Dates:
Budapest to Ruse/Giurgiu: Oct 20 (2014) // May 11, Jun 8, Jul 6, Aug 3,31, Sep 28, Oct 26 (2015)
Ruse/Giurgiu to Budapest: Oct 27 (2014) // Apr 20, May 18, Jun 15, Jul 13, Aug 10, Sep 7, Oct 5, Nov 2 (2015)
A transfer between the airport and the city or your hotel with a private vehicle and driver is provided.
Enjoy a full city tour of Budapest with your own guide and car. On the Pest side, visit the impressive Heroes’ Square, City Park, Széchenyi Spa, Grand Circus, and view the Vajdahunyad castle. The tour continues along Andrássy Avenue with its stately mansions. Take the opportunity and visit the impressive House of Parliament. After a walk around the largest building of Hungary, see the magnificent neo-gothic Parliament inside with a guide and walk along the splendid boardrooms and impressive staircases. Entrance fees to Matthias Church, Fisherman's Bastion and Parliament are included in the tour price).
Visit the former summer-residence of Queen Elisabeth (Sissi) and Francis Joseph in Godollo, one of the largest baroque palaces in the world. You will have a glimpse of the times under the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Take a break to enjoy coffee and cake at the Palace Cafe.
Meet your private vehicle and driver for a port transfer.
Embark your ship which is docked in the city center. This evening, meet your fellow passengers at the Welcome Dinner.
Port charges are included in your multi-day itinerary.
Arrive in Mohacs during breakfast and then depart for your excursion to Pecs, EU Cultural Capital 2010. Founded more than 2,000 years ago by the Romans, Pecs became an important early Christian bishopric and Turkish cultural base during the many centuries of Ottoman rule. Upon arrival, visit the Mosque Church, the largest structure surviving from the Ottoman period as well as the underground burial chambers dating back to the 4th century. You will also see St. Peter’s Basilica, the main Catholic cathedral in the city, as well as the restored Synagogue, before returning to the ship in Mohacs. After lunch, enjoy a wine-tasting excursion, where you will sample aromatic, spicy wines from the vineyards of Vilany.
This morning, choose between a tour of Vukovar or wine tasting in the town of Ilok. Your city tour of Vukovar includes the Ovcara Memorial, the monumental cross that is a memorial to those who lost their lives during Croatia’s struggle for independence. As an alternative, travel to the town of Ilok, which is famous for its wines. Here, you will visit a local winery and sample their vintages before your walking tour of the town.
Enjoy lunch on board as you cruise to Novi Sad, Serbia. Enjoy a walking tour of Novi Sad in the afternoon, beginning at the Danube Park and then stroll through the old town center. You will also tour the 18th-century Austrian-Hungarian Petrovaradin Fortress.
Wake up in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia and explore its myriad of streets, plazas and squares. Belgrade has over 5,500 streets, 16 plazas and 32 squares. On your panoramic tour, you will see the Kalemegdan Fortress and the Serbian Orthodox Temple of St. Sava. As an alternative, choose to take the Tito’s Memorial tour which includes a visit to the House of Flowers, where the tomb of Josip Tito is located. You will also see some of the many gifts Tito received during his presidency. You will have free time in the city center after your tour to stroll along Prince Michael Street, the main pedestrian and shopping center of the city.
Today, enjoy a full day of cruising through one of Europe’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders, the Iron Gates. Here the Danube narrows, as it winds through a range of magnificent gorges between the southern Carpathian Mountains and the northwestern foothills of the Balkan Mountains. Forming the natural border between Serbia and Romania, today’s passage will be an unforgettable highlight of your Black Sea adventure. Late this evening, the ship sails to Vidin.
The “Baba Vida” Fortress sits guard over the Danube at the Bulgarian frontier town of Vidin. The 14th century castle has massive walls and dark towers, in contrast to the natural park that surrounds the castle. From here, take an excursion to Belogradschik, a beautifully restored 6th century castle, located in a stunning landscape of unusual rock formations.
This morning, bid farewell to your fellow cruisemates as you disembark from your ship and meet your private transfer at the port.
Enjoy a private transfer from Bucharest to Giurgiu.
Enjoy a full day tour of Bucharest, also known as "Little Paris". Start with The Palace of the Parliament – admire the luxurious display of crystal chandeliers, mosaics, oak paneling, marble, gold leaf, and stained-glass windows. Visit Cotroceni Palace and Museum. Continue to the Village Museum with 50 buildings representing the history and design of Romania’s rural architecture. See Bucharest’s Arc de Triomphe, built in honour of the Romanian soldiers who fought in the First World War. Entrance fees are included
Enjoy a private transfer from Giurgiu to Bucharest.
Start the tour driving north towards Transylvania. Before reaching Bran, there is an optional stop in Azuga for a snack and wine-tasting (not included). While crossing the Southern Carpathians, stop in Sinaia to visit one of the most beautiful castles in Europe - the famous Peles Castle, a masterpiece of German New-Renaissance architecture, commissioned by King Carol in 1873 and completed in 1883. Drive through the village of Bran to Brasov, the largest city in Transylvania. Once arrived in Bran, visit Dracula’s Castle, the place where Dracula was imprisoned before he was taken to Budapest. Bran Castle is home to a rich collection of Romanian and foreign furniture and art items from the XIVth-XIXth centuries. It sits up atop a 200 ft. tall rock, overlooking the picturesque village of Bran. On the grounds bellow there is an open-air ethnographic museum of old village buildings with exhibits of furniture, household objects, and costumes. Continue to Brasov with a visit to Prejmer Fortress. Entrance fees are included.
Airport transfer with private vehicle and driver.
Buda Castle Hotel (4*) is located in the heart of the castle district, one of Budapest's more elegant quarters on the Buda side of the city. The local area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the historical streets, which were once the commercial and governmental centre of the city, provide a fascinating view of the city’s glorious past. The Holy Trinity Square, Mathias Church and the Fishermen’s Bastion are all just a few steps from the hotel. The 25 rooms of the Hotel Buda Castle are all generously sized and elegantly furnished in a modern style. Breakfast is served in the Orangerie lounge. There is also a café and snack bar that stays open daily until midnight.
MS AmaPrima and AmaCerto offer the ultimate in custom-designed luxury. These 164-passenger vessels feature a combination of amenities and design details never before seen on the great waterways of Europe. Featuring an impressive range of stateroom categories, dining options and public lounges, your ship will transport you on the river cruise of a lifetime, while the highly-trained professional crew places an ongoing emphasis on personal service during your voyage.
The Rembrandt Hotel (3*) is situated in the historic city centre and housed in an original property from 1925. The contemporary Rembrandt Hotel is set 500 metres from the House of the People and the Contemporary Art Museum. The hotel’s services and rooms are designed to meet the needs of all travellers. With professional and personal service, genuine hospitality, and special features, the Rembrandt Hotel creates a warm and relaxed atmosphere that feels like a home away from home. Café Klein, on the mezzanine floor of the hotel, is a cozy and comfortable bistro, also popular with locals and non-hotel guests. Enjoy a complimentary drink upon arrival.
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